Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ - Ch. 6

Chapter 6: Justification Before the Cross (Romans 3:31-4:25)

I. Introduction

A. Recap - Ch. 5 - Justification After the Cross
B. Intro. to Ch. 6

II. Recap - Ch. 5 - Justification After the Cross

A. Our sin is incurable because of whom we sinned against...GOD!
B. Because God is a moral God he can't just forgive us and move on, a price must be paid.
C. But because God loves us he sent JESUS to cover our sin.

III. Justification Before the Cross

A. Often wondered about how people came to be 'saved' before Christ died for their sins.
B. Schaeffer in Ch. 6 spells out exactly how that is possible
1. It is our believing God and having faith that He will fulfill His promises is what saves both us now (after Christ) and those before Christ.
2. It is not 'believing in God' that saves us but 'believing God'.

B. Schaeffer first shows how Abraham was declared righteous before God
1. Not because he believed in God, but rather because he believed God would fulfill the specific promise He made to Abraham. God specifically promised Abraham that he would have a son; a son from whom would spring forth a mighty nation, a son from whom would come our Lord and Saviour; the world's Messiah.
2. Abraham exhibited his faith and belief in God's specific promise throughout his life.
a. Even though he and Sarah were not physically capable of producing a child, he continued to believe.
b. Even though God told him to offer his son as a sacrifice, he continued to believe God's promise; from him would grow a great and mighty nation.

C. Schaeffer then shows how Moses understood about faith
1. "Moses himself, the giver of the law, also understood that salvation is by grace through faith."
2. Schaeffer points out that Paul quotes Moses in Deuteronomy 30:14. Life comes to those who believe God, keep His commandments.
3. Moses in Exodus gives people the ten commandments and knowing they can't possibly keep them he commands them to build an alter, an alter of unhewn stone, upon which they would make blood sacrifices. The covenant between God and His people was sealed by the shedding of blood.

D. Schaeffer then shows how David understood about faith
1. Bible makes clear that David understood the plan of salvation
a. Peter on the day of Pentecost explains that David understood (read Acts 2:25-33)
b. David understood the basis of faith was the death and resurrection of the coming Messiah.

E. In Ch. 6 Schaeffer also explains need for salvation.
1. Before the fall (Adam and Eve) no need for salvation. They were without sin and thus were righteous because of their 'works' i.e. their belief in and following of God's 'law'
2. Immediately after the fall, God, because He loves us, gave us the covenent of grace.
a. differences in how God dealt with us before and after the cross but the covenant was the same.
b. Covenant of grace is based a covenant of works perfectly kept by Christ.
c. Schaeffer explains people on both sides of the cross are saved on the same basis: Christ's finished work on the cross.
d. Common element before and after the cross is BELIEVING GOD.
e. BELIEVING GOD will deliver on His promises is the ultimate meaning of faith.

F. Salvation

1. Only comes to those who FIRST recognize they are sinners and are in need of a Saviour.
2. Then recognizing and believing God's promise that Jesus' shed blood is the only way to cover the penalty for those sins.
3. Many so called Christians may be sorely disappointed at Christ's second coming.
a. Can't just say I believe in Jesus and God and show up in church on Sunday
b. Must genuinely believe they have sinned and need Jesus' shed blood to cover that sin.

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

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