Thursday, June 29, 2017

EMA day 2: Kevin de Young on The Mission of the Church

Sin & Salvation

The doctrine of sin and how it ought to shape our ministry and sense of mission in the church

The essence of sin: What is sin?

The essence of it

Rebellion against God

Sin is lawlessness – breaking God’s commandments either knowingly or unknowingly

Leads to death

Missing the mark


Spiritual adultery



The problem of the universe which redemption answers








Failing to listen to God


The primordial sin? Paradigmatic

Sin to disbelieve the word of God

Sin as pride, thinking you know better than God

Trying to be like God in our own way

The pursuit of illicit pleasure

The origin of sin: Where did sin come from?

Probation in the garden – tree of k of gd and evil

Knowing / deciding good and evil

Lady Gaga, I’m born this way – defining ourselves apart from God

Shame, guilt, fear, blame, pain, broken relationships, curse, judgement

Thorns and thistles

Creation groaning and subject to decay

Our fundamental problem not circumstances etc., upbringing

We are born with a bad heart – Heidelberg catechism – I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbour

Mark Dever prays people will come to an awareness of their sin – people don’t believe in the chasm of sin between them and God, sin an offence to God almighty, work of the Spirit required

Titus 3:5; Gen 6:5

Total depravity – every area of person and life affected by sin – all faculties of person affected, rational faculties affected, the noetic effects of the fall – on thinking – we can do no spiritual good without the work of the spirit

Original sin – pollution, guilt

Ps 51

Job 15

Jn 3 – necessity of new birth

Rm 3

Eph 2

Gal 3

1 K 8:46

Ps 143

Ecc 7:20

1 Jn 1:8-10

We do not want a soft Pelagianism

Aug Confessions: grant what you command and command what you will – you tell us to do what we cannot do unless you empower us to do them

The bondage of the will

We can only accept God’s grace by the grace of God

Monergism not synergism – the one work of God not our own contribution

Distinguish freedom of will – Calvin – freedom from necessity, misery,

The will is in bondage to sin, not by external compulsion – not just a puppet on a string / robot

We sin because we want to – not God / devil made me do it

Synod of Dort – we are not stocks and blocks, sticks and stones, we will, but we have lost the freedom of the will to choose right

We are not just sick but dead

God doesn’t just throw the dead a life preserver – he gives new life

Unable to please God without the Spirit or come to X unless drawn

The transmission of sin: How did sin spread?

Pelagius – only sinful acts by imitation not the imputation of Adam’s sin

Sin a condition as well as acts, an inherited nature

Parenting is the great antidote to Pelagianism! You do not need to teach the kids to sin!

Rm 5 – Adam our representative, federal head in the covenant of works – we sinned in him

Born with original sin (nature) and guilt (culpability)

Cf. Western individualism – strong sense of family

We participated in Adam’s sin – we sinned in Adam

We all inherit the same nature and stand in need of the same grace – a unity in diversity

God has the right to judge us because we have sinned and we sin in Adam

Implications: What difference does this doctrine of sin make? How does this translate into practical actions, aims in ministry etc.?

(1) We ought to have a proper recognition about ourselves as sinners prone to wickedness. You are capable of great evil. You should know your weakness / limitations

Alexander Solzenitskin – the line between good and evil passes through the human heart


My biggest problem in pastoral ministry is me, my own people pleasing, weakness, lack of self-discipline, defending self, fighting back etc.

(2) it ought to give us a realism about the world

Rev John Witherspoon – James Madison – human nature requires division of powers and of government – angels would need no government – men must govern men so how will the governors be governed? Checks and balances – men are generally not to be trusted with great power

The greatest problems and challenges are within

No utopian schemes.

Everyone can be selfish, cruel and arrogant and is hard wired to behave in these ways. This is wrong and we have fallen from primal innocence. Only supernatural power can save us.

This makes sense of the world.

Original sin is the only doctrine that can be proved by human observation.  

(3) We should be resolute in our task. We understand the real problem so we must offer the real solution.

Responsibility for sin

The death of Satan: how Americans have lost their sense of evil (1990s book)

Moral categories, God, the devil, evil, not just therapy etc.

Euphemisms for sin – sin as brokenness – yes, but also...


Confess rebellion, disobedience, evil not just that something is not right

C S Lewis – miserable offenders

The Bible v strong on sin and its God orientation

We do not need a handyman but a Saviour!

The problem is God defiance not lack of trees, or unemployment or....

The gospel!

(4) Rejoice in salvation! Don’t be miserable. Be an advert for good news. Preach on joy joyfully. Forgiven! Blood bought freedom. The worst thing that can happen to you is death and that is also the best thing that can happen to you. Be a winsome warrior for Christ with the best news possible for a sinful world.

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