- Eternal Triune God
- Author of Creation
- Creation is Good
- Created in God’s Image (Male and Female)
- Created with Purpose
- Glorify God
- Enjoy Him Forever
- We Betrayed God
- A Declaration of Independence
- Shame and Guilt
- All of Creation Cursed
God’s Plan All Along
- All of Mankind
- Sinners from Birth
- We are Depraved
- Slaves to Sin
- Unable to Submit
- Subject to Justice
- and Wrath of God
- Dead in our Sins
Back to God’s Plan…
- First step of God’s love
- God’s purpose to save us
- He chose us in Him
- Before Creation
- So we could be holy and blameless
- He predestined us to adoption through Christ
- When we were dead
- He chose individuals unconditionally
- God became man
- God’s glory is revealed
- God’s grace is provided
- to save Sinners — True Israel, Children of Abraham, Bride of Christ
- to save the World
Grace is the Gospel – The Glory of the Resurrection
His blood is all sufficient
Resurrection is Christ’s reward
- Hebrews 13:20
- Hebrews 2:9
- Hebrews 10:12-14
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, 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. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Isaiah 53:10-12
Is Jesus dead or alive?
Central doctrine of Christianity…
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14)
Resurrection is not…
- partially dead, then alive
- dying going & heaven
- living on in memory
- being dead for a while
- alive again
- fully restored, glorified, and perfected
- consistent with crucified body
- Prophecy (Isaiah 53) death, burial, and resurrection
- Jesus predictions Mark 8:31, Mark 9:30-31, Mark 10:33-34
- Jesus dies on the cross
- Buried in well known tomb (Luke 23:50-53)
- Jesus returned on on third day (Luke 24)
- 1 Corinthians 15 — resurrection activity recorded (written 52-55 AD)
- Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-28)
- Mary, James, Jude worship him as God (Acts 1:14).
- Discrepancies in gospels = good legal witnesses
- Disciples transformed from cowards into martyrs
- Remain loyal to Jesus as Messiah
- Disciples’ lives and actions argue against lying (they had nothing to gain)
- Sabbath changes form Saturday to Sunday
- People worship Jesus as God
- Communion and Baptism
- Women were first witnesses (culturally, legally women couldn’t be witnesses)
- Tomb not enshrined
- Christianity comes into existence
- Josephus account that “Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day”
Jesus is the first fruit of those who sleep
Grace is the Gospel – Regeneration Precedes Faith
Salvation is of the Lord
- Salvation is a trinitarian work.
- Election – God the Father
- Atonement – God the Son
- Regeneration – God the Spirit
- The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ on the cross.
- It is a sovereign work of the Spirit, drawing all that the Father has chosen and all that the Son has purchased.
- The Spirit regenerates the spiritually dead and resurrects them.
- The Spirit gives the gift of repentance and the gift of saving faith.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Not of blood.
God has no grandchildren.
Nor of the will of the flesh.
Nor of the will of man.
But of God
You Must Be Born Again
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
- v. 3
unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
- v. 5
unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God
- v. 8
wind blows where it wishesThe Holy Spirit does as He pleases.
God is active, man is passive
- A saving work produced by God alone.
- Fruit of new birth is saving faith.
- Work of the Spirit in response to Christ’s divine summons.
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.(John 5:25)
- Jesus has a life giving voice. Recall story of Lazarus in John 11
you were dead…in sins…but GodEphesians 2:1,4
you, who were dead…God made aliveColossians 2:13
All that the Father gives me will come to meJohn 6:37
Regeneration precedes faith. Regeneration produces faith. Saving faith is a gift of God to those born again.
- Acts 3:16. Jesus is object and source of faith.
- Acts 11:18. Repentance is a gift of God to those born again.
- Acts 14:27. God opens the door of faith.
- Ephesians 2:8. Grace and faith are the gift of God.
- Philippians 1:29. Granted to believe.
- 2 Timothy 2:25. God grants repentance.
- Hebrews 12:2. Jesus is author and perfecter of faith.
- 2 Peter 1:1. To those who have obtained a faith.
A New Creation
Gift of Saving Faith
Gift of Repentance
God’s Word written on hearts
Imputed with Christ’s Righteousness
Alive in Christ
Adoption into God’s Family
Indwelling of Holy Spirit
Grace is the Gospel – We are Saved
The fact that we have been saved frees us from the guilt of sin (Ephesians 2:8). The Bible calls this Justification.
Justification by inward transformation is no way to Salvation, the Reformers said. God demands his best, not ours.
— Michael Horton Putting Amazing back into Grace
We can never be good enough because we are constantly battling our corrupting, old sin nature. (Romans 7:14-15)
God requires us to be guilty of no sins and He requires us to be as morally perfect, righteous, and holy as God himself.
The glass must be empty of all unrighteousness (to have never sinned) and full of righteousness (to have loved God and our neighbor perfectly all our lives).
Condemned in Adam, Justified in Christ
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Foreign Righteousness
- The gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17)
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’(Romans 1:17)
- The righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22)
He made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God(2 Corinthians 5:21)
- Christ is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30)
And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness(Romans 4:5)
- Chosen by God before time (Ephesians 1:4)
- Predestined to adoption (Ephesians 1:5)
- Predestined to receive an inheritance by sharing in Christ’s sonship (Ephesians 1:11)
- In him we were accepted by God, holy and without blame (Ephesians 1:4,6)
- In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7).
- In Christ we were sealed with the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing our final redemption and inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Grace is the Gospel – We are being Saved
While we are justified before God, we still struggle with sin. As a new creation we are being saved from the power of sin (1 Corinthians 1:18). The Bible calls this Sanctification.
Should we go on sinning?
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Evidence of Saving Faith
God’s sanctifying work is seen in growing Christlike character, increasing love for God and people, and the fruit of the Spirit
Grace is the Gospel – We will be Saved
This transformation will continue until the redeemed person is resurrected and made completely holy in heaven.
In the end, believers will be saved from the presence of sin (Acts 15:11). The Bible calls this Glorification.
Justified, Sanctified, and Lost?
Our inheritance is guaranteed. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Chain of Salvation
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.(Romans 8:28–30)
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.(Romans 8:33-34)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.(John 15:16)
Called to Persevere
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 8:39)
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling(Jude 24)
let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity (Hebrews 6:1)
you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable(1 Peter 1:23)
Because you have been born of God and adopted into His family with an imperishable seed we can be confident that we have been given the gift of perseverance.
He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)
What about those who fall away?
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19)
Christ secured our Eternal Life
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.