Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 5 Study # 2
Thesis: God's attitude toward us is revealed by His greatest grace-based act and is continually reinforced by His on-going provisions.
Introduction: In our introductory study of this last paragraph in Paul's view of sanctification we considered the first two of his seven rapid-fire questions. The first of the seven has multiple indicators in Romans that what Paul is seeking is a firm conclusion to the facts he has presented. The second actually answers the first. What shall we say? God is for us and no opposition will be effective against us.
This evening we are going to look at the third of the seven.
July 23, 2017
- I. The Most Difficult of All Doctrines For "Faith".
- A. As we saw in our look at the questions in Romans that swirl around Paul's "What shall we say to these things?", there is a profound tendency in humanity to think of God in terms of adversarial opposition.
- 1. This tendency is actually more than a tendency as 8:7 declares.
- 2. This "more-than-a-tendency" is carried into our relationship with God as the "What shall we say to these things?" questions indicate: there is some kind of twistedness in God.
- 3. There is nothing more inhibiting to a life of faith than this lurking suggestion.
- B. This difficulty is logically erased by the doctrine of Christ crucified, but that does not necessarily mean "believers" will not have difficulties with it anyway.
- 1. The most significant of all "reasons" for the difficulties is the inability of human beings to grasp, and believe in, the disconnect between God's "love" for us and His willingness to subject us to significantly distressing circumstances.
- 2. Even the most significant "proof" of His love is commingled with the reality that the most beloved of God was subjected to the "worst" treatment imaginable.
- a. If Christ is not the most beloved of God, John 3:16 does not mean much.
- b. But if God is willing to subject His most beloved to The Death, what does that mean about Him and His professions of love?
- 3. The difficulty is resolved as soon as we accept and embrace the declaration that "all" things are forced by God into the service of the "good" of those who love Him.
- a. All things are not good.
- b. But all things are compelled to serve the good outcomes of the promises of God.
- II. The Most Powerful of All Doctrines For "Faith".
- A. Everywhere, and in all ways, Paul argues that God's willingness to subject His most beloved for our sakes is proof that He is "for" us.
- B. When considering our pitiable situation under The Sin and how to bring a good outcome out of it, God decided to not "spare" "His own Son".
- 1. To "spare" means "to set outside of the boundaries of repercussions.
- 2. The "His own Son" means "the most beloved of all of the sons of God.
- C. His decision was, rather, to deliver Him over to the demands of the only resolution possible.
- 1. The "but" is very strong.
- 2. The "deliverance over" put "His own Son" not "into" the boundaries, but at the very center of them.
- 3. The "deliverance over" was not only an effective solution, it was a massive overkill of effectiveness.
- III. The Question: How Will He Not Be Gracious In Providing All Things?
- A. The most expansive giving indicates a hyper-willingness in all lesser situations.
- B. But the "gracious provision" of "all things" cannot be allowed to be, again, twisted by our failure to grasp, and believe in, the disconnect between God's "love" and His willingness to subject us to painful realities.
- 1. As soon as people read "all things", their minds turn to pleasurable circumstances.
- 2. But the "all things" have to do with (as Peter said) "all things that pertain to Life and godliness".
- a. "Life" is a consequence of many inputs, but it must be seen as a consequence first of all.
- b. "Godliness" is the root of the inputs: godliness leads to the outcome of "Life".
- IV. Paul's Point: God is Committed to Our "Life" And He Will Not Permit Anything To Block Its Eventual Fulness.