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Posts Tagged ‘Passover’

God’s New Exodus in Christ (13)

June 22nd, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Romans 8:31-39

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.(NIV)

This is the climactic ending of the chapter.

The cross unveils not just God’s restorative justice, but unveils God’s deep victorious love: nothing can separate us from God’s love, one of the most glorious Christian statements.

Paul almost never uses the word “heaven” in Romans. Salvation in Romans is not about going to heaven when you die.

NT Wright wrote: Paul’s vision is the vision of Isaiah, a nondualistic salvation. At the end of Revelations, it is the new Jerusalem coming down to earth, not Saints going up to heaven. God’s good creation, subjected to futility, not because of itself, but because of God’s ultimate purpose, will be liberated. Heaven and a renewed earth will join, marry together. That will be our final home.

Thus, the same theme continued to the climax of Romans 8, in a context replete with echoes of Exodus. The “children of God” are led by the Spirit, must not go back to slavery, and are declared to be God’s heirs, fellow heirs with the Messiah. Their inheritance will be granted when all of creation experiences its exodus from slavery and shares the freedom of the glory of God’s children.

The story of Israel, particularly the Exodus, was far more present in Paul’s mind than is usually supposed, informing his reflection on what had happened with the death and resurrection of Israel’s Messiah and the gift of the promised Spirit.

Paul is concerned with the reconstitution of the people of God and their new public definition as a single worldwide family marked out by faith in the life, death, resurrection of Jesus. God’s people will inherit the newly liberated creation.

Message for the Day

God’s New Exodus in Christ (12)

June 21st, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Romans 8:10-11

10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (NIV)

Our ongoing victory is due to this liberating power dwelling in us.

The Holy Spirit imparts the life of Christ which is a life of righteousness, of faithfully obeying his Father even unto death. That’s an incredible power defeating the negatives in our nature.

Through the gift of the Spirit: resurrection and life are assured in the future. This is all from the Father.

The Holy Spirit, working, leading us makes it possible for us to have assurance that we are being changed from within by God himself who is transforming us in to the likeness of Christ. We are a new creation that can now please God.

Message for the Day

God’s New Exodus in Christ (11)

June 20th, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Romans 8:4 -9

4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.(NIV)

We are not living by our will power only. We are not subscribing to an external code. But we are allowing the Spirit to communicate God’s life within us. Over 20 times Spirit dominates Romans 8, not I or me.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

The Spirit desires what pleases God eternally. We desire naturally that which belongs to the immediate and short term pleasure and survival of the flesh.

6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Quite a different outcome. One perishes in the wilderness and one enters their inheritance.

7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

If we think we can take the Torah and by a program of self improvement please God, we will fail just like the Israelites and find the very law we thought was our friend is actually an enemy exposing our sins.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

We have talked a lot about this Holy Spirit recently. It is because of the Spirit we can have confidence that what God declared us to be in Christ –his people of the renewed creation – will become a reality in the day of judgement. Because there will be ‘no condemnation’ for these same people because of what the Holy Spirit has done in their lives.

To say I am a Christian also is a declaration that the Spirit of Christ dwells in me. If that is true, then we are breathing a new life, we are under a new leadership. Thus we should have the priorities of people who know this.

Message for the Day