Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 7
March 7, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<202> Thesis: Hope does not lead to shame. Introduction: In our study last week we saw that there is a specific "process" of hope. It is initiated by the vicarious work of Christ and is brought to fulness by the "co-laboring" of the believer and the Holy Spirit. The entrance into the Kingdom of God by a new birth is all about "faith in Jesus as the vicarious Laborer" and the inheritance in that Kingdom by the living out of the new life is all about "faith in the Holy Spirit as the Co-laborer with us." The process of developing a cooperative attitude toward the Spirit, Paul claims, is rooted in "tribulations". Apparently, the primary method of spiritual maturity is being compelled by the pressures we face to address the questions of just what is really important. As we are "pushed by the pressures", we begin to jettison the things of lesser importance so that we may retain the things of greater importance. The greatest danger in this process is the danger of hanging on to the wrong things. The purpose of the pressures is to compel us to turn loose of the "lesser loves" so that we may retain a grip on the "greater loves". Perhaps the best illustration of this process is the one from which the word "jettison" comes: the situation in which we are forced by dire circumstances to deliberately "throw overboard" everything that will contribute to our destruction. There is one issue that stands as the determinative factor: our enduring survival (this is the "root" love). And, there is one question that stands as the determinative mechanism: our confidence in The Means of our survival. Therefore, Paul, having declared the method of God for our survival, now declares the commitment of God to our survival. So, this evening, we are going to at least begin to address this issue of God's commitment to our survival.