Context of New Creation Conclusion of chs 5–8: –Jesus is the New Adam (ch 5) –A new humanity re-created in Christ –Suffering & struggle (chs 6–7) –We hope in the new creation (ch 8)
Summary of Romans 8 We are in the Spirit (9–11) –“You’re not in the flesh; you’re in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you” (9). Our responsibility def by the Spirit (12–17) –“So then, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh” (12). The whole creation awaits renewal (18–23) We have hope bc Spirit works with us (24– 27)
Discussion Questions What kind of spirituality here? Totally interior? Totally exterior? Is it purely contemplative? Or is there an active component? What does “hope” mean here?
Responsibility “Debtor” (opheiletēs) in 8.12 –Lit, “one obligated to someone” Being in the Spirit means… … being a “debtor to the Spirit” We’re given Great Responsibility by Spirit Concl: Responsibility as Spirituality –Spirituality includes responsibility –Taking up responsibility as spirituality
Great Responsibility 天將降大任於斯人也，必先苦其心志，勞其筋 骨，餓其體膚，空乏其身，行拂亂其所為，所 以動心忍性，曾益其所不能。 When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on us, it will first toughen our will with suffering, exercise our sinews and bones with toil, deprive our flesh with starva- tion, drain our body with destitution, con- found our exploits—all to invigorate our mind and harden our nature and to endow us with abilities to do what we were powerless to do.
大任 Great Responsibility Conferred by Heaven divine Precondition: training (askēsis) Suffering is spiritual… … only if it fits the divine purpose Unity betw responsibility & training Unity betw self and mission
Confucian-Christian Spirituality Unitary thinking: –Continuum fr interior to exterior –Continuum fr self to others –Continuum fr virtue to responsibility Responsibility-centered Interconnectedness with others –Self family society world Interconnectedness with creation
Interior Life in the Spirit “You have received a spirit of adoption, in which we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ This very Spirit confirms with our spirit that we are children of God” (8.15f). “To confirm” = “to co-testify” Internal proof that we’re obligated to Spirit We cry “Abba” or pray… … Joint-effort betw God’s Spirit & our spirit Our spirit echoes the Holy Spirit
Exterior Work of the Spirit “The whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now” (8.22). New creation Jewish idea of tikkun ha-‘olam An apocalyptic notion
Contemplative Spirituality “We—ourselves with the first fruit of the Spirit—we our very selves groan among ourselves while we await adoption, the redemption of our body” (8.23). We wait with assurance fr the Spirit Assurance = beginning of hope Suffering: Integral part of hope
Active Spirituality “The Spirit assists us in our weakness, for we do not know what we what we pray as we ought, but the very Spirit pleads with sighs too deep for words” (8.26). Our spirit and the Spirit become one The Spirit intercedes for us, but… Our spirit actively partic in new creation We groan and sigh… … as the Spirit also groans and sighs
Participation in the New Creation “If we are children, then heirs—that is, heir of God and co-heirs of Christ if we co-suffer with him—in order that we will also be co-glorified with him” (8.17). Christ’s death-resurr: model for participation Takes the form of suffering (as Christ did)… … bc suffering prepares for glorification Glorification = completion of New Creation
Suffering in Confucian Context “When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on us, it will first toughen our will with suffering…—in order to invigorate our mind and harden our nature and to endow us with abilities to do what we were powerless to.”
Suffering in Confucian Context “When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on us, it will first toughen our will with suffering…—in order to invigorate our mind and harden our nature and to endow us with abilities to do what we were powerless to.” Suffering equips us with new power Suffering equips us with new abilities
Co-Creation in Confucian Context 唯天下至誠為能盡其性。能盡其性，則能盡人之性。能盡 人之性，則能盡物之性。能盡物之性，則可以贊天地之化 育。可以贊天地之化育，則可以與天地參矣。 ( 中庸 22) Only the utterly sincere under heaven have the ability to fulfill their own nature. If they can fulfill their own nature, they can fulfill the nature of others. If they can fulfill the nature of others, they can fulfill the nature of things. If they can fulfill the nature of things, they can participate in the transformation and nurture of heaven and earth. If they can participate in the transformation and nurture of heaven and earth, they form a trinity with heaven and earth (Zhongyong 22).