Unit III. Christ’s Resurrection: the Source of Our HOPE. Jesus lives and is present among us today New life is the promise of the risen Lord Christ’s resurrection foreshadows the future. HOPE As the Basis for the Christian Life of Obedience. A “Little Christ” Every Day.
Christ’s Resurrection: the Source of Our HOPE • Jesus lives and is present among us today • New life is the promise of the risen Lord • Christ’s resurrection foreshadows the future
A “Little Christ” Every Day • Motivations—God who has given his life for us. It is "because" not "so that." • Structures—The 3rd use of the Law.
A “Little Christ” Every Day • Adiaphora—those things that are neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible
The “Cruciform” Lifestyle • To be a Christ-bearer means that we must also be a cross-bearer. • Bearing the cross refers to the unique suffering and persecution we deal with as Christian people.
The “Cruciform” Lifestyle • The other side of the cross deals with self-denial. • The strength for bearing the cross comes from the Gospel. In that Christ Jesus has born the cross for us, we can bear the cross for him. • He died for us; we'll live for him.
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • Prayer is the conversation of the heart, a heart of grace found in Jesus Christ.
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • Luther: Where there is a Christian, there is the Holy Spirit, who is always engaged in prayer. Even though the Christian does not continually move his lips to utter words, nevertheless the heart is beating, like arteries and that heart in the body, unceasingly sighing, "O dear Father…".
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • As the attacks, trials, and troubles press and crowd harder, also such sighing and begging becomes more urgent, even audible. So, then, you cannot find a Christian who is not always praying, as little as a living person is without a pulse, which never rests, but beats continuously, though the person be sleeping or preoccupied otherwise, so that he is not aware of its beating.
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • You don't even need to worry about having the words to pray.
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • Tom Rogers: My six year old daughter says, "Dad, I'm thirsty," I know what she wants. I pour her a glass of milk. If she says, "O dearest Father, head of the house and owner of all, who has wonderfully and thoughtfully provided for all my needs these past, providing raiment for my body and food for my stomach, although I am rarely grateful
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • wouldst thou, in thy mercy, consider traversing to the rectangular appliance filled with Freon and retrieving the plastic container filled with the fruit of the cow so that I might enjoy it as a libation?" I would still pour her a glass of milk. In fact, if my daughter says "Moo" I pour her a glass of milk.
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • I know what my daughter requires. She doesn't need to ask for it in perfect English. It's the same way with our heavenly Father. Our words don’t need to be perfectly anything. We just need to speak and he will hear it.
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • Paul uses four different words for prayer: • Requests: Really isn't a strong enough word. The Greek word refers to needing help—now! • Prayers: Highlights to whom we pray and emphasizes the sacred nature of prayer.
Prayer and Ministries of Prayer • Paul uses four different words for prayer: • Intercession: Two meanings. Coming to God with the needs of others. Also emphasize the idea of praying with boldness. • Thanksgiving: Appreciation is an essential ingredient of our communication with God. Thanksgiving is a confession of our faith and glorifies God.
Witnessing • 90% of the people who come to church do so because a friend or relative brought them. • We cannot choose whether or not to witness. By what we do and say, we are going to make some statement about our Christian faith each day.
Witnessing • Some Facts about the Unchurched • From George Barna, Re-Churching the Unchurched (Ventura, CA: Isaachar Resources, 2000). • Not "People persons." The unchurched tend to be combative, less relational, lonelier, and less flexible than the general population. • The chances of coming on their own, without a personal invitation, are slim. Personal invitation is the entry vehicle of choice for the unchurched. Worship is the main entry point into the church for most unchurched in 2000. Yet, 73% of the unchurched say they have never received an invitation to church.
Witnessing • Some Facts about the Unchurched • They will be attracted by multiple strategies, not any single generic approach. • The dream church of the unchurched is a church of 100-200 people with a casual atmosphere; a clear reverence for God; an integration of meaningful traditions and rituals; practical, topical preaching; and other features customized to meet the needs of the individual. They prefer traditional music, but not on an organ.
Witnessing • Some Facts about the Unchurched • They are more likely to be male; to have been divorced; and have a greater income. • They are worldly first; spiritual second. • Almost 20% of unchurched Americans say they are "born again."
Witnessing • Some Facts about the Unchurched • Primary reasons they have left their churches: hypocritical behavior; inflexible/strict beliefs; and "nothing in particular." • The main reasons for not attending church: no time; schedule conflicts; working. • They do not appreciate intrusive welcome and follow-up to a visit, but they do appreciate a note from the pastor, genuine conversation with members, and information about the church.
The Bible • Its purpose: Salvation 2 Timothy 3:14-17 • Its normative function: Scripture is the rule and norm for all doctrine and life. • The Inspiration of Scripture 2 Peter 1:20-21
The Bible • Inspiration Defined • The Holy Spirit guided men to record what God had revealed to them about the mysteries of His being and the meaning of His mighty acts in human history for human salvation. Everything they wrote was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, even if it was something they knew about apart from God's special revelation.
The Bible • Inspiration and sources • The authors used a variety of sources in their works. • The use of such sources does not conflict with the doctrine of inspiration. • The problem: trying to reconstruct such sources and make inferences about them.
The Bible • Inspiration and the authors • The authors were not divine word processors. • Each writer’s temperament, gifts, interests, perspectives, and limitations are found in Scripture.
The Bible • Inspiration and literary forms • Many kinds of literature are found in the Bible. • When we interpret, we must interpret in a way consistent with the type of literature used.
The Bible • Inspiration and authorship • We don’t know who wrote every book. • When a book testifies to its author, we usually accept that.
The Bible • Inerrancy • Three basic views: • a) The Bible is filled with error and stuff that is just made up. You can't depend on it at all. • b) The Bible has some error, but so long as those errors don't impinge on the Gospel, don't worry about them. (Gospel Reductionism) • c) The Bible has no errors because it is the Word of God. However, Gospel first, the rest of Scripture second.
The Bible • Textual Criticism • Minor variants: errors that came losing a place and writing a line a second time, using the wrong homophone, misspelling a word • Major variants: ending to Mark's Gospel, 1 John 5:7-8
The Bible • Antilegomena and homolegomena • Not everyone in the ancient church accepted all of what is today considered the New Testament canon. • Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation were disputed. • These books are called “antilegomena” (spoken against). • We never base a doctrine solely or even primarily on the basis of a book that was spoken against.
The Bible • Law and Gospel • The greatest art and science • For most Evangelicals, the question is simply, "Did I preach the truth?" • For us, it must always be, "Did I preach the Gospel?" • It helps remind us how to rightly divide Scripture: to whom do I preach what word?
The Bible • The Law tells us: • A. What WE must DO for GOD. • B. That God is HOLY and JUST. • C. ALL people are SINFUL. • D. God is ANGRY about sin and PUNISHES sin. • The Law SHOWS OUR SIN.
The Bible • The Gospel tells us: • A. What GOD has DONE for US. • B. That God is GRACIOUS and FORGIVING. • C. Jesus has won FORGIVENESS for ALL. • D. God FORGIVES sin. • The Gospel SHOWS OUR SAVIOR.
The Bible • The Bible’s Power • The Power of the Word is the Gospel: Romans 1:16-17
Baptism • Christ’s resurrection (and death) re-enacted within us Romans 6
Baptism • The grace of Baptism • The grace that God gives in baptism is the very grace of God itself. • Roman Catholics have traditionally overemphasized the grace of God in baptism. They say that grace is given whether or not the person believes it or accepts it. • Reformed churches, on the other hand, argue that no grace is given in baptism—it just gets you wet. • Lutherans have always pointed out that Baptism is a means of grace.
Baptism • Family point of entrance • Paul consistently points to baptism at the starting point of the Christian life. • Does one have to be baptized in order to be a Christian? No and yes.
Baptism • Family point of entrance • We never "rebaptize" anyone, so long as he or she was baptized in a Christian church. • We would “rebaptize only if the person • were baptized in a non-Christian group or sect • if there is doubt about his or her baptism that cannot be overcome.
Baptism • Lutheran doctrine and practices • Infant baptism • From its earliest beginnings, the Christian church has baptized infants. • Paul baptized "households"—a word which would automatically include infants (if there were any).
Baptism • Lutheran doctrine and practices • Infant baptism • Jewish boys were circumcised at the 8th day; there was no question in their minds that infants could be a part of the covenant people (they were worried about the Gentiles).
Baptism • Lutheran doctrine and practices • Infant baptism • Finally, there is no place in the history of early Christianity where the Church ever discussed when a person should be baptized. • By the year 300 infant baptism was the norm of the Christian church.
Baptism • Lutheran doctrine and practices • Who should baptize? • Normally the pastor. In emergency, anyone. • How? • With water and in God’s Name.
Holy Communion • The Risen Christ’s “real presence” • The doctrine of Holy Communion will always be divisive among Christians. • The three basic viewpoints of Holy Communion: transubstantiation, symbol, and Real Presence.
Holy Communion • Roman Catholic Transubstantiation • The Roman Catholic error in trying to understand how Christ's body and blood are connected with bread and wine. • Found the answer in Greek philosophy with its understanding of substance and accidents.
Holy Communion • Roman Catholic Transubstantiation • Then moved to the sacrifice of the Mass which said that this is bloodless sacrifice of Jesus, and then to the adoration of the host and the Corpus Christi festivals and all manners of evil.
Holy Communion • Consubstantiation • Some say this is what Lutherans teach. • Instead of the substances being changed, the substances are together. • The problem here is the word "substance" again. • We cannot describe "how" Christ is present except to say it is by the Word.
Holy Communion • Reformed Symbolism • They teach a symbol or the "spiritual presence" of Christ. • Christ is not present in the elements, although, somehow, those elements are supposed to bring us closer to Jesus. • Christ commands it and we are not to argue with a sovereign God.
Holy Communion • Lutheran Real Presence • Christ is truly present in the supper. • This is Christ's body and blood; this is bread and wine. • If Jesus says "this is" then it is, for is means is.