Romans in 9 Movements

img_0157

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:

Spiritual Life (part 7) Sermon Audio/Video

SL post 7b.001

On Sunday, May 15, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a sermon based on Romans 8:31-39.  This message was the seventh (and final) part of the “Spiritual Life” series.  The audio and video from this message are posted below.

 

To download the sermon audio, click on this link:

The Spiritual Life #7

 

To listen to the sermon audio online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the video, use the Vimeo video below:

 

SL post 7.001

Spiritual Life 7 post adds.001

 

Spiritual Life (part 7) Preview

SL series preview insta.001

I have lived nearly my entire life in Oklahoma (38 of my nearly 43 years).  Being a Sooner born and Sooner bred means a few things:

  1. It means I follow the weather like a new retiree follows the stock market.  Every time the tornado siren blows, I find myself on my front porch joining my neighbors looking at the sky.  What can we say . . . we are Okies.  If you don’t like the weather in one moment, just wait a few minutes and it will change!
  2. It means I actually know what the price of oil is ($48/barrell) and what that means (budget shortfalls in the state and layoffs.)  Growing up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma (the one time home of Phillips Petroleum Company) I have felt the impact of the ebb and flow of our state’s greatest export.
  3. It means I am getting used to earthquakes.  Thankfully we have not had any big ones, but the ground around our state shakes from time to time.  I need to call State Farm!

These three examples remind me that life as an Oklahoman can feel unstable sometimes.  However, as I talk to friends in other parts of the country, I am reminded that life as a human (regardless of the state in which you live) can feel shaky.  What can we truly count on in life?

In Romans 7-8, the Apostle Paul writes a description of the Spiritual Life for Christians.  This life is full of hope, power, and opportunity . . . but it is also lived out in a world that is groaning like an EF-5 tornado, feels like it is falling into uncertainty at times, and quakes with temptation to sin.  After describing this life for two chapters, Paul concludes this section of God’s Word by encouraging those of us who are experiencing difficulty in life by pointing us to Christ. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, we will be wrapping up our Spiritual Life series by looking at Romans 8:31-39.  Of these verses John Stott says,

“We urgently need them (the assurances of Romans 8:31-39) today, since nothing seems stable in our world any longer.  Insecurity is written across all of human experience.”

If you are feeling insecure in any way, join us Sunday as we look at Romans 8:31-39 together in our 9:30 and 11:00 worship services.

Spiritual Life (part 6) Sermon Audio/Video

SL post 6.001

On Sunday, May 8, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Romans 8:26-30.  This message was part 6 in the “Spiritual Life” series.  Below you will find the audio and video from the message to listen to or share.

 

To download the sermon audio, click on this link:

The Spiritual Life #6

 

To listen to the audio online, use the media player below:

 

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

Spiritual Life (part 6) Sermon Questions

SL series preview insta.001On Sunday, May 8, 2016, I preached a sermon at Wildwood Community Church based on Romans 8:26-30.  The sermon was part 6 in the “Spiritual Life” series.  Below are a set of questions for further reflection or group discussion based on this message.

 

Sermon Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 8:26-30
  2. When was the last time you had an event or situation figuratively “knock the wind out of you?”  (In the message I identified these moments as times when you experienced trauma to a vulnerable area in your life.)
  3. One way God comforts us during our times of suffering is by the intercessory ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  In what ways does Romans 8:26-27 describe how the Spirit “translates” our prayers to God the Father?  How does that encourage you in your prayer life, and in the midst of your struggles?
  4. Romans 8:28 is one of the most famous verses in all of the New Testament (and for good reason!)  This verse tells us that God can work ALL THINGS into something good in our lives.  Think of your life for a moment.  What are some of the things that you assume should be excluded from this statement (i.e. what are some of the things you have experienced that you assume God could never use to produce something good in you?)  Have you ever seen something difficult in your life used for something good?
  5. Romans 8:29-30 show a progression of development in the Spiritual Life where none are lost.  The ones who are justified are eventually glorified.  This is perhaps one of the strongest sections of God’s Word that speaks to the idea of our salvation being eternally secure — i.e. we cannot lose our salvation.  What difference does it make in your life to know that your salvation is secure?
  6. What stood out to you most from this message/passage?

To download a copy of these questions in pdf format, click here.

Spiritual Life (Part 6) Preview

SL series preview insta.001

Have you ever heard someone say:

“Be careful what you ask for?  After all you might get it!” 

Have you ever heard someone apply that notion to their prayer life?   In other words:

“Don’t ask God for the wrong thing, because He might give it to us!”

While this attitude is commonly held by many, we need to consider if it is valid.  Perhaps the best example (or most often cited example) biblically of this line thinking comes from the appointment of Saul as King of Israel (1 Samuel 8-10).  The people of Israel wanted a King like the other nations . . . a King who “looked the part.”  So God obliged and gave them Saul — a decision that led to many difficulties for the nation.  So, at first glance, this story appears to prove the previous point . . . if we ask God for the wrong thing, He just might give it to us — and through it teach us a lesson.

Doesn’t that encourage you to pray more?  Me neither!  I am scared to ask for the wrong thing, so I might not ask for anything at all!

What is interesting to me, is that in Romans 8:26-30, the Apostle Paul lets all of those who are Christ followers know that a new dynamic exists in our prayer life.  As Christians, when we pray we have One who COMMUNICATES the true desires of our hearts to God, AND who even CORRECTS our prayers if they are misguided – bringing them back in line with God’s will. 

The example of Israel in the days of Saul and Samuel shows what prayer was like BEFORE Christ . . . but not after Christ.  For those who are Christians, the Holy Spirit has come to take residence in our hearts communicating and correcting our prayers before they ever reach the ears of our Heavenly Father. 


Doesn’t this encourage you to pray more?  Me too!  We need not fear asking for the wrong thing if we are praying “in Jesus name.”  The Spirit makes it right.

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be looking at Romans 8:26-30 together in part 6 of our “Spiritual Life” series.  We hope you make plans to join us in our 9:30 or 11:00 worship service as we see more of God’s Spiritual provision for us as we live out the Christian life.  Hope to see you there!

Spiritual Life (part 5) Sermon Audio/Video

SL Post 5.001

On Sunday, May 1, 2016, I preached a message on Romans 8:18-25 at Wildwood Community Church. This message was part 5 of the “Spiritual Life” series.  The sermon audio and video are posted below for you to listen to/watch or share.

 

To listen to the sermon audio offline, download the file here:

The Spiritual Life #5

 

To listen to the sermon online, use the media player below:

 

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

Spiritual Life (part 5) Sermon Questions

SL series preview insta.001

On Sunday, May 1, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message on Romans 8:18-25.  This message was part 5 in the “Spiritual Life” Series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 8:18-25
  2. What are some of the areas of your life where you currently are experiencing suffering or hardship?  How “light” or “momentary” do those experiences feel to you?
  3. In what way is our hope for tomorrow “Not worth comparing” to the suffering we are experiencing today?
  4. Have you ever stopped to consider the physical evidence of sin’s effect on this world (all creation groans)?  What are some of the ways in which you see the creation around us “groaning” under the effects of sin’s curse?
  5. What are some of the ways in which you personally groan today under the effects of living in a sinful/fallen world?
  6. What does it look like for you to live in hope and patience today while you wait for tomorrow?
  7. What stood out to you most from this message/passage?

 

To download a pdf copy of these questions, click here.

Spiritual Life (Part 5) Preview

SL series preview insta.001

Have you ever noticed that the description of many things requires some kind of comparison? To my 9 year old son, I am “tall,” while on my basketball team in high school I was “short.”  Same person.  Same 5’10” in height.  But two opposite descriptions.  Which one is right?  Well, it depends on whose perspective you are evaluating through.


Take another example.  I would consider my Subaru Impreza “heavy.”  Compared to my house, though, my car is “light.”  If an F3 tornado hit my home with my car in the driveway, the Subaru might be thrown about like a rag doll while at least some measure of my house might remain. 

Tall/short.  Heavy/light.  These terms only mean something when we know the context and when they are compared to something else. 

I was thinking about this today as I read Romans 8:18 which says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  This verse reminded me of 2 Corinthians 4:17 which says, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”  In these verses, Paul calls the suffering and struggle in this life “light.”  I don’t know about you, but that bugs me a bit!  The suffering and struggle that we go through in this world does not feel “light.”  It also does not appear “momentary.”  Cancer, divorce, persecution, misunderstanding, losing your job, being alienated from a friend or child or parent, an untimely death . . . all these things weigh HEAVY on our hearts, and some of these pains go on and on and on.  In what possible way could the Apostle call them “light” and “momentary”? 

Paul can make such statements by shifting our perspective.  He is not saying that the suffering of this life is easy . . . he is saying it “does not compare to the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  In other words, our sufferings may look tall compared to our past, but they are short compared to our God promised future.  Our struggle may seem heavy today, but it is light when compared to our inheritance in Christ.  Our difficulties may seem to drag on today, but they are “momentary” when compared to eternity.

The Spiritual Life of a Christian is not free from suffering.  We know that.  But our suffering does to compare to all that God has promised us.  We will talk about that perspective more this Sunday morning as we continue our “Spiritual Life” series (part 5) by looking at Romans 8:18-25 together at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:30 and 11:00 services.  We hope to see you there!

Spiritual Life (Part 4) Sermon Audio/Video

SL series preview insta.001

This morning at Wildwood Community Church, Kevin Bradford (Wildwood’s Director of Global Outreach) preached a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17.  Kevin continued our “Spiritual Life” series delivering part 4 of this series.  Below you will find the sermon audio and video from this message to listen to/watch or share with others.

 

To download the sermon audio to listen to offline, click on the link below:

Spiritual Life part 4

 

To listen to the message online, use the media player below:

 

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