Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Only Solution

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when he sent His own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, He personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focussing on the self is the opposite of focussing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He'll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!

So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!
Romans 8:1-17


  1. It's fascinating to read that you agree so much with what Paul wrote and then try to interpret what it can mean...

    I think it indicates that, in your mind, you sincerely believe that your own will is synonym of God's will. It's a common case of anthropomorphism. I read something about that in NewScientist recently. When people are asked what God would think about different questions, God's answer is closer to their own than anybody else they are asked to answer for.

    You can pretend all you want that non-believers don't get it. But you show time and time again that you're the one who doesn't understand non-believers: you are terrible at mind reading their beliefs, intentions and values, largely because of the fact that you put everyone in the same basket.

    Therefore, all these sentences from your interpretation of Paul's text tell a lot more about your self-worship than anything else. You believe so strongly that you "know" God that anything you believe must be in accordance with God.

    You pretend that it's the other way around, because you did obviously change a lot of your personality since you became a believer, but ultimately, since you have no direct access to "divine" truths, you just make stuff up or believe what others wrote in the past just because it feels right... since they were also strong believers! It's a delightful vicious circle!

    At least, as I said many times before, you apparently DID become a better person regarding several aspects of your life. Thank God!

  2. Almost everyday when I open the day with a Bible verse(s) it's from the paraphrase "The Message" by Eugene Peterson.

    I can't help it, nor do I care if you don't like his interpretation.

  3. I don't expect you to care about a non-Christian's opinion; you are pretty clear that it's completely worthless to you... you insist that atheism makes a person pre-dispose to believe certain things, which is a blatant lie but it explains why you just don't care.

    Would you be surprise if I tell you that this is yet another big difference between you and me. I don't care, at all, about a person's belief in God!

    It's the implications that are worthy to look at, and in your case, they are both good and bad. On this blog, you show lot of the bad ones however, and that's what I like to point out.

  4. You didn’t read carefully enough. I didn’t say I don’t care what anyone thinks.

    Hugo, you remind me of some rich white kid who wants to become an anarchist to tear down the very institutions that have handed him everything he values most.

    Your Creator has given you every advantage available - well - ok - being raised Catholic was a disadvantage but still. Your God will forgive you. He will welcome you into His family. He will put your sins into the depths of the sea to never again be spoken of, and you just tell Him to bugger off.

    That kind of stupidity crosses a line for me.

  5. You didn’t read carefully enough. I didn’t say I don’t care what anyone thinks.

    ...and I did not say that either. Read again.

    ...tear down the very institutions...

    What institutions are you referring to?

    I am not aware of a single one I would like to tear down so I guess I am not an anarchist like your 'rich white boy'.

    ...being raised Catholic was a disadvantage but still.

    Funny :)

    ...Your God will forgive you ... and you just tell Him to bugger off.

    That kind of stupidity crosses a line for me.

    You're the one who crosses the line by saying that it's stupid to not believe in God. When you take the time to think about that belief, there is nothing obvious about it.

    You're the one who believes in magic, demons, angels, miracles, virgin birth, resurrections, etc...

    So I am forced to ask you again: any evidence that the world works this way; that this God you are talking about actually exists?

    But we both know you consider that you either don't need to answer that question, because it's self-evident if you accept Jesus Christ, or that you already answered, and will link to hilarious posts you already wrote...