Summary: Very rarely will one sinner be willing to die another; but even with all of our imperfections and rebellion against God, Jesus Christ willingly gave His life for everyone.
Romans, Part 15
- Access to God is something that mankind has not had since the Garden
- In Romans 1:18-32 we saw God’s wrath and what He is capable of bringing
- But through the sacrifice of Jesus we now have access to God’s love and mercy
- Ephesians 2:18, “For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”
- To have peace with God is more comforting that anything I can think of
- Those three words are life changing: more than “you are cured” to a patient
- More than “you are free” to a prisoner – it is freedom that we can live in
- Christian suffering, perseverance, and character produce HOPE
- It is in this place of hope that we are called to live; and to rejoice in it all
- This morning, we identify and clearly study WHY we have such hope
- Read Romans 5:5-8 / Pray
- Before we start this morning, we have to understand ourselves and our position
Point 1 – We are/were powerless (5-6)
- In order to fully comprehend how powerless we are; must examine another letter
- Turn to Titus, Chapter 3
- Titus was left in Crete by Paul to put right things that were wrong there
- What Paul is doing here to the church Titus was overseeing is reminding them
- Titus 3:3 “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”
- He is taking the time to remind them of where they came from
- This is normally very uncomfortable and forces us to examine ourselves
- Read Titus 3:4-8; expound (why did He save us; how did He save us)
- Back in Romans 5, we see Paul’s first reference to our current state of life
- We see and are challenged to examine ourselves and just BE HONEST with God
- The difficulty here is that most do not want to live in this level of honesty
- If we read the Bible, we see example after example of God’s love for us
- But, why does He love us so? Are we not full of sin, rage, anger, and malice?
- Do we not disobey at every turn and adopt the “if it feels good do it” lifestyle
- BUT -- This is the VERY reason we needed a Savior; this is why God loved us
- It is our depravity and our sin and our need for Christ that God saw, and He gave
- Just look at the context of John 3:16 (For God so loved …)
- When we consider Valentine’s Day, we often think of the topic of love, and sweets, and cute things that we like to share with one another – but what else?
- Can we not look at the flower industry’s largest day of business as a reminder?
-- Now men … I’m not saying to not get flowers, etc. for Valentine’s Day
-- If you forget this day that one is on you (it’s tomorrow by the way)
- But, can we not be encouraged to think of how much God loved us as well?
- So, if we think of how much God loves us, we must ask ourselves something:
- TRANS: Why would God or anyone else consider dying for you and me?
Point 2 – Why would anyone die for another? (7-8)
- I need to tell you a story that really answers this question for us today
In “Miracle on the River Kwai”, Ernest Gordon tells how Scottish soldiers were forced by their Japanese captors to work on a jungle railroad. They worked in deplorable conditions, under barbarians who were their captors. One day, the officer in charge became enraged over a missing shovel. He pulled his gun and promised to kill all the men unless the guilty party stepped forward. After several tense moments, a man finally stepped out of line. The officer put his gun away, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death in front of the other prisoners. They were allowed only to pick up his corpse and carry it with them to a second tool check. There, the tools were recounted and all the shovels were accounted for. There had never been a missing shovel. There was simply a miscount at the first checkpoint.
Word of the incident quickly spread through the entire prison camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others. The incident had a profound effect, binding the prisoners together in deep loyalty. It was that loyalty in part that gave the men the strength to survive until they were liberated. A wise leader realizes that personal sacrifice is often necessary, because it brings hope and peace to those under him. There is NO true leadership without some kind of sacrifice that inspires others and gives them a reason to follow.