That Which Works Good Part 2By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
That Which Works Good I. This study considers things that work good (particularly for the saint’s soul). ECC 6:3. A. This touches on the sovereignty of God: His never-thwarted government over all things, good and evil. PSA 76:10; PRO 16:4. B. God is in no way the author of sin, nor is He the positive promoter of sin. JAM 1:13-14; JER 19:5. 1. God never makes a person sin. The responsibility of sin is always attributed to the sinner. PRO 5:22; GAL 2:17-18. 2. God never makes a man to lie since, if He did so, it would actually be God Who is doing the lying. But God cannot lie. TIT 1:2. C. Yet God uses sinners to fulfil His purposes. ISA 10:5-7; ACT 4:26-28 c/w GAL 3:13; HEB 2:14. 1. God obviously brought about good by His use of sinners and their sin. 2. One might conclude that “the ends justified the means” and therefore the negative concepts of sin and death are themselves “good.” 3. One might conclude that we should all be praising Judas, the wicked Jews, Pilate, and the wicked Gentiles for fulfilling God’s purpose of saving sinners. Mind that it is they who forsake God’s law that praise the wicked. PRO 28:4. 4. One might conclude that since wicked men fulfilled God’s will to bring about good by their wicked acts, they should not be held accountable. ROM 3:5-7; 9:19. D. Problems arise when men deem evil “good” and good “evil.” ISA 5:20. 1. Fuzzy thinking in this area is what lead Dr. Scofield to state concerning the Law: “The Dispensation of Promise ended when Israel rashly accepted the law (Ex. 19. 8).” (SRB, p. 20) a. Because of a faulty soteriology and faulty eschatology, Dr. Scofield deemed the law a negative thing to have been avoided. b. The Law is good, and spiritual (ROM 7:12-14); the problem is the creature. HEB 8:7-8. c. Dr. Scofield’s logic would imply that the greatest good would have been facilitated by God making NO law which man could break and so be charged with sin. 1JO 3:4. 2. The perversion of good and evil (as God defines them) is the basis for the validation of all lifestyles which God abominates. We are now at a point where the maximum “good” of a society is assumed to depend on sodomy, gender-fluidity and (wait for it) pedophilia and bestiality. 3. Mark it well: Satan’s lies are designed to eliminate moral absolutes that restrict men’s actions and relations. E. Problems arise when men adopt the principle, “...Let us do evil, that good may come...” (ROM 3:8). F. Problems arise when men perversely play God Who alone has power to kill and make alive. DEU 32:39 c/w DAN 5:19. G. Problems arise when men assume that negative forces like destruction are desirable in order to achieve a greater good. 1. “You have to break some eggs in order to make an omelette.” (attributed variously to Robespierre of the French Reign of Terror, and to Communist leaders Lenin and Kruschev on how to perfect society through cruelty) 2. “(The disaster) may lead to some temporary increments ironically to GDP as a process of rebuilding takes place.” (Dr. Larry Summers, economic adviser to That Which Works Good 3-1-20 Page 1 President Obama, concerning the Kobe, Japan earthquake and tsunami) 3. “Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack – like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression – could do some economic good.” (Dr. Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate economist, concerning the 9/11 attack) 4. The logical conclusion of this reasoning is that the most positive forces for good are destruction and death. We should be praying for natural disasters, sinister attacks and totalitarian leaders with their own unique vision for society. a. This is the essence of the philosophical/political mantra, “order ab chao” (order from chaos) in which struggle between forces is deemed necessary to produce superior rule and order. b. The “superior order” which results from the chaotic struggle must then enforce its will absolutely to maintain its status. This is tyranny and a claim to be God. H. Problems arise when we think that our personal sin actually works to our benefit or to God’s glory (a half-truth). 1. “I am so thankful that I became a promiscuous fornicator: I would never have learned the humility that comes from a lifelong STD and child-support payments without that.” a. That God’s judgments for sin humble one and bring him to repentance is one thing. That someone had to learn humility the hard way is another. b. One could humble himself before God’s law to avoid sin and its judgments. JAM 4:6-7. 2. “God is glorified in showing mercy to sinners so I am going to sin and give Him an opportunity to glorify Himself when I seek forgiveness.” a. This is premeditated, presumptuous sin which is very unpopular with God. NUM 15:27-31; LUK 12:47-48. b. God also gets glory by judging sinners and withholding repentance from them. 2CO 2:15-16; ROM 1:25-28; 2TH 2:10-12. 3. Sin NEVER works good for you. I. Problems arise when we confuse a godly way of processing a negative event in our lives with the folly of self-inflicted injury. 1. The former is commendable in that it accepts such as from God (JOB 1:21), seeks to magnify God in spite of loss or weakness (JOB 13:15; 2CO 12:7-10) and weans one’s affections from this world to the world to come. ROM 8:18. 2. The latter is the basis of extreme asceticism which denies the body its natural needs and desires. EPH 5:29 c/w COL 2:20-23. 3. The latter is the basis of ritual self-immolation which pretends to show God how loving and pious one is, or attempts to entice God to do one’s will. 1KI 18:28. 4. The latter is the basis of self-mutilation associated with emotional distress, transgenderism or Body Integrity Identity Disorder which falsely assumes it necessary to alter one’s form against nature to achieve an improved self-image, sense of fullness or to alleviate false guilt. NOTE: Mutilating or altering one’s body against nature (self-mutilation; sex-change surgery) is not the same as enhancing one’s natural body (hair dye, cosmetic surgery, laser fat removal, etc.). J. Problems arise when we errantly presume upon God’s promises of care, supply and protection: “God’s power and providence operates for my good and His glory; therefore, I will intentionally give Him an opportunity to exercise them.” 1. This was one of Satan’s ploys against Jesus. MAT 4:6-7. 2. “God will supply all my need, per PHIL 4:19, so there is no need for me to work, That Which Works Good 3-1-20 Page 2 save or be prudent. My indifference to reality will give God an opportunity to manifest His power.” a. But God commands work to supply for our own present and future needs, to support the genuinely needy and His ministry. 2TH 3:10; EPH 4:28; 1CO 9:14; PRO 21:20. b. Labor also works good for the soul of man in the enjoying of its fruits (ECC 2:24). There are few things in this life that are as satisfying as a sense of accomplishment and just reward derived from wholesome labor. 3. “God promised protection from poison and venom (MAR 16:18), so I will prove Him by sticking my face in front of a cobra and drinking strychnine.” a. God may let you do this and die as a warning to others to not tempt Him. b. The death of fools for their folly is expensive for them but good value to those who are warned thereby. 1CO 10:7-12. II. Consider the error, “...Let us do evil, that good may come...” (ROM 3:8). A. Because Paul had affirmed salvation by grace over Jewishness, circumcision, Moses, law- works righteousness, etc., some had falsely accused him of promoting licentiousness (disregard of rule or correctness). 1. The implication they assumed was, “If it is true that men are freely saved by God’s grace without the law, that is an open door to lawless living and, the greater the lawlessness, the greater is God glorified when He saves by grace.” 2. But Paul made clear that God’s abounding grace should instill in believers a death to sin. ROM 6:1-4, 14-15. 3. Paul constantly affirmed that teaching men about God’s method of saving sinners does not void law, but establishes it. ROM 3:31; TIT 2:11-12; 3:5-8. 4. Paul’s teaching about grace demanded godly living. It was wicked reprobates who had wormed their way into the churches that were “...turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness...” (JUDE 1:4). B. In the secular world, the doctrine of “Let us do evil, that good may come” is commonly referred to by such phrases as, “The ends justify the means,” “For the greater good,” “Urban renewal,” or “Eliminating obstacles to progress” and such like. 1. The preeminent example of this was the reasoning of the Jewish elders concerning Jesus Christ. JOH 11:47-50. 2. The desire to “build” (c/w ACT 4:11) a better, safer, wealthier world generally demands that the individual’s or minority’s rights to life, liberty and property be trampled upon. 3. Some innocent “lambs” may have to be sacrificed by forced marches across the country, a U-boat torpedo, an avoidable attack, or a mass killing. 4. Eminent domain laws by which private property may be taken by the State (with compensation) for general public benefit (blight reduction, highway, utility, etc.) is one thing, but the seizure of non-blighted private property to be turned over to a private developer so as to increase government revenues is another. 5. Natural affection and a sense of preservation tend to get in the way of the worst forms of doing evil that good may come. a. Wicked devisers try to overcome natural moral revulsion of evil by such means as delegitimizing the victim (PSA 94:20) or dehumanizing the victim. b. If one can be persuaded that another is insane, a criminal or an enemy of the state, then otherwise immoral treatment of that person is justified. This is That Which Works Good 3-1-20 Page 3 what our Savior experienced. JOH 10:20; 19:7, 12. c. If one can be convinced that an African, Aborigine, Jew or child in the womb is not human, then inhumane treatment of such is impossible. Their being abused or purged is therefore morally acceptable. d. This is the perversion of the definitions of good and evil, per ISA 5:20. D. Can not sin/evil work for my good? 1. The sin of others may work for your good. PRO 28:8; ECC 2:26; HEB 2:14-15. 2. The sinfulness of others may be exploitable for your good. ACT 23:6-9. a. This principle can be perverted. HOS 4:8. b. We are to discourage, not embolden others in their sin. LEV 19:17. 3. God can overrule the sin of others against you for your good and even for their good. DAN 3:30; GEN 50:20; DEU 23:5. a. Joseph’s godly construction on all the evil that had been done unto him did not justify the evil. That he showed mercy (unobliged compassion where severity is merited) proves their deeds were wicked and deserved wrath. b. God could have orchestrated Joseph’s exaltation in Egypt by other means. PRO 22:29; 12:24. c. God’s overruling of Balak and Balaam (NUM 22-24) justified neither a wicked king nor a compromised hireling prophet. God could have blessed Israel without either of their input. 4. Your sin never works for your good. a. Some interpret ROM 8:28 to mean that God works good in you and for you through your sin as long as you love Him. b. It is good to draw near to God (PSA 73:28; JAM 4:8) but sin separates you from God. ISA 59:2. c. Sin deafens God to your pleas. ISA 59:2; 1PE 3:12. d. Sin WITHHOLDS good things from you! JER 5:25. e. Sin incurs judgment and death. ROM 2:8-9; JAM 1:15. f. Loving God is keeping His commandments, not breaking them. JOH 14:21. That Which Works Good 3-1-20 Page 4
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