Chapter # 11 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1
August 11, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

<518> Thesis: For faith to survive, "believers" have to keep the big picture in mind. Introduction: In Matthew 24:12 Jesus declared a principle that explains why living by faith is, for the most part, simply not done these days: "...because iniquity shall abound, the love of the many shall wax cold." This has always been a problem. It is at the heart of Paul's argument in Romans 9-11. Perhaps the largest theme of this part of Paul's letter is whether God has any integrity. It was first raised in 9:6 by Paul's denial of the notion that God's words have fallen to the ground because of the indisputable fact that those who were known as Israelites were, for the most part, scandalous rebels in the face of the enormous blessing of God. All of the rest of chapter nine was his rationale for why God's words never have, and never will, fail to prove to be true to the last detail (jot and tittle). Then all of chapter ten was written to show how the words of God have been twisted by these scandalous rebels without any effect upon God's underlying Plan and on the heels of that entire presentation, the first verse of chapter eleven again raised this issue: Has God sacrificed His integrity because of Israel's rebellion? Now, in 11:11 the issue is raised again. Paul again asks whether God's words regarding Israel will prove to be false because of Israel's persistent ungodliness. And, again, his answer is an adamant denial that is followed by his argument that not only will His words prove to be true, He will actually use the scandalous rebellion to implement the very processes that will quell it. This evening we are going to look again at the larger picture because faith cannot survive in the trenches if "believers" lose sight of the overall Plan.