Lessons from a Broken Heart
Sun, Mar 18, 2018
Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.- Psalm 73:1–3 (ESV) Is there really any profit to being good? Following God seems like a thankless, difficult, unprofitable path sometimes. It seems easier, less painful, and frankly more fun to be bad. Especially in difficult times it's easy to feel this way. This Sunday our friend, Byron Yawn from CBC Nashville will be in town to teach us about suffering through looking at Psalm 73. He can teach us this not just from scripture but from his own experience.
Final Verdict
Sun, Mar 11, 2018
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10–12 (ESV) Are you a half-empty or half-full kind of person? Are you an optimist or pessimist? Reading through Romans 1-3 you would think that Paul is a pessimist? The picture isn't pretty on any side when he considers mankind. However, I don't think he would have seen himself as a pessimist but a realist. He's not positive or negative, he's just describing what is. This week we finish up the final verses of this section, and the picture of our condition doesn't get any better. Take a few minutes to read through Romans 3 to see his description to prepare your heart and mind to worship together.
Wed, Mar 07, 2018
What is a life of repentance?
FAQ - Judgment
Sun, Mar 04, 2018
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. -- Romans 3:1–2 (ESV) Romans 2 is rough if you are self-righteous or Jewish. Paul has been cutting off any possible escape routes for these individuals from the wrath of God. Nothing is going to save them - not their morals, or their knowledge, or ethnicity, or their ceremony. It is a full assault with no retreat. All of this raises a few questions. Didn't God choose the Jews as His people? Was that pointless? How does all this judgment display God's glory? If God gets glory from judging people then why would he do anything else? These are important questions that Paul won't leave behind. In Romans 3, he begins by addressing some of them. Take a few minutes to read through Romans 3 to prepare your heart and mind to worship together.
I'm God's Favorite
Sun, Feb 25, 2018
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. Romans 2:28–29 (ESV) 'God Bless You' says an anonymous stranger after I blew out a thunderous sneeze. It's a weird custom, but in polite company you hear it still uttered. Did you know it has odd, even superstitious origins? In the Middle Ages people had a much more active view of the supernatural world. For some reason, it was believed that a sneeze represented a demonic assault on an individual. (It probably started when someone thought they were cursed for having hay-fever.) The only way to ward off that spirit was with a specially uttered and timely blessing. Thus a custom was born. We might think this is a silly defense to a supernatural onslaught, but we also think other things will shield us from God's wrath. If we go to church, or have a quiet time, or study our Bible, then God will love us. Paul wants to bust through these superstitions as he addresses religious Jews that believe their position and customs will give them a favored status. Take some time to read through Romans 2 and consider why God should shield you from his wrath. What is your defense?
Believing the Gospel - Righteous and Adopted
Wed, Feb 21, 2018
Believing the Gospel - Righteous and Adopted
I Know More Than You
Sun, Feb 18, 2018
For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. Romans 2:12–13 (ESV) I Know > You We are Bible-people. While others have abandoned God's Word, we have clutched it tight! We believe it is God's inherent, infallible word to us. We believe that in its pages God is revealed. We believe that it provides for us everything we need for life and for doctrine. I know that many of you are at Hope because of this belief and conviction. But is that enough? Is what we know (and take pride in) enough to save us? This Sunday, as we continue to look at Romans 2, Paul calls us to reconsider what we take pride in. He will call us not just to know, but to consider what we actually do. This section calls for some self-examination as we continue to diagnose the human condition. Will you take some time to read through Romans 2 before Sunday to prepare your heart and mind?
Shrinking the Cross
Wed, Feb 14, 2018
How do we reduce the gospel in our view as we grow in Christ?
Me Greater Than You
Sun, Feb 11, 2018
Me > You Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. - Romans 2:1 (ESV) This is the equation we live out most of the time. We live on a sliding scale of righteousness. We compare ourselves to those around us and somehow we always seem to end up on the better, cleaner, holier side of the scale. This is a church-people problem, but it actually has ancient roots. This week we step into Romans 2. In this chapter, Paul continues to lay out the problem of our condition. Last week it might have been easy to look around and point at 'those people' but this week points squarely at us - 'good people'. Take a few minutes to read through the chapter to prepare your heart for worship.
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