Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
February 21, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<198> Thesis: Trials are always of our "faith" and they always bring its true character to light. Introduction: In our last study, we began to deal with Paul's claim that we "exult" in the experiences of the pressures of living in this world while not being of this world. We considered that those pressures are an integral aspect of God's development of us for the position of service in His Kingdom that He has always had in mind for us. That position is brought up in his phrase "we exult in hope of the glory of God" and His process is identified as subjecting us to the pressures of tribulations. We made note of two major facts: first, that in the world God has created, there is no such thing as "growth into a larger capacity for experience" apart from the subjection to stress; and, second, that in the salvation God has provided, there is a clear line of demarcation between those things that are accomplished "vicariously" and those things which will not be accomplished unless there is a "cooperative effort". In order for us to be "justified by faith apart from works", Jesus had to act "vicariously" on our behalf to do what none of us could do. But, by the same token, for us to "inherit in the Kingdom", we must enter into a "cooperative effort" with the Spirit of Christ within us in which we actively trust Him to produce His fruit through us. The "active trust" is the root of our "cooperation" with Him as "co-laborers together with Christ". Now, this evening, we are going to pursue the fundamental issue that is caught in Paul's claim that "we exult ... by knowing". We are going to apply ourselves to "learning" what we are supposed to "know". And, the particular issue upon which we are going to focus our attention is the one that is given in the claim that "tribulation brings about perseverance". In order to understand this a bit better, we need to understand the issues of "tribulation" and "perseverance".