St. Luke's Church Faribault
- To God Be The Glory
- Mighty To Save
- 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
- PrayerIt has been a few weeks so let me get us caught up a bit. We are in the Book of Romans. We are in the greeting verses, 1-7. We have been talking about this passage for a long time, and with good reason. This greeting is the longest of any of Paul's letters, and it contains several significant theological statements.What is so beautiful about this greeting, is that Paul is not sitting down and saying ok now, I'm going to tell you this huge truth about God. Rather, Paul, is only writing the greeting of a letter, and all these huge truths about God just pour out. Even in that ordinary everyday task, Paul's views of God just pour out.Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—These things have formed his worldview. So everything he sees, everything he does is through the lens of Jesus. He lives his life saturated in faith. He lives his life saturated in God, saturated in the gospel. Even when he writes a greeting, it is dripping in Jesus.Oh that you and I--would be so saturated in the faith, that when we sat down to write an e-mail or post-on-line great truths about God would just flow out, of our hearts and on to the page-Truths like were we left off two weeks ago.What I would like to do today, is to look at the remainder of the greeting, specifically verse 5, and 6. I want to take apart all the pieces of the verse and sort of pick them up and examine them, and then put them all together with 2 simple applications one for us as individuals and one for us as a church.Let me read,Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.so let’s start with verse 5Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.Through Him. Whose the him? That is Jesus Christ our Lord. It is through Jesus- From God the Father-through Jesus. If it was not for Jesus, theses things would not have come to Paul. From John 14 verse 6.Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.No one comes to the Father except through Jesus. The relationship- the ability- to come to God the Father was broken-severed-interrupted, by sin. But through Jesus-through Jesus by faith we can now receive from the Father. Jesus is the mediator, he stands between us and the Father, Through Jesus Christ our Lord we have recieved, grace and apostleship.Paul here says he received two things.Through Jesus Paul received grace and apostleship.GracePaul recieved grace. This is in general, it is not specific to Paul. In other words Grace is something that all believers receive. That means you here today, if you have faith in Jesus Christ, you have received grace through Jesus from God the Father. Grace, as you probably already know is unmerited favor. We have recieved unmerited favor. Unmerited means that it is not deserved. Paul really hasn’t yet elaborated as to what that grace is-but here he says you have recieved unmerited favor.Another interesting thing about grace. The root word for grace has to do with joy. To rejoice or to be glad. Grace is that which brings a response of joy in us. We think of a ballerina as graceful. We watch her leap and dance and move, and her movements are so beautiful, that the beauty creates in us a sense of joy as we watch, so we assign grace to her and say she is graceful. Grace unmerited favor of God toward us produces in us, or should produce in us a sense of joy.This is how that happens. We realize we have violated God’s law. We see ourselves as sinners. We understand that a just God would convict us. We violated the law, when we have to stand before a Holy God, we know we are guilty. We know that by justice we stand to be convicted and punished. But God-through Jesus Christ by our faith in the Jesus Christ gives us grace. We then have a sense of joy. It produces in us joy, because it was unearned, unmerited favor.Paul recieved grace-Those that have responded to the gospel-have recieved grace. Paul also recieved apostleship.ApostleshipPaul moves from the general to the specific. All believers receive grace but not all receive the gift of apostleship. This is specific to Paul. This is Paul’s unique gift to serve God in a specific way. The people of the Roman church did not all receive apostleship. In fact only Paul did, but they might have received other gifts. Gifts like compassion or teaching or preaching, or hospitality or administration. Not all receive apostleship but all receive some gift.It may take a little while to discover your gift, but you have it. This church is full of gifted people. We have adult Sunday school teachers, and children’s Sunday School teachers, we have administrators and people who offer hospitality, we have givers, and maintainers. and pray-ers. Think about it, look at all the people here who have recieved from the Lord grace and gifting to be a part of our faith community.Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.CallCall is a big part of this passage. In the NIV translation of this greeting alone Paul uses call 4 times in these 7 verses. Call is important and we have it used to ways here. The first type of call is the general call. The general call is the call of the gospel that goes out to all. We talked about Billy Graham. As he preached the gospel to the whole stadium, that was a general call. It goes out to all people. When I preach the gospel here it a call to all who are here in this room to believe, and to turn from their sins and toward Jesus. It goes out generally to all who will hear it.The general call goes out to all.Also present in this passage is the effectual call. The gospel is preached, and not everyone here responds. For whatever reason. They haven’t been paying attention, or they don’t believe in Jesus, or they don;t want to turn from their sins or self, and so the general call has not effect on them. However, some do respond. Some do hear the word of God, and know that they are sinners, and turn from their sin, and believe on the Lord Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. These people become “born again”. They are the Christians The gospel has had an effect on them. Or we says that the general call has now become the effectual call.The effectual call is when gospel creates a believer.Now, let’s read back through our passage with these call’s in mind. Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called (That is the effectual call-the gospel had an effect on Paul) to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship(result of the effectual call) to call all the Gentiles (The General call-but not all will respond )to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake (effectual). And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (You have recieved the general call, and it has been effective) To all in Rome who are loved by God and called (Effectual) to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.The effect of the general call is to receive grace.Those who have responded to the Gospel or those who have been effectually called, are those that receive grace. The grace is given to issue the general call. Paul recieved grace generally like all christians, to issue the general call of the gospel to the gentiles.Called to what? -to the obedience that comes from faith-is the way the NIV translates it. This phrase is a bit ambiguous. However, Paul seems to make it clear as the letter goes on and throughout the New Testament it seems to refer to an obedience that--as Leon Morris put it “springs” from faith. Or To say it another way. Our obedience to the Lord Jesus rises from or emanates out of our faith in Him as our Lord. We obey someone who is our Lord.Paul has been saved and gifted to Call people to believe the gospel and to follow the Lord Jesus for those who the call is effective. Gospel and discipleship ministry.Why?What is the purpose of all this? Why does God do this all this?-What is the purpose of calling Paul to call all the gentiles, to the obedience that comes from faith? What is God’s reason for doing this?Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.-For His name’s sake-The His is Jesus- It is for the sake of Jesus’s name-It means for Jesus’s reputation-To say it another way- that people, everywhere would know Jesus is great-Everyone, Jew non-jew, pagan, greek, idolator, sinner, drunkard, adulterer, thief, liar, atheist, agnostic, rich, poor, sexually immoral, addict, everyone-so that the whole world will know that-Jesus saves people. So the whole world would know that God is the God that saves.Paul is telling the Roman church that they are called, not to sit in their church in Rome and gather other people to themselves so that they will be the best church in Rome. Paul is saying that they are to call all people to the saving power of Jesus to make Jesus’s name great!This isn’t something new. This is what God does, and what God has been doing throughout history. God does these magnificent things-God extends grace-unmerited favor to people for the sake of His name.I will turn to the Old testament for a minute to show you how God does this with everything He does. This is from the book of the prophet Ezekiel. In this passage the prophet talks about how God led His people out of Egypt for His names sake.“Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their ancestorsGod refers to Ezekiel as the son of man, so God says to Ezekiel confront the people with the detestable practices of their ancestors. In other words God says, Ezekiel tell the people that they are sinning-doing things against God’s will, and have been for generations.and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the Lord your God.”God reminds them, that He chose them as His people, He swore he would lead them out of Egypt, and He promised this by His name- By His reputation. With uplifted hand- now I am the LORD your God.It like that movie Oh God remember that one with George Burns? George Burns plays God. He goes into a courtroom to testify, and they they swear Him in and he places his hand on the Bible and the judge says do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God? And GeorgeBurns playing God puts his hand on the bible and says-so help me me. The judge looks up so help me me?That is what God is doing here. He is swearing with uplifted hand by His name, his reputation is in the line.On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” “ ‘But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt.But, they rebelled against God, so now God is deciding what to do in His anger. God because he is just he is ready to pour out His wrath on the law breakers and by all rights he should but...But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites.But instead, For the sake of His name- God brings them out of Egypt, for the sake of His name.Then Ezekiel goes on, to tell us that wasn’t the only time this happened.Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, by which the person who obeys them will live. Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.But, once again people are sinner, so they again walked away from God.“ ‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws—by which the person who obeys them will live—and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the wilderness.God is ready to destroy them once again, but Go’s name, his reputation is at stake. How would it look if destroyed the people he brought out of Egypt? so in the next verse, verse 14, we readBut for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.Then verses 15-21 the same thing again, another passage about their rebellion, again. And considers destroying them and verse 22.But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.For the sake of His name.The bottom line is this-Jesus saves- Jesus- The name above all names, Jesus. God exalted him (Jesus) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. To the glory of God the FatherIsrael is not that different from us. We were in rebellion to God. We were following the ways of the world lost in our sin. But for the sake of His name Jesus saved us. Jesus came to saves the proud, the sexually immoral, the greedy, the liars and cheaters, the athiests and pagans, and addicts and drunkards, and he can save you.But you must turn from from your old ways, and confess those sins to Jesus, believe that He died on the cross for your sins, and that He rose again.And He does that so that we can see how great our God is! How magnificent Our God is. How mighty to save our God is. Only Jesus can take a sinner like me, and give me grace. He did that not because I’m somehow good enough, but because He is great. That is why he pulls us out of the pit, That is why he breaks the chains of sin, that is why he raises you from the dead-for the sake of His name.A couple of applications-one for us individually-one for us a community.IndividuallyGod did not save us from our sins to go to heaven, and float on a cloud. I’m mean I need to be honest here, and that is going to be cool, but the truth is we were saved for something. We were called according to His purpose. We were saved-for something- Jesus saves us for God’s purposes.We hear the general call of the gospel-we respond with faith and repentance and the call is effectual in us. Then Jesus provides us with spiritual gifts. Then Jesus, uses our natural talents, and abilities, that God has given us and has refined over time, for His purpose. We do not get saved to wait till heaven sets in. We get saved for His name’s sake. To make His name great, however that may be. Finding that out how specifically that is for you, is what we do here. It may take time, to find your gifts, you may meed to try some things. It will take effort, but your purpose is so that others will see His greatness, and He provides you with grace to do so. Grace-unmerited favor-That which causes in you joy!He brought us individuals together in this faith family a Church so that together.TogetherGod has had His hand on this Church for a long time. He has not led us through all that we have been through to simply to sit here, sip coffee and wait for heaven. He did it - For the sake of His name. We are saved to bring this message to people. To the outcast to the sinners. To show them that they do not have to live in misery, anger, guilt, shame, loneliness pain you name it We know a God who transforms all that. Jesus transforms that. He transforms our sin and misery it into joy peace patience kindness, gentleness and self control. His name is great not ours.How we do that specifically, it remains to be seen. We ask God through prayer, we try and follow the leading of theHoly Spirit, we love one another, we try and go forward step by step. We offer classes or programs. We see what works, we discard what doesn’t. We see who God brings in the door, and who God puts in our path. Then, we show them, that God is great, We show them that Jesus saves, and we try and show them how to follow Jesus. Because that is what He has called us to do.In Jesus name, AND FOR the SAKE of His name ALONE.
- I Will Sing Of My Redeemer (My Redeemer)
- God Is Good All The Time
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