What's Your Condition?
Those Who Know
Those Who Know
Why do we have laws and rules? What about the jungle in South American or the desert in Africa or way up in the mountains? How do people know that certain things are wrong? It is because God has instilled in us when he created us a sense of what he considers right and wrong.
The Jews knew right from wrong because God gave them the Law which is the first 5 books of the Old Testament. The Jews knew what they should and shouldn’t do.
Everybody else which would be the Gentiles did not have the Law but it is written on their hearts. They know what is right and what is wrong because they are made in God’s image.
For us today if you go to church you know what it means to sin. You know what God considers right and what God considers wrong or sinful.
For people who do not go to church they still have no excuse because in their hearts they know right and wrong.
What Paul is getting at is that all people can be held accountable to God for their sin because they have either heard from Bible what God considers sinful or they know in their hearts what God considers sinful. The bottom line is people know what is sinful, but people still choose to sin.
Those Who Break
Those Who Break
This section tonight is written to the Jewish people. Paul has already established that Gentiles sin. But now he is trying to get the Jewish people to see that they are sinners too.
The Jews thought they were special, and they were. They were chosen by God in the Old Testament, God communicated with them about what they were and were not to do, God did many things in the Old Testament for the Jewish people. So they were special but, they still broke God’s law.
The Jews thought that if they displayed outward appearance of obedience to God then they were ok. If they sinned again God but nobody saw then it wasn’t sin because nobody saw, or if they sinned in their heart it was ok because nobody knew about it.
But what does verse 16 say? God judges the secrets of men. God holds you accountable for the things you do when nobody is around; God holds you accountable for what you think in your mind and in your heart. Just because you may not physically sin doesn’t mean you are innocent. All people have sinned against God.
A couple things we can take away from this. One your thoughts and attitude matter. The physical actions we perform have already been determined in our heart. The condition of your heart is a big deal. In the Bible the heart was the center of a person. The condition of their heart determined who they were.
Second, you have sinned against God. You have sinned against God and are separated from him. You are in need of a savior, and that savior is Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can save you. Church attendance, being a nice person, being baptize, all those things will not save you. Only Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ can bring about salvation. That leads us to our last topic.
Those Who are Saved
Those Who are Saved
These verses talk a lot about circumcision. So circumcision started with Abraham as a mark of faithfulness and obedience to God. It continued throughout the nation of Israel as a physical sign that they belong to the nation of Israel, God’s people. So Abraham believed and faith in God then recieved the sign of circumcision.
What Paul is talking about in these verses is that some Jews thought just because they were circumcised, because they had the sign, that they were good to go. They were better than everybody else and that it didn’t really matter how they acted because they had a physical sign and they were from the nation of Israel so they would get into Heaven.
But that is not true. They were fooling themselves. They misunderstood what this sign was all about. It wasn’t about the physical. It was about the condition of their heart. Whether people had the physical appearance didn’t matter. What matters is whether your heart has believed and trusted in Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior.
For application today. Just because you go to church doesn’t mean you are saved and going to Heaven. Just because you have been baptized, or you are nice to people, or just because you say you are a Christian doesn’t make you one. If I buy a Texas Ranger’s uniform, act like a professional baseball player, and tell people I am a professional baseball player does that make me a professional baseball player? No.
To be a Christian, to be saved, to be a part of the family of God is about whether in your heart you have believed in Jesus Christ and you trusted him to be your lord and savior. You haven’t done that you’re not saved. But tonight you can be if you believe and trust in Jesus Christ. That is the inner mark of a Christian.
What is the condition of your heart?
Have you believed and trusted in Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior?
If you have, then are you living by and obeying the Bible?
What got the Jews in trouble is they would say one thing but do another. Your actions as a Christian affect how others see God and Jesus. Your actions and interactions with people can lead them to believe and trust in Jesus or they can lead them away from Christ. Your actions as a Christian matter to God and have an impact on other people’s eternity.