Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 4 Study # 9
March 11, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<388> Thesis: Predestination is an inescapable fact upon which we build our lives. Introduction: Romans 8 is all about Paul's attempt to get his readers to maintain a legitimate "Love/Faith" relationship with God in the face of a militant opposition designed to get them to live sinfully in angry rebellion against God. In this conflict, the opposition uses pain/pleasure, fear/security, and humiliation/exaltation as its instruments of "persuasion" while God uses the declaration of Truth as His instrument of "persuasion". The opposition counts on ignorance; God gives revelation. In God's methodology of using Truth to undergird "persuasion", the issues of Love/Faith are always subject to the combination of increasing deceptiveness by the adversaries because our grasp of the Truth is partial, and often tentative. Therefore, there has to be, at some point, a definitive "grounding" of our "Love for God" in the character and actions of the God Whom we "love". It is the desire to "definitively ground" our love for God that moved Paul to deal with the most basic of the actions of God so that we might better appreciate the character that drove those actions. In his dealings with these most basic actions, Paul addressed a most fundamental issue: the "purpose" that drove the actions. We have spent two weeks looking, in one way or another, at the fact that nothing is done by God or men that does not have a "purpose" behind it. When the objections begin to arise regarding predestination and particular election, the first question that must be addressed is this: Who has the prerogative of determining the driving purpose? Since it cannot be supposed that one can simply eliminate purpose, the question must be answered. There are only three possible answers: God; some other, necessarily lesser, being; or "I". No issues of Love or Faith can be addressed until this answer is given. For Paul, God's action in Christ (5:8), combined with the essential ignorance of all "others" and the inherent sinfulness of all "men", gives as clear an answer as it is possible to give: God, by dent of creation and redemption, has every rational right to not only set and pursue a "purpose", but to also expect His redeemed ones to gladly and quickly yield to it. So this evening we are going to move one step further into Paul's argument that God ought to be given our loyal love and joyful confidence. In the details of that argument we come to what Paul said about predestination.