It's time to dismantle the forces that take the joy out of life and lead us to sigh. And that is precisely what Paul does for us in Romans 7. In this final message of the series, Paul dismantles our relationship with the law and set us free to live in joy in our new relationship with Jesus. Romans 7:1-6
The powerful effect of God’s work for us in Christ leaves us justified and saved without a doubt. The resurrecting power of God’s work for us in baptism leaves us completely changed. How can we go back to the way things used to be? Why would we want to? Here is true life gained through baptism. Here is true life lived for God. We won't live as victims anymore. Sin doesn't own us anymore. Jesus does. Romans 6:1-11
If you aren't sure if God loves you, you need to read this section of Scripture. If you aren't sure if God is on your side, you need to read this section of Scripture. If God feels more like a fiend than a friend, you need to read this section. If you feel like God isn't good and you're growing bitter, you need to know this section of Scripture. Paul demonstrates to us the truth that God does in fact love us. Romans 5:6-11
There are some things that are obvious and clear to all people. Our sin and sinfulness is clear. It’s clear to the godless. It’s clear to and felt by the consciences of people, even on those who don’t have the law. It should be especially clear to those who have God’s law written and handed down (that’s us!). We can feel it; it’s in our bones as our bodies decay – our bodies know long before our hearts and minds that we’ve failed and fallen short. But there is something that doesn’t come intuitively, not to us, not to anyone. This week as we dig into Romans 3 Paul unveils what we didn’t know naturally to us. He gives us a surprising – shocking, really – revelation about a righteousness from God. And it's all gospel; it's all good news. Romans 3:21-28
“I am so eager to preach the gospel to you.” Those were Paul’s sentiments to the Romans whom he had never met, but whom he longed to visit so that he might preach the gospel to them. But before he even visited them or met them face to face he launched into this beautiful letter to them detailing the gospel about Jesus. He was not ashamed because it is that very gospel – whether preached face to face or through a letter – that would save them. We also are very eager to unpack these powerful, saving words of God given through Paul because it is through these words that we too are saved. Romans 1:15-17.
As we’ve walked through this ONE series, we’ve seen repeatedly that there is only ONE. Through faith we’re part of the ONE body of Christ. We’re part of the ONE church of Jesus. We’re part of the ONE family of God. And we’ve been sent forth on ONE mission, to make the name of God great in all the world. We’ve focused largely on the often hidden and invisible reality that we are truly ONE body, ONE church, with ONE mission. Today, as we wrap up this series we’re going to listen to Paul as he teaches the Corinthians about how to work on the visible and the seen. He’s going to teach us to work for a greater and deeper external unity. We are a unified church. Paul is teaching us work at this unity. He is teaching us to work hard to preserve and keep unity in the body both doctrinally (in our teachings), practically (in the things that we do), and in all of our relationships with each other. There is a very real unity. And in these words of farewell Paul teaches us to work for greater and deeper unity. 2 Corinthians 13:11-14
Do you ever do things you don't want to do? Think things you don't want to think? Feel things you don't want to think? Yeah, me too. It's frustrating. But there's hope and there's freedom. Listen in as we start our Gr8er series on Romans 8:1-11.
Good Friday has a major impact on us and leaves an impression on us. The death of Jesus left an impression on a Centurion. He simply confessed, "Surely this man was the Son of God." Mark 15:39
No one really knew or understood what was going on that week when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The crowds sang and shouted, but they didn’t really understand. The crowds crowed and called for his crucifixion, but they didn’t really get it. Pilate didn’t understand Jesus. No one, but Jesus understood. And thank God that he did. Because Jesus was condemned, the condemned can go free! Mark 15:1-14.
Sin is such a powerful thing. Temptation tugs at us every step of the way. Our fall into sin and a denial of Jesus isn’t a matter of if, but when. Through it all, however, Jesus is right with us. He warned Peter before his denial. He called him back during his denial. He forgave Peter and received him back after Peter’s denial and repentance. He will not leave us. We will not be ashamed. Mark 14:26-31, 66-72
Two things are certain - death and taxes. Taxes are due in just a few weeks. But who knows when death will overtake us. Then, and at that moment, we will stand before the ultimate judge of all. For you, Jesus stood before human judges and even God himself. He, who is the ultimate Judge, became the judged judge. And because he did three things are now certain, “Death, taxes, and justification.” Mark 14:53-65
The 5th petition is about not giving people what they deserve. We ask it every day from God in our confession and God wants his mercy to drive karma out of our lives. Don’t give people what they deserve. Forgive as God has forgiven you.