(2014 Winter) Salvation By Grace Through Faith

Having spent the fall semester mining the depths of the gospel in our Romans study, the winter break provides an opportunity to warn and equip brethren against specific distortions of that gospel prevalent in our community and even creeping into our church.

Winter Class Overview: "Grace, Faith and Obedience"

-       “The Gospel” (2 Classes)

-       “Modern Distortions of the Gospel” (4 Classes)

"The Gospel”: (2 Classes)

Summarize and present the gospel message following the outline provided in Romans while drawing from the background, urgency and power of the same truths presented in Galatians.  

Outline:

-       All are under sin (stress personal guilt for my individual actions)

-       God’s grace through Jesus’ blood

-       Access by faith (obedience of faith) (active faith not simply intellectual faith)

-       Walk by the Spirit (stress the need to practice righteousness rather than giving into sin and returning to the slavery of sin and death)

Points of Emphasis/Objectives:

*Address righteousness, justification, grace, redemption, propitiation, faith, obedience, law, works, etc.

*Highlight abuses/perversions of the gospel in the first century - namely false doctrines of “law” (Gal. 5:4) and “liberty” (Gal. 5:13)

*Utilize Romans and Galatians especially 

*Additionally: clarify the difference between James’ use of “faith” and “works” compared to Paul’s use of the same terms. Note the different background and points in context.

“Modern Distortions of the Gospel”: (4 Classes)

Rather than emphasizing “labels” (e.g. "Calvinism,” etc.), introduce these specific subjects as "distortions of the gospel" (cf. Gal. 1:6).  Build off the gospel overview presented in the first two lessons, showing how certain views depart from this foundational truth.  Encourage critical thinking and meaningful discussion to equip individuals to identify any departure from the gospel.

Specific Subjects:

-       Born in Sin or Born a Sinner  (Total Depravity)?

-       Election and Atonement:  Conditions or Not?  Limited or Not?

-       Grace and Righteousness: Can they be resisted or rejected  (Imputation of Christ's righteousness)

-       Once in Christ can we so sin as to be eternally lost?  (Perseverance of the saints)

Galatians 1:6-9; 2:21 and 5:4 especially emphasize the danger of false thinking and teaching regarding the gospel of grace.  What seems small on the surface is deadly at its core.

Hopefully this format impresses us with the truth of the gospel and then like Paul in Romans and Galatians (and other letters), we identify the error/false teaching that is active in our community (and church) and address it head on.

 

-Mike and Alan

 

 

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