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Now, back to sermons and such...
Here is the first in a series from Joseph Barkley at Ecclesia Church...ALL IN! It's a study of Romans 12, and this first sermon is a quick summary of Romans 1-11.
Joseph talks about how there are certain things in life you can't do halfway, like cartwheels or backflips. I would add dropping into a vert ramp (watch Jason do it in this video at 4:27).
I remember dropping into that same vert on a skateboard -- it took me about an hour of staring over the edge in fear. It's especially scary because you can't do it halfway or ease into it. You either drop in and roll to the other side, or you fall -- all or nothing.
All or nothing is a scary concept, but isn't that the way to live? As the Avett Brothers sing, "One foot in and one foot back, but it don't pay to live like that. So I cut the ties and I jumped the tracks, for never to return." That really resonates with me, as I want to make sure my time here is well-spent. Given the choice, wouldn't you pick a risky and fulfilling life over a comfortable one? It's dangerous, but as skateboarding has taught me, things are more fun with a little danger mixed in.
The sermon can be found here: http://www.churchinhollywood.com/media.php?pageID=15
Here are some notes:
- The Christian life is not meant to be experienced halfway
- Is the Christian life just a checklist of things to do and not do?
- Is this all that God wants from us?
- A survey of Romans 1-11
- Paul means "small" in Greek - insignificant
- Makes sense considering Paul's change from a person actively opposing Christianity to promoting it
- The church in Rome was started by some unknown Christians
- Their faith was famous (Romans 1:8)
- This letter is Paul arming the Roman church with information on how what God was doing through them relates to the rest of the world/culture
- Lots of "-tions"
- Condemnation: we all deserve judgement
- Predestination: God chose us before the world began
- Glorification: God will see us through to the end, until we become the people He knows we can be
- Propitiation: God's wrath has been satisfied - He is not angry anymore
- He was angry at our separation from Him because of, and the destruction caused by, sin
- Justification: We are not guilty
- Redemption: Everything is forgiven
- Regeneration: We are reborn - a new creation
- Reconciliation: We are not enemies of God, but friends
- Adoption: We are more than friends, we are children of God
- Sanctification: the ongoing work of God in our lives to grow us more into Christ's likeness
- Ch. 1-3: Bad news first - what humans are like
- We are born with a destiny of death in sin
- There is nothing we can do about it
- We are born a little out of place - we have a soul that longs for more than we can provide for ourselves
- After this...God knew about this, and was willing to do what we couldn't do to fix it
- The cross does this, which is only received by faith
- You have to trust that this is enough...it's not the cross + __________.
- This begins to unravel everything we thought we could get out of life
- In light of this faith, our new nature begins to take shape
- Romans 6:18 - "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."
- We have been freed from our old destiny - Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Paul says most of the time he feels like a failure
- The well-worn ruts of our old direction
- This is a new war within us, and our tendency is to fall back towards modifying behavior
- The answer is "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1
- As you trust God more, you can have complete peace because this is not going anywhere.
- This is available to everybody
- "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship."- Romans 12:1
- God wants complete surrender - your whole self, all in.
- John 12:24-25 "Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal."
- Love God with all your heart, soul, strength
- In view of this complete surrender, we are no longer entitled to anything in this life
- We have a tendency to trade "all-in" for rituals and behavior.
- We become afraid that God will ask us to do something weird (live in a hut in Africa and never get married)
- God is a father, the best Father, so we can trust that He knows and does what is best for us
- "All-in" also is way better than anything we can get in life
- We are not asked to give up, but trade up
- We have given ourselves to something (a dream, relationship, identity), so why not give everything to Someone who knows us and how precious we are?
- Be honest with God, who is asking for everything...talk to Him about that.