Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 3 Study # 5
April 1, 2012
Dayton, Texas
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<163> Thesis: "Promise" is a fundamental aspect of God's self-revelation in terms of a guiding principle of understanding. Introduction: Last week we looked into the fact that Paul deliberately inserted Christ's identity as the sole seed of Abraham and the sole recipient, beyond Abraham, of the commitments God has made in history. The promises were not made to you and me except as members of Christ. All of the biblical declarations of promises to particular individuals must be understood as only being "to" them because of the reality of their position "in" Christ. Even Abraham did not receive any promises that by-pass his essential participation in the Person of Jesus, the Christ. There are no commitments of a positive nature from God to human beings that stand outside of the Father's commitments to the Son. This reality has some very potent implications, the chief of which is the freedom of God to overrule any and every human freedom, real or imagined, in order to bring blessing into any particular human being's existence. There are two consequences to this implication: first, God remains absolute as Sovereign over His creation; and second, any particular human being's sense of "blessedness" is absolutely rooted in "grace" without any kind of root at all in any human sense of entitlement. This evening we are going to look into Paul's claim that "Promise" stands before "entitlement" with no possibility whatsoever of being subject to it.