Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ryan Rufus on Hebrews 'Warning' Passages

I've just completed transcribing Ryan Rufus's sermon on the 8th February 2009 in Hong Kong called; "Hebrews 6 - Can You Lose Your Salvation?". He very boldly and fearlessly took on one of the famous "problem" passages that have confused theologians for centuries. He preached so clearly and so eloquently without confusing the matter and the result was truth and freedom! I felt another dark stronghold of fear that has been lurking at the back of my mind get demolished!

Ryan picked on something amazing that really intrigued me. He was working through many of the verse in Hebrews building up to a context on Hebrews 6. He quoted Hebrews 6:18 and said this - it is quite a lengthy commentary but WELL worth reading. After the quote is done - I've got a conclusion - something very interesting that happened to me today;

"What are those two things he is talking about? These two things are the New Covenant code that we need to crack and until we crack it our minds will still be dark. Until we crack this code we still see things through a legalistic mindset. Once you crack that code you will be able to interpret any Scriptures that are difficult and see them through New Covenant lenses.

1. The first one is the once for all sacrifice that completely deals with all of our sins and makes us perfect.

(Hebrews 10:12); "But this Man Jesus after He had offered one sacrifice for sins" - that's for all sins - "forever, sat down at the right hand of God until His enemies be made His footstool". (v14); "For by one offering He had perfected forever them that are sanctified". By one sacrifice He has made us perfect ... for how long? As long as we hold onto the hope? Forever! If God has made you perfect then nothing and noone can make you unperfect! (v15);

" ... wherefore the Holy Ghost is a witness".

He is a witness in a court of law! The Holy Spirit is our counsellor and our defence and when the devil comes and accuses us of this sin or that sin then He stands up and says; "Father remember You swore an oath to never, ever relate to them through their sins and their performance but through Christ's performance on their behalf".

2. The second is that Jesus Christ is in the order of Melchizadek.

The book of Hebrews reveals Jesus as the superior Mediator of a better covenant. (Hebrews 7); "God swore an oath that Jesus is a high priest forever under the order of Melchizadek". That means "forever" He has an indestructable life. And He mediates for us EVERY sin! We have an eternal Mediator - one who goes to the Father in our defence! We never even have to fear again! What a hope we have!

God will open your eyes and you will see something and will no longer be fearful about this message. If you tell people that by one sacrifice then God got rid of your sins and there is no more punishment then what's to stop them going out and sinning? That will produce Christians who want to commit crazy sins surely! That's taking restraints off them Ryan! What about the warning Scriptures?!

There is not ONE warning Scripture about losing your salvation to New Covenant believers.It is rubbish to couple the grace of God with the warning passages!

Why are people so scared of this message of grace? I will tell you why - because they haven't seen their salvation. They haven't seen the supernatural miracle that took place in the Spirit of a person when they got born again. So many Christians still believe that the heart of a Christian is evil beyond cure and quote Jeremiah 17:9. Our hearts were evil beyond cure and God didn't cure it! He replaced it! He removed our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of flesh!

They think that Christians have got this evil in them and a sinful nature and that sinful nature will drive them into sin! Colossians 2:11 says He circumcised us of the sinful nature through Christ - that means He REMOVED it! That means He took it out! It is gone! Circumcision doesn't come back or reattach! It's dead! Romans 6:6; "For we know that our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be done away with". I hear people saying; "That's the body that wanted to sin". No it's not! The body of sin is the entity that was living inside of us! Indwelling sin - the personality of sin - the driving force of sin that Adamic nature and the fallen nature produces that wants to sin.

That was an evil nature but then God circumcised us of that nature and cut it out of us! Sin was not the effect. It was the cause. God removed the cause - the sinful nature. Temptation is external and God has regenerated your spirit and made your spirit perfect. 2 Corinthians 5:17; "A New Creation". Our body is still a part of the old creation order that was subject to frustration so it will still decay. Your mind will still be embedded in the corrupt wisdom of this world. But our spirit is a NEW creation! It has been alive with Christ!".

I want to close by saying something rather profound that Scott said to me. I just got back from visiting my parents and was in a bit of a "John Piper" frame of mind as I had been listening to him to and fro from Bristol. And I was just idly listening to some speaker interviews from the "Conference" section of the "Desiring God website". Scott was playing the Wii in the background and unknown to me was listening in. Don Carson and John Piper were asked a particular question and Don Carson frankly "fudged" it and gave a typical "evangelical" answer that "God is God and really we don't know".

I then finished typing up Ryan's sermon and we discussed the fact that it's interesting that the top evangelicals in the world today seem to hesitate and stop short of some issues that just seem to hard. Rob and Ryan Rufus (among other preachers of course) don't do that. Rob has stated again and again that there is no verse in the Bible that they won't approach. This sermon proves this. And proves again that there is NO verse in the Bible that works against the gospel of grace! What is ironic is that critics of Rob and others usually pride themselves on being "Word" people!

I can say again honestly that I have learned more about the Bible since I encountered Rob Rufus and City Church than ever before.

4 comments:

Sheila said...

Hi Dan!

Bear with this long-ish response, if you don't mind...it is going somewhere.

I had *never* heard Rob Rufus before this weekend. I found a bit of time to peruse the website, and listen to him teach. My reasons for never hearing him before are valid and varied...I don't have a lot of time to spend online, and don't yet have an i-pod; and Tim and I have always had a conviction to never "build on another man's vision", so we are very careful about our input. It is too easy for pastors to get pulled here and there, because they, themselves, do not have the vision of God for the local church they serve.

For example: I've had various women come to me, saying, "You remind me SO MUCH of Mrs. or Miss So-and-so when you teach...have you heard her?"

And it was almost a matter of pride for me to say, "NO. I have not. What you hear is ME."

I've since given up on that, and have begun to listen to some of the female Bible teachers who I supposedly remind others of. I'm okay with that. :-) But we still feel it is important to get the mind of God for the church we serve, not to build on another man's vision. We don't want to be influenced "this way and that".

HOWEVER. (Here is where I am going...)

I want to encourage you to stick with Mr. Rufus. (Not that you need my encouragement...but there it is.) I mean it. *Mainline* this stuff. Gorge yourself on it. Go to Hong Kong. LIVE in Hong Kong, and go to CCI, if you want to. Do whatever you must to be grounded in the grace that Rob preaches.

Having said that...I was ecstatic and blessed to hear Rob preaching along the same lines my own pastor-husband has been teaching of late. I say that, not out of pride or having anything to prove, but in great excitement about what God is doing in the earth! Tim hasn't heard Rob, ever...he heard snatches of what I was listening to yesterday, and he always trusts my judgement. He knows I am able to glean the precious from the worthless.

I heard *nothing* worthless. It was ALL precious. Stay with this, stay with it, stay with it. If you continue in what you are hearing, not elevating a man, but embracing the grace of God, you will become "mighty in the land". You'll WALK by faith...you will find yourself empowered to LIVE by faith like never before.

I was deeply blessed by what I heard. I learned things. There was great anointing on the message.

I want you to continue to immerse yourself in this grace - whoever teaches it. Rufus is an incredible grace teacher - one of the best I've ever heard. Get all you can get from him. Thanks for transcribing his message on the woman who Jesus healed...that is what piqued my interest enough to make time to hear Rob online.

Keep being a willing conduit of The Message.

I can't wait to find time to hear more...what I heard has been nourishing.

Have a blessed weekend!

Grace and Peace!

Dan Bowen said...

Wow Sheila,

Thank you, thank you so much for this prophetic comment! You may not have intended it as such but what you said and what you encouraged really, really, REALLY confirmed a lot that God has been saying to me over the past few weeks. I've been feeling a growing sense that "Something" is going to happen this year and that the nations are going to open up. I've always known deep down that it's right that I get to travel and see what God is doing across the world.

And this wonderful comment full of such wisdom has guided me and confirmed so much to me!!

I cannot agree more with your point about following a "man". When I was in Bristol the church I went to used to "re-preach" sermons from America. And while I've got utmost respect for American preachers, what was being done was that word for word - the sermon was being copied and re-preached! Even the jokes!

I was rather amused after one such sermon to hear a lady naively go upto the pastor and say; "Oh thank you pastor, but can I have the tape of the original sermon?" (it was by Joshua Harris from Covenant Life) and the preacher looked really offended!

But WHERE is the anointing or the gifting in re-preaching something? I just didn't get it and never did.

So heroes of the faith!? Yep many of them!! I love heroes and have tons;

Ern Baxter
Rob Rufus
Terry Virgo
Charles Spurgeon
Jonathan Edwards

and so on ...

But the anointing on my heroes is not the anointing that is on me! And so what on earth is the point in me attempting to copy those men? Now I have learned some of Ern Baxter's sermons off by heart such as "Thy Kingdom Come!". But if I ever was behind a pulpit I wouldn't re-preach it because I would never be able to reproduce the anointing that was on Ern Baxter back in 1975.

And the same with Rob Rufus! When I am praying for the sick, I won't yell "FIRE" as Rob does! Because it won't produce the results that Rob gets!

So Sheila ... once again thank you so much. I hear and listen to what you are saying!

lydia joy said...

"I can say honestly that I have learned more about the Bible since I encountered Rob Rufus and City Church than EVER before"

ME TOO, DAN!!!!! Loved this message!!!

And Sheila, that is quite a profound and intense insistence and I am grateful to hear your support of this teaching too!!

Sheila said...

You wouldn't be a well-rounded believer without a few heroes! ("well rounded" for lack of better words)

I have heroes and heroines of my own, and several of them! It enriches my life immensely, to know, or know OF men and women whose faith I imitate.

When I said "not exalting a man, but embracing the gospel of grace", it wasn't even a warning. It wasn't a personal caution...just a statement about where health is found - health and robust joy in God is found in God alone. To the extent that a person reveals God to us...it is all God anyway. But I know you already know that.

No one "needs" my endorsement. HA! But I am driven to GIVE IT, when I see or hear truth that witnesses strongly with my spirit. It is part of the generous, gracious nature of walking in the Spirit...you can applaud the gospel, and appreciate the Christ in others EASILY. And you can EASILY refrain from the need to denigrate those who don't quite "measure up". After all, they too may have a Damascus Road experience, and be imparting to us TOMORROW.

And, by grace, these things DO come easily to me. So..."YEAY ROB RUFUS!" :-)