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Issues in Theology I Answers - Revised2

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Issues in Salvation Theology

Author: Bryan Parish

Edited and Revised by: Robert Jaramillo

First Quarter 2000

(3rd Revision, October 1999)

Objectives

The four classes on issues in theology are designed to introduce the student to the differing thoughts about specific controversial topics.  An important part of education, and the way in which a person develops their theology, is to be exposed to other points of view, rather than just being spoon fed one particular viewpoint.  This first of four classes will focus on the issues relating to salvation.  The five specific topics studied will be:

1. Justification By Faith (p. 3)...................................................Week 1-2

2. The Atonement (p. 12)...............................…........................Weeks 3

     -Redemption, Reconciliation, Propitiation, Forgiveness,

      Justification

3.  Calvinism & Arminianism (p. 20) ............….......................Weeks 4-5

     -Election

     -The Extent of the Atonement

     -Original Sin

3. Eternal Security (p. 37)..........................................................Week 6

4. Sanctification (p.56)...............................................................Weeks 7-8

5. Law and Grace (p. 61)............................................................Week 9

Homework

Refer to the homework sheet to be handed out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUSTIFICATION TEST (A.K.A. Heresy Test)

1.     Justification is a process, which starts at the moment we believe and continues over our lifetime as a Christian, and has the goal to eventually making us acceptable to God.  F

2.     Full obedience over one's lifetime is a condition of justification. F

3.     The Christian remains justified only as long as he obeys. F

4.     At salvation we are declared righteous and all our sins are forgiven, but from that point on we have to maintain a certain level of righteousness in order to make it into heaven. F

5.     If you are a Christian, and you die with unconfessed sin, you will not go to heaven. F

6.     The Christian is both justified and a sinner at the same time. T

7.     A person is justified by faith alone in Jesus Christ. T

8.     Justification is not a process, it takes place instantly at the moment a person believes in Christ. T

9.     The moment a person trusts in Christ, they are declared righteous by God and they have the very righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to them.  This righteousness is not their own, it comes from Christ.  This righteousness does not diminish due to their sinfulness, nor is it maintained by their good works. T

10. Justification is the legal act of God, whereby He declares righteous the person who puts their faith in Christ. T

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT?

 

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

The essentials of the faith are:  1) The Deity of Christ, 2) The Trinity, 3) The Bodily Resurrection of Christ, 4) The Vicarious (Substitutionary) Atonement of Christ, 5) The Second Coming of Christ and 6) Salvation by Grace through Faith.  When dealing with the issue of salvation, it is mandatory that a person teaches and believes that justification, or being right with God, comes by having faith alone in Christ and is accomplished apart from works.  This means that a person is right with God the moment they place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, and that not one work or ritual must follow in order to make this act complete. 

I.      Definitions

 

It is important to understand what the Bible means when it uses the word justification.  The word justification when used in the Scriptures means the following: 

A.   The Root Meaning:  The word itself means, "To declare righteous."  The word justification was used in a court of law to declare a person righteous, not guilty or to declare as innocent. 

B.    The Definition:  An act of God, where He declares a person to be righteous due to the fact they have placed their faith in Christ. 

Important Note: Justification is a pronouncement of righteousness, and is not something that is wrought in man, but something that is declared of him.  The pronouncement does not make the person righteous, it only declares him to be righteous.

C.   Quotes:

 

Modern Reformation 1995

"The main interest of the cross is to propitiate (turn aside, satisfy) God's wrath towards sinners by sacrificing a substitute in the sinners' place.  Payment for each and every sin was secured and the righteousness of Christ is, therefore, imputed to the sinners account as though he had satisfied God's legal demands himself."

George Ladd:

"The root idea in justification is the declaration of God, the righteous judge, that the man who believes in Christ, sinful though he may be, is righteous- is viewed as being righteous, because in Christ he has come into a righteous relationship with God."

Paul Enns:

"To justify is to declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus Christ.  It is a forensic (legal) act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of the blood of Christ."

Louis Berkhof:

"It is an act of free grace, whereby He pardons our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight, but does not change us inwardly."  "Justification is a judicial act of God in which He declares, on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all the claims of the law are satisfied with respect to the sinner."

Millard Erickson:

"Justification is a restoration of the individual to a state of righteousness....We conclude that justification is a forensic or declarative action of God, like that of a judge in acquitting the accused."

 

A.    John Calvin:

B.     Justification is the “main hinge on which religion turns.”

C.     (Institutes 3.11.1)

 

 

II.  How Does This Happen?

A.   The Two-step Process

     Justification involves two primary aspects:

#1- The pardon & removal of all sin and the end of separation from God.

#2- The bestowal or imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer. 

The righteousness of Christ means, "all He became, did, and suffered to satisfy the demands of divine justice, and merit for His people for the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life."  (Hodge, Systematic Theology)  It is extremely important to understand that this righteousness is not our own, it is not maintained by us, it is the very righteousness which is Christ's.  Luther called it "an alien righteousness."  This means that this standing of perfection before God is not maintained by my works, nor is it diminished by my sin.  What glorious peace this produces!   

The word impute was a banking term and meant credited, counted, to ascribe to, to lay to one's charge.    

These two steps can be seen in the following Scriptures:

1.     All men are born in sin and stands guilty before God and are deserving of eternal death (Gen 2:17,Rom 5:12-14,6:23,Eph 2:1-3).

2.     God's standard is perfection (Matt 5:48,Rom 2:12,Jms 2:10,Rom 3:20).  God does not waive His demands as placed down in the Law, but accepts Christ's perfect life in its place.

3.     The penalty for man's sin has been paid for by Christ's death through the shedding of His blood (Is 53:5f, 1 Peter 2:24,Rom 3:24-25,5:9).

"Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through Him." (Rom 5:9)

4.     All those who place their faith in Christ receive forgiveness of all their sins (Acts 13:38,Rom 4:7-8,8:1,2 Cor 5:21,Col 2:13).

"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered."  (Rom 4:7)

5.     The person who places their faith in Christ and receives God's forgiveness is then restored to a place of favor with God (Rom 5:1,8:16,Gal 3:26,Eph 1:6).

"Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."  (Rom 5:1)

6.     The righteousness of Jesus Christ is then imputed to the believer (Rom 4:1-8,2 Cor 5:21,1 Cor 1:30).

-The word imputed literally means "to credit to one’s account" and shows that the righteousness of Christ has been credited to the believer’s account.

"For He made Him who knew no sin the become sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  (2 Cor 5:21)

 

 

 

 

III. Other Important Points

A.   Justification is:

1.     By faith and not By Works (Rom 3:20,4,5,Gal 6:20).  (Faith is not a work we perform, it the means by which we appropriate God's blessing).  We are justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone!

2.     By grace and not Earned (Rom 3:24,Titus 3:7).

3.     By the blood of Jesus Christ and not By Man's Good Deeds (Rom 5:9).

4.     Takes Place instantly at the moment of Faith and is not a progressive act (Rom 4:2,5:1). 

-Notice the word here is justified, which is in the past tense, which shows that it is a completed act. 

 

IV. The Glorious Results

A.   Removal of the Penalty of Sins (Rom 5:7,2 Cor 5:19).

 

 

B.    All Condemnation is Gone (Rom 8:1).

 

-God no longer holds our sins against us and there is no need to walk in guilt and shame over our past.

 

 

C.   Man is at Peace with God (Rom 5:1).

 

 

D.   Man is restored to God's favor (Rom 4:6,1 Cor 1:30,2 Cor 5:21).

 

 

E.    The Imputation of Righteousness (2 Cor 5:21,Rom 4:5).

 

 

F.    The Acceptance by God (Eph 1:6).

 

 

G.   The Assurance that Future Judgment will be Avoided (Rom 5:9).

V.   Final Thoughts

A.   Justification is the act where God declares us to be righteous and is not an act where He makes us righteous.  This means we will still struggle with our sinful desires until the day we go to heaven.

B.    Sanctification is different from Justification.  Sanctification is the process which God transforms our lives into the image and likeness of Christ.  This is a process which will take place over our entire life and relates to our maturing in Christ.  It is never completed in this life.

C.    The believer must understand the doctrine of justification by faith, and the fact we have been imputed with the righteousness of Christ, or they will never enjoy or experience the peace and freedom which is freely belongs to them in Christ.  When the believer does not realize they have the imputed righteousness of Christ, they will try to establish or maintain a righteousness of their own.  They will try to maintain a right relationship with God based on all their Christian activities, which is completely contrary to Scriptures, absolutely impossible and completely frustrating. 

D.   Justification is a completed act where you have been imputed with the righteousness of Christ.  You cannot improve or increase this righteousness.  It is also extremely important for you to see that you cannot maintain this level of righteousness by your works.  It is a righteousness that has been given to you, thus you do not maintain it by your good works, nor do you diminish it by your sinful actions.  It is the righteousness of Christ  which has been given to you, and it does not change because Christ does not change.  It is complete, it does not diminish, nor does it rise and fall based on your actions.  It stays at the same level all the time.  This righteousness was something that was given to you freely, so you cannot improve on it nor maintain it. 

E.    The imputed righteousness of Christ is what has made it possible for you to be right with God.  We are at peace with Him.  We are able to come into His presence continually due to the fact we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and appear acceptable to Him.  Not the like the man in the parable in Matt 22 who didn't have the right clothes on in the presence of the King and was removed instantly.  We have the right clothes, the robe of righteousness which has been provided for us, and we now have the privilege of appearing before the King of Kings and Lord of Lord without any guilt, shame or uncleanness. 

 

"THIS IS THE DOCTRINE BY WHICH THE CHURCH RISES AND FALLS" (1 Cor 2:2,15:3-4).

 

QUOTES

Quotes by Luther on Justification

"A Christian is righteous and holy by an alien or foreign holiness- I call it this for the sake of instruction- that is, he is righteous by the mercy and grace of God.  This mercy and grace is not something human; it is not some sort of disposition or quality in the heart.  It is a divine blessing, given us through the true knowledge of the Gospel, when we know or believe that our sin has been forgiven through the grace and merit of Christ.   

"St. Paul teaches everywhere that justification does not result from good works but from faith alone, that it does not come in installments but all at one......Through faith it is enjoyed all at once, in order to make it perfectly clear that no work but faith alone affords such blessings of God as justification and salvation, and that faith makes us children and heirs at once and not in piecemeal manner, as good works must be performed."

 

Luther on works and justification

"If works do not follow, then Christ's suffering and death have done you no good, you are still in death, you belong to the devil; for you do no works, bear no fruits of faith."

"In a word, apart from Christ all are dammed and lost; in Christ all are good and blessed.  Therefore even the sin inherited from Adam and remaining in our flesh and blood cannot harm and condemn us.  However, this should not be taken to mean that permission is thereby given freely to sin and do evil.  For since faith brings forgiveness of sins, and Christ came in order to destroy and take away sin, it is impossible for that person to be a Christian and a believer who openly, impertinently, and securely lives on in sins according to his evil lusts. 

Quotes by Calvin on Romans 4

"We may also deduce from this the unending continuance of free righteousness throughout our whole life......Thus too is refuted the fallacy of those who absurdly imagine that the righteousness of faith is merely an initial act, and that afterwards believers retain by their works the possession of that righteousness which they had first attained without any merits of their own."

"In short, only those who feel in themselves that they are ungodly will attain to the righteousness of faith."

"...that faith adorns us with a righteousness of another."

"Faith is reckoned as righteousness not because it brings any merit from us, but because it lays hold of the goodness of God.  Therefore righteousness is not our due, but it is freely bestowed."

"......it follows that the only ground of his righteousness was his trust in the goodness of God."

"Paul argues from opposites that God does not repay righteousness to us as a debt, but bestows it as a gift."

The Roman Catholic View

The decree of Session VI. Canon XII, reads, If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that this confidence alone is that whereby we re justified, let him be anathema."

Quotes from Finney, from his book Systematic Theology

On Justification:

"The Christian, therefore, is justified no longer that he obeys, and must be condemned when he disobeys.......In these respects, then, the sinning Christian and the unconverted sinner are upon precisely the same ground...."                                                                                   (Page 217)

                                                                                                                                             

Finney taught correctly that God requires absolute perfection, but instead of seeking it as a free gift from Christ, he taught that, "full present obedience is a condition of justification."

"As has already been said, there can be no justification in a legal or forensic sense, but upon the grounds of universal, perfect, and uninterrupted obedience to the Law."                               (pages 320-321)

                                                                 

 

 

 

 

On Original Sin:

"It is a monstrous and blasphemous dogma, that a holy God is angry with and creature for possessing a nature which he was sent into being without his knowledge or consent."

"Original or constitutional sinfulness, physical regeneration, and all their kindred and resulting dogmas, are alike subversive of the gospel, and repulsive to the human intelligence."                                         (page 236)

                                                                                

 

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE (Summary)

This handout is both a review and a summary of our 13 final points on this subject of :

“Justification by faith alone, through grace alone, on the merits of Christ alone”

I.      All men are born in sin: 1) Have all sinned in Adam.  2) Have Adam’s sin (guilt) imputed to them.  3) Have Adam’s sinful nature imparted to them.

 

II.   All men are born with a nature that is at enmity with God.

 

 

III. All men stand condemned due to sin.

 

IV. God’s Standard for Salvation is Perfection.

 

V.   Man stands in need of having a perfection imparted to him, since he is not able to produce it himself, thus God by grace, has imputed the righteousness of Christ to those who place their faith in Christ. 

 

VI. The Righteousness is not according to man’s works:  Luther called this righteousness “an alien righteousness.” Phil 3.

 

VII. Justification is not progressive (Rom 5:1).  

 

VIII. The meaning of the words Justification and Imputed.

 

IX. The doctrine of being justified by faith alone is equivalent to being “in Christ” as Ephesians 1-3 highlights. 

 

Melancthon “To know Christ is to know His benefits.”

See Col 2:9-10

 

X.   The verses supporting the doctrine of imputation. (2 Cor 5:21).

 

XI. The place of Works.

 

XII. Faith is not a work: Eph 2:8-10.

-by faith not on account of or because of.

-faith and grace are both feminine words while it is neuter

 

XIII. The Doctrine by which the Church rises or falls. (1 Cor 2:2,15:3-4). 

THE ATONEMENT

I.      Incorrect Views

Ransom to Satan Theory

A.   Basic Idea:  Satan held people captive and thus a ransom had to be paid to the devil, and not God. 

B.    Proponents:   Origen (185-254) and the faith teachers of today.

C.    Problems 

1.     Satan is the benefactor of Christ's death and not God.

2.     God's holiness was offended, thus payment had to be made to God.

3.     God's wrath needed to be satisfied and not payment to the devil.

4.     The cross was also a judgment upon Satan.

Recapitulation Theory

A.   Basic Idea:  Christ went through all the phases in Adam's life (including the experience of sin), but Christ was able to be victorious where Adam failed.  His obedience substituted for his disobedience and thus should effect a transformation in our lives.    

B.    Proponents  Irenaeus (130-200)

C.    Problems

1.     It is Christ's death that saves and not His life.

2.     This view says nothing about the atonement.

3.     Christ had no personal encounter with sin (1 Jn 3:5,Jn 8:46).

Commercial Theory

A.   Basic Idea:  Due to sin, God was robbed of His honor, thus God's honor could be restored through pushing sinners or through satisfaction.  Through His Son's death, honor was brought back to God.  Christ's life and death went far beyond the call of duty and thus He received a reward for His actions.  This reward in effect had a stored up merit which was passed on to us.  Faith appropriates these blessings.  The gift was forgiveness for the sinner and eternal life for those who live by the gospel. 

B.    Proponents  Anselm (1033-1109)

C.    Problems 

1.     Focus is on God's mercy to the exclusion of His holiness (wrath).

2.     Does not include the vicarious suffering of Christ.

3.     Neglects the obedience of Christ.

4.     Neglect the important point that Christ died for the penalty of sin.  Embraces the RCC view of penance, "so much satisfaction for so much violation."

Moral Influence Theory

 

A.   Basic Idea:  The death of Christ was not for satisfaction for sin, but that God demonstrated His love.  This demonstration of love is to melt the heart of sinners towards God and bring them to repentance.

B.    Proponents  Abelard (1079-1142)

C.    Problems

1.     The only basis for the death of Christ is love and not holiness.

2.     Somehow the emotions will lead a person to repentance (2 Cor 7:9-10).

3.     This view misses the Substitutionary atonement of Christ and the sinner being justified.

Example or Martyr Theory

 

A.   Basic Idea:  The death of Christ was unnecessary in atoning for sin because sin did not need to be punished.  There was no relationship between Christ's death and the salvation of sinners.  The example of obedience set by Christ serves to inspire others to live that same type of life. 

B.    Proponents  The Socinians of the 16th century and the Unitarians of today.

C.    Problems

1.     Christ is only a man.

2.     The atonement is not necessary.

3.     Christ is merely an example and not a sin offering.

Governmental Theory

 

A.   Basic Idea:  God forgives sinners without requiring an equivalent payment.  Christ upheld the principle of government in God's law by making a token payment for sin through His death.  God accepted the token payment, set aside the requirement of the Law, and was able to forgive sinners because the principle of government had been upheld.  God was primarily showing his displeasure with sin.  The thought that Christ's death on the cross was no way an exact equivalent in hell plays a major role their thinking.

B.    Proponents:  Grotius (1583-1645):  I also heard this view on the radio recently.

C.    Problems

1.     God is subject to change - He threatens but does not carry out His judgment.

2.     God forgives sins without a payment for sin.

3.     The Bible is clear for the need for the atonement (Rom 3:24,1 In 2:2), since God's wrath had to have been satisfied.

4.     The Bible clearly teaches the need for a Substitutionary atonement (2 Cor 5:21,1 Pet 2:24).

Accident Theory

A.   Basic Idea:  Christ became enamored with His Messiahship and unfortunately was crushed in the process of His ministry.  Christ's death has no value for anybody.

B.    Proponents  Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

C.    Problems  If you can’t see the problems go back to 1st year classes!

Dramatic Theory  by Aulen (1879-1978)

A.   Basic Idea: Christ's death gained victory over the powers of evil. 

B.    Proponents:  Barthia Theory by Karl Barth (1886-1968)

C.    Problems:  Christ's death principally shows God's love and His hatred towards sin.

SUMMARY:  All the above views contain at least one of the following problems:

1.     Attribute the satisfaction for sin to the wrong person (to the devil rather than God).

2.     Christ's death is merely an example rather than a satisfaction for sin.

3.     Emphasize God's love to the point it minimizes His justice and holiness.

4.     Do not emphasize Christ as a substitute.

5.     Do not factor in God's wrath needing to be appeased. 

IMPORTANT POINT:  When you are developing a Biblical view of atonement, all the above mistakes need to be avoided.  A proper view of the atonement must include: 

1.     God's holiness, wrath and justice was satisfied.

2.     Christ died as a substitute for us, or in place of us.

3.     There needed to be a payment for sin.

4.     Christ's death provided satisfaction for sin.

5.     Maintain the holiness and justice of God.  These attributes cannot be set aside, ever!

II.   The Correct View of the Atonement

Introduction

Atonement: This word must be seen in light of Four things:

1.     The fact Christ was a substitute for our sin.

2.     The fact man has been redeemed from sin.

3.     The fact man has been reconciled to God.

4.     The fact God's anger towards sin has been satisfied.

The word atonement is better translated reconciled or reconciliation, and emphasizes the fact man has now be made right with God.  The word emphasizes a change, which has taken place, a change from enmity to peace.  The word atonement encompasses the ideas of substitution, redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, forgiveness and justification.

A.   Substitution: The emphasis is on the fact Christ died in place of  sinners.

1.     The Latin: In Latin the word vicarious means in the place of.

2.     Christ:

a. Matthew 20:28

b. 2 Corinthians 5:14

c. Romans 8:32

3.     The Prepositions: 

a.      The prepositions anti (for) means in place of as seen in Matthew 20:28 and huper (for) on behalf of as seen  in Gal 3:13,1 Tim 2:6, 2 Cor 5:21,1 Peter 3:18 make this point clear.

b.     It is clear that anti means in the place of due to Luke 11:1, and huper means in behalf of according to Philemon 13.

4.     Other passages:  Hebrews 2:9, 1 Timothy 2:6, Galatians 3:13, Luke 22:19-20, 1 Peter 2:21, 3:18, 4:1, Romans 5:8, John 10:15

Focus:  Christ

Christ literally died in our place as a sacrifice for the sin of the world.

 

 

B.     Redemption

1.     The Greek Words:  Two Greek words are used, Agarzo and exagarzo- They literally mean

a.  Agarzo – To redeem by payment of a price.

b.  Exagarzo – To purchase out of.

2.     The N.T. Imagery:  One way was the buying and selling of slaves at the market place.  A benevolent owner could set a slave free which he purchased.

3.     The Purchase Price:  The blood of Christ. Colossians 1:14, 1 Peter 1:7.

4.     The Result- To be slaves to God and His will. 

We are set free, not to live a life of sin, but free to serve the Lord.

5.     The Third Word (Lutroo): This word literally means to release by paying a ransom.

a.      The Price: the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18).

b.     The Result: We are now a special possession of God (Titus 2:14).

c.      The Connection: The word is tied into forgiveness and grace (Eph 1:7).

d.     Lutroo is also used in Luke 24:21.

Focus:  SIN

Redemption is viewed primarily from the sin aspect, that is, that man was in bondage to sin and was in need of being released and freed from this slavery.

C.    Reconciliation (Rom 5:10)

1.     The Greek Word:  The Greek word is katalasso- Lit. to effect a change, to reconcile.

a.      The word conveys the idea of making peace with God. 

2.     The Process:

a.      Man was estranged from God, due to sin, and was alienated, an enemy and hostile towards God (Is 59:1-2,Col 1:21-22,James 4:4).

b.     The death of Christ removed the wrath and enmity (Rom 5:10).

c.      A person trust Christ for salvation and is completely restored into favor with God, he finds acceptance (Eph 1:6), is at peace with God (Rom 5:1) and receives all the rights and privileges of a son (Jn 1:12).

3.     The Definition:

God removes the barrier (sin), this produces peace and enables man to be saved and in gain a right relationship with God.  

4.     The Result:  The emphasis is on the fact God moved to effect the change (2 Cor 5:18-19), and man now is the recipient of this new position. 

Focus: MAN

Reconciliation focuses on man: it was man who moved out of fellowship with God and needed to be restored into a place of favor with God.

D.   Propitiation

1.     The Greek Word Hilaskomai:  The word conveys the idea to appease. 

a.      The verb from is used two times in the N.T. (Lk 8:13 & Hebs 2:17). 

b.     The noun form is used three times (1 Jn 2:22,4:10,3:25).

c.      The idea is also seen in Rom 3:25.

2.     The Meaning:  Christ's death on the cross has fully satisfied all the righteous demands a Holy God had for sinners.

3.     The Process:

a.      God is too holy and righteous to overlook sin, thus He demands sin to be judged.

b.     Due to Christ's work in the cross, God is fully satisfied that His righteous demands have been met.    

c.      Through salvation, man is spared from God's wrath and is now accepted by God.

As seen above the main points are God's holiness, God's one remedy and God's full satisfaction.   

4.     The Old Testament:  The O.T. used the word kophar which literally means a covering as seen in Lev 4:35,10:17. 

Focus: GOD

The key factor in propitiation is God: God is propitiated or appeased, His holy standard was violated and Christ paid the full price for sin.

E.    Forgiveness

1.     The Two Greek Words:

a.      Charizomai- Related to the word charis/grace, and means to freely forgive.  The word is used in Col 2:13 of the cancellation of a debt.

b.     Aphiemi- Literally to a sending away (Eph 1:7). 

2.     The Definition:  Forgiveness is the legal act of God where He removes the charges that were held against the sinner because proper satisfaction for atonement for these sins was made by Christ.

3.     O.T. Imagery:  The scapegoat

4.     Key Point:  The sins are gone and never to return.

a.      This forgiveness relates to our sins past, present and future (Col 2:13,1 Jn 1:9).

Focus: MAN

Man was the one who sinned and stood in need of forgiveness from God.  Christ's work on the cross made it possible for man to be cleaned and washed from all his sin. 

F.     Justification (2 Cor 5:21,Rom 5:19).

1.     Dikao- Literally to credit to the account.  The word also conveys the idea, "to declare righteous." 

2.     See notes for the rest of the meaning of justification. 

Focus: MAN

Man was the one who sinned, was alienated from God and had broken His standards.  He stood in the place of needing the righteousness of God to be able to fellowship with Him once again. 

CALVINISM & ARMINIANISM

I.      The TULIP System of Calvinism

T    Total Depravity

     

U   Unconditional Election

L    Limited Atonement

I     Irresistible Grace

P    Perseverance of the Saints

II.   Five Points of Arminianism

EF Election based on foreknowledge

UE Universal Atonement

NI  Natural Inability

PG Prevenient Grace

CP Conditional Perseverance

III. The Emphasis of Each Position

Calvinism  - The Sovereignty of God

Arminianism    - The Responsibility of Man

ELECTION

I.      Important Passages

John 1:12-13

John 6:44

John 6:37

John 6:65

Acts 13:48

Eph 1:4  eklego:  (to call out from the masses)

Rev 13:8 & 17:8

II.   Important Terms

A.   Foreknowledge (Rom 8:29,1 Peter 1:2)

1.     Calvin: God sovereignly chose based on His predetermined plan.

2.     Arminian:  God chose based on the fact He knew who would respond.

B.    Election

1.     Definition: Eklego- to call out (from among the masses).

2.     The middle voice is used thus emphasizing God did it for Himself and not due to anything in man.

3.     It took place in eternity past (Eph 1:4).

4.     3 Views:

a.      Foresight:  Arminian Position

b.     Corporate:  God elected the “church” without any particular person in mind.

c.      Individual:  God sovereignly chose individuals.

5.     More References:

a.      Rom 9:11

b.     Rom 9:16

c.      2 Tim 1:9

d.     Rom 9:14-23

e.      Rom 9:14-23

C.    Predestination

1.     The meaning- Literally to mark off in advance or to preplan a destiny.

2.     It is used of: 

a.      Christ:       Acts 2:23

b.     Believers:  Ephesians 1:5

3.     Double Predestination: God not only predestined some for grace, He also predestined some for eternal destruction (Rom 9:18-23 and Prov 16:4).

D.   The Motive of God

1.     Eph 1:5  proorixo  (to mark off in advance or to preplan a destiny)

Why or How? 

-Eph 1:5    According to the good pleasure of His will.

-Eph 1:9    According to the good pleasure of His will.

-Eph 1:11  According to the good pleasure of His will.

2.     More Passages to Consider

-Rom 9:12-24

-Rev 17:8

-Deut 7:6-8

-Eph 2:8-10

Arminian View: God elected us in response to knowing our decision to either receive or reject His Son from eternity past.

Calvin's View: God elected us based on His own choice apart from any actions on our part.  His decision was based solely upon what He desired to do.

III. What About These Verses?

 

A.   110 verses that use the word "whosoever."  An open invitation exists.

B.    1 Tim 2:3-4

C.    2 Peter 3:9

D.   1 Jn 2:2

E.    Acts 17:30

F.     Accountability: Matt 11:20-24

The Final Conclusion

- Deut 29:29

-2 Tim 1:9

-1 Peter 1:2

-Rom 8:28-30

-Rom 11:33

-Ecclesiastes 3:11

      We cannot figure out the why.

     

      We cannot understand His eternal mind.

     

      We cannot understand His eternal motive.

THE EXTENT OF THE ATONEMENT

I.      The Issue

The debate exists over the questions, "For whom did Christ die?  Did He die for the elect only, or did His death make it possible for all to be saved?"

A.   Calvinist Position

Christ death was limited in the sense that He died only for the elect.  The Calvinists of today want to use the phrase, "Definite or Particular Redemption" since it better conveys the idea that Christ died for a definite or particular number of people (i.e. the elect).  There is such a thing as a Four-Point Calvinist, which is one who denies limited atonement.  They have been called, four-point Calvinists or Amyraldians, after Moses Amyraldus (1596-1664) who proposed this idea.

B.    Arminian View

Christ died for the sin of the world and salvation is open to any who would call upon the name of the Lord.  The cross secures for every man a measure of common grace (prevenient, enabling the will to be able to respond.  

C.    Extreme Calvinist View

The decree of divine election stands first in all of God's decrees, even before the decree to create man, before the decree to permit the fall and before the decree to provide salvation.  (This is known as supralapsarianism). 

   

II.   The Arguments for Limited Atonement

A.   Passages Limiting Christ’s Death

There are a number of passages which mentioned the fact Christ died for a particular group of people and not for the entire world:

1.     Matt 20:28 Christ died for many.

2.     Jn 10:15- Christ laid His life down for the sheep.

3.     John 15:13- Christ laid down His life for His friends.

4.     John 17:2,6,20,24- Christ speaks of and prays for a specific group of people.

5.     Rom 4:25- The word our is in reference to the believers.

6.     Rom 8:28-30- He died for the elect.

7.     Eph 1:3-7- This section is applied to the elect.

8.     Eph 5:25-27,Acts 20:28- He died for the church.

B.    God's Love

1.     God does not love everyone with the same love (see Rom 1:7,8:29,9:13,Col 3:12,1 Th 1:4,2 Th 2:13).

2.     See also 1 Jn 4:10,Rom 5:8,8:32.

3.     Since God's love is for a particular group of people, Christ's death must have been to secure salvation for this group only. 

C.    Other Arguments

1.     It weakens the death of Christ if those He died for will not be saved.

2.     Eph 1:11- Since God is sovereign, His plan will not be stopped or hindered (frustrated) in any way, and if all people are not saved, then God's plan has been hindered. 

3.     If Christ died for all, then redemption has been made for all, thus all would be justified.

D.   The Meaning of the Words- All and World

   

1.     The word world in Jn 3:16 and other place does not mean the entire world, it means that He died for "people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation." 

2.     The word all in a passage like 2 Cor 5:15 means all classes of people in comparison to dying only for the world.

3.     Luke 2:1 obviously does not mean the entire world.

4.     Col 1:6 mentions the gospel went out to the whole world, but we know that Paul did not mean to every continent.

III. The Arguments for Unlimited Atonement

A.   Definition

Unlimited atonement means that Christ's death is effective for those who believe, but was sufficient for the sins of the entire world.  It is available for all but effective only for the elect.

B.    Refutations

1.     The word world in the passages sighted by the Calvinists in many passages refer to the Christ-rejecting, God-hating, Satanically-controlled, Sin-dominated part of society.  This is the very world for which Christ died (Jn 1:29,3:16-17,4:42,1 Jn 4:14), and the one which all the elect were a part of at one time (Rom 5:8,1 Cor 6:9-11,Col 1:13). 

2.     The word whosoever is used 110 times in the N.T. and is clearly used with an unrestricted meaning (Jn 3:16,Acts 2:21,10:43,Rom 10:13,Rev 22:17).  There is no way the word whosoever can be restricted to the elect.  What the Bible would have to say then to make sense is, Whosoever is one of the elect, when they call upon the Lord, they may be saved).

3.     The word all means all, and in the Greek the word all means all (How do you like that insight).  The passages quoted by the Particular redemptionist refer to the fact Christ died for the ungodly, but how many are ungodly- ALL. 

4.     The Bible clearly teaches the fact Christ died for the world (Jn 1:29,3:16,2 Cor 5:19, Heb 2:9,,1 Jn 2:2).

5.     The Bible clearly teaches that Christ died for all (2 Cor 5:14,1 Tim 2:6,4:10,Titus 2:11, Rom 5:5).

6.     It is not right to compare the national election of Israel with the election of the individuals as seen in Paul's warning in Rom 9:4-13.

7.     The passages which relate to God saving the elect or a special group of people, do not in any way limit Christ's death for them.  It would be like saying that Jn 11:51 minimizes the cross to the nation of Israel, or Gal 2:20 limits it to the apostle Paul.

8.     The cross is not the only saving instrumentality, a person needs to exercise faith in the work of Christ before one can say they are saved (Eph 2:8-10,Rom 10:9-12).

9.     The command to go out and preach the gospel to all creation is hard to harmonize with this view (Matt 28:18-20).

10. Christ died for sinners (1 Tim 1:15,Rom 5:6-8).  The word sinner does not mean the "church" or the "elect," but is a reference to all of mankind who are lost in sin.

11. Hebrew 2:9.  The passage says Christ tasted death for all.  The word all must refer to the entire world since the preceding verses use the word man to indicate all people and just the elect. 

12. John 3:16- If the limited viewpoint is correct, then I guess God does not love the world.  Be careful when you tell a person God's loves them.  They may not be part of the elect and you would be wrong.  This is nonsense of course.

13. Acts 17:30.  God wants all men everywhere to repent, and not just the elect.  (See also 2 Peter 3:9).

  

SPECIAL PASSAGES

2 Peter 2:1.  This passages says that Christ died for the false-teachers.  The passage refers to the fact they were "denying the master who bought them."  The obvious questions, "If this passage is so clear, how do those who teach limited atonement explain this passage?"  They have three interpretation:

Reason #1: Peter is recording what the false teachers are saying, that is, that the Lord bought them.  This is only what they claim, but in truth He died only for the elect.

Objections:

a.      The natural meaning of the text is that Peter claims that the Lord bought them, and what we have recorded is not the claims of the false teachers.

b.     This is circular reasoning with a biased assumption- The statements they were making could also be true.  You cannot assume it is false just because they said it!

   

Reason #2: The Lord purchased (agarzo) these nonelect in the sense that He as Creator possessed them.  Their proof for such an idea is:

a.      The word Lord (despotes), when it is used in the N.T. (Acts 4:24,Rev 6:10) only refers to God the Father, thus the passage does not refer to Christ purchasing them for salvation.   

Objection: The word despotes is used in Jude four and is an obvious reference to Christ.

b.     When the word agarzo is used in reference to a true salvation, the price paid is also mentioned.  Since no price is mentioned here in 2 Peter 2:1, this must be a Creator-creature "possession."

Objection: Rev 14:4 refers to the 144,000 being bought but no price is mentioned.

c.      When the word agarzo is used there is a real-take possession kind of buying.  Since the false teachers here were not saved, the word agarzo must have a different meaning.

Objection: See Luke 14:18-19 where a man bought a specific thing in a real-take possession sort of deal, but hadn't seen the things up to that point.     

1 John 2:2.  This passage clearly says that Christ's death was for the whole world.  The word our is in reference to the saved (and those who will be saved), while the whole world is a reference to those who were not saved.  The limited people have three other suggestions which relate to chronological, geographically and chronological:

a.      Chronological: The word ours is in reference to the elect living in the 1st century, while the whole world relates to those living in the future.

b.     Ethnical: Ours means the elect among the Jews, while the whole world refers to those elect among the Gentiles.

c.      Geographical: The ours is the elect living in Asia Minor (where the Apostle John was), while the whole world is the elect living outside this area.

Objection: It is true that the word world can be used in an exaggerated sense (Jn 12:19), but there is not one lexicon which gives the meaning as the elect.  Also, John uses the same word in 1 Jn 5:19 where it is absolutely clear that the word world means the entire world.

2 Peter 3:9 & 1 Timothy 4:10.  The word all here taken in its normal sense refers to all people.  The other way it has been interpreted is:

a.      The word all refers to all kinds of people or only to the elect.  God wants all kinds of sinners from among the elect to be saved, or all kinds of people from among the elect to be saved. 

b.     In 4:10, Christ provides all the benefits or providence to all, but especially to the elect.  Savior, in this sense does not relate to Christ's work on the cross.

c.      If Christ is the Savior of all, and all are not saved, then this must not be in relation to His work on the cross.

Objects:  1. The natural meaning of all is all.  2. God is the Father of all (Acts 17:29) but not all people are part of the redeemed family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C.    Other Arguments      

1.     If the words of the New Testament are taken at face value, then the overwhelming evidence is in favor of unlimited atonement.

2.     Limited atonement is based on the logic and the idea that the other four points of Calvinism are actually true. Three problems: a. The four points of Calvinism have not been proven to be true beyond doubt nor is it agreed upon by all believers.  b. Human logic is not sufficient to figure out the eternal plans of God.  c. It does not stand to reason that God's plan is thwarted by the fact not all will come to Christ.  This factor was worked into the eternal plan of God when He designed salvation for mankind. 

IV. Arminian View

Christ's death was not to suffer for what man deserved, but rather was a substitute for the penalty. 

1.     Like the O.T. offering the person received the remission of sins.

2.     Christ did not endure the exact punishment due to sinners.

3.     God waived His claim of justice.

Original Sin

I.      Theories of the Creation of the Soul

Traducian Theory:

A.   Definition

1.     The soul as well as the body is generated by the parents. 

2.     William Shedd writes:

“Man is a species, and the idea of a species implies the propagation of the entire individual out of it….Individuals are not propagated in parts.”

B.    Important Points

1.     This helps explain the depravity of man, how every person is born a sinner, and the heredity factor of the intellect, personality and emotional similarities of the parents with their children.

2.     Scriptural support: Ps 51:5, Rom 5:12, Heb 7:10.

Special Creation

A.   Definition

1.     Every soul is an immediate and special creation by God and it is the body alone that is propagated by the parents.

2.     The soul is united with the body at birth or some other suitable moment. 

B.    Important Points

1.     This view allows for the birth of Christ to be without sin.

2.     The Problems: Since God could only create a perfect spirit, each person must then fall into sin rather than being born into sin or with a sin nature.  

3.     This view is held by the RCC, many Reformed Theologians such as Charles Hodge. 

II.   The Imputation of Sin

A.   Rom 5:12-19

Write out what each verse says about sin in Romans 5:

5:12

5:15

5:16

5:17

5:18

5:19

B.    Different Views

Pelagius:

A British monk (born 370ad) who moved to Rome and then eventually to Carthage in North Africa.  His teaching immediately ran in conflict with that of Augustine. 

He Taught:

 

1.     He taught that each person was born with a free will and the ability to choose good and choose evil. 

2.     He did not believe that man’s will had been affected by the fall of Adam. 

3.     Man was created mortal and death and decay were part of the order of creation. He viewed death in the book of Genesis as spiritual death and not physical death since they did not drop dead on the spot.

4.     Adam’s sin only affected himself and left man with a bad example. 

5.     Man is only responsible for his own sin and not that of Adam’s in any sense.

6.     There is no natural inclination toward sin at birth.

7.     We do not inherit corruption or guilty, there is no inherent spiritual flaw in man from birth.

8.     Held to “Special Creation” of the soul to escape the idea of original sin or depravity of man.

9.     Grace was “free will, apprehension of God through reason, and the law of Moses and Jesus’ instruction” (Erickson, p. 633).

10. Man can perfectly fulfill God’s commands without sinning (he taught this as a possibility).

11. God does not exert any force upon man to choose good: There is no internal work upon the soul,

12. Thus he completely rejected any idea of predestination which Augustine espoused.

13. Pelagiansim was condemned by the Councils of Carthage (418) and of Ephesus in (431).

14. Modern -day Unitarians hold this viewpoint today.

 

Semi-Pelagiansim

 

1.     A synergistic viewpoint: God and man work together in order to accomplish what must be done for man to be saved.

2.     This position was condemned by the Council of Orange in 529.

3.     This Council emphasized in strong terms the inability of man and the absolute need for God’s grace to bring about salvation, but did not insist upon absolute predestination.

RCC- has been given the title Semi-Pelgianism, which believes that man’s will cooperates with the grace of God in salvation.  The idea is that the fall of man did not leave man completely spiritually dead, but in a weakened spiritual condition.  Thus man could initiate salvation.

Arminianism

James or Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609) was a Dutch Reformed pastor and theologian who modified the original Calvinistic position in which he was mentored.

He Taught:

 

1.     Strong summarizes this view as:

“God bestows upon each individual from the first dawn of consciousness a special influence of the Holy Spirit, which is sufficient to counteract the effect of the inherited depravity and to make obedience possible, provided the human will cooperates, which it still has power to do.” (Systematic Theology, p. 601)

 

2.     We receive from Adam a corrupt nature, but not the guilt of Adam’s sin.

3.     We begin life without righteousness and are in need of a special grace of God to fulfill His commands.

4.     The inability is both spiritual and physical, but not volitional.

5.     Prevenient grace (from the cross) was a universal benefit & nullifies the judicial consequences of Adam’s sin. 

6.     Prevenient grace has the effect of neutralizing the corruption received from Adam.

7.     Many Methodists, Wesleyans and Pentecostals hold this view today.

Augustinianism or Calvinism

 

1.     There is a definite connection of Adam’s sin with that of every person: We all participated in that sin.

2.     We all sinned in Adam and have received the consequences of that sin (death, condemnation, guilt, sinful nature or corruption`).

3.     At birth, or possibly conception, we receive a corrupted nature, are depraved and born with sinful desires.

4.     All person’s are guilty of Adam’s sin, thus death has come upon all of us.

5.     Views on how we all sinned in Adam:

Federal Headship: Adam was our representative Related to the “Special Creation” of the soul view.  This view was held by Hodge, Buswell and Berkhof.

Hodge summarizes this position:

“in virtue of the union, federal and natural, between Adam and his posterity, his sin, although not their act, is so imputed to them that it is the judicial ground of the penalty threatened against his coming also upon them.”  (Systematic Theology, 2:192-193)

 

Natural Headship (Augustine 350-440): We were present in Adam germinal or seminal form (or in all of our ancestors), just as Levi was in the loins of Melchizedech (Heb 7:10).  This view relates to the Traducianist viewpoint of the creation of the soul.  This view is held by Calvin, Luther, Shedd, Strong.

Augustine Taught of Adam/Man

In the Garden:     Able to sin, Able not to sin

After the Fall:      Not able Not to sin

In Heaven:            Not able to sin

III. Summary

A.   Overviews

Pelagian: God imputes neither a corrupted nature or guilt to man.

Arminian: God imputes a corrupted nature but the guilt of Adam.

Augustinian: God imputes both a corrupted nature as well as the guilt.

Imputation of Sin

| !!!! Views

| Rom 5:12 | Adam | Humanity | Modern |

Pelagian Death due to own sin after Adam’s example  Sin affected Adam alone No one affected by Adam’s sin Unitarians
Semi-Pelagian       Catholics 
Arminain All people consent to Adam’s sin- then sin imputed Adam sinned and only partially affected humanity Man receives corrupt nature but not guilt Methodists, Wesleyans, PentecostalsHoliness Groups 
Federal Sin imputed to man due to Adam’s sin Adam alone sinned but all of humanity affected Depravity is total, both sin and guilt imputed Presbyterians and Covenant Theologians  
Augustinain Sin imputed to humanity due to Adam’s sin Humanity sinned in Adam Depravity is total; both sin and guilt imputed Reformers, Calvinists

B.    Importance of the Doctrine

The doctrine of the imputation of guilt and condemnation is then used as a basis to prove that God can impute righteousness by one man’s act on the cross. 

A STUDY ON ETERNAL SECURITY

 

I.      Important Passages

A.   Many Passages Teach that the Believer Already Has Eternal Life:

Matt 18:12-14,John 3:16,3:36,5:24,6:35-40,6:47,10:27-30,Rom 5:8-10,8:29- 30,8:35-39.

B.    Other Passages Teach That Jesus is Keeping the Believer:

John 17:11, 12, 15, 1 Cor 1:7-9, 1 Thess 5:23-24, Phil 1:6-7.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Jude 24-25

John 6:39-40

 

 

C.   Other Key Passages:

Hebs 9:12 -

Hebs 10:14 -

John 10:27-30 -

1 Cor 3:11-15 -

 

D.   Salvation is By Grace

Eph 2:8-9: The Greek construction of this passage reveals that the entire process of salvation is by God's grace, and not a specific aspect of it.  The word that (touto) in the Greek is a neuter term while the words grace (xaris) and faith (pistis) are feminine.  This fact points out that the whole process of salvation is God's gift, which includes the very faith one has.  This fact is also seen in Rom 12:3, Rom 8:29-30, Eph 1:4-5, 1 Peter 1:2.

E.    There is a Group of Believers the Father has Given to Jesus

The key passage is John 6:39- Jesus said He will lose none!

1.     John 10:14-18

2.     John 10:26-30

3.     John 17:9

4.     Rom 8:28-30

F.    Salvation is a Work of God from Eternity Past

1. 2 Tim 1:9

2. Rom 8:28-30

3. Eph 1:4

4. Rom 9:16ff 

II.  Eternal Insecurity

 

A.  Once Saved Always Saved?

 

Introduction

What happens to people that apparently come to faith or do come to faith and they fall away or there is a lack of evidence of their relationship with the Lord and they go off in a different direction? 

 

How do we respond to that? 

How do we handle that in our own lives? 

What does that mean for our own relationship with the Lord? 

There are those that teach, “once you come to the Lord, it really doesn’t matter what happens or how you live it’s a settled issue and you really don’t have to consider that any longer. 

But as we read the Bible there seems to be a balance, there’s some tension that’s there in the sense that, there are a lot of promises in the Bible that we can hold on to and that I can know that I am saved and I don’t have to worry about or guess about my salvation.  John writes, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13, NASB95).  What things did he write to us in order for us to know that we have eternal life?  All throughout John’s epistle he describes very clearly how one is to “live” if he possess eternal life.   We will get into John’s Epistle a little later. 

However, there are places in the Bible that give some threats and warnings that we need to continue on in the faith.  No where in the Bible does it promise that you come to Jesus Christ and from then on you live any way that you want and your on your way to heaven.   That is not the way the Holy Scriptures read from Genesis to Revelation.  There are both promises and threats.     

Colossians 1:19-23

A.  Paul would go on to say that we need to continue on in the faith.  It is not just a faith as a one-time act and it’s settled for eternity, but there needs to be the continuing in faith, not just the continuing of head knowledge of belief but a steadfastness of that faith (v.23).

1.  Paul is saying this is true of your life if you meet this requirement, which is “continuing in the faith.”

 

     Continue—to stay or remain. To remain in addition, longer, to continue, abide in or at a place.  Metaphorically, to continue in any state or course, to be constant or persevere in. As in the faith (Col. 1:23); in grace (Acts 13:43); in His word (John 8:31); in love (John 15:9); in the things you have learned (2 Tim. 3:14); in what you have heard (1 John 2:24); in sin (Rom. 6:1; 11:22, 23); in one’s duties (1 Tim. 4:16). Followed by a part. (John 8:7; Acts 12:16, “Peter continued knocking”).

2.  As we read in the Scripture there are these promises that God saves us and keeps us and we hold on to & believe in those promises.  Yet at the same time the Scriptures do not say from that point on your automatically saved no matter what you do, no matter what you think, no matter how you act.  Lets look at a number a verses that will touch on this very issue. 

1 John 1:6-7—“If we say…”

A.   Many “say” they are Christians, but yet their life does not back up what they “say” and more importantly their life does not line up with the Scriptures.  "They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him… " (Titus 1:16).  There are many who “say” they have fellowship with God, yet they are walking in darkness.  

     1.    You Cannot Have Fellowship With God & Walk In Darkness.

Some think that God will bend the rules for them.  They think that God allows them to walk in darkness but they can still maintain their fellowship with God. These people are being deceived, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:7-8)

·         What communion has light with darkness (2 Cor.6:14)?

·         God opens our eyes & tells us to turn from darkness (Acts 26:18).

·         A Christian will not walk in darkness (John 8:12) nor abide in darkness (John 12:46) because God has delivered us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13).   

·         The problem is that men “love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil (John 3:19).  But our Lord goes on to say that, “everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed (John 3:20).

·         Whatever kind of lifestyle we practice will manifest who we belong to (1 John 3:3-12)! 

 

     2.    Jesus Warned Against False Professions (Matt. 7:21-23). 

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23)

 

‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see." (Revelation 3:17-18, NASB95)

What Jesus says of me is more important than what I say of myself.  I should be concerned how Jesus views me rather than how I view myself. 


     3.    The Christian Life Is More Talk (James 2:14-26).  If you are calling Him Lord but living in rebellion & disobedience you are on shaky ground!  Saying the right things are not enough. 

a.       1 John 1:6those who say they have fellowship with God yet walk in darkness are liars and the truth is not in them

b.      1 John 2:4; John 3:36those who say they know Him but do not keep His commandments are a liar and the truth is not in them

c.       1 John 2:6those who say they are abiding in Jesus, are to walk as He walked.

d.      1 John 2:9-11; 4:8, 20—those who say they love God and yet hate their brother are liar’s and do not know God

4.  Parable Of The Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32)

a.         The first son said, “I will not,” but later “repented” & went

b.         The second son said, “I go sir,’ but did not obey

c.         God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:29-30)

d.        Jesus said, “unless you repent you will perish” (Luke 13:3, 5)

e.         Many want Jesus but do not want any alteration of their lifestyle (John 3:19-20).

The Poles that have been taken say that, 90% of America are Christians!  If so, then why does Hollywood sell so many filthy movies?  This only shows that there are those who “say” they are Christians, who “say’ they are believers in Jesus Christ, who are actually going to these movies!  Or people who really do not know what it means to be a Christian!

5.  We Must Examine Ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5 cf. Psalm 139:23-24)

a.         Doctrinal Test—I must have the right doctrine (1John 2:22-23)

b.         His Spirit bears witness with my spirit (Rom.8:16)… God leads & directs my life by His Spirit (Romans 8:14)… God leads me in my prayer life by crying out “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15)

c.         Works—Fruit of the Spirit—Lifestyle—Obedience From the Heart

·         God wants us to reflect His Character (1 Peter 1:15-16; Matthew 5:48).

·         Only the Spirit can produce a life of Holiness.  Remember, He is the Holy Spirit who lives within us!

·         Without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14)

Never give anyone a false sense of assurance My job is not to convince someone they are saved The Holy Spirit convicts a person of his or her sin (John 16:8-9).

6.  Four Scriptures I Must Examine Myself On Everyday

a.         1 Corinthians 6:9-10

b.         Galatians 5:19-21

c.         Ephesians 5:5-7

d.        Revelation 21:8

If I am practicing one of these in any of the list I “Will not inherit the Kingdom of God!”  It's not what I say that counts, but what I do.  God does not bend the rules for anyone!

B. How Is It That We Came Into The Faith In The First Place? 

a.       Primarily God draws us by His Spirit (John 6:44)

b.      He used His Word (Rom.10:17; 1 Thess.2:13; 1 Pet.1:23)

c.       His Spirit Convicts (John 16:8-11).

d.      But at some point our will had to say “yes” to the Lord and bow our knee to Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior (John 1:12). 

e.       It took an act of our will that was pressured upon by the conviction of the Spirit of God.  God did not force us to choose Him.  We had to surrender ourselves to Him and make that choice ourselves (John 3:16; 5:24; 12:32; Acts 13:38-39; Rom.10:10-13).  It was a choice that we made and left to ourselves we would have never made that choice; we wouldn’t have sought after God.      

If It Involved Our Will To Get In, It Must Involve Our Will To Stay In. 


Romans 11:16-23

A. Paul Is Dealing With His Chosen People.

1.  Paul is going to deal with a people that were God’s elect, the nation of Israel.  They were a people who were ordained, predestined, and chosen by God, they didn’t choose Him (Duet.7:6-8 cf. John 15:16).  However in Romans 11 of those very same people, God says that they are cut off from the favor and the blessing and the salvation of God.  These were His chosen people but now they are in unbelief and are not in salvation! 

2.  This is right on the heals of Romans 8 which says that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus and that we are the elect of God, and have been chosen as well.  I think Paul is anticipating that question, “If I cant be separated from the love of God, if I have been elected and chosen from the foundation of the world, what about the Nation of Israel?  I think Paul would say there is no automatic forcing of God upon your will that you are going to stay in a relationship with Him.  It is a choice you make.  You need to continue as Paul would say in Colossians 1:23. 

3.  The way Paul describes it in Romans 11 is that the Nation of Israel is a olive tree and in this tree there is life or fatness, which is the blessings of God to Israel.  What happened was Israel walked in disobedience and unbelief and God broke them off and grafted us, the Gentiles, into the blessings that God originally promised to Israel.

Verse 16-17             

A.  Grafted Into The Tree

1.   The firstfruit spoken of can be the original Jewish Christians. Their conversion was something holy and good for the church; all the apostles and most of the human authors of Scripture were Jewish.

2.     Many commentators take the firstfruit here as being the patriarchs.  Abraham, the patriarchs the fathers, the root, from which these people spread. 

3.     As Gentiles, a wild branch, we have been grafted into the tree of the promises, covenants, and blessings of God. By being grafted into Christ, I'm a partaker of God's promises and a beneficiary of all the promises to Israel.

a.   As you go through the Old Testament God chose Israel and He was going to make them a great nation, bless them, and the Messiah was going to come through them, He gave them the Word of God and all that Romans 9 talks about.  They had all of that and walked in unbelief so God broke them off and He took us gentiles and grafted us into promises that were originally made to Israel. 

Verse 18-20

A.  Do Not Boast.

1.   Paul is reminding the Gentile Christians that it is only by God’s grace that they can be grafted into the “tree” of God - the “root” of which is Israel. 

a.   “When an old olive tree had lost its vigor, it seems that one remedy in antiquity was to cut away the failing branches and graft in some wild olive shoots. The result was said to be the invigoration of the failing tree.” (Morris)

b.   In the Talmud, it speaks of Ruth the Moabitess as a “godly shoot” engrafted into Israel. (Cited in Morris)

2.   Do not boast against the branches . . . you do not support the root, but the root supports you: Lest Gentiles think of themselves as superior to Jews, Paul also reminds them that the root supports the branches - not the other way around. 

B.  But Rather “Fear”

1.   Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith: In addition, any Gentile standing in the “tree” of God is there by faith only, not by works or merits.

2.   If Gentiles are unbelieving, they will be “cut off” just as much as unbelieving Israel was.  Those that are now in that place of faith need to fear.  If we could never be broken off, why would Paul say that we need to fear?

There Needs To Be A Fear Of God In Our Lives


A.  The Motivation to Pursuing the Fear of the Lord.

·         The Lord Commands it (Deut.13:4)

·         The Holiness of God (Rev.15:4).

·         The Greatness of God (Deut.10:12, 17).

·         The Goodness of God (1Sam.12:24).

·         The Forgiveness of God (Ps.130:4).

·         The Wondrous Works of God (Joshua 4:23-24).

·         The Judgment of God (Rev.14:7)

B.  The Necessity Of Fearing the Lord.

1.   This Holy Fear Must Be Present Within Us:

a.   To Worship God (Psalm.5:7; 89:7cf. Revelation 14:7 )

b.   To Serve God (Psalm 2:11; Hebrews 12:8)

c.   To Avoid Sin (Exodus 20:20)

d.   To Perfect Holiness in our Life (2 Corinthians 7:1)

2.   We Must Be Careful to Maintain a Full Understanding of All God’s Attributes.

a.   2 Corinthians 5:8-14 a coin that has two sides

·         Knowing that I will stand before Christ and be judged (v.9-10)

·         Knowing the “terror of the Lord” I serve and persuade men.

·         Knowing what Christ has don for me “love of Christ constrains me”

·         1 Peter 1:13-19 – Knowing that we were redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ & what Great length’s the Lord has gone to save me, I cant help but wanting to serve the Lord out of Fear & Love.

b.   Although Most Believers Know Intellectually, What It Means To Fear God, I’m Afraid Very Few Realize What That Means Practically.

3.   Clearly, The “fear of God” Is Not Optional:

“Live in the fear of the Lord always” (Prov. 23:17);

“fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28);

“in all things obey . . . fearing the Lord” (Col. 3:22).

4.   God Has Always Called His People To Have Such A Perspective Of His Holiness:

The fear of God pressed Manoah to expect instant death because he had seen God (Jud. 13:22).

Standing in the presence of God’s holiness, Isaiah pronounced a curse on himself, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!” (Isa. 6:5)

During our Lord’s earthly ministry, the disciples often came face to face with His power and holiness. On one occasion when they were crossing the Sea of Galilee, a storm appeared. Although they were afraid of the storm, they feared greatly (literally “feared a great fear”) when Jesus calmed the storm (Mark 4:41). They became much more fearful of the presence and power of God than they were of the deadly storm.

 

C.  We Must Pursue Holiness In The Fear Of God.

Peter echoed that plea: “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Peter 1:15–16; cf. Lev. 19:2).

“Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).

D.  The Result Of Fearing God

1.   Fearing God Will Lead To the Fear Of Sin (Prov.16:6)

a.   Joseph (Gen.39:1-9; 42:18)

b.   Proverbs 14:16, 26-27; 10:27; Proverbs 19:23; 15:16

2.   Fearing God Will Lead to the Obedience of God.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God… Noah did; according to all that God commanded him… By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household… (Genesis 6:8-9, 22; Hebrews 11:7)

a.   Midwives in Egypt refused to take the lives of Hebrew children (Ex.1:15-21); they obeyed God rather than men (Acts 5:29)

b.   Christians (Acts 9:23-31)

c.   The thief on the cross (Luke 23:32-43 cf. Matt.27:44; Mk.15:32; )

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NKJV)

So again, if we come under the idea that “I’ve received Jesus Christ, and now it really doesn’t matter how I live”, that is the exact pitfall that Israel fell into!  They started worshipping the false gods, living like the people in the land, and at the same time wanted to claim that they were God’s people (remember Luke 16:24-31 “father Abraham”). 

God said to Israel, “no” I am going to break you off and start afresh with a new group of people.  So here is a people that wanted the blessing of God but did not want to live according to God’s word    

A Cathedral In Germany Displays And Engraving Which Says,

 

“Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us:

‘You call me Master and obey me not.  You call me light and see me not.  You call me the way and walk me not.  You call

Me life and don’t live with me.  You call me wise and follow me not.  You Call me fair and love me not.  You call me rich

And ask me not.  You call me eternal and seek me not. 

If I condemn you, blame me not.’”

The Fact That God Shows No Partiality Is Like A Two-Edged Sword: On the one hand God will receive anyone who comes to Him through Jesus Christ, salvation is offered to all.  On the other hand, God shows no partiality in judgment as well, and if He will do that with His elect in the Old Testament, He will do that with His elect in the New Testament. as well. 

Verses 21-22

A.  If God Did Not Spare the Natural He May Not Spare You!

1.   People want to say and use the argument that “these are people who profess to be believers, that really don’t have a genuine faith, and are the ones that go out into the world and the ones that the Scriptures are warning”.  

2.   Yes, I will agree that this “a category of people” that the Bible would warn, but that’s not every person that’s ever experienced some sort of conversion on the outward, experienced a change and the renewing power of God, and then go back into the world, that doesn’t cover everybody. 

3.   All of us have seen people that have definitely been converted, touched by the power of God and changed in a way that only God can do, and for one reason or another have gone back into the world and we cant say, “well they were never believers.”  I believe that’s true of “some” maybe “many” but not all. 

4.   Buy the way he says you will be “broken off” and to be broken off you need to be “joined” to Him in the first place (v.17,19,20). 

 

Broken off—to break out or off as a branch”.  It is used in the Sept. (Lev 1:17) in which the priest tears the sacrificial bird by the wings, and in (Jud 14:6), in which Samson tears the lion apart.  Does this mean that the wings of the bird were never attached in the first place, they only appeared to be?  Or, the lion only appeared to be in one piece before Samson “tore it apart”?

B.  If You Continue.

1.   God cut off the natural branches and grafted in us and our position is one of faith in which we abide: 

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned (John 15.6).

2.   So Paul declares, “if you continue” in His goodness, otherwise you will be cut off. 

a.   I think that it is wrong for man to presume upon the grace of God.  Paul warns over and over again, concerning those who would live after the flesh and follow after the deeds of the flesh.  Paul’s warning is that you will not inherit the kingdom of God.  And as Paul gives a list of the fleshly practices, he said for this cause the wrath of God came upon the children of disobedience.  He is writing to the church.   Warning those of the church not to be living after the flesh.  Not to be governed or to be ruled by your flesh. 

b.   In three different places, 1 Corinthians 6, Ephesians 5 and in Galatians 5, he warns about living after the flesh and doing the works of the flesh.  And in each warning, he said, and we know that those who practice such things, will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. 

3.   So people ask me, do you believe in eternal security?  And I answer by saying, yes.  I believe that I am eternally secure as long as I abide in Jesus Christ.  As long as I walk after Spirit.  And you say, well, what if you don’t?  I don’t even consider that because I have no intention not to do anything else. 

a.   But if I find a person who says, well, sure I’m a Christian.  I went forward at a Harvest crusade.  And yet they are living in adultery.  And they are living after the things of the world.  Believe me, I’ll rattle their cage.  I will take them to the Scriptures, (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15). 

b.   And take them to Galatians and Ephesians and Corinthians.  Show them that those who practice these things will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. 

 

I Do Not Want To Comfort Anyone Into Hell.  To give anyone a false sense of security and comfort.  And when they stand before God at that great white throne, I don’t want anyone turning to me, saying hey, preacher, why didn’t you tell me?  I am going to tell it to you straight, that God requires that we walk after the Spirit, not after the flesh! 

C.  The Danger And Deception Of Sin (Hebrews 3:13)

When sin starts dominating your life, the danger is to think, its O.K that I am living this way because I have received Jesus Christ and this passage doesn’t apply to me, it only applies to those who don’t receive Jesus Christ.  Those are the ones that are not going to inherit the kingdom of God, although I find my lifestyle in this list (1 Cor.6: Eph.5; Gal.5).   

 

As A Pastor/Teacher, Communicating The Grace and Mercy of God

The Bible does say the mercies of God are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and every time you commit an act of sin, when we confess, He is faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9).  However, to receive that truth, it depends on the condition of the persons heart and mind. 

Someone that is trying to walk with the Lord, these truth are confirmed in their heart and they say, “yes, I need God’s mercy, I don’t want to sin, and I hate it when I do, but I am glad that God’s mercy is there for me!” 

The other persons heart is not right with the Lord and says, “Oh, that means that my lifestyle is acceptable to the Lord, and I really don’t have to work on changing and God’s mercy is going to be there over and over.”  This person takes advantage of the mercy of God (Rom.2:4-5; 3:5-8; 6:1,15; Gal.5:13). 

The same message comes into the heart, but people filter it differently through their mind and heart depending upon where they are at with the Lord.   

Ezekiel 18:19-25

This passage brings fear to my heart.  There are those who sit in the church week after week and think they are right with God, because at some point in their life they entered into a relationship with God by faith, and God is keeping them no matter what.  That promise is not in the Bible anywhere. 

I now that if right now I was to die I would be with the Lord, I have no question about it at all.  But I do not know what my heart will be like a year from now (1 Cor.10:12). 

2 Peter 18-22

Verses 18-19

Peter Is Talking About Teachers Who Say There Is Liberty Here.

1.  They are saying, “come to the Lord and you can live any way that you want.”  That is appealing to the flesh!  Come to Jesus and live in any sort of in indulgence of sin that you want.  These teachers are actually bringing these people into bondage. 

2.   Whatever it is that takes control over your life, you become in bondage to it. We are in a sense slaves to Jesus Christ. We’ve accepted Him as our Lord and as our Master. 

3.   We have willingly submitted ourselves to be His slaves. And we’ve discovered, to be a slave of Jesus Christ is much better than to be a slave of Satan or to be a slave even to our own flesh. Because in becoming a slave to Jesus Christ, I become free. This glorious freedom that we have in Jesus that I am no longer forced by my lust to do those things that were destroying me! 

Verse 20   

1.  In Peter’s writing, there is a stress on the word “knowledge.”  This knowledge is speaking of a “knowledge that leads to salvation.”   A proper understanding that will lead you to salvation.  So Peter is talking about people who are saved.  They have escaped the pollution’s of the world, the bondage of sin, but now these teachers who are luring them in are bringing them back into bondage. 

a.   Remember lots with Genesis 19:17,26; Luke 9:62; 17:32-33; Hebrews 10:38; 2Peter 2:18-22; Revelation 22:10-12.

b.   She illustrates the doom of turning back.  She came so close.  She was faithful to her husband, Listening to his spiritual warnings, walking with him through the sinful city (world), and walking toward God's designated safety.

c.   She was able to look back upon her sensual experiences in the world of Sodom.  When she did, she perished with the worldly, by trying to hang on to the delights of the world.  Her physical body walked out of Sodom, but she left her heart back there.

d.    Lots wife was destroyed on the very threshold of deliverance. 

e.     Her heart was so knit together with Sodom and all that it stood for that she was reluctant to leave; in looking back, she came under divine judgment. 

Christ warned, "Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it (Luke 17:33)

 

How Could It Be Worse?

·         Luke 12:42-48 where much is given much is required

·         Matthew 10:15; 11:24 more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah

·         John 8:11 go and sin no more

·         John 5:14 sin no more lest a worse thing happen

John 15:2, 6

A.  Warning Of Judgment To Believers Who Bear No Fruit!  There are the unfruitful branches. They are taken away. Note that these are attached branches.  Jesus said that they are “in me,” but they have a problem: they bear no fruit.

     1.   The unfruitful branches were attached to Christ (v.2). They did have some relationship with Him. There was a time, a point when they began to bud and sprout.  They...

·    listened to Jesus and the gospel.

·    opened their ears.

·    made a profession of faith.

·    were baptized.

·    seemed capable of bearing fruit.

·    were fruitful branches.

     2.   The branches are unfruitful (v.2).  They are “in” the Vine, a part of it, but they simply bear no fruit. What does this mean?  

a.  Unfruitful branches do not relate enough to Christ; they do not draw enough nourishment from Him...

·    to draw life.

·    to bear fruit.

·    to continue in the Vine (Matthew 24:13; Matthew 13:13).

b.  Unfruitful branches become apostate and deserters—men and women who abandon the faith. (1 John 2:19.)

"Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful." (Matthew 13:22, NKJV)

"He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none." (Luke 13:6, NKJV)

"They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work." (Titus 1:16, NKJV)

"Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;" (Hebrews 3:12)

     3.   God “takes away” (airei) the unfruitful branches (v.2). The word means to take away and to remove. In relation to the vine, the branch is pruned, removed, and taken away. This is a severe warning to every branch “in” the vine, to make sure his profession is genuine enough to bear fruit.

     Scripture says at least two things about the judgment of unfruitful branches that sin.

a.  The unfruitful branches that sin are taken away and removed from the Vine and destroyed by fire.

"And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." (Matthew 3:10, NKJV)

"Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”" (Luke 8:18, NKJV)

"but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned." (Hebrews 6:8, NKJV)

b.  The unfruitful branches that sin are chastened and disciplined by being taken away and removed through death ( 1 John 5:16). The Bible warns believers of severe chastening, the chastening of...

·    sinful behavior that causes loss of all reward by fire—a loss so great a man is stripped as much as a burned-out building. It is the loss of all (1 Cor. 3:11-15).

·    sinful behavior that destroys the flesh so that the Spirit may be saved (1 Cor. 5:5).

·    sinful behavior that causes death (1 Cor. 11:29-30; 1 John 5:16).

·    sinful behavior that merits no escape (Hebrews 2:1-3; Hebrews 12:25f).

·    sinful behavior that prohibits man from ever repenting again (Hebrews 6:4f).

·    sinful behavior that causes man to miss God’s rest (Hebrews 4:1f).

·    sinful behavior that prohibits any future sacrifice for sins and merits terrible punishment (Hebrews 10:26f).

    

     The point must be heeded, because Scripture gives severe warnings to believers. The branches must make sure they are bearing fruit or else face severe judgment (1 John 5:16).

B. Judgment To The Unattached Branches (v.4, 6)

     1.     The unattached branch is “out” and off by itself (v.4).  It is not abiding in the Vine and not attached.

     2.   The unattached branch is doomed (v.6).  He is cast forth to wither and to be gathered and cast into the fire and burned.

a.  Cast forth (eblethe exo): to be plucked off and cast out, thrown away, discarded, disposed of. The unattached branch wants and chooses to be unattached, so God lets it. It is given over and given up to be unattached. God abandons it. It is cast off and out of the way and left to itself, to do as it chooses ( Romans 1:24-32).

b. Withered (exeranthe): to be dried up, wrinkled, peeled; to become sapless and bare; to lose energy and strength. The unattached branch experiences everything withering away

c.  Gathered (sunagousin): the day of judgment arrives. In the Greek text, who it is that gathers is not given. The Greek simply says, “they gathered.” This is probably God having His angels gather up all the unattached branches, “all that offend, and them which do iniquity” (cp. Matthew 13:41).

d. Cast into the fire and “burned” (kaietai).

C.  A Believer/Disciple Is One Who Abides In His Word (v.31)

 

1.   True Discipleship Means: abiding in His Word.  Welcoming it, being at home with it & living it so continually that it becomes part of your life, a permanent influence of every area of your life, leading to holiness. 

a. Abiding begins with being students of the Word of God (Matt.4:4; Col.3:16; 2Tim.2:15).

b. Abiding Continues with the obeying of the Word of God (2 John 9; Rev.2:26; James 1:22) prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves (James 4:17; Luke 6:46-48; Ezekiel 33:31).

       2.  The Result of Abiding: Knowing The Truth Shall Make You Free (v.32)

a.   Romans (6:3,6,9,16) we ought to know we have been set free from sin!

IV. Other Passages to Consider

1.     Matt 24:13 

Each teacher will have to have their own responses or notes

a.

b.

c.

2.     John 6:66

a.

b.

3.     2 Thess 2:3

a.

b.

4.     Hebs 12:14

a.

b.

5.     1 Timothy 1:18-20

a.

b.      

6.     Hebs 10:28-29

a.      1 Jn 2:1-

b.     1 Cor 7:14- (sanctified)       One can be sanctified and not saved.

c.

d.

7.     Luke 9:61-62

a.

b.

8.     Hebs 3:12-14

a.

b.

c.

9.     2 Peter 3:17

a.

b.

10. Hebs 10:37-39

a.

b.

11. Rev 3:15-16

a.

b.

12. Gal 5:4

a.

b.

13. James 5:19-20

a.

b.

 

 

 

14. I Jn 5:16

a.

b.

15. Rev 3:5

a.

b.

c.

16. Judas

a.      John 6:64-70

SANCTIFICATION

Introduction

 

This study will take a brief look at the doctrine of sanctification.  We will first look at what the Scriptures say and then address some of the different teachings, which have arisen around this doctrine.

I.      Definition

A.   The Word Sanctification:

1.     The Greek word (hagiasmos, the verb hagiazo) literally means to be set apart.  The same root is found in our English words holy, saint and holiness.

2.     It is used in the Word to refer to both people and things.  It has the basic idea of something which is set apart for God or His use, and is thus free from defilement.

3.     If a person is going to study this doctrine, they must examine all the words which relate to this subject.  The words to be examined are:

a.      Sanctify or Sanctified- used 106 times in the O.T. and 31 times in the N.T.

b.     Holy- Used 400 times in the O.T. and 12 times of the believers in the N.T.

c.      Saint- Used 50 times of the Nation of Israel and 62 times for the believers.

    

 

B.    The Meaning:

 

     Sanctification is a three-fold process as seen in the Scriptures:

1.     Positional: This is the believer’s position or standing before God which was accomplished at the moment of salvation.  The believer is completely set apart unto the Lord and stands in the righteousness of Christ. 

Proof:

a.      The believers are called saints 1 Cor 1:2,2 Cor 1:1,Eph 1:1. (Note: Even the carnal Corinthians were called Saints).

b.     The believers are sanctified through or by:

·their union with Christ (1 Cor 1:2,1:30)

·the blood of Christ (Heb 13:12,9:13-14)

·the body (death) of Christ (1 Cor 1:30,Heb 10:10)

·faith (Acts 26:18)

·the Spirit (2 Th 2:13,1 Peter 1:2)

c.      The believer is said to be sanctified, the verbs indicate past tense or a completed action.  See: Acts 20:32,26:18,1 Cor 1:2,6:11,Eph 4:24, Heb 10:10, Jude 1.

2.     Progressive or Experiential: The believer is also involved in a progressive sanctification which will take place over their entire lifetime.  This relates, not to the believer's position before God, but the ongoing process of being conformed into the likeness of Christ in his daily actions.  Paul Enns writes, "Although the believer's positional sanctification is secure, his experiential sanctification may fluctuate because it relates to his daily life and experience."

Proof:

a.      Some passages speak of the believer being sanctified Heb 10:14,Heb 2:11.

b.     God's will for our life is for us to be sanctified 1 Th 4:3,4,7.

c.      Other passages speak of growing in holiness by:

 

·the Word (Jn 17:17)

·presenting ourselves to the Lord and not to sin (Rom 6:19,22)

·pursuing a godly life (Hebs 12:14,1 Tim 2:15,2 Tim 2:21-22)

·spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18,2 Cor 3:18)

 

c.      This aspect of sanctification can grow and is determined by three things:  1) Our degree of yieldedness,  2) Our degree of maturity and  3) Our degree of our separation from sin.  See the following Scriptures:

Rom 6:13,19-22,12:1-2,2 Cor 6:17,7:1

3.     Ultimate or Future Sanctification: This aspect of sanctification will take place when the believer goes to haven and relates to glorification (1 Jn 3:2, Eph 5:26-27, Rom 8:30, Jude 24-25 and maybe 1 Th 5:23).

Important Note: The Trinity is involved in the work of sanctification:

·The Father Sanctifies (1 Th 5:23)

·The Son Sanctifies (Eph 5:26,Heb 2:11,9:13-14,13:12)

·The Spirit Sanctifies (Rom 15:16,2 Th 2:13,1 Peter 1:2)

 

II.  Quotes

Chafer   "The setting apart which occurs when by the Holy Spirit the one who believes is joined unto Christ and thus comes to be in Christ."

III. Passages

Acts 20:32,26:18 (Positional)

Rom 6:19,22 (Process)

1 Cor 1:30,6:11 (Position)

Eph 4:24 (Positional)

I Th 4:3,4,7 (Process)

2 Th 2:13 (Positional)

1 Tim 2:15 (Process)

Heb 10:10 (Positional)

Heb 12:14 (Process)

1 Peter 1:2 (Positional)

IV. Problems

A.   Justification and Sanctification Confused

1.     Augustine: His theology influenced the Church in the Middle Ages, and he didn't clearly make a distinction between sanctification and justification.  When this happens such problems as legalism, asceticism, moralism and an emphasis on trying to maintain a right relationship with God based on our actions.  Augustine believed in the total corruption of human nature at the fall, thus he viewed sanctification as a supernatural impartation of divine life, a new infused energy, operating exclusively within the Church and through the sacraments.  Berkhof summarizes this view well:

"The soul was lifted to a new level or higher order of being, and is enabled to achieve its heavenly destiny of knowing, possessing and enjoying God.  This grace is.......imparted to the believers by the sacraments.....this sanctifying grace within the soul secures the remission of original sin, imparts a permanent habit of inherent righteousness, and carries within itself the potency of further development, and even of perfection.  The result of this whole process was known as justification and not sanctification; it consisted in making man just before God."

 

 

2.     The Reformers: They taught that there was a distinction between justification and sanctification. (PTL)

3.     The Doctrine of Christian Perfection: The idea is that Christian perfection or entire sanctification can be achieved in this life.  Such groups and people as the Pelagians, Roman Catholics, Arminians, Wesleyans, Quietists, Quakers, Nazarenes, Finney and Ritschl follow this teaching.  They use such passages as:

1 Per 1:16,Matt 5:48,James 1:4 and 1 Jn 3:6,8,9,5:18.

Refutation:

A.   A Faulty Basis of Authority: They base some of their teaching on experience- some claim to not sin or have had some type of experience with God whereby their sin nature was completely eradicated.

B.    A Lack of Understanding of the Meaning of the Word:  It is not enough to look at the word sanctify or sanctification, one must also look at the words related to this concept.

C.    A Misunderstanding of the Meaning of the word Sanctification: The following proves that sanctification does not mean a person is sinless. 

1.     Things, Individuals or Groups of People were sanctified:

a.      God sanctified Israel (Ex 29:44,31:13)

b.     The gold in the Temple was sanctified (Matt 23:17-19)

c.      A financial offering was sanctified (Rom 15:16)

d.     Food can be sanctified by prayer (1 Tim 4:5)

e.      The Priests of the O.T. were sanctified (Lev 21:18)

f.      The utensils used in the Temple and the Temple itself was sanctified (1 Kings 9:3)

g.     The first born cattle and males were sanctified (Ex 13:1-2)

h.     God sanctifies days and times (Gen 2:3,Ex 29:43)

2.     As noted above it can seen that sinlessness is not a part of the meaning, as well as the fact:

a.      God told the people to sanctify themselves (Lev 11:44)

b.     The Word makes reference to: holy priests, Nation, prophets, apostles, men, women, brethren, mountains, and the Temple.

3.     There is no finality in the idea of being sanctified:

a.      The process being sanctified happens over and over again in the O.T.

4.     To be sanctified does not require a sinful past:

a.      God is sanctified or Holy (Lev 21:18)

b.     Jesus was sanctified (Jn 10:36,17:19,Heb 7:26)

5.     The Bible assumes believers will continue to sin:

a.      we are encouraged not to sin 1 Jn 2:1, but if we do, we have an Advocate 2:2,1:9

b.     we deceive ourselves if we think we do not have sin (1 Jn 1:7)

c.      we call God a liar, if we say we do not have sin (1 Jn 1:10)

LAW AND GRACE

“…for you are not under law but under grace.” (Rm. 6:14)

When speaking of the ‘Law’ and ‘grace’, it is important to consider the wide differences that exist between these two principles. What we will look at in this section is 1) what is the Law, 2) what is grace and 3) how they relate to the life of the Christian.

I.  The Law

A.  Definition

-          In speaking of the Law, Charles Hodge says that it is:“…that revelation of the will of God which is designed to bind the conscience and regulate the conduct of men.”

-          The Old Testament purpose of the Law:

·         The Law made sin known (Rom. 7:7, 13; 5:20; 3:20).

·         The Law was a deterrent to not sin (Deut. 30:15-20).

                      Þ In Ex. 19, God entered into a conditional treaty (Mosaic   

          covenant) with Israel. The Law was the constitution of that 

          treaty and was given and accepted in Ex. 20. As long as

          they obeyed the Law, they would be blessed. When they

          disobeyed, they were disciplined and judged.

·         The Law was given as a judgement on sin (Rm. 2:12).

·         The Law also communicated the Holy character of God     (Ps. 119:137).

-          The Law was a designation of ordinances and decrees that were given to Moses by God. These can be categorized into:

·         Civil laws: Which legislated the social responsibilities with their neighbors.

·         Ceremonial laws: Which legislated Israel’s worship life.

·         Moral law: Found principally in the ten commandments, which identified God’s timeless standards of right and wrong.

            ***It is important to note that whenever the Law is referred to, it

            is spoken of as one unit, not three. There is no clear Biblical basis

            for separating it (Jms. 2:10).

-          John Stott says, “By ‘the Law’ is meant the sum total of God’s commandments, and by ‘the works of the Law’ acts done in obedience to it.”

B.  Additional Characteristics Of The Law

-          The Law is:

·         Ex 19:5-6

                 Given to Israel.

·         Rom 3:19

      Showing us that everyone is guilty.

 

·       Rm. 11:5-9

      A snare for the Jews.

                         Þ Stott goes on to say, “The Jews supposed they could  

                         be justified by this same means (the works of the Law)

                             üJohn 5:39

·         Galatians 3:10-12

The Law puts man under a curse.

                         Þ Note: In this verse the word “curse” (kataran) means   

                          to be condemned and doomed to punishment by the

                          righteous judgment of God.

                             üHow do we know this? Galatians 3:13 Christ bore                  

                                the curse of the law for us (the condemnation, doom,

                                death, and punishment due us for having broken the

                                law). The law carries with it a curse. A person either

                                keeps the law or else he is cursed; that is, he is to 

                                stand before the Judge and bear the punishment of a

                                lawbreaker.

           

                        Þ The curse (penalty or punishment) for violating the law          

                         is...üthe mark of death (2 Cor. 3:7).

                               üthe mark of condemnation (2 Cor. 3:9).

                  Þ Why does the law put a curse upon men? There are                

                        two reasons:

1)      The man who approaches God by law is cursed because he does not keep the whole law (Rm. 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12).

2)      God’s chosen way for approaching Him is to “live by faith.” Scripture declares as clearly as it can: no man is justified by the law in the sight of God.

Ø      The law is not of faith  (Galatians 2:16), but any man who attempts to live by the law will be allowed to so live. But the man must realize: he shall be judged by the law        (Gal. 5:3).

·         Gal 3:19-25

       A tutor to lead us to Christ.

-          The Law is not:

·         Rom 3:20

      For justification.

·         Rom 8:2-3

       Able to save.

·         Gal 2:16

       For Justification.

 

II.  Grace

A.  Definition

-          The word ‘grace’ when speaking of salvation can be defined as God’s free and sovereign act of love and mercy in granting salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus, apart from anything men are or can do.

-          When looking at the definition of the term ‘grace’ as used in the Bible, we must consider some distinctions.

·         Louis Sperry Chafer, in his systematic theology, understood ‘grace’ to be separate from ‘mercy’ or ‘love’.

           Þ Eph. 2:4-5 clearly separates the three.

üChafer sees this is important because:

“ If He had been able to save even one soul on the basis of His sovereign mercy alone, He could have saved every person on that basis and the death of Christ would have been rendered unnecessary.”

üChafer goes on to state:

“As for divine love, it is…the motivating purpose back of all that God does in saving a soul. But since God is holy and righteous too and the sinner’s sins are an offense to Him, He might perfectly desire to save a soul and still be utterly helpless to do so in the light of the claims which divine righteousness make against the sinner.”

üChafer points out that because salvation comes by God’s grace through faith in Christ, all works are removed. Only faith in Christ (and His payment of our sin debt on the cross) appropriates this grace that saves.

-          So in conclusion: Salvation is the work of God’s grace alone. It is not of man, not to any degree whatsoever and is a free gift of God.

·         Note that the people for whom Christ died did not deserve His sacrificial love. They were men who were...

                       Þ “without strength” (Romans 5:6).

      Þ “ungodly” (Romans 5:6).

             Þ “sinners” (Romans 5:8).

       Þ “enemies” (Romans 5:10).

            üThis is the grace of God—God’s grace that

                        showered itself upon sinful men who were lost and

                        condemned—God’s grace that gave the greatest

                        gift possible to men—the gift of His Son to save 

                        the world (Rm. 3:24; 2 Cor. 8:9; Eph. 1:7).

 

·         There are at least six reasons why salvation must be a free gift:

      ÞMan cannot make God owe him. Man cannot put God

            in debt for work performed. A man who works puts his

            employer in debt for his services (Romans 4:4). God is

            completely independent. He cannot be put in debt to any

            man. God cannot be made to owe anything or to be

            obligated for anything. God does not save man because

            He is obligated to man or owes man, but because He loves

            and wills to save man.

             

              ÞMan cannot bring perfection to God. God is perfect,

             incorruptible, and permanent. Man and everything about 

             man is imperfect, corruptible, and decaying. Man cannot

             offer and cannot give anything to God that will satisfy His

             perfection. Any offer or gift from an imperfect man to a

             perfect God is ever so short and inadequate. God accepts

             man’s offer of himself not because man merits

             acceptance, but simply because God loves and wills to

             accept man.

              ÞMan cannot make God forgive him. Man is the one

             who has done wrong, offended and hurt God. It is man 

             who has broken off the friendship and relationship with

             God (Romans 3:23; Romans 8:6-8). Therefore, man is the

             one who is to apologize and ask forgiveness, and God is

              the One who is to have mercy and do the forgiving. If

             God chooses to have mercy, it comes from a heart of

             grace, not because man deserves it.

            ÞMan cannot save himself (Ephes. 2:8-9). No matter what

            law or work was chosen to be the channel for salvation,

            there would be some men who could never keep that

            particular law or perform that particular work. If salvation

            were by law and works, man could never be saved. There

            are always many who are totally unable to work and earn

            their way: the deformed, the poor, the sick, the weary, the

            underprivileged, the disadvantaged, the oppressed, and

            many, many others. However, the needy are always before

            God’s keen eyes, and He counts them precious. Therefore,

            He has made provision for salvation by grace and by grace

            alone.

            ÞMan cannot make God love him (Titus 3:4-7). If

            salvation were by law and works, the love of God could

            never be known. God would be forced to save and bless us

            because He owes us, not because He loves us. Our works

            would forever require Him to pay our wages. He would not

            be free to do something for us freely simply because He

            loved us. We would never know what it is to be loved by

            God. We would know only what it is to be paid by God for

            work done.

                       ÞMan cannot set himself free and bring about liberty of

                      conscience. If we were saved by law and works, liberty and

                      freedom of spirit and conscience would never be

                      experienced. We constantly fail and come short. This eats

                      and gnaws away at us. If God does not forgive us simply

                      because He loves us, then what can remove the guilt and

                      aggravation of failure from our hearts? The law? No, for           

                      the law only points out our failure, and once we have failed 

                      we have failed, and the gnawing away of conscience 

                      begins. The only way for the gnawing and guilt of

                      conscience to be removed is for God to forgive us for 

                      failing and to convince us of His forgiveness. This He has

                      done by grace—His grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            

III.  The Law, Grace And The Christian

·         Jn. 1:17; Rom. 8:3-4

      The Law was not the manifestation of the grace of

                  God.

·         Rom 6:14

      No longer under the Law

·         Rom 7:4

      Dead to the Law.

·         Rom 7:6

     We have been delivered from the Law.

·         Rom 10:4

      Christ is the end of the Law.

·         Rom. 11:6

      If works are mixed with grace, it is not grace.

·         Gal 2:21

      Grace nullifies the Law.

·         Gal. 5:18

      If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

·         Jer. 31:31-34

      The Law of God is written in our hearts

·         Jms 2:8

      To fulfill the Law you should ‘love your neighbor as  

      yourself’.

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