1. God's Gift of Righteousness (Romans 3:21-25) John MacArthur

    57:41

    from John MacArthur / Added

    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-344 We are, as you know, looking at the book of Romans and tonight we come in to chapter 3 at verse 21...Romans chapter 3 verse 21. Let me read verses 21 through the first part of verse 25...Romans 3:21 to 25, at least the first part of verse 25. "But now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets. Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe, for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith." Now as we approach this, a little bit of an introduction. Job, that very early book, no doubt describing a man who lived in the patriarchal period, the period of the Pentateuch, Job that righteous man, that man who was commended by God for his faith, asked the most important question that any person could ever ask. It is posed in chapter 9 of Job and verse 2. And this is the question that Job asked, "How can a man be right with God?" That is the most compelling question. How can a man be right, or be in the right before God? And then he goes on to show why this is such a dilemma. Verse 3, "If one wished to dispute with him, he could not answer him once in a thousand times...wise in heart and mighty in strength, who has defied Him without harm? It is God who removes the mountains, they know not how. When He overturns them in His anger, who shakes the earth out of its place and its pillars tremble, who commands the sun not to shine and sets a seal on the stars, who alone stretches out the heavens and tramples down the waves of the sea; who makes the bear, Orion and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south ; who does great things, unfathomable, and wondrous works without number. Were He to pass by me, I wouldn't see Him. Were He to move past me, I wouldn't perceive Him. Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him? Who could say to Him, 'What are You doing?' God will not turn back His anger. Beneath Him crouch the helpers of Rahab. How then can I answer Him and choose my words before Him? For though I were right, I could not answer. I would have to employ the mercy of my judge. If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice, for He bruises me with a tempest, and multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to get my breath, but saturates me with bitterness. If it is a matter of power, behold, He is the strong one! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon Him? Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me; though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty."...

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    • Characteristics of a Useful Vessel (2 Timothy 2:14-26) John MacArthur

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      from John MacArthur / Added

      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-342 I want you to open your Bible, this morning, as we wrap up our Shepherds Conference to 2 Timothy chapter 2. It would almost be a serious oversight if we would have a conference of pastors and church leaders and elders and not deal with portions of Scripture in 1 and 2 Timothy because they are, after all, the pastoral epistles and they speak directly to the responsibility that we have in serving the Lord in His church. I always feel when we come to the end of the Shepherds Conference on this particular Sunday that there's a burden on my heart to speak to the pastors, even though the whole congregation of our church is here, to direct the message to them. And in so doing, you in no way ignore the congregation because whatever standard the Lord sets for the pastor is set so that the pastor can be an example to the flock. Paul said to Timothy, "Be an example to the believers in word and conduct." The Apostle Paul said that you are to follow me as I follow Christ. So when we talk about the standard that God has established for the pastor, we are establishing that so that he can be the model for the people to follow. Whatever a pastor is to be in his own sanctification, whatever a pastor is to be in his own commitment to the Word of God, whatever a pastor is to be in his own behavior is so that he can be the model for what everybody else is to be. And so, we're simply lifting the standard of leadership so that leadership can lead people to the very standard which is their standard....

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      • Reasons for Loving the Church, Part 2 (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

        53:23

        from John MacArthur / Added

        http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-341 Well as I was mentioning a few moments ago, we have been in a prolonged recognition of God's faithfulness of over 40 years of ministry together, and it has prompted me on each of our Sundays over the last month or so to look at some of the foundations of our church that has put us in the place where God has blessed us so greatly. We take no credit for it, this is not a work of man, certainly not a work of mine. This is, we believe, a work of God. There are some spiritual commitments that we have made here in this church that really were there at the very, very beginning of this church, even when I came, an eagerness to follow the Word of God. And it is that commitment to the Word of God that has given us unwavering, unaltered, unchanging commitment to a pattern of ministry that is laid out in the New Testament. I grew up in churches. My father and grandfather being pastors, I was exposed to my own church as a kid growing up in my Dad's church, I was exposed to many other churches, many churches in which we had mutual ministry and shared youth activities and things like that. My college days, even while I was a student, I was speaking in various places in various places. In seminary I was in more churches and exposed to more approaches to churches and how they did their work. And by the time I finished my seminary days, I had pretty much seen every way you could do church at least at that period of time. And I came to the conclusion that I just wanted to follow what the New Testament said as closely as possible. Setting aside all those things that were traditional or normal or expected, let's go back and see what the Word of God has to say. I couldn't imagine that the Lord would have expectations for His church and not instructions for His church. And so it was that in the months before I ever came here, I was grappling with the Word of God, endeavoring to understand if the Lord ever allows me to become a pastor, what is it that is non-negotiable, critical, essential...what are the mandates for the life of the church so we can be the church of Jesus Christ and bring honor to our Head and have an impact in the world. And so from those earliest days when we first came together in February of 1969, our focus was always upon...what does the Word of God have to say about every aspect of our life as a church?...

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        • Reasons for Loving the Church, Part 1 (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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          from John MacArthur / Added

          http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-340 Through the years of ministry here at Grace Church, there has always been an underlying attitude that has filled my heart and it is an attitude of love for the church. I love the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many things the Lord has called me to do and given me opportunity to do that I have done that do not come close to the privilege of serving the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I could live without lots of things. I am thankful for the opportunity to give leadership to schools, to write books, to write commentaries. I'm thankful for the opportunity to go places and if only to touch ever so lightly down and preach a little while and go away again, which I have done through the many, many years of ministry. But all of those things could be taken away from me and it would not touch me as to the true joy of my heart because my love is the church, the church of Jesus Christ. I love the church wherever I encounter it admittedly, whether I am fellowshiping with believers in Asia or Russia or wherever it is on the globe, whether in a primitive environment in the Andes Mountains, or a very sophisticated environment in Europe or with a small group or a large group, with a church of one of our seminary graduates, or some great event involving many churches and many Christians, wherever I go, the fellowship which I enjoy with God's people who are His church is a tremendous joy to me. I love the church. But of all the church, I love this part of the church most. This group that God has assembled here through the years in this one place is the love of the church that exceeds all others. And that by virtue of the years and years of interaction and fellowship and mutual ministry and caring and living through all the experiences of life. All the rest of the things that I have done and do could be taken away from me and I would be left completely in tact if I were still here serving the church that I love. As I said on the day of the fortieth, there has never been an impulse in my heart to go anywhere else. This has never been a job for me. This has never been a place to serve. This is...this has been the church, the segment of the church that the Lord has given to me....

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          • Foundations of Grace, Part 2: The Lordship of Christ (Matthew 7:13-27) John MacArthur

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            from John MacArthur / Added

            http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-338 In this time period, as I thought about it, and particularly in anticipation for the fortieth coming up, I wanted to reach back and perhaps answer the question as to why God has blessed our church. There's no question about the fact that He has, we have all lived in that blessing. I've lived in it for the duration of my years here. I can honestly say to you that there has never been a moment in 40 years, not a single moment in which I wished that I was not here and wish I wished I was somewhere else. There have been times when I wanted to be used by the Lord somewhere else when I wished I could be two people so I could go somewhere else, particularly in a mission-field environment and minister there. But there has never been a fleeting moment when I have ever, ever thought to myself I wish I weren't here, but I wish I were somewhere else. It has been a blessed journey. It has been full of all kinds of adventure, all the ups and downs of life. But it has been a profound blessing to my life. And that's the way the body of Christ works. You have blessed me, this congregation has blessed me, the leadership of this church has blessed me. Those who serve here have blessed me, whether we're talking about the senior citizens, one of whom we had a funeral for yesterday, Maureen Klattenburg, and how she blessed my life with her incessant prayers to, I think there were seven little girls under ten who hugged me when I arrived this morning, everybody in between. This church has filled my life with blessing and with love and joy and the same is true of our family. And there are reasons that this church has been a blessing, not only to me but to all of us and to generations who have gone before us in the past 40 years....

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            • Foundations of Grace, Part 1: The Glory of God (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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              from John MacArthur / Added

              http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-337 There are a few weeks now before the celebration of the fortieth year here and it seems to me that those 40 years have passed very rapidly since that second Sunday in February of 1969 when I came here in my twenties. And I really only had one qualification to be the pastor of this church and it was this, the two prior pastors had died of a heart attack and the church was supporting both widows. And they said, "Get a young one." They really didn't want another widow to support or another pastor to die, so they just wanted somebody who would last a while. Little did they know that I would last this long. But in those early years when I came to Grace Church, that first Sunday was very unforgettable to me, over in the chapel. There was only the chapel and that small building and I have lived, as many of you have, through the years of seeing the hand of God on this church. And I just want you to know, I need to do a peremptory strike before we get to the first Sunday of February and you get confused about the reason this church is what it is, and it's not me. I will accept the gratitude and the love and affection that comes that day, but before you ever get there, I want to tell you the real reason why this church is what it is, and it is not because of me. It is because of truth...it is because of truth and some particular truths that have been the guideposts, the fixed points, the landing lights that have never moved and never changed to which all of us have directed our ministries and our lives for these 40 years....

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              • How the Lord Builds His Church (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

                55:40

                from John MacArthur / Added

                http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-336 Wow, it's wonderful, all those men up here filling up the platform. One of the great riches of this church is the fact that God has blessed us with so many men who serve and lead, not only their families but in ministries in our church. How rich we are. And what a force of men who rise up to serve the living God. Before I am gone for a while this summer in a combination of ministry and catching up on some important reading so I can serve you better in the future and also getting a little bit of rest, I have this one opportunity this morning to take you to the Word of God. I told you last time that we were not going to pick up the next portion of Luke until I return in August because that begins the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And in those months toward the end of the year, we will finish out the great gospel of Luke. But for this morning, I want to stick with Luke, if I can, but in a different book. Luke wrote another book, not just our beloved gospel according to Luke, but Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles, another long and important book, another historical book, another record of the work of God. In his gospel, it is the record of the work of God through Christ and in the book of Acts it is his record of the work of God through the Apostles and the growth of the early church....

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                • The Law and the Gospel (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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                  from John MacArthur / Added

                  http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-335 Well tonight we're going to turn to a very, very important subject, the Law and the Gospel...the Law and the Gospel. In the general picture out there of evangelicalism today, there is certainly much said about God's love, much said about God's mercy, much said about His grace. There is a great emphasis on the fact that God forgives, that He empowers. Almost nothing is said about the Law of God, about the judgment of God, about the heinousness of violating His Law, and the just consequences of such a violation. And so, in a sense the gospel which means the good news is stripped of what it is really good because people don't know what is really bad, which makes the good news such good news. The bad news is that all people are under the Law of God, they're under obligation to obey that Law. They are all violators of that Law, therefore they come under true guilt and with guilt comes condemnation and with condemnation comes punishment, and that punishment is everlasting. The Gospel cannot be understood as good news, until people understand what it is that the Gospel delivers them from, namely the bad news of eternal punishment which is a just punishment on a truly guilty sinner. People are trying to get other folks into heaven while at the same time avoiding telling them they're on their way to hell. Trying to get them to accept what is good for them, without understanding the truth about what is so bad for them. And were you to ask the question to people out there as they looked at evangelicalism and listened to the general message that Christians give, if you posed the question...What does Jesus save you from?...they might say, "loneliness, depression, poverty, lack of purpose, lack of meaning, lack of fulfillment, etc." cause they do not understand guilt, condemnation that comes because of a violation of His Law. Scripture, however, is very clear that anyone who is to grasp the greatness of the gospel must first grasp the greatness of judgment of sin. Salvation by grace means little to those who know nothing of damnation under the Law....

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                  • The Authoritative Nature of Truth (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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                    from John MacArthur / Added

                    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-331 I want you to open your Bible as we turn to the Word of God tonight to the eighth chapter of the gospel of John...the eighth chapter of the gospel of John. I have been somewhat restrained over the last few years in not preaching more from the gospel of John because I've spent so much time working on the commentaries on the gospel of John. The first volume, John 1 through 11, was completed about a year ago. And the second volume, John 12 to 21 completing the gospel of John, was just completed a few weeks ago. In fact, I have the final galley proofs on my desk and have been reading through for any final corrections. It's such a stunning, stunning book. It is relentlessly exalting of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, of course, that makes it a very special treasure to me. And so I want to steal away a little bit tonight, into a portion of the gospel of John, at least as a starting point, and that's the eighth chapter and in particular, I want to draw you down to verse 43 through verse 45. And there is a truth expressed here that I want to be a foundation for our thinking tonight. Jesus in this particular context is speaking to the Jews who are defending themselves as to their place with God because of their Jewish ancestry, their Abrahamic heritage. Jesus takes issue with that. He says this, verse 43, "Why do you not understand what I'm saying? It is because you cannot hear My Word. You think you belong to God, you think you are children of Abraham, you are actually of your father, the devil. And you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, or essence. For he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me."...

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                    • Why You Should Join the Church (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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                      from John MacArthur / Added

                      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-330 We're having such a wonderful time studying the account of Luke, anticipating the cross, but this morning, we're going to take a break from that. And I know for some of you that's probably a disappointment. In some ways it is for me because it's kind of breath taking and we have to kind of take it in sort of mini-series, as they call these things these days. And I hate to put it off another week, but what I want to say to you today is really very, very important. So we will take a little bit of a break and we'll pick up the narrative of Luke next week on Thursday of Passion Week, as the Lord eats the Passover with His disciples and then institutes the Lord's table, and then teaches them all the wonderful truths that He taught them in John 13 through 16. And then confronts Judas at the table and dismisses Judas to go out and make the deal final with the religious leaders of Israel and come later that night and arrest Jesus and then the cross. We're going to get back in to that narrative next week. When we planned this Sunday months and months ago, we didn't know where we'd be in that narrative. And we're going to stick with the plan because it's really very, very important today. As you can tell, the songs we sung were about the church. As I called your attention to a moment ago, Tom wrote a very important article in the Grace Today about the church. There's even a card in there, a little section at the bottom of one of the pages which talks about membership where you can write your name and so forth. I'll tell you more about that a little bit later....

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