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Summary: WE ARE ALL CONSTANTLY GROWING SPIRITUALLY. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN CHRISTIANS FOR 20 YEARS, SHOULD NOT BE AT THE SAME PLACE AS A PERSON WHO HAD BEEN A CHRISTIAN FOR ONE OR TWO YEARS. WE MUST HELP NEW CHRISTIANS DEVELOP.

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ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER

ROMANS 15:1-13

TODAY BRINGS US TO THE END OF THIS SERIES ON THE BOOK OF ROMANS. NEXT WEEK WE BEGIN OUR ADVENT SERIES.

AS WE STUDIED THE BOOK OF ROMANS, I HOPE YOU COULD SEE THE LOGICAL PROGRESSION OF PAUL’S IDEAS IN THE LETTER. PAUL HAS THREE MAIN AREAS OF THOUGHT IN THE BOOK, AND IN CHAPTER ONE HE INTRODUCES US TO OUR UNIVERSAL NEED FOR THE SAVIOR.

PAUL WAS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THE JEWISH–GENTILE CONTROVERSY IN THE CHURCH IN ROME. HE TOLD THEM THAT THEY WERE ALL IN NEED OF A SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION.

THIS IS A LESSON THAT WE ALL NEED TO TAKE SERIOUSLY AND MAKE AWARE IN OUR EVANGELISM.

ROMANS 3:23: FOR ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD

JUST AS PAUL WAS TELLING THE CHRISTIANS IN ROME, WE ARE ALL SINNERS, AND HAVE A SIN NATURE WITHIN US. OUR SIN NATURE WAS GIVEN TO US THROUGH OUR REPRESENTATIVE ADAM, AND PASSED ON TO ALL OF US.

HE WOULD LATER TELL THE ROMANS, AND US, WHAT THE PENALTY FOR SIN WAS.

ROMANS 6:23: FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH. DEATH WILL ALWAYS BE THE PAYMENT FOR SIN. UNDER THE OLD COVENANT THE SACRIFICE HAD TO DIE IN PAYMENT FOR OUR SIN. UNDER THE NEW COVENANT CHRIST GAVE UP HIS LIFE, BUT HE HAD TO DIE IN PAYMENT FOR OUR SIN. PHYSICAL DEATH COMES TO US AS A CONSEQUENCE OF OUR SIN.

SHOULD WE CHOOSE NOT TO ACCEPT CHRIST’S GIFT OF SALVATION, THOUGH HIS WORK OF SUBSTITUTING HIS LIFE FOR OURS ON THE CROSS, THEN AS A RESULT OF CHOOSING TO REMAIN IN A SINFUL STATE, WHEN WE DIE WE SHALL REMAIN IN AN ETERNAL SINFUL STATE, AND SPEND ETERNITY APART FRO CHRIST IN HELL.

AN INTERESTING THING ABOUT THIS IS THAT PEOPLE, CHRISTIAN AND NON-CHRISTIAN, OFTEN HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SINNER THEY BELIEVE THAT WE ARE A SINNER BECAUSE OF WHAT WE DO. THE BIBLE THOUGH TEACHES US THAT THE SINFUL NATURE IN PASSED DOWN TO US AND CAUSES US TO DO SINFUL ACTIONS.

THE NATURAL CONCLUSION TO THIS FORM OF THOUGHT IS THAT IF WE HAVE NOT GOSSIPED, OR STOLE SOMETHING, THEN WE HAVE NOT SINNED AND ARE NOT A SINNER.

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE SIN NATURE IS IN EACH OF US, AND IT IS BECAUSE OF THAT SIN NATURE THAT WE ARE DRAWN AWAY FROM GOD AND PERFORM THE SINFUL ACTIONS THAT WE DO. WE ARE NOT SINNERS BECAUSE WE PERFORM SINFUL ACTS, WE PERFORM SINFUL ACTS BECAUSE WE ARE SINNERS.

THE SECOND KEY THOUGHT OF THE BOOK DEALS WITH THE WAY PAUL TEACHES US ABOUT SALVATION. PAUL INTRODUCES US TO A JUDICIAL TERM CALLED “JUSTIFICATION”. TO BE JUSTIFIED OF A CRIME DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE EQUITTED OF THE CRIME, OR THAT OUR LIVES GO ON JUST AS IF I’D NEVER SINNED. WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT WE STAND BEFORE OUR RIGHTEOUS JUDGE GUILTY OF BEING A SINNER AND DESERVING ONLY AN ETERNITY OF PAIN, GUILT, AND SORROW IN A PLACE CALLED HELL FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO GET INTO HEAVEN BY OUR WORKS.

IT IS AS WE ADMIT OUR GUILT THAT JESUS STEPS FORWARD AND SAYS THAT HE PAID OUR SIN DEBT IN FULL, WITH HIS SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH ON THE CROSS. OUR SIN DEBT WASN’T CANCELLED, IT WAS PAID IN FULL BY CHRIST.


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