Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on Romans 5:6-11

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.  - Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)

1. How God showed His love
It is noble to die for someone who loves you back. But God died for us when we did not love Him. We were his sworn enemies.
If you had a sworn enemy, how would you treat them? How did God treat his enemies? He died for us.
It isn't just Christ who loved us, as if the Father is wrathful and the Son is loving. GOD shows his love for us in that...Christ died for us.

2. How God continues to show His love.
We are not drawn to be friends with a judge.  God is not only a judge.
I am reconciled to God. The cross stands as proof that God loves me. There is no longer anything to fear.
Now we can boast (rejoice) in our relationship with Him!
He killed Jesus, not me.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on Romans 5:3-5

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

Why do we suffer? If we have peace with God, why does life feel like war?

1. How are we to face suffering?
It is a lie that Christians are not supposed to suffer. It is not for lack of faith that you are suffering.
Christians: Suffering is not proof that God is against you. It is proof that God is working in you.
Rejoicing in our suffering seems outrageous.

2. Why are we to boast in suffering?
Suffering is the way God works in our lives. He transforms the weak into the steadfast, through endurance of suffering. Suffering always produces something better in Christians.
Mature Christians have character, strength, and hope.

3. Is that all our suffering does?
No. We know that God loves us because He gives us Himself in the midst of suffering. Not only did Christ die for us, but also the Spirit lives within us. We have right now a never ending forever flowing stream of love from God. He's not just working in us to build something - He loves us.  Suffering is the sign of His work. The Spirit is the sign of His love.