Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 6
November 20, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<360> Thesis: God subjected His creation to vanity to teach the vanity of vanity. Introduction: In our studies of Romans 8 we have been focused upon Paul's claim that we ought to live by the Spirit in the context of a world that is living in the flesh. That this will result in varying levels of unpleasant consequences goes without saying. That humanity, including "believers", resists the notion of deliberately doing things that will make their experience unpleasant also goes without saying. This is the difference between the Love of God and the self-centeredness of man. But, Paul insists that we ought to go against the flow and live by the Spirit anyway by understanding that the unpleasantness is temporary and has purpose behind it. Part of the purpose behind it is the participation in the glory that is downline from it. Eternity is far longer than time and it makes far greater sense to seek the glory of God for all eternity than it does to briefly settle into the pleasantness of time. Thus, Paul declares two things: that the glory that is coming is off the chart in comparison to the unpleasantness of the present; and that we need to be committed to accepting the suffering instead of resisting it. This evening (in 8:20) we come to another aspect of Paul's teaching. This detail is that God deliberately acted unilaterally to subject His creation to futility for a season. Thus, we want to ask three questions: What does it mean to "subject something to futility"? Why did God subject creation to futility? And, why did God act unilaterally?