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May 28, 2019 11:26 am
Is anyone here this morning who have Your Honor's would say you're in a bit of a spiritual roots, spiritually speaking, you're on automatic pilot. So today, as we continue our study Romans. I want to remind you of the mission of the charts of the church of Jesus Christ. Our mission is not to develop a cozy little club where we meet the friends of the we all enjoyed meeting our friends, but rather from Scripture.
It is clear that every authentic followed of Jesus Christ is to display Christ and is to proclaim Christ and to tell others of this magnificent gospel of the grace of God which is saved us and is transforming us and that witness for Christ begins in our homes and our families in their neighborhoods in the workplace and then goes out into the greater world. One commentator said the church is like a narrow sent into the world to point to the future. I trust you're doing to address your pointing people to the future to eternal realities. So often we get absorbed when we are in our present situation in those followers of Jesus Christ about the word of God reminds us that every one of us one day will stand before God and we are called as the church of Jesus Christ, to tell others the wonderful good news of Christ and this is what Paul has been doing in Romans, Paul has been reminding us over and over again that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone to hear this to everyone who believes no one is excluded. That's why Paul, among other things, is a great missionary statesman as he travels the world telling others of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And that is the gospel works the gospel works everywhere in every culture and every situation. No culture, no attitude. Nobody no opposition can stop the gospel for 2000 years. This gospel the message of saving faith in Jesus Christ has gone to the world and has come to you and I are presently nearing the I did state were thankful for people who told us of Jesus Christ. Christ has said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Yes, there is opposition. Yes, there is discouragement.
Yes, there is much spiritual darkness as those who follow Jesus Christ were not discouraged because we have this wonderful message this treasure of the gospel that God has given to us and whatever you go yes there will be opposition. But whatever you go weave a team as we prayed for in Uganda whether it is in Uganda where it is in Charlottesville, Rock Hill, or whatever this gospel works and you and I called to tell people that there is salvation in no one else, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, and Paul magnificently was book of Romans has been defining the gospel declaring the gospel defending the gospel. And yes, applying the gospel because this gospel not only saves our sins. Not only do we receive eternal life. It transforms us another Paul is become the Romans 15 this morning. Verses 14 through 21. So if you have your Bibles I hope you have open up their Romans 15 verses 14 through 21. You don't have a Bible with one in the pew in front of your and we see that Paul is not coming to a conclusion. Paul is writing from Corinth to the Christians in Rome and desires to go to Spain. He's never been to Spain away to Western Europe, far from his native timing of Tarsus. He desires to bring the gospel at that needed country that outpost of the Roman Empire and he is planning on his way to visit Rome.
He's never been to Rome, he didn't find the church at Rome, but before he goes to Rome is first to take a collection of money to the poor Saints in Jerusalem and so now in verses 14 through 21, we see his continuing focus on the gospel and his strategy a formation is strategy permission. Paul is very intentional as a what he does with the gospel. Do you have a strategy for communicating the gospel never thought of it that way. What is your strategy for communicating the gospel to your family.
What is your strategy for communicating the gospel at work what your strategy for telling others about Jesus Christ the first, before we think of our strategy formation. We must_score something which Paul is done so well, that is, we must get the gospel right is one of the reasons I've been preaching through Romans. I think that many of us don't really understand the gospel.
And we must get the gospel right to read with me Romans 15 verse 14. I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another, but on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder because of the grace given to me by God is a real complement of these Christians are wrong.
Paul considers the Christians of Rome to be mature believers. Unlike his letter to the Galatians he doesn't rebuke the Roman Christians. They appear to have a good good grass of the important truths of the gospel. Paul is grinding them in these truths. He's helping them and helping us of a slate to work out the implications of the gospel in their personal lives in the church and society in the world. He says here in verse 14 there were full of goodness filled with all knowledge able to instruct one another.
They were good people there were helpful, they had done knowledge of the gospel very grounded in the gospel and Paul longs to be with them for mutual refreshment would back to chapter 1, when we saw this. Romans one verse 11 is as I long to see you his number been there. I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gifts. Some charisma is the word that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you.
That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. All universe and mine. There, you see the humility they of the apostle Paul. He wants to fellowship with the Romans.
He wants to encourage them and he wants to be encouraged by them.
He says here in chapter 15 verse 14 that he is very satisfied that they are able to instruct notice this instruct one another. Some translations say admonish one another. This is the Greek word new fatalities used eight times in New Testament it means to instruct and been stillborn to admonish to counteract what is wrong and someone to encourage the person to do what is right and to refrain from wallet is evil. This is teaching, yes, but is non-with a sense of effecting change to admonish someone to instruct someone to warn someone to correct someone that if you pride yourself on correcting others, and find it easy to do. I suggest you stop doing it. If you enjoy going around admonishing people and warning people and correcting one another. You're the very wrong. You know that a last person who should be doing this, though this takes humility. This takes great skill. This takes a great love for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Let me ask you to all of us. Do you allow people in your life to speak truth to you. I get a teachable person or when someone comes to you and make correct to me, admonish her to get defensive as a natural reaction is in the cooler day to say this to me they're not traffic themselves on the get, we get defensive.
How important it is that were teachable. When I see a interns coming to Calvary when a young pastor comes when a deacon begins this now them against us are alive group teacher. I was asked myself. She teachable is teachable is that humility envy open to this. Is this someone who realizes that they really want to grow in the Lord and in order to grow, we need to be instructed. We sometimes need to be admonished is what boulders Paul was a great at admonishing to have someone like that and I jumped over Paul in your life are you using your pretty high up in the on and spirituality. But the August someone to come. A mature brother and the children sister to speak truth to your and that you're open to this the you have a Timothy in your life. Is there someone that you are helping your instructing your admonishing your helping them to grow in the Lord Godiva Paul in your life. I'm thankful that I had Paul's in my life than I was like what they said but there were speaking truth to me and continue to speak truth to me, to Timothy's.
Those that were helping and also you're very fortunate. If you have a Barnabas in your life is Barnabas. Barnabas is a great encouragement is and all of us need an encourager in our life and in this church at Rome, there were good people that were filled with knowledge and they were able to instruct one another.
This was not just the leaders instructing others, but within the body of Christ. How important is that we can help one another grow in the Lord and as we see in verse 15 how important it is that we are reminded of the basics of the faith. You and I need to be grounded in the basics of the Christian faith. He says I've written to you very boldly by way of reminder, they knew the gospel they been taught the gospel.
But Paul is reminding them. He says because of the grace given to me by God wants them to be different in this faith he doesn't want them to be superficial. He doesn't want them to fall into a cultural Christianity. So masculine. Do you understand the gospel. We been in this book note for months coming up for almost 2 years would you be able to explain the gospel. Someone said to you know your pastors always talking about the gospel is the gospel. Would you be able to explain that to take the word of God and explain it to have you receive the gospel of you believed in the gospel of your being transformed by the gospel as we study this book of Romans. Has there been a change in your life are you becoming more and more like Jesus and Paul says here I've written to you very boldly by way of reminder, Paul was a very courageous speaker wasn't. He refused to stop preaching the gospel agreed reading and rereading the book of acts is as some of us are going on the Germans upon the couple of weeks and and this is one of the things that I find so encouraging about Paul he could be stoned, you could be imprisoned, he could be persecuted and he goes to another timing and what does he do lick his wounds. No, he's again in the synagogue is again in the (Athens preaching the word.
He's able to do this because of the grace of God is not easy to preach the truth is it I have defined always preaching through this book very easy for some difficult passages that are some truths presented which flies in the face of our culture, but I thank God for his grace. I also thank God for you as a congregation. As you have received these truths of the gospel that you would be strong in your faith like like the Romans that your filled with goodness, filled with the knowledge of the gospel and able to instruct others not. We must get the gospel right this one of the reasons we spent so long in the Romans. I know some of your correcting the weeks that were finished, Lord willing. The last Sunday in June will be our last improvements would almost there to get the gospel right now.
Paul then in the remaining verses summarize that and giving five principles of missions, Paul is a great apostle to the Gentiles and his writing with apostolic authority to the Romans agreed with me. Then in verses 15 through 17 when we will see that missions requires first identifying the commission's is on some points of written to you very boldly by way of reminder because of the grace given to me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus than I have reason to be proud of my work for God. Missions requires a divine commission.
Paul is commission located verse 60 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles is what he was given on the day he was saved or just after he was saved in acts chapter 9 verse 15 here is Ananias saying of Paul.
The Lord said to him, go for he is our chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. God sovereignly chose this man who persecuted the church who hated Christ who hated Christians who wanted to kill them wanted to imprisonment them, God miraculously saves this man then called Saul later become Paul and he is appointed called by God. Given this divine commission to be the apostle to the Gentiles, and the here Paul in verse 16 refers to it as a priestly ministry that this is an act of worship when we shared Christ when we tell others about Jesus when acting in a sense, as priests, and the fact that Paul is a ministry has a is called to minister to the Gentiles should not of been a shock to the Jews as the Old Testament is full of this that this message that God is untrusting to his people in the Old Testament the Jewish nation is a message not confined just to them but they are to be the light there to be the center of it as they tell others, including all of the nation's importance of faith in the living God, and Paul regards the Gentiles. Verse 16 as an offering. He refers to the offering of the Gentiles, that it may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit is commission by God to be a minister to the Gentiles. Use of all that was Paul. He was a special case. He was an apostle. I understand that but it is the principal the risen Christ commissions each one of us to go with the gospel. Central to Calvary church at these last verses in Matthew 28 Hope you're familiar with them go all and make disciples of all the nations. That's a divine commission, not just given a two apostles, not just given to missionaries or to pastors but at commission given to every follower of Jesus Christ. Someone sent overseas full-time summer send them go trips such as we have in go Uganda at the moment next week were commissioning a group to go to Germany and so on. But this is for every single one of us that God has saved you think of this, God is transforming your and God's call is on your life and mine to go and tell others about Jesus and every follower of Jesus Christ as a priest. This is that priestly exercise. We enjoy coming together as we do now to worship God. But then we are sent to be witnesses for Christ, we come to be strengthened, to be equipped to be inspired and then were sent out into the world.
Whether it's in our own home with her is that by school with her is that man in the office someone who's part of your team. Whoever it is, and you are given that I am given this divine commission to tell others about Jesus Christ sent by Christ.
So mission requires a divine commission.
Secondly, it requires a divine message. Verse 16 he says to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of what of the gospel of God. Notice that this message is of divine origin were seen this repeatedly in Romans. This is why it Calvary church.
We are faithful in preaching the gospel. Someone met with me this morning is the beginning the service and said they had moved from Calvary church were going to some other churches and how difficult it was to find the church they said that preaches the gospel beside the message of pop psychology five reasons to raise kids with smiling faces her by that by the message of Christianity.
That's a popular one.
It seems the word those who say it have private jets and multimillion dollar homes, I might try it. It seems to what competitor doesn't those who propagated seem to live in luxury message of positive thinking a message that is very entertaining a message that is in keeping with the times.Paul this message the gospel is the gospel of God. He said that right.
In chapter 1, the gospel of God concerning his son Jesus Christ and Paul has in this wonderful epistle has given an inspired exposition of the gospel. Justification by faith alone that were saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and that this gospel which justifies me before God, so that as a guilty sinner. I'm acceptable to God is. Also, I gospel which is transforming me, why is he said magnificently in Romans six, seven, eight, we have the Holy Spirit within us. Ms. divine power. This is a message that works because it's a message not coming from man is the gospel of God to understand that you understand that that the gospel is a treasure.
And when you speak to people don't just talk about praying to God. Most Americans pray to God. They say this is the message of the gospel concerning Christ and Christ crucified. John Wesley said when he went to different times in England he said I offered them Christ is what your to do your to offer them. Christ your to tell people to repent of their sins and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says whoa is me. If I preach not the gospel. Why is that because of the conditions of men and women.
The pulpits presented were lost that were sinners that we all come short of the glory of God and some message of pragmatism, something which is merely inspirational and superficial and man-made will never deal with the root problem of Satan and will and with a message that neither humbles man the results God that's on the gospel with the gospel is preached. Man and woman advising girls are humbled and Christ is exalted so we must preach Christ in all of his fullness we have a divine commission and the divine message that if you don't believe that the messages divine. You're going to communicate something else is going to communicate a lifestyle.
You're going to communicate the church you're going to communicate a philosophy by that at the very center of the gospel is Jesus Christ believe that you believe that a divine commission a divine message. Third, a divine purpose. Verse 18 I will not venture to speak of anything was possible this except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles through visions by word and deed what the divine purpose to bring the Gentiles to obedience. Paul wants to glorify God in the salvation particularly of the Gentiles. And Paul preaches for a verdict. He talks in chapter 1 verse five of the obedience of faith. As in verse 18 to bring the Gentiles to obedience is a had to redo that. But is this divine purpose of bringing men and women to saving faith in Jesus Christ to the obedience of faith or this is not a hall of faith is not something that simply saying a little prayer picking a box or going through a membership application. This is something radical. This is saving faith which changes us, so that now we live a life of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ's couple of weeks ago I meant without executive committee. Some of the elders were looking at the Scripture in Isaiah 55.
Some of you know well.
Listen to it in verse 11, so shall my word the Lord is speaking so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth. It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent think that is we communicate the gospel as we associate with. It is from this pulpit with the centerline group in a Bible study with an engineer backyard talking to your neighbor who does know Christ over the garden fence.
Whatever it is we are sowing seeds and is your source seed. Sometimes it's very discouraging is needed because you don't see any results you are sowing seed for sowing season.
Some of you have been praying for and communicating the gospel to friends or family member years but listen to what Isaiah is saying in Isaiah 55 that God has his purposes. We don't always understand that God's ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts.
But as we communicate the message that is a divine purpose that God uses the foolishness of preaching to bring people to saving faith in Jesus Christ as I want to encourage her, as you sow the seeds and as you live for Jesus Christ. Don't give up because with the divine commission implanting the divine message that is the divine purpose. Paul says I'm going to bring Gentiles. All of them know that his opposition to Paul be thrown out of the city. He's persecuted many don't believe that's true, but many come to saving faith in Christ. The radio ministry, which we have here at Calvary we call it the verdict as I speak. I want people to become verdict to our response. Can I control that cannot manipulate that no I'm sowing seeds. But God has his purposes is a little boy is an older man who hears the gospel in God in his great love saves that soul is the fourth one divine enablement verse 19 we have a divine commission.
We have a divine message with a divine purpose and we have divine enablement. He says using housing to bring the Gentiles the regions by word and deed, he says, by the power of signs and wonders by the power of the spirit of God that it is Jesus Christ is working through Paul. All of Paul's ministry is totally dependent on God is in this part of our problem. We tend to exult ourselves only.
We tend to want some credit. God uses us graciously as his instruments.
God graciously used Paul with unbelievable ways. But notice that Paul is very, very careful to give God all of the glory. The Holy Spirit fills Paul supernaturally helps him as he displays and proclaims the Lord Jesus know the gospel is not of a Paul these the human instrument is all about Christ. Verse 18.
Paul's only post is what Christ has done through him. What Paul is doing is what Christ is doing through him. He says in verse 17 it is all in Christ Jesus know Paul was an apostle and his apostolic authority was authenticated through the signs and wonders. Look back to acts chapter 5 because some of your saying well why don't we have the signs and wonders today and that some people claim that they can do the signs and wonders and that is true.
They sent me claimant look back to acts chapter 5 accepted five verse 12 the many signs and wonders that expression were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles and over to second Corinthians 2nd Corinthians 12 verse 12 for the very key passage on this Paul's apostleship was attacked second Corinthians 1212 the signs of a troop apostle were performed among you with utmost patience with signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. The apostles come to time. They preach the message.
The message is authenticated through the signs and wonders new revelation from God through the apostles is being confirmed by the signs and wonders of other apostles today.
There are some people who claim to be apostles as a woman in North Carolina who is a bit of a following proclaims to be an apostle.
She claims to get direct revelation from God. Some of her followers recently met with man and said one of her pronouncements with a come from God is that followers of Jesus shouldn't go to baseball games, but I don't go to baseball games with a never understood the game but God is telling someone to tell people not to go to a baseball game.
And the sad reality is that hundreds of people believe this kind of nonsense and believed that because someone claims to be an apostle that they are in fact an apostle is a good test of an apostle. According to the Scriptures. Wonders of the scene. The Lord Paul says I didn't in first Corinthians 9 – one. I'm an apostle. I've seen the Lord. He saw the risen Christ is in the risen Christ. Secondly, can you raise the dead, many funerals in the someone can come along at the funeral service, the person is in the casket and you can raise that person from the dead. I'm pretty impressed. In fact, were all impressed that if you claim to feel someone's migraine headache or someone saw back or something else like that and not so impressed and I'm not impressed by someone on television saying someone out there is but a sword back and if you send me $1000. God will curio that's not apostles. We need to be very very discerning note there are no fossils today. There is no need for new revelation. The canon of Scripture is concluded with the 66 books of the New Testament I was walking along a time when dating these two young men stopped me dressed in black suits were 19 years old with little nametags over so-and-so and so-and-so you know who they are from the Mormon church and they said could can I ask you a couple questions I said sure. They said that you read the Bible.
I said from them to the Bible and they said there expression you ever wonder why God hasn't given us another book other than the Bible. I said no, never wondered that because when you have the perfect food. Why would you want something else to me this says this is perfect know there's no apostles today by the Holy Spirit is still alive.
Notice what peters what that pulsates in in Romans chapter 15 he says, by the power the numbness, the part of signs and wonders by the power of the holy spirit are we saying today that God no longer performs miracles know that is not what I am saying I am saying that the office of apostle which wasn't for the foundation of the church are no apostles today, but Christ is alive. The Holy Spirit is alive and God in his sovereign purposes does seal and sometimes he chooses not to heal. But what I do believe is this ability very strongly that is you and I communicate the gospel. We cannot do that with our own strength and we must be totally dependent upon the spirit of God says when they came to the church at Thessalonica.
He said we didn't just come in her words, but we came in the power of the Holy Spirit and with full conviction is something very encouraging tomorrow as you speak to someone about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will help you exam a bit afraid. I understand that I may not articulate the gospel right that is true, but God will help you in the spirit of God will help you very very quickly mission requires a divine strategy. Verse 19 he says here so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to the lyric whom I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ, and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not what Christ has already been named less I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, those who have never been told of them will see and those who have never had will under stand Paul as a goal in the strategy.
He does want to build on someone else's foundation. He wants to plant new churches that his conviction is not saying that that is true for all of us.
He says in first Corinthians 3 some planned in some water, and God gives the increase, but this was his priority. This was his calling from God. What's your strategy. Have you adopted a Christianity that is very, very comfortable. Think of Paul.
He took the gospel all the way from Northwest Macedonia run the Mediterranean and is planning to go to Rome and even to go enters to Spain and possibly from Spain. Go right up into what we call friends, and perhaps even the United Kingdom know he didn't do that but that was his strategy is tracing the circular route that he takes for the cause of Jesus Christ. Some of you got moved in employment. Students are about to go off to college ever think of this, the God is moving you that God is placing you in a particular college. But God is placing you certain a particular neighborhood but God has moved you from California to work in a bank here, not just to increase your income, not just for a better quality of life, not just for a better place to raise your kids, but for the cause of Christ that God is at work and as we see God at work in our lives. We love Jesus Christ then say this is been entrusted to me. This position has been given to me this opportunity and not hospital as opportunities. I go off to a college God has given it to me.
God has placed me in that manner. Use this for the furtherance of the gospel wonderful to look back over the two years at Calvary. We praise God for that. But I'm challenging you to look forward. David Livingstone said I will go anywhere provide needed it, provided it is forward, let's not be lazy. Let's not write rest from the past achievements accomplish the Calvary church were very very thankful for that. But we have so many opportunities with go trips children's ministry VBS coming up champ the cricket tournament as was already told today Greenway evangelism all through Calvary church and many many opportunities that you have is an individual to tell others about Jesus. Would you do that this is what God calls you and me to do help us farther to do that, we confess we are very very comfortable and we thank you for homes employment colleges opportunities that we have no fill us with your spirits and renew us as we have break bread in Christ