Drop files to upload.
Faithlife
Faithlife

Membership part one

Membership  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts
The Bible
Why would a doctrinal statement begin with the Bible rather than with the Person of God?
It's very simple. It is impossible to know who God is apart from His revelation to us. Obviously, that revelation came personally, one-on-one, to Adam and Eve, Cain, Noah, Abram, and others.
God set His Word in written form
Putting God’s Word into writing was not man’s idea. Moses was commanded to write down the Law of God:
And the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 34:27–28 ESV
And the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Moses ended up writing, as God-breathed Scripture, the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. God continued to speak through His prophets, and they also wrote God-breathed Scripture as He directed them. Why were they written down? So that all the people could know what God had said. So that God's promises and prophetic statements were on public display.
Moses ended up writing, as God-breathed Scripture, the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. God continued to speak through His prophets, and they also wrote God-breathed Scripture as He directed them. Why were they written down? So that all the people could know what God had said. So that God's promises and prophetic statements were on public display.
What about non-written revelation?
ADVERTISEMENT
Someone might ask whether there were prophetic statements made that were NOT written down. We can't say . . . because – and this should be obvious – we only have what was written down! This is one practical reason that we affirm sola scriptura, the doctrine that only what is written in the Bible is God-breathed and authoritative.
The Lord says in Isaiah, regarding those who pursue mediums and soothsayers,
To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
Isaiah 8:20 ESV
To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
The epistles make constant reference to the written Word of God:
The epistles make constant reference to the written Word of God:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction…
Romans 15:4 ESV
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
The power of the Scripture is clear:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
There are more than 150 references to the written Word of God in the New Testament, half of them made by Jesus Himself. On the other hand, we are NEVER told to pursue dreams, visions, or prophetic utterances.
There are more than 150 references to the written Word of God in the New Testament, half of them made by Jesus Himself. On the other hand, we are NEVER told to pursue dreams, visions, or prophetic utterances.
…receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
…receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
… you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”…
There are more than 150 references to the written Word of God in the New Testament, half of them made by Jesus Himself. On the other hand, we are NEVER told to pursue dreams, visions, or prophetic utterances.
The Bible assumes the existence of God.
Genesis 1:1 ESV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
What’s more, the Bible tells us that every human being possesses enough knowledge of God’s existence and nature to be accountable.
Romans 1:18–23 ESV
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
What’s more, the Bible tells us that every human being possesses enough knowledge of God’s existence and nature to be accountable.
The problem is is not that people don’t know about God, but that they has suppressed that knowledge, and turned their worship toward other things.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
The problem is is not that people don’t know about God, but that they has suppressed that knowledge, and turned their worship toward other things.
What do we know about God from Scripture? We know quite a lot.
We know that God is Triune, One God who is Three Persons.
We know that God is infinite and all-powerful.
We know that God is personal. We see that in the Persons of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We see that when God creates man in His image, “male and female He created them.” God is personal and relational.
We see that God is holy, righteous, just, merciful, kind, forgiving, generous, patient.
We know that God communicates in words; that’s why we have a book of words, and not a pop-up guide to spirituality.
We know these things because God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. We also know these things because in His Word we get to see Him in action as He creates all things, creates Adam and Eve, warns them against sin, carries out the consequences of their sin, promises a Savior, destroys the world by flood because of sin, calls Abraham to Himself, chooses Isaac instead of Ishmael, chooses Jacob instead of Esau, sends Jacob’s sons into Egypt, brings them out again, sustains them in the wilderness in spite of their sin, brings their descendants into the land, rules over them through judges, and then kings and prophets, ultimately sends His own Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, to become a man, live a sinless life, die for the sins of His people, rise again from the dead in victory and glory, and ascend to heaven, where He is constantly interceding for God’s people and awaiting His own return to establish His Kingdom on earth.
Jesus Christ is fully God.
In the prologue to John’s Gospel Jesus is referred to as the Word of God, the perfect and complete expression of all that God is. He is the Creator of all things, without whom nothing was created. In Him is life of such a nature that no darkness can overcome it. He gave the right of new birth to all who believed in Him. He became flesh, and lived among us, revealing the glory of God Himself, full of grace and truth. No one has ever seen God, but Jesus Christ, called “the only God, who is at the Father’s side,” has made Him known.
In the prologue to John’s Gospel Jesus is referred to as the Word of God, the perfect and complete expression of all that God is. He is the Creator of all things, without whom nothing was created. In Him is life of such a nature that no darkness can overcome it. He gave the right of new birth to all who believed in Him. He became flesh, and lived among us, revealing the glory of God Himself, full of grace and truth. No one has ever seen God, but Jesus Christ, called “the only God, who is at the Father’s side,” has made Him known.
The letter to the Colossians puts it this way:
Colossians 1:15–20 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Some get confused by the fact that Jesus was born at a point in time, and lived, and grew, and submitted to the Father. They think that these things make Jesus less than God, but that isn’t true. Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man.
Some get confused by the fact that Jesus was born at a point in time, and lived, and grew, and submitted to the Father. They think that these things make Jesus less than God, but that isn’t true. Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man.
As God, He is Creator, the head of all things, the beginning and the end, the Lord Himself, the Great I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah, as Jesus Himself says in ,
John 8:58 ESV
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
And at the same time, Jesus is fully man.
And at the same time, Jesus became fully human, the perfect Man. He was conceived by miraculous, non-sexual means in Mary’s womb. She carried Him to term, and gave birth as women have always given birth. He was circumcised on the 8th day. He was raised as children are raised. He grew up into perfect, wonderful manhood:
He was conceived by miraculous, non-sexual means in Mary’s womb. She carried Him to term, and gave birth as women have always given birth. He was circumcised on the 8th day. He was raised as children are raised. He grew up into perfect, wonderful manhood:
became fully human, the perfect Man. He was conceived by miraculous, non-sexual means in Mary’s womb. She carried Him to term, and gave birth as women have always given birth. He was circumcised on the 8th day. He was raised as children are raised. He grew up into perfect, wonderful manhood:
Luke 2:52 ESV
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
The Son of God, the Eternal Word, did not cease to be God in nature when He was born as a man; rather, Philippians says,
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Philippians 2:6–8 ESV
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
The Son of God, the Eternal Word, did not cease to be God in nature when He was born as a man; rather, Philippians says,
The word form can refer to both outward appearance and inward nature, character, and identity. Since God is spirit, and has no physical form, it’s clear that in the form of God does not simply mean that Jesus looked like God, but that He actually was God.
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
The word form can refer to both outward appearance and inward nature, character, and identity. Since God is spirit, and has no physical form, it’s clear that in the form of God does not simply mean that Jesus looked like God, but that He actually was God.
He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, or held on to, or clung to. He could not hold on to equality with God unless He actually possessed it.
Instead, He emptied Himself, meaning that He humbled Himself, lowered Himself, by taking the form of a servant. The same word form is used, and with the same intent. He was fully God, and did not cling to that identity, but rather took on full humanity. He was born in the likeness of men, of the same nature as men. Once His humanity was established, He then humbled Himself by obeying God to the point of death, even death on a cross. This is not the death of the Word of God, who cannot die, but the death of the Man Christ Jesus, who could, and did die.
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully Man.
The saving work of Jesus Christ
Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and arose bodily on the third day. He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father as our only mediator, high priest, and advocate.
Jesus’ death on the cross is the very foundation of our salvation. It was His perfect work there as the Lamb of God that took away every last remnant of guilt and judgment from us. His resurrection completed that work, granting us perfect righteousness by grace and through faith in Him.
40 days after His resurrection Jesus ascended to heaven to take His throne. There He remains now, ruling over His church and interceding for His people, and waiting until the end of all things, when He will return for His church, establish His kingdom on earth, and judge the wicked.
God is Triune, One God who is Three Persons. The Father is fully God. The Son, Jesus Christ, is fully God. And the Holy Spirit is fully God.
We see the deity of the Holy Spirit in the command to baptize given by the Lord Jesus:
Matthew 28:19 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
We see the deity of the Holy Spirit in the closing words of Second Corinthians:
We see the deity of the Holy Spirit in the closing words of Second Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
We see the deity of the Holy Spirit in , where Jesus says,
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
John 14:16–17 ESV
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
We see the deity of the Holy Spirit in , where Jesus says,
The word “another” in “another Helper” means another of the same kind; the Holy Spirit is not a different sort of being, or simply a force, but as much a Person and as fully God as are the Father and the Holy Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Jesus also says that the Holy Spirit would bear witness about Him, teach the disciples all things, remind them of everything Jesus said, and convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Things don’t bear witness or teach or remind or convict persons.
The word “another” in “another Helper” means another of the same kind; the Holy Spirit is not a different sort of being, or simply a force, but as much a Person and as fully God as are the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus also says,
John 16:12–15 ESV
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
The Holy Spirit has authority, but His revelatory work would point to Jesus, not to Himself. He will speak, He will declare, He will glorify Christ. He is equal in nature and essence to the Father and the Son.
We see the deity of the Holy Spirit in the work Jesus says that He will do:
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
The Holy Spirit is fully God, the Third Person of the Trinity. He carries out the will of the Father and the Son. He was present at Creation, brought about Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb, and birthed the church on the day of Pentecost. It is by the Spirit’s power that we are born again. It is by the Spirit’s power that we understand divine truth. It is by the Spirit’s power that we are sanctified and grow in righteousness and faith. The Christian is a different person because of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
What is our foundation as a church? It is the Word of God.
In we see the episode with Ananias and Sapphira, who lied about the offering they brought.
That Word tells us that there is One True God who is Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These Three exist in perfect equality of nature and essence. At the same time, each has a different role in the plan of salvation. The Father has willed the salvation of the elect. Jesus obtained forgiveness for us through His cross. The Holy Spirit grants new life and faith to those who are dead in their sins, changing their very nature and giving them eternal life.
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”
The Holy Spirit is fully God, the Third Person of the Trinity. He carries out the will of the Father and the Son. He was present at Creation, brought about Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb, and birthed the church on the day of Pentecost. It is by the Spirit’s power that we are born again. It is by the Spirit’s power that we understand divine truth. It is by the Spirit’s power that we are sanctified and grow in righteousness and faith. The Christian is a different person because of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →