Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 8
June 20, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<226> Thesis: "Reigning in Life" is a Love/Faith reality that has little to do with external circumstances. Introduction: In our last study we made the claim that Paul's statement in Romans 5:17 was fundamentally "futuristic". The "reign" of Death had a very small beginning that gradually spread like leaven (or gangrene) throughout man's internal and external experience. In similar manner, the "reign" of Life has a small beginning that gradually spreads throughout the believer's internal and external experience. However, there is this huge difference: the reign of Death began with Adam and has been taking hold of more and more of human experience as time has gone by, but the reign of Life begins individually with each believer and must face the juggernaut of Death while attempting to expand its dominion within the life of each believer. When we look at Scripture and history, the track record is enormously "cautionary": the Scriptures and history reveal that most people do not comprehensively succeed. The plain truth is that our existence in this world is extraordinarily dangerous and only those who "fight" the "fight of faith" actually make the kind of progress that ends up producing a godly saint. This "plain truth" is not supposed to discourage us; it is supposed to prepare us for the "fight" and to give us honest expectations. This evening I want to return to the issues that are involved in Paul's promise that those who remain on the receiving end of the abundance of grace and of the free gift of righteousness "shall reign in life". It is true that the promise is fundamentally "futuristic"; but it is also true that one can at least partially enter into the essence of the promise now.