Saturday, February 11, 2006

Romans 8...

This is a piece of summary on Romans 8, which i had written one year ago after i had studied it with Lincole's NIE group. Now looking back, I was really encouraged by how the Spirit had been working in me then.. helping me to understand the Word of God, and enabling me to have faith in Him. If it's not for the faith that had built up during the schooldays, I wouldnt be able to be reminded of and still trust in the existence of the KOH when i had started working and had seen the changes of my life and also that of my so many Christians brothers and sisters. In a while ago, i was still doubting if i am a Christian or not.. fearing that i am not the elected one.. i had seem to live a life that focus a lot on works and deeds.. and performances... i looked at myself.. i see me working hard, i looked ard i see ppl performing well. The humility of Christ seems forgotten.

Thanks God for the Spirit that dwells in me. It reminded me a lot.. rebuked me a lot.. caused me cried out and depended on the truth all the more. It had assured me that i am still a child of God, as there is no more condemnation. The basis of my salvation is not faith, all the more not works, the basis of salvation.. the basis of no condemnation is Christ, who had pay the price of sin once and for all. Amen. Now, in the 'not yet' domain, we struggled, just as how we are revealed to how Christ suffered, so that we can shared, what is revealed to us, the glory, the inheritance. May I be able to persereve and considered myself dead so that i can be alive in Christ... and be able to serve those in Christ too.

And now, this is the summary i had written one year ago..

After today's study of Romans, I am really convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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.

For there is no condemnation for those in Christ, because the Spirit had set us free, and that God had done what the law, weakened by flesh could not do. Because of what Jesus had done on the cross... the rightous requirement of the law can be fulfilled in us.. so that we can now 'obey the law'.. and be declared righteous, which we can't before Christ.

"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous" ~ Romans 2:13

I am listening to Sarah Oh's song - Romans 8 as i am writing this now. A same understanding lingered.. Like this song had started, if we were to live our life, how are we to live now...? Upon being saved from God's wrath and assured an inheritance same as Christ, how are we to live now? Are we to live as one not saved or one that is saved? Are we to set the mind on flesh or to be led by the Spirit? Would we choose riches, the praises and acceptance of human beings, any possibility that our loneliness will end or will we choose Jesus... choose to allow God's Word to dwell us, choose to live a godly life?

"For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" Romans 8:13

However, it's a sad sometimes, to see ourselves, Christians, trying to put to death the sinful deeds by ourselves, rather than BY the Spirit, trying to please God in the flesh... ends up crying every night, wondering are we right with God... fearing that we are not doing God's will... How long will it takes us to learn to depend on God..and be able to trust Him as our Father..? How long does it take us to understand the ability to become God's sons and the abilities to continue living as God's sons come from God Himself?

"14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

By the Spirit, we would be the heirs of God and co-heirs of Jesus and this will mean that we suffer with Him.. in order that we may glorified w Him. But the suffering now is nothing as compared to the glory we then will all share.

To all.. suffering is not something very special... we, be it christian or non christian, we all suffered. We were like children borned and grew up in a prison, therefore we see that we are living in a normal world.. a world that suffering is always there.. and this is the only world we know.

But this is not the world that was first created, but one under judgment, the whole creation is subjected to suffer because the world is not in Eden now, and it's bond to decay. Therefore the whole creation is groaning loud... it's screaming to tell that it's NOT right.. it's NOT normal. It is groaning in the pains of childbirths.. well this tells us two things - one, childbirth is very painful... two, there is a new life awaiting.

Likewise, we christians will suffer, be it personal struggle with sins or physical sufferings with the world. But our response to suffering is not to ignore it, thinking suffering is not there until a natural disaster occur to wake us up. Neither to deal it in our way, by drawing up rules and regulations, or becoming a monk and nun or committing sucide.

The way to deal with suffering is to groan, like the world in birthpain and persevere... not of one without hope, but one with hope, because our hope is not one without basis but one that is based on the death and the resurrection of an historical being, Jesus of Nazareth. Moreover we have the Spirit to help us in our weakness, help us from being drawn away from God, help us to depend on God, and helps us to know that our God is a sovereign God and that whatever He had promised will come to pass.

With such great God on our side, who can be against us..? What more do we need?

Therefore, I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, the present nor the future, not height nor depth, not any power in all creation
not trial nor threat, not the worst case situation nor life nor death can take away the ones God had chosen, can separate us from the love of God which is demostrated by the death of Jesus. Amen.

On this coming monday, it could be my fifth and last time studying Romans 8 in NTU... in a school setting. As i had said earlier, i had learnt a lot in NTU.. and had made many good friends that could encouraged me in this walk of faith.. at the same time, many things had happened in school that discouraged me and confused me.. I guessed.. i really need to grow up now.. and learn to be led by the Spirit.. As for my basis, Christ is still it.

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