Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 13: The Three Estates

Although others have explained the three estates (church, family, and state) exclusively, the Word of God teaches these estates theologically and ethically.  Each and every person, believer or unbeliever, finds themselves to be a member of each estate.  The church was instituted in the Garden of Eden, before Eve was created and before the fall into sin.  The family was instituted when God united Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and before the fall into sin.  The state was instituted after the fall into sin, in order to curb sinful outbursts by the threat of punishment.

God has established these estates not as a mean of acquiring salvation, but as both the means God uses to preserve His creation, and as the believer’s means by which living in these estates he gives thanks for God’s creation and salvation

Handout 1: threee-estates-etc.pdf
Handout 2: ThreeEstates-Wolfmueller.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 12: Not a Christian Nation

Although the American culture has indeed changed, we need to be careful how we describe this change.  The illustration on pages 53 and 82 seems to teach that the United States formerly had God’s Word as her foundation, but now the foundation is man’s word.  Let’s be clear:  The United States has never been a Christian nation.  The United State does not teach or enforce Christian doctrine.  She does not rule her citizens by the spiritual or even the civil righteousness of the Ten Commandments.  She was founded by rationalists, deists, and Christians.  I’m not sure that the majority of her inhabitants were ever practicing Christians–but maybe at some time.  We can say that general Biblical knowledge of the population has probably declined.  We can say that outwardly immoral behavior (civil righteousness) has become more acceptable.  We can say that many are openly denying natural law and the conclusions of human reason in order to embrace their own sinful desires.

We also need to be concerned when the church is directed to influence “culture.”  For example, p.117 says, “The church is, by and large, no longer influencing the culture in our once very Christianized West, but now the culture is rapidly influencing  (infiltrating) the church.”  When the foundation and purpose for the right hand (church) kingdom and the left hand (state) kingdom are not properly distinguished, there will be much mischief.  Next week we will take up the topic of the three estates in order to determine what kind of “influence” is appropriate.

Overheads 1: Gospel-Reset-Overheads-Jun-16-2019.pdf
Handout Page 8: Gospel-Reset-Class-Eight-May-19-2019.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 11: Worldview

We need to understand the difference between trying to prove the Bible is true by extra-biblical evidence and showing that the extra-Biblical evidence agrees with or confirms (or at least doesn’t contradict) the teachings of the Bible.  The problem with trying to prove the Bible is true is that the person’s trust now is built not on the Holy Scriptures, but upon another source of authority.  The Scriptural foundation is the only solid foundation that can be trusted.

This book uses the terms society, culture and worldview.   In this study we try to determine the meaning of the term worldview, and especially Christian worldview.  After examining several individual beliefs/values for both the Christian and the secular humanist, we saw that the actions of each would be different based on their beliefs/values.  Nevertheless, it was a Wikipedia article that explained that “Different demoninations of Christianity have varying worldviews.”  In addition, Wikipedia states that the term “worldview” can be anything from a “philosophical concept to a synonym for ‘doctrine.'”

Overheads 1: Gospel-Reset-Overheads-Jun-9-2019.pdf
Web Site Snippets: Worldview-Jun-9-2019.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 10: Evangelism

There are differences between St. Peter’s address in Acts 2 and St. Paul’s address in Acts 17.  The speaker proceeds differently because of the knowledge or lack of knowledge of the hearers with regard to the true God and Creator, sin, death, and the promise of the Savior.  Nevertheless, both speeches use the Bible alone to bring the truth of Jesus Christ to the hearers.

In this study we are going to examine the two different approaches (to evangelism) which are used in this book for speaking to Christians (pages 11-14 and pages 111-112) and non-Christians (pages 109-111).  This book explains the difference within the hearers as either possessing or not possessing  “the foundation needed to comprehend a Christian worldview” (p.111).

Finally, we make a distinction between teaching about creation from natural knowledge and teaching about creation from revealed knowledge.

Handout 1: Gospel-Reset-Class-Eight-May-19-2019.pdf
Overheads: Gospel-Reset-Overheads-May-26-2019b.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 9: Acts 2 and Acts 17

In this Bible study, we compare and contrast Peter’s address in Acts 2 with St. Paul’s address in Acts 17.

The “sermon” in Acts 2 is made to Jews who already knew the Old Testament.  By means of the revealed knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, they knew that the one true God was the Creator of all things.  They knew about the fall into sin and the consequence of death.  They knew that God had promised to send a Savior to redeem the world.  Peter’s sermon simply identified Jesus as the Messiah and fulfillment of God’s promise.

The “sermon” in Acts was made in the Athenian marketplace to a gathering of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers.  These Gentiles knew that there was a god, but their attempt at identifying and worshiping Him, was a miserable failure.  We looked at the basic teachings of Greek philosophy from the Epicureans and Stoics.  At the beginning of his speech, St. Paul refers to their natural knowledge, but he also calls their religion ignorance.  St. Paul needs to introduce to them the one true God as the Creator of heaven and earth.  He needs to explain that the required worship for righteousness was not the service of men’s hands.  Instead, the greatest worship is to receive the righteousness which comes by the man Jesus Christ through faith.  St. Paul preached the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Handout 1: Gospel-Reset-Class-Eight-May-19-2019.pdf
Overheads: Gospel-Reset-Overheads-May-26-2019b.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 8: Two Religions and Man’s Word

There are only two religions in the world:  the true religion of Christianity based on the true and inerrant Word of God and every other false religion which is based on man’s sinful and fallible word.  God’s Word presents the Triune God as the Creator of all things and teaches that when man fell into sin, God promised to send a Messiah.  That promise comes true in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.  Through faith in Christ and His work of forgiveness, we are saved.  Every other religion comes from the father of lies.

However, we need to distinguish the natural knowledge of creation, conscience and human reason from the corrupting desires and thoughts of our sinful nature.  If by man’s word we mean natural knowledge, then man’s word is not sinful and fallible.  It is, in fact, useful and necessary for the governance of the state.  God’s Word does not condemn the right and proper use of natural knowledge.  Nevertheless, in the church natural knowledge is completely insufficient to identify the one true God or to determine His will toward us.  If by man’s word, we mean the corruption of the sinful nature, then man’s word is to be rejected both in the state and the church.

Due to the present weakness of modern education, most people are not able to rationally defend the truths presented by natural knowledge.  The Scriptural distinction of the two kingdoms means that science doesn’t need the Bible in order to come to the right conclusions.  Due to our sinful nature, even our human reason becomes unknowingly corrupted.

Handout 1: Gospel-Reset-Class-Eight-May-19-2019.pdf
Overheads: Gospel-Reset-Class-Eight-Overheads-May-19-2019.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 7: The Left-hand Kingdom and the Right-hand Kingdom

The Triune God has entrusted the teaching of natural knowledge to the state/government (called the left-hand kingdom) for the protection of body and possessions and to maintain order in this world.  He has entrusted the teaching of revealed knowledge to the church (called the right-hand kingdom) to impart salvation.  In theses VII-VIII, we have already seen that the teaching of the Bible alone is sufficient to create and sustain faith in Christ, who has won our salvation.  With this study, we learn that the Holy Scriptures do not always put down man’s natural knowledge.  As long as it is being used rightly, natural knowledge is to be praised and used in the left-hand kingdom.  Natural knowledge is rejected when it is used for religious purposes to supplement or to deny revealed knowledge.

Handout 1: Gospel-Reset-Class-Seven-May-5-2019.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt.6: The Purposes of Natural and Revealed Knowledge

In order to proceed in a systematic way, we need to distinguish the natural knowledge which comes from the creation and the conscience, from the revealed knowledge of God’s Holy Word.  God writes the law upon the heart of all men as a curb to control gross outbursts of sin (1 Tim 1:8-10, Romans 2:14-15).  God also uses the natural knowledge of creation(Ps 19:1, Rom 1:19-20) to incite men to seek Him (Acts 14:15-17, Acts 17:26-27).  By means of natural knowledge, man knows that there is a God and knows that He demands certain things and prohibits other things, but he doesn’t know the identity of that God, nor does He know how to find a gracious God.  Natural knowledge creates the need in the hope that through the revealed knowledge of God in Holy Scripture, man would come to know the Triune God and come to believe in the will of God to save man through the suffering and death of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Handout 1: Gospel-Reset-Class-Six-April-28-2019.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 5: The Bible’s Purpose

The purpose of the Bible is the salvation of man. The law reveals a knowledge of sin and eternal damnation.  The Gospel reveals the person and work of Jesus Christ.  The Word of God not only presents the foundational content, but also creates the faith which trusts in the free salvation earned by Jesus Christ.

The Bible is able to accomplish this purpose!  Divine Authority-The Word of God is entitled to the same faith and obedience that is due God.  Divine Efficacy-the Word of God produces contrition, faith and good works.  Sufficiency(Perfection)-The Scripture presents everything a man must know to obtain salvation without the need for an outside source.  Perspicuity-The Scripture is clear in its teaching of salvation. An outside interpreter is not needed.

Handout 1: Gospel-Reset-Class-Four-April-7-2019.pdf