Bro. John Tilley
|I thank the Lord for the opportunity to preach.
I thank the Lord that Preacher trusts me enough to preach. I count it a privilege; I count
it an honor to stand behind this pulpit during this conference, and preach. I titled this,
"From Birth to the New Birth". From physical birth until spiritual birth - from
birth to the new birth.
The common teaching in our day it that mankind is born - physically born condemned to hell. That is the most common, most readily accepted doctrine. That he is condemned to hell because he has a physically inherited sinful nature, and he is condemned whether he follows an entirely wicked life, or whether he lives a moral life, his nature that he inherited through a physical man has condemned him, unless he finds salvation.
In salvation he admits that he has lived under the control of this physical nature and he asks for forgiveness. At this point he is immediately granted forgiveness, a home in Heaven, but is not given any freedom from this physical nature that has previously controlled his life. Because he is given freedom, it will continue to control his life. This is what's commonly accepted, this is the most readily accepted doctrine that there is. The salvation that he receives, the salvation that he has found, the salvation that he accepted, it consists of a life in which he desires to be more like Christ, but is unable. This salvation makes him want to do good, but because he is still controlled by this nature that he inherited, it causes him to be sinful. The main difference between the saint and the sinner, under this doctrine, is that the sinner's life is condemned because he rejected Christ, but the saint's life is covered by the blood of Christ, and he is not condemned, although there is no difference in the lifestyle of the sinner and the lifestyle of the saint. Both are still controlled by this physically inherited nature. That's the most commonly accepted doctrine, not only in Baptist, but everywhere.
I don't know about you, but I'm not satisfied with that. I don't like that, I don't agree with that, I think that there is more to salvation than that. I'm not satisfied with a doctrine that is based on a nature that controls - a sinfully physically inherited nature.
The reason I don't agree with it is because it does not line up with the Christianity found in the Word of God. The Word of God, where we find doctrines such as, overcoming the world, in 1 John 5:4-5. We find doctrines such as, victory over sin, sin having no more dominion over you, in Romans 6:6-8. In John 1:12, we find the doctrine of having the power to become the sons of God. In Titus 2, we find the doctrine of being separate, and peculiar in this present world. In Ephesians 6:10-18, we find that we are able to withstand the devil, and I just don't see this most commonly accepted doctrine fitting into all these other doctrines.
So, what I'd like to do is present what I believe is the Bible doctrine of salvation. Just in case you were wondering, there's no inherited nature involved. Somebody asked me what I was going to preach on, and I said I was going to kind of be refuting the doctrine of the sinful nature, but I'm probably not going to say a lot about it, because there's none there. So, there may not be a whole lot said about it, but that's what I'm refuting. Let's pray, and then we'll get into the message.
Father in Heaven, Lord, I thank you and I praise you for this day. Thank you for your goodness. I thank you for your Word, and Lord, how it's clear, and it's simple, and it's easy to understand. Lord, I thank you it, I pray that you'll help me tonight, Lord, I want to be clear, I want to be a help, Father. I don't want to stand up here and waste my time, I don't want to try to just present what I've studied, and Lord upset people. Lord, I want to help somebody, I want to open some eyes, and I want to try to tear down the doctrines of the devil. And Father, I pray that you'll help me, I pray you'll fill me, I pray you'll use me. I pray that what we say tonight will be clear. I pray you'll help Preacher Owen as he preaches later on. I pray that you'll watch over and be with us, and Lord we'll thank you. In Jesus name, amen, and amen.
We find that the Lord gives three parables in answer to the Pharisees murmuring about the fact that He ate with sinners. In each of these parables, the Lord deals with the salvation of men, and what takes place.
Look in Luke 15:1-, "Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. (v.2) And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. (v.3) And He spake this parable unto them, saying, (v.4) What man if you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (v.5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (v.6) And when he cometh home, he calleth the together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. (v.7) I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (v.8) Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (v.9) And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. (v.10) Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (v.11) And He said, a certain man had two sons;"
Each one of these parables deals with salvation, and what takes place in a person's life. Really, the problem is that man is of a woman, and the Bible says he's " of few days and full of trouble ", and he must come to a time of new birth if he's ever going to find a home in Heaven. That's what each of these parables deals with, they deal with a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a prodigal son. Now, all three deal with the same subject individually, but must be considered together in order to get the full picture.
Now, if we took the parable of the lost sheep all by itself, we could create some pretty crazy doctrines. If we took the parable of the lost coin all by itself, we could create some crazy doctrines. Even the story of the prodigal son, we could probably come up with some crazy ideas, but the Lord gave all three stories together. He made no pause, He made no difference, He gave three illustrations, and He means for us to consider them all three together, that we might get the full picture of what He's talking about. There are a few things that are the same in all three parables.
First of all, that which was lost in the parables, whether it be the sheep, or the coin, or the son, that which was lost, was NOT ALWAYS LOST - it BECAME that way. The sheep was in the fold, and he WENT astray. The coin was in the purse, but it got OUT. The prodigal was in the Father's house, and he LEFT. None of them were always lost, but they became that way. You can look at verses 4,8,11,13.
Another thing that is the same in all three of these parables is: the sheep did not need to be rescued, the coin did not need to be found, and the prodigal did not need to return home, until first, they were lost. Read the parables. There was no need to go looking for a sheep until he left. There was no need to sweep the house for the coin until it was missing. There was no need for the prodigal to come home as long as he was at home. That's the same.
Another thing that's the same in all three of these: there was much rejoicing when the sheep returned to the fold. There was much rejoicing when the coin was returned to the purse. There was much rejoicing when the prodigal came home. Each of these are illustrating salvation, I believe, the Bible way. It's telling us what really happens from our physical birth until our new birth. Luke 15:7 says in like manner, in the same way, as in the case of the sheep and the coin, the same way that the people rejoiced over those, there is rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth. Over one sinner that turns from his sin, and returns to God.
The first two parables give us a figurative illustration, a sheep, an animal, a coin - an object. Luke 15:11-24 give us a physical example of a human, because there are some things about a coin, and about a sheep that are not true of a human. Therefore, the Lord gave a human example to help clear up some of the problems that can be found if we just use the object lessons.
He gave us a physical example of what was being illustrated in the sheep and in the coin. It clears up a lot of the false suppositions people make based on the sheep and the coin, concerning the shepherd seeking the sheep, and the helplessness of the coin. The physical example clears that up. If you take just the object lesson, you've got a problem; a coin is helpless, a sheep needs to be sought for. Our Lord knew that. He's pretty wise, He likes to cover all his bases, so He gave a physical example to clear that up, so people wouldn't be making false suppositions, but they still do.
In Luke 15:11-14, we see the prodigal son is a picture of salvation. The first thing we see is that he's IN his fathers house.
(v.11-2) " A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living."
I believe this can be used in comparison with the fact of children being born in innocence, rather than under condemnation because of their nature. The Bible records over twenty passages in the Old Testament, which refer to infants as being innocent. You can look them up, there are over twenty of them. Most of these passages are referring to the offering of children as sacrifices in idol worship, and God condemns them for shedding the "innocent" blood. The word innocent there means blameless, clean, guiltless, without fault. These children were innocent. They were not under condemnation. They were not condemned to die because of a nature, they were innocent. And every child born today is innocent.
In Romans 9:11, the Bible speaks of Jacob and Esau, saying, "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil " Isaiah 7:16 and Deuteronomy 1:39 both speak of children having no knowledge of good and evil. I believe children are born innocent and under no condemnation until they choose to go astray.
The next thing we see, is the prodigal leaving the fathers house, (v.13) "And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living."
I believe this can be compared with the fact that all men will go astray. The Bible has much to say concerning the fact that men go astray. Remember this, you cannot leave somewhere you've never been. You cannot go astray from God and the things of God if he were born into this world under condemnation. If that were true, then we were all led astray in Adam, and must return individually, but the Bible makes it clear that going astray is an individual choice.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God", not in Adam, but individually.
Isaiah 53:6, notice the personalization in this verse, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;"
1 Peter 2:24-25 "Who in his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are not returned " They went back - it's not some place they've never been before, " but are not returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
James 1:13-16 gives us an excellent exposition of every man going astray, individually and not in Adam. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted He any man; But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren."
There are several things covered here.
First of all, verse 13 covers some questions that might arise in your mind, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:" I believe God did not give us a nature to sin, because God does not tempt you to do evil. If God did give you a nature to sin, then we would be able to say that God tempted you to do evil. The Bible says that God does not do that. The Bible says also that man will be faced with an individual choice, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust " - an individual temptation. Something that fits you and the devil will see to it that this takes place. Man will inevitably choose that which is most pleasing to himself, without doubt, because of the glamour of sin, and the devil's ability to make it look so good. Man will often - almost always, choose the wrong, because of the glamour. He'll think it most beneficial to himself, he'll choose the sin, and by doing so, he will go astray individually.
The next thing we see in the life of the prodigal son is poverty and famine. You know the story.
It says in Luke 15:14 "And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want."
We see here that he faced poverty and famine. I believe this is comparable with a person coming under condemnation because of sin. He was born innocent, he was faced with a choice, he went astray after sin, and now he is in trouble. It happens. Anybody that is an honest human that has come to know Christ will say that's exactly how it happened. I didn't know right from wrong, I got older, I made a choice, I got in trouble, and I had to go to God. That's how it works, and that's what we see here. He came into trouble, in comparison with a person coming under condemnation because of sin.
In Proverbs 13:15 " but the way of the transgressor is hard."
Psalm 73:17-18 "Surely thou didst set them in slippery places:"
Isaiah 57:20-21 "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."
They're in trouble, they made their choice, here's what they're facing, here's where they're at. In 1 Peter 3:12 " the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." When a person chooses to go astray from God, he will find himself in trouble because of his sin.
In Psalms 107: 4-5 "They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them."
Psalm 107:11-12 "Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help." (v.17) "Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. (v.18) Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death." (v.26) "They mount up to the Heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. (v.27) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end."
We see the position now, they chose to go astray, and now they're in trouble.
Then we see the prodigal son. He realized his need. He said, "my father", what am I doing here in the hog pen. I believe this is comparable with a sinner realizing his need for God. He's sees his mistake, he sees his failure, he sees his rebellion, he sees what he's done, and he realizes, "I need God."
Psalm 107:6 "Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble ", (v.13) "Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble ", (v.19) "Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble " (v.28) "Then they cry into the Lord in their trouble "
The sinner realized his need, he realizes he's in trouble, he needs help. He realizes that it's time to seek help from the only place he can get help. From the God who created him innocent in the first place.
Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet "
He knows you messed up, real bad, you made a lot of wrong choices, but though your sins, " your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Isaiah 55:6-7 "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near; Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and will abundantly pardon."
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
John 6:35 "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger: and he that believeth on the shall never thirst."
Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Romans 10:13, a lot of times this verse is misused, but after going this far, it seems to fit right in. It says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Last of all we see the prodigal coming home. We see him from start to finish, from birth to new birth, if you want to say. He's coming home, and I believe this is comparable to the sinner coming home. He has wandered away from the fold, he has realized his need to return to God, he's repented of the life he chose, and he's being raised to live in newness of life.
Romans 6:18 "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Romans 6:22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
1Corinthians 6:11 "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, hi is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Psalm 107:6 "They cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses." (v.13) " and He saved them out of their distresses." (v.19) " and He saveth them out of their distresses." (v.28) " and He bringeth them out of their distresses."
The Bible tells us in Philippians 1:6: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
Titus 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
From birth to the new birth - the Bible way. I think makes more sense, I think it's easier to understand. I think a lot of the Scripture fit's the puzzle a little tighter when we see it that way.