by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1 March 26, 2017 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(079)Thesis: Divine "compensation" for evils endured is completely off the charts.
Introduction: In Romans 8 Paul is clearly attempting to get his readers to buy into "Life" by the Spirit. In order to accomplish this, he presents the truth that what one anticipates as "outcomes" is extremely critical. Therefore, in our last study we saw that he was focused upon presenting us with a view of our "destiny" to be "heirs" of God both in terms of being His "children" and His "sons".
This evening we are going to look into the significance of being "heirs" as it is given in terms of the essential character of The Father. There are two "large" sides to this issue. On the one hand, there is The Father's determination to "bring many sons to glory" even though that determination results in the permission of much great evil and its attendant disastrous consequences to those affected by it. In other words, the character of The Father includes a willingness to tolerate a relatively large degree of wickedness in His creation for a relatively long time. Then, on the other hand, there is The Father's determination that no one who trusts in Him will have any regrets when the fulfilled promises completely dominate their experience. This is why "destiny" is such a big deal: it is not the journey that is important, but the destination.
I. The First "Big" Issue: One's Actual Perspective.
A. Paul introduces his reasoning with the words "For I reckon...".
1. The "For" signals "reasoning" regarding the earlier claim (we are "heirs" destined to be "glorified").
2. The "reckoning" is a most fundamental "perspective".
a. The word is used whenever a "final" conclusion is being drawn that will have significant down-range consequences.
1) The word is used in 40 texts of the New Testament with Paul using it 19 times in Romans alone, with 11 of those 19 being found in chapter four (the next most prevalent usage is in 2 Corinthians with 7 references).
2) A significantly revealing use is Romans 3:28 which is a text that brings the entire previous material of Romans into play to draw a highly significant theological conclusion: one's relationship with God is rooted in "faith" and not one's own "performance".
a) This conclusion cannot be overstated, being, as it is, the absolute foundation of all of "Life" to come.
b) This conclusion runs counter to everything that "Jewish" conclusions had come to after 1500 years of being in the cross-hairs of God's focus.
b. Thus, the word is used whenever Paul is laying down a most basic "Life" truth that is immutably true.
B. The issue in Paul's view while doing his "reckoning" is the issue of the "suffering" that is endemic to creation at this time.
1. Paul was not unaware of how large a part people's "reckoning" regarding the presence of evil plays in their willingness/unwillingness to trust in The Father.
2. At issue is the actual, daily, experience of things seriously unpleasant and sometimes extremely painful.
3. A potent challenge to "faith in The Good Father" lurks in this reality (How can a "good" Father permit those most closely identified with Him to suffer, often horrendously?).
4. Paul's mitigation of the challenge...
a. He deliberately addresses it head-on.
b. He definitively limits it to "the now time".
c. He introduces a "not worthy" characteristic for the sufferings of the now time.
II. The Second "Big" Issue: The Biblical Perspective.
A. The issues involved are inescapably essential.
1. The "sufferings" are essential to a proper grasp of the essence of "Life".
a. Even Jesus "learned" from the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8) and was "made perfect" by His sufferings (Hebrews 2:10).
b. Too much of "Life" is entangled with the issues involved in "suffering".
2. The "sufferings" are a part of a process that is to end in overwhelming success.
B. The issues involved are set in specific "experience frames": the now time and the eternal future.
1. The "now time" is to be seen as eminently limited.
2. The future is to be seen as imminently possible.
C. The issues are "incomparable".
1. The idea of "worthiness" has to do primarily with a kind of mental association where one thing is deemed somewhat equal to another.
2. The "not" is emphatic.
3. The "about to be" glory that is to be unveiled to us is completely off the charts in respect to the processes that bring it about.
a. An illustration: the KoenigseggCCXRTrevita ($4.8 million) could not be expected to be purchased for a dime.
b. Another illustration: a dust mote flying around in the sunlight should not be expected to be an "heir of the glory of God".