Summary: God works for good for those who love Him.
GOD IS GOOD
We get excited about silly things.
A group of multi-million dollar athletes, who don’t know us and could care less about our loyal adoration, win a game and we go crazy.
Joe Schmoe invites us to a party where people stand around screaming because the music is ear-piercing and we’re thrilled.
We’ve got dual exhaust a 4 barrel Carb and neon on the under carriage of our Pinto and we’re delirious.
We can’t wait for summer and no school, so we’ll have time to be bored.
We can’t wait for retirement & no work, so we’ll have time to be bored.
We get a computer with a 30 gig, 300 ram, Pentium III processor with 21” screen, and every other gizmo you could want (which, by the way will be ancient in 2 years!) and we’re going nuts.
We’re ecstatic because we finally got through on the 1-800 “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” telephone line.
Yes - we get excited over silly things.
In contrast, we have some real reasons to celebrate & to be excited.
God loves us!
He has forgiven our sin!
Jesus Christ is alive & here!
By God’s grace we are saved!
Heaven is gonna be great and it will never, ever end.
AND, Mason Smith, who is here at Cornerstone Christian for the first time, is officially in remission!
I know that the past several months have brought the Smith’s and all of their family & friends a whirlwind of emotions.
Peaks & Valleys!
Our prayers won’t stop, they will continue, as we pray Mason’s remission will continue.
Our songs and prayers have given thanks and glory to God, which He deserves and at the conclusion of the service, there will be a time of testimony, to remember God’s goodness in this given situation.
There is a verse in Romans that is such a great promise and a verse that is very appropriate as we celebrate today.
Permit me some background information about Romans, leading to it.
Paul wrote this letter to Christians living in Rome, around 55 A.D.
Now being able to look back in time, we realize that the followers of Christ have already faced difficult times & it would not get easier.
The main concept of Romans is about the importance of righteousness.
Even in t/face of opposition & oppression, Christians R to be righteous.
Righteousness, means to “do right, behave right, think right, act right”.
God is righteous
Romans 1:17, “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
There is nothing about God that is not righteous.
Yet on the other hand, Paul clearly states that man is not righteous.
Romans 3:10 & 23, “As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; For all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God.”
Since we cannot become righteous on our own account, we must receive our righteousness through God.
Romans 4:5 & 7-8, “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”
The Bi-Product of course will be overflowing celebration - Peace & Joy!
Where we were once dead to sin, now we are alive in Jesus. How?
Romans 6:4-5, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.”
Paul then speaks of the battle between the 2 natures, sin or death, righteousness or life - and transparently he says I still struggle.
And then comes chapter 8 - One of the most powerful, encouraging, affirming and loving chapters in the entire Bible.
In the midst of persecution and possible defeat, there is Victory!
In fact the chapter begins and ends with a victory cry:
Romans 8:1 & 39, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” AMEN!
Now, in the midst of this chapter, we come to verse 28, which reads,
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
As in many other Biblical verses, we find a bi-lateral covenant.