Lectionary Year B
June 15, 2003
Trinity Sunday
Romans 8:12-17

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The theological pinnacle of this passage's mountain range is "Abba, Father" to whom we call/cry. Still high up above the tree line we find God's Spirit who leads God's children. Then, too, just above the clouds circling the mountain-tops rests Christ with whom we are joint heirs of God's gifts such as glory/salvation, etc. Next, still high up, are the adopted children of God. These observations leave to be secondary in impact, only the elements of being heirs of God's gifts, of suffering with Christ and of living according to the flesh and of the spirit of slavery negated by this paragraph, in that order of more nearly important to approaching lesser importance in this passage.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 12 Therefore now, brothers, debtors we are not to/in the flesh/physical body of which according to the flesh we live, 13 for if according to the flesh you [pl] live, you [pl] are going to die; but if by/in (the) spirit the deeds of the body/dead body/corpse you kill/put to death, you shall live. 14 For in as much as in the Spirit of God they are led, they are the children of God. 15 For not did you receive a spirit of slavery again to/toward fear, rather you got/received a spirit of adoption, in which we cry out, "Abba the Father". 16 That (is) the Spirit who shows/reveals to be true/gives evidence in support of our spirit for/that we are children of God. 17 But if children, also heirs; heirs with God, and sharing together of Christ, since we suffer together with Him in order that also we are glorified together.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) Several years ago a young adult, a Roman Catholic, and son of one of our most venerable (Presbyterian) elders taught one of our Adult Sunday School classes about the Trinity. He drew 3 circles, labeled the persons of the triune God with arrows to and from each one, explaining how one was not the other yet all three were the one God, etc. It looked too neat, as can be imagined. Ever since then it has been a challenge to deal with the mysteries of the Trinity annually from the lections. Here comes such an attempt with an added challenge. Read on.

| Return to Gospel text listings | Return to Epistle text listings |
| Return to Old Testament listings | Return to Psalm listings |
| User response form |