Saturday, August 21, 2010
Looking for some additional "Navigational Skills?"
Historically we are able to better “Navigate our interesting ‘life-Seas’” when we learn the lessons of history. Our “navigation” improves, for example, when we can compare the different influences of the “Great Reformation.” Luther’s own ‘salvation’ testimony includes his having faced the text, “The just shall live by faith,” as a direct attack and a clear “undoing” of his Roman Catholic teaching and belief system.
Having a balanced historical understanding of the contributions along with the limitations of the more famous “Magisterial” Reformers will keep our perspectives and opinions (and tendencies toward certain biases) under the control of reality. Then, too, ahaving a balanced historical understanding of the commitment and focus of the “Anabaptist” - (the ‘brethren’) Reformers - has a real value in our perspective of Christian teaching and true Truth.
The “more famous” Reformers like Luther, Zwingli and Calvin certainly focused our understanding on the essentials of salvation - important issues that are quite necessary for true ‘peace’ with God. The Anabaptist Reformers, on the other hand, accepted these essentials and went further by adding essential teaching for discipleship that produces a growing sense of consecration and a personal progressive “walk” in sanctification (separation from the world and to Christ). All of this Truth is... essential to Christian’s service and joy!
For the Church Planter, the issue of the means and ways that bring us before God as “the just” is most important! This Biblical truth regarding “Justification by Faith” (Romans 1-5) is a central doctrinal focus and an important feature of the preaching and teaching required in any sound Biblical ministry of ‘Church Planting.’
The "just" Romans 1:17... must come to the Lord for eternal life and for a blessed walk with God ... on the sole basis of their Faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior! Paul wanted the Romans to understand that "faith alone" is impossible for those who continue to trust in their church, their works or the symbols of sacraments rather than confessing their sinful state and genuine need to be saved by the work of Christ: His Death, Burial and Resurrection ... (Romans 10:9-12) Recognising the truth that "... the righteous man must life by faith..." (nasv) is outlined by Paul, as follows:
2. On Trial Before God. (The Verdict). Romans 1:18 - 3:20
3. Righteousness Imputed: God’s Offer of Grace. Romans 3:21-31
4. Justification: Old Testament and New Testament Truth. Romans 4:1-25
5. A Theology of Justification. Romans 5:1-21
6. The Importance of Sanctification & the Law - I. Romans 6:1-23
7. The Importance of Sanctification & the Law - II. Romans 7:1-25