Another View (or Two or Three) on Original Sin (The Study of God #74)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #74

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is 1 John 3:6 which reads: “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from J. I. Packer. He said: “There’s a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. When you truly know God, you have energy to serve Him, boldness to share Him, and contentment in Him.”

Our topic for today is titled “Another View (or Two or Three) on Original Sin” from “Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day” by Dr. Daryl Aaron.

Dr. Daryl Aaron writes…

At the other end of the theological continuum, a British monk named Pelagius, a contemporary of Augustine, became convinced of just the opposite: Adam’s sin did not affect the rest of us in any way. Rather, Pelagianism says we are sinners because we sin. Furthermore, Pelagius believed that because God commanded all people to be holy just as he is holy, it must be possible. God wouldn’t command us to do something we could not do. It is hypothetically possible, according to Pelagius, for a person to live a perfect and sin-free life.

Pelagius and Augustine battled it out through their writings, and Augustine “won” when the Council of Carthage condemned as heresy the teachings of Pelagius in AD 418. However, Augustine’s view was still a bit too extreme for some, so a mediating position arose. Semi-Pelagianism denies that we are totally unable to do anything about our own sinful condition, but still we are in pretty bad shape and need a lot of help from God. If we initiate and reach out to God, he will respond. This cooperative view of salvation—the individual participates, God participates; together, salvation results—is the historic view of the Roman Catholic Church.

As the debate continued, yet another mediating view arose. Like semi-Pelagianism, semi-Augustinianism holds that we are not totally powerless; however, we are unable to reach out to God for help, so God must take the initiative. When he provides the help we need, then we can and must respond. This is basically the Arminian view.

As hard as it may be to understand and accept, the Bible does not paint an encouraging picture of our sinful condition and our ability to do anything about it. Sin has had devastating effects on all of us. As much as we might resist acknowledging this about ourselves, it is absolutely necessary that we do; it is the only way we can be saved. We must depend upon the grace of God alone through the work of Christ alone.

INTERESTING FACT
Many reject the idea that Adam’s sinful act could so unavoidably affect the rest of us. It sounds unfair, and people don’t like the idea of being guilty for what someone else has done. But according to Romans 5:12–19, the sacrificial act of one person, Jesus, also can thoroughly affect the rest of us—for righteousness! He died for sin, and through him we all can be right with God. To be consistent, if we reject universal human guilt coming from what Adam did, we must also reject the availability of righteousness being fully granted to us from what Christ did. We can’t reject the first and accept the second; both are based on the same principle.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

Theology of Paul, Part 9 (The Study of God Episode #73)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #73

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is Psalm 119:9-10 which reads: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Brother Lawrence. He said: “Let all our employment be to know God: the more one knows Him, the more one desires to know Him.”

Our topic for today is titled “Theology of Paul (Part 9)” from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns.

Dr. Paul Enns writes…

Church
Definition. The word church (Gk. ekklesia) simply means “a called out group.” It is most often used in a technical sense of believers whom God has called out of the world as a special group of His own. It is, however, occasionally used in a nontechnical sense to refer, for example, to a mob (translated “assembly”), as in Acts 19:32. Church is used in two primary ways in the New Testament — the “universal” church and the local church. Paul uses the term to refer to the wide company of believers transcending a single congregation. When the term is referring to the body of Christ the universal sense is intended. Church refers to the local church when a particular assembly of believers in a given location at a given time is intended. Thus Paul refers to the individual churches at Corinth, Philippi, Colossae, and Thessalonica.

The church as a union of Jews and Gentiles on equal footing as fellow heirs in Christ is a distinctly New Testament entity. The church was unknown in the Old Testament; the knowledge about the church was given to Paul through revelation.

Explanation. Paul depicts the church as an organism making up the “complex structure of the Body of Christ which carries on living activities by meanings of the individual believers, who are distinct in function but mutually dependent on and governed by their relation to Christ, the Head.

Entrance into the church is through the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit Who places believers into union with Christ and with other believers. The baptizing work of the Spirit occurs simultaneously with saving faith, is non-experiential, and includes all believers, regardless of class or social position. As a head gives direction to a human body, so Christ, as head of the church, gives direction to the church, having authority over it. It is through union with Christ that the church grows to maturity as it subjects itself to the authority of Christ.

Paul teaches that God has given spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ. The doctrine of spiritual gifts is almost exclusively Pauline; the only reference apart from Paul is a brief statement in 1 Peter 4:10. Spiritual gifts is the translation of one Greek word charisma, literally, “grace gift.” A concise definition is “a God-given ability for service.” Paul describes the gifts in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

Theology of Paul. Part 8 (The Study of God Episode #71)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #71

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is 2 Peter 3:18 which reads: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Israelmore Ayivor. He said: “Knowing God is not enough; you must make Him known to others. Through your living character, you tell more about the living God!”

Our topic for today is titled “Theology of Paul (Part 8)” from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns.

Dr. Paul Enns writes…

Propitiation. The noun propitiation occurs only four times in the New Testament, in Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; and 1 John 2:2; 4:10. This word (from Gk. hilasmos (hil-as-mos) and hilasterion (hil-as-tay’-ree-on)) means “to expiate, to appease, or atone for.” It indicates that Christ fully met and satisfied the demands of a righteous and holy God. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God’s holiness has been satisfied and His wrath averted. Romans 3:26 explains that through the death of Jesus Christ, God can be just (His integrity is maintained) and yet He may still declare the believer in Christ righteous. God does not overlook sin, however. The death of Christ was sufficient in providing atonement for sin so that God’s holiness and justice are fully satisfied. Propitiation, therefore, is important in showing how a sinful man might be reconciled to a holy God—it is through the atonement of Christ. God is propitiated (satisfied) with the death of Christ as making full payment for sin.

Justification. Justification is a peculiarly Pauline term. The verb is used forty times in the New Testament, but Paul uses the word twenty-nine times. Justification is a legal act whereby God declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of the blood of Christ. The basic meaning of justification is “to declare righteous.” Several other things can be learned about Paul’s usage of justification: justification is a gift of God’s grace; it is appropriated through faith; it is possible through the blood of Christ; and it is apart from the law. This last point is a major emphasis of Paul and undoubtedly the thesis of the book of Galatians—man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

What Is Original Sin? (The Study of God Episode #70)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #70

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is Colossians 1:9-12 which reads: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from D. A. Carson. He said: “To know God is to be transformed, and thus to be introduced to a life that could not otherwise be experienced.”

Our topic for today is titled “What Is Original Sin?” from “Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day” by Dr. Daryl Aaron.

Dr. Daryl Aaron writes…

Within a hard-to-deal-with theological topic is a sub-topic that also is very hard to understand and come to grips with: original sin. The term basically refers to all people being born with a sin nature; each one of us is born a sinner. As noted in chapter 15, we are not sinners because we sin; rather, we sin because we are (born) sinners. The nature precedes the behavior; the acts flow from the condition.

It is called “original sin” because it traces back to the original sin of Adam. His sinful nature was passed on to his children and their children and therefore to all of humanity—as such, this is sometimes called “inherited sin.” The Bible says, for example, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”. In the New Testament we find: All of us also lived among [the disobedient] at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature [that is, from birth] deserving of wrath. – Ephesians 2:3

This means that at the point of conception, we all have the predisposition or inclination toward sin. But not only do we have this propensity toward sin, God also rightly considers all of us guilty of sin. This is due to the imputation or transfer of Adam’s guilt to the rest of humankind. Paul discusses this in Romans 5:12–19, beginning with: Sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—to be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account [transferred, imputed] where there is no law.

He concludes with: Consequently, just as one trespass [Adam’s sin] resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act [Jesus’ sacrifice] resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Paul is saying that when Adam sinned, it’s as if we all sinned; and just as Adam is guilty for that sin, so we all are guilty—for that sin. But how can that be? We are living thousands of years after the original sin, so how could God consider us guilty for that? Furthermore, how could this result in our being in a sinful condition from the first moment of our lives? These are tough questions without easy answers.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.