Summary: A 10 week study on the book of Romans to help every Christian be all they can be.
Welcome back to Basic Training. We have 3 weeks remaining in our study of the book of Romans after today.
Up to this point in our series the Apostle Paul has taken us through some really heavy doctrine. He is using this doctrinal teaching as basic training for the believers in Rome and for us.
The doctrine that Paul is teaching is meant to help us understand more about God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As we understand more about God, the easier it becomes for us to live for Him.
And that is the key. Doctrine is never taught as an end in itself. Doctrine is taught so that we can translate it into practice. We need to be able to practice what we preach.
That is why Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” in John 13:17.
That is why Paul has given us these doctrinal teachings, so that we can apply them to our lives.
The more we are able to apply these truths to our lives the greater chance of revival we are going to have.
We need revival but revival comes at a cost. It will cost us time in the Word of God, time in prayer, time in worship. It will cost us in what we do for others, in our sharing of the Good News, and in helping others. It will cost us our reputation, because some will see us as Jesus freaks.
And it will cost us in repentance. Which is really where it all starts. In order for justification and sanctification to happen we have to repent.
Jesus first came with the message to repent. He said in Matthew 4:17, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus was not suggesting repentance, He was commanding it. Why? Because repentance is what brings justification and sanctification.
Repentance is not a penance for guilt nor is it a quick prayer asking for forgiveness. Repentance is a complete brokenness and a change of heart regarding our actions in life. True repentance is grieving over our sin, which God hates, and turning away from that sin. It is a change of mind. It is doing a 180 degree turn away from sin.
When a person changes his mind about sin, a change in behavior will naturally result. For example, those who repented of their sins in the Old Testament often showed outward evidence by tearing down idolatrous statues.
In the New Testament, signs of repentance included water baptism, restitution for theft, and the burning of occultic possessions.
Repentance is the necessary factor in giving your heart to God. It is accepting His gift to us, Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is then turning for our old sinful lives and striving to live in the righteousness that God offers everyone of us.
Before we go on this morning, let us be sure that we have repented of our sins and that we have turned to Jesus.
Take time to look at your heart right now and if there is sin in your life, confess that to God and ask for His forgiveness and make a decision to do a 180 degree turn away from that sin to the Father.
Prayer of forgiveness. Forgive us of our sins. Forgive us for thinking and doing things we should not. Forgive us for saying things we shouldn’t. Forgive us of not caring at times. Forgive us for not loving at times. Forgive us for not forgiving others. Help us to remember that "The key to forgiveness is to quit focusing on what they did TO you and start focusing on what Christ did FOR you."