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June 16, 2024

Impossibility, Possibility, and Responsibility

Pastor KJ Kim

Romans 6: 1-11

In today’s passage, Paul argued a Christ-centered life as a new way of life, having a renewed identity not by law, tradition, or ethnicity, but by Christ. For our faith journey, what we are reminded of from today’s passage and Paul’s theology of Christ-centered is our faith journey moves through impossibility, possibility, and responsibility.

Throughout Paul’s letters, we may get a glimpse of how difficult it is to be one church by embracing one another, including a different language, traditions, and food, which sometimes kept provoking critical conflicts, tensions, or divisions between the Jews and the Gentiles. So, Paul reminded the Jews and the Gentiles of being baptized in Christ as the only way to have a radical change in identity, which opened up a new possibility for having a new identity and responsibility for being one church.

Being one church sounds so great, but we know how hard it is in reality. We often hear, “I don’t go to church anymore; I could not take any more of the hypocrisy, fundraising, boring hymnal, too cliché-type-of-sermon, and fill in-the-blank. Or “I don’t go to church because of this person or that person or because of this pastor or that pastor.” There is no perfect church any more than there is a perfect God.

Finding a perfect church seems impossible, but it might be possible through and by those who still strive to grow into Christ-like, who still dream of God’s new possibility, and who still take the responsibility to follow Christ’s steps even though they have to have a radical change. Doing and being a church together does not guarantee an easygoing or more comprehensive race. On the contrary, we are called to take one step in front of the other on the way to the Cross.

Perhaps we don’t fully understand how radical Paul’s message was in his context—walking in the newness of life--there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.

Maybe, this message seems impossible even today. However, it might be possible if we can recenter ourselves back to God-centeredness, dying our ego, conviction, or view with the Christ,
challenging our values, rearranging priorities, and re-orienting our purposes. For this seemingly impossible mission, we need each other to keep us in shape for God and for God’s people.

Thanks be to God.

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