by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2 September 4, 2016 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(029)Thesis: The gracious intention of God has always been a full deliverance and was never intended to be simply an escape from Justice.
Introduction: In our last look into Paul's words we noted that there is a critical problem of misapprehension in regard to "grace": "grace" was never intended to only be a means to deliverance from the Justice of God. The issues of "grace" are not focused upon the "problems" that are standing in the way of the ultimate goal; they are, rather, focused upon that ultimate goal.
This evening we are going to look into Paul's claim that "grace" sets the "believer" free so that...
I. A Return to the Bottom Line.
A. As we have said, all of Romans 6 is designed to set forth the proper response of the "believer" to the fact of "grace".
B. And Paul's "thanks be to God" (NASB) is intended to set the stage for the "believer's" realization that "grace" has far more in mind than simply "deliverance from Justice".
1. The word translated "thanks" is the New Testament word for "grace".
2. A very literal translation of the phrase is "Now grace to The God...".
a. It is a call to gratitude, but without demand (there is no verb).
b. It is, far more importantly, a summons to subscribe "grace" to its real origin: The God.
3. The utterance follows hard upon the heels of Paul's declaration that there is a great deal more to "Life" than deliverance from "Justice".
a. The large issue is "Life".
b. The lesser issues are the things involved in bringing it into a fully developed experience.
1) One of those "lesser issues" is the problem of the Major Barrier: the Justice of God.
2) The next most crucial of those "lesser issues" is the problem of the law of creation that compels a legitimate response of "effect" to all "causes".
3) Thus, for "Life" to be one's experience, all of the lesser issues have to be included in the problem of bringing "Life" into experience.
c. Paul's summons to ascribe "grace" to "The God" is a redundant, but necessary, return to the bottommost consideration.
C. Thus, we have to conclude that "Life" will not be and can not be a developed experience unless one keeps "grace" clearly in view.
1. Keeping "grace" clearly in view means taking Jeremiah 51:17 seriously: "All men are stupid..." (NASB).
2. But keeping "grace" clearly in view also means taking "grace" seriously as to its most fundamental issue: God does for us what He requires of us when we trust Him.
II. The Illustration.
A. "Grace" first addressed the actual status of humanity: "...you were slaves to The Sin...".
B. Then "grace" addressed the procedural issues of the process of "deliverance by the hand of God".
1. The are two "forms of doctrine" involved.
a. The issue of "form" is the issue of the "whence" of the doctrine [a "form" is the impression made by a stamp; thus, the "stamp" is the original and the "form" is the consequence].
b. The original "form" is the creation by God of a universe of a myriads of details and processes, with the emphasis upon God's initiative and goodness.
c. The consequent distortion of that "form" is the creation by "The Spirit of The Disbelief" of a shadow creation underwritten by the "notion" that creatures have "free will".
2. There is one "response" issue involved.
a. Everywhere, the issue (translated "obey") is "yielding" to the impact of a host of values/ beliefs that are compounded as an avalanche designed to sweep the "hearer" into its path.
b. Thus, the issue is not a matter of "free will"; it is a matter of "believing", i.e., "yielding" to the marshaled evidence.
3. There is one "arena" involved.
a. Paul is not interested in the mental aspect at this point; the mind simply applies thought to a problem.
b. Paul is fundamentally interested in the "values" that will prejudice the mind to yield to its insistence: the heart.
c. This is the crux of "grace".
1) The word of God describes this "heart" as "deceitful and desperately wicked".
2) The word of God declares that the only thing that will transform a fallen man is the generation of a "new heart" by God in the man.
3) The only way to describe this intention and action by God is to root it in "grace": His action upon "stupid" men.
4. There are two "delivery systems" involved.
a. In the shadow creation, the "delivery system" is through "The Sin" and its obvious arguments of "setting" (surrounding realities).
b. In the original creation, the "delivery system" is "grace empowered deliverers" called elsewhere "preachers of the Gospel" [Note Romans 10:14].
5. There is a promised "result" involved.
a. The "problem" is being a slave of The Sin in a cause/effect universe.
b. The "promise" is a transformative "slavery" to The Righteousness in that universe.
6. There is one major issue involved.
a. The verb in 6:18 translated "became" (NASB) is a passive voice verb.
b. This "passive" retains the focus upon "grace to God".
III. The Bottom Line.
A. God intends a fully developed "salvation" that moves through Justice and Creation Reality to the experience of "The Joy of Life".
B. The Romans are to rely upon what God has already done as they focus upon what to expect in the future.
1. He has already moved them from the bondage to The Sin into the bondage to The Righteousness.
2. Now He is calling for "further yielding" consistent with "the form of doctrine delivered".