We've had a fun time recently meeting at my house for the Essentials sessions. In session five we looked at the doctrine of the Incarnation (Jesus as 100% man and 100% God), and in session six we looked at Christ's work on the cross (how exactly did his death procure our salvation?).
Find full notes below!
We're in the middle of our five-part series on 'Soteriology' - our doctrine/s of salvation. Having established the Power of the Cross (the Servant King enduring horror and shame, 'for us and for our salvation'), we looked last Sunday at the Work of the Cross. How exactly did Jesus' death procure our salvation? How did he win our redemption?
As we discovered last time, the Cross is at the centre of Christianity. Paul says in Gal 6:14 that he will boast in nothing else. Indeed, the history of the Church has been one long story of reckoning with it! With that in mind, we looked at how the ancient Church understood the death of Christ on the Cross, how the medieval Church understood it, and then how the Reformers reckoned with it - all in conversation with Scripture.
On the Cross, Christ is the great Victor - conquering Satan, sin, death and hell.
On the Cross, Christ is the God-Man - standing in our place, doing what we never could.
On the Cross, Christ is our True Example - showing us what love really means.
All of these are good and true answers, and consistent with scripture to a greater or lesser extent. But these are all but melodies without a harmony. There is one answer that unites them all. It's there in the early Church. It's there in the medieval Church. It's there in the modern Church. And it's there in the Scriptures. What is this answer?
On the Cross, Christ is our substitute - pierced for our transgressions.
He became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.
Whilst a whole bunch of new guys have just started the Foundations course in recent weeks, the 'second years' are now coming to the end of it. We met on Sunday evening to begin our last ever series - on eschatology, or our theology of the end times.
In this first session, our focus was on living the Christian life before Christ's return - how does Scripture imagine the walk of discipleship? What about suffering and tribulation? What about prayer, and evangelism?
IMPORTANT: we will not be meeting for the second instalment in this eschatology series, instead I'll be providing written notes. These will focus on the Church's life before Christ's return - how are we to engage (for example) with the state, and with politics? We will then be meeting on Sun 9th Dec at Gill Brown's house for our last ever Foundations session, looking at the triumphant Christ's return, and the end of all things. Exciting stuff!
Find below a link to the notes for last Sunday's session, as well as two videos. The first is a copy of the Tommy Walker song we played, which asks how we'd behave if we knew Christ was returning tomorrow. The second is a time-stamped section in the 'Revival Hymn' video referenced in the notes (beginning at 31 mins 18 secs) - which describes the fundamental Christian disposition in all things. We do evangelism, we do prayer, we do everything - not because it 'works', but because the Lamb deserves the reward for his suffering. We rejoice in him in all things - and so, there can be joy in all things.
Second year TTS students - click here for the S23 notes! If you can't remember your password, please do get in touch.
Following God's good interruption last week, we focused yesterday on the Work of Cross - how (exactly) did Christ's death procure our salvation?
We saw how Scripture (and the Church) has spoken with many voices on the way in which God saved us. Christ's death was like a ransom, conquering the power of Satan and buying us out of bondage. Christ's death satisfied the legal demands of God, which was possible only because he was the God-Man. Christ's death displayed the love of God and provides us with an example to follow.
But all these are melodies without a harmony, a body without a spine. My suggestion last night was that our theology of the Cross must be supported with the truth that the Son willingly subjected himself to the Father's wrath, all for his people. This has been a controversial doctrine - but with Scripture and the Church triumphant, we confess it to be true.
Find notes for last night's session below!
Second year TTS students - click here for the S12 notes!
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