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Essential Christian Doctrines - Lesson 1

by Dr. Ray Self


Man's Sinfulness, God's Holiness

Click Play in the video player window and follow along on the class notes below.

The Need for a Mediator and the Plan

    1. Job. 9:32-33. For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman (mediator) betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
      1. Because Of God’s righteous nature as a perfect judge the only way for man to approach God is through a mediator
      2. In order for Jesus to be a mediator for God He must be God
      3. In order to be a mediator for man He must be man
      4. The situation called for a plan a divine plan
      5. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

    1. The penalty for the sins of mankind must be done away with if man is to have a relationship with God

    1. The penalty for sin is death.

    1. The importance of the death of Christ - Old Testament
      1. Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
      2. Genesis 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
      3. The offering of Isaac (Gen 22)
      4. The Passover lamb (Ex.12)
      5. The Levitical Sacrificial system (Lv. 1-7)
      6. The Brazen Serpent (Nm. 21; Jn. 3:14)
      7. Isaiah 53:7 he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

    1. Since God cannot die because He is a spirit, there must be a body.
      1. John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
      2. Hebrews 2:14 - Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
      3. In the plan of salvation the righteous judgment of God had to be satisfied.
      4. The law of God requires justice, that justice requires death for sin.
      5. A body had to be given for sin, but not just any body, a perfect man was the only way to pay such a heavy price.

    1. The incarnation was not an end in itself but a means to an end, and that end is the redemption of the lost through His death on the cross.

    1. Christ partook of flesh and blood in order that he may die.

    1. The Gospel is the good news of salvation through the death burial and resurrection of Christ

    1. Christ death was absolutely necessary
      1. John 3:14 - And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
      2. Matthew - 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
      3. Luke 17:25 - But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
      4. Luke 24:7 - Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
      5. Acts 17:3 - Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

    1. The only basis by which a Holy God can forgive sin is by His son bearing the penalty of the sinner’s guilt.

    1. God cannot forgive sin based on the grounds of repentance alone.

    1. God does not forgive sins just because He loves.

    1. His love caused Him to give His only begotten son to be a ransom for sin, that is why the sinner is forgiven.

    1. Why was the cross needed if God is love?
      1. God is the moral ruler and judge of the universe.
      2. A father forgives His children freely if the child is repentant, but a father who also is a judge cannot simply forgive a criminal even though the criminal is His child.
      3. The judge has a righteous duty to uphold the law.
      4. If a judge allowed lawlessness to go unpunished then he would be a corrupt judge.
      5. A moral, just judge can only forgive a crime if the penalty for that crime has been paid.

  1. How can God forgive and at the same time be the "judge of all the earth"?
    1. Psalms 89:14 - Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
    2. A problem worthy of God - how to cancel sin and treat it as if it were not and yet maintain and vindicate His righteousness?
    3. Any divine pardon that belittles or disregarded the moral law would make the world a horrible place.
    4. Psalms 85:10 - Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

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