Participants: Clifford Goldstein
Series Code: CFTF
Program Code: CFTF000013
00:21 Hi, Cliff Goldstein your host for Contending For the Faith.
00:26 Glad you've tuned in.
00:29 Psalm 19:1-4
00:33 "The heavens declare the glory of God,
00:36 and the firmament shows His handiwork.
00:40 Day unto day utters speech,
00:43 and night unto night shows knowledge.
00:46 There is no speech nor language
00:50 in which their voice is not heard.
00:54 Their line is gone out through all the earth,
00:58 and their words to the end of the world."
01:03 Deep thought.
01:05 By daylight or moonlight, in the jungle or in the desert,
01:10 on land or in sea,
01:12 the glory of God is revealed in the creation.
01:17 And whether a speaker of Serbian
01:20 or 5th century Chinese
01:25 or a Dutch or of ancient Egyptians humans have through
01:29 the created works listened to the voice of God.
01:36 Now what is heard, what is revealed,
01:39 what is understood from these works
01:42 those questions have been debated for centuries.
01:46 I mean, in a fallen world
01:48 when everything from the clouds to our DNA
01:51 has impacted by sin the message can be mixed,
01:56 not only from the creation itself
02:00 but from how we with our fallen minds process
02:05 and understand that creation.
02:08 Never the less, enough about God
02:11 can be understood from the creation
02:14 that according to Paul those who reject the Lord
02:18 will on judgment day be held accountable.
02:23 Because he says in Romans 1 that God has revealed to them
02:28 enough about His nature from the created world that,
02:32 when the time comes they will be without excuse.
02:40 Now, with the moral element then
02:43 so closely tied to creation its no wonder,
02:50 its no wonder that just after you go back to Psalm 19,
02:55 you got these few verses on the creation
02:59 and then right after that Psalm 19 shifts to God's law.
03:05 It talks about the goodness and righteousness of God's law.
03:10 In the NIV Romans 119-20,
03:13 I mean Psalm 19:7-9
03:19 "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
03:23 The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
03:26 making wise the simple.
03:28 The precepts of the Lord are right,
03:31 giving joy to the heart.
03:33 The commands of the Lord are radiant,
03:36 giving light to the eyes.
03:38 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
03:42 The ordinances of the Lord are sure
03:45 and righteous altogether."
03:48 Psalm 19, so closely relates
03:52 God's created works with His law
03:56 and the moral standards He has given His people.
04:00 So in the scripture creation and law,
04:03 existence and morality,
04:05 humanity and spirituality all these come from God.
04:10 They are all manifestations of His character.
04:14 That's why the Psalm is placing them in such close proximity
04:20 and why to allthrough the Bible
04:23 God uses example from nature, from creation
04:28 to point us to moral and spiritual truths.
04:31 Just a few, Isaiah 1:3 "The ox knows his master,
04:36 the donkey his owner's manger,
04:39 but Israel my people does not know,
04:41 they do not understand."
04:44 Job 39, "Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
04:49 and spread his wings toward the south?
04:51 Does the eagle soar at your command
04:53 and build its nest on high?"
04:57 And then what Jesus said in Luke,
05:01 "Consider the lilies, how they grow,
05:04 they do not labor or spin.
05:07 Yet, I tell you, not even Solomon
05:09 all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
05:13 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
05:17 which is here today,
05:18 and tomorrow is thrown in the fire,
05:21 how much more will he clothe you,
05:24 O you of little faith!"
05:28 Now if creation could speak so powerfully
05:33 of truth back then, in a pre-scientific age
05:39 how much more should it speak to us today,
05:42 when that creation has been plumed
05:45 and parsed and measured at depths
05:49 and with the precision
05:50 that the ancients couldn't begin to imagine.
05:55 Now I admit and if you have been
05:57 watching this series you know
05:59 that a great deal of science has been twisted to promote
06:03 and atheistic materialistic world view,
06:06 okay, and for those who believe in the,
06:09 in the biblical accounts of origins
06:11 and so and we just have to reject this,
06:14 okay we just, you know, reject that
06:18 instead we who believe
06:20 in the biblical account of origins.
06:23 With the Lord is Creator we have insights,
06:27 we've had insights over the past few centuries
06:30 to teach us moral and spiritual truths about God
06:34 and the plans of-- the plan of salvation.
06:36 In ways that I believe would have been
06:39 incomprehensible to the ancients.
06:45 What do I need? Well, this is what I need.
06:49 Romans 3:19-21,
06:53 "Now we know that whatever the law says,
06:56 it says to those who are under the law,
06:59 that every mouth may be stopped,
07:01 and all the world may become guilty before God.
07:05 Therefore by the deeds of the law
07:07 no flesh shall be justified in His sight,
07:10 for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
07:15 Because we can't be of saved by obedience through the law,
07:19 because we can't be saved by obedience to the law
07:22 no matter how diligently and faithfully we keep that law
07:27 salvation comes solely through faith
07:30 in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe.
07:35 Salvation is solely by grace not by the law
07:40 because as I tried to show in a previous show
07:43 our obedience is never enough.
07:47 Now, this is revealed truth,
07:51 this a truth we know only because God has told it to us.
07:56 This is not something we could read out the flowers,
07:59 oh, this is a fake,
08:00 so we specially can't read it out of that.
08:04 This is something we can't read out of the flowers
08:06 or the motion of the stars
08:09 but here's something that I think very exciting.
08:12 Science in the past few decades has uncovered
08:16 some facts about creation that can function I believe
08:20 as a powerful object lesson precisely to this point,
08:26 to the credible demands of God's law
08:29 and how we as sinner would fair before that law.
08:36 I touched on this in another show,
08:39 scientist in the past few years
08:42 have coined a phrase anthropic coincidences.
08:47 Anthropic from the Greek word anthropos
08:51 which means man.
08:54 And these coincides, "coincides"
08:58 are physical balances in the cosmos
09:00 so finely tuned for human life
09:04 that one could be excused for thinking
09:06 that the entire universe had been excused,
09:10 had been made exclusively just for us.
09:16 Hence the name anthropic, okay.
09:20 Its creation is maintained by numerous dials,
09:25 in fact, each so precariously adjusted
09:28 that the slightest fidgeting of even one of them
09:32 and human life as we know it could never have a risen.
09:37 For instance, if the force of gravity was slightly larger
09:42 or slightly larger to stars such as our sun
09:46 would have burned way too hot for human life.
09:49 Or the force slightly smaller then
09:53 the stars never could have started to begin with.
09:56 And let's face it, where we're gonna be without the starts?
09:58 All right, specifically where we're gonna be without the sun?
10:03 If the forces inside the atoms
10:05 were slightly different in one direction
10:08 there would be no hydrogen atoms.
10:10 No hydrogen's, no human's period.
10:13 If they were slightly different in another direction
10:17 the universe would be nothing but hydrogen atoms.
10:20 And fine, hydrogen we need it but if all there was hydrogen
10:24 then we as human won't exist.
10:27 Here's how one scientist explains this coincidence,
10:33 okay, okay.
10:35 He says it like this.
10:36 This is the balance of electrons and protons.
10:39 Listen to this, unless the number of electrons
10:43 is equivalent to the number of protons
10:45 to an accuracy of 1:1037, 1:1037.
10:51 That's a 10 with 37 zeros after, okay.
10:56 The accuracy of one part in 10 to the 37 or better
11:00 electromagnetic forces in the universe
11:03 would have so overcome gravitational forces
11:06 that stars, galaxies, and plants
11:09 would have never been formed, okay.
11:12 One part in 1037
11:16 is such an incredibly sensitive balance
11:19 that it is hard to visualize.
11:21 Then he gives the following analogy.
11:23 I'm not gonna read, I'm just gonna tell you.
11:25 He says, cover the entire continental United States
11:29 all the way up to the moon in dimes,
11:32 okay, at a height of 239, 000 miles.
11:37 Next pile the dimes from here to the moon
11:40 on a billion other continents the size of North America.
11:44 Then he says, paint one dime red--
11:48 pink, red what does it matter, and stick it into the mix.
11:51 And then says, the odd, blindfold a friend
11:55 and ask him to pick out one dime.
11:58 The odds that he will pick the red dime are one in 1037.
12:05 And this is only one of the parameters
12:08 that are so delicately balanced to allow life to form.
12:13 Other mind-boggling ratios exist.
12:18 Ratio like 1:1040, 1:1060,
12:22 balances that demand of precision far beyond anything
12:26 that we as humans would ever dare achieving.
12:31 So what's the point here? What this says to me?
12:38 Is that God's physical laws, God's physical laws
12:43 it seems allow for very little violation, okay.
12:51 That's God's physical law but what about God's moral law?
12:59 Would God's moral law be any more lax,
13:03 any more tolerant of deviation then His physical ones?
13:09 Does the moral require the same kind of precision
13:14 as seen in the physical law?
13:17 Now there is a theologian Paul Tillich,
13:19 I definitely won't recommend reading him.
13:21 I think the guy is totally wack
13:23 on just about everything he has written
13:26 but I like this one quote.
13:28 Listen to this, "The orders of nature
13:33 are analogous to the order of moral law."
13:39 That profound.
13:42 "The orders of nature are analogous
13:45 to the order of moral law."
13:50 Analogous, in what way?
13:57 1 John 3:4
14:00 "Whosoever commits sin transgress also the law,"
14:04 for sin also "for sin is transgression of the law."
14:10 Sin is transgression, a violation,
14:14 a deviation from God's moral law.
14:18 So how much deviation,
14:20 how much violation of that law is allowed?
14:24 How far does one have to move before violating it?
14:29 When Psalm 119:4 says,
14:32 "You have commanded us to keep Your" diligent
14:35 "your precepts diligently."
14:39 I ask the question,
14:40 how diligently has He commanded us to keep them?
14:46 When James says,
14:48 "For who shall ever shall keep the whole law
14:51 and yet stumbles in one point, he is guilty of all."
14:56 How far does one have to deviate from the law
14:59 before one is considered stumbling before it?
15:05 What's the answer?
15:07 How do we know where you crossed the line?
15:11 Well, maybe these are found in these words from Jesus.
15:19 Matthew 5:23, keep-- look at this in the context
15:25 of what we've just been talking about.
15:27 "You have heard that it was said of old.
15:29 You shall not commit adultery.
15:33 But I say to you that whoever looks
15:35 at a woman to lust for her
15:36 has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
15:40 Or perhaps the answer is found here.
15:43 "You have heard that it was said of old,
15:44 you shall not murder, and whoever murders
15:47 will be in danger of the judgment.
15:49 But I say to you that whoever is angry
15:52 with his brother without a cause
15:54 shall be in danger of the judgment."
16:00 So according to Jesus lust equals adultery
16:06 or anger without a cause equals murder.
16:10 If that's true and I have to believe it
16:12 because Jesus said it, then it doesn't--
16:16 I don't feel that God's law allows
16:19 so much deviation does it?
16:22 And that we can't compare,
16:24 though we can't compare adultery
16:28 and lust in the heart ration
16:29 to a ration of 1:1037, or 1:1060, I don't,
16:35 those numbers humans just can't wrap our minds around it.
16:39 The principle is there.
16:41 I think the principle is there
16:43 and I think the principle is clear
16:46 God's moral law doesn't allow for violation anymore
16:51 than His physical laws do.
16:55 Can you see that? I think that's no doubt then.
17:02 We've been told "By the deeds of the law
17:04 no flesh shall be justified in his sight."
17:08 Because you got to keep the law
17:09 with that kind of precision in order to be justified by it.
17:14 That's why we conclude that a man is justified by faith
17:18 apart from the deeds of the law.
17:21 Romans 3:28 "Knowing the man is not"
17:25 a man "is not justified by the works of the law,
17:28 but by the faith of Jesus Christ."
17:30 Even we have believed in Jesus
17:32 that we might be justified by the faith of Christ
17:36 and not by the works of the law.
17:38 "For by the works of law no flesh shall be justified."
17:44 And I've got more text.
17:45 Now is the law bad? No.
17:48 Paul wrote therefore the law is holy
17:50 and the commandment holy and just is good.
17:53 And that I agree with the law that it is good.
17:57 It is because the law has been done away with.
17:59 Of course, not, we know that.
18:01 Do we then make void the law through faith?
18:04 No, God forbid we establish the law.
18:07 Its not that the law is bad, nor that it has been abolished,
18:11 instead the law doesn't bring salvation
18:14 because it can't bring salvation.
18:17 The law is there to point out the problem of sin
18:21 not to solve it.
18:23 "For by the law is the knowledge of sin."
18:27 The knowledge of sin, not the solution.
18:31 You have heard it said the law is like a mirror.
18:34 I can stand and look at a mirror all day
18:36 and look at this face of mine and stand at the mirror.
18:40 It ain't gonna help it, okay. I need something else.
18:43 Maybe a little Botox or something.
18:45 But the point is the law isn't going,
18:49 doesn't solve the problem.
18:51 It points out the problem but it doesn't solve it.
18:56 You know, a while back in another program
18:58 I quoted Sister White, she said
19:00 "The condition of eternal life is now what it has always been.
19:04 Perfect obedience to the law of God,
19:07 perfect righteousness."
19:11 How perfect is the obedience?
19:13 How perfect is the righteousness?
19:16 Is it something that we could reproduce
19:19 even with God working in us,
19:21 especially if that righteousness allows
19:24 as little deviation as does God's physical laws?
19:31 Listen to this, first selected the messages
19:35 "Righteousness is obedience to the law.
19:37 The law demands righteousness,
19:40 and this the sinner owes to the law;
19:43 but he is incapable of rendering it.
19:45 The only way in which he can attain
19:47 to righteousness is through faith.
19:50 By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ,
19:54 and the Lord places the obedience
19:56 of His Son to the sinner's account.
19:59 Christ's righteousness is accepted
20:01 in place of man's failure, and God receives,
20:04 pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul,
20:09 treats him as though he were righteous,
20:11 and loves him as He loves His Son.
20:14 This is how faith is accounted righteousness;
20:18 and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace,
20:23 from light to a greater light."
20:26 In other words, what she is saying here
20:29 by the deeds of the law
20:31 no flesh will be justified in His sight.
20:35 Notice the emphasis,
20:37 by faith the obedience of Christ is credited
20:41 to the sinners account.
20:43 By faith the merits of Christ becomes ours.
20:46 Not some kind of infused way in which
20:49 we become holy as Jesus there by attaining salvation
20:55 but only in the sense that it's imputed to us.
21:00 The righteousness that saves us
21:02 is a righteousness that exists in heaven,
21:05 not in ourselves.
21:07 No matter how righteous we become,
21:10 no matter how close to the law we keep,
21:13 we can keep the law,
21:15 we can keep the law "perfectly" in a sense.
21:19 Not perfect enough to be saved by it,
21:22 we are not sanctified in order to be justified.
21:26 No we are justified in order to be sanctified.
21:30 Through God's grace Christ righteousness
21:34 that rot out in His life is credited to our own.
21:39 It is credit to us as our own
21:41 and thus we are accounted righteous before God.
21:46 Again, we are deemed righteous before God
21:50 not because of any righteousness we possess
21:52 or because of any good deeds that we might do
21:56 but only because of the righteousness of Jesus
21:59 which He rot out in His life
22:01 and which is credit to us by grace through faith.
22:06 How else could it be, how else could it be
22:10 Jesus alone met the conditions of eternal life,
22:15 perfect obedience to the law of God,
22:19 perfect righteousness.
22:21 Jesus alone kept the law of God with the precision greater than
22:26 even what has been revealed in these physical laws.
22:29 Again, think about the physical laws,
22:32 this tiniest deviation and there is no life, gone.
22:39 Is it gonna be any difference with God's moral law?
22:43 I don't think so but Jesus kept God's moral law
22:49 with the perfect precision, that perfect righteousness
22:54 and through God's grace that is credited to us by faith.
23:00 Suppose to all your past sins are forgiven,
23:06 the slate is white clean, everything passed
23:10 as purge, forgiveness, blotted out
23:13 and so you stand sinless before God.
23:17 Now all you have to do in order to ensure your salvation
23:21 is to keep God's moral law perfectly,
23:25 and keep it with the kind of precision reflected
23:29 that we saw in God's physical laws.
23:34 If that's what salvation was about
23:37 how well would you fair?
23:41 I don't think there is any question
23:45 because we become new creatures in Christ.
23:48 We are given power to live holy lives.
23:52 And I don't think there's any question ideally.
23:56 The power of God is there to enable us
23:59 even as fallen beings to live sinless lives.
24:03 I mean, if the power of God is working in us
24:06 to enable us to faithful and obedient
24:10 isn't God's power faithful enough,
24:13 capable of making us live without sin?
24:16 I think God's power is there.
24:19 I think He is but see the problem
24:21 is not with God or with God's power.
24:23 Where is the problem? It's with us. It's with me.
24:28 Okay, the problem is in our end.
24:31 If after I sin after I have been born again believer
24:34 is it God's fault or mine?
24:37 God powers, God's powers sustains the entire universe.
24:41 Certainly that same God and that same power
24:44 can keep us from sinning.
24:47 Can't He? Can He?
24:49 Certainly then as born again Christians
24:52 keep the law of God perfectly in God's power.
24:57 Of course we can and we should.
25:00 But let me ask you. Do we?
25:03 Who have you listening to me?
25:05 Who have you out there in TV and listening to me
25:09 has kept God's law perfectly.
25:12 In the past week, in the past week--
25:14 forget about the past year, in the past week
25:17 how many of you have kept God's law perfectly
25:19 with the kind of precision sin in those physical laws?
25:26 And if its not you, if it hasn't whose fault is it?
25:30 Is it God's fault as He somehow not sustaining you?
25:34 Is He not giving you the power or is it your fault?
25:39 Yeah, I think we all know where the link, weak link is.
25:45 Victory is always there, always attainable.
25:50 When we don't have it the fault lies with us
25:54 which precisely why we need
25:58 the righteousness of Jesus covering us.
26:02 The righteousness which is equal
26:04 to the righteousness of God.
26:07 It can't be any other way,
26:12 not with a law refine to an exactitude
26:16 that we can't imagine much less as sinners really mean.
26:23 If the God who plays such precision
26:26 in His physical laws, is the God
26:30 who plays such precision in His physical laws,
26:34 is He gonna do any less with His moral ones?
26:39 You think so? I don't think so.
26:43 I think that physical laws are that precise
26:47 how much more is moral laws.
26:50 That's why for beings like us
26:54 whose moral ratios come much more blunter
26:57 than what the law requires
26:59 that's why salvation must be by grace alone or not at all.
27:07 That's why it's by grace
27:09 because considering the requirements of the law
27:12 especially if you parallel it
27:14 to the physical God's, physical laws
27:17 then if its not gonna be by grace
27:20 how else is it going to be.
27:25 I mean who possesses the requirements,
27:29 perfect obedience, prefect righteousness
27:32 needed for citizenship in heaven?
27:36 Only Jesus which is why only through Him can we enter.
27:42 "For so an entrance shall be ministered
27:44 unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom
27:47 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
27:50 2 Peter 1:11.
27:53 No questions, the heaven, no question.
27:57 The heavens declare the glory of God.
28:00 Thanks to recent advances in science,
28:03 you know, understanding of these heavens
28:06 we can see that glory even more clearly than ever.
28:10 A glory that helps us understand
28:14 the grace revealed to us by God
28:17 through the person of Jesus Christ.