by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3 January 24, 2015 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(049)Thesis: God's call is unto the acquisition of glory from our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Introduction: In our look at this short paragraph last time, we focused our attention upon the work of the Spirit in bringing us to a new identity and the work of Truth in bringing us to faith. These are the two most fundamental aspects of the methodology of the salvation for which we were chosen by God.
This evening we are going to look at the goal of God in His choices. Our text says that we were called unto the acquisition of glory from our Lord, Jesus Christ. The text is important in that it tells us why God has gone to all the trouble that is involved in creating a host of inhabitants for the Kingdom of the Christ. In the almost inevitable turn from God's plan to the wishes and wants of men that occurs over time, men have made the goal of salvation simply getting to heaven when they die, often with no serious interest in anything beyond that. That is like unto a person simply wanting to be "born", but never grow up; it is a waste of "Life".
I. The Divine Intention is Moved Forward by His "Call".
A. Paul's gratitude was focused upon God's initial choice from the beginning.
B. But he explained that choice in terms of both "objective" and "method".
1. The objective is "salvation"; an enormous concept in terms of what is involved.
2. The method has two sides; the divine side of the Spirit's activity, and the human side of man's reaction to Truth.
a. The condemned are so because they rejected "the love of the Truth" (2:10).
b. The saved are so because their reaction to "Truth" was "faith" (2:10, 12, and 13).
c. This does not create a basis for boasting in the saved because the only thing different about them is their "cessation of resistance" to the obvious (this is not a meritorious act; it is simply a refusal to continue to resist God).
C. Then he went on to explain how God moved His agenda forward.
1. The "unto which" addressed in 2:14 is "eis" plus the neuter accusative of a relative pronoun.
a. There is no "neuter" antecedent; the antecedents are all masculine and feminine.
b. The use of the neuter is apparently an attempt to include all of the antecedents (salvation, sanctification, and faith).
2. The "unto which" is also the explanation of the "call".
a. God's "call" is a large concept that includes both positive and negative responses on man's part (Matthew 20:16/22:14 compared with Matthew 9:13).
b. But, without this "call" there can be no cessation of resistance.
3. And then we have another "eis plus" phrase where the idea is the explanation of the call.
a. This is an unfolding of one of the major ideas of "salvation"; the actual acquisition of glory from our Lord.
1) This "acquisition" is two-fold.
a) It has most primarily to do with "acquiring" the actual character of the Lord as Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
b) It has also, however, to do with Paul's earlier thesis of grace leading to obligation; the activities involved as a person express his/her character in the world.
2) This "acquisition" is actually a major aspect of why God "calls" people unto salvation.
b. This tells us, again, of God's large Kingdom plan (in a large house there are many vessels, some to honor and some to dishonor...).
4. And then we have a "dia" plus a genitive phrase: through our Gospel.
a. The "call" comes by means of a "medium".
b. That "medium" is the Gospel.
c. But that Gospel is identified as "our Gospel" by the "apostle".
1) There are other "gospels" out there, but only one is truth.
2) Thus, the content of "our Gospel" is critical; a content identified in 1 Corinthians 15 as having three parts.
a) A specific "faith" content (i.e., a "promise").
b) A specific "faith" response (i.e., a "cessation of resistance to the obvious).
c) A specific "faith" commitment (i.e., a "if you remain").