Drama Free Church - Lessons from Romans
Good morning. Welcome. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene I serve here at C3 church as your pastor here at Christ Centered Church. So I get these two questions a lot. What does C three stand for? And I just gave you the answer Christ centered Church. The other question I get is, are you affiliated with that other C3 somewhere else, like back home? So the truth is, no, we are a non denominational, independent church. So but I get the question anyway, a lot. There are a lot of C threes.
I guess that's just the way it is. And they mean different things. So I think I got an idea. Why don't we change the name? To C4. Why because, well, four is more than three - plus, I think if we change the name of this church to C4 … it would really blow up
it's should you even laugh at that? Like? No, it's a trap. Sometimes it's a trap. Okay, so let's get caught up. Hebrews. We looked at the book of Hebrews, which is really, really awesome. And I talked like this the whole time. So we get the whole book in, bam, and like within the service on the hour, to want to make that mistake going to be an hour then you're like, Oh, don't worry, we have food afterwards. So Hebrews why? Because we've been following Paul through the book of Acts. Dessel, Annika, you arrived there? Right, we saw persecution, a theme of persecution, Jewish believers, persecuting those while Jewish unbelievers persecuting those believers, those who had gone over to the Christian faith, right. So this is that theme, and it is the same thing in Hebrew, same theme, so we did it theme medically. Now, we're going to continue following Paul through the book of Acts, and we arrive at chapter 18, which is right after 17. There's no chapter breaks in the original. So you remember, he's in Athens at this point x 18. One, then Paul left, left Athens and went to Corinth. There he became acquainted with a Jew named tequila born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They have left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. Paul lived and worked with them for they were tentmakers or Leatherworkers, just as he was. Okay. So we're in Corinth, we're going to do cornice next week, we'll get there. All right, we're going to do Romans, because this right here, sets us up for the reason for writing Romans, a little background here. Claudius basically just expels all the Jews. That's what happens, right? Especially from Rome, they're gone. They're not there. But maybe like five ish years later, they can come back. Well, what happens? Well, note they were Jewish Christians. So they were Jews. First they became Christians. They leave well, who is running the church in Rome, for example, or in Italy? Right? Rome. Gentiles. That is anyone who was not originally a Jew. But they have very different as we've seen in the series, religious practices. So these arguments constantly happen. So when the Jews come back, they're like, Hey, that's not the way you do church, right? So with that accent and everything. And so they complain, right? You know, we have the law, you're supposed to be doing things this way. And this is the way we do it in the synagogue and Allah, and they're in the home church, probably. So it's this big problem. They're having problems, and they're arguing about religious differences. So if this email had a subject line, it would be unity, right? Unity get along, like so basically, I can save you guys like 15 minutes. I can just say, what is Romans all about? Right? Jews and Gentiles? You all need Jesus. So shut up. Right? That's it. That's basically the crux of Romans. There we go. We're done. We can eat right? No, there's more of the Word of God than that. So what I'm going to do is encourage you guys, I'm not going to give you all the verses, I'm not going to read the entire thing to you. I'm just going to give you some key verses on the theme today. It's all important. So I'm going to encourage you guys to read again and again and again, don't believe what any man says, Believe that. That's it. I make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. Check it against that this is the ultimate authority. You should be reading this on your own. All right. So let's hop right in Romans one. This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his good news. God promised this good news long ago through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The good news is about his son and his earthly life. He was born in the King David's family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere, what God has done for them so that they will believe and obey him bringing glory to his name, and you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. I'm writing to all of you in Rome. are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. So if you have Hebrews in mind, which I hope you do is just a week ago, you can see some similar features there, right, some similar features in the opening Grace and peace to your common opening. You also might have noticed he called himself a slave. We've talked about slavery, it's different here, right? And that time, you could have a slave that's the same race as you or whatever. It's not about racism. It's about commerce. He is yoke T is attached to Christ. It's also a sign of Paul's humility. Did he start Apostle Paul or Dr. Paul or Pastor Paul? Know, Paul, a slave. That's it. Humility, he's not thrown titles around. So important features, we're going to move along, because we've seen these in other letters. So, Paul, this is pretty typical to he prays typical, like really big in Ephesians, you'll see it, but here just prays for them. One of the things he's praying about is the opportunity God willing to come and see them. Right. So this is a place that Paul has never been to before. I did not mention that before. But that's good. So he hasn't been that been there before. He hasn't met them. He's heard about them. Right. So now we get some key verses here. Romans 116 4am Not ashamed of this good news or the gospel about Christ. It is the power of God at work saving everyone who believes the Jew first and also the Gentile, your version might say Greek, but that's what it means. This good news tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith, as the scripture say it is through faith that a righteous person has life. So this is key here. Right? So these are very key verses. This is like Paul's like mission statement. Right? So really important. So now what's going to happen is you kind of have to view it. Like, if you had a visual, you know, it'd be like, you know, being in the principal's office when two kids got in a fight, right? You know what I mean? So he's going to address one, and then one's going to go, Hey, you too, you know what I mean? Like, so it's kind of that and the language in here, when you really think of it that way. It'll reveal that throughout the entire letter. So he addresses the Gentiles in general, like those non Jewish people in general of the past to so they knew the truth about God because he made it obvious to them, right? So forever since the world was created, people seeing the earth and the sky like all these beautiful, magnificent things that he obviously made right, they can see clearly his individual invisible qualities or attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, so they have no excuse for not knowing God, right. It's evidence is basically the case he's making here, but claiming to be wise, they became utter fools, and they worship the created thing, instead of the Creator. And so here we go, Romans 126 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even women turned against the natural way to have sex, and instead intelligent sex with each other. And the men instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other men did shameful things with other men and as a result of the sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved, since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, greed, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbed cybers haters of God insolent, proud, remember that and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand break their promises are heartless and have no mercy. They know God's justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. Think about this for a moment. This is being written, let's just round numbers 2000 years ago. Paul is referencing things that happened like 2000 years before him. So he's talking about things that happened 4000 years ago. But it sounds like he's writing to us today. There is nothing new under the sun. Nothing new so don't fall for these like fear mongers and stuff. It's worse today than it's ever been. Did you listen to what I read? sounds exactly like then and no sane people have always been crazy, right? So calm down, calm down. So here's what I'm going to do because I talked about this a lot, but here's going to be very, very evident. And so I'll just keep this part short. I made a little charts for you guys. And because I wanted to make charts again. But here's the thing there are no like the chapter numbers are great for reference, you know, I use them for reference. I try to memorize different like verses are sections but they're not in the original. And they can kind of like get in the way. We're going to see here some of the chapter like or chapter headings. They're not in the original either. So if it's like in bold there that's not in the original And they kind of like put your mind down a train of thought where someone will at times, it's like, no, that's not it, you know, it's really weird because they just get like so zoomed in. So you're going to see here that there are like themes that go over several chapters. And if you understand the micro subject line there, you get the point, you're not going to be at risk of taking a verse out of context, you'll know what's going on here. Right? So against the big subject line is unity. Well, we're going to get another one here. And basically, can you put there we go. So there at the top, that's like the basic train of thought,
in these four chapters here. All right. You all need Jesus, both the Jews and the Gentiles. So I'm going to bounce around just a tiny bit because I want you to kind of see here he goes back and forth a lot. And we're going to try to smooth it out a little bit. So basically makes a point when the Gentiles sin that will be destroyed, even though they never had God's written law, right? The Jews have the law, the religious practice that they're kind of worshipping right. And the Jews who do not have God's law will be judged by the law if they fail to obey it. And this is the message I proclaim that the day is coming when God through Christ Jesus will judge every one secret life. Alright, so Christians don't like to hear that they will be judged. Yes, you will. The Bible says it a lot like so this is just one of those places every once awhile includes himself. We're going to see it again, we get to chapter 14. So secret life. So we've talked about that there are a lot of people saying they're Christians are doing things here in church, but then have a secret life when they go home. So if we just go back to chapter two, because what he's just done like member chapter one Gentiles, right, so now right away, he'll say, you may think you can condemn such people he means Gentiles. But you are just as bad you have no excuse. Who's he talking to the Jewish believers? When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you're condemning yourself, for you who judge others do the very same things? Right. So you're all sinners, right? That's the point or have sinned, I should say. You call yourself Jews are relying on God's law, you boast about your special relationship with them? Well, if you teach others teach yourself, alright, so really hard statements here. So that's basically the crux. You know, they brag about the circumcision, right? Yeah. One who's a Jew is one inwardly. We talked about the circumcise hearts, right? So it's your heart whose heart is changed as the point he makes here, no matter what version you're in. Alright, so well, then should we conclude that the Jews are better than others? No. Right? And then you're going to read a little thing, I just want to just pump the brakes for a second, no one is righteous, not even one, no one is truly wise. No one is seeking God. Now. Sometimes we're going to talk about this as part of the application. So I've heard this, I've heard actually pastors say this, right to argue against what it's called in on the inside the church world, the seeker friendly church. Alright, so the seeker friendly church is a church that like, welcomes and welcomes outsiders, but typically goes like a little too far. Right? For example, at a secret friendly church, you will not hear what I just read you in Romans one. You're not going to hear that. They're not going to, I'm not going to use the secular terms, or they're not got the guts to say that, right? It's not going to happen, right? Why? Because Oh, we don't want to offend anyone. So seeker friendly church doesn't want to offend anybody. But if I read the Word of God to you, you should be getting offended. That's what it does. Like, if you're not offended, we didn't do it, right. That's just what it is. Yes, we want to build you up. But it's offensive. It says a lot of offensive things. So anyway, they'll say, Well, no one's seeking God. Roman says, No one's seeking God. So we shouldn't have to seek a friendly church. I'm kind of like, Pastor, step down, please. You really need to read your Bible, because for example, you get to Hebrews 11, six, right? God is pleased, right? So anyone wants to come to God must believe that God exists, and that he wrote rewards those who sincerely seek Him. So you got to keep reading. It's one of those both sides of the coin. Just a quick note here, if you ever hear that wrong, and says it all over the songs that he's quoting, So, alright, so as we continue, he's just basically saying, Look, you know, you're all bunch of stuff. So here's the key verse, Romans 323, right? All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, that big verse for this section. Alright, so what is Paul doing? He's leveling the playing field, right? That's it, you're all the same. They don't care if you're Jew or not whatever, right? You can't boast about the law. It's by faith he brings in Abraham we've seen him before in this series, right as an example, Abraham believed God, and God counted and righteous because of his faith is something that Paul uses elsewhere to. Okay, when God counted righteous, it wasn't just for Abraham's benefit was recorded for our benefit to assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, and he was handed over to die because of our sins. And he was raised the life to make us right with God, no chapter breaks. So Romans five one, therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus As Christ our Lord has done for us, because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. We can rejoice to when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance and endurance, develop strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment for we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. So, like, hey, so this is what's important. And by the way, another theme Paul brings up right, you may suffer for this. Alright, so but what do we have Hoban? Jesus coming back? Right, so we put our hope in Jesus. So now you're going to get an interesting thing. Let's just see real quick, okay, probably get put up the chart now. So we're going to get into chapters 678, the main thing but I want you to understand, because of this, he's talking about like, you got to think of it in this like as why is he going in talking about Adam Now, remember, All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Right? Because of our sins. Jesus died. He's talking about sin. So he's going to talk about Adam, why? Because he's the first sinner technically right would be the wife is Eve, is it him? I don't know. Let's not get into the marital disputes right now. Okay, so, but he's like, right, the first center is what the Bible says here. So Adams assembled though he's a representative representation of Christ who has yet to come. But there's a great difference between Adamson and God's gracious gift for the sin of one man, Adam brought death to many, but even greater is God's wonderful grace and His gift of forgiveness through this other man, Jesus Christ, right. So it's important thing to remember. So just keep this in your back pocket as we move into chapter six and then get to seven. All right. So basically, let's see really though, because one person Jesus obeyed God, many were made righteous. So some might be thinking, okay, cool. Like I can just sin all I want, right? Said we sin we just going to send more. All right, chapter six, seven and eight, go together. Right? They should just cross out the number. They just it's all one train of thought on this topic. He starts Romans six one, well, then should we keep on sending so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not. Greek says Matt. Never be if your version says God forbid, cross it out, doesn't say that. And the Greek moving on, since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ in baptism, we joined him in his death. For we died and were buried with Christ and baptism and justice Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father. Now we may live new lives, beautiful definition of baptism, right. So that's what it means you died, your old self come up a new creation in Christ. Since we've been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as he was, we know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. Remember these phrases, we are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ, we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know that we will live with him. So he's talking about like the resurrection, we are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again, death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. So remember, Hebrews, like he died once for all, he's a once for all sacrifices comes up again here. But does this start to sound pretty redundant? Right? You are not a slave isn't? You're no longer under its power, right? Christ died so that we could be dead to sin. Okay, so if that wasn't redundant enough, I just want you to see this. You're not let sin control the way you live. Do not give into your sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourself completely to God, for you are dead. But now you have a new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, we can keep the scriptures on the screen, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the Freedom of God's grace. Sounded pretty redundant. Okay, so he's going to get into the purpose of the law here, right? Because we're talking about, you know, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not, in fact, the law, it was a law that showed me my sin. Right. That was the purpose. Paul is saying that's what the purpose of the law is to show us. Right. If I didn't hear you must not cover it. I wouldn't have known it was wrong, essentially. So it's a basic argument here. So that was his purpose. Now, you're heading when you get to right around verse 14 may say something like I'm struggling with sin. But not Paul. So it's kind of weird. It's that's not in the original policy. So the trouble is not with the law. No, you know why he's talking about the law for the spiritual and good that travels with me. Now just remember what we just read. And think about this. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is my sinful nature.
I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't, I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don't want to do, I'm not really the one doing wrong. It is sin living in Me that does it. Would Paul put something like that off on something else? Or would he take responsibility? I have discovered this principle of life, that when I want to do what is right, I never let me do what is wrong. I love God's love with all my heart. But there's another power within me that war with my mind is power makes me a slave to sin. That is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am. Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death. Thank God, the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So as you see how it is, in my mind, I really want to obey God. And because of my sinful nature, I am a slave to sin. What? Okay, I'll explain this. Remember, Adam? Remember, he was just talking about Adam. So if you don't read the Greek, you won't get it. If you read the Greek and you study it, it's called possible PA or possible PC to make a face. Very common thing for rhetorician to do rhetorical thing. I can't think of a simpler word anyway, we'll move on. But anyway, someone who's really good at speaking and delivering arguments like Paul, it's called to make a face and what he's doing here like I could have read this in a different voice. And I know that nothing good lives in me that is my sinful nature, right? That's Adam, what he sounds like. But anyway, because he's, he's mocking Adam. He's mocking. Otherwise, Paul is a liar. Like he's contradicting himself in an enormous, enormous way. And let me show you just how enormous that is. Romans eight one. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life giving spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. God did what the law cannot do, he sent his own son in a body like the bodies we sinners up. And in that body, God declared an end to sins control over us by giving his son as a sacrifice for our sins. And he did this so that the Justice requirement of the law could be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature, but instead follow the Holy Spirit of the Spirit. Those who are dominated by their sinful nature, think about simple things, but those were controlled by the Holy Spirit. Think about the things that pleases spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the spirit control your mind leads to life and peace, for the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never disobeyed God's laws and it never will. That is why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature, you are controlled by the Spirit. If you have the Spirit of God living you. Remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all. And Christ lives within you. So even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. Therefore your brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death, the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live for all who are led by the Spirit, our children of God. Okay, did Paul make that crystal clear? So please it Yes. It's bookended literally. Right? So the next time you hear someone said, I'd be like, nope, read your Bible. Right? Right. Well, Paul struggled with sin at wrong answer. It's wrong. Otherwise, we have a big contradiction in the Word of God and the Word of God doesn't do that, does it? No, no, someone say no, no. Okay. So Paul, talks about the future glory outweighing current suffering. He moves into that we've seen that theme before the Holy Spirit praying for us in our weakness, right. So nothing. The sufferings remember the suffering. Nothing can separate us from Gods love Romans 835 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? And the meaning no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or persecuted or hungry or destitute or in danger or threatened with death? As different say, for your sake, we are killed every day. We're being slaughtered like sheep. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us and convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today or worries about tomorrow. Not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below. Indeed, nothing in all creation. we'll ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord, report. So no matter what we're going through, we're looking forward to that heavenly hope. Right? So the suffering we've seen, but the Holy Spirit seals us with His love. Now, he's going to change a little bit here. Okay, different topic. Romans nine one with Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters, I would be willing to be forever cursed cut offs from Christ, if that would save them. They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God's adopted children. God revealed His glory to them, he made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to their ancestors, the privilege of worshiping and receiving these wonderful promises. Sorry about that good luck. And Christ himself was an Israelite, as far as human nature is concerned. And he is God. Another good line right there. Jesus has got another one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise. Okay, another chart because this section nine through 11 Micro subject line right under this subject line, like Paul's concern for his kinsmen. So the question comes up, right? What happens to the Jewish people who didn't accept Jesus? Oh, so Paul is going to spend these next three chapters addressing that, well, that has got failed to fulfill his promise Israel? No, for not all who are born into the nation of Israel, truly members of God's people being descendants of Abraham doesn't make them truly Abraham's children. So we start to get this idea, right. And so people will use big words, we're not going to do it, like free destination, right? So wait a minute. So this idea of like God choosing certain people and not others, isn't that mean? Right. So he will bring up some examples. I love Jacob, but I hated Esau. What's that about? Why JD? So I didn't do anything. Are we saying then that God was unfair? Of course not. For God said to Moses, I will show mercy to anyone I choose. And I'll show compassion. Anyone I choose. Brings up Pharaoh, you know, the Exodus story, right? God hardened his heart. Let's not fair. You know, you harden his heart. Why do you do that? Was it Pharaoh's fault? All right, he versus so why does God blame people for not responding? Having they simply done what he makes them do? Their question? No, don't say that. Who are you? I'm your human being to argue with God. I think a lot more people need to hear that. Are you to argue with God, right? So he gives us illustration, right? When the potter makes stars out of clay, from the same love doesn't he chooses one for honorable use and dessert? Or like, you know, for pretty things and one for garbage? His choice? He's the potter, the clay doesn't go, Hey, why did you make me like this? No, that's a foolish argument. Alright, so and we are minds them are among those who are selected. Right? He goes into this thing here where it gets a little confusing, like, he's going to use the Gentiles to bring him in to make the Jewish people jealous, so that they'll come to Christ. It's just an interesting argument here.
He's going to go into that. But what does this all mean? Well, even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God's standard, they were made right with God. And it was by fate. So he's going to keep making this point. Why? Because the Gentiles are worshiping the law. Right? So it goes back to that. But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God, by keeping the Law never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of trusting Him, makes us arguments that it just having faith, right, grace, faith, that's it. All right, we'll go into 10. Same subject line, dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart, and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they had. But it's misdirected zeal right there excited about the wrong thing. Christ has already accomplished a purpose for which the law was given. Right. So all we believe in Him, are made right with God. But this message is very close at hand. So he kind of goes into this and the message is the very message about faith that we preach, if you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart, that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved for just by believing in your heart that you are made right with God and just by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. So faith comes through hearing what you need to hear at first that is hearing the good news about Christ but I asked have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Good question. Yes, they have. The message has gone out throughout the earth and to all the words to the world. Well, did they really understand second questions going to come up? Nope. And here we have the jealousy. Yes, they did. They understood I will rouse your jealousy through people or not even a nation. Oh, provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles. Why he's saying this. Right. Good. regarding Israel all day long. I open my arms to them but they are disobedient. and rebellious, no chapter breaks Romans 11. One, I asked them See, isn't that a weird place to start? I asked that has gotten rejected his own people, the nation of Israel, of course neck. He says, I'm in Israel, Israelite, right? descendant of Abraham, member of the tribe of Benjamin. No, he is not rejecting them. So this is this situation, most of the people of Israel have not found the favor of God. They were looking for so earnestly if you have like Paul, the ones God has chosen, but the hearts of the rest, were hardened to God's people stumble and fall beyond recovery. Of course not they were disobedient. So God made salvation available to the Gentiles, but he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now, if the Gentiles were enriched, because the people of Israel turned down God's offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share, when they finally accept it. And so now, he's going to turn to the Gentiles and be like, Yo, don't boast about it. Right? Don't boast about it, though, right? So he gives us an illustration of like an olive tree in these branches, right? And so like this root of this tree is from Abraham, it comes up. And the natural brand says they're the Jewish people, but some of them fell off, right? These are the ones who don't believe in Jesus, but you Gentile are from like a wild olive tree and you were grafted in. So you know, if you can be grafted in and the natural ones broke off, be careful, right? So like, Don't boast, right, don't boast that salvation came to you. And these people broke off, right? They are a part of the family. So the basic issue here, because apologist has a heart we're not given any reasonable how exactly this will happen, that they'll somehow come in to somebody we don't know. Paul just hopes right so that his kinsmen, he's praying for them. And these think about it are people who persecuted him. Remember what happened? The Razzies thrown in jail, really bad, really bad. So still praying for them. So he loves them, even though he's being persecuted. So this is what the takeaway should be. Right? This is the takeaway, right? Pray for those who persecute you, right? Like we're commanded to. But he says this. And this is interesting, because do you remember who can argue with God? And he closes a section with oh, how great God's riches and wisdom and knowledge, how impossible it is for us to understand his decisions, and ways. And how impossible it's not possible to understand his decisions. Who can know the Lord's thoughts, right, who can give me advice, for everything comes from him and exists by His power is intended for His glory, all glory him forever and ever. But again, write chapter nine. Should the thing that was created says, I want to create it, why have you made me like this? That's Paul's answer to the question. That's God's answer. Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge? How Impossible? Impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and wait. That's it. Right. So but here, despite this, here's what happens. We've been in church for a long time. What have you studied when you study these chapters? Right? What is predestination? Right? And then there's two groups in the church that start arguing with each other, right? Free will presume free will. But you know what, it doesn't say anything about all that. It certainly says don't argue about that's what you get back and forth. Nonsense. And what I would say is what God says it's impossible to know his decision. I don't know. What by What do you mean, like the clay Barkin at the potter stop? Right. But what's the real point here? The horrible irony when people get into these arguments, and they divide, right? Well, no, we got to go to the church that believes this. And I can't go to church with you, friend. I'm not really a friend. Right? I can't go to church with you because you believe something different on that standpoint. So we can't hang out together. What's the horrible irony here? The sections actually about Paul having hope that people will come into the church not chasing them out on a secondary issue. And that's that step I've seen churches split over this well they do sit in there one denominations there the point the other people they're not saved. You know, like, huh, Paul the point of this is Paul praying for people with persecuted him to be saved. Did they miss the point? Yes. Somoza? Yes. Like this. Yes. No
thing. We're going to work it out. Right. I know. It's heavy. I got to break it up. All right. Paul wants a drama Free Church.
Right. Let it go. Stop. Right, just get along unity. Who knows the mind of the Lord. It's impossible. And in arrogance, arrogance, people meet Miss this point. They stop reading. They don't want to read this next part Romans 12 One. And so what do you mean and so because of what I just said, Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all these - let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind you will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don't copy the behavior customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think the renewal of Mind, then you will learn how to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given to me, I give you each of this warning, Don't think I don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest, in your evaluation of yourself, measuring yourself by the faith God has given us. That's the response we need to have to what Paul is take. If you're a Gentile in the room, you should be thinking right after hearing that, because he told me Don't boast about that. Yes, I know you're excited. But I got grafted in. That's amazing. I want more people to be grafted. Right. So serve others. That's how you worship people. There's a worship gods are big correction there. That's their words. They're all over the place in my mind. So we got to pick the right ones. So that's how you worship God is by serving people. That's how you worship God by serving people. Okay, so we got that done. Right. So that's real worship. That's real worship. Right? So follow go into the body of Christ. Right? And it's because what, unity, right, you are all one body. It's not about like, Oh, I'm part of this ministry. And that's really awesome. And then run with it. No, it's about like, you're just different parties gives examples. They're different in different places in the Bible, right? So like Ephesians, four, First Corinthians 12. They're just different kinds of gifts. It's don't miss the point. It's for the example that we are one body, right? So I'm the mouth right? And somebody else in the hands of fear, whatever, just, we're one body. That's the point here. So stay in that train of thought, right where you're sacrificing for others. That's worship. So inside the church, right guys in the church, you're here, right all together, Romans 12 Nine. Don't just pretend to love others really love them. Hate what is wrong, hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient and troubling. Oh, he's keep on praying. When God's people are in need, be ready to help them always be eager to practice hospitality. You see, this is the response guys love, love, love, love, love. Okay, those now he'll start going back and forth. And I'll start talking obviously about those inside the church and those outside the church, Romans 1214 Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them. What did he just do about Israel? He's getting persecuted by Jews. So do what I do is say, Pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep, live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company area of company of ordinary people. And don't think you know at all. Never pay back evil with more evil, do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. You all you can to live in peace with everyone, dear friends never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. Because the Scriptures say I will take revenge. I will pay them back says the Lord. Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they're thirsty, give them something to drink. And doing this you will keep burning coals of shame on their heads don't literally do that. You get the point here. Don't let evil conquer you but conquer evil by doing good to who? Everyone to whom? Your enemies. Right. So we're getting the point. Don't be too proud. Don't think you know it all. So we're we are seeing true Biblical Christianity. Right versus belligerent fake Christianity. This is real Christianity. Right? Remember that? When you hear the fear mongers, the warmongers? No, no, that's just for them to do and that's fine. That's the world I'm talking about being a Christian, how we respond in church as Christians not blending the world which sustains us and true Christianity. And it continues, no chapter breaks. I mean, you're going to hate this Romans 13. One, everyone must submit to governing authorities, for all authority comes from God. And those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished for the authorities do not strike fear and people are doing right but in those we're doing wrong, would you like to live without fear of the authorities do what is right and they will honor you. The authorities are God's servants sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course, you shouldn't be afraid, or they have the power to punish you. They're God's servants sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. You must submit to them not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes too. This is how we know they're not talking about church leaders. For the survey, same reasons for government workers need to be paid. They are serving God and what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them and give respect and honor to all authority. God's words, not mine. And I'm not sorry. I'm not apologizing for God. I'm not sorry more Christians today need to hear this. This is the Word of God. Alright, so to those who want to dismiss it, this is not a one off taken out of context. I know my Bible pretty well. I can cite the places right. First Peter to Titus three sounds identical. And to those who think well wait a minute, that's not fair. read your Old Testament. What he got used to punish the Israelites governing authorities think Nebuchadnezzar, you must surrender to them. If you don't, you're in trouble. That's what he does to his people when they're disobedient member Hebrews 12 If your God your Father is not punishing you your illegitimate will father loves their child doesn't discipline them. Scourge it says actually. So here's the thing, think rightly. Now, wait a minute, but what if they're treating us unfairly? You just got to keep reading. First Peter two covers that immediately after. Immediately after this. He covers that. Right? And if you suffer wrongfully Well, it's just like Jesus did. That wasn't right. He shouldn't have killed Jesus. So be like him. Never repay insult for insult. Goes right there. adds that because the question might have come up, even if it's not fair. Love right fulfills God's commandments. Next section. Love, love, love, love. Put on the Shining Armor of right living. Remember the armor of God? Don't participate in things like quarreling, and jealousy. specifically says that 13 Verse 1313. Don't, don't participate in things like quarreling or jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires, keeps going Romans 14 one except other believers who are weak in faith, don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, once person believes it's right to eat anything, but another person with a sense of conscience only needs vegetables. For those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods was not condemn those who do for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn them someone else's servants their own master will judge whether they stand or fall, and with the Lord's help, they will stand and receive His approval. What's the point? Well, back in that day, it was the Sabbath and eating meat sacrifice to idols, those are like the secondary doctrinal issues that Paul dismisses, and he'll do it again, when you get First Corinthians eight through 10. This happens, we kind of still have that today. You ever hear of a Seventh Day Adventist? Well, those are people that said, No, we need to work to the Sabbath. And you did need to do it too. Otherwise, you can't come to our church. We have that problem today. Right? It's wrong. The Word of God says it's wrong, except other believers, if they choose to worship a Sabbath, or if they know, just all do church together, that's fine. But we separate and this is what Paul is concerned about. Right secondary doctrine, Romans 1410. So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer, remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God or the judgment seat of Christ, there it is, again, we call we will all stand before God's judgment. See, you will be judged. So the point here is, look why you're judging another believer. You, if you're the kind of person who is inclined to doing this, you might want to check on your own salvation. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling context is very similar in Philippians. To work it out with fear and trembling, because he starts that whole part by don't just look out for your own interest. Look out for the interests of others. So if you are prone to doing this, do this please, please be careful, because someone changed, filled with the Holy Spirit? Don't feel so inclined to do that, right? Like, no, it's not loving everybody. If it's not gospel, don't divide over it. Gospel First Corinthians 15 Read it. It's not that don't divide over it. That's the point.
Romans I know I'm moving. I'm trying to move along. So it's going to be a long one today, but this is all Romans. So you're going to Are you understanding Romans? Amen. Good, like, Thank you, Romans 15. One we're getting there. We are strong must be considered of those who are sensitive about things like this, the secondary themes, who was not just please ourselves, we should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord, even Christ and live to please himself, therefore accept each other, just as Christ accepted us so that God will be given glory. There we go. All right. So, Paul, we'll get into like a little bit of a reason for writing. Remember what I said, I'm just going to throw these up there really quick because he mentions it and it's enrollment, the Christian culture of missions, everything's a mission. Why? So that they can get you to pay for their mission, but it's a visit or a vacation 99% of the time. I'm right. So you shouldn't be paying for their visits or vacation. Right? So real missions, it's to propagate. It spreads to spread the gospel missions if you're not spreading the gospel to people who have not heard it, that's not a mission. It's a visit or a vacation. Romans 1520 My ambition has always been to preach the good news, where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else, have been following the plan spoken about in the scriptures. That's the point we follow where it says, Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard about him will under Step Paul hopes to visit them on his way to Spain where they will support his mission. They're not there because just a visit, right? Talks about a collection. Asked for prayer like he does, right. Paul asked for prayer. Pray for me to I need prayer. mentioned a whole bunch of people. I'm not going to read all the names. You're welcome. Phoebe though is a deacon or Deaconess in a church. So she's a leader. In the church. We see women operating that way. We've seen an X we've seen a number, Lydian Philippi. And also Luke, remember they were benefactor. So Phoebe is mentioned here. It's like a benefactor which is really cool. So she's probably a wealthier woman. And she helps fund the letter of Roman people say maybe even read it to the church. So Phoebe important, are Priscilla and Aquila talks about them. We read about them in Acts 18. So get a whole bunch of names that I'm not going to read some important here Romans 1617 And I make one more appeal. I Dear Brothers and Sisters, watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people's faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from that such people are not serving Christ our Lord. They're serving their own personal interests, but smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. Continues churches a lot of people don't know Paul's not writing this ascribe his writing this Paul is like just dictating it to him. So Tertius goes What's up, gives like a shout out like your hands kind of signs his name off on the letter, and then Gaius, so All Glory to the only wise God through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. And that's Romans. So we've talked about a little bit about Bible study, but this is how the Word of God is supposed to. This is Biblical preaching. And you're hearing if you're new is Biblical preaching, this is what they did. Phoebe would come in maybe read just the whole letter, it's not going to go okay, chapter one, guys. And let's leave it because it's 16 weeks later, Paul's already like doing something different, right? It's not relevant anymore. Right? But you see how many out of context verses there are when you look at the big picture? Like? It makes sense, right? So any other book we read? We read it from cover to cover before? What do you want a book report and drawing a conclusion? Like, of course, but there are too many Christians who have not read this and have drawn conclusions. Worse yet, to many Christians who have not read this whole thing. Don't really know it, and draw concrete conclusions about how they're going to divide with their brothers and sisters in Christ. When did you see what the book of Romans is all that? Not dividing? Because you love your brothers and sisters over any issue? Okay, but what did he say? Romans 1617, watch out for people who cause divisions. Today, we're looking at just two examples of two cultures. We've seen people are not that different. All those things are they're not that different. So the same thing, we're doing it today. Despite the Word of God, the church has built tons of them. They're called denominations. It is not the will of God that denominations exists. And so I'm not going to pick on one of those working through this. I'm like, had funny jokes. But like, you may be from that, and it's okay. Right? So I don't want to defeat the purpose and the joke, right? So if you go to a different denomination, it's fine. Right? I could contradict myself pretty easily. It's fine. What I'm making fun of to be honest with you guys. What I'm making fun of what I do, is I'm making fun of these divisive people that were warned about. It's funny, you know, it's like it's not but you know what I mean? It's like, ridiculous, but it's crazy. denominations divided. I call them one of Paul's worst nightmares, because it's the purpose for writing Romans, is why he's writing it. Don't divide the church don't create another domination because you believe in something different on a non gospel issue. You know, you try as a pastor, look, guys, but you see the word of God. It says it can't be known. Right? Just have faith. That's what faith is. DEP is. It's okay not to know it. We're not going to stop making yourself that right. Or you take two people and you're going to just get along. You're both like cut off right? It's cool. Just come together and do church. Right, let's stay Christ centered. You agree to disagree, like the Bible says, but what do they say? No. We want drama. We want divisions, we want to argue what are all those things if we read Galatians five, sin, because it is sin, read Galatians five for yourself. Read it. Divisions descension sin, it's sin. That's what it is. And when the craziest thing is, people will actually take what? Pride and they'll say their denominational name really hard for me not say one right now. But I'm a proud. Right, so Well, again, pride is a sin and so's division. It's ridiculous. Listen, my than I'm a Christian. I'm a Bible believing Christian. That's it. Stop. I don't identify as anything else. My identity is in Jesus Christ and Christ alone. Almost cool, right? Sometimes, I think God makes the bomb, right? It's unbelievable. When it's framed this way, when you really think about it, by the Word of God, right? I'm just trying to use the word of God to frame this out. Like the Christian College has gotten ridiculous. I have to say, it's ridiculous, like, ridiculous when you look at it through this you like. So here, here's where I want to give some encouragement for our clothes. So we saw the key, alright? Living sacrificially, just living sacrificially living sacrificially. For other people. That's the key to drama free church, you want drama Free Church, this church has become largely a drama free church. This is a place where we are a Christ centered church. And that center will have our identity as a church in anything else. Any Other Name, nothing else. Christ energy. And so we run our program guide. That's it. That's it. But here's the thing. I want to actually take just a few moments. If you're not new here to applaud some of you here. Not all of you. Don't have anyone in mind. It's amazing, right? Anybody? It's great. And that's what I'm trying to say I just want to encourage a calm, calm and you guys, it's been a hard road. Okay, so if you haven't been here that long, we weren't always Christ in our church. We were community Congregational Church tail wagging the dog, right did not work. The church just imploded on itself, because it was just cardinality and voting. One a pastor, they went through a pastor every two years, we don't like he did something we don't like we're going to chase him out, we're going to chase him out. That is not, not how it works in biblical church. You're appointed by God. And then by other people who were appointed before you, that's how it works. People who know the word, not a bunch of people don't know it voting the pastor out. make any sense? No. So it didn't work. Right. So my mentor came in and turn the ship around. And it took years to become a Christ centered church where we changed the name of Christ centered church, even moving into this building. We've been here, what, five years? Five years, right? It's just only been over the last year and a half or so that things are getting kind of healthy without these people in here. I read Rome. I read Romans, that section about governing authorities, I had an individual get up and walk out in anger pacing around talking trash about me. Are you even a Christian? No, no, I can say definitively. All the sin of the flesh coming out in a church service after hearing the Word of God. You might have a demon can't listen to the Word of God. We have people like that here. Right? But we fought the good fight. kept the faith I kept preaching or so a good job, right? It's not normative. It's tough. Your toes are all broken, because they've been stepped on so much, right? It's tough. But we honor the Word of God here. That's it. It's like Paul says, I wonder if you want to please man, I wouldn't be a servant of Christ.
So it's tough this, but this church is real. The other thing about this church, which is super cool, which a lot of people are getting it, get, and I'm just not going to go into this a whole lot. But within the church, you have like subdivisions, like, you know, it's not just a denomination, but there's only subdivisions. So your committees and you get ministries lives on it. And some of them are good, I get the point. But it's like program program program, and they develop their own cliques within the cliques and, oh, we go to this life group, well, you need the life group because your church is way too big. Like, that's why because a lot of these programs are patches on problems that wouldn't exist if you were doing it by that, right. So it's interesting, I get people come in and they say things like, we can entertain these things, but none of them really work. You know, like, they'll say, Well, do you have a ministry for this? Do you have a ministry for that? And we kind of like you know, we just we get to know you as a person and we get to know your gifts. And then when we need help, you know, you help or you just See something and you do something? Right? So that's it. It's pretty simple. Like why do we need to commit subcommittee for all the people that gifts just develop a click? Like doesn't work, right. And so the other thing too is there are people in need in our community, lots of people in need, and we can't use like, segregate them out. And then people will come in, they'll say, Oh, do you have like a homeless ministry? Or you have this ministry? Or that ministry? I'm like, yeah, so we can go, you know, visit them, patronize them take selfies, put it on social media, like, it's kind of weird. How about this? How about we do this? Let's How about we just make them equals with us, invite them in and sit at a table with them every single Sunday? And just call them brother and sister?
When That'd be better? Again, somebody say yes. Right? Why, you know, did you like the kids table growing up? You know, it's like, just come on,
come on family. Let's go, let's just do we have the kids ministry. I know, right? But you get the point, right? So we minimize that stuff. Because there's no separation. There's no segregation here. You're all equal parts of the family. So if you're new here, that's what we're about. Right? So like, if I'm like your dad, sorry, I talk to you I want to know you. I want to just I want to be a part of your life on help you in what you're going through, I want you to be built up encouraged and put into service for Christ, I want you to be a part of the body of Christ. And that's the point it happens, or Ganic Lee right when we are an organization but not really like an organism. Right? So we don't think like the world thinks. We think like God thinks Christ is the head of this church. So if you're new here today, welcome to a Christ centered church, welcome home. You're going to be told how to connect with us after the message. I hope that you will edified by hearing Romans in one shot. And again, I'm really going to pray and encourage that you read it for yourself. Read it for yourself. It is the word of God, this is your nourishment. More of this less of me, when we pray for you, Lord, I thank you for this church, everyone willing to come in and be the body of Christ. I pray for all of them that you build them up at the power of your Holy Spirit, as they leave this church. They're empowered to just be these wonderful vehicles of Your grace and mercy, your love, your peace, all for the building of your kingdom and the sake of the gospel. I ask these things in Jesus's name. Amen.