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April 1, 2019 3:00 am
The story out of many, many years ago that took place back in the late 1800s in the county of my field, Kentucky, and it was there. A small church at that time very small in fact was so small they only had two deacons in the church, but those two deacons really hated each other amid very always opposed each other of these two deacons always fought with each other. In one particular Sunday one of those deacons decided that he is going to put on the back wall a wooden peg on which the pastor when he comes in he can hang his hat. Well, well, the other deacon found that out. He was completely bent out of shape. How can this happen without my being consulted.
How can it and then the whole congregation tardy as it was God all bent out of shape and that took sides and that literature split the new churchgoers formed the departing church called themselves the anti-peg Baptist Church in fact, this is more real than you think. In Romans 14 we saw how the apostle Paul warns us against being bent out of shape and get all hot and bothered over nonessentials over things unnecessary for salvation, and so he comes to Romans 16 and he says, in effect, that why you should not get distracted. Don't get bent out of shape. Don't waste your time. Don't waste your life on things that are not necessary for salvation, but instead what you really should do, you should guard against false teaching and that's exactly what is in verse 17. Look at verse 17 with me. I urge your brethren to watch out for those who cause division and hold country teaching to the truth of the gospel that is a use of interpretation, not translation but interpretation is saying if you going to get bent out of shape if you gonna get hot and bothered about something, do it over serious matters. Do it over very important issues for the gospel and for Christ and for his word and for biblical truth is I bring the series of messages to a close, I want to show you from this chapter. Three very important characteristics for everyone who is serious about being the disciple of Jesus. Three things. First of all we see in verses 1 to 16 that of genuine disciple of Jesus Christ has to have a loving heart.
And then in verses 17 to 20 he says that disciple has to have a protective heart.
And thirdly, in verses 21 to 27 he says that disciple of Jesus Christ has to have a grateful heart. A thankful heart. Let's look at these very quickly. Having a loving heart. Not this long list of names that Paul mentions here, particularly the first 16 verses and then he mentioned more later.
This is a clear indication that Paul cared deeply about each individual person, not just as a group no doubt Paul prayed for these believers by making in the cities that he has been to and this one. Actually, he hasn't been to yet Paul did not fall in the trappers of God bless everyone everywhere. You know I'm talking about the kind of prayer God bless everyone ever God blesses people in Ephesus will God bless those people in Corinth of God bless those people in the church of Rome. No, he focuses on individuals within the church is even the ones he hasn't been to yet micro now here in this chapter he numbs 33 names and two households. 24 of these are in Rome.
The church hasn't visited in the last message we saw it clearly while he is so grateful to the Lord for using him and yet he gave all of the glory to whom Christ he gave all of the credit to Christ. Sure, God help them accomplish so many things and yet he comes here to chapter 16. Almost without even taking a breath from chapter 15 and then he says, guess what. While all of the credit goes to the Lord. While all of the glory goes to the Lord while God invented all and yet and yet I could not have done it without all these people all the partners in the ministry. This wonderful fellow believers, and he was in the sense overwhelmed not only with the grace of God, but with the commitment and the loving dedication of the believers in every city to be effective in the work of God in the ministry in early church. The church has to have a loving heart a loving heart. Beloved this intimate without the manifestation of our love for one another. We would just be another institution. I thank God for the emails and the letters I get from visitors will come in the same week of the apostles and we we found such loving congregation welcoming congregation.
I thank God for you every day. That is what sets the church up our love for God and for his word love for one another as well. Now the sad part is that there are many in many cases, the church is a cold effect colder than the world you probably been to some of the stressors I have in Paul is saying that the church must show affection when he talks about holy kiss and of course the text different expression of different cultures, but nonetheless the point is that Bible believing Christians must be warm and affectionate toward each other and that's why I thank God deeply for the loving people in this church and and I was thinking about this, and I began to contrast you the loving congregation with a story that a dear friend of mine just sending out long ago and is a story over the lady by the name of Gladys done. Gladys decided to move cities and she go to a new city because she wanted to be in a particular time at home and she decided to look around.
When she got there the first day she began to ask about churches and they told her about the nearby church where she could attend. And sure enough it wasn't too many blocks away. So on a beautiful sunny day she decided to walk and so she goes to the church and the beautiful building like the music but you thought the sermon was really boring as you can even understand what the guy talking about and as she looked around in the congregation. She noticed a lot of people were nodding off during the summer and then there was a man particular next to her. He was not nodding off. He was having a deep sleep and then at the end of the service, the pastor said before you go out, let's be friendly with one another. I want you to turn around to the person next year and I wanted to stretch her hand and checked her hand and introduced herself.
So Gladys done goes into the guy next door is been asleep the whole time, but her hand out and she said I am Gladys done and the man said God is done through having a loving heart. Secondly, having a protective heart in our 21st century church. Most people are fine with that loving heartbeat will explain to you why, but they balk at the thought of having a protective heart that is just they don't like that bit why because they have lowered the meaning of the word love to the point we just mere sentimentality. If it doesn't mean much of the everything goes top thing. That's what they mean by love, by love. They don't mean I get paid the purest form of biblical love, no nonowner because I had to pay. Love includes warning people includes exhorting people. It includes correcting people but that's not what they mean by love to them.
Love means live and let live. It means not wrong, no sin, it means no falsehood and no biblical immorality.
Beloved. This is a totally total contradiction of biblical truth. Look at verse 17 with me again the Roman 60 are you, brethren, to watch out for those who cause division.
Why bother preaching falsehoods by not telling the truth. The full truth as is found in the Gospels by embracing things that are contrary to biblical truth by winking at teachings that causes many in the pews to be lulled into sin without conviction in the call that love my beloved is the nature of biblical love. It is the nature biblical love to warn against harm to those whom they love what is the greatest harm that you want people against the undermining of God's truth is the greatest warning you can get somebody here. I love always listen, always, always, always forgives all evil. I don't care what it is forgives all evil, but love does not ignore or condone the evil especially inside the family of God inside the church of Jesus the mark of maturity in the Christian faith is to discern the mind of the Holy Spirit who authored the Bible is to discern the mind of the hold, not one's own fancy ones own ideas know why because this is his business. We are workers for him.
We are not in business for ourselves. This is God's business. The church is God's business. In fact, the Greek word that Paul uses here for keeping an eye on those who embrace falsehood to those who proclaim falsehood. The word is Scorpio from which we get the root word for telescope and microscope. That's the root word in days gone by. We used to exhort pastors protect the flock of God protect them from falsehoods protect the people of God called himself and ask chapter 20 when he was saying goodbye to the elders in Ephesus and he warned he exhort them is to protect the flock of God protect the people of God. What is happening today at this moment of history in which we live. We don't do that anymore and I'll tell you why, because now the pastors are the ones you misleading the flock of God.
Now we have to protect the flock from false preachers and pastors.
There are pastors who twist the text of the Scripture almost like a pretzel and they twist every text in the Scripture to fit their own theory of prosperity gospel. Every text.
There are pastors who twist the text of the Scripture in ways it becomes unrecognizable to make people feel that salvation depends on the power of positive thinking.
There are pastors today who twist the text of the Scripture in order to deny the relevance of the Old Testament, we seeing it all over the place. The list goes on and on and what happened to the proverbial frog in the cattle enough you put a frog in boiling water.
Frog will jump out, but if you put a frog in a room temperature water and then slowly turn the heat slowly turned to heat the frog one feel it.
The frog won't recognize it.
The frog won't know that this is killing it. And that's exactly what is happening. I have known wonderful Bible believing Christians who sat under this diet of of falsehood who sat under this kind of false preaching year after year after year and the slow heat going up and up and up and now years later they are denying the scriptural truth.
I know it breaks the hearts of their family members and friends and loved ones but they can see Dino why they can see it.
Listen to me because long ago. They have become friends of the pastor not Jesus long ago. They become followers of the pastor not Jesus long ago. They become enamored by the pastor and not Jesus. We only want to follow who we only want the love who will want to be the fans of who we only want to be lovers of whom will only be want to be worshipers of whom we only want to be enamored by a man belongs to a matter question why does Paul say these false teachers divide beloved owner and so that listen carefully, because in the church of Jesus Christ we have only one true bond. We come from different backgrounds were young and old women and for everything in between.
We come from different ethnic backgrounds. Only one blonde which binders together only one bond we have and that is the truth of the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit who brought the word of God the spirit of Jesus and the word of Jesus word of God is what binds us together as a church in a not to be alert to the falsehoods and warning others against these falsehoods will be like a shepherd who watches the wolves coming in devouring his sheep… And there's nothing will be a builder who worked hard to build a building and then I see somebody turning the building apart and he says and does nothing. Do you know the one thing that the wolves are absolutely afraid of is the watchdog near the sheepdog is going to defend the sheep protect the sheep at any cost. That's who the stomach. So what are we supposed to do.
Verse 18. Thank God I don't have to answer that the Bible because we are to withhold fellowship from such individuals who divide us by false teaching. Listen, there are some Christians who think we should not have anything to do with nonbelieving people. That is after falsehood is not in the Scripture you read the current impasse as you read here know otherwise how the world going to know Jesus and come to believe in him other than through us so that's not who we supposed to break fellowship with. We should be in the world but not other where to witness where the light where the salt but the fellowship is to be broken with a professing Christian who deliberately proclaim falsehood with a break fellowship of a sinning believer who refuses to repent. Look at verse 18 again for such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites their own fantasies, smooth talking, fluttering there deceive the mind of the naïve people they make their own rules as they go along that they make their own principles as a goal and they place their own interpretation above the word of God itself. They use their own rationale and Gorgon sort of God. Look at verse 19. Be wise in what is good, but innocent and what is evil will set me, it means that you are so familiar with the truth of the word of God that you know what is good and what is true and you get to know it so much and so well that as soon as you see here of falsehood. You recognize it immediately and you immediately. Not only recognize it but abhorrent not to encourage not accommodate to it not pretend that is not there. Why, because when alert believers get united together under the word of God.
You know what they're doing they are trampling Satan underfoot is what the story got here, but the day is coming when Satan completely going to be trampled under our feet notices that see Jesus because Jesus trampled him on the team when Jesus went to the cross of Christ. He said when Jesus died on the cross across Satan's head. And now Jesus gives power to the believers to defeat him, but we also look forward longingly to the very when our spiritual war is over when those horrid instruments of Satan who disseminating falsehood will be judged when faithful believers are going to be rewarded. Listen to me so don't be discouraged, my beloved friends. Don't be discouraged don't give a four soon and very soon, and maybe sooner than any of us think we are going to see our victorious Jesus and is going to be crushing Satan under our feet, I wanted to do that to step your feet.
That's right. Let the hell here. It led Satan. As this was going to happen to him is going to be crushed under our feet.
Satan is the one who tempted us. Satan is the one who caused us to occasionally fail and be defeated.
Satan is the one who deceives us.
Satan is the one who harasses us. Satan is the one who constantly struggling us.
Satan is the one who constantly try to convince us that were standing alone. Everybody has given up but you might as well give up to that Satan soon and very soon is going to be trampled under our feet. Praise God praise God having a loving heart. Having a protective heart finally having a grateful heart, you know, one of the saddest things I see across the world actually just in the West is that gratitude and thankfulness is becoming a rare species. Look at verse 25 now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden long pastor, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him? Set ministry.
What is that ministry that Paul is talking about. He talked about it in Ephesians as well was kept secret, long ago now manifest will actually is twofold is like two edged sword. One side is affected God became man, that's a mystery to this day many of our Muslim friends is Nana know that can happen. How can God become man. That's why it's a mystery to them.
They never understand there will never understand it in the Scott open the spiritualize in the second part of that ministry is the fact that the Gentiles are going to come in the new covenant and the equal to the Jews in the sense that they both are going to come under the covenant of grace as one unit. That's a mystery, even the disciples had a hard time in the early days of acts the Gentiles coming in and becoming equal to us to seek that wall of hostility has been destroyed have been removed. Actually, in reality it wasn't really a mystery ability to explain that to you because some very few read about it in the Old Testament and they understood it, and they comprehended the choice wasn't mysterious to some, but it was too many see from God's point of view this again and again and again, was repeated in the Old Testament, but the people would not believe that there would not understand it is repeated in Isaiah 5311 Jeremiah 3131 and 33 and is Ezekiel 1119. Just to give you a few samples all over the Old Testament, but their spiritual blindness. They did not want to believe it did not want to believe that the Gentiles again be recipients of grace, just like they are right you cannot read the epistles of Paul, without recognizing that Paul was one grateful dude he would talk about all the torture and the stoning in the in the building is not been the whipping and everything else individual bishopric. I'm grateful to the Lord is one grateful dude.
He was not on the grateful for his salvation but is also grateful for his sanctification. He was not only grateful for his redemption but he also was grateful for the sustaining power of God.
During that time with life. Paul repeatedly taught that our God is not only save us, but he sustains us in that salvation. God not only cleanses us when we come to him, but he continues on cleansing us day by day our God not only calls us but he keeps us from permanently falling away.
How do you know that again thank God is not up to me to give you the answers. Next verse is a word established here God establishes you being standing firm. I mean absolutely firm, immovable, your standing for his own establishing.
He is holding a firm on the rock of ages. Those who are united in the truth of Jesus Christ and the word of God are people who are always firm in the face. The wind will blow in the wind will howl and the wind was threatened, but they are immovable they affirm on the other hand, those who cause division and dissension are people who are being blown by every wind of doctrine will whatever the latest thing the doctors no fungicide we go with it. Those who do not have their foundation on the infallible and inerrant word of God. These people are easily persuaded by every slick and smooth talking preacher. Those who have no foundation will crumble every time there's a crisis, posted my gospel. A lot of people stumble over that was of me and my gospel is this is private gospel his own private interpretation of the Gospels know is saying on preaching the same gospel that Peter preached I'm preaching the same gospel that James preached. I am preaching the same gospel that John preached.
I am preaching the same gospel that Jude preached in here saying here that that's exactly the gospel that I'm preaching when you and I heard the gospel for the first time ever that the McCloskey raise her hand. I remember that day like yesterday prayed to God never forget it the first time when Christ brought us to himself and we responded to his invitation, God called fallen corrupt, vacillating, drifting, insecure, uncertain, confused mind like Martin and he established us, not for a day or two, but for all of eternity. God bless you. God took dune souls and firmly establishing on the truth. Establish again what does it mean listen carefully it means to stand firm against the temptation to drift and wonder, and temptations are all around us.
Beloved, listen to me.
They're all around us. It means you have solid footing when everything in every other person that you know is drifting.
It means that your firm in your convictions and you refused to be dragged into silly self-serving arguments, having a loving heart. Having a protective heart having a grateful heart, beloved is my prayer for me is my prayer for you, my daily prayer for each of you. So as I conclude this series from the greatest epistles in the New Testament. I can think of better words I could never improve.
In the word of God. So I'm going to conclude with the word that Paul concludes the official with to the only wise God be glory forever and ever and ever.
Through Jesus Christ, amen and amen and amen. Give God glory to God for father in the name of Jesus, we come to you as your precious children you love us, you gave most precious thing to you, your son to die on the cross for us. You raised us from certain death into eternal life were so grateful for your word and thank you for preserving it so many people want to destroy it. So many people burned it so many people try to get rid of it through the years, but you preserve that the new couplets of the today in this day we can be here in this church praising you lifting your name glorifying you for your word, encourage those who are discouraged and Lord I pray that you will humble the proud and arrogant because father we know that your word can do both, and operators in Jesus name, amen and amen and amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.
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