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There is No Bad News in the Good News There is No Bad News in the Good News

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There is No Bad News in the Good News

Posted by: admin on Sat, Jan 21, 2017

by Breanne Dyck

There is No Bad News in the
Good News
by Breanne Dyck

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The Way Things Were

There are some stories in the Bible that nearly everyone – whether they’re Christian or not – has heard at some point or another. Stories about Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale, David and Goliath are relatively well known to the average person. Most people have also, at some point, heard about Adam and Eve. Let’s first look at this story a bit closer, to see what we can learn about the first humans.

Adam and Eve

The first mention we find in the Bible of Adam is in the creation story.

"And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Genesis 1:26-27, KJV

Whose image was mankind created in?

Do you think that Adam would have known that he was created in God’s image?

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Genesis 2:16-17 KJV

Which tree were Adam and Eve not supposed to eat from?

What were the consequences of eating from this tree?

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

Genesis 3:1-5 KJV

Once again, whose image was man created in? Flip back to the first page if you don’t remember.

What did the serpent say would happen if Adam and Eve ate of the fruit?

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

Genesis 3:6 KJV

Did Adam and Eve believe what God had said: that they were already in the image of God, or did they believe what the serpent said: that they had to eat of the fruit in order to be like God?

From these verses does it make sense that the sin Adam and Eve committed was unbelief?

"And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth"

Genesis 5:3 KJV

God promised that Adam would die if he and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Did Adam die physically as soon as he ate from the tree?

Since Adam didn’t physically die that day, would it make sense that he died, spiritually?

The Bible says that God is a living God. If Adam died (spiritually) because of his sin, was he still in God’s image?

When Seth was born, whose image was he born in: God’s or Adam’s?

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned"

Romans 5:12 KJV

According to this verse, how did death enter the world?

To how many people did death pass?

Did these people have to know about Adam, or believe in him to become dead, or did they just become dead because of Adam?

"For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."

Romans 5:13-14 KJV

According to this verse, did people have to make the same mistake as Adam in order to be spiritually dead?

The word sin here is a noun again. So when it says that death reigned even over the people who hadn’t done the same sin as Adam, what sin is it referring to?

Did people have a choice about whether they were considered sinners and unbelievers?

From these verses then, what can be concluded about people who believed but still had Adam’s sin imputed to them?

We’ll go back to these verses in Romans 5 later, but for now, let’s look a little closer at this "law" that was given.

Parts and Purpose of the Old Testament

In Jewish tradition, the ‘Hebrew Scriptures’ (the Christian Old Testament) is broken up into two, or sometimes three, major sections: the law, the prophets and the writings. When only two divisions are specified, they are the law and the prophets. We’ll take a brief look at both of these sections, and see how they apply to the human race, post-cross.

The Law of God

When most people think about God’s law(s), they usually think of the Ten Commandments and the sacrifices. The law, though, includes many more rules than just these few. Jewish scholars have determined that there are 613 separate laws that God told the Jews to follow. Not only that, but the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) are collectively referred to as "the law".

"Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen."

Deuteronomy 27:26 KJV

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

James 2:10 KJV

How much of God’s law did the people have to keep in order to be seen as innocent in God’s eyes?

What is the result of breaking one law?

So under the law, was any person better than another in God’s eyes, or were all equally guilty, no matter what they had done?

"What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."

Romans 3:1-2 KJV

Who was the law – the oracles of God – given to?

Were the oracles of God ever given to anyone who was not a Jew?

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3:28 KJV

According to this verse in Galatians, does the group "Jew" exist anymore, in God’s eyes?

So if the group "Jew" is no longer in existence, and the oracles of God were given only to the Jews, is there anyone on earth today to whom the oracles of God (the law) still applies?

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

Romans 3:19-20 KJV

According to Romans 3:19, to whom does the law speak?

Whom does the law declare guilty before God?

What knowledge does the law give to people?

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

Galatians 3:24 KJV

According to this verse in Galatians, what was the law’s "job"?

From what we learned earlier, the law teaches us certain specific knowledge. This verse says that the law is the teacher. Which knowledge is it that the law teaches?

How long does the verse in Galatians 3 say that the law would be in effect?

This verse refers to faith "coming" and being "revealed". Would you agree that this makes it sound like faith is being personified?

In Hebrews 12:2 we read "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…" Without the added word, ‘our’ (see footnote), the verse would read "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith".

Would you agree that from this verse, it sounds as though Jesus is the personification of faith?

So if Jesus is the personification of faith, when, according to Galatians 3:24 was the law to end?

We’ll talk more about this idea of Jesus being the personification of faith later on in the study, but for now, let’s continue our overview of the Old Testament. It’s time to move from the law on to the prophets.

The Prophets of God

When Jesus was on Earth, He said "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17). He also said, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

In this study guide, we won’t focus on proving, from the prophets, that Jesus is the Messiah; rather, we’ll look at some prophecies that talk about how Jesus’ death would change God’s relationship with man, forever - the prophecies of judgment.

"Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed."

Isaiah 1:27-28 KJV

What does Isaiah say will produce the redemption of Zion (Jews)?

How will Zion’s converts (non-Jews who are ‘chosen’ of God regardless of their heritage) be redeemed?

Does it make sense that Jesus brought both judgment and righteousness to the world?

Looking at this prophecy as a whole, does Isaiah ever say that only believers in Jesus would be redeemed?

Why do you think Isaiah distinguished between transgressors and sinners?

Does Isaiah say there will be a difference in the judgments of transgressors and sinners?

Do you agree that this is a prophecy that Jesus came to fulfill?

Many times in his writings, Paul talks about being baptized into Christ (for example, he says in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that we are "all baptized into one body"). Did you know that the word "baptized" that Paul used means to be immersed or consumed in something?

Who does Isaiah say will be consumed?

According to Isaiah, then, how many people would be consumed (baptized) into Jesus?

"And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered."

Mark 14:27 KJV

How many did Jesus say would forsake Him at his death?

So how many people were baptized into Jesus’ death?

"Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression."

Romans 4:15 KJV

Remember, earlier we learned that Jesus took away the law. So is there such a thing as transgressions of the law?

Jesus came to remove the condition of sin from the world. Did he succeed or are there still people in the world with the condition of sin?

So if Jesus did what he came to do, and there are no more transgressors and no more sinners, would it be fair to say that transgressors and sinners had been destroyed?

"And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined."

Isaiah 25:6 KJV

According to Isaiah, for how many people was God going to make a feast?

"And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations."

Isaiah 25:7 KJV

"And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ."

2 Corinthians 3:13-15 KJV

According to Paul, in 2 Corinthians, when are people’s minds veiled?

So what is it that veils people’s mind?

What did God say, in Isaiah’s prophecy, would happen to the "covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations"?

What does Paul say blinded the Israelite’s minds, but is now abolished?

In whom does Paul say this veil was done away with?

At Jesus’ death, the temple veil was torn. This symbolized the removing of the separation between God and man. When did the doing away of the separation/veil take place?

"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it."

Isaiah 25:8 KJV

Who is the "He" being spoken of in Isaiah’s prophecy?

Whose tears did Isaiah say God would wipe away?

What did Isaiah say would happen to God’s rebuking of His people?

For how many people did Isaiah say this would happen?

Assuming Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, how many people is God upset with – how many does He rebuke?

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 KJV

How many people did Paul say would be changed?

What does Paul say would happen at to the corruptible and the mortal at the last trump?

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 KJV

What did Paul say would be swallowed up when the corruptible would put on incorruption, and the mortal would put on immortality?

When Jesus rose from the dead, did He overcome death?

Does it make sense that, in overcoming death, Jesus showed that death and the grave have no victory?

Paul, here, quotes from the prophet Isaiah, who foretold that death would have its sting taken away. What did Paul say was the sting of death?

And what did Paul say was the power of sin?

We learned earlier that Jesus took away the law. So if the law was taken away, does sin have any power?

If sin has no power, does death have any sting?

When was death’s sting taken away?

Through whom does Paul say the victory over death came?

So when was this prophecy fulfilled?

"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."

Isaiah 25:9 KJV

This verse is the conclusion of the three previous verses we read in Isaiah. From what we learned from Paul in 1 Corinthians, when was this prophecy fulfilled?

Isaiah wrote, "In that day…" In what day was he referring to; that is, in which day was the prophecy fulfilled?

When did God swallow up death in victory, stop rebuking human beings, and wipe away everyone’s tears?

"And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it."

Isaiah 28: 15-18 KJV

How many humans had an agreement with death because of Adam’s sin?

What did Isaiah say would happen to every human’s agreement with death?

What did Isaiah say would happen to the human race’s agreement with hell?

In 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, Paul says that Jesus won the victory over Hell, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy. If Jesus fulfilled this prophecy and defeated hell, does any human being have an agreement with hell?

So will any human being go to hell?

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

Daniel 9:24 KJV

What are the six things Daniel says would happen by the end of the 70th week?

Remember Jesus said He came to fulfill all prophecy. Does it make sense that when Jesus fulfilled all prophecy, He sealed up the vision and prophecy?

Do you believe that Jesus has already been anointed the most Holy?

So if Jesus has already fulfilled the last two things on this list of "things to be accomplished", would it make sense that He also completed the first four?

If Jesus fulfilled and completed these prophecies, as He claimed, is transgression of the law finished?

If the transgression of the law is finished, is it possible for you to break (transgress) God’s law?

If Jesus fulfilled and completed these prophecies, as He claimed, has sin come to an end?

Since sin has come to an end, is it possible for you to be a sinner?

If Jesus fulfilled and completed these prophecies, as He claimed, did He make reconciliation for iniquity?

Since iniquity has been reconciled, is it possible for God to see you with iniquity (sinfulness, imperfection)?

If Jesus fulfilled and completed these prophecies, as He claimed, was everlasting righteousness brought in?

Since everlasting righteousness was brought at the cross, is it now possible, for righteousness to be ended (that is, is it possible for some people to be unrighteous)?

Jesus’ Mission on Earth

Taking Away Sin

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

John 1:29 KJV

In this verse, the word sin is a noun. In our study of Adam earlier, what did we learned the word ‘sin’ refers to when it’s a noun?

So what sin is John saying Jesus came to take away?

Bringing Salvation

"And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world."

1 John 4:14 KJV

According to John, who did Jesus come to save?

Does this verse say Jesus would be the Saviour only of those who believe in Him, or of the entire world?

"For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."

Matthew 18:11 KJV

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Luke 19:10 KJV

Whom did Jesus, the Son of man, come to save?

How many people were lost?

So how many people did Jesus come to save?

{Jesus said} "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

John 17:4 KJV

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

John 19:30

We read in the previous verses that Jesus came to save the entire human race, and that He would take away the condition of unbelief from everyone. According to what He said in John 17:4, did Jesus accomplish what He came to do?

When Jesus said "It is finished", does it make sense that He had completely done everything He came to do?

Does that include saving the world?

So did Jesus succeed in His mission – saving the world?

Jesus as God’s Judge

"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son"

John 5:22 KJV

According to John, does God the Father judge people?

Who did God give the authority to judge to?

So who is the only one that will ever judge anyone or anything?

"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind."

John 9:39

Why did Jesus say He had come into the world?

"Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me."

John 8:14-16

Whom did Jesus say He would judge?

So if Jesus came into the world for judgment, but would not judge any man, does it make sense that the only alternative is that He came to be judged?

"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die."

John 12:31-33

Does it make sense that the subject of these verses is judgment?

So to what does the "all" in "draw all unto me" refer?

Do you agree that Jesus was lifted up on the cross?

When did Jesus say the judgment of the world was?

When did Jesus say the prince of the world would be cast out?

What did His statements signify?

So what exact event would occur, to signify judgment day, and the casting out of the prince of the world?

According to this verse, when Jesus was lifted up on the cross, did He draw all judgment to Himself, or just some of it?

Since Jesus drew all judgment to Himself, is there any judgment left for you, or any other person?

"But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."

John 12:37-41 KJV

Why did people not believe?

In Amos 3:7, God says that He "will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." So if God told Isaiah (Esaias) that no one would be converted, because He would blind there eyes and harden their hearts, could people have possibly believed in Jesus?

"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."

John 12:42-43 KJV

When He was teaching the law, Jesus said that the price of denying Him was to be denied before God (Matthew 10:33). From what Jesus said, did the belief of the chief rulers "count", even though they denied Him, or was it as if they had not believed at all?

So is it true, then, as Isaiah said, that no one truly believed on Jesus?

"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world."

John 12:47 KJV

Does Jesus say that he will or will not judge the man who does not believe?

Did Jesus come to judge the world or to save it?

Does it make sense that the term ‘world’ here includes all human beings?

So whom did Jesus come to save?

Did Jesus succeed or was He a failure?

"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

John 12:48 KJV

In the prophets’ writings, we read that the last day was the Day of Judgment. From what we learned earlier, when was the last day – Judgment Day?

Do you agree that Jesus is the Word of God, as John said in John 1:14 ("And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.")?

So who does this verse say is the only judge of those that reject Christ?

According to the previous verse, Christ said He will judge no one based on unbelief/rejection. We also learned, earlier in John, that Jesus is the only one that can ever judge you. So will the unbeliever be judged as guilty?

"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak."

John 12:49-50 KJV

According to this verse, where does life everlasting come from?

When Jesus says, "He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak", whose obedience to God’s commandment is being spoken of: Jesus’ or yours?

So whose obedience to God’s commandment is it that brings everlasting life?

According to these verses, does it matter if you obey or not?

The Bible teaches that belief is a type of obedience. So according to these verses, does it matter if you believe or not?

Rebirth: Being Born Again

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

John 3:5-8 KJV

What does Jesus say is required for people to enter into the kingdom of God?

Is it the flesh or the Spirit that brings about this rebirth?

If the wind blows where it wants, do you have control over whether or not the wind blows on you?

Even though you don’t know where the wind comes from, does that prevent the wind from affecting you?

According to Jesus, being born again is like the wind. If the wind blows wherever it wants, does it make sense that being born of the Spirit happens to whomever the Spirit wants?

Still comparing the born-again experience to the wind, if you can’t tell where the wind comes from, does it make sense that you cannot tell where being born again comes from?

Do these verses say anything about belief being required in order for people to be born again?

So in His comparison with the wind, Jesus says that you can neither control being born again, nor can you tell where being born again comes from. If this is true, does your belief affect whether or not you are born again?

Colossians 1:18 says "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."

Do you agree that if we consider Jesus’ resurrection to be a birth, as this verse in Colossians states, He would have been born twice (the first being when Mary gave birth)?

So would it make sense to say that Jesus, having already been born once, was born again when He was raised from the dead?

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV

"And that he might reconcile both {referring to Jew and Gentile} unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:"

Ephesians 2:16 KJV (italics mine)

In God’s eyes, before the cross, there were only two groups of people: the Jews and the Gentiles. According to these verses, was either group of people left out of the baptism into Christ’s body?

If no group was left out of the baptism then, can we say that every human being was baptized into Christ’s body at His death?

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

Romans 6:4 KJV

From this verse, does it make sense that everyone who was in Christ at His death would have been in His body at His resurrection, as well?

How was Christ raised from the dead?

Does it make sense that the Spirit of God would have raised Christ?

So if Christ was "born" from the dead by the Spirit, could we say that He was born of the Spirit?

If the world (all humankind) was in Christ at His death and resurrection, was the world (all humankind) also born of the Spirit?

Recall from John 3, Jesus said "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Has every human being been born of "water" (physically, when their mother gave birth)?

And from what we read above, has every human being been born of the Spirit at the resurrection of Jesus?

Flip back to the section we just did on John 3, and reread the questions you answered about Jesus’ comparison of the wind to being born again. Did belief have anything to do with a person being born again?

So if the world was baptized into Christ’s death, and was raised with Him, and belief has nothing to do with being born of the Spirit, is there anyone that has not been born again?

The Gospel According to Paul

More About Faith and Belief

Earlier, we talked about how Jesus is referred to, in the Bible, as the personification of faith. Most people are not used to thinking about Jesus in this way. Faith is also one of the most important concepts in the Christian church today, so let’s take a closer look at the Biblical explanation of faith, and the closely related topic of belief.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Hebrews 11:1 KJV

What is the definition of faith given in this verse?

Do you agree that Christ in you is the "hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27 "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory")?

Do you agree that when Jesus came in the flesh, He was the evidence of something unseen – namely, God?

So from these verses, does it make sense that Jesus is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen – that Jesus is Faith personified?

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV

According to Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, how is a person saved?

Does this verse say that saving faith is or is not of yourself?

How does faith come to a person if it is not of themselves: by works, or as a gift from God?

"For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."

Romans 3:3-4 KJV

According to these verses in Romans, will a person’s unbelief make the reality of God’s faith in their lives ineffectual?

Paul says we may consider every man to be a liar. What does this say about people who claimed to believe?

"For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all."
Romans 11:32 KJV

How many people did God conclude to be in unbelief?

Why did He conclude them in unbelief?

How many people did God have mercy on?

If this is how many people God had mercy on, how many people did not receive mercy and are bound for eternal torment?

Paul’s Take on the Law

We touched briefly on the law and its purpose, earlier in our studies. Paul had plenty to say on the subject of law versus grace, so let’s take a closer look.

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."

Romans 3:19 KJV

Recalling what we learned earlier, to whom does the law speak?

What did the law do when it "spoke"?

In Hebrews, we learned that the law was done away with. So if no one is under the law, to whom is the law speaking?

If the law’s message is no longer needed, does it speak to anyone?

Can the law speak to you today, given that you are not under the law?

If the law was what made you guilty before God and the law is no longer in effect, is it possible for you to ever be guilty before God?

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

Romans 3:20 KJV

Again, what comes from the law?

Could the law be done away with if it still had a certain message and knowledge to bring?

So what can we conclude about the presence of ‘sin’ in the world today?

"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:"

Romans 3:21-22 KJV

Is the righteousness of God revealed with or without the law?

So could righteousness have been revealed if the law was still in effect?

According to verse 22 (Even the righteousness of God which is revealed by faith of Jesus Christ), whose faith is it that causes righteousness?

There are two groups of people mentioned here, whom Paul says have received righteousness by the faith of Christ. Who are they?

According to these verses, is there a difference, in God’s eyes, between "all" (including unbelievers) and "all them that believe"?

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."

Romans 3:28-31 KJV

According to these verses, how is man justified?

In the previous section, whose faith did we determine was being talked about here?

Is belief a work (action) that was required under the law?

So are you justified by your own work of believing, or by the faith of Jesus and the death He died on the cross?

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

Ephesians 2:13 KJV

According to what we learned about Adam’s transgression, who was alienated (far off) from God?

So who was made nigh by Christ’s blood?

"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;"

Ephesians 2:14-15 KJV

What happened to the law of commandments contained in ordinances at Christ’s death?

Recall that before the cross, there was only two groups of people: the Jews and the Gentiles. What did Paul say Jesus did to these two groups, at the cross?

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."

Colossians 2:13-15 KJV

What did God do to the law (the handwriting of ordinances)?

Do you agree that Jesus is the Word of God, as John said in John 1:14 ("And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.")?

Do you agree that the law, the prophecies and the other Old Testament writings were the words of God?

So does it make sense that Jesus became the manifestation, in human form, of God’s laws and prophecies?

Given that Jesus was the manifestation of God’s law, when He was nailed to the cross, was the law also nailed to the cross?

Does this agree with what Paul said about the law being nailed to the cross?

If the law was nailed to the cross, and was blotted out, is it still in effect?

Reconciliation

"And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"

Ephesians 2:16-19 KJV

If the entire world was included in the groups Jew and Gentile, how many people were reconciled unto God in one body by the cross?

According to these verses, since this reconciliation took place (that is, since the cross), is anyone still a stranger to God?

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight"

Colossians 1:20-22 KJV

How many things did Christ reconcile to himself at the cross?

Did He leave anything or anyone unreconciled?

Does it matter if the thing/person was on earth or in heaven – that is, if they were living or dead?

In this verse, does it say that people were actually alienated from God by their wicked works, or that this is what their mind was telling them?

Have you ever convinced yourself of something that is not true?

So is it possible that when people think they are alienated from God by their works, when in reality they aren’t?

From what we learned about Adam’s transgression, was it the condition of sin that caused people to be alienated, or was it their works?

Did God reconcile those people who considered themselves to be the enemies of God?

Did God reconcile, to Himself, those people who had committed wicked works?

How did He accomplish this?

As a result of this accomplishment, what is God’s opinion of you?

The Sin Issue

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

Romans 3:23-25 KJV

How many had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?

So how many were justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus?

Does this passage say that past or future sin was dealt with at the cross?

In Hebrews 9:15, we read "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."

According to this verse in Hebrews and this one in Romans, did Jesus die for sin committed before his death, or after his death?

Did you know that nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus died for any sin that would occur after His death?

Why do you think Jesus did not die for any sin that occurred after the cross? Does it make sense that if Jesus completely took away sin at the cross, he would not have had to die for the sin of those who lived after the cross?

One Baptism and Burial

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Ephesians 4:4-6 KJV

How many bodies are there?

Do you accept that this body is Christ?

If there is only one body, can some people not be a part of the body of Christ?

How many Spirits are there?

Do you accept that this Spirit is God/Christ?

If there is only one Spirit, is it possible for there to exist evil/demonic spirits, or even human spirits that are not submitted to God?

How many hopes are there?

Do you accept that this hope is Christ? (Christ in you, the hope of glory)

How many Lords are there?

Do you accept that this Lord is Christ?

If there is only one Lord, is it possible for the devil to be lord (master) over the earth? Is it possible for people to be serving "another" lord (master) rather than Christ?

How many faiths are there?

From what we’ve read in these verses so far, does it make sense that faith here is also a personification of Christ, as we saw earlier?

If there is only one faith, is it possible for people to have their own, individual faith in God/Jesus?

How many baptisms are there?

Do you accept that this baptism is Christ?

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   Discussion: There is No Bad News in the Good News
admin · 7 years, 11 months ago
Thank you Breanna this is what I am preaching for over ten years now so Amen to you Chaplain Jimmie

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