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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 11

Romans 11:1-6 (5)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 11 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
July 21, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

(512)

Thesis:Paul's insistence upon "election" is not arbitrary.

Introduction:After our study last week I was asked if I had ever gotten any serious reactions to my teaching on "election". My response was that as a teaching pastor, I had the experience of losing attenders of the church over two issues: election and the place of women in God's Plan. This serves to highlight the reality that doctrine is a divider of men. Every individual will stand before God to give an answer to what he/she did with what He said. Those who walked away from false teaching will be commended and rewarded and those who walked away from true teaching will be penalized according to the severity attached to the truth of that teaching. This is a kind of "bottom line" reality that surfaces two inescapable facts: individual responsibility and the absolute nature of "Truth".

Those "bottom line" issues line up like this: what is "true" has to be decided by every individual through the careful evaluation of the words of Scripture. It is completely unacceptable for anyone to refuse a doctrine because they "don't like it", or to refuse it without carefully examining the Scriptures to find out what they say about it. Alternatively, it is completely unacceptable for anyone to embrace a doctrine because they "like it" without carefully measuring its truthfulness against the Scriptures.

This evening we are at a place in Paul's letter to the Romans where the cut between truth and error goes very deep. This means that if we want "Life" we are going to have to put our thinking caps on. In Romans 11:6 Paul makes this claim: "And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace." Here he sharply divides "grace" and "works" from each other in a way that isolates them from each other and compels all who would "Live" to move completely into the arena of "grace".

Because of the sharpness of the divide, we are going to look into "the election of grace" once again.


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