let us pray
heavenly father we come to you
on this 17th sunday after the pentecost
we enter into your presence by
the blood of jesus christ by
your provision by a privilege
you’ve given us not a right
father we pray that your healing will be
us this morning that you will give us
and that we will live in that hope of
obediently the words of our mouth
and the meditations of our heart be
acceptable in your sight
of god our redeemer and all god’s people
amen amen you
good yeah well what a beautiful morning
i i’m just thankful that we’re all out
here in this creation and i want you
guys to all know i
envy you this morning you are not
wearing the equivalent
of a military-grade sleeping bag
and uh but i don’t invade rob or myself
so lucky for you yes
but let’s open up to romans chapter
we’re continuing our series
the reign of grace and we’re
learning about god’s grace and what
we’re really learning about right now
is his spirit
you know one christian writer i’ve
followed has put it this way that the
is simple but it’s not easy
and if you look at our passage
from ezekiel this morning we can see
all through the bible god is really just
one statement and calling one thing
for humankind to do
which is to repent and believe in him
the the writer of ezekiel says if a man
turns from his righteous way
and does unjustly then he’ll die for
that but if a
unrighteous person turns to the just
way then god will have mercy
and we will live and repentance
is always an imperfect thing
repentance is a practice
it’s a discipline it’s something that we
into as a christian i raised an
analogy last week of how the spirit
is like a gymnastics coach and i told
you of the
video i was watching of a little girl in
gymnastics and how the coach
not only directed her but even supported
her back when she was doing
back handsprings or whatever it was the
spirit does
more the spirit is a gentleman the
spirit doesn’t make us
do backflips
but the spirit makes us able to do
things however imperfectly
that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do
but it takes repentance it has it has
all to do with coming to him and our
passage this morning
paul is talking all about what it means
to walk in that spirit
and just like the christian life is just
a child who enters into gymnastics at a
young age
and they practice and they become more
skillful over time and that
and that that really highlights one of
the beauty most beautiful things about
because you can enter into it in total
and imperfection you don’t have to be
an olympic grade
gymnast to be accepted
into jesus’s academy
just like in a gymnastic you’re going to
take these
kids in it at a young age and you’re
going to develop them over time so
in the gospel we enter into the church
and god
develops us over time and there’s total
into god in his program
long before we have any proficiency
and that’s a beautiful thing and so paul
here talking in these words he says
so then brothers we are debtors not to
the flesh to live according to the flesh
for if you live according to the flesh
you will die
but if by the spirit you put to death
the deeds of the body
you will live what he’s talking about is
a discipline that we practice
the battle we’ve been talking about for
the last few weeks
in romans 7 in the first part of romans
8 is we
enter into a battle where we are
learning to be proficient
in putting to death the deeds of the
and walking in the spirit
and i want to pose this question to us
and i’ve proposed it several times
in different ways but
the question is what is wrong with the
and i don’t mean just now i don’t mean
all the chaos we see on tv and
the things that we’re seeing
i mean what’s at the root what’s at the
the world and its problems
and he hits on this if you look at verse
14 he says for all those who are led by
the spirit of god
are the sons of god when you are
into the church and most importantly
when you have the faith
in jesus christ you become a child
of god but it says this in verse 15 for
you did not receive the spirit
of slavery to fall back into fear
but you have received the spirit of
as sons by whom we cry
abba father
now this one verse alone verse 15
of chapter 8 we could have a whole
maybe even a short series on that verse
alone there’s so much here
he’s talked already in the book of
romans about slavery and how we are free
from that we are
freed from the spirit of slavery
we did not receive the spirit of slavery
to fall
back into fear
and it’s that word fear i want to focus
on there’s a lot we can focus on in this
verse but i want to focus on that
when i ask the question of what is wrong
with the world
probably the biggest thing that i see is
we are a fearful creature
in fact if we really reflect on things a
lot of times
our decisions are not decided by the
but all the fears and we often make
because we fear one thing more than
it’s easy to fear our way
through life and jesus says
and what paul’s saying here in romans is
that when we walk in the spirit
we don’t have to live in a spirit
of fear anymore because you did not
receive the spirit of
slavery because fear is slavery
we all remember
the quote i believe it was fdr
who said we have nothing to fear but
fear itself
i think there’s a little bit more to it
than that
but paul is really emphasizing that this
morning we didn’t
we don’t have to fall back we didn’t
receive a spirit and fall back
into fear but you have received the
spirit of adoption
of sons by which we cry our father and
that’s where it all comes together
because we receive
a family and in a family
if it’s a healthy one we’re safe right
it’s a safe place to be
a place where we can look up and say
abba which in hebrew means
something more like or daddy
abba father
and then he says this the spirit himself
bears sweetness with our spirit that we
are the children of god
and then he lays out our destiny
if children then heirs
heirs of god fellow heirs with christ
provided we suffer with him in order
that we might
be glorified with him
you see we are debtors to the spirit
as paul says there’s no condemnation to
those who are in christ jesus
and so we see as we go through this
contrast between flesh and the spirit
slavery and children of god
death versus life and glory sin
versus righteousness despair
versus hope
and despair comes from fear
oh god what am i gonna do how am i gonna
get out of it
how am i gonna get through
you see paul gives here the marching
of the baptized
and that’s what’s so important because
what it means is that we’re not alone
the third person of the holy trinity
is with us
you see when jesus gave that great
commission he gave it to us
as a church go
make disciples of all nations
baptizing them in the name of the father
the son
and the holy spirit
to the end of the age you see where the
baptized in the name of the spirit why
it’s the spirit that comes upon us and
it’s the spirit
that leads us but it’s just like that
you see we have received the spirit of
and that’s how god leads us
into the fight we receive a new
identity through the spirit those led by
the spirit of god are the sons of god
and we move from fear to confidence in
our new identity
so what are these words abba father
implies what are these words you have
received the spirit of fear but you’ve
received the spirit
of adoption
what are these words
that you will by the spirit put to death
the deeds of the body
whatever all these statements that paul
makes here mean
it means that we’re not alone
it means that you are not alone and it
means that we don’t have a reason to
it means that any despairing moment
in our lives we can look up and say
father papa
with our creator and that leads us to
the mystery of redemption in the
following verses if you look at it
verse 18 paul is very upfront
about the suffering we have in this life
some of it is for the gospel itself
but some of that suffering is just being
human in a fallen world
where i consider that the sufferings of
this present time
are not worth comparing with the glory
that shall be revealed in us for the
wait with eager longing for the
revealing of the sons of god
for creation was subjected to futility
but not willingly
but because of him who subjected it in
and that the creation itself will be set
free from its bondage to corruption
and attain freedom the freedom of the
glory of the children of god
i’m going to stop right there
when we ask what’s wrong with the world
the world is fearful because of sin
because the world is following what paul
says here it’s not just
us it’s the whole creation
that’s grown and travailing
under the weight of sin and it’s looking
for its liberation
the whole creation is suffering
every man and woman in the world whether
they understand it or not
and all the world around us
are suffering under the weight of sin
the anger the strife that we see
in the world today that’s that
he says the whole creation
will be set free from the bondage of
corruption and attain
the freedom of the glory of the children
of god
who is the children of god that’s you
that’s us it’s the people of god
this is the this is the verse i was
having a hard time getting my mind
you see your redemption
your salvation is slow so closely
tied to what god is doing in the world
that he the creation itself
is looking forward to what you and
i will bring god’s not just saving us
he’s not just saving the creation he’s
saving the creation
through us do i fully understand how
that works no i don’t
i’m not gonna pretend we’re scratching
the surface here this morning
creation waits with eager longing for
the revealing of the sons of god
he says there in verse 9.
what is god’s plan for the gospel in
this current age
it is the healing of the world
through the gospel of god
by the people of god who are driven by
the spirit
of god
you see god doesn’t send us into the
world alone he
empowers us he trains us he builds us he
edifies us and he sends us out
not unarmed but prepared
that doesn’t mean you never feel
unarmed or unprepared in fact when we
feel that way
we’re probably in the best place for him
to use us
because we’re in a place of humility
independence right amen
so don’t mistake a lack
of feeling confident or competent
with bringing god’s hope to the world
with god using him because god uses
us in spite of ourselves
god uses us the way he wants to
and his ways are not our ways sometimes
the way he uses
us is very counter-intuitive to the way
we think
he should use us
and so he says in verse 26 likewise the
spirit helps
us in our weakness for we do not even
know what we ought to pray
but the spirit himself intercedes for us
with groaning too deep for words
how’s that for a concept of prayer
that god sometimes wants prayer for
uh from us that’s from a saint
that’s a good deal
you know what i’m talking about where
you’re you’re you’re sitting there you
don’t even know what to say to god
you don’t even know what to say to god
and then you get in your own head and
you’re kind of like god
of god your savior
let his healing wash over us
you see god in verse 27 says he who
hearts knows what is the mind of the
spirit because the spirit
intercedes for the saints according
to the wit the will of god
you see god knows what we need
he knows what we need to pray for even
when we don’t
know what to pray for and you see that’s
why he has
this beautiful destiny for you
and me as the children
of god
and we know in verse 28 that for those
who love god all things work together
for good
for those who are called according to
his purpose that’s god’s free plan
that’s a promise from god that even
in our fear even in our struggle
even in our self-doubt even in our sense
of bewilderment
and a discomfort that god has
a plan for you and me
and that plan is for those who are new
he predestined to be conformed to the
image of his son
we will be in god’s image
we will be bearers of god’s likeness
that is your destiny
that is our destiny we have a noble
this isn’t an exact quote but it was c.s
lewis who made this great observation
did you realize whenever you’re talking
to a person
you’re talking to an immortal
an immortal somebody who has eternal
value in the world
that’s how much value you and i have
and we will be conformed to the image of
his son in order that we
might be the first lord among many
and so he promises those whom he
he also calls and those whom he called
he also
justified and justified he also
that’s your destiny brothers
sisters to be glorified
and in all that it says the creation
awaits the revealing of the glory
of the sons of god you see glory
is our destiny and in glory
our glory will be the healing of
creation in the world
all god asks us to do is to submit his
be part of his plan and the beauty of
is he accepts us like that little kid
starting gym class in
absolute imperfection we are
sons and daughters of god amen

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