Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4
November 06, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<356> Thesis: The expectation of creation is that a true kingdom of righteous love will come to pass. Introduction: Last week we saw that we are destined for a participation in some form of the extension of Messiah's post-resurrection experience. Since all "experience" by "created beings" is, by definition, a great deal less than what is available (imagine a fresh water ocean the size of the Pacific being available for the thirst of an individual human being), we can only understand that Paul's declaration of our future as joint-heirs with Christ is "relative". But, Paul's declaration is not so much a matter of relativity of experience as it is a matter of relativity of value. His point in Romans 8:17-18 is that our inheritance is rooted in the "sameness" of our experience in comparison to Christ's. To the degree that we "suffer" as He did, we shall participate in what happened to Him afterwards as determined by the Father. Therefore, having made this declaration, we have to understand the reason for it: Paul's desire to get his fellow believers to embrace a walk in the Light that is unintimidated by what can, and often does, happen to those who do that in this present world (illustration from Everyman's Battle of the man who lied to his wife about how he wrecked his car). If we buy into Paul's declaration that we can, and will, inherit together with Christ according to the measure of our loyalty to His agenda, we shall so inherit. But, the question is this: do I dare buy into Paul's declaration? How do we know that it is true? It is this question to which we turn this evening. The answer has to do with what Paul declares is a "universal" expectation.