Extending biblical, theological training to the world's untrained pastors and church leaders

Kevin 2017-2019 BDS Class Notes

Recap 01 Bible Doctrine Survey (Introduction) pp. 30-42

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for your good participation on Thursday night as we introduced Bible Doctrine Survey. It is great to have all of you with us as we begin this survey of Bible Doctrine! We ended at the bottom of p. 42 in your course manual.

Remember: We will not meet this Thursday Feb. 14th 

If you would like to access audio of the class or these e-mailed recaps online you can bookmark this link:

Bible Doctrine Survey Class Page

If you are asked for a password it is “student” without the quotes.

Recap of Thursday, February 7, 2019:

Our goals for the night were:

  • that we understand the significance of the study we are now beginning

  • that we commit to do the work in this course

  • that we increasingly stand in awe of the God who made, loves, and redeemed us

We looked at part of the classic Westminster Shorter Catechism (on p. 42) another part of that Catechism contains the question: “What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” We cannot glorify God as we desire to do, nor enjoy Him to the fullest, unless we have an accurate understanding of whom we are serving and what He is like.

Whatever Happened to Theology?

Here are some pretty shocking statements taken from various sources:

George Lindbeck, the famous Yale theologian, has commented on the decreasing knowledge of Scripture from a professor’s perspective.
“When I first arrived at Yale, even those who came from nonreligious backgrounds knew the Bible better than most of those now who come from churchgoing families,” he says.

David Wells declares in his book No Place for Truth, “I have watched with growing disbelief as the evangelical church has cheerfully plunged into astounding theological illiteracy.”

There has been a general failing of the church to transmit biblical knowledge and truth to the next generation. This includes an overemphasis on personal experience to the exclusion of serious Christian education. Experience is not bad per se but it must be based on biblical truth.

“In short, the spiritual life has become less a matter of learning than it is a matter of experiencing. This has resulted in Christian ministries that put less premium on education than they do on personal development and therapeutic wholeness.” . . . “Thus sermons become more therapeutic and less instructional; and the validity of what we do on Sunday morning is grounded in what we feel, not in what we think.” – Gary Burge, professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois

Many Christians accept elements of unbiblical world views without even knowing it. Because of this, George Barna and Mark Hatch in the book Boiling Point have noted that, “we cannot really call the faith of American Christians a Bible-based faith. It is a synthetic, syncretic faith.” . . .  “Christians today have accepted and combined so many ideas from other world views and religions that they have created their own faith system. “The average born-again, baptized, churchgoing person has embraced elements of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, Unitarianism and Christian Science—without any idea they have just created their own faith.”

These are pretty shocking remarks and should motivate us to understand and   pass on the “faith once entrusted to the saints”.

Look at Matt. 22:34-40, and note that we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind; Mark 12:28-30 adds, “strength.” We cannot love the Lord with all of our minds if we are not eagerly using our minds by learning more about Him in His word.

To use Ken Boa‘s summary statement about the ultimate goal of theology from his book, Conformed to His Image:

Our study of God should result in:

  • loving God more completely

  • loving self more correctly

  • loving others more compassionately

Use the following passages to look at the goals for the Bible Doctrine course on manual p. 8:
Goal #1: Jude 3-4
Goal #2: Jer. 9:23-24Dt. 29:29
Goal #3: Col.19-14Mt.22:37
Goal #4: Titus 2:1;1:9
Goal #5: James 1:22-25

As I mentioned, in this course we will learn much about the Lord, but that we will not have all our questions answered. Paraphrasing Norman Geisler: Through the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we can know the Lord accurately in this life but not fully until the next.

We took the True/False Quiz as a way to begin discussing some of the theological truths we will be addressing. As I mentioned it is intentionally a little tricky but we we want you to use your skills of observation and your knowledge gained from our study through the whole Bible to think through the theological implications of statements such as those in the quiz. Bible Doctrine Survey as a course will help you to develop the skill of evaluating theological statements for overall Biblical accuracy. Notice the fact that the validity of the statements in the quiz were ultimately determined by the meaning we associated with certain words. In any theological study or discussion it is important to clearly define your terms.

The first doctrine we looked at in the manual is Theology Proper, i.e. the study of God and the limits of that study, what and/or whom are we talking about, and what are we saying about God. Note Dennis Mock’s summary statement at the bottom of p. 33: “When we have correct thoughts about God we are in a position to be conformed to his image.”

We looked at the various world views listed on pp. 34-36. You and I are theists, i.e. we believe in one God who is both transcendent and immanent; that he is both outside the world and active in it.

On p. 37, we discussed the potential sources of knowledge about God. Note that the first two of the three possible sources are subjective in nature, the third is objective in nature. That which is subjective may or may not correspond to that which is revealed by God objectively. It takes the Word of God to determine if reason, intuition, tradition, and experience correspond to the truth about His nature and activity. (See: Rom. 1:21Eph. 4:182 Cor. 4:4Mk. 7:9-13Gen. 3:1-5Heb. 4:12)

Look at the doxology from Rom. 11:33-36. Here we see the limits of our understanding as Paul declares his awe and wonder of God. Note the echoes of Job here.

Assignment for Thursday, February 21, 2019

  • Read manual pp. 43-69, looking up all the referenced Scripture passages and reading them in context.

  • Do all the assignments on those pages

While we continue our walk through Bible Doctrine Survey, as Peter says in 2 Pet. 3:18, may we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord willing, I will see next Thursday, February 21st.



Recap 02 Bible Doctrine Survey (God’s Attributes) pp. 43-64

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for a good start to our study of Theology Proper, the first of the 10 major doctrines we will study in Bible Doctrine Survey.

Recap of  Thursday, February 21, 2019

Our objectives for the night:

  • that we understand more clearly who God is by studying His attributes

  • that we gain perspective in terms of who we are in light of who He is

  • that our study OF Him, enhances our worship OF Him and confidence IN Him

Look on p. 12 and review the 10 major doctrines covered in Bible Doctrine Survey. We are currently covering the first of those 10, Theology proper.

We continued from p. 43 our discussion of the attributes of God. We began by discussing the “PULSE” of God: Perfect, Unique, Life, Spirit, and Eternal. The first two showing that God is qualitatively and essentially: Perfect and Unique, while the other three show that God is quantitatively: Spirit, the Life, and the only Eternal Being.

We then began to cover 22 other attributes, or as some call them “perfections”of God, listed in the manual. These are not exhaustive but they do provide a fairly complete description of God as revealed in the Bible. Your BTCP manual points out on p. 48 that characteristics of God #6-27 are no more or less important than the five essential ones already described. Again, attributes (or perfections) are simply those things that the Bible reveals are true about God.

Remember it is helpful to keep clearly in mind some facts about the attributes of God:

  • No one attribute fully describes God.

  • All of God’s attributes exist equally and at the same time in His nature.

  • When God reveals one attribute, He does not cease to possess others.

  • God is greater than the sum of all of His attributes.

  • What we know about God’s attributes we learn only from His self revelation.

  • All of God’s attributes are interdependent and in perfect harmony and balance with each other

  • the attributes of God add nothing to Him but simply describe who He is and what He is like.

Certain attributes are “non-communicable”. This means that they belong only to God. He does not share these attributes with finite humanity. The non-communicable attributes would include:










There are communicable attributes, those that can be shared or given in a limited sense to man. For instance, God is love, and He has mind, will, and emotion.

In terms of how much we, the finite, can know about God, the infinite, Norm Geisler said, “We can know God accurately; we cannot know God fully.”

Your assignment for Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019:

  • Make sure you have read pp. 62 – 88

  • Read all the referenced passages in context

  • Answer all the assignment questions


I look forward to seeing you all in class Thursday, Lord willing.




Recap 03 Bible Doctrine Survey (“Attributes-Names-Trinity-Works” of God) pp. 64-83

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thanks for your interaction last Thursday. I hope that you are growing in your understanding of our mighty, infinite, and yet personal God as He is revealed in Scripture!

Our goals for the night were:

  • that we see the significance of God revealing His identity to man

  • that we revere Him as who He is in both His transcendence and His immanence

  • that we reflect in our attitudes the fact that He is our creator, defender, redeemer, and friend

In our discussion of God’s attributes, we can contrast His justice with our common concept of “fair”. In the purest dictionary form, the words are synonyms, but in a man-centered way of thinking “fair” has taken on a nuanced meaning.


– adhering to an objective standard

– (for God) unlimited perspective

– consistent with all His attributes, not influenced by sentimentality


– can be swayed by circumstances

– for man, limited perspective

– not consistent in all circumstances and can be influenced by emotions

Your manual on pp. 71-72 gives three primary names of God in the Old Testament:

  • Elohim – mighty or strong one; we looked at Ps. 51:10 and the implications of that passage coupled with Gen. 1:1

  • Adonai – master, sovereign ruler, Lord

  • Yahweh means “I AM WHO I AM” or likely “the self-existent one”.

Elohim is like the generic title for God while Adonai denotes His deity and position as sovereign Lord. Yahweh is God’s personal, covenant name. Note the use of “El” on the end of Old Testament names such as Bethel, i.e. “house of God”, and the use of “ah” as an abbreviation for YHWH or “Yahweh”, when used in names like Jeremiah, which may mean, “The LORD (YHWH) throws down”, see the introduction to Jeremiah in your NIV under “Author and Date”. Also, Zechariah, “the LORD remembers”.

From Wikipedia: The male given name Zechariah is derived from the Hebrew זְכַרְיָה, meaning “God has remembered”. It is a theophoric name, the ending –iah being a short Hebrew form for the Tetragrammaton. (i.e. YHWH)

From pp. 72-74, we noted the Yahweh compound names in the Old Testament. The extremely personal name that Jesus used is (“Abba” Father). This name shows the close intimate relationship between the Father and the Son and shows us the nature of the relationship we have with the Father through the Son.

Concerning the main New Testament names for Jesus. One from Matt. 1 actually originates from Isaiah 7:14 – “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”.

Notice the two big ideas of transcendence and immanence in the various names of God. To address the Lord as our, “Heavenly Father”, pretty much sums up the two concepts, i.e. Heavenly, His transcendence and Father, His immanence.

Next, we moved to p. 75 to discuss the Trinity or Triunity of God.

The passages on p. 75 detail the fact that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all declared to be God. Thus your manual’s statement, “the LORD is one God in three persons and three persons in one God”.  This is logically consistent, whereas three infinite, omniscient, omnipresent Gods would be a contradiction; one God existing in three persons is not. However, only by revelation validated by the resurrection of Christ can we testify this to be true.

On p. 74 we looked at the three common errors or heresies that depart from the biblical view of God and mentioned the following:

• Unitarianism has morphed, or “devolved” over time from theism to pantheism.

• Tri-theism teaches 3 gods. This is the charge made against us by Jews and Muslims, however, it is is not believed by any orthodox Christian denomination or group.

• Modalism is common in current day “sloppy” evangelicalism. (For an article on Modalism and T.D. Jakes go here: http://thecripplegate.com/modalism_oneness_and_td_jakes/)

Norman Geisler notes as does Dennis Mock that Modalists hold that God simply manifests himself in different modes of forms at different times. Geisler points out that one illustration of of the trinity from the three states of H2O water, tends to lean toward modalism.

He notes that a triangle is a better illustration to show that God is simultaneously a plurality with a unity, since he is three distinct persons in one eternal nature. On p. 76 is the triangle diagram showing the one triangle, depicting His nature, which has three corners, depicting His persons. Without three sides, there is no triangle. Further each corner differs from the others, yet all share in the nature of a triangle, thus they all share, “triangleness”.

Another illustration he uses; God is like 1 to the 3rd power, 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. There are three and one at the same time.

Also, as I mentioned, however, no analogy or illustration will ever explain fully the concept of God as trinity we must ultimately believe it by faith because the concept is taught in Scripture.

Here is a Youtube video of Dr. Norman Geisler giving a lecture on the trinity for your viewing pleasure (I am certain he does a better job than I ever could!) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4FntRJ78Ys

We also looked at the Works of God on p. 79 and the Abrahamic covenant on pp. 82.

Your manual’s explanation of the Decree of God is good on pp. 79-80. The Decree of God is His fixed, settled, foreordained plan. We see this worked out chronologically according to His will and His providential workings among men.

Make sure to note your manual’s statement concerning our salvation having root in the Abrahamic Covenant at the top of p. 83.

Four big take-aways from Theology Proper:

– God is transcendent – “wholly other”

– God is immanent – involved in his creation

– God is one-in-three and three-in-one – Triunity

– God has acted in human history according to His covenants

As we transition this Thursday from Theology Proper to Bibliology, we are moving from the broad statements and scriptural references about God, i.e. “What we know about this being”, to “How do we know what we know about God?” Once we have established that this being called God exists, what has He revealed to us about Himself in the Bible?

For Bibliology, we want to know the basics of how we got the Bible and to be able to explain the reliability of the Scriptures to others.

Your Assignment for Thursday, March 7, 2019:

  • Reread the section on the Works of God and the Covenants pp. 79-88

  • Read pages pp. 88-102 and do the assignments within (We will have two weeks to discuss this section)

You are a blessing, keep up the good work.



Recap 04 Bible Doctrine Survey (Covenants-Intro to Bibliology) pp. 83-93

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Review of the Works (Decree) and Covenants of God:

Last week we first saw that “God’s decree was planned in eternity past and is being carried out in time. Therefore all history is linear and purposeful, moving steadily toward God’s predestined goal”.

This week we then addressed the major covenants or “agreements” that God instituted in time in accordance with His Decree:

  1. Abrahamic Covenant: stated God would bless the whole world through Abraham and his seed. The Covenant was confirmed by circumcision.

  2. Mosaic Covenant: was conditional. God would provide blessing for obedience and curse for disobedience.

  3. Davidic Covenant: stated that a descendant of David will be on the throne of israel forever.

  4. The New Covenant: is “circumcision of the heart” that became effective upon the death of Christ on the cross. The blessings promised by God were totally undeserved and based on God’s “Covenant love” and accessed by faith in Jesus.

Then we moved into the section on Bibliology and our goals for the night were:

  • that we understand that the Bible is . . . God’s word, i.e. that it is from Him

  • that we ask ourselves the question: What part of my life is in rebellion to His revealed word?

  • that we view God’s word with reverence and defend it with facts

On p. 33 in the manual review the fact that the purpose for studying doctrine, including Bibliology, is not simply to become more knowledgeable about God, but to become more like Him in character and conduct. There is a negative example in Jn. 5:16-18 and verse 39 of “head-only-knowledge”; in terms of applied knowledge, look at the Lord’s intention for us in Jn. 17:17 and 2 Pet. 1:4.

We spent time highlighting General Revelation and Special Revelation: See p. 89 in your manual.

In General Revelation, that revelation is non-personal, and attests only to God’s existence, characteristics, and power.

God is revealed to all in creation.

God is revealed in all men, i.e. in man’s conscience.

God’s revelation is toward all as we see His hand of providence in history.

Thus: General Revelation is totally inclusive, and non-exclusive.

In Special Revelation God is revealed personally in His word and in the person of Christ. Once understood, that revelation becomes exclusive at the point of the response of the person.

Inspiration of the Bible

Some of the views of inspiration are:

  • Intuition Theory: natural talent, no supernatural involvement

  • Illumination theory: God heightened experience but no revelation

  • Dynamic theory: God was only involved in matters of faith but the human authors chose their own words.

  • Dictionary theory: God was mechanically involved in dictating his message to the authors.


  • Plenary Verbal theory: God was involved to the point of choosing the words (This last view is the one which we believe is the best and most accurate and holds that all the words of scripture are inspired, i.e. given by God.) The word used by Paul in 2 Tim. 3:16 is defined as: theópneustos (/theós, “God” and /pnéō, “breathe out”) – properly, God-breathed, referring to the divine inspiration (inbreathing) of Scripture (used only in 2 Tim 3:16).

Theópneustos (“God-breathed”), likely a term coined by Paul, “expresses the sacred nature of the Scriptures (their divine origin)  and their power to sanctify believers”.

A definition of Inspiration must involve the distinct roles played by both God (2 Timothy 3:16) and man (2 Peter 1:20-21) in producing the Scriptures. Then it must also recognize that while men were used in producing the Scriptures they were guided by the Holy Spirit and did not in any way compromise the integrity, purity, or inerrancy of the Scriptures.

Inspiration then is the process through which God chose men and guided them to write down through the enablement of the Holy Spirit exactly what God intended without any errors and without overriding their personalities in the original autographs (i.e. manuscripts/scrolls).

Next Thursday we will finish our discussion of Bibliology and address inerrancy, illumination, and canonicity. We will then introduce the next topic of “Christology”

Assignment for Thursday, March 14th, 2019:

  • Make sure you have read through p. 102 in your manual and have a looked up all the Scripture references and read them in context.

  • Make sure you have done all the assignments through p. 102.

  • Go the following link and read the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy:


I trust you continue to grown in your knowledge of God, through His Word, and are willing to trust Him more as a result of your study of God.



Recap 05 Bible Doctrine Survey (Bibliology-Intro to Christology) pp. 93-108

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

I enjoyed our discussion last night. I hope you were encouraged to have great confidence in the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture (both the Old and New Testament). I also trust we are reminded of how great a God we serve as we study our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the Christology section of your manual.

Recap of Bibliology

Canonization of the Bible

What is a Canon? ‘Kanon’ is a Greek word that means ‘a measuring rod’ or ‘a standard.’ The term adopted theological connotations when the church used it to refer to the Books that became the standard and rule of faith and practice for the church.

The question of canonicity deals with:

  • Which books belong to the Bible?

  • Who chose these books?

  • On what basis were these books chosen?

  • When were these books chosen?

  • Is the Bible complete?

Unfortunately most Christians do not know how to respond when confronted with the question of canonicity. We normally try to argue from the historical stance rather than find answers from the Bible itself. When we carefully study the Bible we see that God in his wisdom circumspectly put His fingerprints in the 66 books that we have. We pointed out that people did not determine which books are to be included in the Bible, God did!

God’s Fingerprints are observed in the following areas of the books in the Bible:

Concerning the concept of canonicity, here are the four categories in the Old Testament process (Summarizing from Dr. Norman Geisler in his General Introduction to the Bible):

To  borrow the terminology of the New Testament Fathers, the books of the Hebrew canon may be divided into four groups:

  1. those books accepted by virtually everyone, Homologoumena (one word, agreement)

  2. those at one time or another disputed by some of the Fathers, called Antilegomena (spoken against)

  3. those were where rejected by virtually everyone, called Pseudepigrapha (false writings, spurious)

  4. those which were accepted by some, called Apocrypha (hidden, secret)

Concerning New Testament canonicity, we looked at p. 99 in your manual. The earliest complete list by an individual was by Athanasius in 367 A.D., and by the Council of Hippo (North Africa) in 393 A.D.

Below are the theological terms that Charles Ryrie used on p. 133 of his book Basic Theology to emphasize the process God used to provide us with the Scriptures:

  1. The thoughts in God’s mind came to the Human Authors through Revelation.

  2. The Human Authors accurately recorded God’s intended words on the original manuscripts through Inspiration

  3. The original manuscripts were collected into 66 books through Canonicity.

  4. The 66 books were then compiled into the modern Greek and Hebrew Bibles through Textual Criticism

  5. The original languages are then conveyed into our modern English versions through Translation.

  6. After reading the English Versions we apply it into our lives which in turn changes it to enable us to Communicate it to others.

See the attached PDF for this in chart form with accompanying scripture references:

(I gave you hard copies of this chart in class)

How our Bible Came to Us.pdf

Other issues:

Some might ask “Do Jews today accept the Apocrypha as Scripture?”  It seems that they do not. The Tanakh has the same content as our Old Testament, and the Tanakh is the “bible” used by Jews today.

The Jewish Virtual Library says:

“The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) consists of a collection of writings dating from approximately the 13th – 3rd centuries BCE. These books were included in the Jewish canon by the Talmudic sages at Yavneh around the end of the first century CE, after the destruction of the Second Temple. However, there are many other Jewish writings from the Second Temple Period which were excluded from the Tanakh; these are known as the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha.

The Apocrypha (Greek, “hidden books”) are Jewish books from that period not preserved in the Tanakh, but included in the Latin (Vulgate) and Greek (Septuagint) Old Testaments. The Apocrypha are still regarded as part of the canon of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, and as such, their number is fixed.”

Notice a couple of things here:

  • The author uses BCE and CE, i.e. Before the Common Era, and Common Era.

  • Second Temple, as you studied in OT Survey, that would be the temple rebuilt under Zerubbabel and Ezra. See the drawing near Ezra 3 in your NIV Study Bible.

  • Their are four temples in Scripture:

    1. The First built under the direction of Solomon, called Solomon’s Temple and thus, “the First Temple Period”

    2. Second under Zerubbabel, this is the one used in the designation, “Second Temple Period”. Note: this temple was enlarged and embellished under Herod; his efforts began in 20B.C. He died in 4B.C. and the refurbishing continued until 64 A.D., thus it was under construction for over 80 years. Remember, this temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70A.D. (Martha Stewart would be proud of Herod).

    3. The third temple built before the Tribulation period and in which an image of the Antichrist is set up, thus fulfilling the Lord’s statement in Matt. 24:15. See also 2 Thes. 2:4; and Rev. 13:14-15

    4. The fourth according to Ezekiel 40-47, the temple to be built as a memorial temple in the Millennial Kingdom. Remember that the Glory of the Lord that departed from the First Temple, Ezk.9:3; 10:4,18; 11:22-24 will return to the Millennial temple when the Lord Jesus returns at his second coming. See 43:1-5

Your Assignment for Thursday, March 21, 2019: 

We will continue in the third of the 10 major doctrines, Christology. We will finish our discussion of the prefiguring of Jesus in the OT and then move on to the humanity of Christ.

  • In your manual, Read pp 102-123

  • do the assignments on pp. 111,118, 121, 122, and 123

Lord willing, I will see you on Thursday as we continue our two-week study of our Lord Jesus Christ.



Recap 06 Bible Doctrine Survey (Christology-Humanity of Christ) pp. 108-126

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thanks for you participation in class last night as we continued in the section on Christology: the study of the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, there is no end to our study of the One who came via a virgin birth, lived a sinless life, died a criminal’s death on our behalf, was raised to life, ascended to the Father, is coming again to judge the living and the dead, and will after his physical return, reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.Our goals for the Christology section are:

  • that we understand the works of Christ in addition to His person (divine and human nature)

  • that we be challenged to actively make Him Lord of our lives . . . in every area of life

  • that we are able to accurately present Him to others

Look at the assignments on p. 111 and 118 and review the first section of Christology, pp. 102-122, recapping His deity and his humanity, i.e. His person. Respond to the question, “Who do you say that I am?” You should be able to answer that in a clearly biblical manner after our study.

After looking at the deity of Jesus last week, we turned our attention to His humanity this week. For many it is easier to accept His deity than His humanity. The two seem mutually exclusive to us, and yet Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is both God and man.

Jesus has eternally been the Son of God; He became the Son of Man at the incarnation. The agent of incarnation was the work of the Holy Spirit, and the vehicle God used was the virgin birth.

Under his humanity, we proceeded to discuss his some of his works and we will continue that discussion this coming Thursday.

Last night we focused on:

His Temptation:  Key idea – He is able to sympathize with us in our temptations, because He was tempted in every way “in like manner” as we are, yet He was without sin.

Key passages – Heb. 2:18Heb. 4:15.

His earthly ministry and miracles:  Key idea – his miracles were extraordinary, supernatural, events for the glory of God, i.e. they were of theological significance, to point to the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.

Key passage – Jn. 20:30-31…”that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ…” See chart on miracles near page 1624 in your NIV.

There are at least four significant reasons why it was necessary for Jesus to become a man:

1. To reveal God to man (John 1:18).
2. To reveal what God intended man to be like (1 Cor. 11:1)
3. To speak to man through His Son (Heb. 1:1 – 2).
4. To accomplish God’s redemptive plan with regard to sin (Heb. 2:14Rom. 8:1 – 41Pet. 2:24 – 25John 3:16 – 18Gal. 4:4 – 71 Cor. 15:17 – 2255 – 57).

We contrasted the two accounts of the virgin birth in Mt. 1:16 – 25 and Luke 1:26 – 38. We discussed the Kenosis (self limitation or emptying) of Christ.

One of the best passages regarding the Kenosis is found in Phil. 2:5 – 11, which is also a picture of the main ideas of the Gospels.

1. The eternal deity of Christ in (verse 6) – He is the King presented in Matthew
2. The real humanity of Christ (verse 7) – He is the Perfect Man presented in Luke
3. The servanthood mission of Christ (verse 8) – He is the Servant presented in Mark
4. The exaltation of Christ (verses 9 -11) – Jesus Christ is Lord presented in John

We also discussed the hypostatic union which is the coming together of divine and human natures in the person of Jesus Christ. We defined this as Jesus being 100% God and 100% man, with both natures in perfect harmony and neither nature being confused or diminished in any way. We realized that Christ’s humanity is very important, because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. If He is not also fully man, we are still in our sins.

Here is an online article that also may help you as you process this: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-God-man.html

Assignment for March 28, 2019

  • Read pp. 127 – 142 in your manual, look up all the Bible verses, and do the assignments on pp. 127, 128, 132, 138, and 142.

I pray that we will live daily in the light of the reality of Jesus being both divine and human.

As we proceed thorough the major doctrines of the Bible, may our study of God and His person, plans, and purposes drive us to an ever closer personal relationship and reliance on Him alone.



Recap 07 Bible Doctrine Survey (Christology, pt. 2) pp. 127-140

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

I hope everyone enjoyed their “Spring Break” last week!

This Thursday, April 11th, we will finish the last of Christology and begin our two-week study of Pneumatology (the study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit). This is the fourth of the ten major doctrines we will cover in Bible Doctrine Survey.


In order to prepare for this Thursday night, please do the following:

  • in your NIV Study Bible, look up Holy Spirit in the Index to Topics, Index to Study Notes, and Concordance. Scan the references to the Holy Spirit and be ready to share your perspective on the usefulness of these three tools.

  • for review and application from last week, put yourself in a situation with another person who needs the Lord in reference to one of his four offices. Formulate a prayer to give another person to apply one of the four offices of the Lord Jesus to the need of the person. See below for the offices.

  • read pp. 143-160 in your BTCP manual

  • complete the assignments on pp. 147, 149, and 151.


Thank you for all of your work in the section on Christology: the study of the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, there is no end to our study of the One who came via a virgin birth, lived a sinless life, died a criminal’s death on our behalf, was raised to life, ascended to the Father, is coming again to judge the living and the dead, and will after His physical return, reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Our goals as we finish Christology are:

  • that we understand the works of Christ in addition to His person (divine and human nature)

  • that we be challenged to actively make Him Lord of our lives … in every area of life

  • that we are able to accurately present Him to others

Look at the assignments on p. 111 and 118 and review the first section of Christology, pp. 102-122, recapping His deity and His humanity, i.e. His person. Respond to the question, “Who do you say that I am?” You should be able to answer that in a clearly biblical manner after our study.

Under “His humanity”, you proceeded to discuss His works on pp. 122-142:

His Temptation:  Key idea – He is able to sympathize with us in our temptations, because He was tempted in every way “in like manner” as we are, yet He was without sin.

(Key passages – Heb. 2:18Heb. 4:15)

His earthly ministry and miracles:  Key idea – His miracles were extraordinary, supernatural events for the glory of God, i.e. they were of theological significance, to point to the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.  (Key passage – Jn. 20:30-31…”that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ…” See chart on miracles near p. 1624 in your NIV Study Bible)

His salvation mission: Key idea – He came as the perfect, God ordained sacrifice for sin.  (Key passage – Mark 10:45 …”for the Son of Man…”)

His officesKey idea – He fulfilled or will fulfill four specific offices –

Prophet: to speak to men on behalf of God. (Key passage:  Dt. 18:4-22)

Priest: to represent man before God. (Key passage: Heb. 2:17)

Judge: to evaluate the evidence and render a verdict for sin. (Key passage: Acts 10:42)

King: to rule over people as God’s anointed representative. (Key passages: Rev. 19:1622:1-5)

His sacrificial, substitutionary deathKey idea – He died in our place. (Key passage: Rom. 5:8)

His bodily resurrectionKey idea – He rose from the grave in the same, yet now glorified, body. (Key passage – 1 Cor. 15: 3-5)

His ascensionKey idea – After 40 days, He ascended to the Father. (Key passage – Heb. 1:3)

You also covered the present ministries of the Lord Jesus:

  • His ministry in heaven generally

  • His ministry to the Church

This Thursday we will spend some time on the future ministry of Christ but we will look at this more extensively in our study of Eschatology.

As we proceed thorough the major doctrines of the Bible, may our study of God and His person, plans, and purposes drive us to an ever closer personal relationship and reliance on Him alone.



Recap 08 Bible Doctrine Survey (Pneumatology, pt. 1) pp. 140-151

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for your good interaction in class last night. We are almost 50% through Bible Doctrine Survey! Keep up the good work.

As we continue our study of the 10 major doctrines of the Christian faith, we have now surveyed, Theology Proper (the study of God, and specifically God the Father); Bibliology (the study of the Bible); Christology (the study of the Lord Jesus Christ); and have begun Pneumatology (the study of the Holy Spirit). Next Thursday we will complete our study of the Holy Spirit and on April 25th, we will move from the study of the Creator to the study of His creation; specifically angels and mankind. Look at your schedule and note that on that night we will begin our two week study of angels, technically, Angelology.

The goals for the Doctrine Survey course are listed on p. 8 in your manual. Note again goal #3;  we want to enrich our personal relationship to God. Doctrine is not “dry and dusty” if we rightly understand and apply to life the truths we learn. Read Col. 1:9-10 and note that Paul prayed for the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s will through spiritual understanding in order that they might please the Lord and bear fruit for His glory. We certainly desire and pray for the same for each of us as we study God’s Word together.Last night, we looked at the first part of Pneumatology, the person of the Holy Spirit.  (See p. 76 for a good diagram of the relationships in the Trinity or Triunity of God.)

Recap of Thursday, April 11th, 2019:

Our goals for the night were:

  • that we understand the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament economy and in the New Testament economy

  • that we willfully rely on the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to accomplish His will for our lives

  • that we mature in our relationship with the Lord through the enablement of the Holy Spirit

  • that from Scripture we are able to articulate the person and work of the Holy Spirit

On p. 147, we studied the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, emphasizing that He worked in that time predominantly by coming upon the believer for a particular work or task. An example is Gideon in Judges 6:33-34 and could also look at Othniel in Judges 3:10. Note that the Holy Spirit came upon these men for specific tasks. Key word: UPON.

He was also described as being “in” some as Dennis lays out on p. 148. Add Daniel 4:8 to those references as well. Most of these references, however, are Pagan kings acknowledging that a man of God has the “spirit” or “power” of the gods in him. Others are described as having the Spirit of God in them (Oholiab – Ex. 31:2-50, Bezalel – Ex. 35:30-31, and perhaps Joshua in Num. 27:18). However, the context always seems to be a temporary enablement and empowerment for a given task.

If you look at the assignment on p. 149 and reference Gal. 4:4-7 and Jn. 16:14 you should note that, apparently, as part of God’s decree in eternity past, the ministry of the Holy Spirit was to be different in the OT and the NT eras. As God, He is not limited, only His ministry or role is different, given the decree of the Father in eternity past.

To summarize: in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit:

  1. came “upon” some, and sometimes was described as being “in” some; and

  2. His ministry was a temporary enablement for service. We see the contrast with the promise in Ezek. 36:26-27 that in the future the the Spirit would be given to indwell God’s people.

We noted on p. 150 that in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus, He relied on the Holy Spirit to do His works. In Jn. 14:31, John records the fact that the Lord is doing works in obedience to the Father’s will, and as we learned in other passages, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Look at the term “poured out”, and note that the figure of speech involved abundant and continuous provision for service. This is pictured in the Old Testament in the anointing with oil. See Ex. 30:30Num. 3:31 Sam 9:161 Kings 1:34;

Next week we will look at the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts and the issue of the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit first to Jewish believers, then to Jewish/Gentile believers, then to predominately Gentile believers.  We will look at the chart on p. 154 and at specific passages such as Acts 2:38-408:1510:4719:1-7; (11:15-16 explains chapter 2).

Under the present ministry of the Spirit, be sure and note, concerning His work in the life of unbelievers, the study note at Jn. 16:8-11. Good comments there on the meaning of the text. We will also continue to discuss the Holy Spirit’s role in salvation. When we get to Soteriology we will spend a good bit of time on the various aspects of a person coming to Christ, i.e. the Father drawing us, the Spirit convicting us, our response to the Gospel, and the regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit.

In the John 16 passage, note that the word “convict” means to find or prove to be guilty; to convince of error or sinfulness. As Dennis often says, “One must know he is lost before he can be found”.

As well, we will more fully discuss the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Tribulation period in our section on Eschatology at the end of this course.

Important take-aways from last night:

The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament era differed from His ministry in the New Testament era in the fact that He primarily came upon certain believers in the Old Testament to perform tasks in the name of the Lord. In the New Testament, He permanently dwells in all believers to enable the believer to worship God rightly, and serve Him effectively, for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have also attached the handout about the 7-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit that was handed out in class last night for your reference.

Assignment for Thursday, April 18th, 2019:

  • formulate a concise statement to present to another believer on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a New Testament believer.

  • read pp. 151-160 in your manual, looking up all Scripture references and reading them in context.

  • Thoughtfully consider and answer all assignment questions

  • look again in your NIV Study Bible under “Holy Spirit” in the Index to Subjects, Index to Study Notes, and Concordance and familiarize yourself with what is in your particular version of the NIV Study Bible for further study.

Lord willing, I will see you this coming Thursday!


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Recap 09 Bible Doctrine Survey (Pneumatology, pt. 2) pp. 151-160

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

I trust you had a blessed weekend as you gathered with the Body of Christ to remember the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your work in class Thursday night. We are more than halfway through Bible Doctrine Survey!  Keep up the good work.

For those of you that are new to our class and would like to listen to recordings, you can find them at the following address:

Just use the word student as your password.

Recap of Thursday, April 18, 2019: 

Our goals for the night were: 

  • that we choose to rely on the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to accomplish His will for our lives

  • that we mature in our relationship with the Lord through the enablement of the Holy Spirit

  • that from Scripture we are able to articulate the person and work of the Holy Spirit

We looked at the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts and the issue of the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit first to Jewish believers, then to Jewish/Gentile believers, then to predominately Gentile believers. We looked at the chart on p. 154 which references the specific passages of Acts 2:38-408:1510:4719:1-7; (11:15-18 explains the impact these events had on Peter and the other believing Jews). I am sorry if I confused you on the chart but actually it should be correct. As we discussed in class you can add the events concerning Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch from Acts 8:25-40 as another example of belief, followed by water baptism, although in this case there is no description of any signs accompanying the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

We went on to discuss the role of the Spirit in the life of the believer. Bottom line on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a New Testament believer is on p. 159:

  • Holy Spirit Baptism: at conversion, we are placed into the body of Christ, Key passage: 1 Cor. 12:13

  • the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of the believer: all believers are fully in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, Key Passage: 1 Cor. 6:19

  • the filling of the Holy Spirit: a command given to all believers to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, Key Passage: Eph. 5:18, (note the contrast in the passage)

As well, we will more fully discuss the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Tribulation period in our section on Eschatology at the end of this course.

I am attaching the following resources for your reference:

Holy Spirit from Basic Theo-Ryrie.pfd

7 Fold Ministry of The Holy Spirit.pdf


Assignment for Thursday, April 25, 2019:

  • read pp. 160-179 in your manual.

  • complete at least the assignments on pp. 162 and 167.

  • look in your NIV Study Bible under “Angels” in the Index to topics, Index to Study Notes, and Concordance and familiarize yourself with what is in your particular version of the NIV.

  • look at articles, quotes, books, figurines, pamphlets, or any other item you have or may have seen on angels and come ready to discuss!

Lord willing, I will see you this Thursday. Have a great rest of the week and weekend!




Recap 10 Bible Doctrine Survey (Angelology, pt. 1) pp. 160-168

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for your work in class last night, you had some good questions and processed everything well.

As we continue our study of the 10 major doctrines of the Christian faith, we have now surveyed, Theology Proper (the study of God, and specifically God the Father); Bibliology (the study of the Bible); Christology (the study of the Lord Jesus Christ); and Pneumatology (the study of the Holy Spirit). Last night, we moved from the study of the Creator to the study of His creation; specifically angels (and in two weeks mankind).

The goals for the Doctrine Survey course are listed on p. 8 in your manual. Note again goal #3; we want to enrich our personal relationship to God. Doctrine is not “dry and dusty” if we rightly understand and apply to life the truths we learn. Read Col. 1:9-10 and note that Paul prayed for the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s will through spiritual understanding in order that they might please the Lord and bear fruit for His glory. We certainly desire and pray the same for each of you.

As I mentioned, next week Dan Stonaker will be your teacher for the second half of Angelology on May 2nd.

Review of the first half of Angelology:

Our goals for the night were:

  • that we understand the origin, nature and ministry of angels.

  • that we respect God’s plan and revealed information on angels and not go beyond what is written of them.

  • that we might be able to instruct others in the truth from Scripture about angels.

In our trek through pp. 160-167 I hope you gained the following:

  • Definition of Angel: “messenger”, from this basic term, we get the term evangelical, one who believes or carries the good news (or message); also, evangelism, the activity of presenting the good news. The good news is that for those who place their trust in Christ alone, there is forgiveness of sin through His atoning sacrifice on the cross.

  • Origin of Angels: Key idea: they were created by the Lord at some point before the creation of the earth. Key passages: Col. 1:16-17; Job 38:4-7

  • Nature: Key idea: they are certainly different from God and men; they are “sexless spirit” beings (Norman Geisler) exhibiting the elements of personality, typically referred to in the masculine gender. Key passages: Ps. 8:4; Heb.1:7.

  • Classification of Angels: Key idea: falling into the two general categories of good (elect) and evil (fallen) there is rank, order, and functional organization within the company of angels. Key passages: Dan. 10:13; Gen. 3:22-24 and study note there and at Ex. 25:22

Note: fallen angels are unsavable, this due to the fact that they are already immortal and when they fell their destiny was set, and because Heb. 2:16-17 makes it clear that Christ died only to save fallen humanity.

– Ministry of Angels:Key idea: they perform a variety of ministries for God, including serving believers and meting out the judgments of the Lord. They observe and long to understand God’s plan for the salvation of men. Key passagesRev. 22:9; 1 Cor. 4:9; 1 Pet. 1:12.

Bottom line:Christ reigns, angels serve.

Take Away from last night:

You fill in the blanks:

Angels are ___________________________________ beings; in terms of creation order related to mankind they were created ____________________________________________ ; believers will one day ___________________ angels .

We are grateful that the one who stands between us and God the Father is not a created, limited, finite angel, but the Lord Jesus Christ. “For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…” 1 Tim. 2:5

I hope you enjoy Dan Stonaker next week as your teacher and Lord willing I will see you all on Thursday May 9th when we begin to cover Anthropology.



Other Resources related to things we discussed last night:

  • Books on Angels:

    • https://www.amazon.com/Angels-Elect-Evil-Fred-Dickason/dp/080240734X

    • https://www.christianbook.com/unseen-realities-heaven-hell-angels-demons/r-c-sproul/9781845506827/pd/506827?event=AFF&p=1011693&

  • Articles addressing Angels as Sons of God in the Old Testament:

    • https://carm.org/who-are-the-sons-of-god-in-the-bible

    • https://www.gotquestions.org/sons-of-God.html

  • The Hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God” by Martin Luther has great words to ponder before next Thursdays class. Go listen to an updated version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNeP7bGagqg


Recap 11 Bible Doctrine Survey (Angelology, pt. 2) pp. 168-179

Hello Northside BTCL class,

Thanks for your work preparing for class on Thursday and for your participation in the discussion of fallen angels.

The goals for the night were:

  • To acknowledge the unseen, spiritual struggle in the world

  • To rely on God in order to properly respond to the struggle

Recap of the second half of Angelology:

Reread 2 Cor 2:10-11

“If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

First we recognize that Satan and demons are very real. If we try to erase them or treat them as merely symbolic, then Jesus and Scripture are called into question since the Gospels are replete with examples of Christ casting out demons and combatting Satan.

There are obviously many misconceptions in popular culture regarding Satan and demons:

  • “The devil made me do it.”

  • God and Satan are opposites and are locked in a struggle

  • The devil doesn’t exist. He’s just symbolic of evil.

  • Demon possession in the bible was really just epilepsy or mental illness

  • We need to perform rituals to cleanse our homes or workplaces of evil spirits

  • The devil is everywhere and can read our thoughts

  • All evil is caused by the devil.

From the Scripture we recognize that most of Satan’s strategy is to twist the truth. Keep in mind that Satan “took down” humanity with just one question and one sentence. It only took a bit of deception.

Gen 3:1-5Matt 4:3-11

Jn 8:44Acts 13:10

1 Tim 4:1 22 Cor 11:14-15

We also see that false religions have Satan/Demons behind them:

Dt 32:17Psalms 106:37

1 Cor 10:20Rev 9:20

Read through several accounts from the New testament that deal with demon possession and/or people who relied on demonic power for their trade:

Legion – Luke 8:26-39

Possessed fortune teller – Acts 16:16-19,

Seven sons of Sceva (exorcists) – 19:11-20

Elymas and the Proconsul – Acts 13:4-12

Simeon the Sorcerer – Acts 8:9-25

In these accounts we see that the Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than any demon, that people often are more concerned with personal wealth than with freeing someone from their spiritual bondage, and that ultimately, the conflict with demons can lead to people coming to genuine faith in the LORD!

Review the major passages below to see how we should handle ourselves in our spiritual struggles:

Eph 6:10-20

2 Cor 10:2-5

2 Pet 1:3-4

1 John 5:1-5

Here we recognize that our part is primarily to obediently, prayerfully rely on God’s power to overcome demonic influence.

We must remember:

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4

Unfortunately, there are many people who have been deceived into believing rituals, “holy” objects and self reliance will defend them. Remember God is our refuge and our strength!

Thanks again for your work and diligence in going through the manual and reading the related scriptures.

For this week:

  • please read pp. 179-189

  • do the assignments on pp. 183, 186 and 189

God bless you all and have a great rest of the week.



Northside BTCL – Recap 12 – Bible Doctrine Survey (Anthropology, pt. 1) pp. 179-189 – May 9th, 2019

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for a good class last Thursday, May 9th.  This coming Thursday, May 16th, we will finish our two-week study in Anthropology and then take a break the following Thursday May 23rd.

Creation vs. Evolution resources: The first four links below are primarily Christian in their perspective and viewpoint. The 5th link ( Discovery Institute) involves anyone who supports intelligent design regardless of religion or worldview. I don’t necessarily agree with everything on any of these sites but they all have helpful information and articles.

Of course with any information, print or electronic, one will not agree with all that is stated about a given topic, but these are good resources for alternative views and theories. Importantly, most of these sites begin with the assumption that God created us and that Scripture is our best record of the creation.

Recap of Thursday, May 9th, 2019:

Our goals for the night were:

  • that we understand the unique creation of man by God and man’s place in the created order

  • that from the Scriptures, we are able to defend our creation by God

  • that we see ourselves as created in God’s image: valuable and submitted to Him

Look at Goal #5 on manual p. 8 and note that our behavior should be consistent with our beliefs. Thus our beliefs about who we are and who made us should result in behavior mirroring those beliefs.

According to Ken Boa, “what differentiates man from other animals is that man is self conscious, other conscious, and God-conscious.”

We worked our way through the concepts in the manual as follows:

  • creation versus evolution

  • the seven basic assumptions of evolution

  • the biblical data concerning creation, Gen. 1:24; 1 Cor. 15:38-41.

Key idea: both creation and evolution are faith positions, that is, neither can be “proven” experientially or through observable reproducable science.

We then studied the creation of man on pp. 187-189.

Key idea: the creation of man was not random or accidental, but purposeful and accomplished by God.  Gen. 2:7Ps. 8. By the fact that we are made by God and in his image, we are valuable and ultimately designed to live in submission to him.

There are three primary views of the creation of the Universe:

  • ex nihilo, out of nothing: Theists would hold this view.

  • ex materia, out of something. Atheists would hold this view; witness Carl Sagan and Karl Marx.

  • ex deo, out of God. Pantheists, generally, would hold this view.

Note that while the universe was created ex nihilo, out of nothing, Adam was created later ex materia, i.e. out of something that already existed.

We then looked at the assignment on p. 186 and noted that the basis for our understanding of the creation of the world is given in Scripture, validated by the declarations of, and ultimately the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. We emphasized the fact that information on the creation of man comes from an outside source, i.e. from God via revelation in his word.

In working through the assignment on p. 189 note that in regard to creating man:

  • God created everything:

    • Because we are created and material we are finite and limited whereas God is not.

    • God created suddenly.

    • Because He created man, man is responsible to Him

  • This coming Thursday we will finish our study of Anthropology. In preparation for class please do the following:

    • Along with and all the scriptural references, read pp. 190-201 in your manual

    • Do the assignments on pp. 191and 201.

    • Note in your NIV Study Bible, the section in Index to Subjects or Index to Topics, the section on, “Image of God”. This is quite helpful and can be used as a format for a small group bible study

    • Look up the following words in reference to the transmission of man’s being and be ready to present your findings on them. Note: you have to look for the anthropological use of the word when you are searching.

      • 1. Preexistence

      • 2. Creationism

      • 3. Traducianism

Applicational Bottom Line: Psalm 100:3  “Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us and not we ourselves; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

We are valuable and, by his grace, will submit ourselves to Him for His use and His glory.

Note that as we move from our study of God’s creation of man, to the nature of man and the Fall, these topics lead naturally to the next topic – Sin (Hamartiology).



Northside BTCL – Recap 13 – Bible Doctrine Survey (Anthropology, pt. 2) pp. 190-201 – May 16th, 2019

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Reminder: We will not meet again until Thursday May 30th.

Thank you for your participation as we finished our study of Anthropology, the doctrine of man.

This is our sixth of the 10 major doctrine we will study, thus we are over half through the course!

Just think, you will have completed your BTCL training by the beginning of December.

Recap of Thursday, May 16th, 2019, Part 2 of Anthropology:

Our goals for the night were:

•  that we understand the nature of man and the results of the Fall

•  that we be able to explain to others who the Bible says we are and how the Fall has effected us

•  that we consider who we are, how we are made, and rightly honor God with all that we are

In the first part of Anthropology, we looked at the origin of man; in this second part, we studied the nature of man and the Fall.

As to the secular view of the origin of man, Dr. Henry Morris quoted in Dennis Petersen’s book, Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation, says:

“Unknown chemicals in the primordial past…through…

Unknown processes which no longer exist…produced…

Unknown life forms which are not to be found…but could through…

Unknown reproduction methods spawn new life…in an…

Unknown atmospheric composition…in an…

Unknown oceanic soup complex…at an…

Unknown time and place.”

We noted in our origin discussion, that Dennis points out on p. 183, It takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation because the facts don’t support evolution.

In other words, Mutations + Natural Selection x Time = Evolution; a faith position.

Scripture, validated by the Lord Jesus presents another story. Take your pick.

The Nature of Man:

Key Idea: man is a unity consisting of two aspects, material and non-material. Human personhood is multifaceted.

Your manual goes on from p. 192 to describe the various non-material aspects of man:

• spirit – the life-principle that makes one alive. Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. Everyone has a spirit, unbeliever and believer alike. See: Num. 16:22Heb. 12:91 Cor. 2:11

• soul – the whole of man’s person which includes mind, will, and emotion, for while man has a spirit he is a soul.

• heart – the center of man’s emotional, thought, and spiritual life; must be purified from sin.

• mind – that within us that thinks, perceives, understands, and believes; must be renewed.

• will – the aspect of our soul related to choosing; it must be exercised as the right to choose, i.e. the free will of man.

• conscience – the innate internal aspect of man’s soul related to knowing right from wrong.  We see this in Rom. 1:18-23; see also 1 Tim. 4:2, where it can be seared as with a hot iron.

So, if you are describing to someone the nature of man, what would you say in three-four bullet points?

Also we did not discuss (I forgot!) the three positions on how the soul comes to be:

• Preexistence or transmigration: in the beginning God created all human souls; thus a vast reservoir of souls awaits habitation of physical bodies. Orthodox Christianity has never held this view. Held by Plato and the Greeks, Mormons, Hindus, and theosophy. A form of this view, that did not include reincarnation, was held by some early church fathers such as Origen and Justin Martyr.

• Creationism: God creates the soul at the moment of conception or birth and immediately unites it with the body. Jerome (Who translated the Latin Vulgate Bible), John Calvin, Roman Catholics, and other modern Christians hold this view.

• Traducianism: holds that the soul is transmitted along with the body through the processes of natural generation, i.e. procreation. This view was championed by Tertullian and was a later view of Augustine although he at first believed in Preexistence along with the early church fathers Origen and Justin Martyr and during the reformation period by Martin Luther. It is also held by many Christians today including scholars such as Millard Erickson and Norman Geisler.

The Fall of Man:

In Gen. 2:15-17, the LORD God gave clear instructions as to the privileges, (plural), the prohibition, (singular), and the result of violation of the prohibition, that man would experience if he disobeyed.

Adam and Eve had the capacity to choose. This is often called, “free will” and could also be described as limited or bounded autonomy. In the temptation and fall account in Gen. 3, we see in the violation of the clearly stated prohibition, the exercise of that will which brought the fall of mankind and introduced sin into the very nature of mankind and into the created order itself.

As we leave the study of Anthropology and think of the wonder of God’s gracious creative act in making us in his image, and providing for our salvation through Jesus Christ after the fall, the words of Psalm 8:4-6, and 9 are appropriate:

“What is man that you take thought of him?

The son of man that you care for him?

Yet, you have made him a little lower than the angels,

And crowned him with glory and majesty!

You made him rule over the the works of your hands;

You have put all things under his feet.

“O LORD our Lord,

How majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Assignment for Thursday, May 30, 2019: part 1 of Hamartiology, the study of sin:

• review the results of the Fall on pp. 195-201

• read pp. 202-209 and the accompanying scripture passages

• answer the questions:

1.  Is sin real? How do we know?

2.  How did sin enter the world? How do we know?

3.  What is the bottom line characteristic of sin?

4.  How would you define sin?

I will see you in two weeks, Lord willing. Each of you is a great blessing to the class!




Northside BTCL – Recap 14 – Bible Doctrine Survey (Hamartiology, pt. 1) pp. 202-209 – May 30th, 2019

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for a good class Thursday as we began our study of Sin or “Hamartiology”. We studied pp. 202-209. Next Thursday we will finish this seventh of the 10 major doctrines in our Survey of Bible Doctrine Survey course when we look at the nature, strategy, results of, and remedy for sin.

In preparation for class Thursday, June 6th, please do the following:
1. Reread pp. 210 – 216.
2. Make sure you have done the assignments on pp. 210, 212,214, and 216.

Review of Thursday, May 30th:
Our objectives for the night were:

– that we understand the reality, origin, and nature of sin.
– that we repent of any thought, action, and attitude that is sinful.
– that the Lord develop in us greater sensitivity for sin; i.e. that we become increasingly aware of sin in our lives.

Briefly review last week’s teaching about Anthropology in regard to the Fall. Look at these verses from Ps. 119:45666885104-5125128. Note that the Word of God is key to recognizing, guarding our hearts from, and resisting sin. There are three Old Testament (Hebrew) and at least six New Testament (Greek) words or phrases to describe sin. These words/phrases are the basis for the list on p. 205 in your manual.

I asked, “What do you hear people saying about sin?”; and we had a good discussion. It is critical to believe correctly. Any belief system works its way out in one’s ethics. If we are consistent, what we believe will bear out in the way we behave. A proper and biblical view of sin is especially necessary to properly understand our salvation by faith in Christ.

Under “The reality of sin”, we looked at 1 John 1:8-9 and saw that if we deny that we have sinned then we deceive ourselves and call God a liar. However, if we confess our sins then the Lord is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Under “Origin of sin”, we should note that as Norman Geisler says, “God cannot produce or promote sin; He can and does permit it.” We also saw that Satan fell at some undetermined point before Adam and Eve. As to the “bottom line” concerning sin, the summary statement in your manual is a good one: “Sin is repudiation of God and promotion of self.” Repudiation means rejection as untrue or unjust or refusal to accept; especially: rejection as unauthoritative or as having no binding force.

We looked at the lists on pp. 207-208 and discussed them briefly, noting that there are sins of commission and sins of omission. We also found that we are all guilty of sin as defined in these lists!

This could get downright depressing! But we must remember that there is One who paid our sin debt for us: past, present and future. We can praise Him because, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

We should all be encouraged to see so that Christianity is the only “religion” that offers redemption and forgiveness of sins that is assured and not based on works.

By way of application look at the following passages and take the following steps:
1. Heb. 4:12: A prayer might be: “Lord, use your word to reveal any thoughts or intentions of our heart that are contrary to your character”.
2. 2 Tim. 4:2: I will be courageous and ask a brother or sister to tell me if I have attitudes or actions that are contrary to your revealed will and Word, and I will be willing to do the same for them.
3. When you, Lord, show me my sin from your Word or through the rebuke of another, I will repent of that sin.

I look forward to concluding our study of Hamartiology next Thursday before we move on from the problem to the solution with our study of “Soteriology” (salvation)!



Northside BTCL – Recap 15 – Bible Doctrine Survey (Hamartiology, pt. 2) pp. 210-219 – June 6th, 2019

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for a good class last night as we continued our study of Sin (Hamartiology). We studied pages 209-216 (and then previewed Soteriology on pp. 217-219).

This coming Thursday night we will begin in earnest our two-week study in Salvation, known as Soteriology, “the study of salvation”. This is our 8th doctrine of the 10 major doctrines in our Bible Doctrine Survey course. Remember, the word doctrine simply means “teaching”, thus, “What does the Bible teach about salvation?”

Review of Thursday, June 6, 2019:

Our objectives for our study of Hamartiology were:

  • that we understand the the reality, origin, nature, results of sin, and the remedy for sin for the unbeliever and the believer.

    1. that we repent of any thought, action, and attitude that is sinful as believers and discipline ourselves to “keep short accounts with God” by confessing and repenting of our sins.

    2. that the Lord develop in us “peripheral vision” for sin; i.e. that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we become increasingly aware of sin in our lives

Why Study Hamartiology?

  • To see how sin affects our relationship with God.

    1. Sin, by contrast, highlights the character of God. It even enables us to see attributes of God that would otherwise have been missed – such as: His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His wisdom.

    2. Studying about sin, its nature and its consequences can help us recognize ways to deal with temptation. For instance, to correct our thinking, temptation is NOT the same as sin. See: James 1:13-15, note “Then” in verse 15.

What are the results of sin?

  • Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) by alienating (Col 1:21), and making us enemies of God (Rom 5:10).

  • Sins causes both physical and spiritual death (Eph 2:1) Sin causes condemnation (Rom 8:1) by making us objects of wrath (Eph 2:3).

  • Because sin causes separation from God, we are lost as a result (Eph 2:12-19).

  • It caused all men to be born with Adam’s imputed sin (Rom 5:12-14) which can only be cured by justification (2 Cor 5:21) and the bodily resurrection of Christ (1 Cor 15:12-22, 54-58).

  • Because of sin all human beings belong to the kingdom of darkness (John 8:42-47; Col 1:13-14).

  • We are destined for the eternal lake of fire apart from the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ alone. (John 3:16).

We looked at the Nature and Strategy of Sin.

We then studied the Results of Sin and noted that all are dead in sin, i.e. we are separated from God by our sin. We noted that all are sinners in three ways: By inheritance, imputation, and by personally sinning.

  • inherited sin nature: “From generation to generation”, beginning with Adam, sin passed on to each generation via our parents. Gen 5:1-3 “5:3 …”he had a son in his own likeness”… From Anthropology, remember the three possibilities for the soul’s existence: Pre-existence, Creationism, and Traducianism. Traducianism says that the soul is a result of the procreative process and therefore is like the souls of the parents and related to them just as the body is. You can read more about these views here: http://www.theopedia.com/traducianism

    • The results: born in a state of sin, Ps 51:5; spiritual death, Eph 2:3; separation from God. Paul uses the term, “by nature children of wrath”. As Charles Ryrie says, “The term ‘sin nature’ provides a clear contrast between that root nature and its fruits (which are particular acts of sin)”. Parenthesis his.

    • The cure/remedy: redemption includes a judgement on the sin nature so that the believer is no longer bound to serve sin. Gal 5:24; Rom 8:1-5. Note: “However the old (nature) is not eradicated until the resurrection; therefore, God has given us His Holy Spirit to give us victory over sin in daily life.” Ryrie, see Rom 8:5-8.

  • imputed sin: “Direct from Adam to me”, 1 Cor 15:22; Rom.5:12 . . . for in Adam all die. See also: Gen 2:17;3:19.

    • The results: physical death.

    • The cure/remedy: justification and the resurrection of Christ.

    • (Note there are three imputations: 1. imputation of Adam’s sin to the human race, Rom 5:12-21; 2. imputation of man’s sin to Christ, 2 Cor 5:19, 21a; 1 Pet 2:24; 3. imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers 2 Cor 5:21b.)

  • personal sins: “Born in my breast”, James 1:14-15, our sins (plural) confirm the fact that we are sinners. Note: personal sins are not transmitted. See: Ezek 18:14-20 and notice that Ezekiel rebukes God’s people for confusing the concept of imputed sin and personal sin, see verses 1-13. They cited a proverb that first arose in pre-exilic Jerusalem; see Jer 31:29, where Jeremiah predicted the cessation of the proverb, and Ezekiel said its end had come. (This from the NIV study note at Ezek 18:2)

What about Sin and the Believer?
All the personal sins of a believer past, present and future have been dealt with at the Cross of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:14). Imputed sins have also been dealt with through the resurrection of Christ (Rom 8:1-42 Cor 5:21b), and God will glorify our bodies in heaven so that we will not be able to experience the infirmities of the inherited sin nature (Rev 22:3).

To sum up: paraphrasing Charles Ryrie, We are free from the penalty of sin, (Justification); we are being set free from the power of sin, (Sanctification); we will be free from the presence of sin, (Glorification).

In terms of personal sins in the life of the believer, those individual acts of disobedience break our fellowship with the Lord. When confessed, fellowship is restored, 1 Jn 1:9. We need to, in the words of a rural pastor, ” ‘fess them as we does them”.

There are other Scriptural truths that we must keep in mind when we talk about the relationship between the believer and sin. These are:

• The believer is dead to sin.

• The believer does not have to sin any longer.

• The sinful nature is not completely eradicated.

• The Holy Spirit is available to enable us to overcome sin.

• When we do sin, we break fellowship with God, but it does not sever the relationship we have with God.

• There are enough resources provided by God to enable us to live victoriously, but it is up to us to employ them.

Summary: We sin because we are sinners, and we are sinners because we sin. All men and women are sinners through and through, totally depraved, separated from the God. All men stand condemned and stand in need of a Savior. As to the “bottom line” concerning sin, Dennis’ summary statement from last week is a good one: “Sin is repudiation of God and promotion of self.” That self-promotion rises from a sin nature, from being a member of the fallen human race, and from personal choice.

1 Corinthians 15:56-58 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Romans 6:16-18Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 7:24-25 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Praise the Lord Jesus, we are free indeed.

For your assignment in preparation for class next Thursday, June 13, 2019, please do the following: 

1. Read pp. 217-239 in your manual to prepare for covering all of Soteriology over the next two weeks (we did already cover pp. 217-219 last night); including the Scripture passages.

2. Make sure you have done at least the assignments on pp. 220, 225, and 227.

3. Look up the English definitions for “save, saved, and salvation.” Note that a good dictionary will have the theological definition; typically identified by, “Theology” or “Christian”.

I will plan to see you next Thursday, Lord wiling, as we examine our great salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.



 Northside BTCL – Recap 16 – Bible Doctrine Survey (Soteriology, pt. 1) pp. 220-232 – June 13th, 2019

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thanks for your work in class last Thursday. We will meet again this on Thursday, June 20th, 2019 to complete our discussion of Soteriology. I will miss being in class with you this coming Thursday but I know you will enjoy having Joe Crum come and teach you again.

Review of Soteriology pt. 1 – p. 217-232

Soteriology! Just, what is Soteriology? We all know by now Soteriology is the study of salvation.

Our goals were:

  1. To understand what salvation is and why it is necessary.

  2. To know what the Bible teaches about it and how we can articulate what we believe about it to other people.

  3. To appreciate our Salvation as God’s gift and how this should motivate us to develop a deeper and greater love for God because He loved us before we loved Him.To know just how destitute, helpless and hopeless we are without the work of God.

Why is Salvation Necessary? 

We noted that apart from Christ all men are lost and helpless, condemned to die for their sins, separated and alienated from God (Romans 3:9-18 and Ephesians 2:1-3). We also said that we do not have the ability to save ourselves. The Scripture is clear that sin has separated man from God (Isaiah 59:1-4) and without the act of God, salvation could not be possible (Luke 18:23-27). We are hopeless, powerless, and helpless (Romans 5:6-8).

What is God’s Role in Salvation?

Salvation is all of God from beginning to the end. God took the initiative to act (Gen. 3:21), the whole salvation process hinges on God Himself – His love, mercy, and grace. The Cross is the basis of it (Heb 9:7); the means or channel of access to salvation is Faith (Eph 2:8-9). Without the cross all men are eternally lost.

How did God save the Old Testament saints?

We discussed this and explained that every single person gets saved the same way. The Old Testament saints looked forward to the Cross but the New Testament saints are looking back at the Cross. Abraham, for example in Genesis 15:6 believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Faith is the means through which all people get saved (BDS Manual p. 223). Please also look at Hebrews 4:1-2.

The content of saving faith in both Testaments: in the Old Testament economy–belief in the one true God and His provision of salvation; in the New Testament era–belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection for the forgiveness for our sins (God’s provision for salvation). p. 223

On p. 224, we discussed the concept of repentance and the relationship of repentance and faith. Key idea: a two-sided coin; on the one side, turning from sin, on the other side, turning to faith in our Lord Jesus.  This is a simultaneous, one-time event.We noted the three aspects of Christ’s work on the cross on p. 231:

  • Reconciliation – of God and man;

  • Redemption – in regard to sin; and

  • Propitiation – toward God

In terms of application, we want to be able to succinctly share how a person can begin a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, be forgiven of their sin, and can freely walk with Him. Also the linked below gives two simple ways to present the gospel:


There are also good tracts and a helpful app in various languages available from Evantell, Dallas, Texas:


What about Divine election?

We define election as God’s choice exercised in His mercy by which He determined to save some people. This is a doctrine that is clearly taught in the Scriptures (Eph 1:1-11; Rom 9:11-24; 1 Peter 1:1-2). We outlined the major truths that need to be kept in mind about divine election on pgs. 225-226 of the BDS Manual. The best way to summarize this whole question of God’s election and man’s responsibility is by looking at what our manual states on p. 226, “Divine, sovereign election and salvation by faith . . . are two parallel truths, both of which are taught by Scripture and both of which should be accepted as truth by faith. They cannot be reconciled in the human mind.”

This Thursday Joe Crum will address the chart on p. 233 and you can have further discussion about the role of election in the process of salvation. There is an illustration that might be helpful that was shared by C.S. Lewis, although it is most likely original to H.A Ironside. It is the illustration of the sinner coming to the gates of Heaven and above the gate it reads “Whosoever will, let him come” (Rev. 22:17). As he accepts this gracious invitation and goes through the gates into Heaven, he sees written on the other side – “Chosen…in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). There is and always will be theological tension with these two concepts. The link below, for your further consideration, is a document from a book about C. S. Lewis and Francis Shaeffer, which gives Shaeffer’s views on predestination and free will.


It is important to remember that all stand condemned by their sins apart from faith in Christ and God does not elect or predestine people to go to hell. They choose hell on their own by choosing to reject the truth God has revealed to them.

Our responsibility is to Evangelize and leave Predestination and Election to God (as if we had any other choice!)

What is the role of the Holy Spirit?

The truth is that we cannot be saved unless the Holy Spirit convicts, cleanses, and imparts a new life into us (John 16:8Titus 3:51 Peter 1:2).

What is the nature and extent of Christ’s Atonement?

The Scripture is abundantly clear that Christ was the covering of our sin (Matthew 1:21John 1:291 Peter 3:18). His death was sacrificial, substitutionary, sufficient, final, and permanent. There is no other hope for salvation apart from Christ and regardless of what happens we are permanently sealed for eternity.

And here is a link to the article I mentioned in class comparing limited and unlimited atonement views:


This coming Thursday, Joe Crum will lead you in wrapping up the section on Soteriology with “What are the results of Salvation?”

There are many benefits for salvation. We are reconciled to God, forgiven of our sins, justified, regenerated, we begin the process of sanctification, freed from sin, receive eternal life, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and many others.A summary of our ongoing salvation by faith in Christ is described by  Charles Ryrie in this way:

  • Justification: we have been saved from the penalty of sin, Rom.6:23;

  • Sanctification: we are being saved from the power of sin, Heb.10:14;

  • Glorification: we will be saved from the presence of sin, Jude 23-24.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift of salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ.

May our understanding of our salvation increase through our study of the Word of God and may we take to heart the admonishment of the Apostle Peter:

1 Peter 1:8-16

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Have a blessed week and hope to see next Thursday June 27th when we will begin our study of Ecclesiology (the Church)!

Remember to read all the way to p. 240 looking up all passages and completing all the assignments!




Northside BTCL – Recap 17 – Bible Doctrine Survey (Soteriology, pt. 2) pp. 232-240 – June 20th, 2019

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

I hope you enjoyed having Joe Crum as your teacher again last Thursday as you completed your study of Soteriology.

Your assignment for this Thursday June 27th is:

  • Read pp. 240 to 260

  • Do all the assignments and look up all referenced passages

  • Find out what form of ecclesiastical government your local church uses

Our goals were:

  • that we might round out our understand of the doctrine of salvation

  • that we will be able to clearly explain the doctrine of salvation to others

  • that we become increasingly grateful and humbled by the fact that the Lord saved us

For this week begin asking the question, “What do you think of when you hear the word, ‘church’?”. Most of us think of a building in our minds at first but we all know it is those who are meeting together because of their faith in Jesus Christ which make up the church.

The word “Church” in the New Testament is the assembly of God’s people, literally the “called out ones”, the ekklesia, from two words, ek, or “out of”, and kaleo, “to call”. Thus, the “called-out ones”. We as believers are those God has called to Himself, saved, and placed into the body of Christ. The word used for Church in the Greek is only used in the Gospels in Mt. 16:15-19 and twice in Mt. 18:17. In these passages Jesus was pointing to the future development of the Church, because the Church did not begin until the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

Look at the concepts of the Universal or “catholic” church and the Local church, on pp. 240-241. (note: not Roman Catholic, but “catholic” which means universal or general) All believers since Pentecost make up the supernatural spiritual organism or entity called the Church of which Jesus Christ is the head. See 1 Cor. 12:13 and Eph.1:22

This week we will also look at the origin of the church: a mystery now known, her foundations, her purpose, and the use of the word, “apostle”.

The seven purposes of the church are covered next with the inherent question for consideration being: “What does an ideal church, a local expression of the body of Christ look like?”

After establishing the nature, origin and purposes of the church, we will move on to discuss the officers of the church.

Spiritual Leaders, or Elders, also called bishops or shepherds are charged with the spiritual direction of the local church with Christ as the head of the church. On p. 247 and following we will examine the responsibilities of these men. We will see that the function of pastor falls under the office of elder.

We will also pick up with a discussion of Servant Leaders, or Deacons, whose origins we see in Acts 6:1-6.

Consider how you would counsel a friend in terms of recommending what they should look for in a healthy church.

Note that the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1, are important statements of the qualifications of men who might occupy leadership roles in the New Testament church. You and I may be called on to nominate and/or choose men for those important roles in our own local church.

By way of application: What is my attitude toward those who are charged with my spiritual well being? How can I pray for those who are so charged? See: Heb.13:7171Tim. 5:19Titus 1:9

May the Lord bless you as you continue to gain the knowledge and skills to better serve and encourage His people in His Church.



Northside BTCL – Recap 18 – Bible Doctrine Survey (Ecclesiology, pt. 1) pp. 240-248 – June 27th, 2019


Ventnor Baptist Church, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, U.K. Photo: August 27, 2017

Dear Northside Class,

Thank you for a good class last night as we began our study of Ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church. This is doctrine #9 of the 10 major doctrines we will address in Bible Doctrine Survey. When we meet again on July 18th – August 1st for our last three classes in this course we will finish Ecclesiology and move on to Eschatology – The Doctrine of Last Things. We will finish our Bible Doctrine Survey Course on Thursday August 1st and then on August 8th we will begin our final course for BTCL, Personal and Corporate Spiritual Life! The finish line is in sight! I will bring manuals for the next course for you all when we meet next.

In terms of our study of the Church, Ecclesiology, the red banner in the photo of Ventnor Baptist Church, Isle of Wight, U.K., tells it all; “JESUS IS LORD”. He is to be the head and the Lord of the church both “big C”, i.e. the Church universal and “little c”, i.e. the church local. The problems in many churches find their taproot in the fact that Jesus is not Lord. Rather, “lordship” is sought by individual members, pastors, leaders, families, or “cliques” within the church. To quote James 3:10 , “My brothers, this should not be.”

Review Assignment:

* Make sure and review the section of Soteriology on pp. 231-232, “Three aspects of Christ’s work on the cross”:

Reconciliation, Redemption, and Propitiation. Are you confident in explaining these concepts to another believer . . . or an unbeliever?

Review of Ecclesiology; the study of the Church, the body and bride of Christ:

Our goals for Wednesday, June 27, 2019, were:

– that we better understand nature, origin, and purpose the Church both Universal and Local

– that we have a greater understanding of the offices and roles given to the leaders of our churches

– that we understand the significance of being under spiritual authority

– that we respect those in authority over us and pray for them

We began with the nature and origin of the Church, “big C”, previewed by Jesus to His disciples in Matt.16:18, and of the idea of the local church, “little c” in 1 Cor. 1:2. Your manual has a good phrase for the “little c”, ” A local expression of the body of Christ”.

We then looked at the officers of the New Testament Church. This “flat organizational structure” answers the questions; How is this “new priesthood” of believers to be organized? Who is qualified to fill the leadership offices in the church? See: chart in your NIV Study Bible near 1 Timothy 5.

Dennis makes the point the the elders of the church are to guard, guide and govern God’s people. In contrast to the theocratic government of the children of Israel, New Testament believers are to function under elders who are considered to be “under-shepherds” to the Great Shepherd Jesus Christ! See 1Pet. 5:1-4

When we meet again we will address the role of women in relation to the office of elders and deacons, note that Gal. 3:26-29 is often taken out of context to try and prove that women are qualified to serve as elders. We will see that the Lord has a purpose, demonstrated in creation, in making men and women different and giving them different roles to play in the family and the church. Through our respective roles and use of the spiritual gifts He has given us, each one of us is to glorify God in a unique way. The passages related to women in 1 Corinthians 11:3, 8-12; 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:12 as well as those that lay out the requirements for elders and deacons seemed to make it clear that men are to take the lead in the family and church in regard to spiritual matters.

In summary, as your manual notes, the Scriptures present men and women equal in value, simply different in functional roles in the Body of Christ.

Also note in Eph. 4:11-16 that the New Testament church involves each believer functioning in a God honoring way in their God-given roles. BTCL is a way for believers to be equipped to function in the giftedness and places of service the Lord has designed for us. Thank you for taking advantage of the training! See also, Eph. 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Rhadegund, Whitwell, Isle of Wight, U.K. Photo: August 26, 2017

Bonus Question for Thursday, July 18, 2019: How does the photo above tie together the two doctrines of Ecclesiology and Eschatology?

Your assignment for Thursday, July 18, 2019:

1. At the bottom of manual p. 274, and top of p. 275, note the passages summarizing the doctrine of the church. We will use these for our review of Ecclesiology.

2. Read pp. 249-271 and the associated biblical passages .

3. Do all the assignments on pp. 249 and 271.

Lord willing, I will see you in a little less than three weeks as we continue our study of the Church and get ready to explore what the Scriptures say concerning the “end times”. It is a blessing to work through the Word of God with you that we might be better equipped to serve the Lord and his people.