17 April, 2006

Romans 8:4 - My answers

I will come back to put all our thoughts into one coherent post, but first I wanted to get mine put together in one place. I also had a couple questions about some of ya'll's thoughts.

- Why do we care about the requirements of the law, when Paul just finished teaching us that we are dead to it?
John 15: 9-13 TNIV
9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

We are dead to the law regarding our justification. The law cannot condemn us. But we are not dead to it regarding love. This passage kind of talks circles around itself because the command is to love, and the outflow of love is to obey the command.

- Are the requirements of the law truly to be met in us? Or in Christ?
Our justification is found utterly in Christ. We are helpless to please God. If the passage in John implied that God measured our love by how well we kept the command, we would be doomed. Praise the Lord, it does not. Jesus's sentence, "You are my friends if you do what I command." is powerful, though.

We go to the Father because He made a way. We don't just go out of duty, though. We go out of love. We love God and others because we have become the friends of God. Because we have been loved, we can meet the righteous requirements of the law. We can love. We love, though, for love's sake, not to earn a place before God.

- Can we live by the flesh? We should not, but could we? If so, then what happens to this verse?
Romans 7. Sure we can live by the flesh, but when we do we hate that we did, and we cry out for a Deliverer. Our failings do nothing to this verse.

- Is there anything we have to do to be living by the Spirit? Or is it done for us?
I think it is key that we live by the Spirit, as opposed to thinking the Spirit turns us into puppets. It is not just Christ loving through us, but Christ transforming us so that we live by the power of the Spirit. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20.

I think we need to be reminded that our lives should really be holy, and this verse does that with gusto.

OK. Got to run.

I will try to combine everyone's thoughts into one coherent post in the next couple days.

2 comments:

DugALug said...

Codepoke:

You said:

I think it is key that we live by the Spirit, as opposed to thinking the Spirit turns us into puppets

Amen to that. The Spirit quickens and convicts us. It is still our choice to walk by faith or sight.

You also quoted John earlier and said that he talks circles around itself.

I think that John, through quoting Jesus, is making a much bigger point here. At the core of God's commandments is love. More specifically: love for us.

Recall what Jesus identified as the two greatest commandments: Love The Lord, your God; Love your neighbor as yourself. In keeping these two commandments, you keep the whole of the law. I look at John 15:9-13 as a restatement of this idea.

For me, the crimson cord here is that we don't seem to look at the Holy Spirit as an sentient entity. We are much more inclined to think more of it as tool used by God. I've never heard a pastor refere to the Holy Spirit as, caring, loving, or compasionate, yet we often hear God and Jesus reffered to with these adjectives.

The Holy Spirit is fully God, and thus acts with the same loving veracity that Jesus operated with.

Okay, I rambled enough.

God Bless,
-Doug

codepoke said...

Yeah. I was thinking in the same vein about the Spirit.

I'm trying to remember where everyone got the group-think that the Spirit wants to be invisible. I know there's a verse that everyone quotes, but it sure ain't in the last half of John.

Amen about Love.