by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 August 7, 2016 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(023)Thesis: Sooner or later, one's living boils down to an active "faith".
Introduction: In our last study we pointed out that this paragraph begins with an exhortation to refuse to allow The Sin to be a "king" within the context of our "mortal" bodies and ends with a promise that "Sin" shall not succeed as a "lord" over us. The fulfillment of the exhortation is rooted in the "hupakouo" concept in Paul's theology of "hearing; reasoning; concluding; and acting". The fulfillment of the promise is rooted in Paul's concept of "the grace of God".
This evening we are going to consider where the "hupakouo" concept takes us in terms of its final element: taking action.
I. The Exhortation's Exhortation.
A. In order for the believers to stop permitting The Sin to act as a king in their mortal bodies, they have to come to grips with all four of the aspects of biblical "faith".
1. Clearly, there is the most fundamental element: listening to actual words.
2. Just as clearly, there are few situations of "words" that do not contain contradictory words so that reasoning is required.
3. Then, there is the fact that simply drawing academic conclusions will not carry the day; one must actually yield to what has been made obvious by the reasoning.
4. And, finally, there can be no genuine "faith" that does not produce a commensurate response.
B. But, the issue of the actual nature of the "commensurate response" has always been hotly contested.
1. Almost to a man, the human race runs from concept to response too quickly.
a. It is generally found in the declaration that "a true believer would never...".
b. This is the root of much flawed theology and a great deal of self-righteous condemnation of those who actually do the action involved in the declaration ("a true believer would never...").
2. The Scriptures do not support the extensive link between "faith" and "behaviors" as though one can believe a singular aspect of "Truth" and then act across the board of life as if that singular truth would automatically govern the plethora of behaviors that surface every day.
a. First, "faith" in a single "fact" is never comprehensive in terms of the "believer's" ability to see how that "fact" addresses all of the details of living.
b. Second, the details of living are innumerable in their variety and no one can understand all of them as it relates to "which fact to believe".
c. Third, the entire issue of "faith" controlling behavior is beyond human capacity; one cannot force him/her self to believe what he/she does not believe: in other words, "faith" is a result of divine grace operating in the moment.
3. Thus, we come to Paul's second exhortation as a subset of his first one.
a. In order to stop The Sin from exercising the dominion of a "king" over the body, one must come to grips with just how that is to be done.
b. Paul's assumption is that it is done by taking the "presentation" issue of 6:13.
II. The Meaning of the Presentation.
A. Paul clearly believed that The Sin is set up for defeat by one factor: the "believer" has a real say-so over what his/her body members will do.
1. No one, apparently, does anything without a "presentation" of the members of the body to the controlling spirit that is involved.
2. The primary issue of the presentation involves an active "object" in that presentation.
a. The Sin demands the right of "king" in this issue.
b. The God summons us to the "rationality" of this "demand": it is irrational.
3. The reality is that neither The Sin, nor The God, has the prerogative of dominating the members of the body without the "permission" involved in the presentation.
a. The Sin has no prerogatives except those allowed by The God.
b. The God has set a Self-limitation at the boundaries of "Love".
B. But he also clearly believed that The Presentation was precise and specific and that much would automatically flow out of it.
1. Once "permission" is granted, much flows.
2. And "permissions" tend to follow "permissions".
C. At heart, however, it this one truth: The Presentation is no more, or less, than that.
1. This means that the actual issue is not "what flows".
2. The actual issue is "the presentation" itself.
a. There is an assumption that The Sin has an edge in Adamic "presentation", but it is only an edge rooted in "permissions leading to permissions"; it is not a suspension of the basic reality of the necessity of permission.
b. There is also an assumption that the contradiction of the earlier presentation must be countered by a deliberate presentation of the whole to The God and then the parts.
1) This foundation is rooted in a sense of possibility of victory.
2) The foundation is rooted in the reality of our unity with Christ as the particular level of "being alive from the dead".
3. The point is this: one does not have to struggle with the individual actions that will be taken, one only has to "present" and continue "presenting".
a. Philippians is clear: God works the willing and doing within those who "present" themselves to Him.
b. Our greatest hindrance is "scenario building" and we must set that aside.