Summary: I can’t be a child of God If I’m comfortable with my sin
On January 7, 2016, Pope Francis released this video.
[Show “Pope Francis' prayer intentions for January 2016” video]
My purpose in showing this video is not to bash the Pope or Roman Catholics, but to call your attention to a statement that he made in the middle of that video that is commonly heard in our culture today:
“We are all children of God”
We hear that quite often don’t we? It sounds good. After all wouldn’t it be great if all humanity was all one big family with the same father?
Just one problem. As we’ll see this morning, that statement just isn’t true.
While it is true that all humans are God’s creation and that we belong to Him because we were made by Him and for Him, we are not all His children. Yes, God loves all people. In fact, He loved them enough that while we were all still dead in our sins, God sent His Son to this earth to die for them. But that does not mean that we are all His sons and daughters.
That fact has nothing to do with our religion. Whether we claim to be Buddhist, or Jewish or Muslim or Christian does not determine whether we are God’s children. In fact, as we’ll see this morning, even many who claim to be Christians and say they believe in Jesus are not God’s children. That is because…
I can’t be a child of God
If I’m comfortable with my sin
I know some of you are probably already thinking that this message doesn’t apply to you because you would never be comfortable with your sin. But I would suggest that is a lot easier to do than we might think.
Here is how I most often hear that idea expressed: “After all, God made me the way I am. So He understands my anger, my lust, my greed, my envy, my gossip – insert whatever other sin you might be struggling with here. So I’m just acting in a manner that is consistent with the way God made me. So that can’t really be sin for me, right?”
My purpose this morning is not to get you to doubt your salvation. We’ve probably all thought something along those lines or otherwise been comfortable with some sin in our lives on occasion. But on the other hand, if that kind of thinking has become a lifestyle, then God’s Word does have a very serious warning for you this morning.
And even if you can honestly say that you have never been comfortable with sin in your life, we’re going to learn some really practical ways to allow the Holy Spirit to help us deal with our sin. So this message is relevant for all of us.
We last left off in our study of the book of Romans in November 2016, right in the middle of chapter 8, which probably wasn’t the best planning on my part. So before we jump into today’s passage, let me take a few minutes to review what we learned in the first part of that chapter nearly 2 years ago.
An overview of Romans 8:
1. The key idea is “no condemnation”.
This chapter begins with the idea that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus and then Paul closes the chapter beginning in verse 34, with that same idea again when he writes ”Who is to condemn?”
2. Although all three persons of the triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – are involved in the work described in this chapter, the Holy Spirit is emphasized.
The Holy Spirit is mentioned 18 times in this chapter – more than any other chapter in the Bible.
3. Although this chapter is full of exhortation, there is not one command in the chapter.
Paul is primarily giving us statements of truth here, not giving us commands about things we are to do. And here is the primary truth we find in this chapter:
Jesus condemned my sin
so my sin won’t condemn me
That means that if I’m “all in for Jesus” I can know for sure:
1. My past sins are not fatal
2. My current struggles are not God’s punishment
3. My future status is not in doubt
If I am not “all in” for Jesus
then Jesus is not in me at all
There is no middle ground. Either I’m all in for Jesus and the Holy Sprit dwells in me and I live in the Spirit and set my mind on the things of the Spirit, or I am not all in for Jesus and the Holy Spirit does not dwell in me and I therefore set my mind on the things of the flesh.