Are you sure? Sure, I'm sure!
Previous articleBack to Table of ContentsNext article

FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 1

Romans 1:1-7 (9)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 9
March 16, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

(016)

Thesis:Believers, as the Beloved of God, are destined to be the Lovers of God.

Introduction:In our last study, we considered the significance of the believers in Rome being The Beloved of God. We considered several of the issues involved in being loved by God, including why it is that many of those loved by God end up being condemned by Him to the eternal flames. The short answer to this 'oft-used' question is not what most of us fall back on: it is not man's "free moral agency". Man hasn't been "free" to choose his course since Genesis 3. Rather, the biblical answer is that love requires "faith" in order for it to accomplish its objectives. In other words, if a person, though loved by God, rejects the claim that God loves him/her, the love of God for him/her cannot accomplish its objective of turning him/her from selfishness to selflessness. If this happens, the "beloved" will be rejected by God just as Satan and his followers have been. The issue here is not a matter of man turning himself from his overweening love for himself to a considerate love for others. Rather, the issue here is a matter of man's embrace of the true reality that he is loved by God. This is not a matter of "will". It is a matter of "conviction". Our "wills" do not determine our "convictions"; rather, our "convictions" determine our "wills". The point of revelation is not "choice", but "belief". God reveals Truth so that we can understand it and then believe it. That God loves us is beyond question as to the reality. Unhappily, it is not beyond question as to the mental hoops through which we jump. This is the reason that Paul invariably fell back upon the significance of our being The Called. For Paul, there are the beloved of God and there are the called of God and the two, though they overlap in terms of what is included, are not the same. All are beloved; some are called. This raises this huge question: if God loves "all", does that not mean that He must call "all"? How can God love and not call?

(return to the top of the article)

Previous articleBack to Table of ContentsNext article
This is article #017.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.