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Message Monday: Spirit, Life Peace – Forgiven for Sure (Romans 8:1-4)

25 Jun

See the source imageOriginally Preached 06/17/18 (Father’s Day)

Intro:

  • Today, we begin a new series for the summer, focusing on where we are going as God’s people.
  • When I think about the summer, I think about our family trips with my Daddy.
    • During the school year, we could not travel with my Daddy as he went all over examining banks.
    • But during the summers, we had all sorts of opportunity to travel with him.
    • As soon as we loaded up in our blue Astro van, we knew that Daddy would get us where we were going, Daddy would have us a reservation at a cool hotel, and during the trip Daddy would take us somewhere special.
    • Mama did all the packing, and took care of us while he worked, but when Daddy work was over, we could have fun.
    • I remember one very special trip to Atlanta right at the end of June. After Daddy worked through the week, we went to Six Flags for my birthday. Right around the time of my birth, in line for a ride, Daddy made a big deal of letting me know that I was now a year older.
  • It never seemed to matter exactly where we were going.
    • The joy was being on the road again, with Daddy driving, and Mama reading us a book as we drove; with the excitement and anticipation of being on a new journey.
    • As a child, it was the absolute freedom of trusting that even though I did not know where we were going or what to expect, that Daddy and Mama would take care of everything.
  • Now as the Daddy who gets to take my children on summer adventures, I realize that my joy is not the same as it was as a child.
    • After all, someone has to make the reservations, deal with traffic and road construction, and find the cool attractions.
    • But there is still a joy in taking these journeys and making these memories as a family.

Hook:

  • What about you? Are you going anywhere this summer?
    • No, I am not asking for your vacation plans.
    • I am asking if you are ready to trust your heavenly Father to take you on a journey.
    • Without knowing exactly where you are going, or what to expect, can you trust that God in Christ has taken care of everything?
  • Friends that is exactly the description of our life in Christ, but my question for you is, are you living that life?
    • Perhaps you are worried that you have to make the arrangements or deal with the stresses of a journey like a parent must.
    • Let me assure you, today, that our heavenly Father has made all the arrangements for you.
  • Today, I hope to share with you one of the greatest obstacles to beginning the journey God has for you and the way that you can know for sure that you have overcome that obstacle.

Message Points:

  • To do that, I want to begin my exposition of Romans 8, perhaps one of the single most important chapters in the Bible.
  • Romans 8:1 begins with the conjunction “therefore” which should cause us to ask the question, what is it there for? Let’s look back and see.
    • Romans 1:16 begins by making sure that we realize that Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation allowing the righteous to live by faith.
    • The gospel is vital because Romans 1:18 teaches us that God has a real wrath or punishment for all of those who choose wickedness and godlessness by suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.
    • Romans 3:23 tells us that all of us are sinners that have fallen short of the glory of God, placing us in the camp of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
    • That said Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrated love for us while we were sinner because Christ died to take away God’s wrath or punishment from us.
    • It is then that as we read Romans 6:23 we discover that the payment for sin is death, but in Christ Jesus God gives us eternal life as a gift.
    • Even though we have this great new gift of life in Christ, we are still struggling. If you read Romans 7 you will notice the agonizing of Paul with phrases like this in 7:15 “For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.” His desire is to journey on with God in Christ, but his continuing struggle and obstacle in moving forward is living out the forgiveness he has received.
  • Paul is struggling with the obstacle of forgiveness.
    • He has sensed the need to be forgiven because of the new relationship he has with Jesus Christ.
    • Once God converts a person’s heart, that person will become aware of how he or she needs forgiveness.
    • Haven’t we all hear people say that they are learning to forgive themselves? That is evidence of a person’s awareness of the need for forgiveness, which is good.
    • The only problem is that if we try to forgive ourselves, it will seem hollow. While we might be aware of the need to be forgiven, we are also aware of just how much we want to do what we know is wrong.
    • If we must work to forgive ourselves, we will constantly feel like we are chasing our tail.
    • Forgiveness is a promise from the one offended to no longer hold one’s hurtful actions against him.
    • Since our sin has offended God, then only the God whom we have offended can forgive us.
  • So Romans 8:1 is a clarion call to reaffirm that there is hope for all those who sense the need for forgiveness.
    • Find the little word “now”.
      • That word marks a change of condition from our former situation to the present situation.
      • For believers in Christ there is NOW something different in our situation.
      • Romans 7:6 tells us that we have died to what once bound us, the law, so that we can serve in the Spirit.
      • The change in our situation is that the consequence of breaking the law has been paid. We can no longer be condemned because our debt has already been paid.
    • But notice our forgiveness, and freedom from condemnation is based on one very important condition. We must be “those who are in Christ Jesus.”
      • When we look at this passage, In other words friends you must be in the van ready to go on a journey with Jesus at the wheel.
      • Being in Jesus is surrendering to Him control of your life, your destination, and all the in-between.
  • That is our main point today. The way to know that you are forgiven for sure is to be in Christ.
    • We are forgiven for sure when in Christ we have freedom.
      • Notice that verse 8:2 tell us that we have no condemnation “because through Jesus” something wonderful has happened.
      • In the Old Testament, the law revealed what was sinful and thus required much sacrifice and death in order for the sin debt to be paid.
      • What we find in verse two is that we are free from the “law of sin and death” We do not have to be burdened with the constant need to sacrifice. We must merely trust the sacrifice of Christ.
      • Now the Spirit gives us life and freedom.
        • Don’t miss that the Spirit gives us this life.
        • It is the Holy Spirit who inspired the authors of Scripture. Thus He is the ultimate author of Scripture.
        • It is also the Spirit that empowers us and guides us through His indwelling presence in our lives.
        • So let’s put these things together.
          • The Scripture says in Ephesians 6:4 not to provoke your children to wrath but to train them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.
          • All of us dads, like me at some point have failed in this verse. We may have provoked our children with indecisiveness or harshness. We have also likely failed to show them the kind of nurture and loving warning or admonition that this verse tells us that we should.
          • Here’s the good news! Because there is no condemnation in Christ we can tell the truth when we have failed, receive forgiveness and begin anew seeking to live for Jesus as a father!
          • That is why the Bible says that we can in 1 John 1:9 confess our sins – Jesus is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us to live for Him again.
    • We are forgiven for sure when in Christ we maximize God’s love.
      • Notice how verse three starts. It tells us that the law was powerless to do something because it was weakened by the flesh.
      • When our sinful nature encountered God’s holy law, it put us on the hamster wheel of life. Sin, make atonement; sin, make atonement.
      • None of those Old Testament sacrifices could be the perfect substitute that atoned for sin because those Old Testament sacrifices were bulls and goats. None of them truly showed us the cost of sin or the love of God.
      • Only in the sacrifice of Christ, a man like us was the perfect substitute provided, like us in every way, and we could then understand how much God loves us.
        • God did not minimize sin.
          • He did not excuse it by saying that they were born that way.
          • He did not cover it up trying to make it go away.
          • Even with the weakness of our flesh, God did not abandon us to our own devices.
          • God did not minimize sin.
        • God maximized his love, by being willing to send His own Son who willingly became a sin offering.
          • God’s love for us was so great that he chose willingly to pay our sin debt.
          • God’s love for us was so great that he put to death the consequences for our sin in His own flesh.
          • God’s love for us was so great that he made a way where there was no way!
      • Friends we do not maximize God’s love by trying to excuse, hide, or ignore sin. We maximize God’s love when we show all types of sinners that there is hope and peace in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • Finally then today, we are forgiven for sure when in Christ we live according to the Spirit.
      • That means that we do not go through elongated and elaborate rituals to try to feel more saved.
        • That is what the Old Testament law offered. Through ritual sacrifice one would know that he had made atonement.
        • But in the New Testament we must live by faith. No matter how many rituals we might perform, not a one of them will give us more grace and forgiveness than we have in Jesus Christ.
        • That is why we do not get rebaptized every time we sin. It is not the ritual that saves us.
      • Thus to live by the Spirit, we live by faith – confess our need by faith and receiving new life in Christ by faith.
        • That is why we have services each week that encourages you to confess your need for Christ and regularly have a time for you to remember Christ’s sacrifice for you at the Lord’s supper.
        • We live according to the Spirit as we trust Christ more and more for our salvation and sanctification.

Conclusion:

  • So where are you going?
    • Are you coming into a closer relationship with Christ?
    • You can do that today.
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Posted by on June 25, 2018 in Ministry of the Word

 

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