Romans

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God’s Righteousness Through Faith

November 11, 2018 | Romans 3:21-31 | exposition

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Are you right with God? Every religion asks this question. And all of them but one, give the same answer–– it depends on your spiritual report card. If you have good moral and religious grades, then God will accept you. But this is not the answer given in Christianity. Authentic Christianity actually informs us that we are not right with God and that there’s no way that we can get right with Him on our own. So, God sent His Son Jesus to take the test of life and got a perfect score. His spiritual report card has straight “A”s! And God offers to exchange Christ’s perfect report in place of our failing one. In Romans 3:21-31, the apostle Paul told the Romans that the only way to receive the righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ. We can understand why the righteousness of God can only be received by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

God and Human Accountability

November 4, 2018 | Romans 3:1-20 | exposition

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We are all born with a kind of moral compass, an intuition for right and wrong, called a conscience. We even have a desire for justice and accountability in this world. From our earliest memories, we have a desire for fairness. Yet, the world is not fair. And justice doesn’t reign. Unfortunately, our idea of justice tends to be more for everybody else, while we make excuses for our own sin, calling them mistakes, shortcomings, bad habits, etc. But rarely, sin.

Paul has something to say about God and human accountability. In Romans 3:1-20, the apostle Paul concluded that all humanity–– whether the pagan Gentile, the self- righteous moralist, or the outwardly religious–– all humanity is accountable unto God for their sin and therefore in desperate need of the gospel. We can be convinced that we are all accountable unto God for our sin and in desperate need of the gospel.

God and the Religious

October 28, 2018 | Romans 2:17-29 | exposition

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Why do we need this gospel which grants us the “righteousness of God?” Well, that’s the question that Paul spends the next portion of his letter answering. From Romans 1:18 all the way up to Romans 3:20, Paul explains why everyone needs the gospel. In Romans 1:18-32, we looked at why the irreligious and Gentile pagan need the gospel. Last Sunday in Romans 2:1-16, we discussed why the moral, self-righteous need the gospel. Today, we’ll be looking at Romans 2:17-29 in a message we’ve entitled, “God and the Religious,” discussing why the outwardly religious, whether it’s Judaism or Christianity or any other religion, will not make us right with God. The religious need the gospel!

We live in the middle of the Bible Belt. I thought about titling this sermon, “God and the Bible Belt.” Because people who live in the Bible Belt need the gospel. Just because you’re an flag-flying, BBQ-eating, church-going, American, that doesn’t mean you’re right with God. True Christianity is not about religion, but a relationship. Outward religion does not please God. In Romans 2:17-29, the apostle Paul told the Jews that their outward religion would not make them righteous before God. We can recognize that outward religion will not make us righteous before God.

God’s Judgment Revealed

October 21, 2018 | Romans 2:1-16 | exposition, judgment

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The truth is, we usually think of God’s judgment as something that someone else needs a good dose of! Many think that they don’t need the gospel because they are a good person and therefore God won’t judge them. But Paul’s letter to the Romans has something to say about that. In the book of Romans chapter 2:1-16, Paul warned the self-righteous that they would have no defense before God’s judgment. We can understand that our own attempts at self-righteousness will provide no defense before God’s judgment.

God’s Wrath Revealed

October 14, 2018 | Romans 1:18-32 | exposition, righteousness, wrath

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Why do we need the gospel? Is it so we can be better parents, have better marriages, experience greater happiness? Sure, these are benefits of receiving the gospel by faith. But no, they do not get at the real reason that we need the gospel. We need the gospel because we have offended God’s righteousness. We have rebelled against God and we have gone our own sinful way. That’s what sin is. lt’s an attitude of disobedience that says, “I will do things my way, not God’s way.” As a result, Paul says that God’s wrath is already upon us. The apostle Paul spent the first 17 verses of his letter to the Romans introducing himself and reminding them of the power and righteousness of God found only in the gospel. Having introduced this great theme, Paul spent the rest of chapter one explaining that the wrath of God is already being revealed against the ungodly and the unrighteous who have not received the gospel. We can faithfully respond to the revelation of God’s wrath against those who have not received the gospel.

God’s Gospel Revealed

October 7, 2018 | Romans 1:1-17 | exposition, gospel, righteousness

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In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul told the believers in Rome that he was eager to reveal God’s gospel to them as it had been given to him. We can receive God’s revealed Gospel as it has been offered to us. The gospel that reveals God’s righteousness calls us to God, obligates us to share it with others, and is the power of God for salvation.

Physical Touch

September 30, 2018 | Romans 12:1-5 | worship

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We all have a basic human need for physical touch. It’s definitely an important love language. But how can we apply it to expressing our love and worship of God? We can offer our physical bodies to God as worship. We can say, “Jesus, you offered your body to save us, so we’re offering our bodies back to You as worship. Use us to touch someone in Your name!” In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul appealed to believers that they offer their bodies to God as worship. We can offer our bodies to God as our expression of worship.

“I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey” (Romans 15:24 NLT).

August 3, 2018

DID PAUL GO TO SPAIN?
What we know from Scripture is that Paul did indeed visit Rome, carried there to appear before Caesar under Roman guard. According to the final verses in Acts (Acts 28:30-31), Paul was held under house arrest in Rome for two years awaiting trial, yet had great freedom to preach and teach about Jesus while there. But Scripture is silent on what happened next.

From the writings of early church fathers such as Clement, who wrote around 95 AD, Paul was apparently released after two years in Rome and was able to journey to Spain before being brought back to Rome and being beheaded by Nero around the year 67 AD. While there is little certainty about whether Paul was able to carry the gospel to Spain, the fact that Clement’s writings are only 30 years afterwards lends credence to the possibility.

I like to think that the Lord allowed Paul to take one more journey to a place where the gospel had not yet been heard before completing his earthly journey. At any rate, I am moved by the passion the Spirit had given Paul to obey the Great Commission and to make disciples of all nations.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NLT).

August 1, 2018

CONFIDENT HOPE FILLED WITH JOY AND PEACE
This hope for which Paul prays is not the stuff of wishes and wants, but of sterner stuff, made sure by the Lord Himself. It is hope that rejoices as it looks forward with confidence to an eternal future with Christ. This hope is like a rope, anchored on one end by the truth of Christ’s resurrection and passing beyond the veil to be anchored in the promise of Christ’s sure return. Those who trust in Christ overflow with this confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Do you know this confident hope today?

“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up” (Romans 14:19 NLT).

July 31, 2018

AIMING FOR HARMONY IN THE CHURCH
Literally, Paul said that believers are to “pursue peace” and “edify” one another. Yet, the NLT’s use of the word “harmony” here is appropriate, because it captures Paul’s desire to preserve unity in the church, while allowing for diversity of individual conscience. The point of harmony in music is that different parts, such as soprano, alto, tenor and bass, may be sung, yet they sound unified and beautiful together. Similarly, even though Christians from a Jewish background may follow a kosher diet, they shouldn’t expect believers from a Gentile background to do the same. They both should seek to sing praises to Jesus Christ, even though they may do so in a unique voice.

Paul wanted to make it clear that Gentiles didn’t have to become Jewish in order to become Christians. They didn’t have to celebrate the same holidays, nor eat the same foods. These were cultural distinctives and matters of the conscience, not necessities of the faith. Paul warned believers not to major in the minors, as it were. Don’t focus on disputable matters which divide, instead focus on that which will build one another up in Christ.

Romans 14 is a profound instruction for those that would obey the Great Commission to make disciples of “all nations.” For we are not called to make Americans, or Southerners, but disciples of Jesus Christ. Our pursuit is unity around the gospel of Jesus and building one another up to maturity in Him.