by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 2 Study # 4 February 27, 2007 Lincolnton, N.C.
(292)Thesis:Death is by deception.
Introduction:In our studies to this point, we have seen that Paul is working between two different perceptions of "Law". There is the "truth" about the significance and impact of the Law, and there is the "deception" that Sin brings to the table about the significance and impact of that Law. These two perceptions are set in our context as a way to deal with Paul's absolute insistence that we stay as "free from Law" as we possibly can and the almost automatic conclusion from that insistence that there must be something wrong with the Law.
In our last study we saw Paul's testimony regarding his own experience as a relatively new believer was that of being slain by a resurrected Sin because of the "return" of the Law. In that study we saw that the "problem" was the destruction of the profound sense of satisfaction Paul had with His God because he returned to his understanding that the Law was a statement of a profound sense of dissatisfaction that God had with him. In a relationship, it is impossible for either party to have a solid sense of satisfaction with his/her partner if there is a sense that that partner is deeply dissatisfied with his/her partner.
This evening we are going to consider more carefully the issue involved in Sin's "deception" of Paul by means of the "Law".
I. Every Deception Involves a Subtle Twisting of Truth.
A. Paul insisted that the "truth" about the "commandment" was its "Life" potential.
1. His claim is that the Law "was to result in Life".
a. This is a claim of real intention: God gave the commandment so that others could live.
b. But this is the area where deception can be inserted.
1) It must be recognized that God is commandment.
a) That God exists means that only those created things/persons who are in harmony with Him can experience the "Life" aspect of His existence.
b) Thus, the existence of God posits the necessity of harmony for "Life" and it posits the necessity of "Death" for all that remains outside of that harmony.
c) Therefore there is no way to get rid of the sense of "necessity" unless we get rid of God.
2) It must be recognized that Paul's claim arises out of the setting of God as God.
a) God is not a Mono-attribute.
b) Neither is God a multiplicity of attributes arranged under a PrimaryAttribute.
c) God is a personal multiplicity of contrary attributes established in perfect harmony so that the Lion and the Lamb lie down together in Him [the intimidation of the Lion is tempered by the boldness of the Lamb in a setting where the Lion does not seek the life of the Lamb and the Lamb is unafraid -- perfect Justice and perfect Mercy meet together in perfect harmony in God].
3) It must be recognized that Paul's claim is made within a "creation" setting in which the harmony of God has already been set at nought by unbalanced creatures who intend to force their imbalance upon both God and His creation.
a) Law given in a context of perfect harmony does nothing to upset that harmony.
b) It is only when Law comes into an unharmonious setting that it establishes a sense of dissatisfaction by God with those in that setting.
c. That Law can result in Life is true when Law is seen properly within a setting of harmony.
1) In a setting of "peace", Law is illumination: it reveals more of the character of the Life-Giver than was formerly known (John 17:3).
2) In a setting of "peace", Law provides legitimate guidance so that the less-than- God-creature can develop properly within the "balance" (Psalm 119:105).
2. His claim had a particular attribute-focus.
a. Statements about divine intentionality always have a particular attribute-focus (Romans 11:22).
b. When the focus for Law is Kindness, Life is the intent.
c. When the focus for Law is Justice, Judgment is the intent.
B. Paul admitted that his "discovery" was that the commandment actually resulted in its "Death" potential.
1. This "result" was occasioned by the "twisting".
2. What, exactly, is the "twist"?
a. It is not in the area of "necessity".
1) Necessity is.
2) Necessity cannot be eliminated.
b. It is in the area of "method".
1) How is necessity actually met?
2) The "twist" insists that the methodology is fundamentally a "human activity response" that assumes a human intelligence and potency of will.
3) The "truth" insists that the methodology is fundamentally a "divinely nurtured human acquiescence response" that assumes a God-given human learning capacity and a willingness to yield.
3. The bottomline is that the truth is "Promise" and the deception is "Demand".
a. At stake here is the reality that only One can be God; all others are dependent creatures.
b. This means that no creature can ever really be "willful"; the most a creature can be is "faithful".