Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Death and Suffering

My original post on Facebook:
“The outflow of the Spirit depends upon death to self.” -Donald Gee

John Johnson comments on Facebook:
I was teaching Romans a couple of years back and was taken with the theme that Christianity is about death. I love the quote, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die" (Bonhoffer). The "secret" to my progressive freedom in Christ seems to be tied to my acceptance of and submission to the reality that I am crucified with Christ. This leaps on into the radical doctrine that I am already righteous, not positionally, but factually. Unfortunately, the conscience "I" is rarely in step with the righteous "I." As this earthly "I" is killed off more and more, the "I" Christ has made me will show through more and more. When talking with religious people I love to point out that God doesn't want us "good," He wants us dead; and that is a much tuffer standard.

I reply:
Speaking of death of self, I'm beginning to realize that the main way Scripture talks about this is the embrace of suffering-- whether that be suffering for refusing sin, suffering from persecution or suffering for being in a place to preach the gospel. I'm still studying this.

John replies:
I'm working on suffering. One discovery is that I tend to avoid the emotional effects of suffering through "masking" so I won't feel the pain. It's a cop survival thing. But Jesus did nothing to mask the pain. He suffered the sufferings both outside and inside. Hence, under the heading of Things I Learned since Bible School in my FB Notes you read "Suffering hurts." Pretty profound discovery, huh?

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