Sermons

Chapter 1

Romans 1 to 8 Recap
Sun, Jan 06, 2019
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. - Romans 8:29–30 (ESV) When it comes to cars there are people that want to know all the specs and there are those that just want it to run. (The details of horsepower, fuel injection, compression ration, head pressure, and gear ratio are music to some people's ears. To others that list sounded like a bunch of words that were indistinguishable from a flux capacitor or oil flange.) At one level both those positions work with a car. Even knowing a little about a car can help you maintain it. And give you some basic understanding when something goes wrong. Theology, and specifically the gospel, are a little different. We may just want it 'to work'. Understanding what God has done in Christ is critical not only in our initial profession of faith, but for our ongoing growth, trust, and rest in Christ. Through our series in Romans we have been taking a look under the hood of salvation. Maybe you have missed some parts. Maybe you don't see the big picture. Maybe in all the craziness of the last few months it all seems a bit fuzzy. This week before we dive into Romans 9-11, we are going to try to get the big picture. I'm going to attempt to review the first 8 chapters of Romans. This will get us oriented and ready to tackle this important section in Romans 9-11 and help us see the connections and arguments that Paul has been laying out. Will you take a few minutes to read through Romans 1-8 in the next couple days? Also, this is a great time to invite someone to join you. This message will attempt to lay out the grand scope of God's gospel work. It should be a great Sunday. See you at 10:30.
The Gospel Explained
Sun, Aug 11, 2019
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” - Romans 1:16–17 (ESV) The old saying asks, "How do you eat a whole elephant?" The answer: "one bite at a time." It's a weird saying. Why not a cake or watermelon. After all who eats elephants? The point is that understanding or taking in large, complex ideas can seem overwhelming, but taking a piece at a time can help you understand and integrate the whole. That's what we have been doing with the book of Romans. We have been taking it apart chapter by chapter for well over a year and a half, but we are nearing the end. We have just three more chapters to go. Maybe along the way you have lost the big picture, or maybe you weren't here at the start and don't know where we have been. This week is for all of us to review, catch up, and get up to speed before we launch in chapter 14. Here is a brief introduction from the ESV study bible that I want to encourage you to check out.
Gospel Introductions
Sun, Jan 07, 2018
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -- Romans 1:7 (ESV) This Sunday we begin the book of Romans. To be honest, I'm both scared and excited. I'm scared because this book stands out among the New Testament books not only because of it's size, but also because of its depth and scope. To tackle something of it's magnitude is scary. I want to get it right. I'm also excited. To hear Paul describe and expound God and His gospel is thrilling. What could be better then to see the grandeur of salvation presented in all it's beauty. I hope you are ready to begin! Take a few minutes before Sunday and slowly read through the first chapter. In these few verses you get a sense of what Paul will be describing and how important and impactful it will be.
The Gospel for Christians
Sun, Jan 14, 2018
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. -- Romans 1:11–12 (ESV) We often think of the gospel as something we need to share with unbelievers. It is the message through which they find peace with God. It's the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and the implication and application of His actions. This is the message that unbelievers need. But what about Christians? They already know and believe this message. What further relevance could it be to them? Of course there is a need to know it to tell others, but is there more? In the opening of Romans, Paul shares his desire for these Christians to not only know this message for regeneration but also for ongoing transformation. He is excited to share with them this gift both via letter and in person. Do you see the gospel as something that can continue to transform you?
Unashamed
Sun, Jan 28, 2018
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” -- Romans 1:16–17 (ESV) Have you ever been ashamed of your faith? Maybe not outright shame, but maybe just a bit of hiding? Unwilling to mention it or make it an issue? Have you hoped that someone didn't bring up religion so you that you weren't obligated to enter the conversation? Did you feel guilty afterwards? We might be tempted to see this text as Paul's bold denunciation of us. The loud, ranting apologist telling us scrubs to get it together, but I believe that would be a mischaracterization. This declaration acknowledges the difficulty not with our feelings but with bold truth of the gospel. A gospel that justifies sinners and makes no sense to the wise. It calls us not to look at ourselves, but to the outrageous claims of the gospel to find pride.
Wrath Revealed
Sun, Feb 04, 2018
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. - Romans 1:18–19 (ESV) You go to see the doctor. Over the course of the last few months you have been plagued with chronic stomach issues. Some days are better, but most end in pain and nausea. Alongside these symptoms, you have a pulsing headache most of the time. Your feet seem to go numb occasionally. As you describe your symptoms, the doctor nods. As you finish, he makes a few notes. Without looking up he says, 'Well, I think you should take some Pepto for your stomach. Tylenol is good for headaches, and I would get some 'Support Socks' that promote better blood flow. I hope you feel better!' With that he turns and heads out of the room. My guess is before you leave the parking lot you would be on the phone looking for a second opinion because he treated the symptoms, but he did nothing to get at the root of the problem. Unfortunately, when it comes to a proper theological diagnosis for what ails the human soul we tend to treat the symptoms. What we see and feel is what we go after. Without ever addressing the core issue. Paul is not satisfied with such a surface diagnosis. The next several chapters layout for us the depth of our problem.
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