“Before God, Unmasked”, Session 5

Below are the videos for the lectures from my Romans class this past Monday night, when I taught on Romans 8 and 9 – 11 for Biblijski institut Zagreb.  This is two hours of lecture, captured in nine videos.

The class is titled, “Before God, Unmasked.”  I chose this title because one central implication of Paul’s gospel, as I see it, is that God both knows us intimately (better than we know ourselves; he knows ALL the ugly stuff and hidden actions) and loves us completely.  Ergo, because of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, we can stand before him without a mask, without a veil.

As the Mighty TK says, “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

  1. The Ground of Our Confidence in Christ. Salvation–biblically understood–is now & future, “a life of wholeness and health, regardless of physical circumstances, lived in the presence of God by the Spirit of God, now and forever.”

2. Eternal Security, the doctrinal issue.

3. Eternal Security, the pastoral issues.

4. Eternal Security.  Further exploration of the pastoral issues surrounding the doctrine of eternal security. I am drawing on the whiteboard here, depicting how I used to think I spent every day swinging back and forth between salvation and damnation. God loves us, holds onto us, in spite of all he knows about us.

5. Introduction to Romans 9 – 11.  What is the central idea of these chapters?  How do they fit into the letter’s argument?

6. Paul’s Inductive Argument As a Unified Whole.  Here, I describe the inductive nature of Paul’s argument in Romans 9 – 11. John Calvin’s failure to read these chapters inductively and holistically has led to a host of doctrinal problems. Here is my outline of the argument.

7. How Reading the Argument Inductively Changes the Conclusion.  Calvin’s specific error with regard to Romans 9 – 11 is that he drew a theological conclusion from 9.18 without realizing that (or appreciating how) 9.18 fits into a sustained argument that Paul does not complete until the end of chapter 11. He [Calvin] made this error because he failed to appreciate the inductive nature of Paul’s argument. Here, I show how the argument as a whole abrogates conclusions drawn from 9.18.

8. “All Israel will be saved.”  What does Paul mean by this puzzling statement in Romans 11.26?

9. Final questions and answers about Romans and other new Testament topics.

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