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January 3, 2020 9:00 am
With JD Greer forward in the Christian life and go back to the beginning to go deeper into it.
It's not new fax is growing intimately familiar with those truths that you have known some abuse in childhood. The way that we grow in Christ is the same way we began in price to the gospel is not just your initial first of power in the Christian life. The gospel is the power all the way through the Christian life. The power to continue in the Christian life as a pastor, JD Greer begins a new series in the book of Romans and explains how the gospel is not just the diving board of that which we jump into the pool. Christianity is the pull itself together what the gospel is and what it means for you as pastor JD start our study through some of the most important and pressing questions we have today. The Bible out of this and you will open them to the book of Romans. I am super excited about this.
Now you ask why would we study Romans for the greater part of the year well for one thing, the greatest Christian leaders. The last 2000 years have maintained that Romans is the most important theological book ever written. St. Augustine 1500 years ago said that in Romans all the shadows of his personal doubt were dispelled before he came to know God. Ultimately you be one of most influential figures in all Christian history John Calvin spoke of Romans as his entrance to all the most hidden treasures of Scripture. Martin Luther said that Romans was the most important piece in the New Testament. He said it is literally impossible for you to read the think about the ponder the study to meditate on the book of Romans too much. He said the central premise of the book of Romans. Justification by faith alone is the doctrine on which the church rises or falls right so that's how the leaders feel about it. And yet, in the 16 years that I have been pastor here. The summer church. That's right, I became pastor here when I was 14 years old, in the 16 years that I've been pastor here.
The summer church. I've never preached of the book of Romans. Hello point of transparency and honesty here is because I have been genuinely scared to review the passages that are in it and if you read Romans you know exactly what those are, you'll know when were coming to them. I'm also scared because I'm pretty sure that in three years from whenever I preach. I look back and be embarrassed by the job that I didn't so I just punted it year after year and not next year will be Romans this year it was time to man up, but on my theological big boy pants and were going into the book of Romans. Here's the other reason. Organist Mindy year on it every spiritual awakening that I know of has included some kind of study of the book of Romans. In fact, it was study Romans that launched the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther described his discovery of the gospel in Romans he said it was as of a study Romans of telecommand that was falling down a BellSouth and a tower in desperation try to figure out who God was and what his purpose was for my life and how to know for sure that I would go to heaven when I died. I reached out in desperation for the book of Romans and I grabbed a hold of it and when I did it ring a bell that woke up half of Christendom.
Luther said from that point on my study of Romans was something like a man that is trying to get apples out of an apple tree you crop it climbs to the extremity of every branch of the shakes as vigorously as he can to make sure that not a single piece of fruit is left on that tree. That's got to be similar to what we try to do with the book of Romans, which is much as a Canada form like this when working to try to get every single bit of goodness out of his boat and let it have the same awakening in us in our community that is had throughout history and Romans. Paul works through the most important and most pressing questions ever considered by the human race. Whether you are a Christian or not religious or not the most important questions ever pondered by people in the human race.
He does so with meticulous logic showing us that the gospel is the only answer to those questions, and the only real solution to our problems.
Paul's logic in this book is so meticulous that for the first hundred or so years of Harvard Law school first-year students were required to work their way through Romans.
Not for religious reasons but because of the careful way that Paul builds the argument there because he starts with shared experiences, people can agree on, and then shows how the gospel is the best theory to explain these phenomenon been the anticipates objections before you even have a chance to think of them and he addresses them and deals with them and he's bringing you back to the gospel. Paul central subject in this book is the gospel.
He tells us that in the very first chapter and he explained said to them, and in a passage in the first chapter that I'm a gonna think of is the key theme passage for the whole book why the gospel is so important to him and why he's going to spend an entire book 16 chapters talking about page 20 in your journal if you want to look there. That's where I'll be working off of this for the text is is Romans 115 to 17 key passage in the but here's what Paul says I am eager to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. I think of Paul to be here with us today. He would say I am eager that you in Raleigh and Durham and Chapel Hill and Terry and Methvin and apex in Holly Springs and everywhere in between. I am eager that you were studying this book that I've written about the gospel because she says I am not ashamed of the gospel. You see, it is the power of God.
Notice it is the power of God, not contains the power of God or connection to the power of God or jails. The power of God, but it is in itself the power God will consider this for a minute. The gospel is the only thing in the whole Bible other than Jesus himself.
That is ever referred to directly as the power of God and that is very, very significant and it explains why Paul is so devoted to interesting factoid here when dynamite was first invented in the 18 century. Its name was derived from the Greek word that Paul uses.
Therefore, power. The word in Greek is due namaste use that word to get our word dynamite from now.
Of course Paul didn't know anything about dynamite in the first century, but I think that is still good image to use when thinking about the gospel. The gospel is God's explosive power to create to redeem to feel it is God's explosive power to bring back from the dead.
It's not a new strategy or a new way to live. It is new life itself is not good advice.
It is good news about the power of God. It is the power of God and to encounter it or to touch it is to touch power that my dad grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Tennessee. It in that region out there.
He said that the war the worst weapons he ever got as a boy was when he broke into his dad's company shed and stole some dynamite. He said I said dad, why did you still dynamite the because I wanted to go fishing with it means in buddies as that natural question is what Heidi Fisher dynamite. He said it was much easier than the traditional way is not condoning this by the way, Jesus explained, it is much easier than the traditional way is it because you not sit for hours with your line in the water.
It is like dynamite. You throw it in the water and boom it explodes and all the fish just float to the surface and you can just recommend is not a new systematic way of fishing. It is power that does all the work for you in a similar way the gospel does not give you instructions about how to change the gospel itself is the power to change it is power. It's not method have heard it said before that the laws and the regulations of the guidelines of religion they function like railroad tracks, showing us the direction that we should go but powerless to move the freight along the tracks. I would say to some of you that's probably a decent image for how you feel about your spiritual life. It's not that you will know what to do. It's not that you don't know the right thing to do. It's that you're just powerless to move the freight of your life along the tracks you know you're supposed to do with the motivation the billing to do those things that you are lacking right in fact I would go so far as to say that if you think that your generally good person. Everything I know the Christian life is not that big of a deal. I can live a Christian life. It's because you've never actually really tried. It's still a theory to you because I tried to be tried to be pure in your heart for just one afternoon. Try to be without jealousy without hatred without rebellion without pride. Try to be without selfishness and a harder you try, the more you will see that your heart will not cooperate by attorneys like is like when I first started watching yoga things you like that is so easy you can call it a workout right and then you try, you thought you could write because you like it look so easy, but you can do it. The Christian life is the kind of thing that you don't really realize how impossible it isn't and you actually try to do it from the heart that I first learned this when I was in college and I decided that I was good be like the perfect Christian because I want to do it, loved all of our soul and mind, and I remember it was about halfway through my sophomore year just collapsing in a seat beside my bed in my dorm room just poured on my heart to God it ready to give up the my God I'm a failure, total failure.
This I can force myself to be kind of people I can force myself to speak nicely to people, but in my heart I know that I don't love them. In fact I resist your laws. I resist I don't love the things I'm supposed to love and I don't know what to do about that and it was one of those moments all in the spirit of God spoke to me in a voice that is as clear as if it were audible in God just has finally you're ready to start believing the gospel because I'm not waiting on you to accomplish these things for me. I'm waiting on you to recognize that you can do it so that you do it yourself so I can do it through you. That's organ encountered power to do what you want to do if you want to do what God wants you to do now at this point, you say wait a minute JD. I already know the gospel okay if you give me a quiz I could give you that the ABCs of the gospel.
So I just feel like I'm going to be boards.
We study Romans.
Well, consider this couple things. First of all, Paul wrote this book to Christians like pagans is not written to Caesar look in verse seven he wrote it to the saints. So the book about the gospel for believers, but even more importantly announcement when Peter wrote his letter to the church. He said that it was the gospel. It was the gospel that is the thing that the angels in heaven wish that they could get a better grasp of and grow more intimately familiar with what you think about that ferment the angels who see God's face every day.
It will be hard to impress an angel. Don't you think all angels of see we have angels were present really part of the creation facing God create all this often, and we know that angels today. They saw God split the Red Sea basin God put words in the mouth of babes donkey ala angels have to be hard to impress their like the ultimate teenagers no matter what you do. That is like no I'm so bored right but here Peter says the one thing the angels long to get a deeper look at the one thing they long to be able to experience and takes more of is the gospel so please don't sit around and tell me that you're going to be bored in this because the gospel we say is like a well you get the best water from the well, not by widening the circumference of the well you get the best water by going deeper in the well not a bunch of new facts you need to learn in order to grow spiritually it's growing intimately and more deeply aware of the things that you think you already know about the gospel remind me of something 2005, Christopher Nolan's Batman begins, which in my opinion. Of the 538 different Batman adaptations we had to endure over our lifetime.
I think that is the best one. And there's this great scene in it were young Bruce Wayne falls down this little note got Welsh after some like that and he discovers this massive network of caves underneath the Bruce Wayne family mansion and what he basically discovers is that the true riches of his family are not contained aboveground.
It was right below his feet as he went deeper and deeper rediscovered cavern after cavern with riches after riches and ultimately the secrets to become the back man. This is how you and I are to treat the gospel, we want the real riches of it. It's really good deeper into it and keep going farther is why Martin Luther said, I learned that to progress in the Christian life is just to begin again in order never to go to go forward in the Christian life and go back to the beginning, a good deeper into it. It's not new facts is growing intimately familiar with those truths that you have known some abuse in childhood. The way that we grow in Christ is the same way we began in Christ, see the gospel is not just your initial burst of power in the Christian life. The gospel is the power all the way through the Christian life is what Paul says in verse 17 that we experience the power of God. What's this from faith to faith. What that means is how did you first experience the power of God. If you're Christian you first experience the grace and power of God by saying God I can't save myself you've got a say you got to give me your righteousness. You got for resurrection power in me in the moment you believe you got your first taste of God's power poles is okay. Great.
Now that you experience that one time had you continue to experience the power of God is because you learn about the new stuff. No, it's because you do it from faith to faith. It is the same faith you showed in Christ, beginning that you show in Christ all the way through that reconnects you to the power of God.
You see, what ever is broken in your spiritual life. The first step of remedy or whatever is broken is to believe the gospel.
To believe in Jesus pager sin debt in full and because of that you could not be any more acceptable to God, and you are right now to believe that ultimately, it is his power and his power along the can save you. When you believe that you experience the renewed power of the gospel is why we say around this church.
You probably heard this of you been around here. The gospel is not just the diving board, of which we jump into the pool of Christianity as a most of us thought about it, it's the entry right into Christianity is the prayer we pray to begin the Christian life of the gospel.
Paul says is more than that is not just the diving board, of which we jump into the pool is the pool itself.
The way that we grow in Christ is the way we began in Christ. The way we experience the continued power of God is the way we began to experience the power of God is most of us think that we change spiritually, we grow spiritually, but just didn't busier the Christian life.
You think that godly people are busy people and that what you come to church is given a list of assignments in a new list of things to do for the year and you get exhausted well congratulations will be spiritual and certainly how I thought growing up. I am the church I grew up in.
We had the traditional, Baptist Church and I'm writing up you rack right in front of us. Visible blue envelopes standard Baptist issue. So you take one out. Put your offering and it but also how little checklist on the front little boxes for you to check of essential things that you should do is a disciple anybody else remember this besides me having an every Baptist Church in America knows things like, as you read your Bible and if so, you will check did you you put your offering any check that if you prayed and checked the share price or somebody check that is to be a little game of mine that I could see if I could commence and complete every single one of the things on the list. By the time the offering started to when it got back to me and I shared Christ with my sister hundreds of times during that season. Hey Kristi, did you know Jesus only do conjecture Christ right, but the result was I grew up thinking that godliness in business for the same thing now that that was my church is holding one intentionally teaching that, but that's just a lot of us grew up his thinking that to to get spiritual is to get busy to do more stuff and try to reach understand her, but the result golf was that I was spiritually exhausted because God was always like this taskmaster standing above me saying not enough do it better to do more of it is not good enough. And you gotta try harder and so I found that the closer I try to make my feet follow Jesus, the more my heart seemed to wander from him. I kind of thing now religion like this you know I'm a golf club, golf clubs will bend a little bit high vector design that way so that when you swing them as part of the band is how you get the momentum in it. But what happens with a golf club is is after it bends unit or is your swing it. It goes back to its original position. You don't do that one time it's not you know carved after that, you could also enter because are not superstrong metal. You can also you if you get the right angle you could bend and break the golf club.
I've always thought that was a really good image of the way religion works on us because we put pressure on you to try to conform you to a certain interreligious religious shape and after a while you know you hear you're doing it, but you're always under pressure and the moment those pressures are gone. Your heart goes back to its original shape, because that's the way that your heart wants to be a doesn't want to be doing what God wants that one of the study and things of God. That will be doing God's will.
It's so some songs or pressures are there, you're okay with the moment you're not around your Christian friends. The moment your mom and dad are around. The moment that you no longer scared you don't need God's help for something the moment that life is gone back to normal. Your heart goes back to its original shape or or we finally put so much pressure on you spiritually, but you snap your Second is I'm sick of all these rules I think these people tell me how I when I got a given what I can say I want to can't say it, who I can't sleep with. In fact, it kinda breaks my heart when I see some high school students. As I was a high school student. Sometimes they leave home and get the college in there like. Finally, I'm so sick to mom and dad's rules always tell me what I had to do what I can do and what it is they want to and say made a snap. Spiritually, it is another way that to to bend that metal and that is if you keep that metal up with a blow torch taught a thing about oppressively move your that's wrong.
The gospel is likely heated changes the constitution of the heart so that we can then conform to the laws of God. Some of you are exhausted spiritually because you know the railroad tracks of what you're supposed to do, but you have never experienced the power of God and I believe that is going to change this year because that's over to spend a significant portion of our you're doing discovery from Romans who God is and what his original plan was for us where sin came from and why it holds such captivity over us why religious resolution or education or technological advancement is useless to address the problems of our heart to see what God is done about Santa and what he continues to do and how that reshapes how we think about trials and tribulations, and how it transforms how we approach every single relationship in our life. Jesus said that this gospel y'all was so powerful that not even the gates of hell could resist with others gates of hell or out in the world somewhere or whether states of hell right in your own heart you got some dates of hell in your heart that nothing has ever been able to penetrate or overcome you're going to encounter the power of God.
This year that you see shatter some of their dates of hell in your heart and some of you were to yield yourself to be used by God in your Reseda that the power of the gospel penetrate some other date and hell in our society. Are you ready to experience this. You ready ladies and gentlemen, buckle your seatbelt and prepare for the ride of a lifetime.
Gates might look like a few other observations come from these this key passage just so we are on the same page as we get into the study this year.
Pulse is not ashamed of the gospel. What is he mean by gospel what's asked that most basic question first will first the word in Greek literally means just good news. We think of the word gospel now as an exclusively religious word I say gospel using church you think a certain kind of music but gospel in Greek just means good news and back in Paul's day, it wasn't usually used in religious context. The most common usage of the word gospel we find is when a general like a Greek general would win a battle he would always send out a proclamation to the countryside that Basie was like hey everybody, rejoice general awesomeness here has won the battle and because I have won the battle. You can now exist in peace and security in prosperity and happiness. It was an invitation to come and join the Army. It was a declaration that he had one so when Jesus and the apostles choose the word gospel to describe their message there indicating this is good news about a battle Jesus is one it's not an invitation for you to come and fight the battle, Jesus's last words on the cross where it is finished not pay I got started not to come help me finish about Debbie also Jesus's declaration is it's finished, it's done. And Paul is like this gospel is the declaration that Christ has finished the work of your salvation. And now you can exist in peace and spiritual prosperity and you can exist in security because of what he is done in it. Paul says in this gospel the righteousness of God is the word reveal the question is what is the righteousness of God. Paul is talking about. That is the key question. Listen in the book of Romans. What is the righteousness of God that Paul is talking about good on what is going to reveal back to my backstage area. I have a few things are up all discount regular mom. It was important my life. For example, I've got pictures of cities will replant churches I can picture me back because when my kids pictures Charles Spurgeon manacled by him that way starting out presets by there and last things I have is that it is been called by Martin Luther where he talks about the righteousness of God, and he talks about the book of Romans, and he talks about how he could not understand the righteousness of God was because he thought it was this standard that he had to live up to the guy was always saying not good enough, not good enough, judge, economic continues, you're not good enough. Here's what he says. Therefore, he says. I hated that word. Righteousness of God which I've been taught understands the righteousness with which God punishes the center.
Nevertheless, I beat him. Fortunately, a pump all endeavors you thought about Romans 168 desiring to know what St. Paul meant by the phrase righteousness of God is a standard to judge me by at last, by the mercy of God, I begin understand that the righteousness of God's righteousness with which the merciful God justifies us by faith here. I felt that I was altogether born again and hit enter paradise itself to open gates. That is inside the start of the Protestant Reformation ran on renting your listening life.
JD Greer and Henny along with the study. As we walked through the book of Romans. When Jamie originally preached a series in 2000 1910 him a whole year there's one thing that will transform your walk with the Lord more than anything else at spending one-on-one time in God's word. We had a tool that will help you do that. We then completed a year-long Bible reading plan in the 2027. Life, day planner, it will take us through reading Romans three times this year. In addition to many other books, the Bible.
The planner also comes with Bible verses each week to remind you of the trees are learning on this program and it's also got plenty of room for you to keep track of appointments or assignments letting you a copy today as our way of saying thank you and you donate to support this ministry at the suggested level of $25 or more Senate life is funded by listeners like you used to when you get your actually giving to another listening having them dive into the gospel and join admission by giving today and remember to request the Senate life day planner call at 866-335-5220 866-335-5224. Give email@example.com email list yet. Be sure to do that today. The best way to stay up-to-date with the ministry pastor Jay's latest blog post and the popular wisdom for your week and compilation and also make sure you never miss you firstname.lastname@example.org wasn't interested. I'll be sure to join us again Monday on Senate life JD Greer