The relativistic individualism of an experience-driven culture has tragically produced an experience-driven Christianity that elevates spiritual experience over sound doctrine, opening up God’s people to a multitude of deceptions. While many Christians are concerned, and rightly so, about the marginalisation of Christianity from the public square, far more insidious and urgent is the biblical illiteracy that is eroding the Church from within, making it impotent against attacks from without.
In this series, aware of growing aberrations within the Charismatic expression of the Church, Ern addresses the “need to be anchored to the great unchanging objective redemptive facts” instead of the “shifting sands of a vast variety of experience”. Originally delivered in the 1970s, it remains a timely series. The unchanging truths of the faith addressed in this series provide security and stability amidst the social upheaval and pressures of our time. They are the sure foundation for life; truths that nourish, strengthen and direct the experiential dimension of faith, not sever or diminish it.
How can God, who is both just and loving, demonstrate his love toward his creature by saving him without violating his justice (i.e. his law)? In answering this question, Ern unpacks God’s nature and man’s predicament to explicate the glory of this great fact of salvation. He provides clear definition and sets forth the significance of this biblical truth.
In explicating the biblical revelation of propitiation, Ern underscores how humankind can only approach God and come into his presence according to God’s prescribed way. Far from a peripheral or dispensable term, a correct understanding of propitiation is central to grasping the glory of God’s plan of salvation, magnifying the marvel of how sinful creatures can have access into the presence of a Holy God.
In order to illuminate and apply another vital aspect of salvation, Ern unpacks the biblical terms and illustrations of redemption. He sets forth the true scope of redemption, whereby the grace of God not only purchases man from slavery to sin and death but also situates him in a whole new order of life under God and his Word.
Ern explores how it is that sinful creatures are not only graciously justified (i.e. given a right legal standing with God) but are also enabled to enter into an intimate personal relationship with a Holy God. He establishes the biblical definition of reconciliation and explains the means by which man’s estrangement from God is rectified.
Exploring both the eschatological and personal dimensions of regeneration, Ern underscores the significance of Christ’s first coming as the beginning of a whole new order in history that will continue until its ultimate purpose is consummated in the new heavens and new earth.
Drawing from key biblical texts, Ern clarifies the meaning and implications of sanctification.
In the final part of this teaching, Ern clarifies the nature and scope of glorification. He draws together all the elements of salvation covered throughout the series to show their ultimate purpose to restore the original glory that man shared in relationship to God.