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:

Co:Mission (Part 4) Sermon Audio

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On Sunday, November 27 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 16:25-27.  This message was part 4 in the “Co:Mission” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to or share.

 

To download audio, click on the link below:

Co:Mission (part 4)

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Co:Mission (Part 4) Sermon Questions

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On Sunday, November 27, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 16:25-27.  This message was part 4 of the “Co:Mission” sermon series.  Below are a series of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Romans 16:25-27
  3. Paul describes God (in 16:25a) as the “One who is able to strengthen” us.  What is going on in your life right now where you sense the need for God’s “strengthening”?
  4. 16:25-26 tell us that we are strengthened by the Gospel and by preaching about Jesus Christ.  How does the Gospel and preaching about Jesus strengthen you in your daily life?
  5. If you have been around Wildwood for the past year or so, you have probably heard several messages from the book of Romans.  What are some of the things God has taught you throughout these series from the book of Romans (series names include: “Good News,” “ABC’s of Faith,” “Set Free,” “Spiritual Life,” “Family Tree,” “Aim,” “Nations Under God,” “Walk in Love,” and “Co:Mission.”)
  6. Any particular applications stand out to you from this passage?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Co:Mission (Part 4) Preview

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There is a trend in advertising . . . especially demonstrated during TV infomercials . . . where a product is promoted with the tagline:  “But wait — there’s MORE!”  You know the drill.  Not only does the Sham Wow dry your car after washing it, but it also makes great Julienne Fries! 

Does anyone actually buy these products?  And if they do, can these products ever really deliver on their promise of MORE?

I want to contrast products now with people.  While most of my life I have been disappointed with the diminishing returns of products, I have equally been encouraged with the increasing fruits found in relationships with people. 

Take my wife for example.  We have been married for over 20 years.  We have been friends for 30 years.  In that time, I can honestly say that I am blown away by how I continue to know her MORE, and love her MORE.  While infomercials promise MORE and deliver less, relationships (like a marriage) can actually provide increasing returns when a husband and wife continue to lean in and love each other.

As Paul ends his great letter to the Romans, he summarizes his epistle with a reminder about the greatness of the Gospel.  In fact, it is as if he says, “The Gospel provide salvation to those who believe.  But wait . . . there’s MORE!  The Gospel also is able to strengthen and establish those who believe throughout their lives as well!” 

Now for some who hear this claim for MORE, they will roll their eyes  in disbelief.  Years of products that have over promised and under delivered have taught us to be skeptical of such claims.  But here is the deal.  The Gospel is not a product.  It is tied to a Person, Jesus Christ, who is always leaning in, always loving, always pursuing us – even while we are still sinners.

Paul ends his letter calling us to praise God for the provision of the full Gospel.  Sunday at Wildwood, we will look at this conclusion in Romans 16:25-27 as we wrap up our “Co:Mission” series in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services.  We will also be celebrating the Lord’s Supper together as we conclude our study through the book of Romans.  See you there!

Co:Mission (Part 3) Sermon Audio

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On Sunday, November 20, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 16:17-20.  This message was part 3 in the “Co:Mission” sermon series.  Below is the audio of this message to listen to or share.

 

Click the link to download the audio to listen offline:

Co:Mission Part 3

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Co:Mission (Part 3) Sermon Questions

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On November 20, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Romans 16:17-20.  This message was part 3 in the “Co:Mission” series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Romans 16:17-20
  3. Why do you think it matters for the teaching in churches to be truthful? 
  4. What are some examples of false teaching that you have been exposed to INSIDE a church (or from Christians)?
  5. In today’s message, a three-fold “test for the teachers” was mentioned.  According to Romans 16:17-20 we are to examine if something is biblical (16:17), Jesus glorifying (16:18), and promoting goodness (16:19).  Think of the examples of false teaching you identified in question 4 above.  How did that false teaching “fail” the tests Paul lays out in today’s passage?
  6. Any particular applications stand out to you from this passage?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

Co:Mission (part 3) Preview

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A few years ago, Kimberly and I went to visit her sister’s family in Texas.  One afternoon while we were there, I helped my Father-in-Law (also was visiting at the time) and my brother-in-law fix their kitchen faucet.  While their faucet worked just fine (when you pulled up on the handle, water poured out), it was plumbed backwards . . . hot and cold water were reversed, so that you turned the handle left to get cold water and right to get hot (just the opposite of sinks in America today.)  Being a rookie home owner (and a non-parent) at the time, I did not understand what the big deal was.  The sink “worked” after all.  Why should we go monkey around with it just to right the cold water line?

After about an hour of working on this project, I asked my father-in-law why we could not just leave the sink alone.  I still remember his response:

“We don’t want their children to grow up and not know the proper direction to turn the faucet.  If they learn it backwards here, they may get burned later.”

I was thinking about this story this week as we prepare for our study of Romans 16:17-20 this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church (in part 3 of our Co:Mission series.)  In these verses, the Apostle Paul shares a strong rebuke concerning false teachers inside the church.  We are to have nothing to do with them . . . to be on the lookout for them . . . and to avoid them.  Why was Paul so strong about false teaching?  After all, what if people like listening to certain teachers?  Why “fix” teaching if it appears to be “working”?

Paul’s response seems to be similar to my Father-in-law’s. 

“We don’t want Christians to grow up and not know the proper theology concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.  If they learn it backwards inside our churches, they will get burned later.”

Join us this Sunday in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service as we explore this topic more deeply together.  We will also be looking back at the baptisms from this past Sunday in a video montage and praising God together for who He is.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, November 20.  We have much to be thankful for!

Co:Mission (part 2) Sermon Audio

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On Sunday, November 13, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 15:22-16:16.  This message was part 2 in the “Co:Mission” sermon series.  Below you will find the audio from the sermon to listen to or share with others.

 

To download, click on the link below:

Co:Mission #2

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Co:Mission (Part 2) Sermon Questions

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On Sunday, November 13, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 15:22 – 16:16.  This message was part 2 in the “Co:Mission” series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Romans 15:22 – 16:16
  3. What are ways you can partner with your provisions in reaching the world for Christ How are you investing what God has given you materially in the Great Commission?
  4. What are are ways you can partner with your prayers in reaching the world for Christ?  How are you striving in your prayer life for the safety and effectiveness of missionaries around the world?
  5. What are ways you can partner with other people in reaching the world for Christ?  Who has God connected you with who is sharing Christ in another culture?
  6. Any particular applications stand out to you from this passage?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Co:Mission (part 2) Preview

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Today is Veteran’s Day.  On this day around the country people cheer the contributions America’s soldiers have given to protect our freedom.  With Veteran’s Day this year falling just a few days after a very contentious national election, it is particularly refreshing to see people in all states (Red and Blue) stand at attention in honor of those who have represented us in battle.

America’s partnership with our military is a cord of at least three strands.  One strand recognizes the importance of the task to which our soldiers have committed their lives.  A second strand involves the financial partnership American’s have with our military . . . our taxes fund our defense.  Because we value our freedom, we invest in preserving it.  A third strand involves our hearts.  Knowing that our service members are someone’s husband, wife, son, or daughter (and many times our own), our hearts are tied to their sacrifice.  We pray for their safety and wrap ribbons on trees upon their deployment. 

I was thinking about that today as I reflected further on Romans 15:22-16:17.  In this section, Paul is encouraging the Christians in Rome (and by way of application, us as well) to wrap tightly around the apostolic mission that extended far beyond the natural “reach” of their church.  In these verses, Paul describes ministry that would span 3,000 miles in nautical voyages to fulfill.  He talks about ministry as far east as Jerusalem and as far west as Spain.  While these two locales appear on the same side of our globe, they represented the edges of Paul’s world.  As we saw in Romans 15:14-21, Paul felt compelled by God to preach the Gospel to those who had not yet heard . . . and he wanted to offer a three stranded cord to tie the Romans hearts with his in the fellowship of this great co:mission.

Remembering the importance of the Gospel is the first strand.  Knowing that we have been set free from sin’s necessary rule by the work of Christ is liberating for us, and a reminder that we must offer this freedom to others as well.  Investing financially in ministry that we might never see is a second strand.  Paul was collecting money to support hungry Christians in Jerusalem and to fund missionary expansion in Spain.  Both gifts were needed and wound around the missional partnerships Paul was forming.  Bowing our hearts in prayer for the success of missions is the third strand.  Paul requested real partnership in his ministry by praying for safety and success.  Though Paul had not yet visited Rome, he was bold in asking for this braided response and he was hoping the Roman Church would stand up and salute (as had the churches of Greece before them).

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be gathering to worship Jesus together and look at Romans 15:22-16:17 together in part 2 of our “Co:Mission” sermon series.  We hope you will make plans to join us as we wrap our minds around the cords of Christ’s truth together.  Hope to see you in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship services!

P.S.  In our 9:45 and 11:00 services we will have 8 families dedicating babies.  It should be a great time of celebration!

P.S.S.  Also, remember to join us back on Sunday night, November 13 at 5:30 in the Worship Center at Wildwood as we celebrate the baptisms of 21 people who have trusted in Christ.  I can’t wait for Sunday!