Going Deeper 6-7-19

The second reading for Pentecost Sunday...
Romans 8:14-17   For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.  When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

NOTE: The literal translation of the Greek term rendered as "children" in the New Revised Standard Version is "sons."  This is important because there was a very clear understanding of the role of the son in the culture of Jesus' day... to carry on the work of the Father.  In John's Gospel, Jesus spoke a lot about the closeness of His relationship with His Father and how he was carrying out the work of His Father.  

That's what sons do.  In our understanding, that's what all of God's children are called to do.  We are now the body of Christ and our calling is to live in the way of Jesus in order to carry out our Father's work.  And that work is the strengthening and extending of the Kingdom of God.

This text further clarifies the role of the Holy Spirit of God... to bear "witness with our spirit that we are children of God."  This not only helps us better understand our role within our relationship with Jesus our Brother and God our Father, but it also illuminates our understanding of how we are to relate to one another as brothers and sisters within a family/community.   The Spirit makes us one with the Father, and with the Son, and with one another.

Just as we are all 'part' of the body of Christ that is His Church, we are also 'part' of one another.  The Holy Spirit calls and empowers us to be transformed-- both individually and collectively-- into a special community which reflects our Creator's original plan, where each lives for the other as all live for God.  The disease of self-centeredness caused by sin is replaced by a kind of "outward focus" as exemplified by our Brother Jesus during His life on earth.

May the Holy Spirit of God so call and empower us!

With You in Him,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."