Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
Thesis: God stands perpetually ready to overpower our bondage to our bodies' appetites if we are willing to depend upon Him to do it.
Introduction: We saw in our study of the previous verses that the true knowledge of God leads to men and women taking ownership of their own bodies so that those bodies become "vessels of demonstration" of the Truth. We also saw that God has a dual purpose in addressing our sexuality: to preserve us from the disasters that come upon those in bondage to their lusts by being our power; and to preserve our "brethren" from being subjected to such lusts run amuck by being their avenger.
This evening we are going to look into the last concepts in this paragraph on keeping a lid on sexual lust: the intention of God in "salvation" and the clarification of what is really happening in those who do not yield to that "call".
November 16, 2014
- I. The Intention of God Behind His Summons to Us.
- A. It is clearly not "uncleanness".
- 1. This all begins with the "calling of God".
- a. Without such a "call" there is nothing between men and Total Disaster, incrementally and finally.
- b. Even with such a "call" there is nothing between men and total disaster if there is no clear understanding.
- c. The underlying issue of "call" is "summons" (this is the root word of the term that characterizes the Gospel itself in 2:3).
- 1) An inescapable element in "summons" is "intentionality": What does God seek to achieve?
- 2) An inescapable conclusion to "summons" is that one cannot properly respond if there is a more potent commitment to an alternative intention.
- 2. The alternatives are "upon uncleanness" or "in sanctification".
- a. The alternative prepositions suggest that "intentionality" has both a "foundation" and a "realm".
- 1) God's intentionality is absolutely not "upon any kind of uncleanness at all" [Note 2:3 again].
- 2) God's intentionality is just as absolutely "in the realm of particular and total balance of character through "separation from/to".
- b. God's "foundation" is not "upon" any kind of "blended" corruption.
- B. It is just as clearly "sanctification".
- 1. Just as all "uncleanness" is "good gone wrong", "sanctification" is "good purged of any kind of adaptation of the wrong."
- 2. Sanctification has its root concept in the physical world notion of sparkling cleanliness as David revealed in Psalm 51:2, 7 and the figure of "whiteness so great that no fuller on earth could achieve it" (Mark 9:3) also describes it.
- II. The Commitment of God to His Intention.
- A. Is absolute in regard to His faithfulness to those who have believed Him.
- 1. Because Abraham and Christ both "believed" the promise of God, He is in the hot seat to do what He promised ... absolutely.
- 2. Because the concept of righteousness "in Christ" is without corruption, "justification" is God's revelation of His absolute commitment to His intention in that "realm".
- B. Is relative in regard to the faithfulness of those who depend upon His faithfulness.
- 1. There is another realm wherein the intentionality issue plays out: the lives of the people of God on this earth.
- 2. This realm is governed by a different promise and summons from God.
- a. The promise is of His Spirit as "the Spirit of His Son" and "His Holy Spirit".
- b. The summons is to exercise the same exclusive faith in this promise as was exercised in the prior promise.
- 3. The relativity is rooted in the fact that men who are "justified" often "set aside" their proper understanding of the divine Intention, Will, and Summons, and, by that act, defeat, at least in part, themselves as seekers of Life.
- a. Paul did not raise the issues of this paragraph as if writing to the lost.
- b. His focus upon the Gift of the Spirit is a focus upon "whence the power" of genuine, and progressive, "sanctification."
- c. His flat declaration that those who "set aside" the summons are not setting some "man" aside, but the very God of Power Who continually waits in the wings to impart His power to those who simply depend upon Him to do it.