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ROMANS IN TODAY’S WORLD

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ROMANS IN TODAY’S WORLD

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  1. ROMANS IN TODAY’S WORLD In Light of Postmodernism by Roy H. Lanier, Jr. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  2. What the Church Faces Today • “My heritage among Churches of Christ I view neither as a straightjacket that rigidly confines me nor as a light outer garment of no consequence that I can strip off at will. Rather, I view it as a worn but sturdy garment of faith that (with careful alterations) can yet serve me well.” Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  3. What the Church Faces Today “It is one of the great conceits of our time to imagine that we can sweep away the past and simply begin all over again at the beginning. We cannot. For in a thousand and one ways (many of them unknown to us) our past and its traditions have made us what we are…” Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  4. What the Church Faces Today • “…and given us our identity. This book therefore rests upon the conviction that we will find freedom to change, grow, and respond to new challenges only as we care about the past and listen to its voices.” – C. Leonard Allen, The Cruciform Church, Preface, p. x. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  5. What the Church Faces Today • “Can we accept the fact that we, like every other human being, have a past and partake of its limitations? Or must we harbor the heady illusion of historylessness, the illusion that we have burst the bonds of finitude to soar above this mortal sphere?” – Allen, Cruciform, p. 9. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  6. What the Church Faces Today • “Second, Churches of Christ began as a sect in the early nineteenth century and evolved into a denomination during the course of the twentieth century. The fact could hardly be striking, …were it not for the fact..rejected these labels…as pertinent to their own identity.” Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  7. What the Church Faces Today • “Indeed, their resolute rejection of these labels has been central to what Churches of Christ have been about for almost two hundred years. Since their denial of these categories flies in the face of social reality, their story is one of deep irony and absorbing interest” – Hughes, Ancient Faith, p.2. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  8. Spectacles of John Locke • “Our movement, in part as a result of its historical epistemology, thrived. We perceived reality through the spectacles of John Locke, as mediated through the Scottish Enlightenment” – Olbricht, p. 53. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  9. Historical Perspective • “For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” – Jeremiah 2:13. The “weeping prophet” speaks to Israel. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  10. Historical Perspective • “Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith Jehovah” – Jer. 3:20. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  11. Historical Perspective • “…they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at harlots’ houses; they were fed as horses roaming at large; every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife” – Jer. 5:7-8. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  12. Historical Perspective • “A wonderful and horrible thing has come to pass in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof?” – Jer. 5:30-31. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  13. Romans as a Book • Romans was written in Corinth by Paul in 58 A. D. with Gaius as his host – 16:23. • He used an amanuensis, Tertius, and the letter probably was delivered by Phoebe – 16:22; 16:1-2. • It is heavy on doctrine (1-11), followed by the practical (12-16). Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  14. Romans as a Book • Paul desired to visit Rome – 1:10-13. • Perhaps this book took the place of a personal visit until he could come. • No record in the New Testament tells of the beginning of the church in Rome; perhaps it was from events on Pentecost – Acts 2:10. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  15. Romans as a Book • Justification is the major theme of Romans. • A simple outline could be: • Justification – 1-5 • Sanctification – 6-11 • Application – 13-16 Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  16. Romans as a Book • Great doctrines are taught and explained in Romans: • Justification • Law, law-keeping • Obedience • Faith • Fellowship • Sanctification Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  17. Romans as a Book • It has been called “the cathedral of Christian faith,” “Paul’s masterpiece,” “most profound work ever written,” and the “door to all the treasures in the Scriptures.” • It answers the query, “How can man be just before God?” – Job 9:2. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  18. Romans 1 Righteousness– 1:16-17 Wrath and Judgment – 18-32 Absolutes in morals – 18-32 Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  19. Romans 1 -- Righteousness • “For therein is revealed the righteousness of God from faith unto faith, even as it is written, ‘the just shall live by faith’” – 1:17 Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  20. Romans 1 -- Righteousness • Righteousness of God can have 2 meanings: • 1. God’s holy nature within Himself. • 2. God’s justification done for man. The word righteousness (dikaiosu/nh – DIKAIOSUNE) is found 47 times in various forms in Romans. All but a few refer to what God did for man. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  21. Romans 1 -- Righteousness • The righteousness of God in 1:17 refers to an act that God has performed on man and for the benefit of man. • In a word, God has justified man. • Justify, justification can be used as synonyms throughout Romans. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  22. Romans 1 -- Righteousness • The ground of God’s justification of man is faith. • The meritorious cause is the blood of Jesus Christ. • Justification is apart from “law-keeping.” • Such was the hope of many Jews. • No such is found in Christ. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  23. “Faith unto Faith” or“Righteousness by Faith?” • God’s righteous action, justifying sinful man, is by faith. • This righteous action, justifying sinful man, is able to be done on the principle of faith. • This righteous action cannot come from law-keeping, even perfect law-keeping. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  24. “Faith unto Faith” or“Righteousness by faith?” • Faith does not obviate law. • “Law of faith” is the way Paul began the book of Romans, as well as ending the book – Rom. 1:5; 16:20. • Abraham was said to have “steps of faith” – 3:27. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  25. Walk in the Steps of Faith • ”walk in the steps” is an interesting concept. • “Walk” is stoixou=sin, stoikousin, 3rd person plural, present indicative of stoixe/w, stoikeo, which means “to advance in a line; met. To frame one’s conduct by a certain rule” – Moulton, Lexicon, p. 377. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  26. Walk in the Steps of Faith • Thus, “walk” means a continuous framing of one’s conduct by the rule of the gospel. • Faith has steps of obedience and is consistent with the “law of faith” – Rom. 3:27. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  27. How is Righteousness Obtained? • It is announced by faith – Rom. 1:17. • It was so in O. T. days – Rom. 1:17. • It is a free gift – Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8-9 • Its merit is the blood of Christ. • It is given to the obedient – Heb. 5:9. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  28. Abraham is the Example – Romans 4:1-25. • He was justified by faith – 4:2-3. • It was while he was still in uncircumcision – 4:10 • It was not done through the Law of Moses – 4:13. • His faith enabled him to perform – 4:19-21. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  29. Righteousness: When? • At the first point of faith? • Abraham had prior faith, and was justified prior to offering Isaac. • This implies Abraham was “walking” correctly at that time. • His steps of obedience showed him qualified for justification. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  30. Righteousness: When? • In our case today, our “walk in faith” means we repent and are baptized. • It does not mean the first point at which we believe Jesus to be God’s Son and the Savior of the world. • God’s willingness to justify us on this basis will encourage sinners. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  31. Romans 1:18-32 – God’s Perfect Wrath • Due to rebellion God gave them up – vv. 24, 26, 28. • 1. Sin deceives. • 2. Sin degrades the natural design by God. • 3. Sin depraves the mind. • 4.Sin deserves death. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  32. Romans 1: –Absolute Morals • 24 deviations from God are listed –1:18-32. • These morals have been God’s wishes from the time of creation. • Men knew about God, but chose not to glorify Him as God. • God therefore gave them up. • In effect, man became his own god. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  33. Moral Truths Have Not Changed. • Every conceivable sin has been since Eden. • No new sins are found today. • Nor, or any sins absent today. • Moral truths are principles consistent with the very nature of God. • Violations of these principles are wrong because they are not like God. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  34. Moral Truths Have Not Changed • Murder is still murder. • Stealing is still theft. • Adultery is still immoral mixing. • Fornication is still filthy. • Homosexuality is still aberrant and shameful. • Postmodernism wants tolerance of such immorality. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  35. Tolerance of Immorality • “Jesus Might Fit in at Cheers” – A fantasy article where Jesus appears in the last episode of the TV program cheers, strolls through the door, and has a seat on the barstool next to Norm – Mike Cope, Abilene Reporter News, Sunday, May 16, 1993. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  36. Tolerance of Immorality • “In 1979, an organization known as ‘A Cappella Chorus’ was formed in Houston, Texas which claimed to be a ‘fellowship’ of ‘gay and lesbian members of the Houston area Churches of Christ’” – Miller, Strait, p. 254. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  37. Tolerance of Immorality • “The breakdown in the moral fiber of our nations and the rejection of ‘traditional American family values’ is taking its toll of members of the church… Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  38. Tolerance of Immorality • When one relaxes his or her doctrinal convictions, the temptation is equally strong to weaken one’s views and behavior with regard to what we typically call moral issues…a tendency to soften and be ‘open-minded’ on matters of morality” – Dave Miller, Stait, p. 234. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  39. Romans 6 • “Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life” – vv. 3-4 Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  40. Connected to the Cross? • Only those things that are connected to the “core,” the cross, are matters of fellowship. • Baptism is “connected,” as well as the Lord’s Supper. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  41. Connected to the Cross? • “The only thing that prevents the diversity of Scripture from collapsing into a jumbled mess is the Bible’s center of gravity, its core…” Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  42. Connected to the Cross? • “The core is summarized in the simple confession of the early church, the conviction expressed countless times at baptism:…our obedience to rules is not at the core” – Crux, pp. 170, 176 Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  43. Connected to the Cross? • “Habitual neglect of the doctrine of grace produces distorted versions of the story…exposed itself…when preachers cannot bring themselves to talk about …confession and belief (Romans 10:9) without adding, ‘but of course baptism is necessary, etc.’” – Crux, p. 177. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  44. Connected to the Cross? • “There are some doctrines and practices, of course, which are non-negotiable…baptism by immersion for the forgiveness of sins…We believe our weekly participation in the Lord’s Supper serves as an ongoing covenant to be people of the cross” –Crux, pp. 248-250 Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  45. Connected? – Then Why? • “At times we have been extremely sectarian by effectively denying that anyone outside our churches could be a true Christian because we were the only ones who taught and practiced the biblical doctrine of baptism” – Crux, p. 124. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  46. Connected? Then Why? “ “Our identity is defined…by …our attitude toward others. Though it’s painful to admit, our exclusive attitude may be the character trait most widely known among outsiders” – Crux, pp. 133-134. Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  47. Baptism Near the Cross? • Upon what reasoning is baptism near the cross? • Who decides what principles are valid? • Does the fact it is a command of Jesus enter into the decision? • If so, what about other commands? • If not, how can one love Jesus – John 14:15? Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  48. Connected to the Cross? • Where does this leave adultery? • Where does this leave fornication? • Where does this leave murder? • Where does this leave theft? • What about lying? • What about gossip? • What about greed? Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  49. Connected to the Cross? • Where does this leave the church? • Where does this leave prayer? • Where does this leave women preachers? • Where does this leave giving? • What about instrumental music? Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002

  50. Connected to the Cross? • Is repentance not a matter of concern? • Does one have to confess faith in Christ? • Is sprinkling in lieu of immersion connected or not connected? • Is infant baptism near or far? Roy H. Lanier, Jr. - Southern Ridge Church of Christ - December, 2002