Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
October 25, 2015
Dayton, Texas
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<027> Thesis: It is only by "believing" that the people of God can relate to God in a healthy way. Introduction: We come this evening to the last paragraph of chapter one. It is an expression of Paul's prayers as a reflection of his theology. It is particularly a reflection of his theology of how God accomplishes His plans. In our former studies, we have seen that "retribution" is a significant aspect of the accomplishment of those plans. "Retribution" as a concept is simple: one gets subjected to what he/she has subjected others to. However, that simplicity is complicated as soon as one adds a few "application" issues into the mix. There is overt, divine action taken by God Himself, directly, and indirectly through intermediate agents. Then there is less direct action taken by God in the form of simple cause-and-effect as an enforced principle of God's creation (the law of sowing and reaping). Then there is the reality that a person can actually be subjected to something that he/she actually had nothing to do with simply because he/she was in the circle of someone else's experience because that person had taken some action that resulted in some form of "retribution". And, then, there is the fact that sometimes a person is subjected to something simply because someone else took aim at them and pulled the trigger (but this is not, technically, "retribution" unless God is behind the actions of the person inflicting the experience). So, this evening we are going to look at Paul's concluding remarks to see how we are to live in the light of this "retribution" thesis.