Theology of Paul, Part 11 (The Study of God #77)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #77

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 James 2:23 which reads: “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from J. I. Packer. He said: “There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them.”

Our topic for today is titled “Theology of Paul (Part 11)” from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns.

Dr. Paul Enns writes…

Last Things
Regarding the church. Since Paul has provided significant new teaching concerning the nature of the church, it is appropriate that Paul should bring that teaching to a consummation, describing the future of the church. Paul refers to the translation of the church in which some living believers will not die but will be transformed more quickly than an eye can cast a glance. At that time, departed church-age believers will rise to receive resurrection bodies and the living, transformed believers will be suddenly snatched up to be with Christ.

Paul emphasizes the practical nature of this doctrine: “comfort one another with these words”. Following the rapture of the church, believers will stand before the bema, the judgment seat of Christ, to be recompensed for deeds done in the body, whether good or worthless. Salvation is not the issue; rather, it is the works of the believer. One whose works were done in the flesh will be burned up; there will be no reward, but the believer will be saved—with no works to show for it. One whose works are acceptable by the Lord will be rewarded—not in terms of salvation, for that has been established. Rewards are spoken of in terms of crowns.

Regarding Israel. Paul deals with Israel’s election in Romans 9–11, lamenting Israel’s rejection of Messiah. Israel had great privileges but scorned them, yet since God has sovereignly elected Israel, He will not fail in His purpose for the nation. The fact that God has not abandoned His people is evident by the fact that there is a remnant of believing Jews, of which Paul was one. However, while Israel has been blinded, it is temporary. Paul envisions a future day when Israel’s blindness will be lifted and “all Israel will be saved”. There will be a future national turning to Christ in faith. Paul relates that event to the return of Messiah: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob”.

Regarding the world. While Paul has referred to future hope for the church and the future conversion of Israel, he deals extensively with the future judgment of God upon an unbelieving world. Paul uses the term wrath (Gk. orgï) to describe the judgment of God that will descend upon the world. This term is decidedly a Pauline term, being used twenty-one one times in his writings while only fifteen times in the remainder of the New Testament. Paul frequently uses orgï to describe a future “day of wrath” that the stubborn and unrepentant people will face. Paul warns that the wrath of God will come upon those who are morally impure. Paul, however, takes great pains to show that believers will not endure the wrath of God. They will be saved from that day.

Paul also identifies the period as a time the “man of lawlessness,” also called the “son of destruction”, will appear and exalt himself as God. He is unable to exalt himself in this present age because of a restrainer—whom many identify as the Holy Spirit in this church age. When the restrainer is removed, the “lawless one will be revealed”, deceiving the people through his Satan-inspired miracles. But at the second advent of Christ, the lawless one (popularly known as the Antichrist) will be destroyed.

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.

Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ is God? (The Study of God #76)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #76

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 Matthew 11:27 which reads: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

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 “Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ is God?” from “Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day” by Dr. Daryl Aaron.

Dr. Daryl Aaron writes…

One of the most remarkable foundations of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ is eternal God. This is disputed by other religions (including the other monotheistic faiths, Judaism and Islam), by Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and certainly by many skeptics. Without question, lacking this central pillar, Christianity fails and has nothing to offer anyone.

It is no surprise that from very early on, believers have contended for, fought for, and died for this teaching—the deity of Jesus Christ. In a nutshell, the doctrine is that Jesus Christ is fully God (not half God or one-third God) and eternally God (he did not become God at some point in time). Anything less has been considered heresy.

There are many lines of argument for the deity of Jesus. Plainly, the fact is crystal clear if one allows Scripture to say what it says. Here are a few of those contentions and a few examples.

Not only did Christ exist before He was conceived by Mary (this is what preexistence means), He has always been; He is eternal. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word [referring to Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This last phrase is also a straightforward statement of His deity.

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58), both a declaration of eternality (“before Abraham was born”) and of deity (“I am”). The Jews would have understood “I am” as a reference to the name of their God: Yahweh. That is why they immediately sought to kill him. The famous prophecy of Messiah’s birthplace also says of Him, “whose origins are from of old, from ancient times”.

Jesus Christ also has other divine attributes: omnipresence (demonstrated in His promise to be with all believers—e.g., Matthew 28:20), omnipotence (demonstrated through His miracles—e.g., Luke 8:23–25), and omniscience (demonstrated by His knowledge of human thoughts—e.g., Luke 6:8; 11:17). Only God has these three characteristics.

Another line of evidence is that Jesus Christ did what God does. For example, Jesus is Creator and sustainer of all things. He gives life, specifically eternal life. A good example of Jesus’ doing what only God can do is His forgiving the sins of a paralyzed man. The Jewish religious leaders responded, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Exactly! When Jesus healed the man, He said He did it because “I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”.

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.

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.