(143)Thesis:Even though God is presented as "the One Who does", Paul presented Him in that light because "faith" in that truth is crucial to the outcome(s) of it.
Introduction:We have spent the last several weeks going over the biblical concept of sanctification and preservation. This evening we are going to look into Paul's claim that the actual accomplishment of those two objectives is "up to God".
I. The Specific Declarations.
A. In the opening statement of 5:23, it is "God Himself" who is the subject of the compound verbs.
B. Then the entire statement of 5:24 is a claim that the God Who calls is the One Who does.
II. The Specific Issues Involved.
A. In 5:23 Paul introduced both the "telos" and the "klaros" of God's labors.
1. The "telos" gives the objective: what God has in mind; the specific assignment(s) He plans to give to His child.
2. The "klaros" gives the setting: what God's mind is focused upon; the specific setting for the final outcome(s) of those plans in the future Kingdom to be introduced at the coming of "our Lord Jesus Christ".
B. In 5:24 Paul raises the two most critical issues that are involved in God's successful accomplishment of His objective in His setting.
1. Primary to the entire issue is God's identity as the One Who Calls.
a. This identity is critical because God's purposes are rooted in grace (Romans 9:11) as the root of God's determinative plans (Romans 11:1-6).
b. This identity is critical because there are multiple "calls" (the verb is present tense) presented in the Bible and the implication is that God "calls" when a particular situation "calls for" some special and specific input by Him to nudge things along the determined path.
1) There is a "call" (1 Timothy 6:12) to eternal life.
2) There are multiple "calls" (Paul's characterization of the verb in the present tense as in 2:12 and our current text) to specific issues (as in 4:7 where "uncleanness" in is view).
3) The point is that God is actively involved on at least a periodic basis in addressing our attitudes, choices, and actions.
2. Secondary to the issue is the believer's identity as a "believer".
a. The process of God's purposes are rooted in the necessity of trustworthiness and trust.
1) No kingdom involving persons can stand in the face of the lack of either.
2) Hebrews 11:6 makes it as plain as it can be that only "faith" pleases God.
b. The facts of the matter include the reality that "unbelief" does stymie the process; so much so that God will not tolerate it for long.
c. Paul would not have felt compelled to present God as "faithful" if "faith" were not a critical element in the way God's plans come to pass.
1) His statement is, in one sense, a "call to faith".
2) But his statement is more fundamentally a "declaration of truth" that God settles into the hearts of His people.