Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 5 Study # 7
June 17, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<412> Thesis: Victory is only through Christ. Introduction: We have been looking into the question of "Who can be against us if God is for us?" and we have seen that the issue that has surfaced the question is the unjust treatment of believers by this world and those who wield power in it. In our study last time we considered the reality that God permits those who trust in Him to be accounted as sheep for the slaughter. This flies in the face of almost everyone's concept of "love". Most folks think that if you treat a person as a sheep whose destiny is the slaughter house you do not "love" him/her. And, in this case, most folks are correct. It is not "love" to kill someone. But, most folks also run that line out a bit further and say that if you have the power to stop someone from killing someone, you are not "loving" if you do not use your power to do so. And, say they, since God is omnipotent and could stop any act of evil if He decided to, He must not be loving to permit it. By this "logic" the entire Gospel is destroyed and the answer to the major question of our context is another question, "What does it matter if God is for us if He lets us be treated like sheep headed to slaughter?" There are three facts which confront this "logic" and make it "illogic". The first fact is this: Love becomes a complex issue as soon as there are multiple objects in view. The second fact is this: none of the higher qualities of "Love" can be developed in undeveloped "lovers" if the occasions for them are disallowed. The permission of sin is the only setting in which the host of the higher qualities of Love can even be brought to light, let alone "developed" in creatures (selflessness, forgiveness, sacrifice, extreme loyalty, etc.). Jesus said there is no greater love than the laying down of one's life for his friends [an act that would never be necessary in a sinless setting] (John 15:13) and Paul qualified that in Romans 5:8 where he let us know that God's "friendship" list includes His enemies/sinners. And the third fact is this: it is only the unloving who complain about the cost of love. However, even in the love of God, the permission of evil has its boundaries. It is never allowed to move to the level of final destruction. It is never presented as a permanent feature in the plans of God for those who embrace the principles of Love. And it is never allowed to succeed in any real sense of that term. The wages of sin are always death and God has decreed the absolute subversion of its intentions. This evening we come in our study to this "particular": Evil is never allowed to succeed in any real sense. Paul's way of saying that is this: "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conqueror through Him that loved us."