Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Gospel of Peace: Making It Real - Lesson 13 - “Another’s Servant” - Romans 14:1-13

Lesson 13 - “Another’s Servant” - Romans 14:1-13
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?

1.      Context:   Read Romans 13:8-13, this lesson’s passage, Romans 14:1-13, and  Romans 14:14-15:7. 
2.      ID:  (3) In this passage, who does the expression “weak” refer to? (Notice that the text says weak “in the faith” and not weak “in faith.”  How is that important?)
3.      ID:  (1, 5) What were the two big issues or controversies mentioned in this passage?
4.      ID:  (1, 3) What wrong attitudes were evident among “the weak” and among the strong (free)?
5.      WS:  v. 5 “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike.” Why would we be satisfied to be convinced (plerophoreo) of different practices? Shouldn’t everybody agree on these issues? (v. 23)
6.      ID:  (5b-6) What should the people with different convictions about a doubtful (disputable) things both do?
7.      ID:  (3, 10, 13) What obligation(s) do the strong (free) have to the weak?
8.      ID:  (3-4, 10-13) What obligation(s) do the weak have to the stong (free)?
9.      CR:  (10) Why should Christians stop judging and showing contempt for one another?  (Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10 both quote or allude to Isaiah 45:23.)
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      How do we distinguish between doubtful things like food and holidays and sins that are wrong for everyone?  (Should we even try to?)
2.      Can you think of areas where your personal convictions in an area would classify you as a “weaker?”  Have you ever felt that people have “looked down” on you because of those personal convictions?  Do you ever find yourself “judging” others in doubtful matters? 
3.      Are there currently situations where you need to curtail your freedom in order to avoid putting a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9) in the way of a brother?
4.      What do you think are some root causes to disagreements about things like music, drinking, and child raising practices, etc.?
After writing the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy went on to produce another significant statement: The “Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics” in 1982 for the purposes of clarifying hermeneutical principles and practices.  Page two of our lessons will feature parts of that statement.

Page 2 --------------------------------------------------------------

Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics with commentary by Norman L. Geisler

Article I

WE AFFIRM  that the normative authority of Holy Scripture is the authority of God Himself, and is attested by Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church.
WE DENY  the legitimacy of separating the authority of Christ from the authority of Scripture, or of opposing the one to the other.
This first article affirms that the authority of Scripture cannot be separated from the authority of God. Whatever the Bible affirms, God affirms. And what the Bible affirms (or denies), it affirms (or denies) with the very authority of God. Such authority is normative for all believers; it is the canon or rule of God.
This divine authority of Old Testament Scripture was confirmed by Christ Himself on numerous occasions (cf. Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 24:44; John 10:34-35). And what our Lord confirmed as to the divine authority of the Old Testament, He promised also for the New Testament (John 14:16; 16:13).
The Denial points out that one cannot reject the divine authority of Scripture without thereby impugning the authority of Christ, who attested Scripture's divine authority. Thus it is wrong to claim one can accept the full authority of Christ without acknowledging the complete authority of Scripture.

Article II

WE AFFIRM  that as Christ is God and Man in One Person, so Scripture is, indivisibly, God's Word in human language.
WE DENY  that the humble, human form of Scripture entails errancy any more than the humanity of Christ, even in His humiliation, entails sin.
Here an analogy is drawn between Christ and Scripture. Both Christ and Scripture have dual aspects of divinity and humanity, indivisibly united in one expression. Both Christ and Scripture were conceived by an act of the Holy Spirit. Both involve the use of fallible human agents. But both produced a the anthropic result; one a sinless person and the other an errorless book. However, like all analogies, there is a difference. Christ is one person uniting two natures whereas Scripture is one written expression uniting two authors (God and man). This difference notwithstanding, the strength of the likeness in the analogy points to the inseparable unity between divine and human dimensions of Scripture so that one aspect cannot be in error while the other is not.
The Denial is directed at a contemporary tendency to separate the human aspects of Scripture from the divine and allow for error in the former. By contrast the framers of this article believe that the human form of Scripture can no more be found in error than Christ could be found in sin. That is to say, the Word of God (i.e., the Bible) is as necessarily perfect in its human manifestation as was the Son of God in His human form.

Article III

WE AFFIRM  that the Person and work of Jesus Christ are the central focus of the entire Bible.
WE DENY  that any method of interpretation which rejects or obscures the Christ-centeredness of Scripture is correct.
This Affirmation follows the teaching of Christ that He is the central theme of Scripture (Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Heb. 10:7). This is to say that focus on the person and work of Christ runs throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. To be sure there are other and tangential topics, but the person and work of Jesus Christ are central.
In view of the focus of Scripture on Christ, the Denial stresses a hermeneutical obligation to make this Christocentric message clear in the expounding of Scripture. As other articles (cf. Article XV) emphasize the "literal" interpretation of Scripture, this article is no license for allegorization and unwarranted typology which see Christ portrayed in every detail of Old Testament proclamation. The article simply points to the centrality of Christ's mission in the unfolding of God's revelation to man.
Neither is there any thought in this article of making the role of Christ more ultimate than that of the Father. What is in view here is the focus of Scripture and not the ultimate source or object of the whole plan of redemption.

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