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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 5

Romans 5:1-11 (8)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 8
March 14, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

(204)

Thesis:Is the love of God for me real?

Introduction:When all is said and done, there is only one "problem" between God and man: the attitude of aggressive opposition. If an attitude of delighted cooperation existed on both sides of the relational reality, there would be no problem. God's "problem" with man is that He sees him as an adversary who is determined to attempt to set up a "counter-creation" with himself at the wheel; and man's "problem" with God is that he sees Him as an autocrat Who is simply over-committed to having His own way. But, man has an even greater problem with God: He is omnipotent. This obviously means that He is going to win in any "battle" with man. This, rather than making man aware that his most profitable course of action is to "sue for peace", actually causes man's rage and opposition to increase. Man's bottom line attitude is this: "Give me liberty or give me death. I'd rather go to Hell than have to serve a Big Bully."

Paul clearly understood this. But, he also clearly understood the underlying problem: the real reasons for the conflict. On the one hand, he clearly understood the antagonism of man because he is actually guilty of the very thing of which he accuses God -- man wants to be the autocrat who gets to enforce his will upon all others. And, on the other hand, he clearly understood the implications of the on-going conflict: God's love for man. Think about it: what reason would an omnipotent "bully" have for putting up with the pathetic rage of a "pinhead"? Man's problem is three-fold: first, regardless of whether he is right or wrong in his perception of God as a bully, he is going to lose; second, there is a huge flaw in his perception of God as a bully when that's all he really wants to be himself (there's something seriously wrong with wanting to be what you find so hateful in someone else); and third, there is no rational reason for God to put up with the wickedness man dishes out in his rage and manipulations to get his way if He is, in fact, a "bully".

So, this evening we are going to take a thoughtful look into the way Paul attempted to address man in respect to his problem of being at odds with God.


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This is article #205.
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