Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
June 12, 2011
Dayton, Texas
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<091> Thesis: There are no "safe" places, or times, wherein a person can "relax" in the face of his/her own known weaknesses. Introduction: One of the problems with Paul's efforts to provide the evidence for the legitimacy of his message is that human beings are notorious for their willingness to capitulate to the irrational fears that drive them through life. Paul claims in our current context that Peter was moved by "fear" to do something that had the smell of the smoke of Hell all over it. Later he felt constrained to write to Timothy to tell him that God has not given us a spirit of "fear", but Timothy was yielding to it anyway. The author of Hebrews says that men can be kept in bondage all of their lifetime by "fear". And Paul asked the Philippians to pray for him that he would not capitulate to "fear" in his legal difficulties, after having admitted that many were "afraid" to speak the word with boldness. Therefore, we note that the vast majority of human beings never really get over their fears. One of the benefits of Paul's efforts is that there are some who take courage from the details of the Truth and live above themselves by the Fearless Spirit of God. Another of the benefits is that such a common failure actually argues mightily for the truth of Paul's gospel of grace (who would be saved if achieving fearlessness was the prerequisite?) This evening we are going to begin our study of Paul's final argument that we ought to trust in the Gospel of God's Grace which does not require that we "achieve" anything in order to be acceptable to God through Christ.