Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2
October 3, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<256> Thesis: The death of Jesus actually solved all of the issues of death so that life is not only possible, it is inescapable. Introduction: In our study last week we zeroed in on Paul's claim that "we believe" that we shall live together with Christ. In that study we attempted to highlight the most difficult issue of "faith": the profound propensity of human beings to deceive themselves and to attempt to deceive others also. We pointed out that God has given us -- in the words of Jesus regarding moving mountains -- a guard against deception, whether it arises from within or without. Since God always responds to genuine faith with the production of the expected, it is impossible for someone to legitimately claim that he is "believing" if there is no divine response as expected. Thus we have a "deception-remover". However, from some comments that arose out of our study last week, it seems clear that I was not as clear as I had hoped to be. So, in a sentence or two, let's see if I can provide a bit more clarity: I am believing when four things exist. First, the content of the "belief" did not arise out of my own mind. I am never the originator of the word of God. Second, the expectation of the "belief" is genuine even when I am emotionally strung out with great fears. I really do "expect" God to act as I expect Him to act. Third, the actions I take are consistent with my expectation. I cannot live without taking action, and my actions are driven by my love/faith realities. And, fourth, God actually does what I expect. Every issue of "belief" has these four qualities and the absence of any of the four is indicative of some form of deception -- either self-deception or other-deception. Now, it's probably a self-delusion for me to think that I have put that baby to rest, but we are still going to proceed into Paul's argument in 6:9-10. In verse eight Paul says that if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall live together with Him also. So, in verses nine and ten we are going to see how it is that we "believe" this. He says our "believing" arises out of our "knowing" of something. This evening we are going to at least begin to look into this concept we are supposed to "know" so that we "believe".