Friday, July 10, 2009

The Lordship Controversy Lesson 4

Presentation file

1.This lesson we will cover two different passages from scripture that deal with salvation and are often quoted as support for or against the no-lordship position.
2.Our purpose today then will be to look at each side’s exposition of these passage and judge which is correct in light of other scripture.
3.Let’s begin with the Philippian Jailer in Acts 16:25-33. (Read Text)
4.Let’s talk about the context of this passage, here we find Paul and Silas, along with Timothy and probably Luke judging from the use of the pronoun “we” earlier in the chapter, ministering the Gospel in the city of Philipi. This is during Paul’s second journey around 51AD.
5. Luke tells us and we know from history that Philipi was a Roman colony. It was originally founded by Phillip II of Macedon (father of Alexander) in the late 300’s BC. Later in 42BC it was settled by Romans and made a Roman colony by Octavian (Augustus Caesar) when he settled veteran soldiers of his army there after the Battle of Philipi. During the time which Paul visited there the city was under Roman municipal law and administered by the military. It was referred to as a “little Rome” because of the roman architecture there that mirrored that of Rome.
6.Paul and Silas have just been imprisoned after Paul had cast out a demon from a slave girl who had earned her owners a large fortune by performing divination. The owners had Paul and Silas dragged to the agora, beaten and thrown into prison. (An agora in Greek culture was a public gathering place, often doubling as a marketplace, our word agoraphobia: the fear of the public comes from this Greek word) So the idea that we need to come away with here is that these things were not done in private, this was a very public event in which hardly anyone in the city would have not known about.
7.Apparently the entire city was in an uproar over this incident, and this is not the last time that Paul will cause an uproar in an entire city by preaching the Gospel. Look at what happened in Ephesus in Acts 19:23 Luke says that “No little disturbance arose” when the silversmiths lost income due to a drop in sales of Artemis idols. In that passage Luke uses a form of Greek rhetoric called a litotes, which when used purposefully understates a something in order to overstate it. Some modern translations do not translate the idiom that Luke uses rather they translate its true meaning. In my opinion that verse looses some of its cultural identity when you do that.
8.If we follow this trail a little further down the road to 113AD a litter written by Pliney the younger to Trajan complained of the drop off of attendance to the local temple. Pliney was the governor of Bithynia which is the province just north of Asia.
9.First let's look at this passage from the no-lordship perspective. The key here is what did the jailer ask of Paul and Silas? Look at vs 30. What is Paul's answer? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Now remember last lesson when I asked is repentance required for salvation? You all said yes it is. What happened here? There is no mention by Paul of repentance, Paul did not say first repent then believe.
10.Also just because he was about to kill himself doesn't mean he repented, a repentant person does resolve to commit a sin like suicide.

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11.Chafer covered this passage also in his systematic theology and calls the absence of the word repentance an “overwelming mass of irrefutable evidence, it is clear that the New Testament does not impose repentance upon the unsaved as a condition of salvation.”
12.Here we can see the foundation of the no lordship view of repentance. This is the kind of statement from which Hodges, Ryrie and Wilkin have based their theology. Can you think of what Chafer is missing here? Do you see an overwhelming mass of evidence or is there something else that Chafer may have missed?
13.The second and last quotes are from the same section from his systematic theology. These can give you an idea of the diminished or non-existent role that repentance plays in the no-lordship scheme of salvation. If you read Hodges and Wilkin they repeat these same ideas in their works.

Slide 4
1.For the lordship view I drew from an article by John Macarthur titled “Repentance in Apostolic Preaching”. Macarthur’s exposition of this passage is quite a bit different than what we saw from Chafer.
2.Let’s look at verses 32 and 24, what we need to realize here is that the jailer would have been familiar with the events surrounding Paul’s imprisonment. He would have been familiar with the message that Paul was preaching, circumstances around his punishment in the forum and the penalty for being a Christian. The jailer knew what lay ahead when he asked “what must I do to be saved”
3.In verse 32 we see that Paul gave the jailer a more extensive presentation of the Gospel. His salvation wasn’t merely saying a few words but it was an education in a new and living way (Heb 10:20).
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4.Verse 33-34, in the last lesson we talked about the three elements of true evangelical repentance. With that in mind can you look at the actions and words of the jailer and make any connections there? What about the notional or mental element? Look at verse 30, “what must I do to be saved?”, the jailer recognized his need for salvation. The assensus or emotional element, in verse 29, he fell down trembling before Paul. A man whom he had just thrown into prison a few hours earlier.
5.What about the fiducia or volitional element? Do you see it? What did the jailer do immediately after receiving Christ? Look at verse 33, “he took them the same hour” “immediatly he was baptized” These are all acts or volitional. They are all immediate as well, remember 2 cor 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation”
6.Think about who the jailer was before he received Christ. He was a member of the Roman Army, the most powerful military force on earth, he was the master of the prison and a man of some rank. He was likely latin and so had been raised with centuries of latin heritage and paganism instilled within him.
7.Also look at verse 27 quickly, he was about to kill himself, it was the only honorable death a Roman soldier could have after failing to fullfil his duty. What could have brought such a change within him?

Slide 6
1.Ok for our second example we will look at the account of the Samaritan Woman at the Well in John 4:7-29. read text-
2.Here we find our Lord and his disciples leaving Jerusalem and traveling to Galilee. Normally a strict Jew would veer around Samaria, cross the Jordan into Perea then on to Galilee. (show map)Because of the enmity between Samaritans and Jews, and John also reminds us they had no dealings between them.
3. But John tells that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. In other words he had a divine appointment to keep with a Samaritan womam near the village of Shecham. So Jesus meets this woman at the well when she had come to draw water around noon time, we should notice that she came alon in the middle of the day. Normally women would draw water in groups and in the morning or evening.
4.Ok now that we know the setting we can look at the no-lordship exposition. The key verse is verse 14.
5.Jesus here is describing the gift of salvation to the woman, that was why he was there to offer her the free gift of salvation.
6.No where in this passage does Jesus make a call for the woman to reform her life, she couldn't have understood it if he did. This is the Gospel then in its purest form a simple gift to anyone who believes.
7.Hodges and others use this text as a model for evangelism, it is a free offer of salvation no call to obedience, repentance or commitment.
8.So what do you think? Did the woman express a saving faith? Did Jesus make any call of reformation or repentance here?

Slide 7
1.From the lordship view I've primarily drawn from the exposition of this passage offered by John Brown in his book “Discourses and saying of our Lord Jesus” and seconfly from John Macarther.
2.First we need to ask our selves what is happening here? What is the reason this event is relayed to us by John? It is first an account of Jesus revealing himslef as the Messiah in direct revelation for the first time. This is not primarily an example of saving faith like the account of the Philippian jailer, we shouldn't make something out what isn't in the text.
3. Second we need to be mindful of the context in which we read this passage, in the previuous chapter we read about Nicodemus a leader in the Sanhedrin and his conversation with Jesus. Contrast that conversation with this one with the woman at the well, Jesus withheld his identity from Nicodemus instead chastizing him. With the woman, who being the lowest in social stature compared to Nicodemus he reveals himself directly.
4.Third Jesus turns a conversation about physical need into one about spiritual need. Jesus challenges the woman about her sin revealing it to her. But what was her reaction? Save me because I am a sinner? No she instead brings up the one most polemical topic a Jew and a Samaritan could talk about. The location of true worship, Mt Gerezim or Jerusalem.
5.Jesus answers her question directly then reveals the truth of what God desires. He desires worship in spirit and truth.
1.Explanation from AW Pink, “To "worship in spirit," is to worship spiritually; to "worship in truth," is to worship truly. They are not two different kinds of worship, but two aspects of the same worship. To worship spiritually is the opposite of mere external rites which pertained to the flesh; instead, it is to give to God the homage of an enlightened mind and an affectionate heart. To worship Him truly is to worship Him according to the Truth, in a manner suited to the revelation He has made of Himself; and, no doubt, it also carries with it the force of worshipping truly, not in pretense, but sincerely. Such, and such alone, are the acceptable worshippers.
Slide 8 Macarthurs quote. What are the fundamental questions?

Slide 9
1.How should we proclaim the Gospel? Is salvation a simple confession or a life changing event?
2.How do we present Jesus to the unsaved? Is he just a Priest or is he also Prophet and King?
3.What are the essential truths of the Gospel message? Is it a call to believe only or is it a call to discipleship, to follow Christ in submissive obedience.
4.What does it mean to be saved? Is it the end sum of your life or is it the beginning of a new life.
5.What relationship is there between faith and obedience? We've seen proved time and again through scripture that faith and obedience are intimatley connected in the Christian's life.
6.How do we know our faithis real and what is our assurance? There is a huge difference between the concept of assurance between the lordship and no lordship sides. In no lordship your assurance is tied directly to your initial confession. If you ever doubt your salvation look at the date written inside your bible. From the lordship view assurance is evidenced in a changed life, in a new and living way.

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All of the presentations and notes that I've produced for this series are stored on my website at this address. I suppose if you are extremely bored and there's nothing on tv you might take a look.

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