Sermons

Romans - Choices

Romans - Choices
Aug 2019 - Sep 2019
The next few weeks we are going to look at Romans 14-15 . The Roman church was far from monolithic. They were made up of Jews, former idol worshipers, slaves, and more. They thought differently about their faith and what it meant to live it out. Paul wanted them to wrestle with the application and implications of the gospel he had presented.

Sermons in this series

Pursuing Unity
Sun, Sep 29, 2019
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15:5-6 (ESV) We tend to have our list of really bad sins. We are careful to avoid those. Often we don't even want to talk about them, but if we do talk about them, we point them out in others and in our world to gawk at their failure. When God provides us a list of sins, he includes some we don't like to see. In His list of the deeds of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21) there are are normal 'bad' sins, but He also includes things like - strife, jealousy, dissension, and divisions. Almost half of the list is taken up with our relational and interactions with other people. It seems like our unity and living at peace with the people around us is a much bigger deal than we usually acknowledge. This week as we head into Romans 15, we will look at this issue of Unity. We have been thinking about the differences between us when it comes to debatable issues, but what holds us together? And why is that not only important but vital to the work of God both in us and through us?
Stumbling Into Loving Unity
Sun, Sep 22, 2019
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. - Romans 14:13 (ESV) One of the persistent problems in church is self-righteousness. We easily recognize that in the New Testament. The Pharisees are the easily despised villains of the gospels. They go around spending time looking religious and looking down on those that don't, but they are driven by position, power, and pride. We would like to think we have nothing in common with them. In all honesty, the longer we are in church the easier it seems to look down on newbies. We measure holiness not by God's standard but our own achievements. The 'bad' sins are the ones we don't struggle with, at least openly. So when it comes to the grey areas or the places that people differ, this attitude often reveals itself. We are the the enlightened ones. We are the 'good Christians'. Paul calls us to think differently. One thing is to dominate our thinking and actions toward those around us. I want to encourage you to read through Romans 14 and see if you can discover that one thing.
Calibrating Your Conscience
Sun, Sep 08, 2019
The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. - Romans 14:22-23 (ESV) In the classic Disney movie, on his journey to become a real boy, Pinocchio is given a guide and friend Jiminy Cricket, who is to be his living conscience. This little creature is there throughout the move to advise, direct, and warn. At various times he is heeded and ignored. In the end, we are left with the classic phrase, 'Let your conscience be your guide.' But is that good advice? Should we be listening to our conscience? Will it every steer you wrong? What happens if we consistently ignore it? Or what happens if it constantly makes us feel guilty? This week I want to take a week to look at this concept though a Biblical lens. This is a critical question in exploring the idea of weak and strong faith and in dealing with debatable and non-essential issues as Paul does in Romans 14. Why not take a few minutes to read back through Romans 14 to remind yourself of the passage and think of some times where you struggled with your own conscience.
Real Unity
Sun, Aug 25, 2019
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. - Romans 14:1–3 (ESV) For what was supposed to be a group founded on love and should be characterized by unity, we seem to be highly skilled at dividing. We seem to do it over a lot of things. We group together with other Christians that think like we do, school like we do, vote like we do, do culture like we do, eat and drink like we do. And on and on and on goes the list. Honestly, sometimes I look around at the greater church and think God has to be in this somewhere because only He could possibly hold this thing together, and only He could make it even close to fulfilling its mission. How do we think about and live in these differences? Should we just get into our self-perpetuating groups? Or do we just become people with fluid convictions that don't really stand for anything? Is there a core we can't lose? The next few weeks we are going to look at Romans 14-15. The Roman church was far from monolithic. They were made up of Jews, former idol worshipers, slaves, and more. They thought differently about their faith and what it meant to live it out. Paul wanted them to wrestle with the application and implications of the gospel he had presented. As we do this I want to challenge you to think about your own assumptions of living out the Christian life. I want to you to consider what will bind Hope Church together. Take a few minutes and read through Romans 14-15 to prepare your heart and mind for Sunday.
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