Catechism


Q. What was the due desert of that transgression?

A. Spiritual death in the day he did it, temporal death afterwards, and everlasting death last of all (Gen 2:17, 3:19; Matt 25:46).

Q. What is it to be spiritually dead?

A. To be alienate from God, and to live without him in the world, through the ignorance that is in man, and through the power of their sins (Eph 4:18,19).

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Theology Thursday: What is the Gospel?


So there was some MTV award that Chris Pratt received and gave an acceptance speech.

Now let me state something right now this isn’t about Chris Pratt. It’s not even about what he said or didn’t say rather it is what some people have said that Chris Pratt said.

In an article on the Federalist Rachel Stooltzfoos wrote:

Actor Chris Pratt shared a gospel message in an acceptance speech at the MTV awards Monday, interspersing a serious message about God’s love in a list of “9 Rules for Life” for the younger generation. (source)

Unfortunately, while Chris Pratt spoke about God, having a soul, praying, and grace being paid for by “somebody’s blood”, it wasn’t the Gospel.

So the question is what is the Gospel? R.C.Sproul writes regarding this question:

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel. (source)

So then what is the core essentials of the Gospel? Well I would say that the bible tells us what the core essentials of the Gospel is.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.~1Corinthians 15:1-4

The Gospel must contain these elements: We are sinners, rebels against a holy and just God, deserving only his wrath and justice. (Rom. 3:23, Ephesians 2:3, 2 Thess. 1:9)

Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God. (1 Peter 2:24)

God raised Jesus to life for our justification. That we are declared righteous before God based upon what Christ did for His people. (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:16, 18)

Our salvation then comes from placing our trust in what Christ has done, not we have done. This is the Gospel that we have received, which we stand on, and are being saved by holding on to the word of God.

Catechism


Q. Do you understand him by the works of
creation?

A. ‘The heavens declare the glory of
God; and the firmament sheweth his handy work’ (Psa 19:1). ‘For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead’ (Rom 1:20)

Catechism


Q. Is this God, being a Spirit, to be known?

A. Yes, and that by his works of creation, by
his providences, by the judgments that he
executes, and by his word.

Ligneous Hermeneutics


I fully admit that there are certain things that tend to make me erupt. Certain triggers that makes me bark like that Russell Terrier next door.  One of these happens to be dispensational hermeneutics.  Now a little back story.  I came to Christ during the heyday of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth.  I grew up in what can only be called a liberal protestant church so the first time I was exposed to the concepts of the imminent return of Christ, the rapture,  the tribulation, I was scared spit less.  I didn’t want to be “left behind”.

Later on I went through a series of teaching at the Bible church that I was attending called “God’s plan for the ages”  In it I learned what can only be called “classic dispensationalism”  Seven dispensations or economies,  separation of Israel and the Church and the “grammatical-historic hermeneutic”.

So on twitter I was asked why I didn’t like the “grammatical-historic hermeneutic”  and I replied:

Yes everyone replies with that statement as if that was the problem instead of the wooden literalism they thrust upon it.

Which is a bit snarky I will freely admit and let me apologize for the snark right now. But it is true it isn’t the “grammatical-historic” method or interpreting. In R.C.Sproul’s book Knowing Scripture he lists this method as one of the interpretive methods used to understand the text of scripture.  What I dislike is the presuppositions that are applied to the method that tend to skew the results.

For instance it has been my experience that those that follow the dispensational method of grammatical-historic interpretation (here to be known as DMGH) tend to  down play the genre of the text and the theological implications of the text.  Take the case of Sarah and Hagar.

In Galatians 4 Paul takes the historical narrative regarding Sarah and Hagar and says they are metaphors for two types of covenants.  But that violates completely what you would interpret from that story in Genesis  but Paul adds a theological interpretation that wouldn’t be allowed under the strict literalism of dispensationalist.

And there lies the problem I have with DMGH it must be always the literal meaning even though there are multiple times that isn’t how the text is being interpreted by other writers of the scripture.  Examples  Matt 1:23 ~Isa. 7:14   following DMGH Isa. 7:14 can only be fulfilled in the time of Ahab and in fact according to Isa. 8:1-4 Isaiah’s son actually fulfilled the prophecy.    Yet Matthew says this applies to Jesus.  So there must be something more than just grammar and history regarding this interpretation there is a theological genre that must be added to it.

This wooden hermeneutic which IMHO does more damage to the text  by not considering the total:   Grammatical, historical, genre, and  theological method which is I believe the more fuller method of biblical interpretation.

 

Catechism


A FAMILIAR CATECHISM OR,INSTRUCTION FOR THE IGNORANT

Being a salve to cure that great want of knowledge which so much reigns in young and old. prepared and presented to them in a plain and easy dialogue pitted to the capacity of the weakest. “My People perish for lack of Knowledge.” — Hosea 4:6.

Dedicated to the church of Christ and about Bedford Walking in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; Your affectionate brotherand companion in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, wisheth all Grace and Mercy by Jesus Christ. Amen.

Holy and beloved, although I have designed this little treatise for public and common benefit, yet considering that I am to you a debtor, not only in common charity, but by reason of special bonds which the Lord hath laid upon me to you-ward, I could do no less, (being driven from you in presence, not affection,) but first present you with this little book. Not that you are wanting in the things contained herein, but to put you again in remembrance of first things, and to give you occasion to present something to your carnal relations, that may be (if God will) for their awakening and conversion. Accept it, therefore, as a token of my Christian remembrance of you.

Next, I present it to all those unconverted, old and young, who have been at any time under my preaching, and yet remain in their sins. And I entreat them also, that they receive it as a token of my love to their immortalsouls. Yea, I charge them as they will answer it in the day of terrible judgment, that they read, ponder, and receive this wholesome medicine prepared for them. Now the God of blessing bless it to the awakening of many sinners, and the salvation of their souls, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Yours, to serve you by my ministry (when I can) to your edification and consolation, John Bunyan

BUNYAN’S CATECHISM:
OR, INSTRUCTION FOR THE IGNORANT.

Q. (1) How many gods are there?

A. To the Christians there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we of him.

1 Corinthians 8:6
yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live.

Frenetic Friday


So let’s talk about hairstyle:
HT: Billy Leonhart

Now just because this is the haircut my father and uncles wore when they enlisted and fought against the Nazis in World War II doesn’t mean anything.  Because history who needs it! However let me suggest some alternatives.

The Staliny yes comrades there is nothing that say antifa like the haircut of a man who slaughtered between 20 to 40 million people. (Accounts vary)

Ah the Che Che for the rough urban social justice warrior.  The head of Castro’s La Cabaña prison and responsible for over 1000 firing squad executions and the forced labor camps which imprisoned Jehovah witnesses, homosexuals, Afro-Cuban priests, and anyone else who opposed the revolution. And of course the Mao, the Pol Pot, and the Kim Jong Il.  You might want to select by the number of people they had executed.

Switching to the Evangelical world have you heard about the Nashville Statement?  Click on the link if you want to read it.  Needless to say this has caused the liberals/progressive “Christians” an apoplectic fit. You can read some of the responses:


We go to Iceland for some breaking news from the Culture of Death!

Down Syndrome disappearing in Iceland because of Abortion

Speaking of Science this is a few weeks old but worth noting:

Man plays God

In a news report from the MIT Technology Review scientists have reported that they have successfully modified human DNA and created a genetically modified human embryo.   Soon despite what scientist say won’t happen will.  Designer babies have entered the first stage soon the dreams of eugenics will take on reality.  And just so you know the method they are using known as CRISPR doesn’t create “mules” no these children will pass on their changes to future generations. Last year this technology was call a weapon of mass destruction by top US Intelligence services.

Finally I am taking a brief hiatus from the blog.  A minimum of a month a maximum of two months.  The catechism posts will continue to occur on Sunday.  Look for changes coming to the blog.

 

Catechism


Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?

    No, they should not, as everything necessary to salvation is found in Christ. To seek salvation through good works is a denial that Christ is the only Redeemer and Savior.

    Galatians 2:16

    Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

    Theology Thursday 


    Maybe you’ve heard this one before, we don’t use creeds or confessions in our church we just follow Christ.  Of course the rejoinder to that is which Christ?  The Mormon Christ? The Christ of the Watch Tower Society? The modalist Christ of the Oneness Pentecostals? There is a need to define what we mean especially since we live in a society that defines things subjectively. 

    That is why for this Thursday I have a video of Mark Dever  talking about “No Creed but Christ”