This week we talked about the The Doctrine of Perseverance. We looked at four different views: 1) Roman Catholic, 2) Arminian, 3) Lutheran, 4) Reformed. The real question is if a Christian can lose their salvation. But there are some variations to this question. Can a regenerate believer commit apostasy and incur damnation? What can cause someone to lose their salvation? Are the elect eternally secure? Of those who believe you can lose your salvation the question is if the loss comes from what we do (grave sin) or what we decide (apostasy) or a combination of the two. We examined the scriptures used to defend conditional security and those that teach eternal security.
This week we talked about the Doctrine of Sanctification. We looked at five different views of sanctification: 1.Wesleyan, 2. Holiness, 3. Pentecostal, 4. Crisis Dedication, 5. Reformed. One of the main differences between some of these is: “Can I achieve near sinlessness while still walking this earth?” One of the videos at the end of this post from RC Sproul gives us a great illustration to answer this question. We talked about what it takes to push us along the path toward being the person God designed us to be. And we talked a little about the Pentecostal concept of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and how it is similar to some of the other ideas about us surrendering to God at various places in our life.
This week we talked about the Doctrine of Justification. We compared the three major Christian traditions (Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestantism) to see the similarities and differences. We saw that while Protestants view Justification as a point in time event, the others see it as a process. We talked how each saw Grace and Works to understand if Justification was God initiated alone or if there is also a part man plays.
This week we talked about Conversion. This is the first step in the salvation process that we are involved. He has done all the planning and work up to this point, but now it is our time to respond. The scriptures tell us that to be saved we need to believe (have faith) and we need to repent. Questions arise as to what it means to have faith and to repent. Is it enough to know this and accept it or do we need more? Does repenting mean we have to change before God accepts us or is is only by faith that we are saved.
The previous class sessions on the Order of Salvation, Election, and the Atonement were mostly about what God did to setup the plan of salvation. As we start talking about the point in time when we became a Christian, we see that several Biblical concepts happened in short order. The four items are the calling, regeneration, conversion and justification. This week we talked about the first two. We discussed if the calling is a one time event or a progressive pursuit of God where we brings about our awareness of God. We then talked about what regeneration means and if it happens before or after our conversion. Calvinism says it happens before and is irresistible. Non-Calvinists say that God does work in us to allow us the chance to choose him and answer his calling, but we do have free will to accept or reject this calling.
Right Click here to Download the lecture Audio for Class #6
Or play it with the control below: Assignments:
– Class Discussion for Week 6
– Read: Systematic Theology, 722–735 (Chapter 36)
– Read: The Mosaic of Christian Belief, 265–286 (Chapter 12)
This week we looked at the seventh and final view of the atonement. This Substitution Theory states that the atonement is made on the Cross when Christ vicariously bore the exact penalty of His people, thereby placating the wrath of God and satisfying His righteousness. We compared and contrasted this with the other 6 views and found some compatibility. But the most complete answer is only when we understand Christ as our substitution and having paid the price for all our sins.
This week we discussed the historical views of the atonement from the early days of the church to the reformation. As in other doctrines we discussed, development of ideas concerning the atonement developed slowly over time. Though all Christians knew that the Cross was and is the central focus of our salvation, it was not always clear why the atonement was necessary and what Christ’s death on the cross actually did. This week we looked at six different views and next week we will look at the position most Christians hold today.
Right Click here to Download the lecture Audio for Class #4
Or play it with the control below: Assignments:
– Class Discussion for Week 4
– Read: Systematic Theology, 692–707 (Chapters 33 & 34)
– Read: Paper “Were You Born Again Before You Believed?” by Michael Patton