Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ - Ch. 4 & 5

All, going out on a limb today. Chapter 4 is relatively short so I'm going to prepare for and hopefully get through both chapter 4 AND chapter 5 tomorrow.

I. Introduction

A. Recap of chapter 3
B. Chapter 4 - The Whole World Guilty
C. Chapter 5 - Justification After the Cross

II. Recap of Chapter 3 - The Person with the Bible - Guilty

A. Thank-you Charlie for leading us through chapter 3
B. Bottom line - person with the law just as guilty as person without the law
C. Jews in Paul's time, Christians of today both are guilty of breaking the law
D. Leads us into first half of lesson today - conclusion of Paul's almost three full chapters of why we are guilty.

III. Chapter 4 - The Whole World Guilty

A. Paul reminds us that we're all EQUALLY guilty
1. Schaeffer says he was often asked "do you mean a member of the Christian church is just as guilty as a Communist?"
2. Let's update that by 40-50 years - "do you mean a member of the Christian church is just as guilty as a Muslim jihadist, a terrorist?"
3. Either way the answer is an undeniable YES!

B. All are Sinners - none are righteous
1. Paul quotes old testament - several passages from Psalms and Isaiah
2. Read Isaiah 53:6
3. Moral corruption is the result of individual immoral desires

C. Paul's indictment (ch 3:13-18)
1. Shows just how bad we are!
2. Barclay references C.J. Vaughn who said this indictment pointed out three types of short-comings (sin)
a. Character flaws - ignorance, indifference, crookedness, and unprofitableness
b. Tongue - destructive, deceiptful
c. Conduct - oppression, injury, and greed

D. Schaeffer then destroys arguement of existentialists
1. Existentialists believe man is pathetic, hopelessly damned.
2. Schaeffer points out man is not pathetic, he's a rebel. Man chooses between right and wrong.
3. We must accept responsibility for who and what we are.

IV. Chapter 5 - Justification After the Cross

A. Our sin in incurable because of whom we have sinned against.
1. Sinned against a holy God.
2. This chapter, for me, paints the whole picture of who we are, who God is, and why we need Jesus!
3. God is infinitely holy.
4. Just one sin and we stand before him condemmed.
5. People need salvation because they are totally under the wrath of a holy God.

B. God can't just forgive our sins, for every wrong a price must be paid
1. There is a moral absolute, right vs. wrong
2. God can't just wink and say it's OK, because that would not be moral.

C. God understood this and provided the answer - JESUS!
1. Paul, in ch. 3:21-30 explains how we can claim that salvation
2. Can't earn it!
3. Can't just 'believe in God'

D. Justification
1. Comes only from God declaring that the price of our guilt has been paid by the finished work of Jesus, the Christ.
2. However, not all are justified.
3. Only those who come to believe and accept can be justified.
4. Christ's death doesn't cover all sin, only sins of those who believe

E. God's Love
1. Lot's of people can't understand how God can be a loving God but still condemn us for our sin, show wrath to unbelievers.
2. Once again Schaeffer explains it in a way we can understand
a. Because we live in a moral universe, God can't forgive sin
b. But he can provide a way to cover our sins. JESUS.
3. God sent Jesus to pay the price and cover the sins of all who come to believe
4. John 3:16
5. It is because Jesus was perfect (without sin) that this is possible

F. Conclusion - Two Factors in Salvation
1. Basis
a. The Finished Work of Jesus
b. Basis of our Salvation is His death on the cross
2. Instrument
a. Our Faith
b. Faith that accepts the gift of salvation, God's grace.
c. Works of faith will not save us.

G. Next Week - Chapter 6, Justification Before the Cross

1. The Finished Work of Christ, 1998, Francis Schaeffer, Good News Pubishers, Wheaton, IL
2. The New Daily Study Bible - The Letter to the Romans, 1955, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Louisville, KY

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ - Ch. 2

Chapter 2 - The Person Without the Bible: Guilty

I. Introduction

A. Review last week - Romans 1:1-17
B. This week - Romans 1:18-2:16
C. Where Paul is going

1. Gentiles Need for Salvation
2. Jews Need for Salvation
3. All Humanities Need for Salvation
4. How to Attain It

II. Last Week - Romans 1:1-17

A. Introduction - desire to come meet them, desire to share the gospel with them
B. Theme - the power of the gospel (re-read 1:16-17)

III. This Week - Romans 1:18-2:16 (Gentiles Need for Salvation)

A. Impossible to get through this lesson in 45 minutes going verse by verse. Thus, will try to cover it all but in themes or groupings of thought.

B. Why Do I Need Salvation?

1. Because You Are Under the Wrath of God
2. Why Am I Under the Wrath of God
3. Because You are Guilty
4. Guilty of What
5. Guilty of Knowing Right from Wrong and Choosing Wrong
6. Guilty of Knowing God and Turning Away

C. Guilty of Knowing Right from Wrong and Choosing Wrong

1. Everyone has a conscience
2. God gave us the ability to discern right from wrong
3. You are not a machine, or an animal

D. Guilty of Knowing God and Turning Away

1. God is the Creator
2. We live in His creation
3. All we have to do is look around and we can not fail to see the work of His hand
4. He created that our every need may be satisfied.
a. We need water to survive...God created rain
b. We need food...God gave us dominion over all the plants and animals in His creation
c. We need Salvation...God gave us His only Son, Jesus
5. Our biggest sin is our vanity
a. "It is the vanity of the creature not willing to be the creature, but wanting rather to be the creator at the center of the universe."
b. We think we know best, so we turn away from God
c. We want the world to revolve around us, instead of us putting God at the center of His world and our lives

E. When We Turn Away from the Creator We Replace Him with the Created
1. "Having been made in the image of God (Gen 1:26) men and women rebel and wanting to be the center of the universe, they deliberately reverse the process and make God in their image!"
2. God's response is to give us up to our "lusts of the heart and impurities"
3. God has given us free-will but we must accept the consequences of our actions
a. This comes in two forms - the immediate result of violating God's natural laws, and
b. The future judgement

F. The Righteous Judgement of God
1. God shows no partiality
a. God will judge both the Jew and the Gentile
b. Those who had access to His Word and those who didn't
c. "Each human being has a moral imperative within. Each human being 'knows the judgement of God' (1:32). "As soon as a child feels the pang of conscience, struggles against it, and sins, he has acknowledged that there is a meaningful moral law in the universe." God's law!
d. All people stand before God condemmend by what they do know - those without God's word are condemmned on the basis of their moral judgement of others.
e. Those with God's word stand condemmned on the basis of not following it.

G. Jesus is not only our Saviour, He is also our Judge
1. On judgement day we will stand before Jesus and be judged
2. All will be judged guilty
3. Those who accepted God's grace freely given through His Son Jesus, the Christ will be forgiven
4. Those who did not are lost.
5. John 14:6

1. The Finished Work of Christ, 1998, Francis Schaeffer, Good News Pubishers, Wheaton, IL
2. The New Daily Study Bible - The Letter to the Romans, 1955, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Louisville, KY

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ - Ch. 1

The Finished Work of Christ - Chapter 1 - Introduction and Theme

Fellow Journeyers,

We are embarking on a new and exciting study of Romans Chapters 1-8. Our primary study guide will be The Finished Work of Christ by Francis Schaeffer. I will supplement this with occasional thoughts from William Barclay and his commentary on Romans.

Let's jump right in...

I. Introduction

A. Introduction to The Finished Work of Christ
B. Chapter 1 - Introduction and Theme

II. Introduction to The Finished Work of Christ

A. Book, while published in 1998, is actually the result of some of the earliest systematic studies by Dr. Schaeffer.
B. Book derived from tapes recording a bible study led by Dr. Schaeffer in the 1960s in Lausanne, Switzerland.
C. Book covers first eight chapters of Romans. This is a sermon by Paul covering his most basic and fundamental beliefs. Barclay classifies the first eight chapters as 'dealing with the problem of righteousness'.
D. Dr. Schaeffer's book will walk us through these first eight chapters verse by verse.
E. A little introduction to the book of Romans
1. Believed to have been written by Paul around 58 AD as he was wrapping up his stay in Corinth and preparing for his trip to Jerusalem.
2. Letter was written to a congregation he had never met. Thus, no personal callout greetings, no references to specific problems that congregation was experiencing.
3. Letter served as an introduction of who Paul was and what he believed.
a. He wanted to eventually visit the church at Rome
b. Wanted them to be well grounded on the principles of their faith in Jesus

III. Chapter 1 - Introduction and Theme

A. Covers first 17 verses of chapter 1 in Romans

B. Romans 1:1 - Paul identifies himself as "servant" or "slave" of Christ
1. Schaeffer points out Paul is not a slave to Christ because he has to be but because he wants to be. He wants to be because of what Christ has done for him.
2. Schaeffer says we too must adopt this attitude if we are fruitful in the things of God.
3. As Christ's servant Paul is "separated unto the Gospel"
1. Schaeffer says this is separation from and separation to, "Many things can keep us away from God, and it is not possilbe to be separated to God unless we are separated from such things.
2. Hmmm...reminds me of the saying "being in the world but not of the world"

C. Romans 1:2 - "promised afore by his prophets"
1. Schaeffer says despite this verse being parenthetical it is a very important verse.
2. It emphasizes the continuity of the Old Testament and the New Testament
a. Schaeffer points out that God had a plan for our salvation immediately after the Fall in the Garden of Eden. He promised the Messiah.
b. Read Genesis 3:15

D. Romans 1:3-4 - "made of the seed of David..."
1. Paul declares both human and divine side of Christ
a. Human - made of the seed of David (both Mary and Joseph)
b. Divine - having been resurrected from the dead shows Christ's divinity
2. "according to the spirit of holiness"
a. Paul is referring to Christ's relationship with the Holy Spirit

E. Romans 1:5-6 - "By whom we have received grace and apostleship..."
1. "among all nations" - all who believe, Jews and Gentiles alike, can receive God's grace
2. Including the people of Rome

F. Romans 1:7 - "called Saints"
1. Schaeffer says, "As soon as we accept Christ as our Savior we are saints in God's sight.
a. Based on Christ's passive obedience - taking the punishment (death) for our sins
b. Also based on His active obedience - of keeping the law for us while he was among on earth.
2. When we accept Christ as our saviour, because Christ was without sin, we put on the righteousness of Christ. In God's eyes' we are without sin.
3. Christ has taken your guilt and you are clothed in His perfection.

G. Romans 1:7b-8 - "thank God for you"
1. He has heard of the faithfulness of the Christians in Rome and gives thanks to God for them.

H. Romans 1:9-10 - "make mention of you always in my prayers"
1. thanks God for them
2. prays on their behalf
3. prays that he might be able to visit them

I. Romans 1:11-12 - "may impart unto you some spiritual gift"

J. Romans 1:13a - Wants to bless them more "but was let hitherto..."
1. "let" means hindered.
2. Wants to come visit them but thus far has been hindered from doing so.

K. Romans 1:14 - "debtor both to Greeks and Barbarians, both to the wise and unwise"
1. Rather than feeling he is doing something special for them by telling them of the Gospel, he feels indebted to preach the Gospel to everyone.

L. Romans 1:15 - "ready to preach the Gospel to you..."
1. Ready and excited to come to Rome to teach them, regardless of the cost (his life)

M. Romans 1:16-17 - "the Gospel of the power of God unto salvation..."
1. Schaeffer states key to understanding first 8 chapters of Romans can be found in v. 16-17
2. Barclay echos this sentiment by saying, "There are only two verses here, but they contain so much of the very essence of Paul's gospel..."
3. When we accept Christ as our Saviour we are justified, our guilt is gone
4. Schaeffer says, "...God declares that are guilt is gone on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ"
5. Goes on to say our salvation is much wider than just justification. Three tenses:
a. Past - past act of salvation for the Christian, which is justification
b. Present - santification
c. Future - glorification
6. Salvation to everyone (Jew and Gentile alike) who believes
7. Just shall live by faith - we are to live by faith now.

1. The Finished Work of Christ, 1998, Francis Schaeffer, Good News Pubishers, Wheaton, IL
2. The New Daily Study Bible - The Letter to the Romans, 1955, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Louisville, KY