Lost and Found: Finding God’s Power (Romans 1:8–17)

Pray

Romans 1:First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.

  • Prayer – silent, spoken, written, sung = w/o ceasing
  • Prayer builds relationship 1. w/God   2. w/others
  • Thanksgiving – kneel & pray

Plan

Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

Jesus is for everybody

  1. Greeks & non-Greeks/barbarians = all nations.
  2. Wise & foolish = all classes.

= Paul plan – get to Rome for partnership & get to Spain (15:22-29)

2 Kinds of Leaders – 1). Thought (open Bibles learn) 2). People (open lives love)

Our plans

  • Valley fastest growing city & county in US, #1 hottest real estate market
  • Scottsdale first then see next options (Sat. 6pm)

Preach

Romans 1:15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Preach! The gospel = Jesus is Lord

God’s plan for people to realize their righteousness & receive Jesus’ righteousness!

  1. The gospel is public because Jesus is Lord of all and not just your heart
  2. The public nature of the gospel is what causes the conflicts
  3. You cannot see the gospel. You must hear it. Good deeds vs good news.

Righteousness of God: phrase 8X Romans (1:17; 3:5, 21, 22, 25, 26; 10:3 [2x]), + terms

  1. Who God is – righteous
  2. Who we are – the unrighteous

= ?How do you become right w/God?

#1. My works/Works Righteousness – (report card/performance review)

Religions

-Buddhism – save self by ceasing all desire

-Confucianism -save self education, reflection, self-cultivation, moral living

-Hinduism -save self detaching from separated ego & living in unity w/divine life force

-Islam -save self living a life of good deeds according to the Koran

-Orthodox Judaism -save repentance, prayer, & working hard obey OT Law

-New Age -save self living part of divine oneness in harmony w/rest of creation

-Taoism -save self aligning with Tao to have peace and harmony in and around

-Paul Php. 3:6 “as to righteousness under the law, blameless.”

Self-Righteous Causes

Evangelists press for conversion, generosity, worship, & punish infidels

  • Political – candidates, parties, & slogans
  • Sexual – gender, sexual, etc.
  • Moral – endless parade of issues

= Counterfeit: Law – Judge – Wrath – Hell

#2. Jesus words/Gift Righteousness

  • I am the problem. I am not the solution.
  • Something needs to be done. I’m not the one to get it done.

Justification by faith 

Hab 1:2-4 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?

Hab 2:4 “…the righteous shall live by his faith” (3X NT Heb. 10:37; Gal. 3:11; Rom. 1:17)

            Luther – training as lawyer, nearly struck by lightning, became priest and monk. Tormented & mad. Self-punishment, confession, killing self. Univ Wittenburg prof. teaching Romans 1:1 “‘I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.’”

            = Justification by faith & Protestant Reformation

3 Options

  1. I am unrighteous – despair
  2. I am righteous – pride
  3. Jesus makes me righteous – humble powerful joy

New & being made perfect. Call w/a friend re dad becoming more like Jesus older he gets

Unashamed

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God

Just Laws

1). Karma – caste system, mercy harms repayment karmic debt

2). Islam – women & men not treated equally under law, Christians & Jews “monkeys & pigs”

3). Atheism – 20th century alone  170 million people were killed by other human beings, 130 million by atheists. Stalin – 40 million. Hitler 6 million Jews + 9-10 million (many xn’s) = 15-16 million, Mao 70 million Chinese. 1+ billion abortion

Atheist Friedrich Nietzsche (“God is Dead” & the “Superman”) credits Christianity for equality – The Will to Power, “Another Christian concept… has passed even more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the ‘equality of souls before God.”

Atheist Richard Rorty “the idea of universal human rights was a completely novel concept in history, resting on the biblical teaching ‘that all human beings are created in the image of God.’”

  • Calls himself a ‘freeloading atheist’

·         Might makes right – rule of force

·         VS Bible – rule of Law over all people

·         Roman empire XN Bishops appointed legal disputes, XN Emperor Justinian established legal system served as the basis for Am Decl of Ind & European Charter of Human Rights

Racism

  • Survival of the fittest, might makes right, natural selection are essential tenets

Charles Darwin’s original book title was: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life

Charles Darwin said, “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries,
the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.”

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)

  • Took Darwinian evolutionary theory to its’ logical conclusion
  • Falsely assuming overpopulation and scarcity resources requires population controls including sterilization, birth control, and abortion for the less fit

Nazi Germany – applied Darwin and Malthus as a governmental and social experiment

Margaret Sanger

  • From concentration camps to clinics

1933 Planned Parenthood magazine Birth Control Review published ‘Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,’ by Ernst Rudin, Hitlers director of genetic sterilization & founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene.” Same year “published article E. A. Whitney ‘Selective Sterilization,’  praised and defended Nazi racial programs.”

  • Founded Planned Parenthood in poor neighborhoods
  • nearly 1 million abortions year in US, 29% population is black/Hispanic but 55% abortions are for those two groups

Margaret Sanger said, “Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism.”

God’s Diversity

·         All one race from one man and one woman

·         Gentiles welcomed

·         God’s people are a new family called a “chosen race” and “new man”

·         Leadership in the church is based upon character not social factors

·         Onesimus – in Philemon a slave and a church leader carried book of Bible (Col. 4:9)

·         Heaven is the most diverse culture of all

·         Jesus – blessing nations, befriended Samaritan

·         Saint Patrick slave who got free and fought against slavery as a Christian pastor

·         Rodney Stark medieval European slavery ended “only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves & then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews).”

·         William Wilberforce & other XN’s fought evolutionists to free African slaves in Great Britain

·         Dr. Wayne Grudem – personal interview 2/3 leaders of American abolitionist movement XN’s

·         Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King Jr. – XN’s

Children

·         In the ancient world children were the property of their father with no legal rights

·         In the ancient world child sacrifice and abandonment common

·         Jesus was a child and loved children

·         Jesus told us to be like children

·         Christians adopted children like Jesus was adopted

Education

·         Didymus the Blind invented Braille in 4th century

·         AD 797 priests sent to open schools and parents paid whatever they could

·         printing press was invented by Christian Johann Gutenberg (1398-1468)

·         The Bible was the first book every published

·         Christians have lead in language formation for Bible translations

·         Literacy and education spread since the Reformation so people can read the Bible

·         In the 1500s John Calvin opened one of the first free schools, this became a university and beginning of higher education

·         Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, + started by Christians to honor Christ

·          217 yrs after the Pilgrim’s landed (1620-1837) nearly all US education private & XN

·         Most first 123 American colleges & Universities founded by XN’s – Harvard, Yale, William and Mary, Brown, Princeton, NYU, & Northwestern

·         By 20th century, largely non-XN nations (India, China) literacy rate 0-20%, primarily Catholic nations literacy rate 40-60%, largely Protestant nations literacy rate 94-99%

·         Public education w/Thomas Dewey &Horace Mann – signers of Humanist Manifesto

Science

·         Requires worldview order/laws/repeatable consistency vs illusion, chaos, divination

·         XN worldview guards against closed system naturalism allowing science & spirituality

Government

·         Bible teaches all authority derivative down from God so that no sinner is in ultimate authority

·         Bible teaches rule of law for justice for all

·         Bible teaches private property rights which is why it opposes stealing

·         Bible teaches that work is a sacred matter to be done unto the Lord leading to the Protestant Work Ethic

·         Bible teaches human sinfulness and need for checks and balances

·         Bible is replete with examples of godless tyrant political leaders who are demonic (Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, Nero, etc.)

·         Bible teaches respect for government, and Jesus paid His taxes

Hospitals

·         Jesus cared for the whole person, feeding and healing the body

·         The primary contributor to the New Testament is Dr. Luke

·         In the ancient world hospitals were for the rich not for the poor

·         In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicaea decreed hospital be established wherever a church was planted to care for the body and soul

·         Today many hospitals have Christian origins (e.g., Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic)

·         The Red Cross was founded by Christian Henri Durant

Charity

·         Jesus was poor and did miracles to feed poor

·         Bishop Basil the Great started soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters

·         Christians consistently give more to charity than any other group, and poor Christians are the most generous (Bernie Sanders gives 3.4% to charity, Kamala Harris gave 1.4% to charity, Joe Biden gave 1.8% to charity)

Women

·         In India with suttee a wife will burn herself alive when her husband dies as she has no value apart from him

·         In the ancient world a woman was the property of her husband and could not divorce him, although he could divorce her

·         Female was infanticide common in the ancient world and in China today

·         William Carey & Amy Carmichael who missionaries fought against slavery for boys and prostitution for girls

·         Jesus befriended women like Mary and Martha, taught women in His ministry, forgave women like the woman caught in adultery, dignified women outcasts like the Samaritan woman at the well, served women as God’s image bearers, and honored his own mother from the cross

·         Women were the first to find Jesus’ empty tomb even though they could not testify in court legally

·         The early church was largely female because it liberated women, and today 60% of American church attenders are female

·         The New Testament has a lot more demands on husbands than other ancient moral codes or religious teachings

Family

·         W. Bradford Wilcox esteemed Sociologist at the University of Virginia and Director of the National Marriage Project has conducted the largest research project in American history on marriage and family

·         The highest divorce rate is between two people practicing different religions. The lowest divorce rates, highest marital satisfaction rates, and best dads

In this sermon from Romans 1:8-17, Pastor Mark teaches on the importance of praying, planning, and preaching as well as being unashamed of the Gospel.

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