Deeply Rooted: Assurance  - Message 2 - Part 1

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Tune in to listen to Pastor Mike give his messages on Assurance in Tennessee at the Deeply Rooted Conference.  

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Deeply Rooted: Assurance - Message 2 - Part 2

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Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry, Mike Abendroth here. I was privileged to speak at the second annual
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Deeply Rooted Conference 2023 in Kingsport, Tennessee, held at Grace Point Fellowship on 130
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VFW Road. And Justin was my host, and there were some other speakers there, and this is message number two that I had on assurance, on own assurance,
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I think objective assurance or something like that. Anyway, I've got Justin's permission to play this on No Compromise Radio Ministry, so enjoy.
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Welcome. I'm Jeremiah Reiner, and this is the Deeply Rooted Podcast. Welcome back to the
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Deeply Rooted Podcast. Hope you're looking forward to session three here from the Friday night session of our
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Deeply Rooted Conference. Again, previously in Kingsport, Tennessee, there in the early part of November, looking at the doctrine of assurance.
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Brother Mike Abendroth led us off in session one, and this is actually technically session three.
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Brother Mike was here with us closing out the Friday evening portion, so we hope you enjoy his second session from, again, the
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Deeply Rooted Conference. I pray, I read books about Jesus, I go to conferences.
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I love that, but I didn't ask you if you're faithful. I ask you, are you a person of faith, not of faithfulness?
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You say, what's the difference? A person of faith is one who trusts in the Lord Jesus, faith in the object
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Lord Jesus. Are you a person of faith? The answer should be, by the grace of God, yes,
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I am. How do you know that? Well, I'm trusting in the risen work of the
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Lamb of God. Are you a faithful person? Well, I'd like to be more faithful, but I do try to say no to sin and yes to righteousness, and I want to make sure that my faith spills into my faithfulness.
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That is, I'm saved by faith alone, but that faith isn't alone. Sometimes we get these two confused.
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We talk about our commitment to God, faithfulness, in place of his commitment to us.
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Even when we're preaching through the book of Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 11, it's that great chapter, the hall of faith, but we end up turning it into the hall of faithfulness, how faithful these persons are.
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Then you look a little closer and you think about how faithful was Samson, how faithful was Jephthah, how faithful was
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Abraham. When it comes to assurance, faith is primary.
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Tomorrow I'll talk about the subjective nature of faithfulness in light of faith, but tonight, session two for me, objective assurance.
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I said I would quote this every time in my mind, so I'll quote it again. When I look to myself, I don't know how
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I can be saved, but when I look at the Lord Jesus, I don't know how I can be lost. Simple outline in this session, three questions to design you to think about gospel assurance in an objective way.
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Three questions. Why do you always have questions? I don't know. It's late at night and Justin's a slave driver and I got to keep you awake, and if I ask a question, you want to fill in the answer.
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The root word for question is quest, so I give you a question and you're on a quest to find the answer, that's why.
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You guys are intense here, Tennessee, just not a break, not a bathroom break. I can't even go to Ham and Goodies to get a little lemon cookie break or anything in Knoxville.
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How many people here know Ham and Goodies? Some do. Are they any good? Okay, Ham and Goodies it is.
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I didn't know anything about that until we drove by the other day. Three questions. Question one, why is this even called objective assurance?
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Why is it called objective assurance? The answer simply is because the issue starts and stops with the objective work of Christ outside of us.
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It has nothing to do with us if we weren't even born at what Christ did, the eternal son who became flesh, who dwelled among us and what he accomplished on our behalf.
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I love the Nicene Creed, for us in our salvation, he came down from heaven, he became incarnate by the
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Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man and he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate.
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He suffered and was buried in the third day. He rose again according to the scriptures. By the way, I love the little
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Pontius Pilate section in there, why? Because Jesus was truly a man, he was perfectly a man, suffered under Pontius Pilate.
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My favorite thing in Israel, when we used to be able to go to Israel and tour, I just was there this year, they have something called a
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Pilate stone. No record of Pontius Pilate in any kind of history outside the Bible until 1961 by the
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Mediterranean Sea, Caesarea, a maritime, they found a stone there with an engraving with Pontius Pilate's name on there.
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And I'm thinking, like Machen said, if you're a good Christian theologian, you're primarily a historian.
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And so we're talking about the objective, historical, theological work of the
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Lord Jesus. Was he sent by the Father? Did he accomplish the work? And did he achieve redemption for us?
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There is no assurance outside of the work of Christ. I don't know, maybe
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I just like to drop Sinclair Ferguson quotes, but he's had such an influence in my life.
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I remember one time he said, I wasn't there, but I just remember listening to it, have you ever read any
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John Owen? A lot of the students raised their hand. Which book have you read of John Owen?
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And almost every student said, Mortification of Sin. He said, that's a wonderful book because Mortification of Sin is good.
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It's good to kill sin and to live for righteousness. But why is the first book that you read of Owen not the glory of Christ?
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By the way, that's a good plug for the glory of Christ because they're free right over here. Right? True. Objective, then subjective.
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We want to talk tonight about the one who knew no sin that became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
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Starting off with the work of Christ, what Charles Hodge called the infinite merit of the satisfaction of Jesus.
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So let's go to a passage tonight, a little more Bible teaching than my last session, but not more Bible teaching than Sean's session.
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Wasn't that encouraging and good? I like you. All right.
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Good. Romans 8, please. Romans 8 31. Back to the security passage. As we look to the objective work of Christ, I want to have our minds fixed on the
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Lord Jesus. I wonder if I went to your church and sat there and I didn't know anything about you, but I just sat and listened to the preaching.
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I'd wonder what I would think. Is this church about moralism, to do good, to be faithful, or is it about the
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Lord Jesus? I think it was T. David Gordon that said that what if somebody from Tibet came to your church? They don't even know what
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Christianity is. They had an interpreter. They listen to the service. They listen to the songs. They listen to the preaching. You ask them, what's
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Christianity about? And we hope the answer wouldn't be do good, be good, be nice.
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We'd hope it would be the exaltation of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. And Paul is doing some wonderful work here in Romans chapter 8 in this conclusion, especially of confident praise,
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Christ -centered, God -centered. And he asked the question after he's been working his way through Romans 8 that of course starts off with no condemnation and deals with the
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Spirit's work and the sovereignty of God in 828. And that great chain of redemption in verse 28 and 29 and 30.
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And then he says, what should we say to these things? I ask you, what would you say to these things that's being taught in the book of Romans?
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That great book that essentially is summarized in one word, righteousness. And that we have no righteousness, chapters 1, 2, and part of 3.
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We need righteousness and Jesus earns that for us. And he credits that righteousness to us by faith.
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And then that righteousness is explained and we are showing that righteousness.
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And here we have this secure righteousness. What shall we say to these things? And the answer hopefully isn't when you think about the sovereignty of God, the goodness of God, the chain of redemption, and if God calls you, he glorifies you.
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Hopefully the response is wonderful, amen, preach it. It shouldn't be a yawn or anything else.
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What do we say about these things? This is language right from Isaiah 50.
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If God is for us, who can be against us? Take on all challengers.
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When I was a younger person, I sold Duracell batteries, but everybody thought
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I sold Energizer batteries because they would say, oh yeah, those advertisements on TV where I think
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Robert Conrad put an Energizer on his shoulder and he was a tough guy. And he's like,
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I dare you to knock that off. Come one, come all, I dare you to knock it off. Here, Paul is saying, if God is for you, who can be against you?
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Primarily, I think he's thinking about Satan, the great accuser, but it could be anybody else or anyone else or anything else.
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Did you know this was allegedly John Calvin's life verse? It's hard to have a favorite verse.
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Calvin probably said it when he was preaching through Romans 8 31, but this was so important for him because you can have all these enemies.
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And what shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
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One would think in light of our sin and lack of righteousness, God would be against us. He would serve us right if God were against us, but he's not.
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And the possible enemies of sin and Satan and cults and ourselves don't diminish that.
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And you say, well, okay, it's all talk. To what degree is God for us? Exactly how is he for us?
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To what extent is he for us? Verse 32 answers that question and it gives the Christian assurance.
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He the father who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all.
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How will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
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This is a good reminder that it's not Jesus who somehow made the father love us by dying on the cross.
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No, it was in love that the father sends the son and in love the son goes and in love the father and the son have the spirit proceed from them.
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He didn't spare his own son. By the way, thinking about the old Testament, what does that remind you of? Someone that didn't spare their own son.
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Matter of fact, it's language that's almost equivalent to the passage you're thinking about. Genesis chapter 22, where Abraham didn't spare his son,
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Isaac. Do not stretch out your hand against the Lord, against the lad rather, and do nothing to him.
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For now that I know you fear God, since you have not withheld or spared your only son from me.
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Would God do less for his friends than his enemies? Would God do less for his children than for his enemies?
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The answer is no. This is an argument from the greater to the lesser. To the lesser. Sometimes I think we believe
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God might be like us and that is a reluctant person, a reluctant deity.
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Not at all. When I took a couple sabbaticals in Germany, I just took the children all over the places where Luther was born, where he died, where he was ordained into ministry and I can just hear my children, they were smaller at the time, dad do we have to have another, do we have to go to another place where Luther went, where he was?
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And I'm like yes, of course, but there's pretzels afterwards. So do
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I have to hear at this conference another quote from Luther? Yes, but there's pretzels afterwards.
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I don't know where you're going to get them, but be warmed, be filled. Luther, what's the gospel?
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The gospel is God has sent his son into the world to save sinners, to crush hell, overcome death, take away sin and satisfy the law.
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But what must you do? Nothing. But accept this and look up to your
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Redeemer and firmly believe that he has done all this for your good and freely gives you all as your own so that the terrors of death, sin and hell, you can confidently say and boldly depend upon it and say although I do not fulfill the law, although I still sin, although I fear death and hell, nevertheless from the gospel
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I know that Christ has bestowed on me all his works and I am sure God will not lie.
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See, the focus goes up and out and away from ourselves. One of the reasons why I love
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Lord's Day worship is because it's about the Lord and I come to Lord's Day worship with all kinds of trials and temptations and issues and finance and health and everything else and I think
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I just need to stop thinking about myself and start thinking about who this triune God is and to lift my eyes up on the hills from whence to my help, easy for me to say
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Psalm 121, where does my help come from? Forget the winces.
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You know, that's part of the problem when you memorize scripture in King James, New King James, New American Standard, now
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ESV, it's just a collage. Paul moves straight to justification, look at verse 33, to try to help us.
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No, the finished work of Christ helps us with our security and we should be confident and then assured. Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?
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I mean, what if I fail, what if I sin, what if I keep going back to that same sin I'm always struggling with?
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It is God who justifies. Is there any way I can bring a charge against God's elect?
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The word really is impeachment. Can I be impeached when I sin? Can Satan say, look at Pastor Mike sinned again, he ought to know better.
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Matter of fact, it's worse sinning as a Christian pastor than it was a pagan back in Nebraska because he knows so much, he has the spirit, he has the power to say no to sin and yes to righteousness and look at, he's still sinning.
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And Paul says, but it is God who justifies, it is God who says not guilty. On my desk in my study back in Massachusetts, I have a variety of things, the two prominent things, one is a skull and one is a gavel.
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And that skull is a reminder like it used to remind some old preachers that one day
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I'll die, so preach Christ today. And one day the people I'm preaching to will die, so preach
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Christ to them. Some of the little boys will walk in my office in my study and they'll see that and they're like, pastor like zombies and like, what did your parents let you watch?
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I'm going to make a note of zombie watching children. You shouldn't know the word zombie. And I have a gavel because it's to remind me that God declares someone righteous, they're righteous based on the work of Jesus.
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This is not some kind of ethereal rightness, this is Jesus born of a woman, born under law.
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He's inherently righteous, he needs to earn nothing, but he's born under the law to redeem those under the law because he needs, he knows he needs to give us righteousness that he has earned and merited and we receive that upon justification.
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We do a lot of snow throwing in Massachusetts, snow blowing I call it, they call it snow throwing. And so I think about snow blowers and snow throwers or even like a garden tractor or something.
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It's like you have forward, reverse gear and neutral.
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And so if you think of Adam, when it comes to justification, he's in the garden, he's in neutral and God gives him commandments to obey and prohibitions and he is to move forward and put it into gear and obey
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God. But what does Adam do? He throws it into reverse, probably doesn't even put the clutch in, just jams it in and disobeys