Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Outline of "Pilgrim's Progress," chapter 16

The 5th and 6th grade boys Writing & Literature class I am tutoring is reading John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. In preparation for teaching this class, I am re-re-reading the book and constructing a detailed outline for each chapter as I read. The following outline is for Chapter 16 (in the 1991 Tyndale House Edition).

I. The Pilgrims Discuss Justification with Ignorance

A. Ignorance
1. Having left Ignorance alone for some time, the pilgrims again attempt to engage him in conversation.
2. Ignorance trusts his heart as his guide in matters of truth.

B. The Word of God
1. The pilgrims assert that the Word of God, and not our hearts, must be our guide.
2. We must accept the judgment of the Word of God that, in our natural condition, we are all in a state of evil.

C. The Righteousness of Christ
1. Ignorance believes that Christ will make his [Ignorance's] religious duties acceptable to God; Christian responds:
a. The kind of faith Ignorance describes is no-where found in the Word of God;
b. It is the righteousness of Christ, not our own righteousness, which justifies;
c. Christ is the justifier of sinners, not the justifier of the sinner's actions;
d. Ignorance's false faith, which does not flee to Christ alone for His righteousness, will expose him to God's wrath.
2. Ignorance says that Christian's faith:
a. By trusting in the righteousness of Christ alone, will cause men to lead wicked lives;
b. By claiming the need for personal faith, is based upon "whimsical doctrines."

II. They Discuss Godly Fear

A. Those who are ignorant do sometimes feel conviction of sin, but they stifle it and soothe their egos as best as they know how.

B. Godly fear is recognized by:
1. Conviction of sin that leads to salvation;
2. Causing one to cling tightly to Christ;
3. Bringing to birth and maintaining a deep reverence for God.

C. How the ignorant stifle godly fear:
1. Imagining such fear is brought about by the Devil;
2. Imagining that such fear will spoil faith;
3. Presuming that they must present an image of courage;
4. Determining to resist fear in order to maintain confidence in their own righteousness.

III. They Discuss Backsliding

A. Reasons for backsliding:
1. Though the conscience of the backslider has been awakened, his mind remains unchanged;
2. The backslider fears men rather than God;
3. The backslider remains proud and unwilling to accept the scorn of following Christ;
4. The backslider cannot bear his guilt and the knowledge of judgment, but instead of seeking salvation in Christ, he chooses ways "that will harden him more and more."

B. How backsliding occurs by degrees:
1. The backslider tries, as best as he can, to pull his thoughts away from God, death, and the coming judgment;
2. The backslider puts off spiritual disciplines such as private prayer;
3. The backslider shuns the company of active and zealous believers;
4. The backslider grows indifferent to "public obligations" such as church attendance;
5. The backslider begins looking for faults in believers to excuse his lack of faith;
6. The backslider begins running with a "carnal, hedonistic crowd;"
7. The backslider gives way to "secret and profane discussions;"
8. The backslider begins playing with little sins openly;
9. Finally, "being hardened," the backslider shows himself for who he is.



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