Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sermon by Jason Hansen on Romans 2:1-11

We are all heading toward an impartial judgment. God's judgment is coming. Paul is preparing us.

1. You are not the Judge. (v1-2)
The most godly person has no excuse before God for their sin no matter how small it might seem. People who judge will be judged just the same. Like the Jews of that day, we in the church today are most apt to judge those around us. Rather than having a broken heart, we judge people. When our children are angry, we get angry at them for being angry. This is not accountability or church discipline or speaking truth about sin. This is self-righteous judgment. This is the Pharisee of Luke 18.

2. You are not special. (v3-5)
There is an arrogance of religious people who think they are higher than others. Either we think there won't really be a judgment for us, or we think we will be fine because we deserve the kindness of God, especially in comparison to others. We treat both God's judgment and His grace as too small. If we presume on His kindness, we are in serious trouble.

3. You will face Him. (v6-11)
God will judge good people as well as bad. Everyone is judged individually for his own works. No one is exempt. We are all condemned by our works. This is the bad news that precedes the Gospel.

Preview of what's next: All have sinned (3:23). But 3:24 is coming - we are justified by His grace as a gift. Ephesians 2. Any "good" works we do apart from Christ condemn us because they are dead. But if we trust in Christ we are saved by grace through faith. And then our works in Him are good because they are His.

The judgment is coming. Where is your hope?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on Romans 1:26-32

An unpopular subject - the wrath of God.
Mankind exchanges worship of God for worship of self. So God gives them up.

Exchange #1: Misfiring passions. v26-27
- Homosexuality is an example of the judgment of God.
- Our physiology is clearly not meant for this.
- Creation is being undone.
Arguments today:
- This is men with boys. No, because women are included.
- Paul didn't understand homosexuals. Yes he did.
- This is something people are born with. The same is true of heterosexual lust and lots of other sinful tendencies.
- What about same-sex attraction? Temptation is not sin. Christians struggle against their sinful tendencies.
How are Christians to speak about this issue? Clearly, but gently and lovingly. Hateful rhetoric is wicked.
Homosexuals don't need heterosexuality. They need Jesus.

Exchange #2: Unsound mind. v28-31
Your own mind is your enemy, if you are not a Christian. This is why reason alone cannot lead someone to Christ.
All of us can see ourselves in this vice list.

Exchange #3: Approval of idolatry. v32
This is an anti-evangelism.

What do we need?
- A priest, to make sacrifices for us and represent us before God
- A prophet, to tell us about God and take us to Him
- A king, to govern us
Jesus is all of these.
- The Great High Priest. Hebrews 4:14.
- The Prophet of Prophets. Hebrews 1:1-2.
- The King of Kings. 1 Timothy 6:15.
- Savior and God. Titus 2:13.

Because of Jesus, God isn't just not angry with us. He loves us.
The gospel is a powerful offer of forgiveness. Hear it and be grateful.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on Romans 1:8-15

This is a greeting, but it is more than just "hello."
Four ways that God works:

1. God works through grateful Christians. (v. 8)
Gratefulness is the gospel in action. An ungrateful Christian is an oxymoron.

2. God works through faithful local churches. (v. 8)
The church doesn't have to be unique or special. Jesus already is.

3. God works when people sacrifice for one another. (v. 11)
Paul isn't just concerned about helping them, but also being helped by them. If we ONLY serve where we are gifted, we lose out on mutual benefit. We don't need official church "ministries" to do this - giving your life away IS ministry.
The church is not made up of ministries; it is made up of people. Who can you pray for and serve?

4. God works through the consistent preaching of the gospel. (v. 15)
They are already Christians. But Paul still wants to preach the gospel to them. Why? Because they still need to hear it.
We forget what we know. And sometimes we doubt what we know. We need a regular reminder that our sins have been punished on the cross. We have been forgiven. And because of the resurrection, the power of sin is defeated now. We are declared righteous. Because of Jesus, we are righteous before God. Righteous behavior is the result, not the cause.
Verses 15-17 is the main point of the book of Romans - the rest is commentary on those verses.