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Systematic Theology

Overview of systematic theology for DCBC Sunday School
by

David Tang

on 25 September 2013

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Transcript of Systematic Theology

Dallas Chinese Bible Church
Sunday School
David Tang

Based on
Systematic Theology
by Wayne Grudem

Systematic Theology 101
Introduction
Theology Proper
Conclusion
Prolegomena
The great commandment
The great commission
Westminster catechism
To know him and to make him known

Christology
Pneumatology
Anthropology
Soteriology
Ecclesiology
Eschatology
What Evangelical Christians all agree on
Visible, bodily return of Christ (Acts 1:11)
We don't know when he will return (Mt 24:44)
Final judgment and hell
New Heaven and New Earth
We all long for Jesus to return (Rev 22:20)
We disagree on the details...(secondary doctrines)
Time of Rapture (pre, mid, post tribulation)
What exactly is hell? (eternal punishment vs. annihilism)
Millennium - literal? figurative?
References
Who Needs Theology
by Stanley Grenz
Systematic Theology
by Wayne Grudem
Bible Doctrine
by Wayne Grudem
Christian Theology
by Millard Erickson
Early Christian Creeds
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried;
He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead;

I believe in the Holy Ghost;

I believe
in the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.
Amen.
The Bible
- We believe that the original autographs of Scripture, composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments,
is verbally inspired of God
in all its parts. Further, we believe Scripture is inerrant, and it is the supreme and final authority for faith and practice.
The Triune God
- We believe in the Triune God, who eternally exists in three Persons-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, and He created all things and accomplished the work of salvation.

We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of Virgin Mary, and was sinless all through His life. He was crucified on the cross for the sins of mankind and bodily resurrected on the third day. He ascended to heaven, presently sits at the righthand of God the Father, supplicating on behalf of all believers, and will one day return bodily to earth in glory.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, who convicts the world of sin. He indwells all believers, unites them with the Lord, and empowers them to live a victorious Christian life.
The Origin and Fall of Man
- We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God and was not evolved from any lower form of life. Through Adam's fall, sin entered the world, and thus the human race inherited from him a sinful nature. Sin alienates man from God and subjects us to His divine wrath and judgment.
We believe in
Jesus Christ
, the only begotten Son of the Father, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of Virgin Mary, and was sinless all through His life. He was crucified on the cross for the sins of mankind and bodily resurrected on the third day. He ascended to heaven, presently sits at the righthand of God the Father, supplicating on behalf of all believers, and will one day return bodily to earth in glory.
We believe in the
Holy Spirit
, the Third Person of the Godhead, who convicts the world of sin. He indwells all believers, unites them with the Lord, and empowers them to live a victorious Christian life.
The Way of
Redemption
- We believe that redemption is purely by the grace of God.  It is received by personal faith through repentance in the Lord Jesus, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. Apart from Christ, there is no other possible way to salvation. We also believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power, forever secured in Christ.
T
otal Depravity
U
nconditional Election
L
imited Atonement
I
rresistible Grace
P
erseverance of the Saints
The Church
- We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the head of the Church, which is manifested in local churches of born-again believers called out together by the grace of God, bonded by His life, and organized under the teaching of the Scriptures for worship and fellowship.
The
Second Coming
of Christ -- We believe in the imminent rapture of believers, the
blessed hope of the Church
. We also believe that after the rapture, the earth will enter into the seven-year Tribulation period. At the end, the Lord will return with His saints to earth to establish His millennial Kingdom.

At the end of the millennial rule, Satan, together with all unbelievers, will be condemned eternally, and all believers will enter into the eternal Kingdom to be with God forever.
Apostle's Creed
3rd - 4th century
200 A.D.
300 A.D.
400 A.D.
Nicene Creed
325 A.D.
Constantinople Creed
381 A.D.
Chalcedonian Creed
451 A.D.
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the
only-begotten
Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of
one substance
with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Doctrine of God
Doctrine of Scriptures
Doctrine of Man
Doctrine of Christ
Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Doctrine of Salvation
Doctrine of the Church
Doctrine of the Last Things
Head Knowledge
Heart Transformation
Spiritual Formation
Life Change
What is the end of theology?
Not merely knowledge
about
God
But that we might know God
And to relate to Him rightly
So the end of theology is...
DOXOLOGY!!
Theology?
What?
Why?
How?
Goal?
Definitions:

Theology
- (n.) the study or science of God, his attributes, and his relationship to the universe.

Systematic Theology
-

Any study that answers the question, "What does the whole Bible teach us today?" about any given topic. (Grudem, p. 21)

It is an approach to theological studies that draws on the
ENTIRE
Bible.
Example: Angels
What does the Bible Say?
Look up all references to angels
Genesis 3:24

Hebrews 1:6, 14; 2:2, 5; etc.


Synthesize what we find...
origin of angels
function of angels
good / bad angels
can angels be saved?
etc.
Different "Theologies"

Historical
Theology - theological development in history

Old Testament
Theology

- what does the OT teach?

New Testament
Theology - what does the NT teach?

Biblical
Theology - gives special attention to the teachings of individual authors and sections of Scripture, and to the place of each teaching in the historical development of Scripture.
How should we study systematic theology?
Prayerfully
Humbly
Reasonably
Communally
Biblically
Joyfully
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
~A.W. Tozer

Theology is part of discipleship / obedience
"teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." - Mt. 28:20a
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness..." - 2 Tim. 3:16

Proper study of systematic theology can
correct wrong conceptions / beliefs
make better decisions later on new questions
help us to grow as Christians
Syllabus
For those who are taking the class "for credit"

Assignments (choose 2 out of 4)
Additional Reading (150 pages)
Scripture memory (20 verses)
Study a particular topic on your own
Examine various positions on a particular issue

Final Exam
30-50 questions (don't worry!)
Types of Revelation
General Revelation (Rom 1:20)
Special Revelation = "Word of God"
Jesus Christ (John 1:1, Heb 1:1)
God's Speeches
His decrees (Gen 1)
His personal address (Gen 3:16-19)
through human lips (Deut 18:18-20)
through written form (Deut 31:9ff)
Systematic theology deals with the recorded / written word of God
Canonicity of Scripture
Canon = list of books that belong ("rule")

Old Testament
God wanted his words preserved - started by the time of Moses! (Dt. 10:5)
steadily through Israel's history
final collection by Ezra's time
canon closed after 435 B.C.
apocrypha was never accepted by the Jewish religious leaders as Scripture
Canonicity of Scripture
New Testament
Written by apostles or people closely associated with apostles - apostolic authority
Apostolic understanding (2 Pet 3:15-16; 1 Tim 5:17-18)
Collection (also copying and distribution) by the early church as they recognized "God-breathed" texts
Earliest final list in A.D. 397 at the Council of Carthage
Inspiration of Scripture
2 Tim 3:16 - "For all Scripture is God-breathed"

"theopneustos"

This has consequences to all other doctrines about the Scriptures...
Canonicity
Authority
Inerrancy
Clarity
Sufficiency
Characteristics of Scripture
Authority

all words in Scripture are God's words - God-breathed (p. 73)
because of that, Scripture has authority
obedience to Scripture = obedience to God
Scripture is truth and is also the standard for truth
final authority in our lives
2 Tim 3:16*; 1 Jn 2:5; 2 Sam 7:28; 1 Cor 14:37
Characteristics of Scripture
Clarity
The Bible is written so that its teachings are able to be understood by all who truly seek God (p. 108)
doesn't mean there won't be disagreements or misunderstandings
cf. Ps 119:130; 1 Cor 2:14; 2 Cor 1:13*

Necessity
the Bible is necessary for knowing specific revelation concerning God, His will, gospel and maintaining our spiritual life (p. 116)
but not necessary for God's existence to be known, part of his character, and moral laws
cf. Rom 10:13-17
Characteristics of Scripture
Sufficiency
Scripture contained all the words of God he intended his people to have at each stage of redemptive history...(p. 127)
So what is in the Bible is enough for us to know salvation, trust in God, and to obey him perfectly
cf. 2 Tim 3:15; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23*;
Canonicity of Scripture
"...are there any books in our present canon that should not be there? No. We can rest our confidence in this fact in the faithfulness of God our Father, who would not lead all his people for nearly two thousand years to trust as his Word something that is not...

But are there any missing books, books that should have been included in Scripture but were not? The answer must be no...Once again, God's faithfulness to his people convinces us that there is nothing missing from Scripture that God thinks we need to know for obeying him and trusting him fully."
(Grudem, p. 68-69)
Inerrancy
everything the original manuscripts
(autographs)
of the Bible affirms is TRUE (Grudem, p. 91)
limitations
everyday human language (e.g., sunset, exact accuracy in big numbers)
doesn't contain every truth possible
not grammatically perfect
Characteristics of Scripture
God
Attributes of God
Knowability of God
Existence of God
Incommunicable vs. Communicable
has to do with degree of the attribute being communicable
communicable attributes are not completely communicable!
incommunicable attributes are not completely incommunicable!!

God's names in the Bible give us a clue in regard to His attributes
God is Triune
3 Statements
God is 3 persons
Each person is fully God
There is one God
Errors in Trinitarianism
Modalism / modalistic monarchianism
Arianism (also subordinationism / adoptionism)
Tritheism
Personal Applications
What is the best way to convince someone that God exists?
If someone sees the way you live, would they be able to see God's communicable attributes reflected in you?
How can you grow to become more Christ-like in your life?
How is knowing the fact that God is triune important to you? What difference does it make in your life?
Are these good illustrations?
Discuss the following three illustrations for the Trinity:
Three-leaf clover
Water, ice, steam
Father, son, husband

Why or why not?

Lesson: beware of oversimplifying things!
Humanity's Inner Sense of God
Eccl 3:11; Rom 1:18-32; Ps 14:1;

Evidence of Scripture and Nature
Ps 19:1-2 (& many others!)

Everyone is looking at the same evidence, but there are different conclusions.

Traditional "Proofs" for God's existence
Traditional "Proofs" or Arguments
Cosmological Argument
the argument of cause and effect
we are here, and we aren't our own cause!
Teleological Argument
subcategory of the cosmological argument
design implies purpose (end = teleos)
Ontological Argument
existence is greater than non-existence (Anselm)
if God is the greatest being, then he must exist (argument of "being")
Moral Argument
man's sense of right and wrong must come from somewhere...cf. C.S. Lewis in
Mere Christianity
The necessity of revelation
Mt 11:27; Acts 17:23
We can't
fully
understand God
Ps 139:6; Ps 145:3; Isa 55:8-9
our understanding is and will always be limited
We can
truly
know God
Ps 46:10; Jer 9:23-24; John 17:3
what God has revealed to us can be trusted as true knowledge of God himself
Incommunicable Attributes
Independence
(Job 41:11; Acts 17:24-25)
God does not need us...
also known as "aseity"
Unchangeableness
(Ps 102:25-27; Jas 1:17)
God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises...
open theism? process theology?
Eternity
(Gen 1:1; Ps 90:2; Isa 46:9-10; John 8:58)
God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being (outside of time)
Three "Omni"s
(Ps 139)
Omniscience (Ps 139:1-4)
Omnipresence (Ps 139:7-12)
Omnipotence (Ps 139:13-16)
Communicable Attributes
Why do we share God's characteristics?
Mental Attributes
knowledge (all things actual AND possible), wisdom, truthfulness/faithfulness
Moral attributes
good, love, mercy, grace, patience, holiness, peace, righteousness, justice, jealousy, wrath
Attributes of purpose
will, freedom, omnipotence, power, sovereignty
Summary: perfect, blessedness, beauty, glory
Father
Son
Spirit
Creation of Man
Anthropic Principle

Key Passage: Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7
How?
Why? For what purpose?
Unique to humanity:
Image of God
Reflection (moral, mental, spiritual, etc.)
Representation (sovereignty)

Westminster Catechism
Question #1: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever (Ps 16:5-11; Isa 12:2, 47:3, 60:21; Eph 1:11-12; Rev 4:11, 21:3-4; etc.)
Sin and the Fall of Man
Essence and Nature of Man
Man as male and female
Gen 1:27 - "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
What is the difference in essence with respect to male and female? Or is it roles in relationship?
Implications on marriage...?
Marriage as a relationship that reflects the trinitarian God

Man: Monism, dichotomy, trichotomy
Monism (one) - body and soul are not separable (non-evangelical)
Dichotomy (two) - body, soul/spirit (material/immaterial)
Trichotomy (three) - body, soul, spirit (1 Thess 5:23;
Body - physical part
Soul - will, intellect, emotions (living for every being)
Spirit - higher faculty that is made alive only when one becomes a Christian (at "regeneration")
Sin
= any failure to conform to thet moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.
Sinful acts = Ex 20
Sinful attitudes = Mt 5:22, 28
Sinful nature = Eph 2:3

Fall of Man (Origin of Sin)
Gen 3 - the role of pride?
What is true?
What is right?
Who am I?
Covenants between God and Man
What is a covenant?
an unchangeable,
divinely imposed
legal agreement between God and man that stipulates the conditions of their relationship

Clarifications
unchangeable, but can be superseded
divinely imposed - not negotiable by man; terms set by the sovereign party (diatheke)
agreement - man can accept or reject it
Reflection & Application
A note on apologetics...
Can we "scientifically prove" God's existence?
What about God's non-existence?

Where does the burden of proof lie?
with the theist?
or the atheist?
Features of a Covenant
Covenants mentioned in the Bible
Adamic (Gen 1:26-30, 2:1-15; cf. Hos 6:7)
Noahic (Gen 9:8-17)
Abrahamic (Gen 15:1-21; 17:1-27)
Mosaic (Ex 19-24)
Davidic (2 Sam 7)
New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34)

Elements of a Covenant
Parties - God, man, and most of the time - a mediator!
Conditions - faith + obedience (that stems from faith)
Promises - blessings
Enactment - sacrifice
Signs - circumcision, baptism, communion
God's image tarnished in us, but not erased!

Other results of the original sin have received...
Inherited guilt = imputed sin (Rom 5:18-19)
Inherited corruption = sinful nature (Ps 51:1-4)
Experience of actual sin (Ps 14:3; Eph 2:1-2)
brokenness in vertical AND horizontal relationships (cf. God, Adam, Eve)

How do we view humanity post the fall?
Pelagius vs. Augustine
Bondage of the will (Luther)
Impact of the Fall / Original Sin
How does our culture tend to see humanity and human dignity?
How should we see people in light of creation, fall, redemption, and the lingering flesh?
How does knowing our creation impact the way we relate to others (specifically, our spouse if we are married)?
How do we see ourselves? Where do we derive our significance? It is not in what we do, but in who we are (image bearers)
Do we see our purpose as to glorify God and enjoy him forever?
The Person of Jesus Christ
Christological Errors / Heresies
Offices of Jesus Christ
Jesus occupies three major offices as foretold in the Old Testament Scripture...

Prophet
(Deut 18) - Jn 6:14, Acts 3:22-24
But Jesus is really the one whom the prophets foretold as the coming Messiah
Priest
(Ps 110) - Heb 4:14-16, also ch 7-8
Jesus offered the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice
Jesus brings us nearer to God continuously
Jesus continues to intercede for us before God
King
(2 Sam 7) - Matt 2:2, Jn 18:36, Lk 19:38
Jesus has a kingdom, but it's not the same kingdom as the Jewish people thought it would be
Jesus would ultimately reign forever (Rev 19:16)
The Work of Jesus: Atonement
Definition:
Atonement is the work Christ did in his life and death to earn our salvation.

The Cause of Atonement
God's love (John 3:16; Romans 5:8)
God's justice (Romans 3:25-36)

The Necessity of Atonement
God does not have to save anybody in order to be just (Romans 6:23; 2 Pet 2:4)
But since God chose to save humanity, atonement is necessary

(Mt 26:39; Lk 24:25-26; Heb 9:25-26)
Typically, 3 ways to err
deny the humanity of Jesus
deny the deity of Jesus
deny the unity of two natures in Jesus
Heresies in Christian History
Ebionism
- denied divine nature of Christ
Docetism
- denied the incarnation and humanity of Christ (later variant:
Gnosticism
)
Arianism
- denied the full deity of Christ
Apollinarianism
- denied full humanity of Christ (divine nature in human body - no human spirit at all)
Nestorianism
- denied the union of two natures in one single person
Eutychianism
(Monophysitism) - denied two distinctive natures in Jesus
Summary:
Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man in one person, and will be so forever

The Humanity of Christ
Virgin birth - a holy human being (Lk 1:35)
Human experiences - Mt 4:2, Lk 2:52, Jn 4:6, etc.
Jesus was hungry, thirsty, and tired
Jesus had a human body, mind, will, and emotions (Jn 11:35, 12:27)
Jesus died!
Sinlessness
Jesus was clearly sinless (Heb 4:15, 7:26)
But was Jesus able to sin? (
impeccability
)
Nestorianism
Christological Errors - Charted
Jesus'
Deity
Jesus'
Humanity
unity of
two natures
distinctiveness
of two natures
Docetism
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same
perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man
, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures,
inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son,
and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
Arianism
Ebionism
Eutychianism /
Monophysitism
Chalcedonian Christology 451 A.D.
Apollinarianism
The Person of Jesus Christ
The Deity of Christ
Jesus was referred to as "God/theos" - Jn 1:1,18; Rom 9:5; Ti 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2 Pet 1:1;
Jesus was referred to as "Lord/kyrios" - Lk 2:11,18; 1 Cor 8:6, 12:3
Other claims: Matt 16:18; Jn 8:58, 10:30-31;
Jesus showed God-like attributes
omnipotence shown in miracles / signs
omniscience (know people's thoughts)
sovereignty, immortality, etc.
What about "Kenosis"?
The question: did Jesus give up his divine attributes while on earth?? (Philippians 2:5-7)

Kenosis - "emptying"
some suggest that it is a voluntary self-limitation of his divine attributes/abilities ("kenosis theory")
but the gospels do not include such evidence
note the context in Phil 2 - Jesus emptied himself by taking on humanity!
So the best understanding is that
Jesus gave up his status and privilege without giving up his divinity
The Necessity of Jesus' Humanity
For representative obedience (Romans 5)
To be a substitute sacrifice (Hebrews 2:16-17)
To be the mediator (1 Tim 2:5)
To fulfill God’s original purpose for man to rule over creation (Heb 2:8-9, Eph 1:22, Rev. 3:21)
To be our example and pattern in life (1 Jn 2:6; Rom 8:29)
To be our pattern for redeemed bodies (1 Cor 15:42-44)
To sympathize as high priest (Heb 4:15-16)
Jesus will be man forever (Acts 7:56, Rev. 1:13)
The Necessity of Jesus' Deity
Why must Jesus be divine?
no creature can bear the full penalty of sin of humanity as a whole
salvation is from God alone - no human being could save other human beings on his own
only someone who was truly and fully God could be the one mediator between God and man!

The insistence: Jesus has two natures (divine and human) united in one person
perfectly
and
permanently
Reflections & Applications
How can our understanding of Jesus' humanity help us in our times of temptation?
How can our understanding of Jesus' deity help us to trust him in our salvation? What about in times of trials?
How does knowing Jesus as both divine and human help us in the way we approach him in prayer?
How does knowing Jesus' humanity and divinity help us to love Him more?
The Work of Jesus: Resurrection
The Evidence for Resurrection
The Gospels (Mt 28; Mk 16; Lk 24; Jn 20-21)
Book of Acts
The Nature of Resurrection
A physical resurrection, not "spirit only"
But a new kind of human life & body
Implications of the Resurrection
Regeneration - 1 Pet 1:3
Justification - Rom 4:23-25
Hope of our resurrection - 1 Cor 15
We ought to live for God - 1 Cor 15:58
The Work of Jesus: Ascension
Jesus ascended
to a place (Lk 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11)
to be exalted highly (Acts 7; Phil 2)
to sit at the right hand of God (Heb 1:3)
to serve as the eternal high priest (Heb 7-8)

Jesus' ascension promises his future return as conquering King (Revelation!)
The Work of Jesus: Atonement
Nature of Atonement
Jesus' perfect obedience ("active obedience") (Phil 3:9)
Jesus' suffering for us ("passive obedience") - includes physical pain, psychological pain (bearing sin), abandonment, and bearing the wrath of God (cf. Isa 53:6,12; Mt 27:46; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; Rom 3:25-26)
Concept of "propitiation" - a sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God
Punishment was ultimately inflicted by God the Father on Jesus Christ
The Work of Jesus: Aspects of Atonement
Atonement as Penal Substitution
Penal - because our sin deserved punishment by God
Substitution - because Jesus died in our place
also known as "vicarious atonement" (vicar)

Different aspects of Atonement
Sacrifice (Heb 9:26)
Propitiation (1 Jn 4:10)
Reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19)
Redemption (Mark 10:45)
Ransom to Satan
Mark 10:45 means Jesus paid Satan with his life
Moral Influence
God did not require penalty for sin
Jesus' death motivates us to love God
Example
Jesus' death is an example of how we should follow God even unto death
Governmental
Jesus' death showed that God's law was broken by man, and that some payment was required - it was not substitutionary

What's true about each view? What's problematic about each view?
Discussion: Other Views of Atonement
The Person of the Holy Spirit
The Work of the Holy Spirit
Definition:
The work of the Holy Spirit is to manifest the active presence of God in the world, and especially in the church.

"The Holy Spirit is the member of the Trinity whom the Scripture most often represents as being present to do God's work in the world." (Grudem, 634)

Class Exercise:
Fill out the following blanks by looking at the indicated passages concerning the various works of the Holy Spirit...
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power but someone in relationship with the Father and the Son

The Holy Spirit is a PERSON
Intellect - Rom 8:27; 1 Cor 2:10-11
Emotion - Eph 4:30
Will - 1 Cor 12:11
Relational - 1 Cor 2:10; Rom 8:26-27

The Holy Spirit is DIVINE
Gen 1:2; Mt 28:19; Jn 14:16; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor 3:17
The Various Works of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit
Teaches (Jn 14:26)
Reminds (Jn 14:26)
Convicts (Jn 16:8)
Guides into truth (Jn 16:13)
Glorifies / Reveals Christ (Jn 16:14-15)
Empowers (Acts 1:8)
Frees (2 Cor 3:17)
Dwells (Jn 14:17)
Restrains evil (2 Thess 2:6-7)
Produces fruit (Gal 5:22-23)
Intercedes (Rom 8:26b-27)
Gives Gifts (Rom 12:3-8, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4, 1 Pet 4)
The Work of the Holy Spirit
5 Categories of the Spirit's work...the Spirit...

Empowers
Life - Ps 104:30; Jn 3:6-7;
Service
OT (Joshua, judges, Saul, David, prophets)
NT (Jesus, disciples)
Are there any differences?

Purifies
Conviction of sin (Jn 16:8-11)
Sanctification (1 Cor 6:11; Rom 8:13)
The Work of the Holy Spirit
Reveals
God's words to the prophets and apostles (2 Pet 1:21)
God's abiding presence
Guidance and direction to God's people (Acts 13:2)

Unifies the people of God (the church)
Acts 2:44-47
Eph 2:11-22, 4:3
The Work of the Holy Spirit
Provides evidence of God's presence
We can grieve and quench the Holy Spirit's work (Eph 4:30; 1 Thess 5:19)
Can result in removal of blessings or judgment by God (e.g., King Saul, Ananias)
Obedience to the Spirit is tied to being "filled by the Spirit" (Eph 5:18) and producing fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)
NOTE: this is dependent on our response to the Holy Spirit!!
Reflection and Application Questions
Reflection
Have you thought of the Spirit as a person? Why or why not? How has today's lesson helped you?
Have you experienced the Spirit's empowerment in your life before? What was that experience like?
How have you experienced the guidance of the Spirit?
What about conviction of sins?

Application
How can you start to live in obedience to the Spirit?
The Need & Basis for Salvation
The fall of humanity
God's justice and holiness
God's love and mercy
Common Grace & Saving Grace
All Christians affirm that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone!
Grace
- unmerited favor / blessings from God

Common Grace
- the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation.

Saving Grace
- the grace of God that brings people to salvation in Jesus Christ.

The differences between the two...
Results - one brings salvation, one does not
Source - one based on the cross, one is not
Recipients - one is given to believers only, one is for all humanity
We will cover all of these terms!
What's involved in "Becoming a Christian"
What God did before someone becomes a Christian
What happens after someone becomes a Christian
Election
Election
- an act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure.

Biblical Basis:
Acts 13:48; Rom 8:28-30, 9:11-13; Eph 1:4-6,12

Election is...
NOT mechanistic NOR fatalistic (Jn 3:16-18, 5:40)
NOT based on foreknowledge of faith
Unconditional - not based on God seeing something in us that makes us worthy of his choosing us
Election
Election is presented in the NT as
based upon grace alone (Eph 1)
a comfort for believers (Rom 8:28-29)
a reason for praising God (Eph 1)
an encouragement for evangelism (2 Tim 2:10; Rom 10:14,17)

Challenges to Election
Election means there is no real choice
Election makes human beings puppets/robots
Election means that unbelievers had no chance
Didn't the Bible say God will save everyone?
Reprobation
Reprobation
– the sovereign decision of God before creation to pass over some persons, in sorrow deciding not to save them, and to punish them for their sins, and thereby to manifest his justice.

Biblical Basis
: Rom 9:17-23; Jude 4; (God's justice)

In the Bible, “God is viewed as actively choosing us for salvation, and doing so in love and with delight. But reprobation is viewed as something that brings God sorrow, not delight, and the blame for the condemnation of sinners is always put on the people or angels who rebel, never on God himself. So in the presentation of Scripture the cause of election lies in God, and the cause of reprobation lies in the sinner.” (Grudem,

p. 686)

What should our attitude be??? (cf. Ezek 33:11; Rom 9:1-4)
Calling / Effective Calling
Gospel Call
- the act by human to declare the gospel to all
Explains the fact concerning salvation
Invites those who hear to respond personally
Make explicit the promise of forgiveness and eternal life
The Gospel Call is necessary (Rom 10:14)

Effective Calling
- an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith.

Biblical Basis:
Rom 1:6, 8:30; 1 Cor 1:9; 1 Pet 2:9; 2 Thess 2:14; etc.
Regeneration
Regeneration
- a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us - a.k.a. "being born again"

Biblical Basis: Ezek 36:26-27; Jn 1:13, 3:3-8;

Regeneration is
Completely a work of God (Ezek 36:26-27)
Mysterious in terms of the exact nature of it
Instantaneous & happens only once
Comes before saving faith logically, but probably simultaneously in reality (Eph 2:4-5; Col 2:13)
Will (and must) make itself evident over time in the believer's life (1 John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, 5:1)
Conversion
Conversion
- our willing response to the gospel call, in which we sincerely repent of sins and place our trust in Christ for salvation. (conversion = “turning”)
Repentance = Turning away from sin (renouncing sin)
Faith = Turning to Christ (obedience to Christ)

True saving faith includes knowledge, approval, and trust
Knowledge about the gospel message
Approval of the gospel message's truthfulness
Trusting - committing to, depending on Jesus alone

Both faith AND repentance must occur in conversion
The issue of "Lordship Salvation" vs. "Free Grace"
cf. Acts 2:37-38, 17:30; 2 Cor 7:10
Issue #1 - Calvinism vs. Arminianism
Justification
Justification
- an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ's righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.

Biblical basis:Rom 3:20, 25-26, 28; 5:1; 8:30-34; 10:4,10; Gal 2:16; 3:24; Eph 2:8-9)

Aspects of Justification
Legal / Forensic in nature
Just in his sight (“reckoned”)
Imputed righteousness – double imputation
Justification is all by grace, not by works or merit
Justification comes through faith in Christ
Adoption
Sanctification
Perseverance
Glorification
Adoption
- an act of God whereby he makes us members of
his family

Biblical Basis: Jn 1:12; Rom 8:14-17; Rom 9:7-8; Gal 3:23-26; Eph 1:5; 1 Jn 3:1-2; etc.

Adoption:
Follows conversion and is an outcome of saving faith
Distinct from
justification
Not just
legal standing
, but
relational standing

What are the privileges of adoption?
Relates to God as heavenly father
Relates to God's people as brothers and sisters in Christ
Sanctification
- a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.

Sanctification
vs. Justification
Internal condition
vs. legal standing
Continuous through life
vs. once for all time
Cooperation
vs. completely God's work
Unfinished in life
vs. perfect in life
Greater for some
vs. same for all

Illustration: Sailing boat
Sanctification
Sanctification
Starts at regeneration (Titus 3:5; Rom 6:11-18)
Increases throughout life (2 Cor 3:18, Phil 3:13-14)
Completed at death (our souls) and when Jesus returns (our bodies)
Affects the whole person (Phil 1:9; Rom 12:2; Col 1:10; 2 Cor 10:5; Gal 5:22)

Sanctification involves
cooperation
between God and Man
God’s Role: Empowerment (Phil 2:13; Heb 13:20-21)
Man’s Role: Trust & Obey (Phil 2:12; 2 Peter 1:5; Heb 12:14)
Sanctification

Motives for obedience to God in the Christian life
Desire to please God and express our love (John 14:15, 21)
Desire for a clear conscience before God (Rom 13:5; 1 Tim 1:5)
Desire to be used by God (2 Tim 2:20-21)
Desire to receive blessings (1 Pet 3:9-12)
Desire to avoid discipline (Hebrews 12:3-11)
Desire to seek heavenly reward (Matt 6:19-21; 2 Cor 5:9-10);
Desire to walk deeper with God (Matt 5:8; 1 Jn 1:6)
Desire for peace and joy (Phil 4:9; Hebrews 12:1-2)
Desire to do what is right (Ps 40:8; Phil 4:8)
Glorification
– the final step in the application of redemption. It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers whoh remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own.

The eternal state after death…this is what we ultimately look forward to…
Glorification
What happens after a Christian dies?
The physical body dies, but our souls go to be with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23)
No purgatory, not soul sleep

One day there will be a resurrection of our bodie (1 Cor 15:12-58; 1 Thess 4:14ff; Jn 5:28-29, 6:39-40; Phil 3:20-21;)

Our bodies will be like that of Jesus (1 Cor 15:42-44, 49; 1 John 3:2)
Imperishable
Glorious
Powerful
Spiritual
Perseverance
– all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.

The question is can true believers lose their salvation…(and on the flip side, can we know if we are truly born again?)
Perseverance
All those who are truly born again will persevere to the end (Jn 6:38-40, 10:27-29; Rom 8:30; Eph 1:13-14; Phil 1:6)

Only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again (Jn 8:31-32; Matt 10:22; Col 1:22-23; Heb 3:14; 1 Jn 2:19)

Those who finally fall away may give many external signs of conversion (Matt 7:21-23; 2 Cor 11:26; Heb 6:4-20)
Perseverance
What gives us assurance of salvation then?
Present trust
in Jesus Christ (is Jesus Christ the anchor for our soul?)
Evidence of the work of
the Spirit
in our hearts? (Gal 5:22-23; 1 Jn 4:13)
Evidence of
long-term growth
in Christian life (2 Pet 1:5-10)

What do we do with those who are “backsliding”?
Loving confrontation as a brother/sister in Christ, then if there is continued unrepentance, treat as unbeliever (need the gospel again!) (cf. Matthew 18:15-17)
Issue #2:
Exclusivism vs. Inclusivism
Q: Can people be saved without trusting in Jesus Christ as their savior?

What to consider...
How do we interpret Acts 4:12?
How do we interpret the extent of both the provision and application of atonement
Nature of the Church
Church
- the community of all true believers for all time

(Grudem, p. 853)
Grudem's definition of the church does not distinguish between Israel and the church (i.e., non-dispensational view)
In a dispensational view, the church is distinct from Israel - and the formation requires the new covenant (cf. Acts 2; Eph 2:11-3:11)
Dispensational view says Israel and the Church have differences
Nature of the Church
Church
- the new covenant community of the Spirit
(started at Pentecost / dispensational)

The Church is...
Invisible & Visible (God's vs. man's view)
Local & Universal
Family of God, body of Christ, bride of Christ, God's house, God's temple, etc...

The Church is NOT...
a place, building, or a voluntary association
The Marks of the Church
What makes a church a "church"? How can one tell whether a church is a "church"?
The preaching of the gospel?
The administration of baptism and the Lord's supper?
Word of God being followed?
Public worship performed?
Faithful exercise of church discipline?

What about
John 13:34-35
?
Purpose of the Church
Why did God establish the church for?

Acts 2:42-47
Worship (Love God)
Instruction (Learn God's Words)
Fellowship (Live with God's People)
Evangelism (Labor in God's Kingdom)

Matthew 28:18-20
Make disciples of all nations
via baptism & teaching people to obey all the teachings of Jesus Christ
Church Governance
Is there a "biblical" church government?

Biblical data on officers of the church
Apostle (Mt 10:1-7; Acts 1:22)
Elder / Overseer / Pastor (Acts 14:23; 1 Tim 3:2-7, 5:17-21; Titus 1:6-9)
synonymous terms?
plurality of these people
lead, rule, teach, preach
Deacon (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim 3:8-13)
serving oriented
more administrative in nature
Church Governance
Episcopalian / Roman Catholic
Archbishop
Bishop
Rector
Congregation
Presbyterian
General Assembly
Presbytery
Session
Congregation (elects elders to the session)
Church Governance
Congregational System
Pastor
Elder
Deacons
Congregation
A variety of manifestations of the this model
single elder / pastor
plural elders
corporate board
pure democracy, etc.

What is DCBC's system?
Archbishop
Bishop
Bishop
Rector
Rector
Rector
Rector
Episcopalian System
Diocese
Diocese
Oversees
"Parish"
Presbyterian System
General
Assembly
Presbytery
Presbytery
Session
Session
Session
Session
Plurality of
elders overseeing
the congregation
elders elected by
the congregation
pastor part of
the session
representatives from
each session
representatives from
each presbytery
oversees "diocese"
made of
several parishes
oversees multiple
dioceses (bishops)
Roman Catholic - Pope
Some Additional Issues
Women's role in the church?
Means of Grace?
Modes of Baptism?
sprinkling, pouring, immersion
paedobaptism vs. believer's baptism
Lord's Supper?
Catholic view: Transubstantiation - "this is my body"
Lutheran view: "In, with, and under"
Symbolic view: ""in remembrance of me"
Church Discipline?
Can Jesus Come at Anytime?
Position #1:
Imminent return
(Mt 24:42-44; Mk 13:34-37; 1 Thess 5:2)

Position #2:
Signs that must take place
Gospel be preached to all nations (Mk 13:10)
Great Tribulation (Mt 24:15-22)
False prophets (Mk 13:22)
Signs in Heavens (Mt 24:29-30)
Man of Sin / Rebellion (2 Thess 2:1-10)
Salvation of Israel (Rom 11:25-26)
Significant Passages in Eschatology
Daniel 7 & 9
Matthew 24 (Olivet discourse)
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Revelation (the whole book!)
Eschatology - A Difficult Topic!
Dispensational solution:
there are two comings, one "secret" for the believers and one to the earth for millennial kingdom

Imminent solution:
every sign has already been fulfilled, so Jesus' return is imminent

Grudem's solution:
signs possibly have been fulfilled already, but unlikely
Can Jesus Come at Anytime?
Millennial Positions
There are 3 major historical positions
Amillenniallism
(later church, during reformation)
Post-millennialism
(4th century, also whenever the church is strong)
Pre-millenniallism
(early church, then late 1800's w/ dispensationalism)

For those holding pre-millennialism, there are positions on the timing of tribulation (pre-,
mid-, and post-tribulation!
Final Judgment
“Great White Throne Room” Judgment

Jesus will be the judge on the throne, but the saints
will assist (1 Cor 6:2-3)

Who will be judged??
For
unbelievers
– Great White Throne Judgment
Destiny: into the lake of fire
But “degrees of punishment”? (Rev 20:12, 13)
For
believers
– Judgment for rewards
For
fallen angels
– Lake of fire (2 Pet 2:4)
Hell
Hell
– place of eternal conscious punishment for
the wicked

Options
Annihilationism - destruction of the wicked (Phil 3:19; 1 Thess 5:3; 2 Thess 1:9; 2 Peter 3:7)
Eternal conscious punishment - eternal torment and suffering forever (Rev 20:10; Matt 25:41)

What should our attitude be? Responses?
New Heaven and New Earth
Key Passage: Revelation 22
H
eaven
– the place where God most fully makes known his presence to bless…it is a real physical place, not just a state of mind
Physical creation will be renewed and we will continue to exist and act in itOur resurrection bodies will be part of the renewed creation"Succession of moments"?
The new creation will be a place of beauty and abundance and joy in God’s presence
Full transcript