Summary: What are some of the identifying marks of belonging to God? This text gives us a clue.
(PowerPoint files are available by emailing me)
What it means to be God’s!
* This is Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is the day we remember those who have been killed in our nation’s service. We honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for “freedom.” You see, it meant something to those men and women to be an American. It meant putting America before your family, your friends, or even yourself. When men and women go to battle for this nation, they are saying that being an American mean giving all for America.
* The same principle applies to us in the matter of belonging to God. It seems amazing that, to some people, it means more to be an American than to belong to God. Now don’t get me wrong, being an American is truly a blessing, and one in which we should thank God for every day. However, I ask today, “What does it mean to be God’s?” Does it simply mean that we go to a meeting 1 or more times a week? Does it mean that we do good things in the community? For military people, being an American means total commitment, a change in their lifestyles, turning over control to someone else, and being prepared to meet the challenges they face.
* In the middle section of Romans 15, we discover Paul proclaiming this type of truth about being God’s child, children, or possession. Give some thought to what it “means” to be His. How does it impact you? From our text, I suggest great effects on every believer who sells out to God; that is to say, a believer’s life reflects his commitment to Christ.
1. The Characteristics – Notice verse 14 begins with these words, “Now my brothers, I myself am convinced about you.” The word “convinced” is also translated “persuaded”, “certain”, “satisfied”, and even “sure”. Nothing is as convincing or persuasive as a changed life. That is, a life that reflects our Lord Jesus and His attributes. Paul lists three of them, see if they are you.
a. Full of Goodness – What in the world would it mean to be “full of goodness?” The word full means to be replete, filled to the top, or even saturated. In the language of the South, “filled up to the brim.” The interesting thing about the word goodness is that there is a debate about whether it should be “goodness” or “love.” If I’m full of goodness, then I must be full of love and if I am full of love then I will be full of goodness. To put this in context of the entire chapter would mean that one of the characteristics of the person who is “HIS” is they are full to overflow of love for all people and from this heart of love show goodness and respect for all. It was in the upper room that Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you.” To love one another is to be good to one another. It is learning God’s way to handle conflict. It is learning God’s way to develop friends. It is learning God’s way to respond to hurt, pain, insult, and the like. It’s learning God’s way.
* Have you thought about what it means to be “full” of something, whether goodness, hate, love, meanness, or any of the like? To be full of something means it is the first thing which comes out. For instance, you hit you finger with a hammer, what is the first word which comes out? Your server in a restaurant is late or gets something mixed up, what is your first response? Most of us will say, “Well that just human behavior” to which I would respond, “exactly.” But when we come to Christ, He leads us to rise above human behavior to the divine or supernatural. It called becoming Christ like and it should be a characteristic of a believer.
b. Filled with Knowledge – Notice it was “full of Goodness” and now it is “filled with knowledge” and in many translations it speaks of “all knowledge”. The Greek word for filled means to “complete”, “consummate”, or even “perfect”. As I have read about this word, it seems to me to this speaks of the process of Spiritual maturity. There is so much for us to consider with this being “filled with knowledge.”
* First, one of the weaknesses of the church today is “not knowing what you believe and being discipled in your Christian walk.” Preaching alone will NEVER do the complete job of discipleship. If it would, the American church (&HBC) would be proverbial “Giants” in the faith. This truth is one of the reason why so many Baptist wind up in cults. If we don’t know what we believe then we will be swayed by every wind.