Chapter # 11 Paragraph # 5 Study # 5
October 6, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

<534> Thesis: God has revealed a "Large Plan" with multiple outcomes from one fundamental root. Introduction: Last week we attempted to tackle Paul's doctrine of pruning in the light of his doctrine of sovereign election. We pointed out that he was the one who declared that he had become persuaded that "nothing could separate the predestinated, called, justified, glorified (Romans 8:30), elect (8:33) from the love of God" and that it was he who warned his readers in our current text that "God will not spare thee" any more than He spared the natural branches who opted for unbelief. They, he said, were broken off and so shall all be who "do not continue in His goodness". Thus, it is the words of the apostle that, when combined with our ignorance of his understanding of God, that create a significant tension for human beings who give a little attention to God and His ways. In our study I attempted to show that Paul's concept of "faith" is a concept of a continuum that has a beginning, a period of development, a point of solidification that results in justification/glorification, and an end in the final stage of the Kingdom of God. I also attempted to argue that since grafting into the tree occurs at the point of "faith", it occurs before the point of solidification and, thus, is not an irreversible act because, until the point of solidification, "faith" can be overturned (2 Timothy 2:18). By these two arguments, I attempted to show how "the faith of the elect" (Titus 1:1), against whom no charge can stand (Romans 8:33), is not the faith of those who use their grafting into the tree as a basis for boasting and highmindedness. Such a "faith" is actually a departure from the goodness of God and results in a reversal of the grafting. Now we are set to consider another of Paul's concepts: that of "participating in the root of the fatness of the olive."