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American Gospel Summary Part 1

American Gospel: Christ Crucified  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:52
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Today we want to examine some of the key points and doctrines that were addressed in the film. We want to summarize what is true, and ask, “So what?” If this is true, how should it play out in our lives?
We would like to have some interaction with everyone. If you have thoughts, comments, or questions, please share them with us. For those at home, you can text or call.
As pastors, we are called to...
Guard the gospel
Teach sound doctrine
Protect against wolves

Truth & Scripture

(Mike) The first area of doctrine, or fundamental teaching that was attacked by the progressives was the scriptures. You may remember that the movement began with dialog about the reliability of the scriptures, and our interpretation of them.
This also plays into the concept of truth:
What is truth?
How can we know what is true?
Is Truth Absolute, or Relative?

Truth is Relative

To the progressives, Truth is relative, not absolute (absolute being true for everyone) -
What is true for you is true for you. What is true for me, is true for me. (Except what is true for the fundamentalist)
This makes man the authority of what is true
The argument for relative truth: When speaker says, this is ‘left’ that is ‘right’, to the audience, ‘left and right’ are opposite. So what is true for one is not true for another.
The answer: what is true is that left is left for the speaker, left is left for the audience. If they were to face the same direction, left is left. Truth does not change, and is not relative. It is the same because truth is based upon what is being referenced.
Another argument for relative truth: Truth has changed over time (flat earth, earth revolves around the sun)
The answer: Has the truth changed, or our understanding?
The statement, “Truth is Relative,” is self-contradicting, in that it is an absolute statement
Without Absolute Truth, we could not live. (Driving, Communication, Technology, Mathematics, etc.)

Scripture - Interpretation cannot be known, it is relative

For the progressives, the reader determines what it means for them
The reader is the authority
The reader picks and chooses what they think is right/wrong
The reader decides what it may mean
The meaning/interpretation is subjective to the reader
Though they want to say scripture interpretation is relative, they write books in which they expect us to use normal interpretation to understand what they want to communicate, and not make up our own meanings from what they say.

Truth is Absolute

For us: Truth is absolute.
Truth is what corresponds to the thing being considered. Whatever does not correspond is false.
Truth is true for everyone, everywhere, all the time.
How do we know what is true?
We receive truth from God, Our Creator.
God who designed and made all that exists is the One who knows the truth about all that He made.
God reveals what is true in Creation which we can observe. - Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:18-20
Psalm 19:1–4 NIV
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
Romans 1:18–20 NIV
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
God reveals what is true, specifically, in His Word as He revealed it to His prophets - John 17:17; Psalm 19:7-11
John 17:17 NIV
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Psalm 19:7–11 NIV
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
God revealed truth by coming into this world as Jesus, living among us and teaching us what is true. - Hebrews 11:1-2
Hebrews 11:1–2 NIV
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

Scripture - Interpret the author’s meaning, using normal / literal interpretation

God is the author - 2 Tim 3:16
2 Timothy 3:16 NIV
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
Normal / literal interpretation
When we leave the normal / literal interpretation, we create our own meanings.
We are going down the same road as the progressives

So what? How does Truth and Scripture effect our lives?

If God, our Creator is the source of truth, and has revealed truth
If scripture is where we can find His revealed truth
We should be spending time studying and knowing the scriptures, to know what is true
Read front to back
Study smaller sections
Look up topics for understanding
Evaluate what we are hearing in the world by the standard of God’s word

Sin and Sin-nature

One of the main avenues leading people to progressivism is that they don’t want certain things to be called sin
We have evolved in our understanding
Jesus did not say anything against homosexuality
We don’t think we are that bad, to be punished
People are generally good
There is no offense, we are in god
What is true? What does God say?
God’s standards of right and wrong is unchangeable. (if it changed, then God was lying, or wrong) - Hebrews 6.18; Titus 1.2
Hebrews 6:18 NIV
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.
Titus 1:2 NIV
in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
Hebrews 13:8
Hebrews 13:8 NIV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Matthew 11:23-24, Jesus mentions Sodom going to the day of judgment. He was referencing Capernaum, but the reference to Sodom (being used as the epitomy of evil) is used to show how bad Capernaum was for not accepting Him and His testimony.
Matthew 11:23–24 NIV
And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
Sin in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament - Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Leviticus 18:22 NIV
“ ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
1 Corinthians 6:9–10 NIV
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
People can do good things - Matthew 7:11
Matthew 7:11 NIV
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
We do not live up to God’s standard of Holiness and Righteousness - Romans 3:23 , Rom 3:10
Romans 3:10 NIV
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
Romans 3:23 NIV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
And as evil people, we deserve punishment, which gets to our next topic… but before we move on...
So what?
Knowing that we are all sinful, fallen short of God’s righteous requirements, having a sin nature...
Suspect self first - Get the log out - Matthew 7:2-4
Matthew 7:2–4 NIV
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
Believe God that your heart (desires and feelings) will deceive you - Jeremiah 17:9
Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Recognize the conflict within - Romans 7:21-23
Romans 7:21–23 NIV
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
Remember the real war is between the Spirit and your sin-nature - Gal 5.17
Galatians 5:17 NIV
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Be humble, by the grace of God I am what I am - 1 Cor 15:10
1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Wrath & Punishment -

God is love, not wrath
God wins, so there will not be punishment
We do not deserve punishment
Punishment is unfair
Punishment does not fit the crime
What does God say?
(Keith - you do not want fair)
Much time was spent on this in the film and in the homework each week
though we do not like it for us, punishment is what is deserved as we have rebelled against our Creator, the Holy, Righteous, Just God
Today, we want to consider, “So what?” How does the knowledge of God’s wrath and punishment impact our Christian lives?
We will also face a judgment - 1 Pet 1 17-22
1 Peter 1:17–22 NIV
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
Do not live in fear of wrath, but live in light of it
1 Thessalonians 5:1–6 NIV
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:8–11 NIV
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:14–24 NIV
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

God’s attributes

These are being redefined or rejected by progressives
This was much discussed in the film, and in the homework.
So what?
If God is Holy, how does that effect my life?
If God is patient, how does that effect my life?
If God is wrathful, how does that effect my life?
If God is love, how does that effect my live?
1 Peter 1:15–16 NIV
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Ephesians 5:1–2 NIV
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

God’s work to save men

faith - blind or reasonable
If we are redeemed, are we living as slaves to sin, or as slaves 7
Ephesians 4:17–32 NIV
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

What if you meet someone who is going down this path of progressivism?

Eph 5.5-7
Ephesians 5:5–7 NIV
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
James 5:19–20 NIV
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
2 Tim 2 24-26
2 Timothy 2:24–26 NIV
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Listen, know
Ask questions
If you are dogmatic, they will reject outright truth claims
2 Timothy 4:1–5 NIV
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
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