Class Notes: 1/20/2016
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 41
In our study of the doctrine of witnessing Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; we are examining the doctrines that undergird the gospel so that we can understand how and why it is God alone who made it possible for our so great salvation exclusively by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9;
As part of the study we are presently reviewing the content of the Gospel message itself under the category of the "Doctrine of the Gospel that we last studied in 2013." 1Cor 15:1-4; John 3:16; Acts 16:31;
Last time we were in 1Cor 15:3; where we noted that Paul's concluding phrase "According to the Scriptures" translated from the Greek "kata" plus the accusative reference from "graphe" means "on the basis of the Scriptures"
The salvation work of Christ on the cross is the issue for the unbeliever. He will often learn about resurrection later because resurrection is generally not explained in the communication of the Gospel itself.
His being buried refers to Jesus' unique, trichotomous death that followed His work of salvation. His body went into the Tomb, His soul went to the paradise compartment of Hades and His spirit went to the Father in heaven.
The omnipotence of the Father and the Holy Spirit were the agents of His resurrection. That same omnipotent power that raised the humanity of Jesus Christ from the dead is the power that is now available for every Church Age believer as a member of the Royal Family of God and the body of Christ to execute the protocol plan of God for the Church.
The words translated "He was resurrected" tell us that Jesus Christ did not resurrect Himself. The present passive indicative of the Greek verb "egairo" means that Jesus Christ did not perform the action of the verb, He received the action of the verb.
This means that even though He could have raised Himself as He stated in John 10:17-18; He did not. He relied on the power of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
This passive voice (1Cor 5:3;) explains that He did not, but instead received resurrection from the Father and the Holy Spirit under the kenosis protocol. Phil 2:6-7;
Jesus Christ received the restoration of His human spirit to His body in the grave from the omnipotence of God the Father, an agent in the resurrection according to Acts 2:24; Rom 6:4; Eph 1:20; Col 2:12; 1Thes 1:10; 1Pet 1:21;
The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit who restored our Lord's human soul to His body in the grave was also an agent in His resurrection according Rom 1:4, Rom 8:11; and 1 Pet 3:18;
We see from this that the same power raised Jesus Christ from the dead under the kenosis protocol of the hypostatic union is now available for every church age believer.
This is the resurrection power of "Christ in you the absolute confident expectation of glory." Col 1:27; that is available for you to use to deal with the problems in your life right now.
We see from this that that the information contained in the Gospel starts with the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross and ends with His physical resurrection.
The fact that we are born spiritually dead and commit sins, though true and factual, is not good news, so it is not a part of the Gospel. In other words, preaching sin does not result in salvation. The Gospel is preaching the solution to sin. The Gospel begins with Christ being judged on behalf of our sins. He took our place and was judged instead of us.
This means that preaching about sin is not preaching the Gospel. Sin is a fact, and we need to realize that we are spiritually dead from birth and that we do sin, but it is not the Gospel. Preaching the Gospel is the explanation of salvation in terms of reconciliation, unlimited atonement, redemption, and propitiation.
Unbelievers cannot make a decision for eternal life until they hear that Jesus Christ took their place on the cross and became a substitute for their sins. That is the only place where this issue of sin is brought up.
When communicating the Gospel sin should not be emphasized independently of our Lord's substitutionary work on the cross.
Jesus Christ was our substitute and was judged for all of our sins. Because He "disregarded the shame of our sins" (Heb 12:2; NET), we therefore have no right to shame or to guilt others. Focusing on sins rather than Christ's work that covers them is not the Gospel.
The fact of the resurrection is a part of the Gospel that is sometimes understood by the unbeliever before salvation but more often it is not understood.
The information that is needed to be saved is something about the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross so that, as an unregenerate person, you can respond to the pattern of Eph 2:8-9; "For by grace are you saved by faith, and that not from yourselves; it is a gift of God, not from works lest any man should boast."
This means that most of the information contained in the Gospel, including resurrection, is not understood until after the person becomes a believer and possesses eternal life. Most people are eternally saved on practically no information. The emphasis is placed on believing in Jesus Christ who God gave to be substitute. John 3:16; Rom 5:8;
No one brings anything into the salvation relationship with God and it only takes a little bit of positive volition to the Gospel to be saved.
No one is saved by faith plus anything. If that were possible it would blaspheme God. In spiritual death mankind can do nothing, God provides everything for salvation through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
This excludes faith plus commitment, water baptism, or making Christ Lord. Christ is Lord because of the baptism of the Spirit. But the unbeliever has no clue about that until after salvation and learns doctrine.
Some people never understand this so try to make salvation an experiential activity that metastasizes into some form of salvation by works.
Rather than teaching faith alone in Christ alone some propose substitutes like "inviting Christ into your heart." But inviting Christ into your heart is not a Biblical metaphor for salvation, so is wrong.
It's based on a misinterpretation of "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man will open, I will come in and have fellowship with him." Rev 3:20;
But that is a passage for rebound and experiential restoration to fellowship for the believer under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit, It has nothing to do with salvation. Christ cannot be invited into the heart of man because the "heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Jer 17:9;
There are some legitimate metaphors, like eating, drinking, and following as in "My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me." These are all non-meritorious functions so they are analogous to faith alone.
No works can be added because we can do nothing about sin. Jesus was the only one who could do anything about sin. It was Jesus Christ who alone was judged for every sin on the cross.
Some think they must repent from sin for salvation but repentance simply means a change of mind once a person understands the Gospel through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and believes it they have repented.
Repentance and reconciliation are products of the salvation ministry of the God Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace. They occur automatically when a person believes in Jesus Christ.
This is why God's Word emphasizes believe and nothing else. There is no salvation by water baptism, by renouncing sin, by joining a church or by any kind of psychological gimmick like raising your hands or walking an aisle.
None of these things can save because they are things that people do and no one can do anything to be saved. You can believe in Christ in any physical position and be saved. If anything is added to faith in Christ that addition is salvation by works that is not salvation at all.
2Cor 4:3-4; "But even if our Gospel has been veiled, it is veiled from those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the exact image of God."
We see here that it is in the mind or the thinking that one believes. Jesus Christ alone is the issue in salvation. Sins are not an issue. Jesus Christ finished all the work for salvation on the cross.
That was indicated by His use of the Greek word "Tetelestai" that means finished in the past with the result that it stands finished forever.
Satan blinds the mind or the thinking of the unbeliever. Unbelievers are hurt when false issues are brought into witnessing. Satan uses uninformed believers who have no doctrinal accuracy to confuse unbelievers and distract them away from Jesus Christ as the sole issue for salvation.
In 1Cor 1:17; Paul emphasizes the exclusivity of the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone for salvation when he says, "For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, not in cleverness of speech, in order that the cross of Christ should not be made void."
In the early church prior to the completion of the Canon of Scripture, water baptism was a temporary ritual for the purpose of teaching the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was designed to teach the significance of the Church Age as a new dispensation.
Water baptism is used for the purpose of identification in the New Testament. While Jesus Christ was on the earth in unglorified humanity John the Baptizer practiced it. In that case the water represented the kingdom and the Person of Jesus Christ as Messiah.
When they believed in Christ as Messiah, they were put under the water as a means of demonstrating their identification with Christ as Messiah, and they were lifted up out of the water into the air, representing eternal life in association with Him.
When John the Baptizer baptized Jesus, the water represented God's plan for Jesus unglorified humanity in Hypostatic Union. So under the water, Jesus was identified with God's unique plan and purpose for His life in unglorified humanity in Hypostatic Union.
Coming up out of the water was a picture of resurrection, meaning that once He had fulfilled the purpose of His life in unglorified humanity He would be resurrected because the plan included His sacrifice on the cross. Heb 10:5-10;
To teach the baptism of the Holy Spirit to believers in the first century of the Church Age, water represented retroactive positional truth.
Retroactive positional truth is the doctrine that explains that when anyone believes in Christ he is identified with Christ in His deaths.
Going under the water symbolically represents the rejection of the OSN and human good. Coming up out of the water symbolized the current positional truth of being identified with Christ in His resurrection under the indwelling and filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit where He is presently seated at the right hand of the Father.
Water baptism was always only a ritual. All ritual is designed for teaching and application. The only ritual that remains for us today is the communion service that is designed for us to remember Christ, which is application of our Lord's ministry.
Even during the pre-Canon period of the Church Age between 33-96 A.D when it was valid water baptism was divisive because people used who baptized them as a source of arrogant comparison.
With the completion of the Canon, it is completely unnecessary to teach the real baptism of the Holy Spirit with the ritual of water baptism. In spite of this to this day water baptism is misused as a ritual for salvation, spirituality, and becomes the basis for arrogant superiority.
This is why Paul made a point to make it very clear in this verse that his ministry was a ministry of preaching the gospel not a ministry of baptism. 1Cor 1:17;
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