Show Notes – Episode 04

Josué Ortiz joins us again for Episode 4 of Leading in the Gospel. If you missed the first part of this discussion on biblical theology and systematic theology, click here to listen to part one. Josué has been pastoring the Iglesia Bautista Gracia Abundante (Abundant Grace Baptist Church) in Mexico City for the last two years.

Redemptive History Leads to Systematic Theology

An over-emphasis on any one of these views while neglecting the others results in an unbalanced and powerless form of Christianity. 

Disconnecting systematic theology from the biblical narrative results in a body of doctrine that is arbitrary and removed from the “why” and “how” of that doctrine. We lose the joy and delight of why this doctrine is so important. 

Emphasizing only the biblical narrative while neglecting systematic theology results in a faith that is lacking the clear boundaries and structure of what walking with Christ looks like. This mistake often leads to lawlessness, antinomianism, and a disrespect of God’s word. 

The word of God is both. To be gospel-centered is to marry them. Our robust systematic theology should flow from the beauty of the biblical narrative.

Redemptive History Leads to Practical Instruction

Out of the redemptive plan flows theology. Out of that theology flows practical instruction for the Christian life. All of the commands and instruction from Scripture flow from the story of God’s redemptive plan.

The Redemptive Indicatives Drive the Moral Imperatives.

Definitions:

Redemptive Indicatives: What God has done, specifically in Christ; the reality of the believer’s position

Moral Imperatives: What God has called believers to do; commands and principles of the Bible

 

Separating the instruction from the narrative results in a list of commands to obey without a relationship to enjoy. We begin to view God as only a taskmaster rather than a loving Lord. Being driven simply by obedience to moral commands transforms us from a joyful follower to a miserable and angry hostage.

If we choose to ignore the practical instruction of Scripture, we miss out on what the mature Christian life is intended to be. Growing in Christian maturity requires obedience to the commands of Scripture.

The Results of Gospel-Centered Theology

A Foundation for Obedience

Ephesians is six chapters—three chapters exalting the beauty of the gospel and three chapters teaching how to live as a result. God builds His commands within the context of His love for us. This allows the commands to be seen as guidelines from a loving Father rather than orders from an angry taskmaster.

When redemptive history, systematic theology, and practical instruction are connected, we are invited to a loving relationship with a loving God, taught what that God is like, then empowered by God to grow in obedience to Him.

The Bible is not Allegorized

Without understanding the importance of connecting every passage to the redemptive plan, we feel the need to imply outside commands upon every portion of Scripture. We impose meaning to narratives that have little or nothing to do with what the passage means. Symbolizing the lions in the den or the stones of David mystifies the Bible. The main point of the passage should be the main point of the sermon.

Personal Questions:

1. What view of Scripture do I find myself viewing or preaching most often?

2. When have I experienced or been guilty of a separation of theology from the narrative? What were the results of the separation?

3. When have I experienced or been guilty of a separation of instruction from the narrative? What were the results of the separation? 

4. When have I experienced or been guilty of an allegorization of Scripture? What were the results of the allegorization? 

Team Questions:

1. How has the redemptive indicatives of the Bible shaped our team and church culture?

2. Are we consistently separating the commands of Christ from the righteous provision of Christ? What is the danger in our ministry when we do this?

3. Does joy dominate our church and ministry? What is producing that joy?

4. What will the product be when we rightly preach the redemptive history with systematic theology and practical instruction?

Other Resources:

Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax

Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation by Geerhardus Vos