Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 10
December 18, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<368> Thesis: Salvation is "by" hope. Introduction: When we have to deal with things we do not want to have messing with our experience, the attitude we take is critical. We have seen in our study so far that "groaning" is an inescapable aspect of experience in a fallen world. No one can do anything to make this reality "go away". Though an enormous amount of energy and resources are expended in efforts to make things "go away"; and though that energy often does have a desirable impact; it is yet true that no sooner does one fire come under control than another one breaks out. Thus, as regenerated believers, we must have some way of accepting this reality that does not consist of either anger or despair. There are at least two factors that enter into the picture at this point. One is God. He is always at the center of "command and control" in the lives of every single one of His creatures; so, nothing happens without either His instigation or His permission. Both of these issues -- instigation and permission -- are crucial considerations. But, there is also at least a second factor that has to also be considered: the attitude we take under the reality of His instigation/permission. It is this issue -- the attitude we take -- that concerns Paul the most in Romans 8. There is, after all, nothing that anyone of the creatures of God can do about the reality of God's centrality in command and control. This is an immutable "given" in the creation of a Creator. Therefore, we have to deal with the thing(s) that we can do something about. And, ultimately, that boils down to "the attitude we take". So, this evening we are going to look into Paul's declaration regarding "salvation by hope" so that we may make any corrections that we may need to make to handle the "groaning" in legitimate ways.