Sermon - though distant, we are united
- I once again deliver a message to a small camera.
- I can imagine your faces as I’m preaching. Just as I remember our members that
have finished the race & are already in glory awaiting us.
- With that, There’s a yearning that wells up within me, & in this family of God.
- It’s a yearning to be together.
- This morning let’s dwell on this emotion, the emotion of yearning to be together.
Q- Is there another avenue, another way, we could take in this closed down country?
- I just expressed to you my longing, but this was Paul’s longing too.
Paul longed to be with the Church of Rome.
- I want to begin with reading from Romans 15:31-33.
- Paul writes a letter, from the church of Corinth, to the Church of Rome.
- This is around 56-58AD, & Paul has yet to make it to the Church of Rome.
- He desired to be with them though.
- Not only we’re they Roman citizens like him. They were also part of the family
Q- So What does Paul do?
- He writes a letter. It’s a letter with phases in it.
1. Righteousness needed
2. Righteousness provided
3. Righteousness vindicated
4. Righteousness practiced
Q- Kind of sounds like the Roman Road to salvation, doesn’t it?
(I hope you caught my sarcasm there)
- As Paul expressed the way to redemption, all have sinned, but Jesus is our
Redeemer. He then went on to what the church stands for, get out the Word.
- Rome, at that time, was full of different people & Paul knew the impact this church
- So, Paul desired to encourage his family, by showing them himself.
- The life of a Christian is not always a wonderful perfect life, & Paul’s the
shining example of this.
- Let’s read chapter 15:31-33 of Romans now.
24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.
25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
- Paul set his calendar. He will go from Corinth, to Jerusalem, & then to Rome.
- At this moment I can’t wait to finally be together again, but I want to show you
what took place with Paul’s calendar.
- The year Paul wrote this letter was supposed between 56-58AD.
Q- Do you know when Paul made it to Rome, or how he got there?
- When Paul made it to Jerusalem, at some time in 58AD, he was going through a
nazarite cleansing ceremony at the temple with 2 others. He was accused by
certain people of defiling the temple.
- To bring a long story short. Paul ends up being held in Caesarea prison for more
than two years.
- When he finally makes it to Rome, it’s not as a free man, in 61AD. It’s one who is
imprisoned for two more years.
- Paul is Once more just on the outside of his family.
- History puts that in this time, Rome was at one of its busiest of times.
Q- Can you imagine the words Paul must have been told, & inspired with, in these two
years of house arrest.
- In those two years Paul wrote the epistles to the,
3. Philippians, &
4. to Philemon.
- Great Words of courage, strength, defense, wisdom, & faith that came from
- Paul still hadn’t fulfilled his desire. He wanted to be with the Church, not just hear of
- Paul was acquitted of his charges in 63 AD, but instead went directly to Crete, & in
66AD he makes it to Nicopolis.
- Finally, between 66-67AD, Paul made it to Spain, by way of the Church of Rome.
- Up To ten years passed since Paul wrote his mission on the calendar.
Q- What kept him going?
Q- How could he continue to keep the desire for those he’s never even seen before?
- Paul had a second desire.
Paul longed to be with Christ.
- In one of the epistles Paul wrote in the Roman jail he said,
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
- Paul’s mission, I will meet Christ one day, but until I do, I will keep my calendar.
- I will show the work, the Glory, of the Lord. In what He has done in me, but also what
He will do through you.
- I can’t think of a better storyline to fit our current situation.
- It’s on the calendar of our heart to be together again, but we don’t know exactly
when that will be.
Q- Do we give up?
Q- Can we allow the Glory that we share to be removed?
- God forbid that!
- I am going to try & inspire you more with our Facebook page, reading scriptures
- This is a new & interesting time, & I must say Paul (Although wasn’t a stranger
to imprisonments) had to rely on contacting from afar.
Q- Are we still a church, even though we’re not assembled together?
- My last scripture for this morning comes from another of the epistles Paul wrote in
the Roman Prison.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
- Although we are absent from one another, we are united.
- I know it doesn’t seem like much to add a comment or message on Facebook, but in
this time we are Paul writing from prison. We are reaching out to those we cannot yet
- There is a great truth that all of us in Christ hold on to. That’s the truth that we will
- There is nothing in this world that can stop that, but here’s the other truth to
- It may, or may not be in the way or time we think.
Q- So, What Do we do?
- We keep up the good fight. Continue the race!
- Let’s not give up, & for anyone searching for answers I’m here, & we, the body of
Christ, are here to give those answers.
- That’s our glory, the glory we share in, in Christ Jesus.
- So now, let me close in prayer, & let’s remember what the power of prayer is.