Lectionary Year A
March 17, 2002
Step VI - Contemporary Address
(JFC) A sermon from this text might hope to clarify the differences between life in
the flesh and life in the Spirit.
B. Describing the Audience
(JFC) Any congregation needing some awareness of the differences this passage
makes between the life in the Spirit and the life in the material, physical only could appreciate an exposition of Romans 8:6-11.
C. Contemporary Address
(JFC) A sermon entitled for this working draft, "Living Our Lives In The Spirit"
What occupies the focal point of our lives day in and day out? Do we orient our lives on the spiritual impetus more than on the material, concrete, commercial? Paul hopes so.
A. God's Spirit is also Christ's Spirit who is also the Holy Spirit in this Epistle Lesson. It tells us God's Spirit lives in us, has taken up residence within us. And, it tells us it is far better to live in the Spirit than to live in what is the concrete, physical or literal only. Paul is noting that believers focus their/our lives on God's will for them/us.
B. What God's Spirit does is claim us, provide for us, connect us. God wants us to live in faithful trust on Christ's model for life. God's way brings us life and peace says Paul. It is good of God to grant us life and peace as well as the model of Christ on whom to base our lives as well as the Spirit with whom to live and to enjoy living, too.
A. Within the Community of Faith, where God calls us, Christ leads us, and the Holy Spirit convicts us to remain and relate rightly and grow in the faith - that's where we live and develop in faithfulness with fellow travelers on the road to maturity in the faith.
B. Living, really living a life worth living, true life as God perceives it = zwh.,, which means to live in God's love (agaph) (Romans 8:38ff and Galatians 5:22f). It is how we live and walk in the Spirit, according to Bultmann in Kittel's TDNT.
A. ~wlv, Shalom in the Old Testament = "salvation", according to Foerster in Kittel's TDNT. And, it also means, "completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety (Psalm 38:4, Isaiah 38:17 and Job 5:24), quiet, serenity, contentment and tranquility (Genesis 15:15, Psalm 4:2 and Isaiah 32:17), healthy friendships (Psalm 41:10, Proverbs 12:20 and Jeremiah 38:22), . . .", according to BDB.
B. Eivrh,nh in the New Testament = "peace, harmony, rest and order . . . with God (Romans 5:1) and brought by Christ (Colossians 3:17 and Philippians 4:7), . . .", according to Bauer/Arndt and Gingrich.
So, Romans 8:6-11 shows us the very best way to orient our lives - God's way. It brings life, true life, life worth living. It brings peace, too, lasting well-being and a sure serenity. And, Hebrews 13:20f = benediction and fits the sermon conclusion, as well.
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