"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
THE STUBBORNNESS OF BIBLICAL FACTS
By Wayne Camp
TEXTS: John 10:35 . . . the scripture cannot be broken.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
2 Timothy 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
INTRO: I have read a three verses that set forth the word of God as absolutely certain to be fulfilled. Many more could be read but these will suffice as a foundation for this message.
I recall sitting around the radio when a boy and listening to Dragnet and then, later, watching the same program on TV. A cliché that Sargent Friday often used was, "Just the facts, Ma'am, just the facts." This week I received a bulletin from an old friend in which he had a message on the subject, The Stubbornness of Facts. Amazingly, the next morning I turned on the radio as I was going to pick up some supplies for the paper and a gentleman on the radio started talking about how stubborn facts can be.
I was further amazed the same afternoon, when I heard one of the floor managers in the impeachment trial, talking about a finding of facts. Several of the senators do not want a resolution on the finding of facts in the case because they know that would put them in a very awkward position if they vote against finding the President guilty and removing him from office. Senator Robert Byrd admitted that the President had perjured himself and that he was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors but said he should not be removed because the economy is so good and the majority of the American people do not want him removed.
My message has nothing to do with that issue, but it illustrates the truth of the thesis set forth in my subject, The Stubbornness of Biblical Facts.
If you believe that the Bible is truly the Word of God, and if you believe it is an all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, and if you believe it can furnish us unto all good works, there are some biblical facts that may give you a great deal of trouble unless you totally submit to the final and all-sufficient authority of the Scriptures. There are facts that the Bible does set forth that may trouble you. There is also the fact that the Bible does not contain certain things that may trouble you. And I warn you, Biblical facts can be stubborn things. You can deny them, but the next time you open your Bible they are still there. You may gainsay them but they will still be there. You may take the penknife to them but they will still be there.
And, of those things you may believe that are not found in Scripture, you may insert, interject, and eisegete them into a passage today, but they will vanish more quickly than the vapor rising from the spout of a teakettle. No amount of interpretive contortions can keep them there. They may be there in your mind but another reading your Bible with an unprejudiced and spiritually enlightened mind would never see them.
CONSIDER FIRST SOME STUBBORN FACTS ABOUT THE UNIVERSALITY OF SIN IN MAN
There is the undeniable fact that all men, with the exception of the man Christ Jesus, have sinned and are sinners. Paul leaves no room for equivocation. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. There are absolutely no exceptions and I make no apology for using that well-known verse in chapter 3. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
It is a stubborn biblical fact that both Jew and Gentile alike are sinners. Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.
It is a stubborn fact of God's word that all men are under sin. Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Let us also consider the stubborn facts about the debilitating effects of sin, especially as it has to do the with the sinners ability. It is a stubborn biblical fact that man, in his natural state, cannot be subject to the law of God. Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. It is a stubborn fact of Scripture than a man in his natural state cannot please God. Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. It is a stubborn fact of Scripture that a man cannot, of his own will and motivation, come to Christ. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. No man in his natural, unregenerate state can truly hear the word. John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. No man in his natural, unregenerate state can truly believe on Christ. John 12:37-40 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
This hearing is not the hearing of the audible sound of the message, for anyone with reasonable hearing could hear that and have a mental understanding of what is being said. It is often the case that while hearing the audible sound one is not truly hearing. Matthew 13:14-15 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this peoples heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
This inability in reflected in a rhetorical question posed by God in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
THIS BRINGS BEFORE US THE STUBBORN FACT OF THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THE NEW BIRTH
Jesus was not just mouthing words when he declared the new birth to be absolutely essential. John 3:1-8 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mothers womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
One may be a respected religious leader, but without the new birth he will be unable to comprehend spiritual matters. We read earlier of those who hear with their ears but do not perceive what is being said in their hearts and Jesus says basically the same thing here. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Without this God-given ability to truly comprehend spiritual truth that is given to the sinner in the new birth, no man can enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
The unregenerate state of Nicodemus is revealed in his questions. Though he was a great religious leader in Israel he did not have any comprehension of Jesus' words concerning the new birth. John 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? The import and meaning of many Old Testament passages had not been comprehended by this man.
Solomon clearly sets forth the necessity of the new birth. Proverbs 20:12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. Even the saved must have a continual opening of our eyes if we are to comprehend God's truth. Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
The necessity of the new birth is clearly implied in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Moses wrote of God circumcising the heart which I take as an indication of the necessity of the new birth. Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
The unregenerate cannot be subject to the law of God. Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. In this verse from Deuteronomy God promises to do something to them that will fix that disability so that they can love the Lord. It is in the new birth that God opens the heart of the sinner so that he can give attendance to the word. Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Yes, the stubborn biblical fact of the sinfulness of man makes the the new birth an absolute necessity. The bible insists upon its necessity. That is a stubborn biblical fact. (To be continued.)
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Last updated on Friday, March 04, 2011