Summary: A look at our fallen nature, the decay of creation and how with the Holy Spirit abiding in us we have liberty / salvation from that decay.A challenge to believers to witness their freedom. A summery of the series!
We live in a beautiful country not that I have visited the rest of the world outside the South Pacific but I understand that we live in one of the best spots on the globe.
Not being attached to a continent is a huge advantage that so many New Zealander’s forget about, thinking about it, we would probably not be so clean and green if we were just off the coast of a larger land mass. (Before this Power points 1-4 Scenic photos of New Zealand)
Even in our clean green state we as a nation we have managed to mess with the natural created order of things, the Huia, Laughing Owl and Main Land Tuatara will testify to that.
So you are probably wondering what the Green Party speech that I’m meandering along with is all about, well before we get onto Maurice Dancing and Mung Beans, let’s head back to the Bible.
In the last few weeks we have been looking at Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter eight and ‘what life in the Holy Spirit is about and how God travels with us on the journey.’
Three points have been discussed are,
• God works all things for our good as we take on the attributes of Jesus
• That we have life and peace through the Spirit of Christ as he lives in us
• We have an intimate relationship with God, that allows us to have a Father – child relationship with him
Paul in Romans 8:18-22 (read) alludes to the point that our being in relationship with God the Father as his children has something to do with the rest of creation; and that creation itself will share with us in the liberation from decay. That creation will be brought into the freedom that we have in Jesus as we are his fellow heirs and children of God.
If we wind back, way back, in the beginning God created, we are a Bible believing church and God created!
I like the second verse of Genesis that reads in part, “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”. (Genesis 2:31) (Power point 5)
Scripture tells us he was there and then and experience tells us he is with us now, abiding in us, who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
When God had made everything including Mankind we read this “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” It was very good!
1) Today creation groans, why does it groan? Because we and our ancestors have made mistakes! Lets look at God’s original plan and what happened, when our first parents made that first mistake.
What was God’s original plan for the world; [Frames Prolouge2.4 - 6 of the Bibles Big Story our Story, Dr Harry Wendt, Crossways International: Minneapolis.] Frame 2.4; Shows Gods plan for creation and his plan for creation to remain “Very Good”
Frames Prologues through to 6; show what occurs with sin entering the lives of human beings, and that there is an on flowing effect on the rest of the earth and even beyond.
So our redemption from sin occurs as we accept Jesus sacrifice for us and his resurrection from the dead, as we confess our sins, as we come into relationship with the Holy Spirit, we are justified with God. No longer do we have to live as our fallen ancestors have, out of sorts with God and out of sorts with one another. This is a move towards Gods original plan for what creation was like. We are put right with God. Liberation from our fallen nature occurs as the Holy Spirit enters our lives. (SBI)
Let’s look verse by verse at Paul’s words, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
2) Paul is not saying, ‘get over it’ or ‘take a concrete pill and harden up.’ Paul here is saying no matter what you may be undergoing, what ever persecution, and the early church was persecuted some of them to death; or what ever else is going on in your lives these sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.
This is a man who understood suffering; remember the whippings, the stoning, the ship sinking, and the danger, always on the move, remember that thorn in his flesh he asked God to take away. Paul knew what it was like to suffer.
But this man had had a glimpse at the glory of God. He had met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus, the light from heaven had flashed around him.
His life was never the same his path changed from that of the Anti-Christian to the Christian, from the persecutor to the persecuted, from the wrong to the right relationship with the Heavenly Father; from being Anti-Jesus to being one of Jesus main spokesmen.