Posts Tagged 'Romans'

Roaming Through Romans: Holiness Awakened

Roaming Through Romans: Holiness Awakened Sermon Audio Here

Romans 13:8-14

So far today, I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper,
been greedy or grumpy, been nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
I’m very thankful for that.

But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed,
and I’m going to need a LOT more help…

How Do You Awaken Holiness?

Go Deeper ~ Romans 13:8-10

  • 8 Paul’s restatement of Jesus’ answer: the most important law
  • 9/10 move the emphasis from LAW to LOVE

Get Going ~ Romans 13:11-14

  • 11 salvation’s opportunity has an END, and it’s getting closer! Wake up!
  • 12 armor=to be used in offense; weapon!
  • 13 behave=peripataomen; walk; careful journey on the way
  • 14 put on Jesus; don’t plan to fail in your flesh

About walking: a little child learns balance; a young person learns direction; but experience teaches us to focus on the finish line.

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Roaming Through Romans: Humility Transformed

Roaming Through Romans: Humility Transformed Sermon Audio Here

Romans 12:1-8

When I was a new Christian, much of my spiritual formation was shaped by the music I found. One band’s album particularly stands out: Altar Boys: When You’re A Rebel was released in 1984. The title track helped me memorize Romans 12:2 by repetition, and became a foundational part of my Christian experience: “you got to make a stand; Cause we’re getting close to the end; Ya gotta say it like it is, man”. This has caused me many times over the years to consider HOW can my mind be renewed and transformed.

How Can You Change Your Mind?

Think About Thought ~ Romans 12:1-2
     introduction of transformed thought

  • 1 offer your bodies=stand and wait; spiritual act=logikon, reasonable; if we are engaged in worship, it is reasonable for us to fully engage
  • 2 “be conformed by” PASSIVE; we don’t often CHOOSE to do evil… rather, we’re warped by long-term exposure without resistance.
  • TO WHAT INFLUENCE DO YOU CONSISTENTLY AND FREQUENTLY EXPOSE YOURSELF? THAT is what will shape you!

Think THROUGH What You Do ~ Romans 12:3-5
     demonstration of transformed thought

  • 3 “think more highly” PUN don’t over-think your own importance
  • 4 it’s reasonable to understand that our body parts don’t all do the same thing
  • 5 PUN:Gk: al-lay’-lone=together We are DESIGNED to be a part of each other; we’re not nearly as autonomous as we’d like to think

Romans 12:6-8
     application of transformed thought

  • 6/8 charismata: manifestations of the Spirit’s presence. Since we’re all different, the Spirit will look different THROUGH each of us (like light through different lenses) cf. Matt. 5:16

The Song, with English and Spanish subtitles:

Gems from Genesis: God Reveals His Purpose

Gems from Genesis: God Reveals His Purpose Sermon Audio Here

Gen.45:5-8; Rom.11:30-32

When preparing to view the upcoming eclipse, remember: You can’t focus directly on the event, but must take intentional steps to view what’s actually happening (or you’ll damage your eyes).

To Prevent Being Caught By Our Point Of View, Remember:

Our Problems Don’t Prevent God’s Purpose ~
Genesis 45:1-15
summarize Joseph’s Egyptian adventures; moral found in 5-8:

  • 5 “not yourselves – God sent me” Do we make dumb decisions at times? OF COURSE; do they prevent God from doing what He wishes? IN NO WAY
  • 7 “a great deliverance” Sometimes God intervenes; sometimes we play right into His plans without our knowledge
  • 8 “it was not you” God’s plans for our lives aren’t thwarted by our free will… and our free will isn’t thwarted by God’s plans!

God’s Purpose Is To Proclaim Himself ~ Romans 11:1-2, 29-32
Paul’s questions about God’s people

  • 1/2 Did God reject His promises to Israel in sending Jesus? NO; Jesus is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to both Jews and Gentiles GOD KEEPS HIS WORD
  • 29 What God promised to Israel, He will deliver, just as He has delivered us through Christ GOD PROTECTS HIS PLAN
  • 30/31 “their disobedience”=Israel was to be a kingdom of priests to share God’s love with the nations (Ex.19:6; Deut.7:6-8) we receive grace because God chose to give it to us; that makes us chosen as well as Israel GOD PROVIDES A PURPOSE
  • 32 our relationship with God isn’t based on what great things we’ve done; it isn’t severed by what awful things we’ve done. God loves us because of who HE is, not who we are. It’s not that we’re lovable; it’s that He is loving towards us. GOD’S WILL WILL WIN

That means that no matter how badly we screw up (and we do), it doesn’t prevent God from accomplishing His plans and using us to do them. IN fact, when God uses broken people, we recognize that something more than just the triumph of the human spirit is at work: God is showing off!

Gems from Genesis: God Is Aware of Our Situation

Gems from Genesis: God Is Aware of Our Situation Sermon Audio Here

Gen. 37:12-28/Rom. 10:5-15

tools needed at beginning of the job/items packed before you leave on vacation. Hindsight doesn’t help when you’re stuck at the BEGINNING of a problem!

Faith Isn’t An Infallible Shield

Righteousness Doesn’t Automatically Protect Us ~ Genesis 37:1-17

  • Summary: Joseph is naïve AND seventeen: doesn’t self-censor, doesn’t think about the impact that his truth will have on those around him.
  • Just because we try to do the right things doesn’t mean that we’ll never experience rough times; righteousness is not armor. We’re not guaranteed that if we’re good, we’ll never experience the bad. Let’s face it: there are bent people who do bad things, and we can get caught in the crossfire.

Belief Doesn’t Always Lead To Prosperity ~ Genesis 37:18-24

  • 18/20 Joseph is clueless about the trap he’s walking into
  • 21/22 Joe has unexpected ally, but not a strong one
  • 23/28 Joe still gets stuck in bad situation
  • We can honestly and sincerely believe the best of people, and still be badly let down

Being Saved Isn’t Just About Eternity ~ Romans 10:5-15

  • 5/9 Our salvation isn’t a reward for what we do; it’s who we trust
  • 10 we ARE (present tense) saved, not just saved from our past, or saved for our future
  • 11/13 our status doesn’t count; our background doesn’t count; our old self need not weigh us down, and we don’t need to worry about pretending to be perfect
  • We’re rescued right now for real life today; not just in the sweet by-and-by

Faith IS a shield (Ps.91:4, Eph.6:16) but just HAVING the shield doesn’t protect you. Use it: you WILL take the hit; but you are protected in ways you can’t comprehend!

Gems from Genesis: God Watches Our Choices

Gems from Genesis: God Watches Our Choices Sermon Audio Here

Gen.29:15-28; Rom.8:26-28

Jami and I went on a mini-vacation the beginning of this week. We visited family, and on our last day, we thought it would be nice to have barbecue for dinner. We did our research, found the barbecue place with good reviews, drove to that town… and could not find the restaurant. After searching on our own for a while, we went to a neighboring business and asked, only to discover: the business was hidden BEHIND another business… but it didn’t matter because it was closed that day anyway!

Hold Your Plans Loosely, Because

Our Plans Don’t Always Pan Out ~
Genesis 29:21-28

  • SETUP 15/18 Jacob (trickster) wants to marry Rachel  19/20 no tricks: works for 7 years
  • 21 time’s up: let’s get married!
  • 22/24 Father-in-law tricks the trickster!
  • 25 Jacob is indignant!
  • 26/28 Jacob gets Rachel a week later (for another 7 years of work)

Our Ignorance Doesn’t Block God’s Influence ~
Romans 8:26-28

  • 26 “We do not know what we ought” – We can’t know the complete end game
  • 27 Spirit in us is working WITH God’s plan
  • 28 God isn’t surprised by our choices: He KNOWS what’s going on

Rest of Jacob’s marriage story: he ends up the father of 12 boys: the 12 tribes of Israel, INCLUDING the line through which Jesus is born!

God Calls Us; that means God is prepared to bring about His purpose for our lives… even when we don’t know it yet! Therefore: RELAX: God’s got this!

Lent: Our Struggle

Lent: Our Struggle Sermon Audio Here

Romans 8:6-11

When your engine making weird noises, or your computer is behaving strangely, or there’s a sudden change in health status; It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on internally!

Why Is The Spiritual Life A Struggle?

We’re Stuck With Two States ~ Romans 8:6-8

  • v6 “mind of the flesh” to live according to that state; “mind of the Spirit” to live in the state of the Spirit
  • v7 description of the meat-minded: hostile/OPPOSED; it wants its OWN way, not God’s, and it CAN’T choose God on its own!
  • v8 NOT merely “controlled by” but IN THE FLESH; there’s no separation. We do NOT have a neutral nature that is somehow influenced by a bad fleshly side and a good godly side

we are either living led by the Spirit, or we are quite literally meat-heads

We’re Settled By One Spirit ~ Romans 8:9

  • v9 IF the Spirit lives in you, you aren’t “of the flesh”; Spirit brings life and peace to the spiritually dead (God breathed the Spirit-becomes a living soul); CONVERSELY, if the life lived isn’t of the Spirit, that means the Spirit isn’t present = meat-minded

If a person can’t live led by the Spirit, they’re lost

We’re Saved To Serve Forever ~ Romans 8:10-11

  • v10 NOTE: your body is dead because of sin whether you have the Spirit or not; all flesh dies. The point Paul makes here is that even though your meat-tent will pass away, what is YOU, your SELF, doesn’t need to: when you allow the Spirit to make Your life His HOME, He brings you to life, KEEPS you alive, and produces His righteousness IN you to show you it works
  • v11 God’s Spirit OVERRIDES death; we no longer need fear it, because we will live THROUGH/PAST it; our bodies will still fade, but they are merely temporary dwelling places for our SELVES which have been joined to the Spirit. And since the Spirit (our roommate in us) will live forever, so will we!

Ezekiel 37:14~ I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'”

God DESIRES to bring us to life: but we have to receive what He gives on His terms so we know HE is at work, not us.

Lent: Our Credit

Lent: Our Credit Sermon Audio Here

Romans 4:1-5; 13-17

Your credit score is based on other people’s estimation of the likelihood that you’ll pay your debts on time. But what if you have a debt that is IMPOSSIBLE to pay? How will that effect your bottom line?

To Build Your Eternal Bottom Line

Deal In The Right Currency ~ Romans 4:1-5 [Don’t trust in your capacity to demonstrate righteousness to God]

  • v1/2 do our works earn God’s favor? NO
  • v3 our righteousness is ASSIGNED to us
  • v4/5 we earn wages from our work; we are ENRICHED by God’s character and choice;
  • in other words, our reception of righteousness isn’t about us at all; it’s about GOD’s goodness towards us

Live In The Right Design ~ Romans 4:13-17 [Don’t Force the Law to fulfill a role for which it is not designed]

  • v13 LAW is based in the negative; you don’t receive goodies for keeping the Law, that is expected; rather, you are punished if you BREAK the Law
  • v14/15 therefore, law brings wrath as its wage (if you break it)
  • v16 God’s goodness isn’t demonstrated by Law, but by Grace
  • v17 Grace can come to anyone, even those who aren’t part of the Law system

God is not a crutch; God is our entire life support system!

Paul makes 2 points we have got to catch: 1) We CANNOT EARN God’s favor; it is ALWAYS assigned to us on credit. 2) the point of the Law isn’t righteousness; it’s relationship. We cannot live according to the Law to be considered “righteous”; the Law acts as a mirror to show us our brokenness, our NEED for God.


Pastor Ed Backell

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