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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 11

Romans 11:25-32 (2)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 11 Paragraph # 6 Study # 2
November 3, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

(542)

Thesis:In defense of the "Cosmic Ogre" it must be said that He is only an "Ogre" in the eyes of those without love.

Introduction:Our focus last week was upon the declaration by Paul that "ignorance" of God's larger plan would lead men into the kind of pride that destroys them. He said that the Gentiles were in serious danger of being "sensible in their own eyes" (no small danger) and that the solution to that danger was the awareness that it is God's Plan that enables their participation in their blessed state, not their initiation of whatever sort it might be. They were branches on a condemned, lawless, wild olive tree until they were cut off from it. At that point, they were in grave danger of becoming dead sticks, ready for burning. But God, before they became those dead sticks, grafted them into an olive tree that had a root that communicated richness to all of the branches in the tree.

The "problem", at that point, was the question of whether these grafted branches would do any better at producing the desired fruit than had the natural branches that had been cut out because they did not so produce. It is this problem to which Paul has turned his attention with his teaching about how it is God and His Plan that has brought the experience of blessing to those who have the experience, not something inherently superior within themselves.

However, there is a perennial problem attached to Paul's dogma that I plan to address this evening: the accusation that Paul's God is a "Cosmic Ogre". Though those words may not be the actual ones used by the many who reject Paul's doctrine, the concept is pretty pervasive. It boils down to the charge that it is not "fair" for God to be the One Who decides whom He will graft into His tree.


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