Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reformed Faith 3

Part 3 of Adam Kaloostian's series.  This is about preaching the Word: the first of the three signs of the true church.  He focuses on Total Depravity for now.

1. Why is it important that preaching should be clear about sin?
"You can't understand the Gospel unless you understand sin.  People are bad, very bad.  And we have to answer to God. You have cancer.  The doctor needs to offend you to give you a cure.  Without knowing sin, we won't take the proper course to treat it."
Those are all Adam's points.  My interpretation, we need to know about sin because we need to know why we need a Savior.  In fact, we need to know how serious is this sin, that even one sends you to hell forever.  We will never stand trial before a God who is a consuming fire with our flammable sin.  This is also why it is so important that we believe Genesis literally.  We need to believe that millions of years of death did NOT occur before man sinned, that death is the result of sin, and that as we all have Adam's DNA, we all have to die because sin is in our blood.

2. What is the covenant of works?  What is our spiritual relationship to our first father Adam?
God gave Adam the covenant of works: obey perfectly in thoughts, words, and actions and you will live with God's blessing.  Adam did not keep that covenant, therefore we are all separated from God.
Romans 5:12 shows that when Adam sinned, death entered into the world through that sin, cursing the ground and his children.  It spreads to all men because all sin. 
Paul also says that until there was the Law, sin was in the world.  The Law did not come until Moses, so sin was not imputed to the people because they had not heard the Law, yet they still died from Adam to Moses. 
Why was there death between those times?  We are dying because we are punished for Adam's first sin.  It is credited to us as if we had done it.  We all sinned in Adam and we all belong to the fallen, sinful race from birth.
My answer: since Adam and Eve had no children until after the fall, we were all born separated from God.  If they had children before the fall, then some would have been perfect, but since all of us are after the fall, we all are born in separation and in death.

3. What does it mean to be totally depraved?
Romans 3:9 shows how we are already charged with our crimes.  All are under sin.  No one is righteous, not one.  None seek for God.  If there are religious seekers then either the Holy Spirit is hunting them down, or they are seeking idols: the benefits of religion without the actual religion.  In our "free will" we can only sin.  Everyone and every action is only inclined to seen.  Even if we could come to our Holy God, the consuming fire, with our flammable sin, we would not want to in our own "free will."

4.  How do you come to know that you are totally depraved?
You come to that knowledge by hearing the Law, as shown in Romans 3:19.  It speaks to those under the law.  Through the law comes knowledge of sin, making us wonder if we've ever obeyed any commandment.  Have you obeyed a commandment?  Since you've broken at least one and followed none of them whole-heartedly, you realized that you are a sinner and woefully lost from God.  The Jews would always try to obey from the moment they knew until they died, but even then, penance does not erase your past sins.  You are still condemned.  A code of commandments that was supposed to produce life became our deaths because we've broken all of it.

5. What is God's fair punishment against sinners?
Death.  Eternal condemnation.  People are born into sad situations and conditions.  It is sad, but that's the way it is.

That's all for now.  We'll get to the solution next week.

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