Systematic theology an introduction to bible doctrine
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Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine. Wayne Grudem. Chapter 48: Means of Grace Within the Church. What are the different activities within the life of the church that God uses to bring blessing to us? What do we miss if we neglect involvement in a local church?.

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Systematic theology an introduction to bible doctrine

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine

Wayne Grudem


Chapter 48 means of grace within the church

Chapter 48: Means of Grace Within the Church

What are the different activities within the life of the church that God uses to bring blessing to us? What do we miss if we neglect involvement in a local church?


A how many means of grace are available to us

A. How Many Means of Grace Are Available to Us?

  • The means of grace are any activities within the fellowship of the church that God uses to give more grace to Christians.

  • Historically, some theologians have limited them to three:

    • The preaching of the Word

    • Baptism

    • The Lord’s Supper

  • It is more helpful to consider many activities.


Protestants protested the roman catholic teaching on means of grace

Protestants Protested the Roman Catholic Teaching on Means of Grace

  • Roman Catholics hold that there are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction (last rites), Holy Orders, and Matrimony

  • These actions are taught to be means of salvation, making people more fit to receive justification from God.

  • They further are believed to have value as works performed (ex opereoperato). The power of the sacraments does not depend on any subjective attitude of faith in the people participating in them.

  • Sacraments are to be performed only by priests.


B specific means

B. Specific Means

  • 1. Teaching of the Word. (Rom 1:16; 2 Tim 3:16)

    • This brings new spiritual life. (Jas 1:18)

    • It builds up believers. (Acts 20:32)

  • 2. Baptism. (Matt 28:19)

    • This public profession of faith in Christ brings joy and blessing.

    • The Holy Spirit often uses this to increase our faith and understanding of new life in Christ.


B specific means1

B. Specific Means

  • 3. The Lord’s Supper. (1 Cor 10:17; 11:17-33)

  • 4. Prayer. (Acts 4:24-30; Eph 6:18; Heb 4:16)

  • 5. Worship. (Jn 4:23-24; Jas 4:8; Col 3:16-17)

  • 6. Church Discipline. (2 Cor 7:10; Matt 18:15-20)

  • 7. Giving. (2 Cor 8-9)

  • 8. Spiritual Gifts. (1 Pet 4:10; 1 Cor 12:4-31; 14:12)


B specific means2

B. Specific Means

  • 9. Fellowship. (Acts 2:42; Heb 10:24-25; Gal 6:2)

  • 10. Evangelism. (Acts 2:4-41; 9:17-20)

  • 11. Personal Ministry to Individuals.

    • Words of encouragement, exhortation, or wisdom. (Col 3:16; Heb 10:24-25)

    • Assisting the material needs of fellow believers. (1 Jn 3:17; Gal 2:10)

    • Anointing with oil or laying on hands. (Mk 6:13; Jas 5:14; Lk 4:40; Acts 28:8)


B specific means3

B. Specific Means

  • 12. Should Footwashing Be Practiced As a Means of Grace Within the Church? (Jn 13:14)

    • Footwashing does not symbolize any redemptive-historical event.

    • Footwashing was functional, not symbolic.

    • In reducing it to a symbol, Jesus’ command to act in humility and love is lost.

    • The NT does not give evidence that the church observed this practice.

    • Jesus seems to be telling his disciples to serve one another rather than instituting a new ceremony.


C conclusions

C. Conclusions

  • When the means of grace are carried out in faith and obedience, we should expect the Holy Spirit to minister to people.

  • We must not cut ourselves off from the fellowship of the church.


Special terms

Special Terms

  • Eucharist

  • extreme unction

  • holy orders

  • laying on of hands

  • means of grace

  • sacrament


Chapter 49 baptism

Chapter 49: Baptism

Who should be baptized? How should it be done? What does it mean?


Explanation and scriptural basis

Explanation and Scriptural Basis

  • Baptism is appropriately administered only to those who give a believable profession of faith in Jesus Christ.


A the mode and meaning of baptism

A. The Mode and Meaning of Baptism

  • 1. The Greek word baptizō means “to plunge, dip, immerse” something in water.

  • 2. The sense “immerse” best fits the use of the word in several NT passages (Mark 1:5; Mark 1:10; John 3:23; Acts 8:36; Acts 8:38-39)

  • 3. The symbolism of union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection seems to require baptism by immersion (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12)


A the mode and meaning of baptism1

A. The Mode and Meaning of Baptism

  • Objection: The essential thing symbolized in baptism is not death and resurrection with Christ, but purification and cleaning from sins. (Titus 3:5; Acts 22:16)

  • Response: To say that washing away of sins is the only thing (or even the most essential thing) pictured in baptism does not faithfully represent NT teaching. (Col 2:11-12; Rom 6:1-11)


B the subjects of baptism

B. The Subjects of Baptism

  • 1. The Argument From the New Testament Narrative Passages on Baptism. (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:44-48; 16:14-15)

    • These suggest that baptism was only administered to those who gave a believable profession of faith.

  • 2. The Argument From the Meaning of Baptism.

    • The outward symbol of beginning the Christian life should only be given to those who show evidence of having begun the Christian life (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12)


B the subjects of baptism1

B. The Subjects of Baptism

  • 3. Alternative #1: The Roman Catholic View.

    • Baptism should be administered to infants, as baptism is necessary for salvation, and that the act of baptism itself causes regeneration.

    • Catholic doctrine and practice concerning baptism:

      • 1. Baptism is ordinarily administered by a priest, yet in unusual circumstances a deacon, layperson, or even an unbeliever may perform baptism

      • 2. Sacraments work apart from the faith of the people participating in the sacrament.


B the subjects of baptism2

B. The Subjects of Baptism

  • 3. Alternative #1: The Roman Catholic View.

    • Response To Roman Catholic View:

      • 1. Salvation depends on faith alone—not on faith plus works. (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 6:23)

      • 2. The debate about baptism is similar to that of Paul’s argument concerning circumcision (Gal. 1:6; Gal. 3:10; Gal. 5:4)

      • Conclusion: No work is necessary for salvation, and therefore baptism is not necessary for salvation.


B the subjects of baptism3

B. The Subjects of Baptism

  • What about John 3:5?

    • 1. This is best understood against the background of the promise of the new covenant in Ezekiel 36:25-27.

    • 2. “The washing of regeneration” takes place when the Holy Spirit gives new spiritual life. (Titus 3:5; Eph. 5:26)

  • What about 1 Peter 3:21?

    • 1. “An appeal to God for a good conscience” means a request for forgiveness of sins and new heart

    • 2. In baptism, we make such an appeal.


B the subjects of baptism4

B. The Subjects of Baptism

  • 4. Alternative #2: The Protestant Paedobaptist View.

    • a. Infants Were Circumcised in the Old Covenant.

    • b. Baptism Is Parallel to Circumcision. (Col 2:11-12)

    • c. Household Baptisms. (Acts 16:15; 1 Cor. 1:16; Acts 16:33; Acts 2:39)


B the subjects of baptism5

B. The Subjects of Baptism

  • 4. Alternative #2: The Protestant Paedobaptist View.

    • Response to the Paedobaptist View:

      • (1) Baptism and circumcision, though similar, are also different in some important ways.

      • (2) The NT does not talk about a “covenant community” made up of believers and their unbelieving children and relatives and servants.

      • (3) The examples of household baptism are not decisive for one position or another.


B the subjects of baptism6

B. The Subjects of Baptism

  • 4. Alternative #2: The Protestant Paedobaptist View.

    • Response to the Paedobaptist View:

      • (4) What does baptism even do on a paedobaptist view? Does it regenerate? Does it symbolize? This view has no clear answer.

      • (5) Concern about Practical Consequences:

        • Over several years this practice will result in more and more unconverted members who think they have already been regenerated.

        • This will lead to a less-pure church with many tendencies towards false doctrine.


C the effect of baptism

C. The Effect of Baptism

  • We gain joy from the public profession of one’s faith.

  • We gain joy from the reassurance of having a clear physical picture of dying and rising with Christ and washing away sins.

  • It strengthens and encourages our faith.


D the necessity of baptism

D. The Necessity of Baptism

  • Jesus and the apostles commanded baptism. (Matt 28:19; Acts 2:38)

  • It is not necessary for salvation . (Lk 23:43)

  • It is necessary for obedience to Christ.


E the age for baptism

E. The Age for Baptism

  • Are they old enough to give a believable profession of faith?

  • Is there convincing evidence of genuine spiritual life?

  • Is there some degree of understanding regarding the meaning of trusting in Christ?


F remaining questions

F. Remaining Questions

  • 1. Do Churches Need to Be Divided Over Baptism?

    • It does not seem necessary, if advocates of believer’s baptism and paedobaptism can agree to live with each other’s views on this matter.

    • Full agreement on this issue should not be a barrier to membership—this only undermines the unity of the church.


F remaining questions1

F. Remaining Questions

  • 2. Who Can Baptize?

    • The Scriptures place no restrictions on who can perform this ceremony.

    • It should be done within the fellowship of the church—it is the sign of entrance into the body of Christ.

    • The localbody should assemble to witness a baptism.

    • It seems appropriate for a designated representative of the church to administer this sacrament.


Special terms1

Special Terms

  • believable profession of faith

  • believers’ baptism

  • covenant community

  • ex opereoperato

  • immersion

  • paedobaptism


Chapter 50 the lord s supper

Chapter 50: The Lord’s Supper

What is the meaning of the Lord’s Supper?

How should it be observed?


A background in the history of redemption

A. Background in the History of Redemption

  • Jesus’ instituted the Lord’s Supper. (Matt 26:26-29)

  • Paul provides some additional details. (1 Cor 11:25)

  • The OT Background:

    • The OT records many instances of eating and drinking in the old covenant. (Ex 24:9-11; Deut 14:23, 26)

    • Also: Adam and Eve ate before God in the Garden of Eden.


A background in the history of redemption1

A. Background in the History of Redemption

  • The Lord’s Supper looks forward to a greater feast (Matt 26:29, Rev 19:9)

  • From Genesis to Revelation, God’s aim has been to bring his people into fellowship with himself, and one of the great joys of experiencing that fellowship is the fact that we can eat and drink in the presence of the Lord.


B the meaning of the lord s supper

B. The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper

  • 1. Christ’s Death. (1 Cor 11:26)

  • 2. Our Participation in the Benefits of Christ’s Death.

  • 3. Spiritual Nourishment. (Jn 6:53-57)

  • 4. The Unity of Believers. (1 Cor 10:17)


B the meaning of the lord s supper1

B. The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper

  • 5. Christ Affirms His Love for Me.

  • 6. Christ Affirms That All the Blessings of Salvation Are Reserved for Me.

  • 7. I Affirm My Faith in Christ.


C how is christ present in the lord s supper

C. How Is Christ Present in the Lord’s Supper?

  • 1. The Roman Catholic View: Transubstantiation.

    • Definition: The bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ at the moment the priest says, “This is my body” during the celebration of the mass.

      • Grace is imparted to those who partake, in proportion to their subjective disposition.

      • Only the priest can administer the body and blood.

      • Every time the mass is celebrated, the sacrifice of Christ is repeated.

      • Because of this view, laypeople were often not allowed to drink from the cup of the Lord’s Supper for fear that the blood of Christ would be spilled.


C how is christ present in the lord s supper1

C. How Is Christ Present in the Lord’s Supper?

  • 1. The Roman Catholic View: Transubstantiation.

    • Response:

      • It fails to recognize the symbolic character of Jesus’ statements when he declared, “This is my body.” (i.e., John 6:41, 10:9, 15:1)

      • It fails to recognize the clear NT teaching on the finality and completeness of Christ’s sacrifice once for all time for our sins. (Heb 9:25-28; John 19:30)


C how is christ present in the lord s supper2

C. How Is Christ Present in the Lord’s Supper?

  • 1. The Roman Catholic View: Transubstantiation.

    • Response:

      • The NT gives no instructions to place restrictions on who can preside at Communion.

      • Restricting laypersons to drink of the cup of the Lord’s Supper uses tradition to promote disobedience to Jesus’ direct commands. (Mt 26:27)


C how is christ present in the lord s supper3

C. How Is Christ Present in the Lord’s Supper?

  • 2. The Lutheran View: Consubstantiation.

    • Definition: The bread does not become the body of Christ, but the physical body of Christ is present “in, with, and under” the bread of the Lord’s Supper.


C how is christ present in the lord s supper4

C. How Is Christ Present in the Lord’s Supper?

  • 2. The Lutheran View: Consubstantiation.

    • Response:

      • The Lutheran view fails to realize that Jesus is using a physical object to convey a spiritual reality.

      • We should take “This is my body” no more literally than the corresponding sentence, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:20)

      • Luther makes the words of Jesus mean, “This accompanies my body.”


C how is christ present in the lord s supper5

C. How Is Christ Present in the Lord’s Supper?

  • 3. The Rest of Protestantism: A Symbolic and Spiritual Presence of Christ.

    • Definition: The elements symbolize the body and blood of Christ and give a visible sign of his spiritual presence.

      • If he is present when Christians gather to worship, then we can expect that he is present in the Lord’s Supper. (Mt 18:20)

      • Christ only meets and blesses us there in accordance with our faith in him.

      • Certainly there is a symbolic presence of Christ, but also a genuine spiritual presence and blessing in this ceremony.


D who should participate in the lord s supper

D. Who Should Participate in the Lord’s Supper?

  • Only those who believe in Christ should participate in it.

  • Some will restrict it to those who have been baptized.

    • Some churches may think it best to allow non-baptized believers to participate but to urge them to be baptized as soon as possible.

  • Participants must engage in self-examination. (1 Cor 11:27-30)


E other questions

E. Other Questions

  • 1. Who should administer the Lord’s Supper?

    • Scripture gives no explicit teaching on this question.

    • In order to guard against abuse, a responsible leader ought to be in charge of administering it.

    • Yet, there seems to be no reason why only officers, or only leaders, or only men, should distribute the elements.


E other questions1

E. Other Questions

  • 2. How often should we celebrate the Lord’s Supper?

    • Scripture does not tell us.

    • As often as it can be planned, explained, and carried out in such a way that it is a time of self-examination, confession, thanksgiving, and praise.


Special terms2

Special Terms

  • communion

  • consubstantiation

  • Eucharist

  • “not discerning the body”

  • spiritual presence

  • symbolic presence

  • transubstantiation

  • ubiquity of Christ’s human nature


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