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The Impact of the Gospel (Part 1 of 2)

1 Thessalonians 1:4–10
Program

Scripture makes it clear that we don’t choose God; we’re chosen by Him. Learn how to determine if a person is truly chosen by God, and discover how all three members of the Trinity are involved in the process. Study along with Alistair Begg on Truth For Life.

From the Sermon

The Impact of the Gospel — Part One

1 Thessalonians 1:4–10 Sermon Includes Transcript 34:22 ID: 1757

The Father’s Will

The Father’s Will

Then I said, “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.”

When parents and grandparents coo over a newborn member of their family, they often share hopes and plans for what this little girl will accomplish or who this little boy might become. It would be quite remarkable, however, if young children were to declare their own intentions and purposes in life. Yet this is one more way in which Christ is unique: He did enter the world declaring, “I have come to do your will, O God.”

When Jesus was twelve, His parents found Him conversing in the temple with the religious leaders and teachers. Mary and Joseph had been looking for Him for three days without thinking to look there, and were baffled; but He replied, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). He understood His express purpose from His earliest days.

What was the will of the Father that Christ came to accomplish? The Bible tells us that in sending Jesus, God gave His people the one who would satisfy all the law’s demands through full submission and who would then suffer the penalty of sin to set men and women free from its bondage. The coming of the Savior had been planned from all of eternity and promised through all of the Old Testament, the “scroll of the book.” Jesus—who entered the world as a baby in a manger—is the very fulfillment of our salvation.

Every moment of His life, whether He was being tempted by Satan or experiencing agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew and remembered His purpose. He understood that He was there according to the Father’s will. Though He pleaded for His cup of suffering to pass, He submitted to the Father in perfect obedience. As any human would have been, He was tempted to shrink from the Father’s will, yet still He prayed, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39-46).

Jesus was not vague concerning the reason for His arrival—and because He lived according to the Father’s will, we will join Him in eternity, rejoicing in all He accomplished on our behalf.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.[1]

Today, you and I can live to do God’s will, not in fear of punishment if we do not obey but with faith that we are already blessed in Christ. Because He always obeyed, we are forgiven for our failures to do likewise and freed joyfully to pursue our Father’s will—not because we must but because we desire to.

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men5 because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18Therefore, as one trespass6 led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness7 leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Footnotes
5 5:12 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women; also twice in verse 18
6 5:18 Or the trespass of one
7 5:18 Or the act of righteousness of one
Footnotes
1 Augustus Toplady, “Rock of Ages” (1776).

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotionals by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, 2022, The Good Book Company.

We Are Saved

We Are Saved

… Who saved us and called us to a holy calling.

The apostle uses the perfect tense and says, "who saved us." Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as people who are in a hopeful state and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved. Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon our dying bed and to be sung of in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised, and enjoyed now.

The Christian is perfectly saved in God's purpose; God has ordained him to salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also as to the price that has been paid for him: "It is finished" was the cry of the Savior before He died. The believer is also perfectly saved in His covenant Head, for as he fell in Adam, so he lives in Christ.

This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling. Those whom the Savior saved upon the cross are in due time effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit to holiness: They leave their sins; they endeavor to be like Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the power of a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as when previously they delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but He called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them.

The excellencies that we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the Atonement itself. In this way the fullness of the grace of God is beautifully displayed. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it: And what motive but grace could move Him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is forever excluded. Such is the believer's privilege—a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it—a holy life.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org. Used by Truth For Life with written permission.

Daily Bible Reading for June 13

Deuteronomy 18, Psalm 105, Isaiah 45, Revelation 15

Provision for Priests and Levites

1“The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the Lord's food offerings1 as their2 inheritance. 2They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. 3And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for all time.

6“And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives—and he may come when he desires3—to the place that the Lord will choose, 7and ministers in the name of the Lord his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the Lord, 8then he may have equal portions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.4

Abominable Practices

9“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering,5 anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. 13You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, 14for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.

A New Prophet like Moses

15“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—16just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or6 who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’—22when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

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Footnotes
1 18:1 Or the offerings by fire to the Lord
2 18:1 Hebrew his
3 18:6 Or lives—if he comes enthusiastically
4 18:8 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
5 18:10 Hebrew makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire
6 18:20 Or and

Tell of All His Wonderful Works

1Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;

make known his deeds among the peoples!

2Sing to him, sing praises to him;

tell of all his wondrous works!

3Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

4Seek the Lord and his strength;

seek his presence continually!

5Remember the wondrous works that he has done,

his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,

6O offspring of Abraham, his servant,

children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

7He is the Lord our God;

his judgments are in all the earth.

8He remembers his covenant forever,

the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

9the covenant that he made with Abraham,

his sworn promise to Isaac,

10which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,

to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

11saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan

as your portion for an inheritance.”

12When they were few in number,

of little account, and sojourners in it,

13wandering from nation to nation,

from one kingdom to another people,

14he allowed no one to oppress them;

he rebuked kings on their account,

15saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,

do my prophets no harm!”

16When he summoned a famine on the land

and broke all supply1 of bread,

17he had sent a man ahead of them,

Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

18His feet were hurt with fetters;

his neck was put in a collar of iron;

19until what he had said came to pass,

the word of the Lord tested him.

20The king sent and released him;

the ruler of the peoples set him free;

21he made him lord of his house

and ruler of all his possessions,

22to bind2 his princes at his pleasure

and to teach his elders wisdom.

23Then Israel came to Egypt;

Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.

24And the Lord made his people very fruitful

and made them stronger than their foes.

25He turned their hearts to hate his people,

to deal craftily with his servants.

26He sent Moses, his servant,

and Aaron, whom he had chosen.

27They performed his signs among them

and miracles in the land of Ham.

28He sent darkness, and made the land dark;

they did not rebel3 against his words.

29He turned their waters into blood

and caused their fish to die.

30Their land swarmed with frogs,

even in the chambers of their kings.

31He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,

and gnats throughout their country.

32He gave them hail for rain,

and fiery lightning bolts through their land.

33He struck down their vines and fig trees,

and shattered the trees of their country.

34He spoke, and the locusts came,

young locusts without number,

35which devoured all the vegetation in their land

and ate up the fruit of their ground.

36He struck down all the firstborn in their land,

the firstfruits of all their strength.

37Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold,

and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.

38Egypt was glad when they departed,

for dread of them had fallen upon it.

39He spread a cloud for a covering,

and fire to give light by night.

40They asked, and he brought quail,

and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.

41He opened the rock, and water gushed out;

it flowed through the desert like a river.

42For he remembered his holy promise,

and Abraham, his servant.

43So he brought his people out with joy,

his chosen ones with singing.

44And he gave them the lands of the nations,

and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil,

45that they might keep his statutes

and observe his laws.

Praise the Lord!

Open in Bible
Footnotes
1 105:16 Hebrew staff
2 105:22 Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome instruct
3 105:28 Septuagint, Syriac omit not

Cyrus, God's Instrument

1Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,

whose right hand I have grasped,

to subdue nations before him

and to loose the belts of kings,

to open doors before him

that gates may not be closed:

2“I will go before you

and level the exalted places,1

I will break in pieces the doors of bronze

and cut through the bars of iron,

3I will give you the treasures of darkness

and the hoards in secret places,

that you may know that it is I, the Lord,

the God of Israel, who call you by your name.

4For the sake of my servant Jacob,

and Israel my chosen,

I call you by your name,

I name you, though you do not know me.

5I am the Lord, and there is no other,

besides me there is no God;

I equip you, though you do not know me,

6that people may know, from the rising of the sun

and from the west, that there is none besides me;

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

7I form light and create darkness,

I make well-being and create calamity,

I am the Lord, who does all these things.

8“Shower, O heavens, from above,

and let the clouds rain down righteousness;

let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;

let the earth cause them both to sprout;

I the Lord have created it.

9“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,

a pot among earthen pots!

Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’

or ‘Your work has no handles’?

10Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’

or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

11Thus says the Lord,

the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:

“Ask me of things to come;

will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?2

12I made the earth

and created man on it;

it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,

and I commanded all their host.

13I have stirred him up in righteousness,

and I will make all his ways level;

he shall build my city

and set my exiles free,

not for price or reward,”

says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14Thus says the Lord:

“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,

and the Sabeans, men of stature,

shall come over to you and be yours;

they shall follow you;

they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.

They will plead with you, saying:

‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,

no god besides him.’”

15Truly, you are a God who hides himself,

O God of Israel, the Savior.

16All of them are put to shame and confounded;

the makers of idols go in confusion together.

17But Israel is saved by the Lord

with everlasting salvation;

you shall not be put to shame or confounded

to all eternity.

18For thus says the Lord,

who created the heavens

(he is God!),

who formed the earth and made it

(he established it;

he did not create it empty,

he formed it to be inhabited!):

“I am the Lord, and there is no other.

19I did not speak in secret,

in a land of darkness;

I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,

‘Seek me in vain.’3

I the Lord speak the truth;

I declare what is right.

20“Assemble yourselves and come;

draw near together,

you survivors of the nations!

They have no knowledge

who carry about their wooden idols,

and keep on praying to a god

that cannot save.

21Declare and present your case;

let them take counsel together!

Who told this long ago?

Who declared it of old?

Was it not I, the Lord?

And there is no other god besides me,

a righteous God and a Savior;

there is none besides me.

22“Turn to me and be saved,

all the ends of the earth!

For I am God, and there is no other.

23By myself I have sworn;

from my mouth has gone out in righteousness

a word that shall not return:

‘To me every knee shall bow,

every tongue shall swear allegiance.’4

24“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,

are righteousness and strength;

to him shall come and be ashamed

all who were incensed against him.

25In the Lord all the offspring of Israel

shall be justified and shall glory.”

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Footnotes
1 45:2 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains
2 45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?
3 45:19 Hebrew in emptiness
4 45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God

The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

1Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.

2And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3And they sing the song of Moses, the servant1 of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,

O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways,

O King of the nations!2

4Who will not fear, O Lord,

and glorify your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come

and worship you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

5After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent3 of witness in heaven was opened, 6and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. 7And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, 8and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

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Footnotes
1 15:3 Greek bondservant
2 15:3 Some manuscripts the ages
3 15:5 Or tabernacle
Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

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