Saturday, October 03, 2009
Blogging through Romans: Romans 8: 1-17
Romans 8: 1-17
Here Paul’s Greek education is rearing its ugly head. Not that his Greek education was bad, but that it moved him away from his Hebrew roots.
The Hebrews believed that God was present on earth, in people, plants, animals, things. The Greek believed that the earth was evil and that heaven was good. They made a distinction between the “spirit” which was good. And the “flesh” which was bad.
Sound familiar? It sounds like Paul was reading Plato rather than Moses when he wrote this chapter. He talks about the spirit as “life” and the Flesh as “death.”
This is called dualism. And it’s VERY common in popular spiritualities. Cruise the spirituality sections of the bookstore and there’s a plethora of books dedicated to helping us transcend our bodies and commune with God in the spiritual realm.
But God was more interested in how reaching us on earth then in getting us to heaven. We pray “Thy Kingdom come ON EARTH as it is in heaven” rather than praying for US to go UP to God. God comes down. The fullness of God and heaven was/is present in Jesus - the Word made Flesh.
But if you notice, when Paul says “You are not in the flesh; you are in the spirit” he’s not talking literally. He’s saying that God has renewed you because the same Spirit that brought Jesus back from the dead is inside you as well. So go and live your resurrection life!