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Religion Can’t Save You, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2020 9:00 am

Religion Can’t Save You, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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January 16, 2020 9:00 am

Good news! Though religion can’t change us, the gospel gives us a new heart. In Romans 2 Paul admonishes religious people who have grown up in church and have never recognized their need for repentance but reminds us that there is hope. In this message, Pastor J.D. shows us the only way for religious and irreligious people to be saved and how God stands ready not with condemnation but mercy and kindness.  

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With JD Greer.

We want to learn concepts of truth more than we like to be confronted by concepts of truth, religious people love to write down concepts of truth more than they love to be changed by concepts of jury pulses, Lord God did not give his word for information, God gave his word for transformation is not about filling up your notebooks about changing your heart the religion the gospel gives us a new heart. In Romans chapter 2: manages religious people who have grown up in church and have never recognized their need for repentance reminds us that there is hope today. Pastor Jay says that the only way for religious and irreligious people to be saved and how God stands ready, not with condemnation, mercy and kindness title this message. Religion can't save about eight see how our hearts actually lineup do we have the heart of a righteous person or do we have the heart of a unrighteous person. That's what you asked to keep score which you write a column for yes to write a column for no commitment to give you a brief explanation of it and I want you to check whether you are more yes or more know there's commandment number one you shall have no other gods before me.

I have never put anything before God in my life. I've never loved or trusted or abated anything more than God. God has always been preeminence in my thoughts, my affections and my actions worshiping him has always been my greatest passion yes or no commandment number three will jump about one you shall not take my name in vain.

I've always held the name of God in highest respects, never uttering it carelessly invoking it only with thoughtfulness and reverence. I have never been lethargic, or apathetic during worship. I've never desecrated God's name by calling myself his follower yet not representing him. Well, the way that I talk back spend money and drive give honor to the God whose name I attached my life in his bumper sticker I put on my car.

Yes or no. I was go to number five was doing the audit was on it easy for you honor your parents. I have always respected and obeyed the authorities in my life and I've given them honor and willing obedience whether they were watching or not. That includes my parents.

My teachers graphic ops and the IRS yes or no enthusiastically submitted to authority all of my life commitment number six you shall not kill. That means I have not murdered anybody under some even waive this in your car right.

Yes, you know, like, okay, hang on 43 check yes number Jesus in the sermon on the Mount expanded this one.

He said the heart of this one is not just what you stick a knife to my chest, are not part of this one is whether or not you in your heart want to cause harm to somebody else with somebody that loves to see harms come to somebody else. That's the spirit of murder to check yes and that's when you gotta be able to say this, nor have I had hateful thoughts, nor had taken the slightest pleasure in seeing harm done to another human being I have never wished harm on anybody, even when they really angered me yes or no number seven you shall not commit adultery. I've never had sex with somebody outside the bonds of marriage nor did Jesus have I ever entertain sexual thoughts IV to maintain sexual thoughts about some of them married to the lust of the somebody in your heart you don't do the out your guilty of adultery not yes or no number eight you shall not steal. I've never taken anything that I belong to me that includes downloading illegal music cheating in school pajama taxes have always respected the belongings rights and creations of others and been completely truthful and fair, taking only what I've earned never taken extra Chick-fil-A sauce to start my sales at home. I've never wasted my company's time web surfing Facebook and Instagram in tweeting never taken credit and belong to me, nor will I ever let others assume good things about me to work through yes or no number nine you shall not lie.

I've never been to truth to get out of a bad situation. I've never stretch the truth to make myself look better in a situation have never slandered another person I've always told the truth in every situation regarding every person I've ever known have always fully fulfilled any promises that I made. Yes or no. You shall not covet last one.

I've never been greedy for something that was not mine nor by ever been jealous of the abilities the looks, the position of the possessions of others, I rejoiced with others and what they have.

Glad that they haven't even when I don't I've never complained about what God is provided for me and I've always been thankful and fully content with what I have and where I am in life even willing to share what I have with others who have less than me, that describe your life is so they put yes another point no finished. I want to trade with your neighbor. Now let's see how each of the did know okay I know I you did if you got a good score in this you need to go back to commandment number nine thou shall not live in a big old immediate fail on this one. Not you call yourself a Jew and rely Malone boast in God and you're convinced that you are a guide for the blind alike to those in darkness you preach, you must not steal. You actually steal your heart you say we shouldn't commit adultery, do you commit adultery you detest idols, do you rob the temples of those idols.

Paul says when you look down at your heart motives.

Don't you still do the very things that you tell others not to do.

You say don't steal, but there's plenty of evidence from your life and you take you more than what belongs to you. You say don't commit adultery but you sexually fantasize about people who you were not married to. By the way, that term robbing temples is clearly figurative ball is a mean that these religious Jews by my dress up as vigilantes and go around. Rob the temples of your pagan gods and plunder their treasuries. All Paul is doing with that commandment is what Jesus did with the other commandments in the sermon on the Mount. When Jesus said, adultery is more than just the act. It is actually what happens in your heart when you lost up to somebody else. Paul was saying hey we know not to worship idols, but you guys know that I don't worshiping is more than the physical act of bowing down to a statue right. The reason that pagan people bow down to idols is because they think that title will give them say prosperity as a religious person. You might not bow down to the gold statue but you worship prosperity just as much as they do you crave money and respect and power just as much as they do, you may not worship the idle, but you want what is in that idols Temple so you rob the temple you go after prosperity just as much as they do, and you can see that for example and how much you worry about money.

You can see that and how important money is to you how much you seek it, how you refuse to be generous with your money. How you refuse to obey God's commandments to the dividend or share and and how much you complain to God when God didn't give it to you that you might even say that you are using God and religion to help you in pursuit of that idle. That's why God doesn't take up his end of the bargain for you in your job didn't give you a bonus or you don't make a lot of money you thought God is let you down on something you I will God to give, not Todd and I went to church and I'm still not the one about the race and I'm still not able to afford all these things that I want and you're furious that I did my part. See what that's reviewing is that you use religion to get things from God. Instead of getting more of God is a you say you're not an idolatry but look in your heart you both to the Lord, you dishonor God are breaking the law if you do bread as it is written the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, even the Gentiles can look at your life and they can see that there is not actually that much difference between you and them and that you worship the same things they worship, and if anything pulsating religion made you worse. Religiosity is this strange disease because one person has it, and it makes everybody else around them want to vomit. Tim Keller summarizes Paul's attitude toward religiosity. This way since religiosity, religiosity, pulsating makes people first of all smug just walk around with this subtle but nauseating air about you and let us get everything together. I don't have the problems you people have because I just do a better job in you, and generally speaking I missed a better class of person you ask yourself if your parent when you hear about your friend's kid acting up in school is your gut response market would never do that I must be doing some right or is your response. Taking parenting is impossible. My kids got all kinds of problems to and thank God for his grace because if not all of our kids to be doomed. When you find out that another famous pastor is fallen into sin. What's your first gut level response will serve him right. I like his theology.

Anyway was your first response. Lord God in heaven. I do consider myself because I made all the same stuff as anybody on the better than any of these people and I know that if I'm not careful when I'm in the exact same place religious makes people smug. The gospel makes people humble religiosity makes people Paul says, overly sensitive, because your identity is build on your righteousness. People can undermine out of challenge anyway. Do they be attacking your identity in question, and for some it criticizes you know that is deeply bothersome, maybe even devastating cancer you replay their criticism over and over and over. Get ask yourself when somebody confront you about your sin was your first reaction is it to get defensive right on this. You start mentally listing out all the problems they have much criticism you might yet we are a BNC in some idea whatever this O'Riordan was in a big light up the mess that you are ready receive their rebuke humbly and legitimately ask God to help you curative and thankful for it. Religion makes people really really sensitive because it's their identity and they can't be criticized. It makes them on the flipside, judge mental you have a need to find other people worse you feel better about yourself. So you're really critical of others always finding fault. You're the kind of person that you can literally can't hold anybody your judge mental because it's a personal insecurity you need other people to be less so that you can fill your more and when you do see some folder weakness in others you're not really compassionate.

He hears beginners all Tim Keller says it you will be at best cold and worst outright condemning toward those who are struggling rather than speaking words of encouragement to the struggle are helping to lift them up, you speak words of gossip about them to others to show yourself in a comparatively good light. Every last week was to characterize what you lovingly confronting people and helping them change and compassion. The struggle or was it characterized by you texting and calling people, whispering things about people because it made you feel good. A sign of this condition is a people to want to share the problems we you're very defensive.

If others point out your problems to you next characteristic your hypocritical twist on number 21 you get this theory only stance toward God's word. We want to learn concepts of truth more than we like to be confronted by concepts of truth. But here's what I learned after two decades to be a pastor. Religious people love to write down concepts of truth more than they love to be changed by concepts of truth, Paul says, Lord God did not give his word for information, God gave his word for transformation is not about filling up your notebook is about changing your heart. Again, Tim Keller, a real Christian finds the Bible living and active when they hear the Bible or they read the Bible.

They are convicted they are comforted, thrilled, disturbed, melted, slammed down or lifted up, never just educated their hypocritical. Lastly, they are insecure and are always worried our day and not good enough better than others. The pastor of the building of a good person. Isn't God good person writing down any religion that does not begin with a deep experience of God's grace and the cross is going to leave you smug, overly sensitive judge mental hypocritical and insecure sound like every Christian I know on Facebook yet missing from his youth, but that about everybody so much yourself to go back to judge mental is a religion does this. It just makes us defensive and we don't begin with God's grace will begin with our righteousness.

The result is that your religious people blasphemed God because of us. They dislike the God we claim to represent because they see in our lifestyle no difference between what our hearts are like and what their hearts are like circumcision.

He goes on benefits you. If you observe the wall, your lawbreaker, your circumcision is mom circumcision. Circumcision was this external outward sign of the Jewish covenant. In those days before modern standards of cleanliness not being circumcised, was the result of the source of a lot of disease so circumcision was removing a source of filthiness at the very point of new life and that is all that I got to say about that.

Okay. Circumcision was an important sign of what God wanted to do in the heart of Jewish people and that was to remove the filth and corruption at the point of the source of life in our day. We could replace circumcision here with baptism. Baptism is also an outward picture of an inward covenant. Your body gets washed with water. That's was to picture the cleansing of your heart is likely dear, you water like Jesus being there to be symbolic of the fact that you are coming out of that inset new spiritual life policies you got baptized your body. Got to put water and watch the water but does your heart show signs of being glanced you take the Lord's table, the bread of the cup. But are you showing the inward effects of transforming grace. Does your life show evidence of Jesus living on the inside working on the outside. Again we were to put you on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence from private conversations from your friends that are away from the church to convict you of being a person who loves God and believes the gospel. If your best friend could not stand up here and say beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Yes, I know that they are a lover, and follower of Jesus. I know that they been born again based on how they talk and what they do when they're away from the church and away from their parents might be because you're not actually born again if your mom could not stand up here and say oh yes, I see evidence of the changed heart. I see evidence of the new creation in this child and maybe the reason is because you're not actually born yet the gospel hasn't taken that that journey that we call that 18 inch journey of eternity from your head to your heart where you embrace Jesus for yourself, and you begin a graciously a person is not a Jew or Christian who is just one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh, nor is baptism something that only happens on the outside, nor is communion about getting some juice and cracker and you these things are our external symbols about of an inward transformation.

Circumcision is of the heart, so is baptism.

It's by the spirit is not by the letter, Paul is saying to us friends.

Beware religious inoculation you inoculation you murder this right is making the most important concept for you to grow the church inoculation in some places where they immunize you will take a dead version of the disease, you little bit of it so that your body will develop the antibody so that, if ever, encounters the real thing you forgot the antibodies to fight metal some immunizations work will Paul is explaining. Is there a lot of people who got inoculated to the true gospel they get this dead version of religion. This dead orthodoxy and that made them immune to the actual gospel when they got confronted with it. To quote Tim Keller one more time. It is possible to trust in Christianity, rather than in Christ, and this can happen in conservative evangelical churches. It happens especially here Paul is showing us a condition called dead orthodoxy where the basic doctrines of the Bible are accurately subscribed to, but do not make any internal difference.

There is an intellectual grasp of the gospel, but there is no internal revolution caused by the gospel both boyfriend. Listen. Religion can't change you only the gospel can in the gospel has to be embraced deep in your heart you may never heard of Dr. Christian Bernard will most famous physicians of all time because he did the first successful heart transplant surgery. His second one that he did was on a guy and after the guy came out of the surgery successfully.

He asked the doctor he said can I see my old heart to the doctor thought was a strange request for Dr. Bernard to come over to where he put his old heart in a jar in the Gothic of the jar record story looks at it a few times it's ready so so this is what was causing me all those problems.

Dr. Bernard said Yep that's it.

Handed back to the doctor. He turned around, walked out and left it behind forever. That's what Paul is encouraging you to do to take a look at your heart and realize you need a brand-new heart and embrace the gospel deep in your soul because that's when God gives you a new heart is when you can finally come to that point, we recognize that your heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked and what you need is not just a little religion you mean not new resolutions. You need not renew wall you don't need just to be conformed to something you don't need any kinds of resolves to do better. You need to be born again to.

That's the question have you embrace the gospel deep in your heart not have you been baptized not, have you join the church. Not that you go to a confirmation class not were your parents Christian not have you prayed this prayer but has the gospel traversed that 18 inches between your head and your heart always heard it said that most people do miss heaven by 18 inches. That's certainly what was can happen to me. Having grown up in a great religious home where I knew all the things that were there. There was a gap between what was going on here what was going on here so it wasn't until until later in high school that I that that I suddenly one that I didn't learn anything new because suddenly I can understand that Jesus was the Savior and Lord would die for me and you want to be my Lord and it became personal begin real young boy. Our church recently just told his dad he said you know I said in the middle of one of our worship sets here. The church know one of our worship settings is that I don't know what exact euro to articulate this but but some became aware and I realize that knowing that Jesus died and I prayed and asked Jesus to be my Savior but it was like in the middle that worsens that I've realized suddenly that he died for me is my sin that they died for, and that he wants to be Lord of my life is the data I hope this is okay, but I asked Jesus if you be my Savior again during that that worship said is that okay remarkably in trouble. That's it. That's just fine. She's there's some point it's going to happen where what you know in your head gets embraced by your heart and that's what this whole chapters about Sheila me and with Paul's admonition to the religious because it's it's good news to the religious of those you grew up in churches may fall utterly harsh message but Paul both got good news for you it's it's not harsh.

Look at chapter verse four I skipped it on to say the best. Last do you despise religious person, you despise the riches of his kindness and let your broken church, but you have a Bible but your sermons out with kindness to you restraint God can punish you. He didn't want you in an environment we can hear all these things in patients do not recognize that God's kindness was intended to lead you to repentance. The reason that he gave me the Bible is his.

He wanted to draw you to Jesus, God's word to you this weekend is not condemnation. It is Mercy's kindness. The father gave his son so that you could be brought in so that you can go from dead orthodoxy to new life. For the Romans one and Romans two is the apostle Paul retelling the story of the prodigal son in Romans one is all about the younger son member younger son was the one who rejected the father I want you my life anymore took his inheritance and ran off to the far country, where he spent it all on while riotous living ends up in a pit with pigs feeding the pigs to file broken hungry comes back to the father's house and pleads for mercy of the father runs out to receive him and welcomes him into his home and takes him into the hole because of role party. Romans one. That's what that's about as yes, even the Gentiles, even those who have run far away there still welcome a God stable because God has mercy for them as it is another son of the story. The older son is Romans to the religious guy but halfway to the party that the father stored for the younger son somebody tells the dad like a year older son is outside the house pouncing is angry that goes outside and finds out that the sun is out there because he's angry because he doesn't understand why the father has mercy on this younger son, here's a detail everybody overlooks in the story. Watch this, the older son is also outside of the house he may not have gone as far as the younger son, but he's every bit as separated from the fellowship of the father is the younger one was an older son has to be invited back into what the father basically says of the son is a there's room to my house here for you. Also but it's not to be because you think you're good enough to earn it. It's because you understand that my grace is sufficient for you, my grace is sufficient to bring your lost brother home and my grace is sufficient to cover your pride and your hypocrisy is only one way for religious and their religious people to be saved and that is that both got a comp of the same cross that cross declares that there is no righteousness in you that there's nothing you could do to earn your place before God that God has done it all and if you will humble yourself and say I have nothing with the claim, the riches of God and God will receive you based on the finished work of Jesus and not Sharon. There's only 1 Possible Way for you to come into the father's house and that is to surrender to Jesus as Lord and receive receiving him as your Savior and your only hope of heaven, and that is offered to you and great religious and religious alike is only one song that we will sing in heaven. That is amazing Grace sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost just like younger son, but now I been found also. I was blind but now I see here is my question not as you pray a prayer not baptized, not even a part of the church but had you ever been born again you ever seen Jesus as your Savior heart is in trouble. That 18 inches high desert resources and let us know how we can angry life with Pastor Arthur and theologian JD Greer's message is part of our overview of the book of Romans. We created a set of three memo saying to go along with the theory, and you can get one today along with the thought that can display box come with everything when you donate today for ministry to them where people can die the gospel with us on a daily intervention Romans part line when you 335-5220 10 at 866-335-5223 can request the study when you donate address. They'll be sure to join us again we continue our series in Roman life JD Greer

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