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Eric Meyer - SR&W 3

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Eric Meyer

BBL 8033B: Christian Foundations

John Brown University

Professor: Dr. Bill Burnett

July 31th, 2008

Assignment #4, Scripture Read And Write

INTRODUCTION

            God created man in His image, and clearly defines that creation as very good in Genesis 1:31.  God walked with man in the garden, and they enjoyed each other’s company until the fall.  From the moment that man left the perfect relationship that he had with God, the Creator has been orchestrating a plan for the redemption of man.  God wants to be back in perfect union with His children, and has promised that the day will come when the righteous will again enjoy that union. 

            As part of the journey back to a perfect union with man, God took the form of a man so that He could let His creation know that He truly understands what it means to be human.  In his book The Training of the Twelve, A.B. Bruce describes with heartbreaking detail just how totally human Jesus was as He walked with His disciples.  Bruce notes that Jesus was completely alone in His knowledge of, and the implications of His coming trial.  That even the men (today we would probably call them teenagers) he had spent so much time training simply had no way to comprehend what was to come.  The Transfiguration in Bruce’s description was a distinct answer to Jesus’ prayer.  He was looking for support from people who understood what was to come, and God opened the door to Heaven so Moses and Elijah could talk in detail with Jesus, reassuring Him, and giving Him strength.  Imagine the frustration of Jesus then as the disciples who have actually touched heaven, start arguing about who will have the place of highest authority in the Kingdom!  “In truth,” says Bruce, “While their master was preaching the cross they had been dreaming of crowns.  We shall find them continuing so to dream till the very end.” (A.B. Bruce(1988), The Training of the Twelve (Grand Rapids, MI : Kregel Publications) pg. 197)

            The point of the above example that touches the heart the most is that Jesus was completely human.  He was totally alone in His trial, and He overcame unbelievable temptation so that He could complete His sacrifice for Man.  Hear the frustration in His voice as He asks His disciples how long he must suffer their immaturity in Matthew 17:17, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I put up with you?” The utter humanness of Jesus gives all people hope.  He has paid the price; bought us with His own blood.  We are redeemed.  For a world filled with people who are much more spiritually immature than the original disciples ever were, Jesus paid the ultimate price to buy us out of slavery. 

            The hope, peace, love, and joy that Jesus offers certainly can be refused.  While the first fruits of the salvation can be tasted, the final consummation is yet to come.  Men’s souls have been redeemed, but our perfect spiritual bodies, the new heaven, and the new earth are in our future.  Jesus Himself will teach us how to start the process of becoming conformed to His spirit, but it is up to each individual man to take advantage of the offer.

I.  THE CREATOR’S PROVISION OF SUPERNATURAL REDEMPTION

            A.  The Desperate Need For Redemption

                        1. We have separated ourselves from God – Gen. 5,6;  God tells Cain that he would not be experiencing anger, anxiety, frustration, etc. if he was in a right relationship with God.

                        2. We must master sin – Gen. 5,6; But we can not – Romans 1:24-32; Romans 3:19,20

                        3. We conform God’s promises to meet our needs – Gen. 24; Though Lamech seems to have very little relationship with God, He conforms a promise made to Cain to meet his own needs.

                        4. Men & Women are no longer partners – Gen. 1:24; Gen. 19; God made men and women to be partners.  Very quickly, men asserted their physical dominance and “took” (NASB verbiage) of women what they wanted.  One wife was not enough, two must be better, regardless of what the women think.

                        5. Men have earned God’s wrath – Romans 1:18; Eph. 2:3

                        6. Men’s hearts are darkened – Romans 1:21

                        7. Men have exchanged God’s truth for Satan’s lie – Romans 1:25; Satan has told men that God does not exist, or if He does, He does not have a right to be honored and glorified.  Men have listened.

                        8. God has left man to his own desires – Romans 1: 24; God will not force men to accept Him.  If man abandons God, God will leave that man to his own desires.

                        9. Without God, man falls into a deepening spiral of despair, helpless – Romans 1:24-32; 5:6

                        10. Man is not ignorant of God.  He has rebelled – Romans 1:32

                        11. Sinners believe sin is good – Romans 3:5-8; Man is so deeply rooted in sin that he has twisted the  acts of God’s grace and forgiveness to indicate that man should sin even more.  More sin allows God to display more grace.

                        12. There is not one person who is righteous – Romans 3:10-15, 18

                        13. Not even the chosen people, the ones trusted with the scripture are righteous – Romans 3: 1,2,9

                        14. Destruction and misery have been earned.  Man will not have peace – Romans 3:16,17

                        15. All men sin, have abandoned God – Romans 3:9-19; 5:12

                        16. The law defines sin.  There are no excuses – Romans 3:19,20; 5:13

                        17. It is impossible for mortal man to perfectly obey the law – Romans 3:19,20

                        18. We are God’s enemies – Romans 5:10

                        19. Man experiences death because of sin – Eph. 2:1

                        20. This world is controlled by Satan – Eph. 2:2

                        21. Temptation for worldly goods separates us from God – 1 Tim.:9,10

                        22. The wisdom of the earthly kingdom is foolishness - 1Cor:18 

            B.  Characteristics Of The Redemption

                        I am not sure I understand how Jesus took on the sins of all men.  The fact is that He said He did.  He went to the cross sinless, having resisted the evil of this world as a human, walking in our shoes.  He was perfect in every way, defied temptation at every turn, and told everyone who would listen what He was doing.  Even those closest to Him did not understand Him completely until they were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  Fortunately, we have those Spirit inspired words to lead us into a redeemed life with Jesus.

                        1. God’s plan started immediately after the fall – Gen. 4:26; Seth was God’s gift to Adam and Eve, a new son with the righteousness of Abel.  Hope springs from Seth’s decedents in the form of Jesus; God has a plan, and at the time He deemed correct, Jesus died for our sins – Romans 5:6

                        2. Jesus accepted the wrath of God towards man – Romans 3:25; Romans 5:9; God publicly displayed Jesus as his redemption for man’s sins high on a hill in the city where prophets were traditionally persecuted, “He must be lifted up in view of the whole Jewish nation, so that all might see Him whom they had pierced, and by whose stripes also they might yet be healed.”  (A.B. Bruce (1988), The Training of the Twelve (Grand Rapids, MI : Kregel Publications) pg. 175)

                        3. God imputes the sin of all men to Jesus – Romans 3:25,26

                        4. Redemption is given to man through faith in Jesus – Romans 3:21; Romans 5:9-11; 5:18

                        5. Jesus took on the sins of all men, past future, and present – Romans 3:26; Heb. 2:10; God, in His perfect righteousness, should have destroyed man with the first sin, yet He is also defined by His perfect love and grace.  His plan for redemption included the judging of all men, even Adam, yet He delayed the date of judgment.

                        6. Through Jesus, all men are redeem, Jew or Gentile – Romans 3:22,29,30; Eph.2:15

                        7. Man is justified by grace and faith in Jesus alone – Romans 3:27; Eph.2:8; 2 Tim:15; Titus 3:4; works are not required, they are a natural by-product of the relationship in which a disciple is conformed to Christ.

                        8. Jesus’ one act of redemption is greater than Adam’s one act sin – Romans 5:15; men have sinned to a much greater extent than Adam probably ever imagined, yet Jesus saves us from all of those sins.

                        9. Sin can not outpace God’s grace – Romans 5:19-21

                        10. God’s love is beyond measure, so great that He died for us – Eph.2:4,5,6

                        11. When Jesus was raised from the dead, so were all who believe in Him – Eph.2:6

                        12. Salvation is a gift – Eph.2:8

                        13. We are saved for eternity – Eph.2:12,13; Through the blood of Jesus, we are given the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and live with God for eternity.

                        14. Jesus has formed the righteous into his body – Eph.2:16,19-21; We are the body of Christ, His church, His family.  The righteous are all citizens of the Kingdom of God through Jesus.

                        15. The redeemed pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness – 1 Tim.:11,12

                        16. The redeemed belong to Christ, living in His spirit, apart from the flesh – Gal.5:24

                        17. Jesus has conquered death – Heb.2:14,15; What and awesome statement!  The fear of death causes so much of the world’s problems.  People hoard wealth and power, live selfishly, and try to cheat the aging process, etc. because of fear of death.  How miserable a funeral is for the survivors who have no faith.

                        18. Jesus is the grace of God in the flesh – Titus 2:11

                        19. We were washed and renewed by the Holy Spirit poured on us by Jesus - Titus 3:5

                        20. We were redeem, purchased at a great price, the blood of God – 1 Pet.1:18

            C.  The Living Of The Redeemed Life

                        1 John 2:28 is a perfect summary of the life Jesus wants us to live, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him at His coming.

                        1. We are to walk with the Spirit.  Flesh and Spirit are directly opposed – Gal. 5:16, 18-22; The flesh loses it grip when we belong to Christ – Gal. 5:24; 1 Cor. 4:2

                        2. God gives us all we need – 1 Tim.6:17

                        3. Be rich in good works, they bring pleasure – 1 Tim. 6:18; 1 John 2:29

                        4. A disciple can fall away from Christ through hate – Gal. 5:15; leaving Jesus leads to doom – 1 Pet. 2:8

                        5. Redeemed man is to live righteously – Titus 2:10,11

                        6. Live by the rules - Titus 3:1,2

                        7. Malign no one - Titus 3:2

                        8. Remember that sin used to dominate your life before Jesus - Titus 3:3

                        9. Avoid foolish arguments - Titus 3:9

                        10. Protect the Church from irresponsible Christians - Titus 3:10

                        11. Do not be conformed to the lusts of this world – 1 Pet. 1:14

                        12. Prepare your mind 1 Pet. 1:13

                        13. Love one another from the heart 1 Pet. 1:22

                        14. Put aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander – 1 Pet. 2:1

                        15. Live on the pure word of God – 1 Pet. 2:2

                        16. Christians are a holy race called to speak the joys of knowing God – 1 Pet. 2:9

                        17. We can trust Jesus.  He knows what it is like to be Human, He calls us brothers, is approachable. – Heb. 2:10,11; 4:15,16

                        18. Nothing is hidden from God, He will judge our behavior – Heb. 4:12; 1 Cor. 3:12; 1 Cor. 4:5; Mat. 25:32; Romans 3:3-6

                        19. Beware of stagnation in faith – Heb. 5:12; 1 Cor. 3:15

                        20. God requires the righteous to obey – Heb. 5:13; to be trustworthy – 1 Cor. 4:3,4; Mat. 25:40

                        21. Mature Christians practice their faith – Heb. 5:14; teach, and are good, trustworthy stewards – 1 Cor. 4:1,2; proclaim the Gospel – 2 Cor. 4:1; 2 Cor. 4:13,14

                        22. Don’t boast, all things belong to God – 1 Cor. 3:21

                        23. God Himself will help evangelists spread His message – 1 Cor. 4:3-6

                        24. Even in the face of death, preach the Gospel, and Jesus will be with you – 2 Cor. 4:11

                        25. In all things, teach people to live lives for the glory of God – 2 Cor. 4:15

                        26. We all have a part to play in the growth of the body of Christ – 1 Cor. 3:10; Paul used the talents and skills that God gave him for the benefit of the Kingdom.  While he was a leading follower of Christ, he only played a part.  He was a foundation builder who relied on others to complete the building.  Jesus calls on all Christians to play a part, to help build the Church of Christ.            

II. THE CREATOR’S PROVISION OF THE FUTURE CONSUMMATION

            A.  Assurance For The Future Consummation

                        The promise of the coming Kingdom brings peace, joy and hope to Christians because of God’s love.  Henry Latham phrased the issue beautifully in Pastor Pastorum when he said, “Hurry belongs to the mortal who wants to see the outcome of his work, while eternity is lavish of time.”

                        1. The faithful will be rewarded for excellent work – 1 Cor. 3:12

                        2. God will meet out justice if needed – 1 Cor. 3:16

                        3. We must study God’s wisdom to enter the Kingdom – 1 Cor. 3:18

                        4. The Kingdom belongs to God’s Children.  The grip of Satan will not last – 1 Cor. 3:22; Faithful will inherit the Kingdom – Mat. 25:34

                        5. The righteous need not despair; will always be filled with Jesus Himself – 2 Cor. 4:7

                        6. The righteous will be raised up when Christ comes again – 2 Cor. 4:14

                        7. Jesus will come again in glory, surrounded by angels – Mat. 25:31; Romans 5:2; Eph. 2:6

                        8. Unrighteous face hell – Mat. 25:41,45,46

                        9.  God considers the righteous His children, and promises that they will be united with Him – 1 John 3:1

                        10. God’s Children are not of this world, but belong to the Kingdom – 1 John 3:1

                        11. We do not know what our form will be, but since disciples are in the process of being conformed to Jesus, we will be like Him – 1 John 3:2

                        12. The righteous live their lives in hope:

                                    a. Abide in, have a permanent life with Jesus - 1 John 2:28

                                    b. Righteousness, hope makes this trait a habit – 1 John 2:29

                                    c. Love, God’s love will bring salvation – 1 John 3:1

                                    d. Purity, the righteous purify themselves knowing that they are going to be with the pure One someday – 1 John 3:2

                        13. The righteous will earn eternal life – Mat. 25:46

                        14. The righteous have been born again through the imperishable seed planted by the Holy Spirit – 1 Peter 1:23

            B.  Characteristics Of The Future Consummation

                        1. All the righteous will be a family, part of the body of Christ – Eph. 2:15, 19-21; Rev. 21:24

                        2. Entire new universe, new heaven and new earth – Rev. 21:1

                        3. A new city, home for God and His people – Rev. 21:9-21

                        4. A city of amazing beauty – Rev. 9-21

                        5. No temples, the faithful will worship God in person – Rev. 21:22

                        6. River of life flowing from God – Rev. 22:1

                        7. A tree of life with 12 fruits, eternal continuing blessings – Rev. 22:2

                        8. God’s children will see His face – Rev. 22:4

                        9. They will have work to do, they will serve Him – Rev. 22:3

                        10. God and Jesus provide all of the light and energy for the Kingdom – Rev. 22:5

                        11. Jesus owns the book of life, He admits the righteous – Rev. 21:27

                        12. The unrighteous face an eternity of Hell. Rev. 21:8

                        13. God is the Alpha and Omega, He knows all – Rev. 21:6

                        14. All death and sadness will be wiped away - Rev. 21:4

                        15. These words are true because they come from God Himself – Rev. 22:6

                        16. It is done.  Nothing can stop God’s plan – Rev. 21:6; 22:6

                       

CONCLUSION

            Satan believes that there is always a point at which man will turn from God in selfishness.  He said of Job to God, “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse you to your face.”  (Job 1:11)  Arguably, men have done quite a bit to indicate that Satan has a point.  A.B Bruce says that Satan’s creed is, “There is absolutely no such thing as a surrender of the lower life for the higher; all men are selfish at heart, and have their price: some may hold out longer than others, but in the last extremity every man will prefer his own things to the things of God.  All that a man hath will he give for his life, his moral integrity and his piety not excepted.”  (A.B. Bruce(1988), The Training of the Twelve (Grand Rapids, MI : Kregel Publications) pg. 180)  It takes a man of incredible moral substance to base his current behavior on a promise to be redeemed in the future.  Men want proof.  Jesus’ disciples had no way of knowing that Jesus was going to provide that proof very visibly, high on a hill, visible to all men for all of time.  But when they saw Jesus raised, they dropped everything they had and preached the Gospel in the face of imminent death.  They were validation of God’s plan that included the cross; that men will sacrifice all earthly possessions to be with Jesus.  The disciples proved that they did not have a price at which they would forsake their Father. 

            God has recorded His relationship with man for us to study in the Bible.  He has made many promises, and brought them to fruition.  The promise of redemption was fulfilled on the cross.  What more do men have to fear?  The resurrection of Christ should be all the proof needed to confirm that the promises of the consummation will also be fulfilled.  As recorded in Revelations 21:6, “It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”

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