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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 8

Romans 8:31-39 (8)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 5 Study # 8
June 24, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

(414)

Thesis:It is impossible for a believer to be separated from the love of God.

Introduction:For months we have been studying Romans 8. Tonight we come to the final sentence and our final study in this chapter. For the last few weeks we have been considering the question of whether we (God's elect) can be separated from the love of God/Christ. The central issue in the question is what it means to be separated from that love. We answered that question in our studies of what God has done to keep any accusations from being able to bring about the accuser's intention. Since "justification" is the first act of God in the frustration of the accuser, we know that a key element in the accuser's intention is to bring the wrath of God into play. As a Just Judge, God has to "handle" any charge of evil that is levied against anyone. Since it is the Judge Who has "justified" the elect, it is impossible to bring wrath to bear unless it can be shown that the foundations of justification are flawed. Those foundations are the Person and Works of Christ. So, to succeed, the accuser must be able to establish some attitude or act of Jesus as evil so that the foundations of justification can be revealed to be a violation of Justice. But, the issue is the question of the accuser's intention: to bring the wrath of Justice to bear against one of God's elect. So, to be separated from the love of Christ/God means to be moved beyond the protection of love into subjection to wrath. Paul's question has been this: Can this happen? And his answer has consistently been, "No".

One might be tempted to ask why Paul did not "just say 'No'"? The answer to that is revealed by this fact: the majority of visible Christendom posits the possibility of the answer being 'Yes', in spite of Paul's words and grace theology. If a simple 'No' would have sufficed, it would have been given, but men are so terribly disposed to be unbelieving that Paul felt compelled to add verses 38 and 39 to his already given denial of the possibility.

This evening we are going to consider Paul's final words on the subject.


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