Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
Thesis: The intention of God has always been genuinely "good" behavior.
Introduction: In our look into Romans 8 so far we have seen that Paul declares our exemption from any and all wrath to come; He declares the existence of competing realities in the "Law"; and He declares that the bottom line of "The Law of The Spirit of The Life" is the existing facts that, 1) the Law was totally ineffectual because of the fleshliness of man, and 2) God has taken definitive action and continues to do so by providing deliverance from the dominion of The Sin over those who trust Him.
This evening we are going to look into God's objective in His labors. We are going to see that God has taken on the realities of man's situation under Law and Grace for one reason: He has always intended to produce in His creation men of genuinely "good" behavior.
January 15, 2017
- I. The Comprehensive Truth of God's Intention.
- A. The vast majority of human beings realize that how a person behaves is of enormous importance.
- 1. Most of this vast majority have actually taken that realization and turned it into a theological methodology for qualification before God for participation in His Eternal Kingdom.
- 2. But even those of us who realize that it cannot serve as a methodology, do also recognize that there are a host of texts that urge good behavior upon us.
- B. In 8:4 Paul uses an "in order that" phrase to indicate that the "no condemnation", "the Law of The Spirit of the Life", and the sending of His own Son into this world to condemn The Sin in His own flesh: all are foundational to God's intention that men behave themselves.
- 1. At issue: the dikaioma of The Law is to be "fulfilled".
- a. As "revelation", The Law was designed to reveal the truth about God so that His creation might know what He is like so that it might realize that His character sets the standards for all who participate in His creation.
- b. That there is a "built-in" sense of "necessity" in any and all "revelation" about God is without dispute.
- c. This "sense of necessity" is bound up in Paul's "the righteousness of The Law" phrase.
- 1) The word translated "the righteousness" boils down to one thing: The Law reveals what "ought" to be and what "ought not" to be.
- 2) "The Law" is the basis for all clear thinking about what the character of God imposes upon His creation so that it serves as the bottom line in all judgment.
- d. So, in all of Paul's "methodology" focus (chapters 6-8), there is one underlying current: God wants men to live His Life His Way simply because it is the only Life and Way.
- 2. The qualifiers.
- a. There is a vast host of people who will never fulfill God's intention: those who "walk according to the standard of flesh".
- b. There is only a select group of people who will fulfill God's intention: those who "walk according to the standard of Spirit".
- 3. The metaphor of "walking".
- a. This is rooted in 8:5 and its grammatical focus upon basic "being" issues.
- 1) There are those who "are" (exist as) "according to the standard of flesh".
- 2) There are also those who "are" (exist as) "according to the standard of Spirit".
- b. Then, this "being" reality issues forth in what is "done" as a consequence of what is "thought".
- 1) Those whose essence is "according to the standard of flesh" simply act like that is who they are.
- 2) Those whose essence is "according to the standard of Spirit" also simply act like that is who they are.
- 3) All of this is rooted in "being minded" a certain way (Note Paul's use of this same word in Romans 12:3).
- c. The problem: those who are fleshly can create false appearances and those who are spiritual can do so also.
- d. Paul's solution: "walk" in a particular way.
- 1) "Walking" involves two steps repeated over and over.
- 2) The metaphor serves us as we consider Paul's "two steps" of spiritual living.
- a) All walking involves the two basics: Love and Faith.
- b) Those who walk according to the standard of Spirit have addressed the issues of the "who" that is setting the agenda and the "how" of its pursuit.