Sunday, September 07, 2008

Okay, I really, really mean to continue the family reunion post, but it may have to wait for a couple more weeks, or some free gap. But hey, I haven't forgetten. :)

"When the spirit of slavery, the fear of freedom and responsibility, characterizes a people, it is absurd to home for relief by political action. Where people are unregenerate, they will be possessed by a spirit of slavery, and they will create a slave society, call it socialism, communism, a welfare economy, fascism, naziism, or what you will. The fallacy of political conservatives is that they put their hope in politics and thus neutralize effective action by by-passing Biblical faith.

St. Paul said, "ye have not received the spirit of bondage akin to fear" (Rom. 8:15). and the word fear is in Greek phobos, which in origin meant flight, and them that which causes flight. The fear of which St. Paul speaks is a fear or flight from God. Those whose spirit is marked by slavery are in flight from God and from their responsibility to God; they are also in flight from themselves, because the witness of God is written into the fabric of their being and in all creation. (This fear, phobos,, is not the same as eulabeia, fear, meaning caution, reverence.)

This gives to the man of faith a God-directed future-oriented perspective.. He is a citizen of the new creation, of which Jesus Christ is the first fruit (1 Cor. 15: 20). "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature," or, more accurately, a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). He has an old world dying around him, and a new world coming into birth on all sides. Whatever the problems the old world confronts him with, he can always rejoice (Phil. 4:4) because he knows the certainty of the new world's triumph. Every day men are reborn into that new creation, and every day reconstruction goes on in terms of it.
The spirit of bondage or slavery is the spirit also of sin and death, so that it is also termed "the bondage of corruption", from which we shall be delivered "into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21). The word translated as "corruption" can also mean destruction, so that the state of depravity is the slavery to corruption or destruction. In Romans 8:13, we are told that all who "are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." The word sons is used to indicate maturity; such persons as are led by God's Spirit are not children but rather maturing and growing persons. The word sons is replaced by children in vv. 16, 17 and 21, and sons used in v. 19. The difference is of interest. In the first instance, we are children in relationship to Gos, by contrast to His awesome majesty and sovereign grace; in the second, we are children in the sense of heirship together with the Son Jesus Christ, who is the only begotten Son of God and the first-fruit of the new creation; a priority and seniority gives Christ the title of son,, and us of children as a contrast. The fullness of the new creation will see "the revelation of the sons of God" (v. 19) in their maturity. Third, because our "glorious liberty" in all its fullness is still future, yet present in its partial sense, we are children in our experiences of that liberty and are so called. We shall grow and mature in our realization of that liberty.

The mind of the modern humanism has been described as the disinherited mind, homeless like Cain, even in its home, a wanderer driven by sin and guilt, and a stranger to all things. The adopted sons of God are not disinherited; they are heirs. They are not strangers or foreigners to this world, although they are pilgrims in it; they can sing with certainty, on their pilgrimage, that "This is my Father's world." The hand of the disinherited is raised against all men, whereas the heir carries the good news of the rich estate to all men. The disinherited mind is at war with the estate, and he seeks to destroy it. Even when he holds possession of the world briefly, he knows he shall be dispossessed, and so he gets what he holds as a pillager and plunderer. Only in the hands of the heirs can this world or the world to come ever flourish, for the world to come for the disinherited is hell itself, and their self-created environment of the world they now live in is a suburb of hell. The heirs, as citizens of the new creation, make of time itself an outskirt of heaven."