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Freedom: The Greatest Chapter in the Bible

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2020 9:00 am

Freedom: The Greatest Chapter in the Bible

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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May 26, 2020 9:00 am

If some part of your life feels dead because of the effects of sin, then you need to hear today that there is resurrection hope for you. In this message, Pastor J.D. turns to what many people consider the greatest chapter in the Bible, Romans 8, to show us how surrendering to the Holy Spirit and committing to walk in step with him sets us free from pretending like everything’s okay and gives us power to change and move forward.

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Today on Summit life with Jeannie Greer the gospel message is not stop sinning.

That would be an impossible message.

The gospel message is to hold the love and acceptance of your God menu have the power to stop sinning is what we always say around here God's acceptance of the power that liberates us from sin is not a reward for us having liberated ourselves part of your life you dad because of the effects of sin, you need to hear today dear resurrection hope for you pastor JD turns to what many people consider the greatest chapter in the Bible and it shows.

That's how surrendering to the Holy Spirit and committing to walk with him sets us free. We don't have to pretend like everything's okay. Isn't that reassuring, and most importantly gives us the power to change and move toward freedom.

Let's join pastor JD separated the Bible with you this week. You brought it Romans chapter 8, which many people regard to be the greatest chapter in the Bible John Piper says the greatest book in the world is the Bible the greatest letter in that book is the book of Romans, the greatest chapter in that letter is Romans chapter 8 and I would add the greatest verse in chapter 8 is verse one. If you were writing the soundtrack for the book of Romans. I think when you rounded the corner into chapter 8, you probably start play in the Rocky soundtrack. Paul has just finished now seven chapters of exploring the basics of the gospel and now he transitions to how it should transform your entire outlook on life. Paul is going to begin asking a series of questions, so to speak that sound like these are my words, not his. But this is basically what he say if the gospel is true why does that change how you see your life that is a question that I would love to start pressing in on you really from now to the end of the year. If the gospel is true if the promises of the gospel or true. How does that change how you see yourself out of that change how you see your problems how you see the world is easy for us to believe the gospel. And like you know, out here in a doctoral's absence agree that we sign off on but never actually connected, practically speaking to how you see your day-to-day life.

In chapters 9 and 10.

Paul is really a press into the implications of the gospel for what we do with our lives then put implications of the gospel for mission. If the gospel is true he's going to ask how could we not be telling our friends about it. I mean think about it. How could you claim to love somebody to care about them to be their friend and not have told them about this message.

If the gospel is true he's going to impress on us how can we not devote ourselves to seeing it spread in every country on earth listed implication of the gospel being true. That's what Paul is going to press in on that. How could you believe the gospel is true, would not be me into that. That's all common in chapters 9 and 10, but today this weekend where to start. Chapter 8 Paul discusses how the gospel transforms how we see ourselves. One of the key themes in this chapter is freedom. Freedom the gospel. Paul explains sets us free. Most religious people. You see Robin know this from experience, most religious people don't feel free because most religious people are caught into traps, called the performance trap and the pretending trap the performance trap of thinking that you gotta maintain a certain standard for God to accept you or bless you and you think if I fail to meet that standard that God will punish me to withhold blessing from me you'll make bad things happen to my life. Maybe even send you to hell. So you're always wondering, have I been good enough.

Have I done enough, and if something unfortunate happens to you will then you start wondering is God pay me back or something. What did I do this kind of life leads to constant anxiety. It leads to eventual exhaustion closely related to the performance trap is will call the pretending trap. That's where you're always trying to act on the outside like you got everything together even when you don't really feel like it on the inside. Listen, I will say this is now pastor for 17 years.

Church people are the absolute worst that this or best of this event and I will look at it. You see some perfect little family coming in on the weekend.

Sunday morning there all bows and Bibles and smiles and husband sticks out his hand and says bless your brother and I got a lawyer. He smiles and uses gleam in his teeth and a faint glow coming from behind his head and the kids are all standing there politely and the little matching outfits in their lavender colored Bibles and it is everything look so perfect you listen I know from personal experience that there's a really good chance that on the way to the church in the car that his wife and he was totally screaming at each other. Now that you only want to talk to each other and as he pulled in the parking lot.

He was leaning back in the backseat, swinging one of the kids and they are just not like you to look sly on the outside.

Sometimes you see somebody at church and you like how you do it how you doing to know me like I may see him just so blessed to blessed to be stressed but when you look at their Facebook page and I don't look too blessed to be stressed they look plenty stressed. In fact, it looks like their life is on fire and service pretending trap were always trying to maintain righteousness and happiness on the outside while keeping these simple impulses under control. Joby Martin friend of mine describes is, religious life. I try to hold a beach ball underwater. Never try to do that. You. You gotta get a really concentrate because the meatballs always try to wriggle out pop up Annette, your life is like you're always run up hold these things down every once a while just pops up and shoot several FEMA beards really embarrassing if you get a hold of it and shove it back down on the waters of the people can't see with the struggle that's going on down there the gospel. Paul explains Romans eight set you free from both of those traps. Both of those traps. The key is freedom seen in Braveheart that epic scene where Mel Gibson's life rate you know the end there, that's, what you need to think. I assume I can pay my face blue for the sermon and they said no but I know what you did have that image because this is is is Paul's cry of freedom right so let's dive in separate verse one. Therefore, therefore, he says there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Has there ever been a more powerful therefore in the entire history of the English language or any language. This is Paul's answer to his dilemma that he put on chapter 7. Remember, throughout chapter 7 Paul has lamented about how much he struggles with sin and 5 PM chapter 7 bus and go that I want to do to make myself do an evil that I hate will that's what I end up doing any kind of become a throws up his hands and he says oh wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death that he answers this question right at the end of the chapter he says thank God Jesus Christ our Lord. Now beginning this chapter Paul asked. Well, since I continue to struggle so much with sin how much condemnation how much punishment can I expect to experience because men try to be honest my life is still struggle with all the sin. Paul's answer there is therefore no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus, condemnation. Of course, is a legal term, it means that there is a charge that is being held against you means that you owe a debt repayment for those in Christ that debt no longer exists because Paul says that debt has been paid in full. Charles Spurgeon used to say that for those in Christ, it would be unjust for God to ever punish you for sin, he could never punish you for sin because that would be requiring two payments for the same sin right.

I mean if if if our electric bill at my household a superhigh one month because I keep the air on 55 that may or may not be accurate but if it superhigh one month because of that, and my wife pays it in full.

But then the electric company contact me and says hey we expect you also to pay because you're the one you're the folded sets it on 55 and so not because you're the one that's doing it.

We want you to pay.

Also, I would say that's not fair that's not fair. She paid that bill in full and so you have no more claim on me. Paul says if I'm in Christ God literally cannot condemn me he cannot condemn me for my sin because Jesus was fully condemned for me, for God to hold me accountable for even an ounce of my sin would be to require two payments for the same debt.

This declaration of no condemnation applies to both your past and your future sins see many Christians get the Jesus paid the penalty for their past sins. He wiped the slate clean on those so to speak, but they think and if you commit future sins well then you might get re-condemned for those bosses not if you are in Christ, but will master a simple logical question right. When Jesus died on the cross.

How many of your sins that you committed yet not a single one of them right and said she paid for them all in advance before you ever committed a sin. He had already paid for all of them and that when Paul wrote these words. 2000 years ago. There is no condemnation right he is speaking what you 65 A.D. something like that when he said that had you committed any of the sins known only declare that there is no condemnation that exist for that because Jesus had already atoned for your sins, even before you were even born. Jesus death wiped out not only the presence of existing condemnation. He wiped out the possibility of future condemnation and that means there is literally nothing that you could do right now. That would make God love and accept you any more than he does. And nothing you could do that would make him love you any less. You are in Christ, which means there is nothing that could impede or endanger God's love and his acceptance of you see a lot of Christians think God loves you more more that you become like Christ.

The better Christian you are love hear the words of God in ranking will born. He says it this way, God and love you.

To the degree that you are like Christ loves you. To the degree that you are in Christ and that's always 100% because now he loves you, like Jesus. That means that means that he is just as pleased with you and your very worst day as he was with Jesus when Jesus had just finished preaching the sermon on the Mount, can you imagine the father's joy when Jesus finally finishes that sermon and the father just beaming with with happiness and pride and acceptance that is the love and acceptance that God has for you because you and I are in Christ you let that sink in for a minute because when you do that will free you from the performance trap.

I don't ever have to be unsure of God's love for me and all my mess and all my Roman seven struggles I've got the unconditional love and I got the absolute acceptance of the father as you watch this, that then frees me from the pretending trap because I don't have to pretend anymore that I'm something that I'm not in front of you, there is literally nothing about me that could be revealed that Jesus has not already seen, and that his blood has not already covered the means you point out something about my life that is inconsistent or embarrassing and I say yup. God saw that Sue and he said his love on me anyway. And he promised to change that in me, what are you embarrassed of right now, what is there in your life that you would be mortified if somebody found out about it.

What secret is there that you want something from your past or even a struggle in your present but you like and hope nobody ever knows about that God has already seen it and God has already declared no condemnation. Jesus paid that for that in full and I receive you.

There's an old hymn, we haven't come up with a modern tune for long. Maybe accuser war of sins that I have done. I know them all and thousands more Jehovah know of none long. Maybe accuser war maybe me.

Even my own conscience of sin that I have done.

I know them all and thousands more Jehovah know with nine right freedom.

That's call yelling freedom universe. Men pay members to because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set you free from the law of sin and death. Keyword here in this verse is the word because there's a connection to the previous verse. Here's how I know I'm under no condemnation for attention reason. I know that I'm under no condemnation is because I see a law in me, that was leading me away from sin and death. Not real quick. Note the word wall they are you, throw you because this is not law in the Old Testament, Mosaic law says you to read that word wall. In this first read that, like the word principal. There is a new principal at work in me. We used to operate according to the old principal that if we kept the law good enough we would be accepted. The problem we discovered was that the law couldn't change our hearts and if anything the Lord has made us more fearful and more sinful. But now Paul says there's a new principal.

There is a new law that is at work in my heart and life and that new all new principal is the life-giving power of the spirit, the Mosaic law said only if you're good enough only if you do enough. Only then will you be accepted.

God now says no I'll produce righteousness behavior out produce righteous behavior in you through the power of my spirit, the spirit is the other big theme of this chapter again.

Don't miss the connection between those first two verses how do I know that there is no condemnation for me it is because I see the spirit of God at work in me. Most imprints the necessary complement to forgiveness of sin is a release from the power of sin is like the other side of the salvation coin. If heads is freedom for the penalty of sin entails is freedom from the power of sin. If you are forgiven you will be changed if Jesus death has release you from the penalty of sin, so that there's no condemnation. Then Jesus is spirit, his resurrection life starts to release you from the power of sin and the two were always going to go together. This was illustrated in the life of Jesus to the miracles where he would heal people and sometimes and there's miracles even say something. Honestly, strange somebody would be brought to him that was laying they could walk and Jesus would say them, your sins are forgiven.

Now, arise, take up your bed and walk and it's a little bit of an odd coupling because they didn't mention anything about their sins. Why does Jesus bring up their sins.

It's because these miracles are illustrating salvation. When Jesus forgives your sins. Then you will begin to rise up and walk spiritually and if that is not happening in you. It is doubtful that he is forgiving you either. So that is my question for you. It is awesome that your sins have been forgiven, but the question is are you walking I have been known to you before the question we always used to determine if somebody saved the question we always ask if you died tonight.

Do you know for sure that God would let you into heaven knows and that's a great question is a great question and you should have the right answer for right answer for it is you were to die tonight gobble to say watch analogy with Evan. The only answer is because Jesus paid my sin debt in full and because he said there's no condemnation.

Therefore there is no reason not to accept me in heaven because Jesus paid it all. Right. So is an important question, but equally important. Without question, is this other question and that is not if you died tonight, but if you get up tomorrow is your life to be different because the spirit of Jesus is inside you. Are you up walking by you prayed that Jesus to come in your heart and pay for your sins is great, but did you let him come in and take over your heart right. He said your sins are forgiven, but did you guys take up your bed and walk. Here's another example from the life of Jesus ago from John chapter 8, a woman is brought to Jesus was caught in the very act of adultery. It says Jesus says to her, your sins are forgiven. Neither do I condemn you, then he also says to her now go and sin no more. In other words right. I forgive your sin I'll start walking again. Forgiveness is always accompanied by change.

I told you before that the order that Jesus puts those two phrases and is important also.

Neither do I condemn you comes before go and sin no more of told you is significant because most of us would want to reverse this.

We would say something like if you go and sin no more.

Then I will consider not condemning you to.

Why did Jesus put them in that order. Why did Jesus put neither do I condemn you before he said go and sin no more.

Whelming necessity this. Why do you think this woman was an adult or I don't.

I give a lot of detail about her life and course and there's no way that I can really know but maybe maybe if human nature same back then as it is today. Maybe this woman felt starved for love. Maybe she'd grown up in a home where father barely paid attention to her.

Maybe she felt unappreciated intermarriage and by her husband and this guy made her feel special and it is coming to feel attractive or maybe maybe she felt pressured into this.

Maybe this guy threatened her, maybe was using her. Whatever it is for Jesus to tell this woman to just go and cut it out wouldn't fix the problem. The attracting power sin was just too strong. Jesus had to assure her of the love and acceptance that was greater in whatever was drawing her to the arms of that man. That's why he assured her of his acceptance of her before he gave her the command to change because the command to change would never be able to take root in her until she had felt the strength of his acceptance.

He basically says to her what your soul is craving for is not in him.

What you're looking for is been in me. The arms you been looking for in romance have actually been my arms.

We find the power to change only in the assurance of acceptance. You see the gospel message is not stop sinning. That would be an impossible message. The gospel messages that hold the love and the acceptance of your God, and then you will have the power to stop sinning. That's why we always say around here will assume this way, God's acceptance of the power that liberates us from sin is not a reward for us having liberated ourselves. God's accepting this most religions are to say this God's acceptance is entry is allowing you to go to heaven is to be the reward for having liberated yourself from temptation and sin. But the gospel says no, God's acceptance is the power that liberates us from sin, not a reward for us having liberated ourselves. That's why God always puts neither do I condemn you before he says go and sin no more, is what he says your sins are forgiven you. Now you can get up and walk. When naming the hymns we sing this is how he breaks the power of canceled sin thing about that phrase cancel Sammy's is forgiven, but he's got a break its power in the way that he breaks its powers through the assurance of acceptance that is freedom versus one into Paul articulates the two kinds of freedom from sin. They come from salvation is by Jesus's death, he freed us from the penalty of sin, but now through his Spirit is released you from the power of sin. These two always go together. Now verse three and four Paul further unpacks the unity between the two kinds of freedom. He says he says what the law the Old Testament law the Mosaic law, that thou shalt not law what it could not do, since it was weakened by the flesh. In other words below was making all these commands to us about being righteous. We couldn't obey what it could not do.did God do it. He couldn't have said in the flesh by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh is a sin offering in order that the law's requirement will be filled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit. In other words, Jesus released us from the law by being born in our flesh and then living the life we were supposed to live which is a life of perfect obedience to the laws of God and been dying a death as a sin offering.

Write a sin offering for those of us who had not lived that way and that offering that sacrifice free us from the penalty of sin, and that made way for the spirit to come into us and to begin fulfilling the law's requirement in us. What was the law's requirement blows requirement was that we do righteous, Jesus summarized it as loving God with all your heart, soul and mind and in loving your neighbor as yourself. He said that when the spirit comes in you.start producer things and you remember what I told you God is not just after obedience is after a whole new kind of obedience is after obedience and grows out of desire and obedience where you seek God, not because you have to know because you're told to not because you threatened with hell if you don't and obedience were you seek God because you crave God and obedience were you do righteousness because you love righteousness pulse is a desire was not able to be produced for the wall.

The law could tell you all day long what you should do but it couldn't produce the desire to do it. Those desires can only be produced in you by the life-giving power the spirit of the law could never do.

The spirit does in the gospel so how practically does this change get produced in us.

Well, Paul says it happens when we walk not according to the flesh. It's when we walk according to spirit makes it what is that mean all kinds of Christians have different ideas about what it means. Walk according to spirit the great question must keep reading what voluntarism? By those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh.

Those who live according the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the spirit walking according to the spirit is accomplished.

In other words, by setting your mind on the things of the spirit noticed by the way, then say setting your mind on the spirit. This is setting your mind on the things of the spirit region unrolled that distinction is because a lot of Christians are obsessed by the spirit and you're really spiritual you think that you relate to them all the time and always hearing his voice is like like a scarring like Harry Potter star was always tingling something bad is about to happen. Setting your mind on the things of the spirit means thinking about the things of the spirit thinks about mutual love of the spirit loves to meet you, seek the things of the spirit sing your senior you are in fellowship with the spirit and where he is, so is his power within you.

You're listening to Senate life with Jeannie Greer and now Janie in January we begin a new series through the book of Romans and now we take you back that soaking a little bit about what to expect as we keep working through this series that you took more than a year to preach yet there's a lot of messages in this because Romans really is one of the deepest and richest books on the gospel in the entire New Testament but I wanted to scare you, because Romans has offer for me personally it was the lifeline that led me first to salvation and then later to the assurance of salvation.

We spent one month going do it earlier this year. Now to spend another month coming up in the next few weeks here and then later on in September will wrap it up want you to be able to to to marinate on Romans really all throughout the year.

In these, different stages were the biggest ways it that you can do that and get more out of it than just listening to the messages. This is a brand-new Romans Bible study. It's good to be in three parts. If you were with us in January of the first part right now we can offer you the second volume. What is really really excited Bill put this in your hands because I think it will help you go deep in one of the deepest books in the entire Bible and one of the most rewarding studies I think you ever unique set of Bible studies and it's created you in mind. Perfect for individual Bible study or small groups to study together and weave the land to get you a copy of the second volume covering Roman chapters comes with things when you donate to support this program gift today and remember to ask about when you request your copy of the relevant volume to his company, 552 28 6520 we can donate and replace this resource online Jeannie I'm not even event inviting you to join us Wednesday working greatest chapter in the whole Bible and Senate life with Jeannie, sponsored by Jeannie Greer minutes

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