10 Things You Should Know about Systematic Theology

Scott R. Swain: 1. Systematic theology exists because the God who knows and loves himself in the bliss of the Trinity is pleased to make himself an object of creaturely knowledge and love through holy Scripture. Theology in its essence is “wisdom”—a knowledge that is ordered to love (practical wisdom), and a love that rests in knowledge (contemplative wisdom). More specifically, theology is wisdom about God and all things in relation to God. This wisdom exists first and foremost in God: God knows and loves himself in the bliss of his triune life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 11:27; 1 Cor. 2:10–11). This wisdom exists secondarily and derivatively in creatures because God is pleased to make us happy by making us friends in the knowledge and love of himself (John 10:14–15; 15:15; 17:3; 1 Cor. 2:12). Though not the only source for the knowledge and love of God (see Psalm 19; Rom 1-2), holy Scripture is the supreme

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Experiencing Gospel Transformation

From Robert W. Yarbrough’s notes, in the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: The Law and the Gospel Having corrected mistaken impressions about the law and how the gospel relates to it (Rom. 6–7), Paul explains how there is “now no condemnation” for believers “in Christ Jesus” (v. 1). Christians are “set free” from sin’s guilt and power by the work of the Holy Spirit as he imparts spiritual life (v. 2). Neither the law nor human obedience could confer this life. Only the Son by his coming could, and did (v. 3). By Christ’s finished work, what the law calls for—living in harmony with God and his will—can actually take place through the work of God’s Spirit (v. 4). But we all face a stark either/or: either we are oriented toward “the flesh” (the human inclination to sin), which leads to death; or the Spirit reorients us, so that our present possession and final destiny are “life and peace” (vv. 5–6). Without

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