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May 21, 2018 4:40 pm
It was May 12, 1973. That was a day when my life changed dramatically. Suddenly wonderfully was the first day when I saw a good night. She came to Scotland in the missions trip and the church which I was attending was hosting the group and they chartered a boat to sail from the Faroe Islands, located between Iceland and Norway to come to Scotland to evangelize the pagans, of whom there are many in Scotland and I was one at the harbor to beat this boat so people we never met before, and as I stood on the harbor and looked at this group, which were looking at us on both sides with some amazement. I saw this very attractive young woman very elegantly dressed in Scandinavian fashion and I've been praying for a Christian life and I said thank you Lord. I felt God just dropped it right in front of me, though there were some problems.
She spoke very very very little English and I spoke of zero theories. Furthermore, I knew that only there in Scotland for two weeks and so I had to act quickly, of always being very shy and retiring and there, but I knew I had to act quickly, and a week later. In fact, exactly 45 years ago yesterday. Good news, I went on the first date and she has built with me over the 15 months later we were married in the Faroe Islands and I should explain. By the way the good was very, very, very young when we met. Talk about robbing the cradle but that it was Andrew Lloyd Webber has has a song very good song called love changes everything. And while it is not true that love changes everything. Love does not change truth. But there is a lot in that song that love changes everything is an absolute statement. I think all of us would agree that one of the great experiences of life is to love and to be loved. Love is exhilarating. It's powerful. It is transformative to be loved by a parent to be loved by a child to be loved by a sibling to love loved by husband wife to be loved by a friend to be loved by a brother or sister in Christ are surely among the greatest of all human experiences is not why millions yesterday. Watched the wedding of Harry and Megan.
Most of us are fascinated when people fall in love.
There is something about that experience which almost transcends everything else loving and being loved can be bought with money, but out of priceless value, a plastic surgeon can make eye women involved, but he can make even the ugliest of men fall in love with her, the Beatles, they get it right. Money can buy me love today are subject is women singing is no greater love. I want to talk to you about the greatest love possible. Which brings us to our Scripture this morning. In Romans chapter 6 verses six Romans chapter 5. Rather, verses six through 11 which surely is one of the most beautiful passages in all of Scripture as we were celebrating this morning about so many other children and teens who memorize Scripture.
I was praising God that is a little boy I memorize these verses that were going to be reading is true I memorize them from becoming King James version and would read them in the ESV and we want to understand them in the context I would going consecutively through the book of Romans and in the opening verses of chapter 5, we have been learning that justification brings peace with God. It brings the hope of divine glory will also be learning that rejoicing and suffering. Yes, it is possible to rejoice in suffering certain things that whole and produces maturity in our lives.
So as we come to the verses this morning. Remember the context. The context is the hope of the gospel. The assurance of salvation and we have found that suffering is in line for the follower of Jesus why we don't like them while it's tough, but they do not threaten, finalize, extinguish that whole but rather strengthen the hope of the gospel and the very foundation of our hope. The very foundation of our hope in the gospel is the love of God which continues to grip our hearts is applying to policymaking the love of God confirms our hope of final salvation, the love of God confirms our hope of final salvation, and that is those who are justified will be glorified. Paul is saying the hope of the gospel.
The assurance of our salvation. The very security of our salvation depends not on our love for God, but in God's love for us. You glad that's the case that the lobe of the gospel doesn't depend on your love for God, but is old to do with God's love for us. And Paul is going to continue the subject as we see in verse six of Romans five where he uses the word for he wants us to understand the nature of the love of God. He wants us to increasingly experience the depth of his love, so that we are more and more strengthened in the hope of the gospel knowledge standard rate. Romans five verses six through 11. Read them with me for while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since therefore we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God for it while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life more than that. We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation event. Please be seated. Wonderful verses on the and the one this morning telling of this threefold way, as Paul develops and emphasizes his basic point of God's love photos Festival in verses six through eight, we see that the death of Christ demonstrates the love of God for resentments. I do know that God loves us while the love of Christ demonstrates the love of God for sinners. The fact that Christ died for us to do know this is repeated several times.
Paul puts it in various ways.
In the verses that we have just read in the preceding verse, verse five, we learned of God's love for us through the Holy Spirit to meet whom he pours out into our hearts, the wonderful as followers of Jesus Christ.
We don't just know about the love of God inferior in in doctrine. We experience this love. Existentially we experience the love of God as God pours out his love pouring out.
I'm repeatedly pouring it out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom he graciously gives us but Paul is saying more than that, no, the God shows his love for us in sending his son to die for us.
Is it that's wonderful. It is wonderful but were not wonderful people notice the words that Paul uses to describe us apart from the grace of God. He says in verse six that we are weak that we are ungodly in verse eight he says that we are sinners at the end. In verse 10, he refers to us as God's enemies week ungodly sinners enemies not very flattering is and says Paul, I wanted to understand how much God loves or loves you that Christ died for you when you were still weak building. James says when we were without strength when we were powerless. Paul is emphasizing over and over again that we are utterly powerless to save ourselves.
Here is the problem of sin. What must I do to eradicate sin and to live a better life while in powerless to get rid of the sin by life.
But here is the miracle of the gospel of God revealed in Jesus Christ, that God doesn't wait until you clean up your life before he loves you wonderful, but God sees us when were still weak. Verse eight while we were still sinners. It was then that Christ died for us.
We are weak or helpless. We are ungodly sinners, without any strength at all to get rid of her sin, and yet is the wonder of it.
God loves us. God loves you and thank God loves you because you wonderful know you are wonderful because God loves you there is nothing in you and yourself which would command the love of God. Quite the reverse. Your sinful your ungodly yearly enemies of God.
Paul is saying, yet God loves us a popular Christian song refers to the love of God is reckless.
Cory has building a promo says quote I see the love of God is something wild and saying crazy the way that he pursues chases is down loves I believe is reckless when going after that really furious violent language to speak of the love of God.
As I read that I am. I must say I don't have in general is a very popular song and could I disagree with the Christianization I'm going to do know that Scripture, the Bible never ever refers to God's love is reckless. According to Webster dictionary reckless means careless heedless not regarding consequences had long and irresponsible rash is God's love careless towards us is that rash as you noted, the consequences of this love, no Paul here is not saying that God's love is reckless. He sang God's love for us and Christ's death for us were at the right time, at the time that was right for us and I the right time and the purposes of God. It was while we were yet sinners, God loves us with an everlasting love gases. Love is immense. It's amazing.
It's awesome is fathomless, it's eternal. It's indescribable. There is no greater love than this.
And so Paul writes here in verse six for while we were still weak, at the right time at the right time Christ died for the ungodly ungodly emphasizes our relationship with God whether we before God would ungodly missing that word before in our study of Romans, that is tried as God's concerned, we do evil things we do, wicked things but Christ died for wicked people, Christ died for people who are evil. Here is the evidence of the love of God, then, that he gave his son to die for us who are wicked, ungodly people. God didn't love us for who we are, but rather because of who he is, over and over again.
The Bible says in turn reminded us from Psalm 103 Old Testament New Testament that God is a God of love is a God of steadfast love is loving and chose for all generations.
Would love with an everlasting love. The very heartbeat of God is love, there is no greater love than Paul is describing it and saying I want you to understand that it was while you were weak.
It was while you would ungodly. It was while you were still sinful that God loves you and shows his love you love shows that he loves you by sending his son to die for your sins.
There is no greater love.
Now here in verse seven, Paul talks about human lobby says one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die.
We know that there are people who have given their life what others these are exceptional people. These are unusual people, but it does happen in his garden in his book medical in the river quite tells the following story in World War II with the Allied prisoner of war camp who were working on the Burma railroads and he says a man the morale of the men in the camp was absolutely terrible. It was so low that the man often forgot, decencies of work prepared to do anything for survival. It was like survival of the fittest as the conditions in the in the prisoner of war camp were still terrible is that there is a case of every man for himself the like starving animals in the jungle.
Every day they went out to work as they came back one day the captives their heads as they always did they come to the tools that the men had used during the day, underlined up the man and said one of the tools is missing one of you has stolen the total, and they asked the man responsible to step forward and opened it there was silence.
The NCO got very, very angry, got livid and he said if no man steps forward all of your are going to be shot and killed and they knew that that was no ordinary threats that these men are captives and paved with violence and brutality and that killed people and so they knew no one confessed to stealing the till all of them would be killed again. That was silence and then one man stepped out of line and that Ms. Gordon said he was immediately clubbed to death and went into the camp because it was taken of the tools and the refund all to be there and that Ms. Gordon said that that act of an innocent man hood given his life for his comrades revolutionized the camp was an amazing act of human bravery on the German sacrifice one man giving his life to save others stats that's exceptional. I don't know many of us would've done that. Yes I Paul is saying for a good man.
Some would even dare to die. But Christ was then something more than that the medical in the river requires just an illustration of famous illustration and points the way to what our Savior has done that when garden is great. He sends his son. His son doesn't come to die for good people.
His son doesn't come to her dying for people who are suffering injustice beyond their control know he comes to die for people who are his enemies who have deliberately this obeyed him, but God shows his love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. You know what sin is within the devoted Romans is a missing of the mark is coming short of the standard of God. God is that this and every single one of us has come short and Paul's point is that God's love is such wonder of his love is that he comes to save sinners verse 10, he died for us while we were enemies. Don't you agree there is no greater love to the greatest demonstration of the love of God is seen in the death of Jesus on the cross for us.
He shows his love for us while we were yet sinners, sometimes when you hear people talking about the love of Jesus, we almost presented in the way that the love of God the father.
I was different from the love of Jesus and that God is this tough part of the Trinitarian Jesus in some way is more loving and the father. That of course is how to save absolutely no.
It's in love, but the father sends his son. It's in love for you and for me that the sun voluntarily submits to the father's will and gives his life as a sacrifice on the cross he died for us when we were weak, ungodly sinners enemies's love us because less would ungodly is love is measureless were sinners. His love is ceaseless. Paul is going to say the end of chapter 8, but nothing can separate us from the slope of the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. So we have in verses six through eight.
The death of Christ demonstrates the love of God for his enemies but Paulison finished in verses nine and 10. He's going to explain that the life of Christ demonstrates the love of God for his friends. The death of Christ demonstrates the love of God for his enemies, but the life of Christ demonstrates his love for his friends because this love for us hasn't ended yet verse nine trying understand Paul's argument.
Since therefore we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
For FY we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more now that we aren't reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. The hope of the gospel is that we will be delivered from the wrath of God. Paul is saying this, but God in his grace has done a very difficult thing.
He is justified. Sinners, he has reconciled his enemies did he do that through the blood of his cross through the death of our Savior through that day that we receive this justification is through this diet that we received this reconciliation. Once we were enemies, enemies, do you think of that your enemy of God.
The root cause of our enmity between us and God is our our sin people today like to trade themselves as a kind of broken victim. Poor me life is been hard for me.
Yes I have my stop but but poor me the Scripture describes is a tall, don't see yourself like that yes you are broken by the victim as far as God's concerned, you're an enemy of God. You're hostile to God. You've rebelled against God, you know that every single one of us has deliberately disobeyed God, we have refuse God. Every time we say and we shut God out of her life and say I don't want you, Lord, in this aspect of my life. I'm going to commit this sin and it is an act of rebellion. That's why Paul says we were God's enemies is wonderful through the death of our Savior reconciliation is offered to us. And Paul is saying God has done the most difficult thing justified. Sinners reconciled enemies. If he's done that and he has.
He can certainly do the easier thing for his former enemies who are now his friends to the point if he did this when you are his enemies.
Just think of what he can do when you are his friends.
This is an argument from the greater to the lesser. How much more.
Paul loves this argument, he said in verse three. More than that, he says in verse nine, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. Here in verse 10 he says much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Verse 11. More than that verse 15, much more.
Verse 17 again in the middle of the verse much more and then his great conclusion in verse 24. Sin increase, grace abounded all the more is the point follower of Jesus were concerned about the future and wondering if your salvation is secure. Listen to this God has done the difficult thing he saved you from your sin. He sent his son saved you from your sin and from the guilty's's claims are and he will certainly Savior from the future wrath of God, does he do that, notice what Paul says here in verse 10 that Jesus that God will save followers of Jesus by the life of Jesus Christ. Verse 10. FY we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more now that we are reconciled. If you're a follower of Christ, you are reconciled much more shall we be saved by his life is better translated in his life is a Greek word and the one who died for us as sinners is is is not that he lives in his endless life he has conquered that he's alive forevermore.
He lives in his endless life and his resurrection.
The resurrection life of Jesus guarantees my full and final salvation.
Why because we share the very life of Christ. Yes, the death of Christ is significant.
He paid the price of my sins, but his resurrected life to this endless life is absolutely amazing because the Christian life is that Christ is in me and I am in him. I shared the very life of Christ. This is a great truth that Paul is going to elaborate on in chapter 6 of union with Christ, to think of that that love God has for you Christ dying for your brothers more than that much more. We now share his life. His life is my life. Some of you will recall the teaching of the Lord in that wonderful passage in John chapter 15 the vine and the branches. Here's the vine we are his branches.
I am in Christ and he is in me under very life of Christ, the endless life of Christ guarantees this continuing great love for me that he died for me, yes, but he now lives forever and if you reconciled us when we were his enemies much more will he save us when we are his friends to the God who saves us is the God who keeps us is the God who will deliver us from the coming wrath of God. This is the hope of the gospel. This gives us 100% security in Christ yesterday. As I taught the new members class. We talked a little bit about the doctrine of eternal security is a wonderful secure wonderful doctrine and people say is a dangerous doctrine has in one way this dangerous ball joint address rather the beginning of chapter 6 will study that was a wonderful doctrine, because God's love for me is so great that not only does he died for me that his life is in me, and his life guarantees my life.
Don't miss the compelling logic of Paul's argument in verses nine and 10. God has done the difficult thing in delivering sinners from the coming wrath of God through the blood of his son. He will do the easier thing and keep us saved and his wife.
You wonder about that you wonder about tomorrow. Love you. Tomorrow is guaranteed is going to love you tomorrow. I don't know what tomorrow will be for you but the God who saves us is the God who keeps us in this regard. Who will lead us safely home.
Our final salvation is absolutely secure because we share the very life of Christ.
He will never let us go in him as he done the best for us. Of course, is no greater love for the best thing that God could do for us both going to tell us in chapter 8.
He didn't spare his son for your salvation. God gave you his very best and send an angel and send an apostle, he didn't send a team of people he gives his son, his only son. His well beloved son. He delivers him up for your salvation. He gives us the very best that he could give. There is no greater love or if he gave us his very best, Joe think he can do the rest. Come on, you know that's true.
Don't you begin the very best for your and he will do the rest. God will complete our salvation is going to say and you 24 and I went to him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding Charney brothers God who saved me the love of God is in my heart and this love is so deep and that so profound that it guarantees that no not only has he saved me his place me in Christ himself and Christ is in me and I will never perish.
And God guarantees that this love will never end and those whom he saves, he will glorify our justification as a guarantee of a glorification if we were God's enemies and he died for us to think is going to does that because now that were his friends now that what in his family. He will save us from judgment. There is no greater love.
But there's one more thing Paul says, verse 11.
More than that you think can there be any more about this love of God, the death of Christ demonstrates the love of God for his enemies. Verses six through eight. The life of Christ demonstrates the love of God for his friends. Wonderful to know your friend of God follower of Christ. I'm a friend of God.
God looks on John Monroe as his friends because I received Christ follower of Christ. He send his son to die for me when I was his enemies is not going to desert me not to give up on me neither.
I'm his friends more than that verse 11. We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Followers of Jesus rejoice in God because of the work of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, a Paul uses this word rejoice again.
We sought inverse to look back in verse two through him, says Paul.
We've also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice.
There's a word we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
We saw it again in verse three. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. I rejoice in my sufferings we thought of more than that, says Paul.
Verse 11. We also rejoice same word.
The word is supposed to exalt.
We boast in God through the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation of this joy whenever themes for this year is serving with excellence and joy to see the happy faces of photo 19 spark leaders suffering with joy the difficult ministry week after week after week for many of them such as Chuck and Carmen hereafter hereafter here. They do it with joy is a wonderful thing is that something the world can give you the world to give you money the world can give you promotion the world can give you things and can give you happiness but it can give you joy, content, and his family can give you this love know this is the love of God and the more we receive this love and the more we understand this love. The more we rejoice in supremely, we rejoice in God himself. This is our greatest joy. This is our greatest post do anything about that fellow Christian is it this week was very hard for me. John was is a hard week for some of you difficult circumstances but rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Rejoice in your future.
You can even rejoice in the sufferings, because you know that God is using these to strengthen your whole printer bring you to maturity to make you more like Jesus. But we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we've now received reconciliation. As Paul says, very carefully. We have received reconciliation. It's a gift is in the UK you can't get rid of your seven. In fact, apart from the grace of God. You don't want to get rid of. You said you enjoy your said no you don't enjoy all the consequences of it you don't like the accountability of it, but the actual saying that you enjoyed.
Otherwise you wouldn't do its you get pleasure from it and this is how we are apart from God's love apart from God's grace, who know comes through the blood of his cross provides this way of reconciliation that we who are ungodly sinful enemies of God can be reconciled to God himself ever falling out with someone. Yes, you are the bitter arguments with your mom or dad, your children, your spouse or colleague at work. All of us have had this experience in some way, and there's not a wonderful human experience. When this reconciliation. When people who are estranged and come together and there's forgiveness and the hostility and the bitterness and the resentment has gone and there's no peace. How can I have reconciliation with God's told us. Verse one. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God. I can rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom I received as a gift. This reconciliation, the act of reconciliation has been made is completed as none through our Lord Jesus Christ through the blood of his cross and I can rejoice in that because I am assured, yes, I'm sure. And you can be assured that your eternally saved and you have this wonderful hope of the glory of God. This wonderful hope of the assurance of your salvation that is no greater love. No wonder we sing so much of the love of God. No wonder were fascinated by human love. I want to say to you that whatever your experience of human love has been perhaps it's been wonderful. Perhaps it's exhilarating knowing a lot about human love or perhaps not so much. Perhaps there's been disappointment and betrayal and even abuse in your life. Want to tell you but God loves you collection you say well I'm a pretty bad person.
I know that you are all of us are here apart from the grace of God that is none good.
Here it would all ungodly were all in the same boat, but God has done a wonderful thing that he showing his love for you. Yes when you were his enemies and sending Christ is provided reconciliation and if you turn from your sin if you humble yourself and you admit before God that you blown it and that you don't deserve his grace and if you look to Christ. The beauty of Christ resume on the cross, paying the penalty for your sins. Museum rising again for your justification. If you call on him to forgive all of your sin not only through the Holy Spirit. He'll still flood your heart with this love and give you a capacity of love that you've never known before. You can then begin to love God and begin to love others. Yes, even people who have offended you because Jesus taught us that we should love our enemies does when we were enemies, and I was we receive this love. This transforming divine love. We then can love not only our neighbor not only a family not only the family of God love our enemies. People who persecute us. People who don't like Christians, we can take this transformative love which is shed abroad in our hearts, and it can be shed abroad in our world. I didn't hear what the bishop said at the wedding yesterday, but Goodby told me the pond. He talked about this love.
This love of God. What a change it would make in our world.
If we showed that love you, as Christians if we don't love each other we really feel that the first step. But God so loved the world, and if you receive this love, and receive Christ will give you the supernatural love which will transform your life transform your home transform this church transform this world, the love of God and rejoice.
If you're a follower of Christ more than that. We now have the very life of Christ in us, the very guarantee that I am eternally united with Christ and that there is nothing in the whole universe which can separate me from this love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Within the sing of that love. But before we do that kind just ask for a few moments silent prayer.
Can you meditate on this. Love you.
Thank God for not you don't know Christ. Can you can open your heart and receive God's love today but not for someone, but you need to forgive buttocks or someone that needs this love you will tell them the message of Christ and displayed his love to them was take a minute of silent prayer, a loving father, we thank you for your love. We don't deserve it but you given it to us in abundance. You've lavished your grace and your love upon this. I pray for those who have no experience to your love open their eyes open their hearts that they will receive Christ, we thank you for his indescribable love but only in dying for our sins within rising for our sins, living within us. Help us to display that love to others. We ask that we'll know more and more of this deep, deep love of Christ in his name we pray. Amen