85. Christianity in Five Verses

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Aaron Puls shares the Doctrine of Justification with Andy Wrasman and Jonathan Rutherford, using Dr. Rod Rosenbladt’s sermon “Christianity in Five Verses” as a guide.

Justification is God’s declaration that sinners are innocent on account of Christ’s death on the cross that atones for all of our sins.  This is pure gift!  We are declared innocent, though we are guilty.  Justice is still served, since the penalty for our sins were paid in full by Jesus of Nazareth.

Objective Justification is a doctrine that states that Jesus died for all sins, past, present, and future, for all people.  Individual receives the benefits of Christ’s saving work through faith, which is the doctrine of Subjective Justification.  This means that though Jesus died for everyone only those who receive the grace he won for us through faith are saved.

Another important doctrine is Sanctification.  Unlike Justification, which is instantaneous, and a declaration of innocence for the sinner, Sanctification is a process.  It is the process of becoming holy.  Though we are declared holy, it does not mean that we are now sinless.  In Justification, we are declared just though we are sinners.  At the exact moment of Justification, the process of Sanctification begins, and it carries on throughout the life of the believer, completed at death, at which time the sinful nature is gone for the believer, once and forever.

Sadly, many Christians look to their Sanctification as the assurance of their Justification.  This is a mistake which plagues the believer with doubt of salvation, leading to utter despair or self-righteousness.  The mingling of Sanctification and Justification points the believer away from Christ’s work inward to each man’s own heart and works.

Aaron plays video clips from John MacArthur, Francis Chan, N.T. Wright, and John Piper.  Do they get Justification right?  Or do they mingle Sanctification and Justification?  Do they point us to Christ for assurance of salvation, or do they point us to ourselves?

Show Links

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt’s “Christianity in Five Verses” Sermon

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt’s “The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church” Sermon

“The Christian Life is Like a Draft of Guinness Stout”

Reconnect Episode 19: “How Do I Know I Am A Christian?”

Contradict Black Final
Financially support Reconnect by ordering a sticker, tracts, or book at Contradict Movement.

67. Francis Chan’s Crazy Love

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radical-enough

Andy takes another look at Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love.  Chan, like many Christians, desires to see Christians living godly lives that demonstrate a radical transformation, lives that should be drastically distinct from those of everyone else who is not Christian by demonstration of crazy generosity, crazy humanitarian aid, crazy devotion to the Lord and to all people, crazy abstinence from all forms of sinful desires, short Christians should love crazily, just as God has crazily loved us.  But how often and consistently do Christians truly and sincerely exhibit such crazy love?

If such love is the standard of being a Christian, then many of us are not saved, by Chan’s presentation of this crazy love mark of a Christian.  Where would David or Solomon fit with this standard?  Where would the chief of all sinners, Paul, who did not do the good he desired to do, but instead did the evil he hated, stand before an almighty God?  Would they be called friend?  Will they receive the praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”  Will any of us?

Judging our salvation by our adherence to the Law of God is devastating to one’s faith in Christ.  It takes our trust off of Jesus Christ crucified.  Instead of boasting in Christ, we are turned inwards towards our own deeds.  We must point to our works to demonstrate our crazy justifying love.  However, Scripture demonstrates that it’s from God’s love for humanity that he sent Christ who demonstrates that love for us by dying for all of our sins.  The penalty for all of our sins is paid in full.  That’s where our assurance of salvation comes, from an alien righteousness, a righteousness from outside ourselves that is imputed on us.  It is not an infused righteousness.

Show Links:

What is Law and Gospel?

Discerning Law and Gospel when Interpreting a Text

Reconnect Episode 27: Law and Gospel

Reconnect Episode 23: Law and Gospel on Facebook

Reconnect Episode 19: How do I Know I am a Christian?

You Shall Recognize Them by Their Fruits – Judging Other Christians

66. Francis Chan’s Crazy Love – Chapter 4

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Andy listens to Chapter 4 of Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love.

Chan teaches that God’s crazy love for us demands a crazy response from us.  But… too many people who claim to be Christians are responding in lukewarm reciprocation to what the Lord of Hosts has given to us.

In Chapter 4 of Crazy Love, Chan details the profile of a lukewarm person.  The lukewarm person is not the good soil of Jesus’ “Parable of the Sower and Soils.”  The lukewarm person is not a lukewarm Christian, hence Chan is insistant on profiling lukewarm people instead of lukewarm Christians, because lukewarm Christians simply do not exist.  Lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron.

The kicker though is that we all have elements of lukewarmness in our lives, and even Chan admits this in his writing.  Wouldn’t this mean that none of us our saved if lukewarmness was a mark of not being a Christian?  How would we know if we have too much lukewarmness in our lives to be counted among God’s people if just a tinge of lukewarmness was acceptable to God?

The biggest problem with this chapter of Crazy Love is that Chan is pointing us towards ourselves for assurance of our justification and not to Christ and his saving work.  He is saying that fulfillment of the Law on our part is how we can know if we are really saved or not.

Crazy Love is an immensely popular book and Andy knows someone who doubted his salvation after reading it.  Whenever we are pointed to look at ourselves and not to Christ, we will inevitably doubt our salvation if we are are not deceiving ourselves concerning our sinfulness. This is why this episode of Reconnect is so critical.

someones-christmas
I received this image on Christmas Day of 2014.  The sender tweeted it to me, sharing that he got the books he requested for gifts!  My book was received among some popular, well known, always in Barnes and Noble authors – Chan and Idleman.