Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH or What Is the Real Gospel? Welcome to RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH IN THE END-TIME. This Bible study course is designed to introduce you to some basic concepts in understanding God’s plan of salvation and how you can access it. Each lesson has Bible verses with questions regarding the content of that verse, which you are encouraged to answer. When you finish one lesson, you will be able to move on to the next lesson in the sequence, and so progress through each lesson of the course. Happy studying!! This study is also available as a MS Word download. Introduction Salvation is simple. It is the purpose of this course to study the basic elements of the gospel directly from the Bible.
The study of doctrines and prophecy is a fascinating and productive area of study, and should never be neglected by one who is trying to learn God's will for his or her life. The best Biblical introduction to this course is found in Romans 1:16. Lessons 1-4 -- What Is Sin? Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 1 Before we begin our study of the Bible, we have to lay out some basic issues which will guide all of the studies to come.
The pivotal issue in any study of the gospel is the simple question, What Is Sin? It is sin which has caused us to be lost, and the gospel is the good news of how God saves us from sin. Now most of us have assumed that we know what sin is, but as is typically true for most things that we assume without examining them carefully, our assumptions may simply be unproved suppositions that need careful rethinking. Right at this point, we are a little like a patient who makes an appointment with a physician. The most important thing the doctor can do for that patient is to give him or her a correct diagnosis of what is wrong. It is exactly the same in our study of salvation. The crucial question is, What is the nature of sin for which man is considered guilty, so guilty that he must die in the fires of hell unless he is rescued by the grace of God?
Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 2 Before we can understand what sin really is in our personal experience, we need to look back to what happened when Adam and Eve sinned in the beginning of this world's history. What did God do in that emergency, when all of God's plans for the human race were being altered by the choices of His first created beings? This is a puzzling verse, because we know that Adam and Eve did not die immediately. Yet God was very clear that immediate death would be the penalty for disobedience. Adam and Eve did not die on the day that they sinned because the Substitute was placed between the penalty of death and Adam that very day.
Jesus Christ took Adam's place, and personally paid the penalty for Adam's sin by dying on the cross. There is a remarkable insight on what happened in the Garden of Eden in the following comments. What we have learned is that Jesus' atoning death directly affected Adam and Eve and the whole human race. Does all death imply guilt? " Does suffering imply guilt? " Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 3 Is it really true that guilt is the result of one's personal choice and is not the result of our birth as children of Adam?
Does the Bible teach that sin and guilt and condemnation come from choice, not from the fact that we are born into the human family beset with the inherited results of sin? It is a knowledge of God's law that makes us sinners in God's sight. We sin when we know what God's will is and choose not to obey God. What caused sin for the Jews of Christ's day? It was when the light (Jesus) came to them that they were counted guilty of sin. Because of their knowledge of Jesus and what He had done, they were responsible for the way they related to Him. Jesus is telling the people of His day that sin is not counted as guilt when there is no opportunity to know the truth. Notice again that knowledge and sin and tied closely together. It is not the impure thought or unholy desire itself that makes us sinners. Another statement is just as clear. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 4 If the Bible does not teach that we are sinners by nature, condemned and lost because we are born in a world of sin, why has original sin become the majority belief among most Protestant and Catholic Christians?
As is true for most errors in doctrine, there are some texts which seem to support the doctrine of original sin. This final lesson will look at these texts, to see if they really teach that we are born condemned and lost. Notice that David does not say that he was a sinner from birth. Some Bible versions say this, but that is a theological interpretation rather than a correct translation. This text clearly says that our fallen natures deserve nothing but wrath. This text states rather unequivocally that all men are condemned because of Adam's sin.
There are some rather unique texts in the New Testament which speak of Christ's work for the whole race of mankind. In some very important sense Christ's death affected all human beings. What other texts say similar things? Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 5 Why should we study the subject of Christ coming into our world as a human being at this point? Because just about everything we need to know about salvation and righteousness by faith can be learned by a careful study of the life of Christ. Most of the misunderstandings about how a person is saved can be easily cleared up by studying how Christ came into our world, how He lived on a day-to-day basis, and how He met the temptations of Satan. So we will study the most important subject in the world in the next four lessons. What kind of a man was Jesus? What nature did He take? The first thing we must understand about Jesus is that He did not begin life as a baby in Bethlehem.
The second thing we must understand about Jesus is that He became a real human being. The most amazing thing we learn about the Incarnation is that Jesus laid aside His omnipotence when He became a man. This is one of the most amazing statements in the Bible. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 6 Much debate has centered on whether Jesus took our fallen nature or Adam's nature before the fall. Even though this may seem like an unimportant point, it really has tremendous implications for the kind of life we can live day by day. What kind of human being was Jesus? What kind of inheritance did Jesus receive from Mary? Was He exempt from the laws of inheritance by which we are born? Did His nature pull Him toward sin like ours does? The first thing to understand is that the word "flesh" in this text, and in many other New Testament references, means fallen nature as we know it in our own natures.
But what does it mean when we read that Christ came "in the likeness of sinful flesh? The same Greek word for "likeness" is used in both verses. Remember that flesh in the New Testament means our fallen nature. Jesus actually took the same flesh and blood that we receive at our birth. Where does the strength of our temptations lie?
Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 7 No Sinful Habits As important and comforting as it is to understand that Jesus took our fallen nature when He came into our world, there is another aspect of the Incarnation that we must study if we are to correctly understand how He lived while taking human form. Jesus really was different from us in several ways, and we must understand these differences if we are to have a balanced picture of the Incarnation. Modern errors in the study of the Incarnation have usually been the result of overemphasizing either the ways in which Christ was like us or the ways in which He was different from us. This amazing text tells us that it is appropriate for us to call Jesus the everlasting Father. This text is quoted from Psalm 40:8, which is a prophecy of Jesus becoming part of the human family.
The angel was sent to let Mary know that she would be the earthly mother of Jesus. No human being has ever had the Holy Spirit for a father. Does all of this give Jesus an unfair advantage over us? Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 8 How Was Jesus Tempted? On the basis of the previous three lessons, we can now come to some practical conclusions. We want to know what difference all of this makes for our daily lives. I am tempted constantly, both by outward and inward temptations.
How does Jesus' life help me with my daily struggles? We begin this study with the most important text on this subject. But this text says that Jesus living without sin was not because He avoided 90% of my temptations by not taking a fallen nature, but He lived without sin in spite of being tempted in all the same ways that I am tempted. Why would it be necessary for Jesus to say this if His own will was perfect and could be trusted implicitly, because it was part of a perfect nature?
The following insight may be helpful here. Jesus' will and His nature, in and of themselves, were not in harmony with the will of God. The word "succour" means to help and strengthen and encourage. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 9 Justification Declared We are all sinners. Not by birth or by inheritance or by bad luck, but by our own choices to do things our way instead of God's way, the only way of happiness and peace. This means that all of us, no matter how cultured or refined we may we, are condemned, lost sinners.
It is only when we recognize this basic fact of life in a fallen world that we have any hope of anything better. By our own choices we deserve to be excluded forever from the life that was originally planned for the human race. The Bible tells us in many ways that every human being is a sinner, justly deserving separation from God, which means destruction. Since we have no way to solve our problem on our own, God has provided a way out. The Bible is very exclusive about the way of salvation. We serve a very merciful and fair God. The first thing to understand about justification is that God forgives our sins. Doing good works, even the best of works, does not provide or earn justification. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 10 Justification Experienced Just as with every crucial aspect of salvation, Satan has provided a counterfeit justification, by which salvation is promised but not delivered. Just as there were false gospels masquerading as the truth in Paul's day, so we have false gospels today promising what they cannot deliver.
And multitudes of sincere Christians have bought into Satan's version of the gospel, because it sounds so good. What is this popular counterfeit of true justification? Basically, it is limiting justification to Lesson 9 alone. It is restricting justification to God's declaration that we are righteous. Look carefully at how God saves us. When this washing and renewing have been accomplished by Christ and the Holy Spirit, then I am justified and saved. Jesus did not use the word justification as often as Paul did to describe the work of salvation, but Jesus was very clear about how we are saved. To be in Christ is to be in salvation, or to be saved. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 11 Sanctification Declared Justification and sanctification are terms to describe two parts of the process of salvation.
It is critically important to understand their relationship to each other and to the status of the one who wishes to be saved by the atoning death of Jesus Christ. What part does sanctification play in the saving process? Two different gospels arise from two answers to this question. The most basic meaning of sanctification is "to set apart for a holy use. " The Sabbath was not set apart just as a holy day, but it was to be a sign or symbol that just as God sanctified the Sabbath, He sanctified His people.
What part did sanctification play in the sanctuary? " When God instituted the sanctuary system for Israel, the first thing He did, before any ceremonies were carried out in the sanctuary, was to set apart the furniture and the priest for holy use. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 12 Sanctification Experienced What we studied in Lesson 11 about sanctification is not the usual understanding of sanctification that comes to our mind. In this lesson we will examine the second aspect of sanctification which is much more familiar to us. Most often we think of sanctification as the growing process in which we walk with Christ on a daily basis after we have been converted.
We will study this more familiar aspect in this lesson. Paul was deeply concerned that the members of the churches he had established would not remain at their beginning stage of Christianity, but would grow and develop strong Christian characters. As we spend time with God, we see more and more of His glory, and we become more and more like Him in character. "At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God's purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be a continual advancement. " What was Paul's daily experience? "Paul's sanctification was a constant conflict with self.
Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 13 Is Perfection Really Possible? Perfection is a troublesome word. What does it really mean? What doesn't it mean? Some believe that it is spiritually unhealthy to emphasize the subject of perfection. But perhaps part of the problem is that we have not defined our terms carefully. Let us take a close look at this much-avoided subject to see if it is as fearsome as it seems. Only God can be described in this way. Since Jesus is described in the same way as God, it is clear that He shares in this unique attribute of God. God created Adam and Eve in the full perfection possible to finite beings. Our corruptible, sinful human nature will be changed by God at the second coming of Christ into an incorruptible, perfect human nature. At the moment of conversion, when we surrender our lives completely to Christ, we are counted perfect in Christ.
Even though a plant is very immature when the first blade of green appears above the ground, it is no less important than the fully grown plant. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Lesson 14 Victory Over Sin While definitions are very important in understanding perfection, it may be even more important to search the Bible for realistic, practical ways of experiencing what the Bible promises. It is at this point that we need to have that faith, that complete trust in God that will believe what God says even though it sounds impossible. We know enough about our weakness and our failures. Is Christ really able to keep us from sinning? Do we really believe the promises of God? It is important to note that God will deliver only those who are looking to Him and believing His promises--whom He calls the godly. God has promised that He will not allow any temptation to come to us that is too strong for us, which would make our fall inevitable.
Some practical ways to find that escape route can be easily done if we give some thought to it ahead of time. If we are in Christ, we are not rebelling against Him, and sin is rebellion. What is our only hope of victory? " Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Bible Study: Righteousness by Faith. Everlasting Gospel. What is the Real Gospel? Lesson 1 - TWO DEFINITIONS OF SIN. Lesson 2 - Result of Sin and Penalty of Sin. Lesson 3 - Sin As Choice. What About Original Sin? THE WORD BECAME FLESH. Lesson 6 - Christ Took Our Nature. Lesson 7 - No Sinful Habits. Lesson 8 - How Was Jesus Tempted? Lesson 9 - Justification Declared. Lesson 10 - Justification Experienced.
Lesson 11 - Sanctification Declared. Lesson 12 - Sanctification Experienced. Lesson 13 - Is Perfection Really Possible? Lesson 14 - Victory Over Sin. Lesson 15 - The Final Generation. Lesson 16 - Why Is It So Important?