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Themes of the Faith - Studies of Main Themes of the Bible

 

  • God--The eternal, holy, creator, savior, sustainer (Gen 1.1; Jn 1.3; Col 1.16-17)
    • God created the heavens, earth, people, creatures, and all things (Gen 1.1; Jn 1.3; Col 1.16-17)
    • God is a person with intellect, will, and emotion--the characteristics of a person (Gen 1.26; Ps 103)
    • God is one God , not three gods (Deut 6.4; Jn 10.30)
    • God's essence or attributes characterize him (1 Chr 29.11-12; Rom 1.20)
    • The trinity or tri-unity means that there are three co-equal and co-eternal persons, yet one God (2 Cor 13.14).
  • Man--God’s highest creation (Gen 1 26-27)
    • God created mankind--male and female (Gen 1.26-27; 2.7; Ps 8.4-6).
    • He created mankind in his image (Gen 1.27).
    • Man is immaterial--Soul and human spirit (Gen 2.7; 1 Ths 5.23).
    •  Man is material--Body, the physical part of man, location of sin nature. (Gen 2.7; Rom 7.17-21).
    • The fall--when Eve, then Adam chose to sin. Mankind gained the sin nataure at the fall and passed it to every person. God cursed all creation because of the fall. (Gen 3; Jer 17.9; Rom 8.20).
    • Spiritual and physical death resulted from sin at the fall (Gen 2.16-17; Eph 2.1; 1 Cor 15.22).
  • Angels--Superhuman spirit beings (Luke 15.10).
    • Super human spirit beings created by Jesus Christ before he created the earth (Job 38.7; Acts 12.7-8; Col 1.16).
    • Holy Angels serve God (Heb 1.6; Mark 8.38; Jn 1.51), Israel (Luke 1.26-27), and believers (Heb 1.14; Eph 3.10)
    • Satan and his fallen angels oppose God (Jn 12.31; Mat 12.24; 25.41), Israel (Jude 9; Rev 12.13-17), unbelievers (2 Cor 4.4), and believers ( Eph 6.11-12; 1 Pet 5.8)
    • Classes of holy angels are angels (Luke 15.10), Cherubim (God’s holiness in justice, Ex 25.20), Seraphim (God’s holiness in worship, Is 6.1-6), Archangel Michael (Dan 10.13), Gabriel (Luke 1.26-33).
  • Revelation--God communicated himself and his word to mankind (Jn 1.18; 2 Tim 3.16-17).
    • General--creation, (Ps 19.1-6), weather (Acts 14.17), order in creation (Col 1.17), God-consciousness (Rom 1.18-21), Israel (Heb 11.1-2,26-27; Jos 24; Act 7).
    • Special--Jesus Christ, the living word (Jn 1.18; Heb 1.2-3); the Bible, the written word (1 Cor 2.10; 2 Tim 3.16-17).
    • Revelation (Acts 3.18-22; 1 Cor 2.10; 2 Pet 1.21), inspiration (2 Tim 3.16-17), communication (Ezek 2-3; Eph 4.11-12).
    • The Bible is without error (Jos 23.14-15; Mat 5.18; 22.31-32; Luke 24.44; 2 Tim 3.16-17; Deut 25.4; Mat 10.10; Titus 1.2)
  • Volition--God gave mankind volition, the right and ability to make choices, good and bad (Acts 17.27, 30).
    • The Bible illustrates volition--that people are able to choose to believe or disbelieve God demonstrate volition (Gen 2.16-17; Is 1.16-20; Acts 17.30; Lk 6.27; ).
    • The Bible message demonstrates that people have volition. The imperative mood, optative mood, personal responsibility, eternal punishment for unbelief, God’s attributes, man in God’s image all argue that mankind has volition.
    • Some people choose against God, not to believe God (Luke 11.53-54; Heb 4.2; Eph 4.17-19; 1 Cor 3.1-4).
    • Some people choose for God, to believe God (Gen 15.6; Num 14.6-9; Heb 11; Jn 11.27; Acts 16.27-34)
    • People may choose hardness of heart or imitator of God. This proves mankind has volition (Deut 30.19-20; Jos 24.14-15; Eph 4.17-19; Eph 5.1).
  • Sin--Anything short of God’s standard (Rom 3.23).
    • Sin began through the negative voliton of Satan (1 Tim 3.6) and Adam (Rom 5.12). It was paid for and defeated by Jesus Christ (Rom 5.17; 1 Cor 15.57).
    • Inherited, also called sin nature, and original sin. Mankind has inherited his fallen nature from Adam. The sin nature comes through one’s parents. The sin nature resides in the body, not the soul and human spirit (Ps 51.5; Eph 2.1-3).
    • Imputed, God directly assigned Adam’s sin to each member of the human race. This imputation is direct from Adam, not through one’s parents. (Rom 5.12-14)
    • Personal--mental attitude, sins of the tongue, actions Prov 6.16-19).
    • God the Father judged Jesus Christ for all sin (2 Cor 5.21).
    • Divine discipline--warning stage (Rev 3.20), pain stage (Heb 12.5-11), physical death (1 Cor 11.30).
  • Judgment--God evaluates based upon his standard and punishes or rewards (Rom 2.16).
    • God is the only judge (Ps 9.8; 75.7; 110.6; Jn 5.22,27, Rom 2.16); except in the cases of human authority under the laws of divine establishment (Rom 13.1-5; 1 Pet 2.13-18; Eph 5.23-24; 6.1-6), believers are not to judge other believers (Mt 7.1-2; Rom 14.1-13; 1 Cor 4.1-5; Col 3.23). Judgment is right because God who is perfect set the standard. Violation of the standard may result in judgment. The judgment may be direct or indirect like the domino effect.
    • The cross judgment. The Father judged Christ for our sins; this judgment took place while Christ was on the cross (2 Cor 5.21; Gal 3.13; Heb 9.26-28; Col 2.13-14).
    • The judgment of Satan and his angels (Mt 25.41; Jn 12.31; 16.11; Col 2.15; Rev 20.2,3,10).
    • Judgment of Israel in time (Deut 28.15,20,25; Jer 33.1-4; Matt 22.37-39; Rom 11.1).
    • Judgment of unbeliever nations and individuals in time (Jer 25.31; 50.24)
    • The judgment of believers in time, divine discipline: there are three stages--warning stage (Rev 3.20), pain stage (Heb 12.5-11), physical death (1 Cor 11.30).
    • Believers self judgment (1 Cor 11.31-32; 1 Jn 1.9).
    • Judgment of believer's works at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rom 14.10; 1 Cor 3.9-15; 2 Cor 5.10).
    • The judgment associated with the tribulation and the second coming of Christ (Dan 12.1-2; Ezek 20.37-38; Mt 24.29-31; 25.31-46).
    • Judgment of unbelievers at the Great White Throne judgment; God proves they are worthy of judgment (Rev 20.11-15).
  • Suffering: People, ideas, circumstances,conditions that are painful. Two kinds, undeserved and deserved. Suffering is a result of the fall of mankind (Gen 3.16-17; Rom 5.12; Rom 8.20-22).
    • Undeserved suffering: Undeserved is part of life. It is not a result of personal sin, spiritual immaturity, or failure to apply Bible doctrine (job; gal 4.29; phil 1.29-30; 1 pet 2.19-21; 3.17; 4.15-16).
    • Deserved suffering: We brings it upon ourselves. God then intervenes and puts us under suffering or we starts events that take their natural course under God's master plan and result in suffering (1 Pet 2.20).
    • Illustrations of undeserved suffering (Jeremiah 32:1-5; John 11:32-33).
    •  Illustrations of deserved suffering (1 Samuel 28:18-19, NASB).
    • What to do when suffering:
      • Return to fellowship if necessary (1 Jn 1.9; Rev 3.19-20).
      • Keep firmly in mind that what you believe is more important than how you feel. Apply the appropriate doctrine that will enable spiritual recovery, growth, and momentum (Ps 13).
      • Live by faith. The is simply the faith application of what you have learned from the Word of God (2 Cor 5.7; Eph 6.16; Col 2.6-8).
  • Grace--God freely blesses people. Unmerited favor (1 Pet 5.10).
    • Grace is the expression of God’s nature. Grace is the way God treats mankind. God blesses man apart from any human merit. God freely favors mankind and especially the believer. (1 Pet 5.10; Eph 2.8-9; 1 Cor 15.10).
    • Common grace. God’s favor to all mankind; this favor makes the gospel available (Jn 1.9), benefits all creation (Ps 145.9; Jms 1.17), gives a witness to himself (Acts 14.17), gives sun, rain, seasons, food to all (Acts 14.16-17; Mat 5.45), gives human happiness (Acts 14.17).
    • Salvation by grace through faith. Faith alone in Christ alone (Eph 2.8-9).
    • God's plan for believers is a grace plan (Eph 1.1-14).
    • Christian living is by grace through faith (1 Cor 15.10; 2 Cor 12.9; Col 4.6).
    • Believers are told to grow and live in grace (2 Pet 3.18; 2 Tim 2.1).
    • God supplies believers' temporal need by grace (Phil 4.19).
    • God blesses believers in eternity by grace (Eph 2.7).
    • Believers ought to demonstrate grace in their personal relationships (Eph 4.2,32).
  • Eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God; He removed the sin barrier (1 Tim 1.15).
    • The preparation for the savior by sacrifice--God sacrificed for Adam and Eve; people (believer and unbeliever) offered sacrifices. Sacrifices taught substitutionary death for sin (Gen 3.21; Lev 1.3; Hebrews 10:1).
    • Announcement about the savior (Matt 1.21).
    • Qualifications of the savior (Luke 1:35).
    • Testing of the savior (Luke 22:41-42).
    • Titles of the savior (Acts 3:22-23; Heb 4.14-15; Jn 1.29,49; Col 1.18).
    • The saving work of Jesus Christ (1 Tim 1.15).
    • The Father accepted the savior’s work (1 Peter 1:21).
    • Summary of the savior’s work, reconciliation.---Christ removed the sin barrier (Col 1.20-22).
    • Application of the savior’s work, by grace through faith. People are given salvation through believing him to save them (Eph 2.8-9).
    • Assured of the savior’s work (1 Jn 5.13).
    • Secure in the savior’s work (Eph 1.13)
  • Faith--the inner conviction that what God said is true (Heb 11.1).
    • Faith, belief, is man’s basic response to God. Faith is the inner conviction that what God said is true. Faith itself has no merit. It is not a work (Rom 4.4-5).
    • Illustrations of faith in Bible (Jn 11.25).
    • Faith is non-meritorious. It is not a work (Rom 4.1-7; Jn 6.29-30).
    • The object of faith has the merit, value, does the work (2 Tim 1.12).
    • Man believes God for eternal salvation (Jn 3.16; Rom 4.5)
    • Man believes God for day to day living. Live by faith. The is simply the faith application of what you have learned from the Word of God (Eph 6.16; Col 2.6-8; Heb 10. 38-39).
    • God tests and strengthens our faith by problems or prosperity (1 Pet 1.7-8).
    • Faith can be alive or dead, but it is still faith (Jms 2.14-26).
  • Blessing--The theme of blessing in the Bible (physical blessing and spiritual blessing) emphasizes God acting for the well-being of mankind and the individual person (Gen 12.2-3; Eph 1.3).
    • God blesses all creation (Gen 1.22,28).
    • God blesses Israel (Gen 12.1-3; Is 44.3; Ez 34.26).
    • God blesses believers (Ps 1.1; Gal 3.9).
    • God blesses church believers with spiritual blessings (Eph 1.3; 1 Pet 4.14).
    • God blesses Israel in the kingdom (Isa 60:1-3; Lk 14.15).
    • God blesses with eternal life blessings (Tit 2.13; Eph 2.7; Rev 20.6).
    • God blesses people by their association with blessed people (Gen 39.5).
    • God blesses through his word (Jn 13.17; Jms 1.25).
    • God blesses believers through suffering (Jms 1.12; 1 Pet 3.14; 4.14).
    • God the Son blessed food before serving it (Mat 14.19).
    • God wants believers to bless those around us (Acts 20.35; Rom 12.14; 1 Pet 3.9).
    • God is blessed (Job 1.21; 1 Chr 16.36; 1 Pet 1.3).
  • Historical plan of God--God has planned for individuals, groups, and nations (Jeremiah 50:45).
    • God planned for individuals and nations (Job 42.2; Ps 33.11).
    • God Planned for Gentile nations.
      • Assyria (Is 14.24-27).
      • Babylon (Jer 50.45)
      • Egypt (Is 19.17).
    • God planned for Israel (Gen 12.1-7; 13.14-17; 15.18-20; 21.12; 28.13-14; 2 Sam 7.10-16; Jer 29.10-11; Jer 31.31-34; Rom 11).
    • God planned eternal salvation (reconciliation) through his son (Acts 2.23; 1 Pet 1.10-11).
    • God planned to work through grace and faith (1 Tim 1.9)
    • God planned for church age believers (Eph 1.11).
    • God planned for the angelic conflict (Jn 12.31).
    • God planned the future (Rev 1.19).
  • The daily Plan of God for the church (2 Cor 5.17).
    • The foundation for church life in "in Christ" or positional truth (2 Cor 5.17; Php 1.1).
    • The church is Christ spiritual body. Christ's spiritual body is made up of believers in him as savior (1 Cor 12.13; Eph 1.22-23).
    • The purpose or mission of the church-- to demonstrate the character of God to angelic and human creation through the attainment and application of spiritual maturity (Eph 3.10, 21).
    • The strategy of the universal church: God wants believers: 1) to witness to the unbeliever so they might believe the gospel, 2) believers to grow to maturity by learning, applying,and spreading Bible doctrine. When the church does this, she demonstrates God’s character and glorifies him (2 Cor 5.19; Eph 3, Col 1).
    • The life of the church can be summarized under mission, preparation, environment, and practice.
      • Mission:
        • To spread the gospel,
        • To teach, learn, live Bible doctrine (Mat 28.19-20; 2 Cor 5.19; Col 1.28-29).
      • Preparation: Learn the word, , grow in the word, and live the word (Eph 4.11-12; Col 1.28-29).
      • Environment: God’s kind of love, divine impersonal love, source dependent love (Eph 5.2; Col 2.2)
      • Practice: The application of the word of God to life (Php 4.9; Col 2.6-7).
    • The grace, faith, Holy Spirit principle; not law, works, flesh (Galatians 1:6; 3.1-5; 5.4-5, 16).
      • We begin relationship with God by grace, through faith, and through the agency and power of the Holy Spirit. We do not begin by keeping law, by works, and by human ability or the flesh.
      • We live the Christian life by grace, through the agency and power of the Holy Spirit. We do not live by keeping law or rules, by works, and by human ability or the flesh.
      • Principle: Legalism is the child of law, works, flesh. The legalist follows 1) the letter of Scripture or tradition 2) in order to gain good or to show that you are good. The grace believer follows 1)the meaning of Scripture 2) from a desire to please the author.
    • The basic technics or the principles to live by.
      • Occupation with Christ (Heb 12.2).
      • Knowledge of the Word (2 Pet 3.18).
      • Faith rest (1 Pet 5.7).
      • Confession and fellowship (1 Jn 1.9).
      • Spirituality or living by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5.16).
      • Prayer (1 Thes 5.17).
      • Minstry (1 Pet 4.10).
    • Spiritual blessings are those immaterial assets that God has given to each church age believer in order to fulfill God's destiny for him (Eph 1.3).
    • Position of strength is our unchangeable foundation because we are in Christ (Php 4.1).
    • Love for others is produced by the Holy Spirit. It is based upon the character of the source of love, not the object of love (Gal 5.22; 1 Cor 13.4-7; 1 Jn 4.11).
    • Witnessing--spreading the message about salvation and the plan of God (1 Ths 1.8).
    • Where do we stand (2 Ths 2.15), how do we walk (Eph 4.1), and where do we run (1 Cor 9.24)?
    • Walking (1 Thes 2.12).
    • Relationships among believers under authority, humility, graciousness, love, and freedom from unsanctioned intrusion (Gal 5.13-15).
    • Zones of conflict or the major areas of spiritual conflict.
      • Angelic Conflict or the devil (Eph 6.11-12).
      • Doctrinal conflict or world system or (1 Jn 2.15-16).
      • Old sin nature or flesh (Gal 5.17).
    • Worship:
      • Is submission to God and His Word in all of life 
      • Must arise from God's self revelation, the Bible (in truth) 
      • Is an inner or human spirit activity (in spirit) with outer expression
      • The faith-in fellowship-living in the Word life is worship (Jn 4.20-24; Php 3.3)
  • The Future--God has planned the future time and eternity (1 Pet 1.10-11)
    • Introduction: the Bible predicts, describes, and assumes that history is moving toward specific future people, events, and ages (1 Pet 1.10-11; Jn 8.56; Acts 10.43; 16.13; Rev 4.1).
    • A survey of Bible predictions: The messiah, Christ; the coming of Christ to suffer and to rule; the future judgments on Israel; the future apostasy; the secret second coming of Christ--in the air to receive the church, also called the rapture; the glorious and victorious public coming of Christ to the earth; the future earthly tribulation; the future dictator; the future for Israel in her land; resurrection; the future for the body of Christ; future rewards, future judgments; the future for Satan and his angels; the future heaven and earth.
    • Specific predictions.
      • The Messiah, Christ will come to earth (Gen 3.15; Is 7.14; 9.6-7; Micah 5.2).
      • Christ, the Messiah, will come the first time to suffer as a substitute for mankind's sin (Is 53.1-12; 1 Pet 1.10-11).
      • Christ, the Messiah, will come publicly the second time as God's king to judge the blatant rebellion, then rule and bless Israel and the world. This Millennial kingdom will begin with only believers inhabiting the earth (Is 9.6-7; Dan 2.44; Zech 8.22-23; Rev 19.11-16; 1 Pet 1.10-11).
      • Between Christ's first and second comings there will be a time of blatant rebellion and rejection of God; during this time God will send judge the earth. This is called the tribulation (Zech 12.1-6; Matt 24.9-39; Rev 6-19).
      • Right before this time of tribulation, Christ will come secretly, in the air above the earth, to resurrect church age believers, take them home to heaven with him, and evaluate and honor them at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Thes 4.13-18; 2 Cor 5.10).
      • When Christ returns to earth the second time, he will bring resurrected believers with him, remove unbelievers from the earth in judgment, and imprison Satan; he will usher in Israel's long awaited kingdom; he will rule this kingdom from his temple in Jerusalem (Matt 24.36-42; Is 2.2-4; Ez 36.24-30; Zech 14.9; Rev 20.1-4).
      • Satan's final revolt will interrupt this prosperity; God will judge him and all unbelievers, create a new heaven and new earth inhabited by believers ( Rev 20.4-21.2).
      • God will resurrect all people in their appropriate groups; following each resurrection there will be judgment --believers to eternal life and unbelievers to judgment (Dan 12.1-3; 1 Cor 15.20-23; Rev 20.4-15).
  • Righteousness--God is absolute righteousness, angels have innocent righteousness, mankind has relative righteousness, the believer has imputed righteousness and can produce divine good righteousness.

 

To be continued…

Last Update

Thursday, January 1, 1998