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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 7

Romans 7:13-25 (6)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 6
April 24, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

(306)

Thesis:Discarding both "blame" and "credit" issues as "means" to Life is crucial, but difficult.

Introduction:Last week I argued that Paul's double disclaimer of personal responsibility in Romans 7:17 and 7:20 had heavy "T"heological overtones. It is because God is a God of Grace that Paul can argue in our text that he is not personally responsible for his behavior. On the one hand, if God is a God of Grace He can declare as true what Paul declared in Romans 4:8: God does not "take into account" the sins of His forgiven people. Now, if He actually does not do that, He is either irrational, or unjust, or He has a valid basis for such a refusal. It is Paul's explanation in Romans 7 that makes it possible for us to understand God's refusal to acknowledge the sins of believers. God does not acknowledge them for one reason: they do not do them. There is, in human terms in the human shadow land, an assessment of responsibility to believers that is a massive deceit. Believes are "blamed" for committing sins. But, there is another perspective that arises from divine terms in the divine reality land. This perspective is the reality of Sin's responsibility for all sins that are accomplished in this world. In Romans seven, Paul is dealing with the visible deceit of the shadow land and the invisible truth of the reality land. In the shadow land, "I" produce sins; in the reality land "Sin" is the real culprit. The shadow land is the realm of the five senses; the reality land is the realm of divine revelation. Men can only see what comes out of the body; God reveals the invisible reality within the body. So, because God as the God of Grace is One Who "does for us what He requires of us", His production is attributed to us by faith and, thus, nothing else is attributable to us.

Then, on the other hand, if God is a God of Grace Whose universe functions on the basis of what is valuable and what is true, the Judgment Seat of Christ will not be an exercise of "assigning responsibility" but an exercise of "revealing reality". Everything produced by Sin will be revealed to have been produced by Sin, and everything produced by the Spirit of Jesus indwelling the saints will be revealed to have been produced by that Spirit. The outcome of that judgment will be an assignment of eternal service based upon what was actually loved and believed by the believer in this world.

Such was the gist of our study last time.

This evening we are going to pursue Paul's disclaimer a bit further. We are going to look at its inevitable conclusions.


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