Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 4
August 21, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<334> Thesis: To live, one must put to death the established practices of the flesh. Introduction: Last week we looked at Paul's introduction of a sense of "obligation" into the issues regarding the question of how the Holy Spirit produces the kind of motivation in us to allow Him to produce the character of Christ in us and the actions of Christ through us. We saw that this sense of obligation rests fundamentally upon the twin realities of Life and Death. There is no motivation where there is no desire. If one does not care if he exists in the sphere of Death, or if he does not desire to exist in the sphere of Life, there will be no production of motivation by the Spirit. One of the issues that this "sense of obligation" raises is the question of how it relates to the grace of God. Because "grace" has been significantly twisted from its reality by those who have dominated the theological scene for centuries, many have come to the conclusion that grace is merely a divine "attitude" of extraordinary tolerance wherein there is no accountability. Accountability has been assigned to the domain of "Law" and dismissed. The gracious God has been turned into a benign grandfather who dotes on his grandchildren regardless of whether they are developing into godly children or not. This evening we are going to look into Paul's very clear statement of what it takes to exist in the sphere of Life. Without any lack of clarity, at least in terms of the larger picture, Paul says that we must put to death the deeds of the body if we wish to live.