Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"The Word Creates..." Romans 12:1-2

Humanity is imaginative -- we can and we do make all manner of STUFF
Both for the common good and for the common NOT SO good.

We MAKE but…

God alone creates – for to create is to make something where once there was nothing.

The LORD did it with the world in which we live.

He does it with the human heart that beats. (CREATION)
…to the soul He gives life. (JUSTIFICATION)
God creates the Christian’s life. (SANCTIFICATION)

The means for all of God’s creative and “re-creative” activity?
Whether it is the audible, written or incarnate or visible it is the same – LORD Jesus Christ.

This Gospel -this Word creates…
Both the Christian
and the Christian Life

This Christian life is called in Saint Paul’s foundation to Romans Chapter 12 – “spiritual worship”
Jesus in Saint John 4 teaches the Samaritan woman about “worshiping in spirit and in truth.”

Saint Paul makes the connection with the creating Gospel and the new life that is created.

The inward transformation of soul and mind reveals itself in manifest good works.
It is by their fruits that you will know them.

The Father has proclaimed time and again through the prophets that false religion of mere cultic ritual fals short of the glory of God.
I desire mercy and not sacrifice…
These people Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me…
I detest your new moons and your Sabbaths…

And this is the condemning LAW – we do not live a life of God pleasing words, thoughts and deeds –
Realistic examination and confession make this clear

Divine consequence for such lawlessness is death
death of both body and soul – a sacrifice of blood is called for to work forgiveness.
It (this sacrifice) is accomplished

Connection with the final words of our Lord - Words like all the Word of God creates and (re)creates reality

and now…
Saint Paul uses THEREFORE in his letters to show that what follows is based on what has been previously established
– in this case the New Life of the Christian is based on the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

“The worshiper no longer gives to God the life of another creature” [in sacrifice]…for since Christ has been offered and sacrificed (the all availing sacrifice of His body and His blood on the cross) there is and can be no greater offering – having been re-created in the image of Christ through Holy Baptism
“…he [the Christian] gives God his living self”

As these New people of God you “…are called upon to anticipate, in their [your] bodily activity, the life of the world to come, to assert in action the reality of that world now”

Your “spiritual worship” – the life you lead, choices you make, words you speak, actions you defend, plans you decry,
“…is a constant and embattled no of nonconformity to this world, or age which is an “evil age” (Galatians 1:4), a world whose “god” is Satan.” (II Corinthians 4:4)

The stage set by Christ, His death, His resurrection and ascension - Justification stands free - your sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake - you cannot win nor earn salvation.

Now possessing the very treasures of heaven – be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This calls for the Holy Spirit to reveal to us that which is pleasing to God and of aid and help to all –

It also calls for a practiced discipline, prayer and constant encouragement.

In the weeks to come we will follow St. Paul as he”…has established a Gospel base for his admonitions” “He gives examples of how the new man [creation] “proves” [determines and accomplishes] the will of God; he does not prescribe that man do any “proving” for himself.

As the Scripture teaches – may the Holy Spirit of God allow us to live a renewed life of…

and Love

The greatest of these is…
The love of God for you promised, revealed and accomplished in Jesus Christ. Amen.

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