Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
June 26, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<318> Thesis: Walking according to the Spirit only involves two issues: who is valuable and what has God said about pursuing that value? Introduction: When we last met we did a kind of overview of God's purpose for redemption. Romans 8:4 says that God addressed our need for redemption so that the righteousness of the Law could be fulfilled in us. It is notable that he did not say that God has redeemed us so that we can ignore the issues of our behavior. It is also notable that in 8:6 he clearly tells us that if we do ignore God's purpose in redemption, we will die. This introduces a serious "tension" into our thinking, for if we respond to the "statement" as a "threat", in fear, we are in grave danger of twisting the Truth into the Lie because our "motivation" for responding is self-interest (the core issue of Sin). But, on the other hand, if we dismiss the "warning" as a non-issue we make Paul's mention of it useless. I believe the resolution of this tension exists in 1 Corinthians 13:11: there is a difference between childishness and maturity. Children are absolutely committed to getting their way unless the consequences are more than they want to experience and fear is the only motivation that will address that. But, if one ever grows up, loving God becomes more "motivational" than fearing Him and it purifies us. So, God, being a realist and Paul, being His apostle, both deal with people in terms of the continuum that exists between absolute fear and perfect love. Romans 8 was not written to "perfected saints"; it was written to people on the continuum. Therefore, as we look into Paul's explanation of God's purpose in redemption, we do so as "people on the way" who need both the attraction of Life and the fear of Death. This evening we are going to look into how God's purpose for redemption is achieved within this context of imperfect people.