Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 6
June 29, 2014
:The Father's goal is "an abundant entrance" into His Kingdom and His Glory.
:We have spent a significant amount of time looking at Paul's focus upon the importance of the behavior of the messenger in respect to the impact that the message makes upon those who hear it. In its larger context, this focus is challenging because there are many people who come to faith because the message was delivered to them without an "on-hand" human messenger. On the one hand, it seems apparent that Paul's focus creates a strong argument for the conclusion that "enduring, vital, hope" is somewhat dependent upon a legitimate demonstration by the messenger of the legitimacy of the message. But on the other hand, especially in our time frame, the rather impersonal spread of the truth of the Hope makes one wonder if Paul's focus is out of focus. What shall we say to these realities? Is the "personal demonstration" necessary
, or is "Hope" really possible without it?
The answer seems to be that Paul's teaching is "proverbial" but it does not, in any way, set up any kind of hindrance to the grace of God. What I mean is this: it is "typical" (proverbial) for human beings to find stability in "Hope" by means of the positive impact of the examples of godly others; but, God never actually, finally, rests the success of His plans upon anyone other than Himself. God's method of operation is established as rooted in the Promise/Faith methodology by Galatians and, because His integrity is at stake as the One Who made the Promise and, therefore, must be the One Whose commitments bring it to fruition, in any kind of "final" sense God is One-on-one with every one of His children. If every other person that I know is a bad example of "faith" and, thus, a destroyer of "hope", my quality of experience in respect to the Promise remains as solid and satisfying as the One Who made the Promise can make it for me as I trust Him.
This evening we are going to look into the "objective" of God as the Father Who is the actual reality behind every "father" who "summons", "consoles", and "bears witness" in regard to his children. This is crucial because it has to do with "final outcomes" and the bottom line is that God is in the present business of personally taking up the slack for us in regard to our "typical" need for other human beings who regularly drop the ball as clear examples for others.
Paul says that God is calling us "into His own Kingdom and Glory". What does that mean?
- I. At the "T"heological Level, God is Calling Us.
- A. The present tense of the participle indicates that this activity is pretty much a "constant": God is calling us.
- 1. This validates my claim that when the "proverbial" truth breaks down, God, in grace, steps up His immediate involvement to take up the slack.
- 2. God is calling.
- a. He may use human instruments, and He may not.
- b. He may use current circumstances, and He may not.
- c. "Proverbs" exist because God does typically use both human instruments and current circumstances, but "proverbs" are "proverbs", not definitions of the whole of God's work.
- B. The "calling" is the verbal idea at the root of the Gospel itself ( kalew is the root of parakalew ).
- II. At the Anthropological Level, We Are to "Walk Worthily".
- A. The issues of a "worthy walk" are complicated at the level of "the human participation" level.
- 1. It should go without saying that a "summons" requires a response and cannot exist without one, even if it is rejection.
- 2. The deeper question is "What, precisely, does God want me to do with His on-going calling?"
- B. This brings us to the contextual definition of a "worthy walk".
- 1. First, the word "worthy" simply means something that actually "fits" the insistence upon a correspondence between the inner reality and the outer expression.
- 2. Then, "worthiness" has several elements to it in this text.
- a. First, the issue of "worthiness" must begin with what God is doing: calling requires one bottom line response.
- 1) At the bottom line, any "summons" requires either "faith" or "rejection".
- 2) Thus, "worthiness" starts with "believing"; no other response is "worthy" of the calling.
- b. Second, the issue of "worthiness" is addressed by the preceding activities of the "father".
- 1) The only "worthy" response to a "summons" is to "believe" and "move" over to the side of the One calling.
- 2) The only "worthy" response to "consolation" is to "believe" the God of all comfort so that His involvement begins to heal the hole in the soul.
- 3) The only "worthy" response to "bearing witness" is to "embrace" the testimony as a decision-guiding truth.
- c. Third, the issue of "worthiness" is set within the context of the divine objective.
- 1) God's "summons" is to take an active preparatory part in His own Kingdom.
- a) The Kingdom is future but all preparation for it is present.
- b) Peter caught the essence of this divine objective in 2 Peter 1:11.
- c) At stake is the relative participation that one can take in the Kingdom as an outcome of the evaluation given at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
- d) The only "worthy" way to walk in light of the coming Kingdom is to live as desiring to serve God in a significant way for all of eternity.
- 2) God's "summons" is to take an active participatory part in His own Glory.
- a) The essence of "Life" is being able to experience what it means to possess the character of God.
- b) The infinity of God automatically means that this is a rather large sliding scale of possibility, but a "worthy" walk seeks to have the character of God developed in us so that we can experience His Glory forever.