Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
May 3, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<122> Thesis: Apart from the Gospel, all of humanity is enslaved by Sin. Introduction: Last week we took on a fairly large "chunk" of Paul's argument in Romans 2:17-3:8. We saw that the overall issue that is involved is the theological reality that God uses the sins of men to accomplish His objectives. There are two dangers involved in this reality. The first is that men might begin to think that there is something unjust about God if He actually does that. The second is that men might begin to think lightly of their sins if God is willing to use them to accomplish His will. Neither of these dangerous notions is not dangerous. If my grasp of God's character, in terms of Justice, begins to disintegrate, my willingness to respond to Him will disintegrate also. This is why one of the greatest feats the Adversary has ever dreamed up and accomplished has been to persuade creatures that they have the right to decide if God is fair or not. If it ever gets into a person's head that he has the right to decide that he will respond to God only if God meets his criteria, it is almost all over but the eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is a masterful and cunning delusion for creatures to embrace the idea that they have a right to qualify their relationship to God. On the other hand, if my thinking runs to the other error -- that God's use of my sins for His purposes means my sins aren't all that bad and, in fact, are actually a divine good -- it will immediately transpire that I will no longer have any dread feelings about my guilt. Instead of being driven by guilt to search for relief from my sins, I will become incredibly comfortable doing all manner of things the Bible is not the least bit unclear about. So, this evening we are going to move a step further into Paul's material, but, because we covered a good bit of stuff last week, we can easily "justify" a bit of "review".