The Teachings of Christ Incarnate Part 3: The Upper Room Discourse -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 109:434 (Apr 1952)
Article: The Teachings of Christ Incarnate Part 3: The Upper Room Discourse
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer

The Teachings of Christ Incarnate
Part 3: The Upper Room Discourse

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Concluded from the January-March Number, 1952)

3. The Upper Room Discourse. The third and last of Christ’s major discourses is recorded in John, chapters 13 to 17, and though given to His disciples, as are the other two, this is even more distinctive in character and purpose than the two already considered. The attentive and discerning student must become aware upon consideration of this portion that he is confronted at once with that form of doctrine which belongs only to the Church in the present age, and that it, unlike the Sermon on the Mount or the Olivet Discourse which look backward to the Old Testament setting, looks forward into the following portions of the New Testament, which was then unwritten. This address—termed a conversation by some is the seed plot of all grace teachings, and it is asserted here that in no portion of the Scriptures that which may be termed uncomplicated Christian doctrine is more clearly announced. In view of the habit of some theologians calling all Biblical doctrine Christian, it is pointed out again that that which is Christian in character is distinguished from Judaism and is confined to God’s purpose in the present age, namely, the outcalling from both Jews and Gentiles of those who having been transformed through redeeming grace are the Body and Bride of Christ. The truth related to the Church, this heavenly people, is found in the latter portions of the New Testament, or, more definitely, all that follows the Synoptic Gospels. Since this heavenly company is to be distinguished from all other peoples of the earth by differences which are immeasurable, it is to be expected that there will be a body of revelation specifically

addressed to and designed for them. There is such a body of truth and its first pronouncement was made by Christ Himself in the upper room. The Upper Room Discourse is, therefore, the voice of Christ and is the foundation of that which constitutes the positions, possessions, and privileges of the Christian. Again attention is called to the great difference which obtains between the three major discourses of Christ—so great, indeed, that they would hardly be attributed to the same speaker; but the Sermon on the Mount and the Olivet Discourse, since related directly or indirectly to the oncoming Messianic kingdom, have that much in common. Over against this, it will be seen that there is no bond of truth whatsoever between the two discourses already considered and the Upper Room Discourse. These far-reaching declarations should be attested by every st...

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