Romans in 9 Movements

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Over the past 16 months, we have preached through the book of Romans at Wildwood Community Church.  The 43 sermons walked us verse by verse through Romans 1:1 – 16:27.  We arranged our study in 9 different series, represented in the graphic above.  It is our hope that these 9 divisions will help you remember the truth God has given us inside Paul’s masterful Epistle.

Below is a a summary of Romans in a single paragraph, using the series titles as keywords:

There is Good News for people everywhere!  This good news (or gospel) shows the power of God which is able to deliver salvation to those who believe.  In Christ, the righteousness of God is given to sinful people like you and me.  We receive this gracious gift of salvation NOT by our works, but by faith.  This is the way it has always been in God’s economy.  From Abraham to Christ (the ABC’s of Faith), we have seen that the righteous live by faith.  When we come into a relationship with God by faith, we are Set Free from sin’s necessary rule in our lives.  We now have a choice to live out a new life in Christ.  However, there is a problem.  As we try to live out our new life in Christ, we do so inside the old address of our flesh.  Therefore, we need the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a truly Spiritual Life, walking with the God who loves us.  Now, if our hope is tied to God and His work in our lives, how do we know He will be faithful to make good on His promises?  We find out the faithfulness of God by looking at the way He has dealt with other members of His spiritual Family Tree.  By seeing how God has been faithful to His children Israel, we can have faith that He will make good on His promises to us as well.  Once we realize all that God has done for us in Christ, we want to respond and Aim our lives – pointed towards His purpose for us, laying down our lives as a living sacrifice before Him.  As we do this, we will live out our lives in a secular world but inside of His sovereignty as we live in Nations Under God.  We are truly to honor our government, but we are to Walk in Love with our fellow Christian, limiting our freedoms to not tear down our brother or sister who Christ is building up.  All this knowledge of Christ leads to our involvement with Christ in His great Co:Mission, taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  The Gospel is the power of God that is able to strengthen us . . . and those around us.  Given this incredible truth, it is not a surprise that Paul ends praising God – “to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ!  Amen!” (Romans 16:27)

Let us thank God together for the power of the Gospel — the Good News of Jesus Christ!

 

Series Titles:

Nations Under God (part 2) Sermon Audio/Video

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On Sunday, September 18, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached part 2 in the “Nations Under God” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio/video to listen to/watch or share.

 

 

To download and listen offline, click on the link below:

Nations Under God (part 2)

 

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the sermon video, use the Vimeo video below:

Nations Under God (Part 2) Sermon Questions

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On Sunday, September 18, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached part 2 of the “Nations Under God” series.  Below you will find a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. In the message today, we talked about how God has provided a few restraints in the world concerning sin: the conscience, the family, the church, and the government.  In what way do you see these forces restraining sin in our world today?
  2. In response to the “gift of government” and in recognition of its authority (given by God), Christians are called to be model citizens, honor government officials, and pray for government officials.  What are some practical ways you can apply these commands in your life today?
  3. What are some examples (you can imagine) where the government might require Christians to not do something He has commanded us to do, or require us to do something He forbids?
  4. How does it encourage you that Jesus is building His Kingdom, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it?
  5. Are you making God your “fortress”?
  6. How can you apply this message this week?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Nations Under God (part 2 preview)

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A couple of Saturdays ago, the ground began to shake.  (No, I am not talking about the figurative ground beneath OU’s National Championship hopes for this season . . . I mean literally – the ground SHOOK.)  The 5.8 earthquake with an epicenter near Pawnee, turned the ground beneath my home into a giant washing machine during the spin cycle.  For about 20 seconds, our house rattled about . . . long enough to cause each member of my family to pursue some form of “shelter.”  Josh dove into my lap while Kimberly hurried beneath a door frame.  Where did you take your refuge that day when the ground began to quake?

While earthquakes this large are still rare in Oklahoma, the figurative ground beneath our lives shakes more often.  Personal events (divorce, death, disease) rattle individual lives at different times . . . but occasionally there are public events whose epicenter we all share on a common timetable.  Public events like terrorists killing innocent civilians, racism ripping apart cities, or the cost of crude oil downgrading our economy shake us all. 

When your world begins to quake, where do you run for shelter?  When personal events unspool, we often take shelter in the arms of a loved one.  However, when public events shake our lives, we often hurry beneath the frame of government.  People look to governments to solve shared crisis too large for us to handle on our own. 

When public crisis shake our world, we often find relief in the grace God gives through our government . . . but sometimes, the crisis is moving so violently that it seems to be cracking the government to pieces as well.  It is frightening when even the “door frames” of our society feel compromised by the sinful shakes of this world.

As a Christian, however, we need not persist in fear, regardless of the shake around us or how our government appears to be handling it.  We have a refuge we can run to for security that is sure and stable.  As Martin Luther declared 500 years ago (and the Psalmist proclaimed thousands of years before that): 

“A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing! 

Our shelter He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. 

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe. 

His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate. 

On earth is not his equal. 

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing. 

Were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. 

Dost ask who that may be?  Christ Jesus it is He! 

Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same.

And He must win the battle! ”

In this election year, as the world quakes around us, we may want to shelter beneath the frame of government, but there is a far safer foundation on which our lives can be secured.  Rest assured friends — there is a Kingdom Jesus is building, but it is not the United States of America.  It is a Kingdom that is not of this world, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. He must (and will) win the battle!

We are called to honor the temporary authorities God has established in this world, while maintaining our allegiance to His ultimate authority as the Sovereign over all.  What does this look like?  How does it play out in real life?  We will explore this idea more on Sunday at Wildwood Community Church as we wrap up our short two part series called “Nations Under God:  Christian Citizenship 101.”  I look forward to preaching on Sunday in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 service as we find hope and direction for our lives in today’s shaky world.