Saturday, July 19, 2008

Note to Self: Don't Ruin the Text

I've been thinking more and more that the job of a preacher is not to explain the text, but simply to get out of the way, and let the text speak for itself.

The job then, is simply not to ruin it!! :)

That is especially true of the text I have been given for Sunday: Romans 8:13-30. There is so much power and wonder and hope in these words:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What grabs your heart and soul in Romans 8?
Has this text been important to you over the years?

Pic on Flickr by Patrick Q.


Gav Perkins said...

What intrigues me about this text is that in verse 23 we wait for our adoption as sons, which is in connection with 'the redemption of our bodies'.
That is interesting because in in verses 12-17 we are already adopted as sons because we have the Spirit.
I take it that the reference to the redemption of our bodies refers back to 7:22-25. In my 'inner being', in my Spirit, I am already adopted. But in terms of my body, my 'old man', I am awaiting adoption.

Justin said...

Gav-- Does your 'old man' always lose to the 'inner being', or your spirit?

I mean always.

That is what is being said in 7:14-25, right?

Anonymous said...

"Don't ruin the text"

The exact thought I've been having as I prepare to preach what is basically a sermon by Jesus! (Luke14:25-35)

phil m.

gav perkins said...

Hope the sermon goes well.
Not sure I get your question?
I'm not saying that either the old man or the new man always wins, and I don't think that's what Paul is teaching in Romans 7.
The vindication and final triumph of the inner being which is being renewed by the Spirit, is when Jesus returns to liberate us (8:21) and redeem our bodies (8:23). That is what is on view in 7:25 (which has to be a future rescue because of the future tense of the question it is answering in v. 24).

byron smith said...

Has this text been important to you over the years?