Author: Matt Sherro

The Covenants of Works and Grace: What Is Covenant Theology?

The Covenants of Works and Grace: What Is Covenant Theology?

Disclaimer: I hold to Dispensational Theology. That being said, it is our goal to provide a well-rounded understanding of both the Bible and historical Reformed Theology. (We believe Dispensationalism is a natural outgrowth of Reformed Theology)

The folllowing article is held in copyright by Dr. Richard Pratt and Third Millennium Ministries. It is used by permission. 

The Covenants of Works and Grace: What Is Covenant Theology?

In the seventeenth century an outlook developed in Reformed theology that saw covenants between God and humanity as central to the teaching of Scripture. In older works this approach to the Bible was called Federalism. In our day, it is more common to speak of this perspective simply as Covenant Theology.

In traditional Covenant Theology, the whole history of the Bible was divided into two major covenant relationships: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. Neither of these expressions appears in the Bible, but the distinctions form helpful theological categories that reflect the underlying unity of Scripture, much as the term “Trinity” summarizes one essential aspect of the truth of Scripture about God. This dual covenant approach to Scripture finds a clear expression in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (WCF 7.1-519.1,6WLC 3136,97).

In Reformed theology the term covenant of works refers to the arrangement God made between himself and Adam before humanity’s fall into sin. It does not refer to the covenant made with Moses at Sinai, as other Christian traditions tend to use the term. In the covenant of works with Adam, God promised blessings to Adam if he obeyed the command of God (Ge 1:28-30), but judgment if he disobeyed (Ge 2:15-17). The determining factor was Adam’s works, thus the term covenant of works(cf. Ho 6:7). In recent years, the value of describing Adam’s relationship with God as a covenant of works has been questioned; many prefer simply to speak of a pre-redemptive arrangement or probation before the fall into sin. In all events, the Scriptures indicate that Adam failed to keep God’s command. So God made a second covenant arrangement, the covenant of grace in Christ.

The terminology covenant of grace is used to describe God’s relationship with his people throughout the rest of Scripture. Properly speaking, this covenant was ultimately made with Christ as the last Adam, the representative of redeemed humanity. It is designated a covenant of grace because it operates on the basis of divine grace offered through Christ’s death and resurrection to all who believe in him. Some Reformed theologians have spoken of a heavenly, eternal covenant between the Father and the Son, which they have called the covenant of redemption(Jn 6:37). The covenant of grace is the historical expression of this eternal covenant.

The covenant of grace began with the promise made after the fall that the seed of the woman would one day crush the seed of the serpent (Ge 3:15). After this, the covenant of grace unfolded in five major stages of Biblical history. None of these covenant stages opposes any other. On the contrary, each subsequent stage builds upon the previous ones.

(1) After its initiation with God’s grace offered to Adam (Ge 3:15), the covenant of grace developed through the covenant of nature’s preservation given to Noah (Ge 6:189:9-17). Noah’s covenant focused on the stability of the present order of nature until the end of all things, thus providing a stable arena within which God’s redemptive plan would unfold. (2) Next, God’s covenant with Abraham (Ge 15,17) began several stages of covenants made with the nation of Israel as God’s special chosen people. God promised that Abraham’s descendants would receive great blessings and would be the instrument of blessing to the entire human race. (3) Following this, the nation of Israel received Moses’ covenant of law (Ex 19-24) during the exodus from Egypt, in order to guide the nation toward greater blessings in the land of promise. (4) When David became king, God then made a royal covenant with him (2Sa 7Ps 89,132), in which he promised to bless David’s faithful sons and never to take the throne of Israel away from David’s family. (5) Finally, the climax of the covenant of grace came through the new covenant established by Christ (Je 31Lk 22:201Co 11:25Heb 8:8-13). This covenant comes in three stages: the first coming of Christ, the history before his return and the consummation of his kingdom. As the covenant of grace unfolded in this manner, the various stages did not differ in substance but were “one and the same under various dispensations” (WCF 7.6).

The stages of the covenant of grace manifested in God’s Old Testament national covenants with Israel had the special role of preparing God’s people for the coming of his Son, who would fulfill all of God’s promises and give substance to the shadows cast by Old Testament types (Isa 40:10Mal 3:1Jn 1:14Heb 7-10). In the new covenant the temporary arrangements for imparting those blessings are replaced by the realization of that which they anticipated, namely Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant, the Seed of Abraham and heir of his promises (Ga 3:16). Christ obeyed the law perfectly and offered himself as the true and final sacrifice for sin. As the royal son of David, he now reigns over the world as the inheritor of all the covenant blessings of pardon, peace, and fellowship with God in his renewed creation-blessings he now bestows upon believers (Ro 8:17). Christ’s sending of the Spirit from the throne of his glory seals God’s people as his own, even as he gives himself to them (2Co 1:22Ep 1:13-14).

As Heb 7-10 explains, the new covenant is the supreme expression of God’s one eternal covenant of grace with sinners (Heb 13:20)-a better stage of the covenant than those of the Old Testament, with better promises (Heb 8:6), based on a better sacrifice (Heb 9:23), offered by a better high priest in a better sanctuary (Heb 7:26-8:13) and guaranteeing a better hope than the former versions of the covenant ever made explicit. The fulfillment of the old national covenants in Christ brings to fruition the promise that the door of faith would be open to large numbers of Gentiles. To extend the kingdom of God throughout the world (see theological article “The Kingdom of God” at Mt 4), Gentiles and Jews alike become Abraham’s seed by faith in Christ (Ga 3:26-29), while Jews and Gentiles outside of Christ are also outside the covenant of grace (Ro 4:9-1711:13-24).

Scripture describes the elements of God’s covenants with his people in ways that parallel the international treaty arrangements of human emperors in the ancient Near East. Either explicitly or implicitly, four basic dynamics appear in each stage of the Biblical covenant: (1) God shows himself to be the benevolent King who initiates and sustains his chosen people throughout their covenant relationship with him. (2) God requires loyal gratitude from the people embraced by his covenants. (3) Judgments come against those who flagrantly violate his covenants. (4) Blessings come to those who are faithful to the covenants.

As the divine King of the universe (see theological article “The Kingdom of God” at Mt 4), God’s covenantal dealings guided the kingdom forward toward its ultimate end: the gathering of a redeemed people “from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Rev 7:9), who will inhabit a renewed world order (Rev 21:1-5). Here the covenant relationship will find its fullest expression: “They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev 21:3). The kingdom of God still moves toward that goal in our day.

The dual framework of the covenants of works and grace describes the whole of God’s sovereign dealings with humanity. Salvation comes to us because Christ fulfilled the requirements of the covenant of works through his perfect obedience. As a result, our salvation is covenant salvation: Justification and adoption, regeneration and sanctification are covenant mercies; election was God’s choice of the members of his final, purified covenant community, the invisible church (see theological article “The Church: Visible and Invisible” at 1Pe 4); baptism and the Lord’s Supper, corresponding to circumcision and Passover, are covenant ordinances; God’s law is covenant law, and keeping it is the truest expression of gratitude and loyalty in response to God’s covenant grace. Renewing our covenant commitments to God in response to his faithfulness should be a regular devotional exercise for all believers, both in private and in public worship. An understanding of the covenant of grace guides us through and helps us to appreciate not only the diversity of Scripture, but its amazing unity as well.

Understanding Sin

Understanding Sin

Introduction

Talking Snakes and Other Problems

Genesis 3:1

Now the serpent (Heb. Nacash which is translated serpent, snake, dragon) was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”

Eve finds herself confronted with the most dangerous words ever spoken, “yea hath God said…?” Neither before nor since have there been words with such potential to destroy and they come repeatedly but today they sound different. Today they sound like this: Would a loving God really send people to hell (did God really say the wages of sin is death?) Don’t all religions basically say the same thing (did God really say Jesus was the only way?) If you listen carefully, you can hear the subtle hiss behind the words as once again the serpent says, yea hath God said?

It would be great if I could say that Eve’s biggest problem was a talking snake; it wasn’t. The biggest problem she faced was that she erred, not knowing the word from the Lord. I do not mean to say that she did not know what God had spoken but she did not know the certainty or sufficiency of the word, which had been spoken.

Sin becomes her

Fully half or more of the scholars in the world will tell you that “the Fall” happened when Eve ate the forbidden fruit. I beg to differ. Look at verse three of chapter three. Eve adds to the word that had been spoken. “Neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Some will say that Adam embellished when he passed the Lord’s instruction on to Eve; I tend to doubt that. There is nothing in the text to indicate that God told only Adam of the prohibition against eating the fruit of that tree. However, adding to the word that God had spoken, though bad enough in itself is not what got Eve…

“The Fall” happened in verse six. She saw that it was good for food (lust of the eyes) and desirable to make one wise (lust of the flesh) she took it and ate (the pride of life). And there it is. The fall happened not in the eating of the fruit, no that was the symptom; it happened when Eve decided that the serpent knew better than God and that she wanted the fruit.

 

We must, then, deal with the following question: What is sin?

 

Sin, Original and Personal

Sin came into the world through the disobedience of our first parents, and death by sin. We believe that sin is of two kinds: original sin or depravity, and actual or personal sin.

Original sin, or depravity, is that corruption of the nature of all the offspring of Adam by reason of which everyone is very far gone from original righteousness or the pure state of our first parents at the time of their creation, is averse to God, is without spiritual life, and inclined to evil, and that continually. Our fallen nature continues with us until our glorification by Christ in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Actual, or personal, sin is a voluntary violation of a known law of God by a morally responsible person (There no particular age set forth in Scripture for this moral responsibility. That being said, every individual is, at some point in their life accountable to God for their sins and are faced with the choice to respond or not.) It is therefore not to be confused with involuntary and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures, or other deviations from the standard of perfect conduct that are the residual effects of the Fall.

(Original sin: Genesis 3; 6:5; Job 15:14; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:18-25; 5:12-14; 7:1-8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:7-8

Personal sin: Matthew 22:36-40 {with 1 John 3:4}; John 8:34- 36; 16:8-9; Romans 3:23; 6:15-23; 8:18-24; 14:23; 1 John 1:9- 2:4; 3:7-10)

This Doctrine of Original Sin leads us to discuss Total Depravity…

Let’s start with the obvious question, what is Total Depravity? Total depravity is a phrase that is used to summarize what the Bible teaches about the natural spiritual condition of fallen man (By that I mean the spiritual condition we are born in because of Original Sin).

Total Depravity, though often misunderstood, acknowledges that the Bible teaches that every part of man—the mind, will, emotions, and flesh are corrupted by sin. This is a result of the sin in Genesis 3:6. This is to say that sin affects all of our being—who we are and what we do. Sin has so penetrated us, going to the core of our being, so that everything is polluted by sin. Any good deeds that we do, any righteousness that we bring to God is like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) To give you an idea of how disgusting sin is to God, how utterly repugnant it is, I will share with you what the Hebrew literally says; “filthy rags” is the cleaned up version for church. Literally, in the Hebrew, it says our righteousness is as a menstrual cloth. I realize that what I just said is shocking and it should be. We don’t take sin seriously enough; you don’t and I don’t and that’s just reality. None of us lives in constant awareness of just how awful our sin really is. Let’s move on…

In the bullet points below, we have summarized the Doctrine of Total Depravity

  • The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)
  • We are born dead in our transgressions and sins (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3 and Ephesians 2:1-5)
  • We are held captive to a love for sin (John 3:19 and John 8:34)
  • There is no one who seeks for God (Romans 3:10-11)
  • Man loves the darkness (John 3:19)
  • Men do not understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14)
  • As a result, men suppress the Truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and continue to live in sin.
  • Because of the totally depraved nature of man, he continues to live in sin and this sinful life actually seems right to him (Proverbs 14:12)
  • Depravity is so pervasive that, by nature, we reject the Message of the Gospel as foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18) and our minds, naturally do not submit to God because it is unable to do so. (Romans 8:7)

Paul summarizes Total Depravity this way (Romans 3:9-18)

  • No one is without sin
  • No one seeks after God
  • There is no one is good
  • Our speech is corrupted by sin
  • Man’s actions are corrupted by sin
  • And above all, man has no fear of God

God confronts the sin (Genesis 3:8–13)

 

Avoiding God (vv. 8–10)

vs 8. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

God arrives at the customary meeting place, at the customary time but Adam and Eve are not there.

 

vs 9. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

God is not asking for information. He is inviting Adam and Eve to meet with Him. This is the 1st act of redemption recorded in the Bible- He seeks Adam and Eve who are hiding in shame and now separated from Him.

 

Even today, God still leaves open the invitation…We sing it in the hymn, Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling “O sinner come home.” In Matthew’s Gospel Account, Jesus invites us, who are wearing and heavy laden, to come to Him

 

vs 10. He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

 

 

Adam, within earshot of the Lord’s summons, does not simply come forth and say, “Here I am” (Genesis 22:1, 11; 46:2; Exodus 3:4; Isaiah 6:8). Instead, he explains his hiding in an attempt to excuse it.

 

Adam’s explanation is true but misleading. Yes, Adam had been naked (Genesis 2:25), and his fear is self-evident in the fact that he has attempted to hide. He offers an explanation of the latter as being due to the former, but the explanation doesn’t hold water as we realize that his nakedness hasn’t resulted in hiding before now. He is afraid because of his disobedience.

 

The Blame Game (vv. 11–13)

  1. And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

 

Again, the questioning by the Lord does not indicate a lack of knowledge on his part. He knows what has happened. But he gives Adam a chance to confess his sin. He does this in a way that confronts Adam with the obvious as God says, in effect, “Let’s talk about your discomfort with being naked. You didn’t feel this way yesterday when we met. What changed? Did you eat the forbidden fruit? That would do it.”

 

  1. The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

 

When confronted, Adam seems to realize there is no hiding his sin. Yet he does not say, “Yes, Lord, I ate the forbidden fruit, but I regret it deeply. Please forgive me.” Instead, Adam attempts to dodge his guilt by redirecting the blame. In one of the saddest moments of all Bible accounts, Adam points the finger of guilt in two directions. First he points that finger toward his beloved wife. Then in the same breath Adam indicts the Lord as well with the phrase the woman you put here with me. Adam’s admission I ate it comes with no acceptance of personal responsibility.

 

  1. Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

 

Following the model just set by her husband, the woman admits I ate, but attempts to shift full blame elsewhere: to the serpent. There is no repentance, no asking for forgiveness.

 

 

Judgment (Genesis 3:14–17)

 

On the Serpent (vv. 14, 15)

vs 14. So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

 

God, knowing precisely what has taken place earlier at the tree, does not question the serpent. If the questioning of the two humans indicates opportunities to repent, we see no such opportunity being offered to the tempter. The Lord merely passes judgment and declares the penalty. The penalty reflects the categories of land creatures from Genesis 1:24, 25: livestock and wild animals and crawling-on-the-ground animals.

 

The apostle John identifies “that ancient serpent” as being “the devil, or Satan” himself (Revelation 12:9; 20:2). Because of his ability to speak and his intelligence (Genesis 3:1–5), he is more like the man and the woman than any other creature in the garden.

Whatever his form before God’s sentencing, the serpent is now to be included among the lowest and most despised of the land animals: the ground-crawlers. The description gives us the picture of a snake as we are familiar with today, that of a slithering, dust-eating belly-dragger. We assume this also includes the loss of speech and cunning intelligence.

 

vs 15a. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;

 

This verse, sometimes called the protevangelium (meaning “first gospel”), is the first prophecy in the Bible about a future Savior. Until this story there has been no need for a Savior because there has been no sin. But now there is.

 

The pronouncement in this verse, given directly to the serpent, has three parts. First, there is a promise of enmity—fear and loathing—between the woman and her offspring (descendants) and the serpent and his offspring. This reflects a coming battle related to the serpent and his agenda to undermine God’s authority and entice humans to sin (compare John 8:44; Acts 13:10; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:17). This is spiritual warfare, the struggle for the hearts and souls of men and women (Ephesians 6:10–12).

 

vs 15b. “he will crush your head,

The coming Savior will strike some kind of blow to the serpent and his power. From this side of the cross, we realize that Jesus accomplished this when he rose from the dead and thereby defeated the power of death (compare Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:54–57;

Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:18).

 

vs 15c. “and you will strike his heel.”

The coming Messiah will be wounded by Satan’s efforts, but not defeated. He will experience death, but not remain dead (Revelation 1:18; 5:6).

 

  1. On Humanity (vv. 16, 17)

 

vs 16a. To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.

God’s pronouncements continue, now with regard to difficulties that lie in the future of the woman in particular and that of women in general. Childbearing and childbirth will become unpleasant and painful, something all mothers today can verify.

 

vs 16b. “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Furthermore, the woman will also be tied to her husband in ways that are not always joyful. She will fulfill her desire by marriage, but will also have a new master who will rule over her (compare 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22). This dependency has not yet existed in the case of the first man and woman, but it will haunt humankind in the future. The Hebrew behind the translation rule over is translated “govern” in Genesis 1:18.

 

vs 17. To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.”

 

The pronouncement to Adam is the strongest and longest of all. First, God states the basis for his judgment. Yes, the temptation had come through his wife, but he still bears responsibility for his sin (Here is the first and clearest articulation of male headship- the idea that God holds the man to a higher standard. As a consequence, the man will no longer have access to the blessed, perfect fertility of the garden. He will now have to scratch out a living from ground that is in some way cursed. Life will be difficult and tenuous.

 

 

III. Banishment (Genesis 3:20–24)

 

Provision (vv. 20, 21)

  1. Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

The story ends with some final arrangements. The woman needs a name, and Adam served as the namer-in-chief earlier (Genesis 2:19, 20). He gives her a hopeful name, one based on the word for living. Adam understands that Eve will produce babies and multiply the number of humans (1:28).

 

  1. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

The garments of skin provided by God replace the flimsy and temporary fig-leaf apparel (Genesis 3:7). The author presents this as a gracious and loving act by God. He knows that Adam and Eve will need more than mere coverings for their nakedness, once outside the garden.

 

Expulsion (vv. 22–24)

  1. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

 

The author gives a divine detail at this juncture: the gist of God’s rationale for expelling the two from the garden. Things have changed, and sin has caused a loss of innocence for the man and his companion. God foresees that Adam has become like one of us. The “us” is not specified. Some see this as God’s addressing his heavenly council of angels (compare Job 1:6). Others see it as conversation between the three persons of the Trinity. Still others see it as the “plural of majesty” (see the commentary on Genesis 1:26 in lesson 3 on page 27).

 

To lose access to the tree of life signs the death warrant of Adam and Eve. Instead of living forever, they will age and eventually die. Another future feature of the New Jerusalem is year-round access to the tree of life, planted in or straddling the river of life (Revelation 22:2).

 

23, 24. So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

The Lord takes extraordinary measures to prevent contact with the precious tree of life, posting a guard of heavenly beings known as cherubim (compare Ezekiel 10:20). Although stated as guarding the east side of the Garden of Eden, the implication is that the cherubim prevent any approach to the special tree. This raises a question: Why didn’t God just destroy the garden and its location? He did, during the flood.

 

Outline of 1 Corinthians

Outline of 1 Corinthians

I. Salutation and Introduction (1:1-9)

II. Divisions and Factions in the Church (1:10-4:21)

III. Sexual Immorality and Family Life (5:1-7:40)

IV. Christianity and Paganism (8:1-11:1)

V. Church Life (11:1-17)

VI. Holy Communion (11:17-34)

VII. The Worship Service (12:1-14:40)

VIII. The Resurrection (15:1-38)

IX. The Offering for the Church in Judea (16:1-4)

X. Personal Matters and Benediction (16:5-24)

Adopting New Curriculum

Adopting New Curriculum

As our ministries continue to grow, Exploring the Truth and Abounding Grace Baptist Church will be adopting a more uniform set of curricula, specifically, the Uniform Series from Standard Publishing/David C. Cook. “The Uniform Series is a 6-year plan for reading and studying the Bible. By participating in the Uniform Series, a believer will be given help in knowing the content of the Bible, understanding its message, and responding to that message by living a life of faith and love.” (standardlesson.com)

Below, you will find some questions that have been asked and that you may be asking yourself:

  • Will you, now, teach a pre-packaged curriculum or a pre-written sermon? No. As the pastor, I will still do the work of studying the Scriptures to bring you in-depth material. I will still incorporate lessons that I learn from other teachers.
  • Why change if you are not utilizing pre-packaged sermons? Teaching the Bible, especially as a bi-vocational pastor, presents some fairly unique challenges. By using Standard Lesson as a “map,” we can have a more effective journey through the Bible. Over a six-year period we will cover every book in the Bible but we will still have the flexibility to go deeper on various subjects as the need arises.
  • Will you still be teaching expositionally? Yes. We are not abandoning an expositional method for our pulpit. If anything, this change will add more discipline and structure to our lessons as we navigate the Bible and grow together.
  • Will you change Bible translations? We will continue to hear the New Living Translation from the pulpit, along with other translations as is helpful. You can expect to keep hearing NASB, ESV, KJV, and NIV as we go through our lessons.
  • Do I do anything different to prepare to receive from God’s Word with this new system? Nope. You still pray before coming to church. We will still have hymns and a responsive reading.
  • What about sin? Will the new system still talk about sin? Our view of sin does not change. We believe that all of mankind is polluted by sin and separated from God because of that sin. We believe that the only remedy for our sin is the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross at Calvary. We do not, currently, pick out particular sins to “preach against” on Sunday but we deal with different sins as they come up in the text of Scripture; that will not change.
  • Is the Statement of Faith changing, too? Not at all. We still affirm the Baptist Faith and Message. All we are doing is adding a little more structure to help ensure that we are growing as disciples.

 

It is my sincere hope that this change will bless you and that you will continue to grow during your discipleship walk. Grace to you

Pastor Matt

The Bible Train (Family Worship) 17 September 2018- 23 September 2018

The Bible Train (Family Worship) 17 September 2018- 23 September 2018

This week, the Bible Train is recounting the concerns of both Ezra and Nehemiah for Jerusalem as well as the Temple. We will also see Zechariah prophesy the coming of Messiah the King.

 

Monday Ezra 7:1-10; 8:15-36
Tuesday Nehemiah 1:1-2:10
Wednesday Nehemiah 2:11-3:32
Thursday Nehemiah 8:1-18
Friday Nehemiah 13:1-31
Saturday Zechariah 9:9-10:12
Sunday Zechariah 14:1-21

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it so important that the Temple get rebuilt?
  2. What do we learn from Nehemiah’s prayer?
  3. What is the significance of Ezra reading the Law to the people?
  4. What comfort do we draw from Zechariahs words about the coming Messiah King?
  5. Zechariah makes it clear that God will rule the earth and we also know that Messiah will one day rule the earth. What do we learn about Messiah and His relationship to God.
Outline of the Epistle to the Romans

Outline of the Epistle to the Romans

I. Introductory comments (1:1-17)

II. Sin, original and universal and Salvation (1:18-5:21)

III. Victorious living by Christ’s power (6:1-8:39)

IV.  God still has a plan for Israel (9:1-11:36)

V. Living as Christians (12:1-15:13)

VII. Final thoughts (15:14-16:27)

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