Today’s message summary of August 18, 2019 from Pastor Gus Brown:
We all have decisions to make in life. Some of these decisions may not follow societal norms, but they are correct in God’s sight. It is up to us to discern what is right according to God’s will.
Rather than making excuses for reasons to be disobedient to God, our challenge is to believe God and trust in Him. You have the choice to receive God or reject Him. The decision is yours, but there will be consequences with that decision.
A lot of us, as Christians, know the difference between right and wrong.
You can believe in Jesus or you can choose not to believe in Jesus.
Everyone has to make a decision as to what to believe in, even if it is nothing.
Your rejection doesn’t stop God’s plan.
Scripture tells us to do good to all men.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
The household of faith is referred to as “the family of believers” in the NIV version.
Paul says to do good. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from. Black, white, red, yellow, etc. The distinction in this passage is not the people, but in those who are in God’s family. We are to be especially good to them and minister to them because you, as a member of the body of Christ, are part of the family.
You take care of your family first.
That does not mean that you are still not responsible to others.
Are you a Christian first or are you something else first? God puts us all in the same basket.
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
This is a statement to those who were called the chosen of God while including all humanity.
…but God show his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Paul writes to the Romans about a troubled church, a group of different ethnicities. There were Jews, Romans, Greeks and many other nationalities in the church. He wants a harmonious group of people worshiping together.
Christianity is to bring people from different nationalities into one group with one common cause. “Do good to all men.”
In Romans 10, Paul became transparent to us through his words. We see his heart to minister to many without excluding anyone. He wants to see Israel be saved. He testifies about them because he was a Jew (a Pharisee)–and even he had to learn more about Jesus.
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
He comes to this conclusion–“The same Lord is Lord of all.”
He richly blesses all who call on him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
You have to choose who you want to follow. You have to decide. Note that the act of getting baptized, as an example, does not mean that you are saved. Having zeal for God still requires greater knowledge and understanding of God.
Zeal is not based upon knowledge of God. When you do not have knowledge of God, you will seek to establish your own righteousness.
When man does not submit to the righteousness of God, he writes his own rules.
That is what the Pharisees did. They wrote a bunch of laws that were put in place because they did not yield to God’s Word.
We make choices to obey God and to not obey God.
Man refuses to submit to God’s righteousness, and yet there has to be something that guides him; therefore, he formulates his own rules and his own form of righteousness. (It is not using the Bible, of course.)
Christ is the end of the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4-7).
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
You cannot redo (or even undo) what Christ has done for you. He has done the work to establish righteousness for you and for everyone.
It requires faith in Jesus Christ. He is our righteousness. He is your righteousness.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
It is God’s responsibility to get the word to you. It is your responsibility to accept it. It is a choice that you still need to make.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Faith, for some of us, requires a change in our way of thinking. It is a matter of the heart.
There was a change of mind that took place according to Paul’s own learning about Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:16
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.
Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life, and you will be saved. The Holy Spirit is the One who brings you to a place to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:3
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
If you trust in Jesus Christ, you will never be put to shame. He wants to show you off to others in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When you speak what you know to be true from the heart, the truth sets you free.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We serve one Lord. Yes, we are different, but all need the same Jesus to save us. Don’t reject Him…receive Him.
Make Him Lord of your life.