Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 4 Study # 7
June 18, 2017
Humble, Texas
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<099> Thesis:   God is working because He has justified and glorified those whom He has called and is calling. Introduction:   Giving lip service to "truth" is not the same thing as believing "truth". The Scriptures argue that "faith" is revealed by actions taken, at least on the negative side of the issue. What I am calling the negative side is that reality wherein a claim to "faith" is denied by the refusal to take the actions that "faith in truth" compel. This is John's argument in 1 John 4:20 where he denies the lip service because the actions are contradictory to it. The positive side is that reality wherein actions commensurate with "faith" actually do take place. However, since many "beliefs" can produce the same overt actions, it is often impossible to tell if it is a legitimate "faith" that is producing what is seen. So, we can deny the lip service given by refusing to take the actions that faith always motivates, but we cannot establish the lip service as faith by actions taken except in rather extreme cases. James argues that Abraham's faith was validated by his sacrifice of Isaac. This is a case of validation on the positive side, but it is used because it is about as extreme a situation as can be imagined. In our studies of Romans 8:26-30 we have seen that Paul puts forth the claim that God is actively working in history to force "all things" into the service of His goal of producing "good" for His people. Because his category is "all" things, this becomes a major "faith" issue in regard to whether, or not, in any particular circumstance, a child of God actually "believes" Romans 8:28. And, because Paul knows that it is relatively easy to give lip service to this claim, particularly in the "good" times, he decides to form a foundation for faith that establishes the truth of his claim so that his readers can grow into that faith. He does this by appealing to certain things that God did in the past so that the present can be lived in the reality of a confidence that God is actively working on our behalf for our good. We have already considered the issues of his "knowing" beforehand, his "predetermination" beforehand, and his "calling" beforehand. This evening we are going to look at the last two aspects of God's prior action: He "justified" those He "called" and He "glorified" those He "justified".