Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
July 1, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<416> Thesis: We must not allow any perception of any kind to persuade us to not embrace the words of God . Introduction: Last week we took our final look at Paul's argument at the end of Romans 8. In that study we saw that Paul took great pains to make absolutely sure that, no matter how you looked at it, the separation of the elect of God from His love is impossible. He used six different "categories" of ways to look at the issue and denied the possibility of a breach between the love of God and His elect in each of the six. This evening we are going to "shift gears" as we move into Romans 9 because Paul "shifted gears". The shift is rather remarkable and, though reasonable, quite beyond our grasp in its key point. The remarkable factor is this: Paul no sooner finished expressing one of the most triumphal statements in the Bible than he immediately turned to an expression of one of the most painful realities in the world: great heaviness and continual sorrow. The mood shift is so profound that it almost gives us whiplash just trying to keep up with it. The "beyond our grasp" factor is this: a love so profound that it is willing to accept eternal condemnation on the behalf of another. The mood shift signals a shift in topics and the declaration of such love signals some deep water coming. So, as we shift with Paul and are set up to anticipate some profoundly difficult issues, we need to be careful to grasp the meaning of his words as we move with him.