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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 8

Romans 8:26-30 (8)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 4 Study # 8
March 4, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

(386)

Thesis:The foreknowledge of God has to do with the "knowing" aspect of the "purpose" of God.

Introduction:As we dig more deeply into the motivation of believers for loving God, we are confronted with the necessity for "purpose". Since no one, neither God nor men, takes action to accomplish nothing, we have to conclude that "purposefulness" is a very fundamental issue of Life. To have no purpose regularly leads to either despair or rage. To do things that are constantly frustrated as to intent regularly leads to bitter anger and deadening despair.

Once we get this reality firmly fixed in our minds -- purposefulness is an integral part of Life -- the biggest issue that we face is whether we will be "motivated" by our own purposes, or those of another. Christianity, at its most basic roots, is both a summons and a means to the creature's delighted submission to the purpose of the Other. This is what Love for God is.

This means, then, that the "purpose of God" is seen by Christians to be the only valid object of pursuit. As soon as "not my will but Thine" becomes "not Thy will but mine", the "purpose" is no longer Christian in any sense: it is diabolical, and the proposer ceases to function by Love.

So, in our last study, we considered the fact that God is "intentional". He has a "purpose" for His creation. We also saw that purposefulness requires selectivity and effectiveness. Thus, we can understand Paul's declaration that "those who love God" are those who have been summoned by Him into His purpose. Because that purpose cannot be accomplished in a rebellious setting by simply letting things develop as they will, the summons of God must be seen as effective. And, if effective, that summons must also have been selective -- for that not all are effectively brought into a loving submission to the purpose of God is both declared by Jesus Himself, and is also easily seen.

It is because Paul knew that Love for God is absolutely tied to His effectual summons and is often a major stumbling block to a rebellious creation that he determined to explain more fully. This evening we are going to embark upon his explanation. At the beginning of Romans 8:29 he wrote, "because those He foreknew, He also predestinated...". The "because" signals his explanation. The issue of "foreknowledge" is his first "issue".


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