Summary: This sermon talks about how the Gospel serves to give us an establishment in life.
December 18, 2005 Romans 16:25-27
25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him -- 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Usually when young men are in their lower to mid-twenties they reach a stage where they start thinking about “settling down.” That has several different connotations. It means getting a full time job that pays half way decently. It means finding your own place to live. It means that instead of dating around, he will find one woman to get married to and have children with. Settling down means that he will stay in one place and get into a routine - so that he can have a place he can call home and foundation for the future, instead of just doing whatever he wants whenever he wants.
In a spiritual sense, the whole world is like that young man - trying to settle down. A young lady wants to have a feeling of being loved, so she assumes that she’ll find it by giving up her most prized possession - her dignity and respect and her purity - to the first boy that promises her wonderful things. A middle aged man wants the feeling of being free and young again, so he divorces his wife, finds a new girl friend, - leaving his wife and children behind. The teenage boy doesn’t like feeling like he’s just a nobody in this world, so he gets a strange haircut or dabbles around in some marijuana to try and be known as a rebel. A married couple thinks that getting settled means building a million dollar nest egg to spend the last ten years of their retirement in luxury. The world is full of these lost souls who just can’t seem to figure out how to get established in life.
You also see this attitude in today’s religion. Our religious world is full of what I would refer to as “permanent seekers.” They don’t like to settle on a certain denomination or a certain religion. What they like to do is taste a little bit of this and a little bit of that - and try a little bit of everything. A popular idea today is that everybody has their own personal beliefs that work for them, and that’s fine. So if you want to worship a God that you believe is a woman and doesn’t judge anyone - that’s fine for you - because it’s your own interpretation. What has happened is that the Bible is no longer a solid foundation of faith. Instead, your feelings and emotions and what you want are the foundation. If your own personal beliefs are all that matter - then you can believe in Buddha, Mormonism, Muslims, and whatever else - “as long as you believe”. More than ever people are spiritually running after the next hot craze. They have no establishment. They have no place they really call home - and they tell themselves that they are happy with that.
In a world that just can’t seem to find a foundation, Paul praised God because of His ability to ESTABLISH the Romans and the world. You see, God doesn’t want us to be like the world of unbelievers who are constantly seeking the next thrill, the next fad, or the next movement. We don’t need to build our foundation on new toys, computers, cars or relationships. God wants to give us an establishment in Jesus Christ - to have a place to settle down at, call home and be content with. That’s what God wants for us. That’s what Paul said could happen with the Romans and can happen with us. Let’s look at how -
We Have a Permanent Establishment
I. It comes through the Gospel
Paul said that God is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ. How so? When a recent ex-gang leader was recently executed, his defense lawyers tried everything to acquit him based on his children’s books and the reformations he had made while in prison - to try and exonerate the terrible gang murders that he was accused of committing. None of that defense worked, and he was put to death. There is a death sentence hanging over the entire world. It’s that feeling of guilt that sticks with you throughout your life because of any variety of things you’ve done - whether it was premarital sex, picking on a child that later committed suicide, lying to your parents, it could be anything. It’s that feeling that tugs on you when you think that there has to be more to life than getting new clothes and six figure salaries. It’s knowing that some day you’re going to die - whether you’re rich or poor, famous or infamous. It’s knowing in your heart that you could be doing more to help people - but no matter how much you do - you don’t feel like you’ve done enough. It’s that inability to be happy and content no matter how much you do for yourself. These things make us constantly uncomfortable with this world - because we know that nothing is PERMANENT.