Friends: I’m looking forward to preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel on January 27 and February 3. My topic will be —
Of course, we all believe many things! But when it comes to God and man and sin and forgiveness, of the four sources for one’s beliefs that are typical (REASON, EXPERIENCE, ECCLESIASTICAL TRADITION, and SUPERNATURAL REVELATION), we believe we should allow the Scriptures, God’s Holy Word, to be our final authority.
The doctrines of the Bible are typically divided into ten areas of study. Those ten areas are:
INTRODUCTORY MATTERS BIBLIOLOGY THEOLOGY PROPER CHRISTOLOGY PNEUMATOLOGY ANTHROPOLOGY HAMARTIOLOGY SOTERIOLOGY ECCLESIOLOGY and ESCHATOLOGY
We drew several conclusions about the first five areas of doctrine IF the Bible is true! Let’s think about the second set of five areas. If God’s Word, the Bible, is true (and I am allowing it to be my final authority in my life), then —
1. In the area of ANTHROPOLOGY (the doctrine of man), the Bible is right that man is of value, has been made in the image of God, and exists to glorify and serve His Creator!
2. In the area of HAMARTIOLOGY (the doctrine of sin), the Bible tells us the truth about man’s fall away from God. Temptation and sin are real. There are no small sins against a holy God. And all of us are in a lot of trouble with the God who is holy.
3. In the area of SOTERIOLOGY, the Bible teaches that God has done something about our sin. Free forgiveness is an act of God’s mercy because of Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on the cross to pay the debt of our sins. The one who repents and believes in Jesus begins the process of sanctification (becoming holy like the Lord).
“Want to join me in building my church?” (Jesus)
4. In the area of ECCLESIOLOGY, the church is the one thing that Jesus Himself is actively building! And I am to join Him in His building project. The Bible spells out the church’s mission, priorities, leadership, ordinances, discipline, gifts, and other issues that help it to be a light in the world!
5. Lastly, in the area of ESCHATOLOGY (the study of final things), the Bible says that God will wrap up history through several climatic events, judge all men (those “in Christ” and those “not in Christ”), and that Christ will rule for 1000 years on the earth. The Bible then teaches that all people will either live with God in the New Heavens and New Earth (if they are redeemed) or exist separated from Him forever in the Lake of Fire (if they are not redeemed).
So, why believe anything at all? We have every reason to believe all that the Bible tells us, for it alone is the Word of God! And its instructions are very specific — about the cruciality of faith, the character and works of God, the truth of God’s revelation to man, the Person of the Lord Jesus, the reality of the Holy Spirit, the value and nature of man, the problem of sin, the merciful provision of salvation, the importance of the church, and the specfics about the end of history!