by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 5 Study # 4 August 13, 2017 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(107)Thesis: The ministry of Christ to us prevents us from being condemned.
Introduction: In our study last week we looked into the beginning of Paul's treatment of the concept of adversaries who oppose us. A part of their goal is to have us destroyed because of our failures. A greater part is to challenge God Himself as The Holy God. We saw in that study that their attempts are doomed to abject failure.
This evening we are going one step further into Paul's argument: Who is the one who condemns?
I. The Question.
A. Moves a step further into the legalities of God's "justification" of sinful people.
1. That step was designed to challenge the legal legitimacy of "justifying" people whom the Law would condemn.
2. There is a major problem with that: even if the adversaries could establish that God is in hopeless contradiction of His own Justice, all that would prove is that God is not "holy", not that He is not omnipotent.
a. If one could establish the point that God is unjust, all that would do is irritate Him as the omnipotent One.
b. Irritating someone who is unjust, but all-powerful is a fool's pursuit.
3. This step, however, is designed to challenge God's judgment about what is to be done with those who are guilty of sin.
a. Under God's own Law, sinners are condemned.
b. Condemnation is both the decision of "worthiness of condemnation" and "the execution of the unworthy".
B. This question pushes for the destruction of God's flawed "elect".
II. The Answer.
A. Christ is He Who Died.
1. The selection of "Christ" is significant because it shifts the attention to the plan of God to establish His eternal kingdom over all creation.
a. "Christ" is the anointed King over God's Kingdom.
b. At issue is the core nature of that Kingdom.
1) As King, "Christ" exemplifies the character of His Kingdom.
2) That "Christ" is He Who Died signals the selflessness that will pervade every niche and corner of that Kingdom.
2. That He "Died" raises the fundamental question of "Why?".
a. The biblical answer has been given from Genesis through Revelation: "Death" is the only sufficient response of Justice for selfishness.
b. The same biblical revelation argues for the "unity" of created humanity through "generation" by an original "Head" from whom all flows interconnectedly: what the Head does is what the generated do.
c. Thus, the biblical doctrine of regeneration is a doctrine of the creation of another set of "Head" plus "generated" persons (people "born" of the flesh being "born again" of the Spirit).
d. That the Christ "died" proves the selflessness and stands in consistency with the balance of holiness in God.
B. But, rather, was raised.
1. The "rather" is not to exalt resurrection over death; it is to point to the problem we have with "adversaries".
2. Resurrection does not do away with "death" as the resolution of the tension between Justice and Grace; it simply validates it in the most profound way possible for creatures.
a. The problem of "creatures" is "faith" in what is true.
b. The problem of "faith" in what is "true" is, at least partially, establishment of "truth" as "truth".
c. It is pretty much impossible for "reason" to deny the validity of Christ's approach to, and solution to, the problem because He was raised from the dead: an exercise of power beyond human capacity.
1) As we have already seen, it is, in the final analysis, what The Ultimate Executor of Power applies power to accomplish that is finally determinative; not sophisticated arguments about the legitimacy of using power in that way.
2) The Kingdom is rooted in the power of God as He is, not as the adversaries claim He is.
C. And He is at the right hand of God making intercession for us.
1. Thus, not only was "truth" established beyond argument by resurrection, He was seated at the right hand of God's power.
2. And the point of that power is intercession.
a. Most fundamentally that believers would not be led astray from their faith.
b. But also that the believers' God would continue to exercise His power to address the roots that lie at the base of the reasons they are being accused with condemnation in mind.
1) God is not pleased that we still act in ways that allow the adversaries to accuse us.
2) The intercession of the Christ is so that the Father will move further into His goals of preparing us for our participation in His Kingdom.