Contending for the Faith

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Clifford Goldstein


Series Code: CFTF

Program Code: CFTF000009

00:21 Hi, Cliff Goldstein here and I want to welcome you
00:24 to Contending for the Faith.
00:27 You know, the 17th century began
00:31 which called the scientific revolution
00:34 or the modern age.
00:37 A time when slowly but surely many ridiculous superstitions
00:44 were being replaced by
00:46 scientific thought and reasoning.
00:49 Here's where the work of some of the great names
00:52 in philosophy and science arouse.
00:55 Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Locke,
01:00 Thomas Hobbes, Galilei Galileo
01:03 or Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler
01:06 and of course, Isaac Newton the great.
01:10 And this is the amazing thing.
01:13 It wasn't just what people knew that had changed,
01:17 what had changed was what was really revolutionary,
01:21 what was the major shift was
01:24 what it meant to know something that changed this well.
01:29 You know, as I said on some other programs
01:32 I can say that I know that Jesus died for my sins.
01:36 I could say that I know that I'm in Illinois right now,
01:40 I know that two plus two equals four,
01:43 I know that I have a headache.
01:46 In each case I have used the verb to know
01:50 but in very different ways
01:52 I knew each of these things in different ways.
01:57 Now but the point is people were developing
02:00 in the 1600s and the 1700s all new concepts about
02:06 what it meant to know something.
02:10 Now many traits of these work
02:13 the beginning of this to an English
02:15 man named Francis Bacon
02:16 but you know, it's so funny just coming out here
02:19 on the plane I was reading a book
02:21 about somebody who challenged this whole idea
02:24 that had began with Francis Bacon.
02:26 So with everything, history, science, whatever
02:29 there always a lot of questions.
02:31 But anyway, the common belief is this
02:34 all began with Francis Bacon.
02:38 Many consider him the world's first scientist.
02:41 So again I think that is wrong
02:43 but anyway they would say
02:45 the modern age is for scientist I should say.
02:49 But anyway, Bacon had been raised
02:51 and educated in the school system
02:54 of the 15th-16th or 1600s and what was fascinating
02:59 he challenged the whole foundation
03:02 of everything that he had been taught.
03:04 He challenged the whole intellectual
03:07 foundation of the time.
03:10 And with the fascinating line,
03:12 a famous line that even gives me
03:14 goosebumps now when I read it.
03:16 When he was getting in trouble, imagine a student in class
03:20 and the teacher speaking to him
03:22 and the student just gets up and say no,
03:24 everything you are saying is wrong.
03:25 It's all wrong and I don't buy any of it and so on.
03:29 Well, I don't know that exactly what
03:31 freak Francis Bacon did but that was the idea.
03:34 Well, he gets in trouble
03:36 and then listen to this line that he says.
03:40 "I cannot be called to abide
03:42 by the sentence of a tribunal which is itself on trial."
03:49 Oh, I love that.
03:50 Bacon challenged
03:52 the entire intellectual foundation of his time.
03:56 Hence he refused to be condemned
03:58 by the very system that he himself was challenging
04:02 which had its roots and foundation
04:05 in the writings of Aristotle.
04:10 See, up till this point
04:12 much of the western intellectual tradition
04:15 at least the past few hundred years
04:18 including and especially the Roman church
04:22 was in the thrall of the writings of Aristotle
04:27 and the effect was I believe terrible
04:30 as much as Aristotle was like,
04:32 it's hard to imagine how smart this guy was
04:35 and how much knowledge he had.
04:37 His influence was powerful
04:39 and in many ways it was very bad.
04:42 You know, we all know some of the story of Galileo
04:45 and the church fighting over cosmology
04:48 and Galileo's contention that Copernicus was right,
04:52 that the earth wasn't at the center of the universe.
04:56 That was his contention.
04:57 The church believing that it was,
05:00 that it was the center and believed that was biblical
05:04 when and for against him.
05:07 Now I mentioned this on the earlier program too.
05:11 Galileo gets in trouble for teaching this.
05:15 Supposedly it's against the Bible.
05:17 But I ask somebody where does the Bible teach
05:21 that the earth sits stationary in the center of the universe
05:26 and all the planets circle around it.
05:28 I mean, it's not in the Bible.
05:30 The Bible never talks about that.
05:33 It's not a biblical teaching.
05:35 But then why did Galileo get in trouble?
05:38 Why was he accused of heresy?
05:41 Well, the answer was easy.
05:43 It was deemed heresy but it wasn't in the Bible,
05:46 it was in the teachings of Aristotle
05:50 and his cosmology which he wrote
05:52 hundreds of years before Christ,
05:55 the earth sat in the center of the universe
05:58 and all the other planets and stars
06:01 and so forth circled in this crystal spheres around it
06:06 and everything below the moon
06:08 was made of one substance
06:10 on the earth or different substance,
06:12 kind of substances on the earth
06:14 and above it there was a special
06:16 immutable perfect substance called the quintessence
06:21 and everything below it was sub-lunar world
06:23 with the world we live in with things changing
06:27 and mutable and so forth.
06:29 But the point is that's Aristotle a pagan Greek.
06:33 Not Moses, not David, not Daniel,
06:35 not Paul, not John, not Peter,
06:38 so what do you have here
06:40 but a prime example of how the church,
06:44 the catholic church though let's not fool ourselves.
06:47 The Protestants weren't a whole lot better.
06:49 You have an example of how the church
06:52 at this time was getting caught up
06:55 in the latest and greatest signs.
06:58 In this case Aristotle and trying to incorporate
07:02 that into their biblical teachings.
07:05 And may I humbly suggest
07:07 that those who think that they can do this today
07:10 that is incorporate the latest and greatest signs
07:14 into the Bible that is evolution.
07:17 They might think there Galileo standing for truth and so on
07:22 but they really just playing
07:24 the role of what the church did.
07:27 And only in this case
07:28 the teaching is not as completely anti-biblical.
07:33 But I'm digressing here, my main point is this,
07:37 my main point is this as the understanding
07:39 of what it meant to know something.
07:42 Change radically during the scientific revolution.
07:48 They began to look at the world
07:49 more quantitatively as opposed to qualitatively.
07:55 Now what is that mean?
07:57 When in the Aristotelian system rocks fell to the earth
08:02 because it was their nature to fall to the earth.
08:06 Fire rose because it was the essence,
08:09 it was the nature of fire to go up.
08:13 But what the new thinking,
08:14 what science did was start to move away
08:18 from these essences and perfections and natures
08:22 all Aristotelian terms instead
08:25 they started to study things like ratios,
08:28 quantitative relationships between force and matter.
08:32 How heavy is this thing? How fast does it fall?
08:36 What changes in the ratios between them and so forth?
08:41 Now the climatic historical example
08:44 of this new way of understanding
08:47 was Isaac Newton
08:48 Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica,
08:52 1687 often called the principia and this was the famous book
09:00 where Newton worked out the law of gravity.
09:04 But if you look at it sometime you will notice something.
09:07 It's almost all numbers.
09:10 Numbers were Galileo said the language of nature.
09:14 And the following few years have proved him right.
09:17 I mean, after all, what science
09:19 or what technology doesn't employ mathematics.
09:23 I remember I had a roommate in college
09:26 and he was an engineer.
09:28 And I'd come home and he'd be in his room
09:30 and he'd be always doing his math,
09:32 always be doing these math equations.
09:34 I still remember him talking about him saying one time,
09:38 I'll never forget this,
09:40 he said it takes a lot of math to fly a jet.
09:44 And again you look at physics, you look at astronomy,
09:48 it's all numbers that all the, all use numbers.
09:52 Now this itself leads to a whole host of questions.
09:57 Numbers are important.
09:58 We couldn't fly jets without them,
10:00 we couldn't build bridges without numbers,
10:02 we can't do computers without numbers.
10:05 And yet people don't even know what they are.
10:07 I mean one of the century's greatest
10:09 mathematicians Bertrand Russell
10:12 once said about mathematics this.
10:14 He said, "Mathematics be defined as the subject
10:18 in which we never know what we are talking about,
10:21 nor whether what we are saying is true.
10:24 That's incredible."
10:26 And never the less mathematics is here to stay
10:29 and it's a crucial tool in the work of science.
10:35 Now if that's true, if that's true
10:40 I want to ask you a question.
10:43 What about what has been called
10:46 the science of salvation.
10:51 We've all heard that for phrase before, haven't we?
10:54 The science of salvation.
10:58 If salvation is a science and science uses numbers
11:04 then can numbers help us understand science?
11:09 Well, you know, that's what I want to,
11:12 that's what I want to look at because I believe that numbers
11:17 can teach us a very important truth
11:21 about salvation, the science of salvation.
11:25 In the book Steps to Christ, page, 62 "
11:30 Listen to what was written
11:34 "The condition of eternal life is now
11:37 just what it always had been, just what it was in Paradise
11:41 before the fall of our first parents,
11:45 -perfect obedience to the law of God,
11:49 perfect righteousness."
11:52 Let me read that again
11:53 because that's pretty heavy, think about this.
11:56 "The condition of eternal life is now
11:59 just what it has always been, --just what it was in Paradise
12:04 before the fall of our first parents,
12:07 --perfect obedience to the law of God,
12:12 perfect righteousness."
12:15 Now that's pretty heavy, is it not?
12:18 I mean, that's heavy perfect obedience
12:21 to the law of God, prefect righteousness.
12:27 Now here though is where
12:29 I think numbers can be especially helpful.
12:34 See we are talking about absolute perfection here,
12:38 not shades of gray, not shades of gray,
12:41 not something partial, nothing like that.
12:44 Perfect righteousness, perfect holiness,
12:47 perfect obedience to the law of God.
12:53 So, here's where
12:54 I think as I said numbers can be helpful.
12:56 Let's use an example of perfection from mathematics
13:02 and I think most of us could relate to.
13:06 When you were at school and you took a test
13:10 what percentage symbolize perfection,
13:14 what was a perfect score, a flawless score?
13:20 Of course, a hundred percent.
13:23 Ever did a test back that said a hundred percent,
13:28 you got a hundred percent on it.
13:30 Oh, it must have been nice. I don't think I really know.
13:34 Okay, so let's use this as an analogy
13:38 for perfect righteousness.
13:41 Okay, let's parallel it to a hundred percent
13:44 such as you get in a school room
13:46 or a class room.
13:48 So to meet the condition of eternal life,
13:52 okay, which is perfect righteousness
13:54 you need a score of a hundred percent.
13:57 Remember perfect obedience to the law of God,
14:00 perfect righteousness that's a hundred percent.
14:05 Now remember think about this a 99.7 percent
14:12 would fall just as short as would a 9.97 percent.
14:19 Only a hundred percent perfect righteousness
14:22 meets the condition of the eternal life.
14:25 Any other grade, any other percentage
14:28 isn't gonna cut it.
14:29 You know, I was once in a school
14:31 and you know, like an graduate school,
14:33 well, I was in graduate school.
14:34 You either got two grades, you got pass or fail.
14:37 You either pass the class or you fail the class period.
14:41 Now supposedly you are in a school
14:44 and there are only two grades,
14:46 okay, pass or fail
14:48 but the only way to get a passing grade
14:50 is you have to have the hundred percent.
14:53 A 99.7 percent will give you the same grade big fat "F"
14:58 as a 9.97 percent, okay. It's useless.
15:04 Either you get a 100 percent or you fail the class.
15:09 Okay, now, let's say someone is born again
15:14 and say they lived in a world whatever say
15:16 their average righteousness comes out to 68 percent
15:21 because a scripture says we all sinned
15:23 and fall short of the glory of God.
15:27 We are not worrying about what age you
15:28 became born again or whatever,
15:30 we are just starting you at arbitrary 68 percent.
15:34 Well, let's say that first year
15:36 you are in the fire of your new love,
15:38 you are in the fire of your new faith
15:40 and claiming you are walking in the newness of life
15:44 that Paul talks about in Roman 6:4
15:46 and claiming the promises of victory over sin.
15:50 You rack up a perfect hundred percent the first year.
15:55 I mean, you are cooking, okay.
15:58 So let's do the math,
16:00 let's suspire the vigor's of mathematics to this
16:03 because remember we are looking at the science of salvation.
16:07 So if you average 68 percent
16:11 with a hundred percent what do you get?
16:14 Well, you get 84 percent.
16:17 You know, follow well with the calculator
16:19 if you like a hundred percent average
16:21 with 68 percent give you 84 percent.
16:24 Not bad, not a bad jump
16:27 but nowhere near the conditions of eternal life.
16:32 Well, suppose you taking up your cross daily
16:35 you get a hundred percent the next year too.
16:38 You do the math, you're now at 92 percent not bad
16:43 but still not the requisite hundred percent that you need.
16:47 The next year you struggle a bit,
16:49 you repent, whatever your score is 84,
16:53 you average that with 92 percent
16:55 and your scores now 88 percent
16:58 that's nice and that's fine
17:00 but nowhere near what's needed for salvation.
17:06 Well, maybe however
17:08 you attain to sinless perfection,
17:12 we've all met some of the folks
17:13 that we the first to tell you,
17:14 you meet them at camp meeting sometime,
17:16 didn't sinned in 20 years.
17:18 Okay.
17:19 Well, let's say you reached that
17:21 and let's say for the next 50 years
17:24 you rack up a score of a hundred percent every year
17:30 for the next 50 years until your death.
17:33 I mean, you claim promises, you died a self,
17:36 you live a life of sinless perfection
17:39 all through God's grace
17:40 the only way any of us could ever do it.
17:43 Well, let's do the math here, okay.
17:46 Fifty hundreds is 5,000
17:49 add to that 88 your previous score
17:52 you then divide that by 51
17:57 thus you get a whopping 99.7647059 percent.
18:04 Impressive, you're a pretty holy person
18:07 I have to admit that.
18:08 I would know what that would be like
18:10 but that number is still as useless
18:13 as if you had a 0.97 percent, okay.
18:17 In fact if I were trained mathematician,
18:20 if we got a trained mathematician here
18:22 he could stand up here and in five minutes
18:24 and two minutes he could show you that
18:26 even if you live forever,
18:30 if you live forever it's mathematically impossible
18:33 for you to reach a hundred percent.
18:36 Once you have one time, once you have one time
18:40 gotten below a hundred percent
18:42 then it's mathematically impossible
18:45 for you to have to reach that hundred percent.
18:49 What then does math teach us about the science of salvation?
18:54 Teaches us what John said.
18:56 If we say that we have not sinned
18:58 we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
19:04 That's pretty heavy. That's pretty heavy, okay.
19:07 So now the only way you're gonna get,
19:12 you could get a hundred percent there's only one way
19:15 is just to have scored a hundred
19:17 on your first test and every other test
19:20 you got a perfect hundred percent, okay.
19:24 That's the only way to do it.
19:28 Well, then we are in a pretty bad shape,
19:30 aren't we.
19:31 What's gonna happen?
19:32 How do we get the righteousness
19:34 that we need?
19:36 Well, in that same book Steps to Christ
19:41 the author talked about Jesus
19:45 and he said that Christ lived a perfect sinless life.
19:50 In essence you could say that Jesus got the needed
19:54 one hundred percent and the great provision
19:58 of the gospel is that His perfect score,
20:01 His hundred percent is credited to us.
20:06 Listen to these words.
20:09 He died for us
20:10 and now He offers to take our sins
20:12 and give us His righteousness.
20:15 What would Jesus if you are gonna put a number
20:17 on Jesus righteousness what percent would it be?
20:20 It would be a hundred percent.
20:22 If you give yourself to Him and accept Him as your Savior
20:26 then it's simple as your life may have been
20:29 for His sake you are accounted righteousness.
20:33 Christ character, Christ hundred percent
20:35 stands in place of your character
20:38 and you are accepted before God
20:40 just as you have not sinned.
20:43 Did you catch that?
20:44 This is basically what Paul is saying in Romans.
20:49 "But now the righteousness of God
20:51 apart from the law is revealed,
20:54 being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
20:57 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ,
21:01 to all and on all and on all who believe."
21:05 That hundred percent score,
21:08 that righteousness of God himself,
21:11 the righteousness of Jesus
21:12 that's the only way we as sinner can have it.
21:16 It has to be credited to us as a gift.
21:20 Now, you know, I use the school analogy.
21:24 Imagine you are in school and you all take the grades
21:28 and you take your tests
21:30 and everybody needs a hundred percent to pass
21:34 and none of you have it, okay.
21:37 Well, some kid comes by
21:40 and some kid gets the hundred percent,
21:43 the only kid in the class to get the hundred percent.
21:46 He is the only one that's gonna pass
21:49 and then the teacher says okay, I'm gonna make a provision.
21:52 If you claim for yourself his hundred percent,
21:56 his grade is given to you instead of your grade
22:00 because your own grade is guaranteed to fail you.
22:05 But you say hey, that's not totally fair, is it?
22:09 No, it's not fair. It's what called grace.
22:12 If you want complete fairness, go find a religion
22:15 that teaches salvation by works.
22:17 If you want grace instead of fairness
22:22 then you come to the cross, you come to Jesus
22:26 and you claim His righteousness for you.
22:29 Because once you sinned, once you one time
22:32 got one question wrong on one test
22:35 it's impossible for you
22:36 no matter how well you do to ever get the grade you need.
22:42 You need that hundred percent covering you.
22:46 It's mathematically impossible otherwise.
22:52 Can you see then? Can you see then?
22:55 Then how mathematics explains the science of salvation?
23:00 The issue folks, isn't whether
23:02 we can overcome sinful tendencies.
23:05 The Bible promises us that we can.
23:08 The issue isn't
23:09 whether we can have a new life in Jesus,
23:12 the Bible tells us we can.
23:14 The issue isn't whether or not we could cleanse ourselves
23:17 from our filthiness of flesh and spirit.
23:20 2 Corinthians 7:1 the Bible tells us that we can.
23:26 The issue in the end is how are we saved.
23:31 And we are saved by Christ
23:33 perfect obedience to the law of God.
23:37 I mean, how else,
23:38 I mean, anybody there listening anybody there
23:41 I want you to stop for a minute,
23:43 I want you to think about your law keeping.
23:47 Who out there, who among you thinks
23:49 you have kept God's law
23:51 well enough to be saved by it, okay.
23:54 Raise your hand if you can, I can't see you, okay.
23:58 Well, if you haven't kept God's law
24:00 well enough to be saved by it
24:02 then how do you think you are gonna be saved?
24:04 How do you think you are gonna get to heaven?
24:06 Why do you think God is gonna accept you.
24:09 I don't know what your math score would be.
24:11 Maybe you are at 95 percent, maybe you are at 85 percent,
24:15 maybe you are 22 percent all I know is one thing,
24:19 if you are not at one hundred percent
24:22 you have not met the conditions of eternal life.
24:27 You have to have that hundred percent
24:30 in order to be saved.
24:34 He died for us and now He offers to take our sins
24:38 and give us His righteousness, His hundred percent.
24:43 If you give yourself to Him
24:45 and accept Him as your Savior
24:47 then sinful as your life may have been
24:50 for His sake you are accounted righteousness.
24:53 You are accounted. Christ character,
24:56 Christ hundred percent stands in place of your 98 percent,
25:01 8.9 percent, 0.09 percent whatever it is
25:06 Christ righteousness stands in place of your character
25:09 and you are accepted before God
25:12 just as if you had not sinned.
25:17 Just as if you had not gotten one question wrong.
25:21 Just as if every text, I mean, every test,
25:26 every grade, every exam
25:28 because see the way it would work
25:31 if you go back to the school now with Jesus you take a test.
25:36 You get the first question wrong
25:38 then you get all the other questions right
25:41 and then the next test you get all the other questions right
25:45 and the next test you get
25:46 all the other questions right
25:49 and you get them all right you average it up
25:52 you don't have a hundred percent.
25:54 Or you can do all-- you get all the questions right,
25:58 you get down to the last question
26:00 on the last test you get it wrong you still fail.
26:07 You have to have that hundred percent covering up.
26:12 You know, I didn't believe a 34 years
26:18 and if there's anything my experience has taught me
26:21 and experience buttress by the word of God
26:25 because we get all sorts of experiences
26:28 but you got to interpret them through the word of God.
26:31 Jesus has changed my life.
26:34 I don't know what my score would have been
26:36 before I knew Jesus but I promise you
26:39 if you could put a quantitative numbers to it,
26:43 you could add the numbers
26:44 my score would be so much higher
26:48 than it was before I knew the Lord, okay.
26:52 So much higher but one thing I do know though
26:56 is that whatever that score was
27:00 it would never what was and whatever it is now
27:04 it's not the requisite one hundred percent.
27:08 That's why there is not a day in my life that doesn't go by
27:13 where I don't have to lean
27:15 on Jesus one hundred percent for me.
27:19 Folks, that's not an excuse to sin.
27:22 This hope, this promise, Christ righteousness for me
27:26 that is the only thing that after 34 years
27:30 has kept me from throwing it all out when I do sin,
27:34 when I do fall short,
27:36 when I do feel I'm just not good enough.
27:38 I don't feel that I'm good enough to be saved.
27:41 That I know I'm not good enough to be saved.
27:45 That's why I have to claim Jesus hundred percent for me.
27:52 We have a life in Jesus.
27:54 Jesus will take our score from wherever it was
27:58 and He will move us upward and upward and upward.
28:02 But in the end the math shows us
28:06 we need Christ righteousness for salvation.
28:09 Hey, don't take my word for it,
28:13 do the math.


Revised 2014-12-28