Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 4 Study # 3
August 2, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<146> Thesis: One of the most crucial Theological concepts is that of Yahweh's intention to save as a basic reflection of His character. Introduction: Last week we considered the fundamental distinction that exists between God's principle of "works" and His principle of "faith". We saw that as opposing principles, the most crucial fact is that "boasting", which has its essential roots in the principle of "works", not only must be eliminated (if Sin is to be defeated), but is eliminated by the principle of "faith". This means that we have to understand how faith eliminates boasting. The only way it can is by destroying the fundamental principle of "works": human capacity to act in a way that satisfies God. If a human being has the personal ability to act in a way that satisfies God, and he exercises it, there is no escape from the fact that, having so accomplished his task, that human being can "boast" of what he has gained in the eyes of God. Boasting simply cannot be eliminated as long as human beings can do what is required of them. Just two verses into his next paragraph, Paul pointedly makes this observation (4:2). Therefore, the principle of faith simply must rest upon a fundamental position that men do not have the capacity to do what is required of them by God. And, it does not matter what that "requirement" might be, boasting will follow on the heels of human accomplishment. The problem most people have is that they take "faith" as a "more simple requirement" than the complex requirements of the Law and think that they are capable of "at least one personal act of faith". Then they live arrogantly as though their "free will choice" of "believing" has made them superior to those who reject Christ. And the arrogance proves the falseness of their understanding. As long as "boasting" exists, misunderstanding of both "Law" and "faith" exists. So, this evening we are going to move into Paul's next major issue: since salvation is a major divine objective as a reflection of a major theological focus on the person of God, to whom is the offer made by God?