Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about Philippians.
[These notes are from a study from almost 40 years ago.]
τέκνα Θεοῦ – “a child of God” not “sons of God.” The word tekna gives prominence to the fact of birth.
ἄμωμα – “without blemish”. It carries the idea of being without blame in reputation and in reality. (Col. 1:22)
μέσον – “middle, in the middle of”
γενεᾶς – “race, generation”
σκολιᾶς – “crooked, curved”. Metaphorically used by Greeks to mean “perverse, wicked.” It carries the idea of turning away from truth.
διεστραμμένης – “distort, twist, warped”. What a picture of the world Paul, the Philippians, and you and I live in.
Is it true that the entire human race is twisted and warped by sin? Or is it just a few malcontents? Are people getting better?
Gen. 2:15-15-17 (The first man commanded)
Gen. 3:17-19 (The first man punished)
Gen. 4:8 – (The first family destroyed)
Gen. 5:3-5 (The first man is dead)
(1500 years between the birth of Seth and the birth of Shem … both forerunners of Christ)
Gen. 6:5-13 (The entire race is corrupted … scheduled for destruction)
That brings us to the question – what did sin do to man? Sin is the falling away from or missing of the right path. The underlying idea of sin is that of law and a lawgiver. God is the lawgiver. Sin is everything that is contrary to the expressed will of God.
We know that Adam disobeyed a direct command from God and was punished by emotional, spiritual, and physical death. But how did Adam’s sin affect his descendants…the human race?
There are three major forms of doctrine in the church or the “so-called” church about the effect of Adam’s sin on the human race.
I. Doctrine of Imputation
The sin of Adam was immediately imputed (reckoned over to the account of) the entire human family, so that not only is the race forever depraved, but also actually guilty on account of the first transgression (Adam’s).
II. Doctrine of Proneness
The race inherited proneness to sin from Adam. But this proneness to sin does not imply guilt, inasmuch as punishment can justly be inflicted only on account of actual sin, which consists in voluntary transgressions.
III. Doctrine of Purity
There is no connection between the sin of Adam and the character and actions of his descendants. Every human being is by nature as pure as was Adam before his sin. The prevalence of sin is to be accounted for upon the ground of evil example and surroundings. It is possible for men to lead lives of such complete freedom from sin that they may stand in no need of redemption or regenerating grace.
So, what does the Bible really teach about the depravity of man?
- The depravity of man is universal. It affects everybody. Rom. 3:9-19, 23; 5:12, 18-21
- The depravity of man is proven by the actions of the race. Rom. 1:18-32
- The depravity of man leaves the race unable to please God. Rom. 5:6-10; 8:7-8; Eph. 2:1-3
What then is the hope of a depraved race?
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
[Close with explanation of Gospel and invitation to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.]
[Thank you for reading these notes are from our study from almost 40 years ago. We pray it is a blessing to you and your ministry,]