Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I am dead to the world

Bro. Chris, aka Desert Pastor, got me to thinking about what Paul is saying in Galatians 6:14:

"As for me, however, I will boast only about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; for by means of his cross the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world." (TEV)

Bro. Bartleby:
First and foremost I think crucified and cross mean death. Death of what? For Paul (and us?), Jesus' death/cross/crucifixion is the righting of the God-man separation that took place in Eden, that the final sacrifice has taken place, no longer must any living creature need be sacrificed to appease God (or our human thought that God need be appeased?). So it is the death of 'living separated from God' that opens the door for a return to God, and for us, Jesus is that door. Jesus is that which makes the unknowable God knowable, Jesus makes the invisible God visible. We follow/emulate/model Jesus in order to make right our own likeness in the image of God. Paul can no longer follow his old desires -- the desires of the world -- they are dead (cross), and so too, the worldly folks see Paul as dead, for he has none of their interests, none of their desires, so for them, Paul is dead -- "I am dead to the world."

Bro. Chris:
So... Paul has none of the world's interests or desires, but that doesn't keep him from drawing upon their customs or beliefs when it comes to sharing the gospel (e.g. Acts 17:16-34), right? Because being "versed" in the world and it's ways is not what's at stake here. It's the values we live by and the allegiance we profess (in our case, to God's kingdom) -- it's in things such as these that we are dead to the world and it to us, yes?

Bro. Bartleby:
I would think Paul had none of the world's "perverse" interests or desires, it is as though one day you are tempted my many tempters and temptations, yet the next day "all that" tempts you not. What can cause such a dramatic change in how one perceives and experiences life and the world? Of course for Christians it is making that great turn-around, that being born again -- Christ replaces all former worldly standards -- Christ is your carpenter's level and plumb-line to measure yourself against. In my youthful folly, my standards were cool movie actors and fast hot rods and sexy girls, and if I could only emulate a cool actor, own a muscle car, date a sexy girl, then all would be right in the world, for I would have heaven on earth! Yet a seemingly simply altar call transformed me overnight, all the former standards were reduced to what they were and are, actors are actors, they act; hot rods are shiny machines that entice and transport, nothing more; sexy girls are females not taken seriously. The next day friends are heading to the drag races while I head to the mountains to meditate and pray ... their world dead to me, my "new" world dead to them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work