Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well. 3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5 also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. 17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 21 Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. 22 I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother. 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
- One profound thing that is clear in scripture… and continues to amaze me… is that God’s plan of redemption involves a relationship… actually it is clear from the word that apart from that relationship… we have no Gospel….
- The key to the relationship is knowing who God is…
- All else makes sense
- He is holy… I am not
- Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
- To have truly accepted the gospel… to know God more than intellectually… but as Lord and Saviour
- Are you ready to do… what He asks…
- Not a characterization of God
- Cartoon… Santa Claus… Grandfather
- Out of Balance… the Word gives no assurance of Salvation… lest we understand who God is… From whom our salvation comes… to whom all glory is due!
- Pharisee – Publican (tax collector)…
- Luke 18:10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 "The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' 13 "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
- God wants your knowledge… but knowledge alone makes you self-righteous… like the Pharisee
- God wants your affection… but affections alone leave you unanchored
- God wants you, mind, body and soul
- 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'
- If I told you what God wants for your marriage… nay… what God commands, exhorts, admonishes us regarding our marriages… Would you do it…
- Ephesians 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.
- God has a plan… do you know him… are we ready to listen
- If I told you God wants you to be biblically literate, nay… what God commands, exhorts, admonishes us regarding His Word… Would you do it…
- Psalm 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
- (2 Timothy 2:14-17) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- Store the treasure…
- Effective ministry in the body… Ephesians 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming…
- God has a plan… do you know him… are we ready to listen
- If I told you God wants your allegiance…what God commands, exhorts, admonishes us regarding our Him… regarding His Church… Families…Would you do it…
- Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before Me.
- Not our ideas or innovations which capture us… His will and plan
- Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
- God’s plan includes support for his leaders… those that give an account for your soul…
- Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
- Good for the home….
- Just like a proper marriage….
- Parents need to enforce this….
- If I told you God wants you to embrace his gospel…what God commands, exhorts, admonishes us regarding our Him… regarding Gospel…Would you do it…
- Who is God… Perfect… Perfect in Knowledge, Power, Love… Perfect in all His Glory
- Who am I… Imperfect… Imperfect in Knowledge, Power, Love… And I have by imperfections offended the one who created me….
- But because He wants to bring glory to his name… and because he Loves us so deeply… the God of Justice…. Supplied his own Son as payment for our Sin!
- The Son of God bore the weight of our sins… not just the nails… but the weight if of the holiness of God… our unrighteousness borne by Christ…. Perfectly paid….
- Then by faith given by God… Christ’s righteousness is imputed… and we are seen as Christ before the Father
- Ultimately Glorified
Church Life is Personal… and Corporate
- Paul loves those who share his passion for Christ…
- Phoebe delivered the letter
- Tertius was Paul’s scribe
- Members of Caesars household
- Paul loves them individually
- Paul Loves them corporately…
- This is the closing of the Letter to the Romans…
- He wants to affirm them…
- So he loves them… how does it manifest in his actions…
Church Life iS Focused on God’s Glory
17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
- Love’em…. Remember love…1 Corinthians 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth
- Pragmatic… #’s, programs
- Man-centred… needs, feelings….
- Christ centred… truth and relationship
- Walk away from Scripture….
- New Perspective
- Open Thesim
- Contrary to what was taught…
- OT / NT / Church Age…
- Dissension… 2 Timothy 2:23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.
- Aside – What should we do? With those who have turned away from the word…?
- Love them… don’t Let’em turn away
- Keep an eye – Intensity…
- Bring the Bible to bear…Inerrancy, Sufficiency, Authority
- Matthew 18… toward restoration
- Souls are at stake
- Turn away to protect others
- Turn away to protect them
- Paul reasoned with Greeks in Athens
- Acts 17:16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. 17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.
- But he gave no room to tolerate those who claim Christ but teach lies…. Souls are stake…
- Ephesians 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
- Leaders have a challenge…
- Acts 20:27 "For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
- The Bride matters…
- First for God’s Glory
- To be an elder we have agreed before God… to protect his testimony amongst you… and your souls. And as elders we have to give an account for his redeemed…the flock has been entrusted
- Ever heard of someone promoting their preferences?
- Not scriptural issues…
- But choices…
- Teaching what they want
- Not slaves of Christ (and they never tell you that… sometimes they don’t know)
- But own appetites… Egos, Philosophies, Needs, Pragmatism
- What does it look like?
- Jude 1:12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
- False Teachers first deceive themselves…
- 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation,
- 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
- Understood in the Historic Body!
- NAU 2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
- Smooth and Flattering…
- Do I Look good in this…
- Do I have Cream Cheese
- Rarely is evil obvious…
- 2 Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
- Keep an Eye
- Cause it costs soul…
- Love – Church Life Personal and Corporately and Church Life is Focused on God’s Glory
Church life is Marked by Obedience and Holiness
19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
- Staying true…
- Bring Glory to God
- Strengthens the body
- It is a testimony
- I am rejoicing in you
- But… I want you to stay aware of what is good and innocent in what is evil
- Jesus warned…
- Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
- Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
- Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
- Souls at Stake…. (Wait… selling out… it is about… Glory to God)
- Glory to God is the purpose of our life
- Turn away from Evil… for Satan will be crushed…
- Reminder of Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."
- Deliverance in Christ!
- Even to the Faithful…
- The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
- Life in Christ… has its challenges…
- 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
Church Life is Personal… and Corporate
- Names, different, active
- Loves the body… Loves its members…
- In tough Words and in Grace
- Souls and Glory
Church Life is Focused on Gods Glory
- Focused on His Word…
- Focused on his Testimony…
- His Character
- His Gospel
Church life is Marked by Obedience and Holiness
19 - 20
- True to the Word
- Pure and Holy…
- What if I was to tell you… you will be held to account…
- Squirm first…
- Yet come on….