Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ - Ch. 10

Chapter 10 - The Christian's Struggle with Sin (Part II)

I. Introduction

A. Last week - Struggle with Sin Part I covered Romans Ch. 6
1. must die to sin
2. allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, draw on His strength to keep us from sin

B. This week - Struggle with Sin Part II covers Romans Ch. 7
1. my opinion...much easier to understand what Paul is saying in Ch. 7 than in Ch. 6
2. scary thought...being able to understand what Paul is saying without reading two or three commentaries!
3. Schaeffer says there has long been a debate as to whom Paul is directing this passage.
4. Schaeffer believes passage directed at both believers and unbelievers.

II. Chapter 7 can be broken out into three sections

A. 7:1-6 An Analogy from Marriage
B. 7:7-13 - The Law and Sin
C. 7:14-25 - The Inner Conflict

III. An Analogy from Marriage - Paul begins using analogy of a woman, marriage, and the Law

A. According to the law - a woman could not remarry as long as her first husband lived or she would be considered an adulteress.
B. However, if her husband died she was free to remarry.
C. Paul says when we accept Christ as savior we 'die to the law through the body of Christ' (v. 4) and the law no longer has a hold over us.
D. Schaeffer - "Two things happened when we accepted Christ as our Savior: We became dead to the law, and we became married to Christ."
E. Our first 'husband', The Law is gone and thus we no longer have to answer to it
F. Our second 'husband' is Christ and we are free to accept His love and His laws.
G. Barclay - "When that happens (accepting Christ), Christian obediance becomes not an externally imposed obediance to some written code of laws but an inner allegiance of the spirit to Jesus Christ...The motive of our lives is not law, but love; and the inspiration of love can make us able to do what the restraint of law was powerless to help us do."
H. Schaeffer reminds us of Jesus' own words - "If you abide in me, you shall bring forth much fruit." As we give ourselves up to Christ we sin less. Christ brings out the best in us if we will only let Him!

IV. The Law and Sin

A. Paul then asks a provocative question, "is the law sin"
B. No! Of course not.
C. Schaeffer says Paul recognizes that the law is good because it shows us how far short of perfection we fall.
D. Schaeffer also says Paul is saying that it is through the law that man comes to realize his guilt and therefore his need of a Savior.
E. Barclay - "The law is devine and has in it the very voice of God. It is just...It is designed for nothing other than our highest welfare."
1. God loves us - He gave us the law because He knows what we need to be happy and fulfilled.
2. If we would but trust wholly in God and follow His word the world would be a much better place.
F. Paul however says that the law is the source of sin. How can this be?
1. It defines sin
2. Forbidden things hold a strange fascination with us. They draw us in like bugs to a light.
G. Paul says sin deceived him. That is so true.
1. We are deluded as to the satisfaction to be derived from sin.
2. We are deluded as to the excuse that can be made for it.
3. We are deluded as to the probability of escaping the consequences of it.

V. The Inner Conflict

A. Paul, like all human beings wants to do what is right but finds he is often unable to do so.
B. The mind is willing but the body is weak.
C. Schaeffer - "Through Christ we have become justified before God. His Word informs, calls, corrects, and encourages us. Yet, in our body, we are still part of a fallen world."
D. Barclay calls this passage a "demonstration of inadequacies"
1. Inadequacy of knowledge - "if to know the right thing was to do it, life would be easy."
2. Inadequacy of human resolution - "to resolve to do a thing is very far from doing it."
3. Limitations of diagnosis - doctors often can accurately diagnose a disease but is powerless to prescribe a cure.

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, July 9, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ - Ch. 9

Chapter 9 - The Christian's Struggle with Sin (Part I)

I. Introduction

A. Last Week - Adam and Christ
B. This Week - Our Struggle with Sin

II. Adam and Christ

A. Adam was a real person
B. Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world by directly disobeying God
C. That is what sin is...disobeying God
D. Also discussed if people 'sinned' between Adam and Moses (i.e., before the Law was given. Learned Barclay and Schaeffer disagree on this point.

III. The Christian's Struggle with Sin

A. Going to focus on key points made by Schaeffer and Barclay
B. Schaeffer and Barclay both make the point that Jesus didn't just die so that we can go to heaven some day but that we might also live a righteous life now until that day comes.
1. 1 Peter 2:24
2. 2 Corinthians 4:10-11
3. Matthew 16:24
C. Key to understanding Christian life is that it is not "some sort of gloomy struggle"
1. Must learn to live in the present as though we were already in the future
2. Primary calling as Christians is found in Matthew 22:37 - "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."
3. To truly love the Lord is to want to follow Him, to do His work.
D. Schaeffer says we must 'die daily'. Die to selfishness, self-centeredness, to self-sufficiency.
E. There has always been a lot of talk in the church about using your God given talents for the Lord's work
1. Schaeffer puts a different spin on this. He says our greatest human talent may not be our greatest usefulness to God.
2. Using that human talent can lead to pride and pride can and will drive a wedge between us and God.
3. All God wants is for us to love Him and be in fellowship with Him.

IV. Short Lesson this week as have the opportunity to hear Jack and Polly's grandson, Ben, tell us of his mission work in Africa.

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, July 2, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ - Ch. 8

Chapter 8 - Dead in Adam, Alive in Christ

I. Introduction

A. Last Week: Justification results in Peace with God
B. This Week: Adam and Christ

II. Peace with God

A. God is at peace with us because we accept His gift
B. We can be at peace with God and ourselves if we...
1. acknowledge and accept that we are sinners
2. ask for forgiveness and accept God's gift of grace
3. Thank God for His gift of grace

III. Adam and Christ

A. Passage this week, Romans 5:12-21, describes our path from ruin to rescue, from one sin to one redeemer
B. Barclay - "No passage of the New Testament has had such an influence on theology as this; and no passage is more difficult for us to understand today."
1. Reading the scripture it's easy to see why he said this.
2. Especially the first half, about Adam and original sin
B. First the path to ruin - Adam and original sin
1. Many do not believe Adam and Eve were real historical figures, rather just an idea or an allegory
2. Schaeffer makes the point that Paul did believe Adam and Eve were real historical people
a. v.12 - "by one man sin entered unto the world..." clearly speaking as Adam was a real person.
b. again in 1 Corinthians 15:22, and again in 1 Timothy 2:13-14
3. Not only did Paul believe it but Christ proclaimed it, see Matthew 19:4-5
4. OK, that begs the question how did one man's sin get passed onto the rest of us?
1. Barclay says passage must be read with two basic Jewish ideas in mind
a. idea of solidarity - Jews don't think of themselves as individuals but as part of a clan, family, or a nation. Thus, as Adam did, they all did.
b. death is the direct consequence of sin. Jews believe if Adam and Eve had not sinned they would have been immortal, i.e. immune to death.
5. Schaeffer and Barclay seem to disagree on one point - did people between Adam and the giving of the Law of Moses sin?
a. Barclay - "the law did not come until the time of Moses. Now, if there is no law, there can be no breaking of the law; that is to say, there can be no sin. Therefore, the men and women who lived between Adam and Moses did in fact commit sinful actions, but they could not be counted sinners, for the law did not yet exist.
b. Schaeffer - "As we saw in 2;1, those who lived from the time of Adam until the giving of the law will not be judged by the Law of Moses, but on the basis of what they knew, apart from the law, about right and wrong...So all come under condemnation, for even before the Law of Moses all were guilty."
C. Passage has two historical acts
1. First we just discussed, Adam and original sin
2. Second, Jesus who came to fix what Adam had ruined
D. Because it has fallen, humanity is far less than God meant it to be
E. Schaeffer speaks a great deal about how we are Christ's children
1. Uses parallel of Jewish law that brother shall take his dead brother's wife as his own and have children with her such that his brother's blood line can continue.
2. Unsaved people are still in the dead blood line of Adam
3. Saved people are children of God because Christ died for us.
4. In light of this how should we live? That is the topic for the Romans Ch. 6-8, which is what we will begin studying next week.

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