Justice, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit

Romans 14:14-23

The Importance of What's Not Important
Paul wants us to see that the profound event that God has brought about in Jesus (Gospel) comes to embodied fulfillment in transformation of life through a renewed mind -- a way of seeing ourselves, others, and God through the lens of Jesus -- his life, cross, & resurrection.
This section is marked by confident assertions: "nothing is unclean," "the kingdom of God is...," "everything is clean," "faith." But something happens. The idea of clean/unclean, holy/ common used to be objective, as in so much of the Torah: God is separate from the world. Paul's statements are heretical to Paul's own past. But Jesus happened! Now God has placed at the center of his holiness and love a cross, a scandal, horror, God dying for us. God is different from the world -- his self-giving, serving love is weakness and foolishness to our world, but embodies his power to overcome death's grip on us and give us real life now.