by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 August 7, 2007 Lincolnton, N.C.
(330)Thesis:Resurrection power is available -- for "Life".
Introduction:Last week we considered Paul's two major points of Truth in 8:10. The first is the fact that God has not committed His Spirit to the health and preservation of our physical bodies. The second is that God has committed His Spirit to the production of "Life" for those who walk with Him. The issues we have to face are, therefore, the same two: we simply cannot define "Life" in terms of the flesh and, consequently, we cannot be committed to the preservation of and pampering of our bodies; and we must be committed to the definition of "Life" in terms of the union that exists between the Spirit of Christ and our souls and, consequently, we must be committed to the preservation of that unity.
This evening we are going to pursue these major points as we consider what Paul went on to say in 8:11.
I. The Nature of the Promise.
A. The promise is of the exercise of resurrection power.
1. On the one hand, this promise is a commitment regarding the future in the face of the "deadness" of the body.
a. Paul pointedly declared that "the body is dead".
1) This means that God has not lifted, and will not lift, the curse from our physical bodies.
2) This means that the indwelling Spirit of Christ has very little interest in acting on behalf of the health of our physical bodies.
3) This means that no one can be in step with the Spirit of Jesus who is overly interested in the health of, and pleasures of, his/her body.
b. Paul is just as pointed in his declaration that the resurrection of the body, once it has succumbed to the processes of death, is God's commitment to us.
2. On the other hand, this promise is a commitment regarding the present in the face of the "deadness" of the body.
a. The consequences of "death" in the body loom extremely large in the minds of men.
1) There is no end to the excuses men make for the evil that proceeds out of their bodies on the basis of the physical conditions of those bodies.
2) There is a significant reality to the fact of the body's tyranny over the person who lives in it: to what point would "resurrection power" be promised if the tyranny is not significantly potent?
b. The issue for the believer is the source of the godliness that is to proceed from the body.
1) As long as the commitment is to the body, the tyranny of the body is absolute.
2) As long as the tyranny of the body is in place, the excuses for ungodliness will spew forth out of the mouths of the bodies (as if there is any excuse for sin).
3) Once a person recognizes that it is the Spirit of Jesus Who both imparts and empowers "Life", the tyranny of the body is dead.
3. Thus, the promise of the exercise of resurrection power is designed by God to address the question of how the godliness of Jesus is to be made apparent in the life of a child of God.
B. The promise is of the practice of real-time godliness.
II. The Requirements of the Promise.
A. Fundamental to the essence of "promise" are two basic issues.
1. The first issue is the fact that the One making the promise is the One responsible to fulfill it.
a. Because this is absolutely fundamental to "promise" it is the focus of attack by the enemy of our souls.
b. The point of attack is invariably the same.
1) Invariably the issue of Promise is turned into Law by the adversary.
a) The promised issue is necessary.
b) The necessity must be met.
c) The one receiving the promise must, therefore, meet the necessity.
2) Invariably the leverage of the adversary is the lack of fulfillment of the promise.
a) If the promised reality was the present reality there would be no leverage.
b) The fact is that what is promised is often not apparently present.
2. The second issue is the fact that no one receives the fulfillment of the promise who does not "believe" it.
a. God has made the experience of promises dependent upon faith because...
1) Promises are "relationally crucial" aspects of unity between persons.
2) Faith is absolutely fundamental to relational unity: there can be no unity where there is distrust.
3) Death exists where disunity exists and Life cannot be experienced in Death.
a) Even if the promises are fulfilled in the face of unbelief, the point of the promise goes begging (which was to enhance a good relationship).
b) Since the point is rendered futility by unbelief, God simply does not fulfill His promises to those who do not trust Him.
b. The timing of fulfillment depends entirely upon the nature of the promise and the necessity of the present and the presence/absence of faith.
1) If the nature of the promise is such that it addresses the immediate present, it will be fulfilled immediately upon faith.
a) Often "now" is when the power of godliness is required.
b) When "now" demands godliness, faith in the power for godliness will result in the manifestation of godliness.
2) If the necessity of the present does not require the fulfillment, that fulfillment may be postponed.
a) Sometimes all that is required is faith in the promise: Life flows because the harmony of integrity/trust exists [If Abraham had believed the promise of a son, he would not have felt compelled to lie to the kings].
b) Sometimes the fulfillment of the promise is required for Life to flow because the integrity is actually at stake [If God never produced the son, Abraham's confidence would have been proven to be a pipe dream and his relationship with God would have been a personal delusion].
B. Fundamental to "Faith" are two basic issues.
1. Primary to "Faith" is legitimate content.
a. This cannot be over-stated.
b. This cannot be side-stepped and no short cuts are allowed.
2. Primary to "Faith" is a guilt-free soul.
a. 1 Timothy 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:9; Acts 24:16 and Hebrews 10:22.