Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2
Thesis: The gracious intention of God has always been a full deliverance and was never intended to be simply an escape from Justice.
Introduction: In our last look into Paul's words we noted that there is a critical problem of misapprehension in regard to "grace": "grace" was never intended to only be a means to deliverance from the Justice of God. The issues of "grace" are not focused upon the "problems" that are standing in the way of the ultimate goal; they are, rather, focused upon that ultimate goal.
This evening we are going to look into Paul's claim that "grace" sets the "believer" free so that...
September 4, 2016
- I. A Return to the Bottom Line.
- A. As we have said, all of Romans 6 is designed to set forth the proper response of the "believer" to the fact of "grace".
- B. And Paul's "thanks be to God" (NASB) is intended to set the stage for the "believer's" realization that "grace" has far more in mind than simply "deliverance from Justice".
- 1. The word translated "thanks" is the New Testament word for "grace".
- 2. A very literal translation of the phrase is "Now grace to The God...".
- a. It is a call to gratitude, but without demand (there is no verb).
- b. It is, far more importantly, a summons to subscribe "grace" to its real origin: The God.
- 3. The utterance follows hard upon the heels of Paul's declaration that there is a great deal more to "Life" than deliverance from "Justice".
- a. The large issue is "Life".
- b. The lesser issues are the things involved in bringing it into a fully developed experience.
- 1) One of those "lesser issues" is the problem of the Major Barrier: the Justice of God.
- 2) The next most crucial of those "lesser issues" is the problem of the law of creation that compels a legitimate response of "effect" to all "causes".
- 3) Thus, for "Life" to be one's experience, all of the lesser issues have to be included in the problem of bringing "Life" into experience.
- c. Paul's summons to ascribe "grace" to "The God" is a redundant, but necessary, return to the bottommost consideration.
- C. Thus, we have to conclude that "Life" will not be and can not be a developed experience unless one keeps "grace" clearly in view.
- 1. Keeping "grace" clearly in view means taking Jeremiah 51:17 seriously: "All men are stupid..." (NASB).
- 2. But keeping "grace" clearly in view also means taking "grace" seriously as to its most fundamental issue: God does for us what He requires of us when we trust Him.
- II. The Illustration.
- A. "Grace" first addressed the actual status of humanity: "...you were slaves to The Sin...".
- B. Then "grace" addressed the procedural issues of the process of "deliverance by the hand of God".
- 1. The are two "forms of doctrine" involved.
- a. The issue of "form" is the issue of the "whence" of the doctrine [a "form" is the impression made by a stamp; thus, the "stamp" is the original and the "form" is the consequence].
- b. The original "form" is the creation by God of a universe of a myriads of details and processes, with the emphasis upon God's initiative and goodness.
- c. The consequent distortion of that "form" is the creation by "The Spirit of The Disbelief" of a shadow creation underwritten by the "notion" that creatures have "free will".
- 2. There is one "response" issue involved.
- a. Everywhere, the issue (translated "obey") is "yielding" to the impact of a host of values/ beliefs that are compounded as an avalanche designed to sweep the "hearer" into its path.
- b. Thus, the issue is not a matter of "free will"; it is a matter of "believing", i.e., "yielding" to the marshaled evidence.
- 3. There is one "arena" involved.
- a. Paul is not interested in the mental aspect at this point; the mind simply applies thought to a problem.
- b. Paul is fundamentally interested in the "values" that will prejudice the mind to yield to its insistence: the heart.
- c. This is the crux of "grace".
- 1) The word of God describes this "heart" as "deceitful and desperately wicked".
- 2) The word of God declares that the only thing that will transform a fallen man is the generation of a "new heart" by God in the man.
- 3) The only way to describe this intention and action by God is to root it in "grace": His action upon "stupid" men.
- 4. There are two "delivery systems" involved.
- a. In the shadow creation, the "delivery system" is through "The Sin" and its obvious arguments of "setting" (surrounding realities).
- b. In the original creation, the "delivery system" is "grace empowered deliverers" called elsewhere "preachers of the Gospel" [Note Romans 10:14].
- 5. There is a promised "result" involved.
- a. The "problem" is being a slave of The Sin in a cause/effect universe.
- b. The "promise" is a transformative "slavery" to The Righteousness in that universe.
- 6. There is one major issue involved.
- a. The verb in 6:18 translated "became" (NASB) is a passive voice verb.
- b. This "passive" retains the focus upon "grace to God".
- III. The Bottom Line.
- A. God intends a fully developed "salvation" that moves through Justice and Creation Reality to the experience of "The Joy of Life".
- B. The Romans are to rely upon what God has already done as they focus upon what to expect in the future.
- 1. He has already moved them from the bondage to The Sin into the bondage to The Righteousness.
- 2. Now He is calling for "further yielding" consistent with "the form of doctrine delivered".