Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 6
March 12, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<232> Thesis: The "general" Kingdom mentality is one of helpfulness. Introduction: We have concluded our study of the "snakiness" of man. This morning we are going to turn our attention to a consideration of the fundamental characteristic of God's Kingdom. As Luke pondered what to include in his record, we find that he often selected the "root" issues...those issues which have the greatest potential to flower into highly fruitful expressions of the true nature of God. It is, after all, God's Kingdom and His plan to bring it to its best and highest expression is the core of the plan of the ages. Human history, as it has developed, shows a certain kind of "three steps forward, two steps back" character to the development of God's plan. Throughout His dealings with men, God has characteristically acted in a brief, climactic way in order to set a certain aspect of His plan into motion, and then has allowed the oppositional forces to gradually erode the impact of His explosive beginning until it is pretty much chewed up. Once the opposition has accomplished a certain amount of disintegration, He intervenes with another explosive set of events that give a new direction to the development of the plan -- while retaining the major "force" of the earlier aspects of that plan. It is the retention of the major "force" of the earlier aspects of the plan that makes the gradual progress of the plan possible. That is what the focus upon the "snakiness of man" is all about: retaining the major lesson of the period of the Law. Paul said that the major lesson became most fundamentally obvious over the period -- no man will be justified by the works of the Law because the Law reveals him to be a "snake", completely incapable of self-reform or development into true godliness. So, as long as we do not lose the impact of the legal period -- that there is nothing within our flesh that can yield godliness -- we can move on to the next major "lesson". It is to this "lesson" that Luke now turns as he records John's teaching. And, it is to that "lesson" that we now turn as we follow the direction of his words.