Chapter # 11 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
July 28, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

<514> Thesis: The "conclusion" to "election by grace" is that the remnant obtain the blessing of God. Introduction: Last week I spent our study time attempting to clarify "grace" by considering what Paul meant by "works". My arguments were several. First, I argued that "works" is a summary word in Paul's vocabulary that points to a specific doctrine. Second, I argued that the specific doctrine is that God can be put under Justice so that He must respond to the actions of others "in kind". Third, I argued that it is the intent to handle the fears of insecurity by attempting to force God to be "fair" that colors the doctrine of "works" and makes it evil and absolutely ineffectual. The bottom line is found here: any creature that attempts to "force" God in any way is exalting his/her ignorance over His omniscience and his/her selfishness over His love. Thus, I concluded that "Grace" is an absolute freedom in God to ignore Justice in favor of Mercy so that the eternal benefit of others can be achieved. Now, this evening we are going to move a step or two beyond the "works/grace" doctrines to the issue of how they work out in human experience. This is the essence of Paul's opening question in 11:7. "What then?" asks for a conclusion and we are going to look at the one Paul gave.