When studying Scripture, we often overlook the fact the Scripture was written for (and to) fallen people. This is what Bryan Chapell calls the fallen condition focus (FCF) of Scripture. Chapell defines the FCF as “the mutual human condition that contemporary believers share with those to or for whom the text was written that requires the grace of the passage.”1
The fallen condition most obviously addresses our sinful choices, behavior and desires. So it’s no surprise that we are commanded not to steal or to lust after what we don’t have or, even closer to the problem, worship material possessions.
The FCF also addresses the fact that we live in a dark and broken world. Our hearts are torn when a family member dies. We didn’t cause the death, but we aren’t immune to the grief and pain from the death. Being part of this world also means we are subject to tsunamis and tornados. The FCF includes both who we are as well the world in which we live.
Understanding the FCF helps us to see what it is about God and his redemptive work that we need and yet often fail to embrace. That is why, through the Gospel, God not only calls us to repent but also to believe. Our hearts were fashioned for him.
Thus it is only in Jesus Christ that our desires are ultimately satisfied, our fears ultimately conquered, and our hopes ultimately met. The FCF prepares and points us to the Christ solution (CS)—that is, the grace of Christ which we need as fallen people.2
Therefore each section of Scripture is designed to reveal the FCF and point us to the CS for our salvation and Christ’s glory (cf. Hebrews 4:12-16). This is the Gospel. And we are meant to preach the Gospel to ourselves daily for the Spirit of God never takes us beyond the cross, only into a more profound understanding of it.
Each of the following studies is not meant to stand alone, but simply serve as a supplement for the Thirsty devotional. Each study will follow a pattern as such: an introduction that will lead to a discussion of the Fallen Condition Focus, a discussion of the text and questions within the Thirsty devotional that leads to the third component, a discussion of the Christ Solution.
SECTION ONE: Secure—Ephesians 1:1-14 (additional attachment)
SECTION ONE: Empowered—Romans 7:7-8:18 (additional attachment)
SECTION TWO: Walking—1 John 1:5-2:2 (additional attachment)
SECTION TWO: Naked—Philippians 3:1-11 (additional attachment)
SECTION THREE: Power for Holiness—Ephesians 4:17-5:7
*A suggestion: It has been said that all great endeavors start with an end in mind. With that, we suggest reading together SECTION THREE: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit to serve as a quick look at where we are headed in this study... what is its end? The answer: glorifying Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
1 Chapell, Bryan, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, 2nd edition (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), p.50.
2 Strider, Brian, “Understanding the Fallen condition Focus of Scripture”
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