Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020

good morning people of God so good to
see your faces in the pews this morning
how exciting is that let’s give us a
round of applause I’m gonna go ahead and
let you sit down and I’m just rejoicing
to be with you this morning mainly
because we’re back together and just
just being the body of God together and
and worshiping so a very excited of how
we’ll spend this summer together and one
of the things that we are doing for the
Pentecost season our lectionary year a
puts a special emphasis on Rome and so
we’re going to be focusing on Romans and
doing a series called the reign of grace
and I talked a little bit about it for
you guys on Facebook so just want to
give you guys a little heads up on how
you can get the most out of that here’s
a couple couple ideas is number one is
start reading Romans a lot you know read
through it and you know the most
powerful way that people learn is when
we develop questions so when you develop
your own questions those things those
answers stick a lot quicker and faster
encourage you to take notes if you’re a
note taker if you’re not a note taker
you might want to become one so and then
it’s a great opportunity to discuss in
your your prayer groups or in a you know
with some your other brothers and
but I want to point us real quick before
we pray to Romans 5:21 you don’t have to
turn there but Paul says these words he
says so that as sin reigned in death
grace also might reign through
righteousness leading to Edel eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord and
therein lies the reason for the title of
our series the reign of grace is that as
Christians God has called us not back
he’s called us back from the reign of
sin and death which we’re all seeing
right now the whole George Floyd
incident is another witness to the reign
of sin and death and we as Christians as
blood-bought Christians were called into
the reign of grace and that’s what our
election area is talking about in you
know our gospel passage this morning to
go make disciples of all nations to make
disciples to invite people to live and
walk in the rain of grace so before we
get started let’s just bow our heads and
and let’s just pray and thank God for
our time to be back together and to
study the Word of God together
Heavenly Father I just thank you for the
peace and justice of God in the world I
want to raise up a particular call to
prayer I want to raise up a prayer of
blessing and peace on George Floyd’s
family and father I just pray against
the violence the violence that led to
his death and the violence that’s
ensuing father rage and violence didn’t
solve anything but the cross the cross
of Jesus Christ solves all things and so
you’ve called us in to the reign of
grace and so we thank you for your word
we thank you that it dwells richly in us
and we thank you
you have given the peace of God in our
hearts that we may cry Abba Father all
God’s people said and so I want to start
off by just asking a question here and
that simple question is what is the goal
of the gospel we saw that we see some of
that going on in the in the Matthew
passage and our gospel passage go
therefore and make disciples of all
nations baptizing them in the name of
the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
and teaching them all that I command you
well as we begin to look at Romans
someone asked me well what what’s what
is the how does the gospel relate to
Romans and I said that’s a great
question the basically the book of
Romans is the gospel of Jesus Christ to
the Romans through the Apostle Paul that
is the his understanding of the gospel
that he’s preaching to us and so when we
ask that question what is the gospel
what is the goal of the gospel of God
Paul answers with a certain statement he
answers with the statement the obedience
of faith and if you have your Bible you
can look at it but I’ll read it to you
in Romans one four and five Paul says
Jesus Christ our Lord through whom we
have received Grace and Apostleship to
bring about the obedience of faith for
the sake of his name among all nations
there’s some powerful words there and
there’s some deep meaningful things
there first of all he says the obedience
of faith he he doesn’t say it’s
obedience versus faith he doesn’t say
faith versus works but he says the
obedience of faith and so we need to
hold on to that little idea that idea
will come back to you over and over
again throughout pentecost season as we
go through romans is that god is sending
the church into the world to bring about
the obedience of faith that’s the same
thing that’s going on and
Matthieu when he says go make disciples
of all nations
we don’t obey out of a spartan sense of
works we obey only my faith and when he
says among all nations what that points
back to is that Abrahamic promised that
Abraham would be the father of all
nations which he’s going to he’s going
to talk about more in the next few
chapters and so Paul goes on as we
launch into our our text this morning he
says for I am not ashamed of the gospel
for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes or to everyone
who has faith to the Jew first and also
the Greek for in it the righteousness of
God is revealed from faith for faith as
it is written the just shall live by
faith and that’s really his thesis
statement here in this book this is what
he is talking about this is this whole
point of the book is that the just
person shall live by faith or that the
person is made just not by their own
perfection but by faith and that true
obedience grows out of that faith and so
everything in this book turns on relman
on on faith and so we can ask this
question is who are the Romans it really
helps us understand because he says
right here before in verse 15 he says
for I’m I’m eager to preach the gospel
to you who were at Rome who were these
people were these Romans well they were
actually Christians the Christians at
Rome and don’t you think that’s kind of
interesting that he’s excited and all
jazzed up to go preach the gospel to
do we think that’s kind of unique maybe
not maybe so because when we think about
preaching the gospel we think about
preaching to non-christians right the
Paul wants to preach the gospel to
Christians too because the Christians
need the gospel just as bad the the that
faith sometimes leaks as I said in my
Sunday sermon I mean my Wednesday sermon
this week is sometimes our faith leaks
sometimes we feel weak and so God is
calling us into this gospel and so as we
look at verse 18 he says for the wrath
of God is revealed against heaven
against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men who by their
unrighteousness suppress the truth for
what can be known about God is plain to
them because God has shown it to them
for his invisible attributes namely his
eternal power and divine nature have
been clearly perceived ever since the
creation of the world and the things
that have been made so that they are
without excuse
the Paul talks about the wrath of God
here but he points right back to the
creation and that’s what he’s going to
focus on here is that the creation is
God’s gifted it to us and that’s what we
read in Genesis this morning God gifted
the creation and made us to live in
creation and it’s a place to house us
and so he says here for although they
knew God in verse 21 they did not honor
him as God or give thanks to him but
became futile and their thinking and
their foolish hearts were darkened and
so we can ask the question what is Paul
doing here and these opening chapters
what’s he trying to accomplish here and
so I’ll I’ll fill you in a little bit
he’s establishing that all men
all of us apart from Jesus Christ our
self condemned under sin that’s what
he’s doing in the first few chapters of
Romans all of us and I and I’m
emphasizing apart from Christ apart from
Christ all mankind is self condemned
there’s two points on that you don’t we
don’t need God to condemn us because our
actions as sinners already condemn us
but that’s apart from Christ Paul’s
gospel is God’s long-suffering that God
is kind that God is pouring out his
heart through the gospel toward mankind
and so this brings us to our first point
here is what I’ll call the dishonouring
of God and the dishonouring of ourselves
and I III want to explain that a little
bit to you they see this passage talks
about the dishonouring of God but it
also talks about dishonouring ourselves
and dishonouring our bodies and see
that’s where God’s rule his will his law
comes about very much like a parent what
God wants for us is best for us and so
when we break God’s rules when we break
God’s law we don’t just dishonor God we
dishonor ourselves we’re not necessarily
damaging God but we are always damaging
ourselves and on Wednesday I asked this
question what is the difference between
love and respect and the reason I asked
that as I shared on Wednesday was that I
was sitting with one of my son’s
recently and he asked me I don’t know if
you want me to love you
or respect you and my response after I
thought for a minute was well
most men feel loved when their respected
and if you disrespect them they don’t
feel loved and then I thought about it
in the days following and I’m like you
know I think everybody’s that way and so
Paul talks here about honoring God if
you look back at verse 21 he says though
they knew God but they did not honor him
or give thanks they did not honor him or
give thanks in verse 21 to honor
somebody is to respect them to treat
them in the way they are meant to be
treated and what Paul is painting a
picture of here is a world that doesn’t
honor God he’s painting a picture of a
world where the Creator who created this
world and put men in it and gifted him
with his very breath treats God as if he
doesn’t even exist treats God as if he
doesn’t matter and you could kind of
relate to that as if you you know you
gave somebody the opportunity to come
live with you and then they kind of just
took over and acted like it was their
house and started mistreating you in
your house and started telling you how
things were supposed to be in your house
eventually you’d get a little aggravated
wouldn’t you a lot says Farrell and you
know you would be right to expel them
from your house right amen all right so
and yet God Paul says here in Romans is
long-suffering toward us but the
fundamental posture of us as a people is
that we are disrespecting and
dishonouring God in his house
dishonouring God in his own house and it
says it goes on and says but they became
futile in their thinking and their
foolish heart
were darkened says their minds became
dark and what you see throughout this
passage as you read it on your own what
you’ll see is this process of man
choosing darkness and then God allowing
him to choose his darkness and that man
chooses to go toward darkness and God
allows man to sink deeper into his own
darkness and you see this in verse 23
says and they exchanged the glory of the
immortal God for images resembling
mortal man and bird and animals and
creeping things and so they began to
worship what he calls the creature
rather than a creator and if you
understand the passage we’ve just read
in Genesis how powerful is in its
ancient context because when the writer
of Genesis wrote Genesis 1 it was
literally taking the gods of the ancient
world and and and and dethroning them
you see what he was saying is all those
things you worship the Sun the moon the
animals the beasts the birds all the
things that people in the ancient world
were were worshipping the writer of
Genesis takes down and says now they’re
creations of the one God of the Jews the
one God and Paul’s talking about that
here how they how they began to worship
the images of mortal man and birds and
creeping things and you know in Romans
18 where he starts off he talks about
those who suppress who by their
unrighteousness suppress the truth well
my question is you what does it mean to
suppress the truth what does that mean
and some of us would think that that is
an active thing but do you really think
that most meant and then that he’s
talking about wake up every morning like
ha ha I am gonna suppress the truth of
God today no that’s not how we suppress
the truth
that’s not how we suppress the truth we
suppress the truth by dishonouring God
and as we’ll see down below we suppress
the truth by not retaining God in our
knowledge by not retaining God in our
you see we suppress the truth passively
by making God unimportant to us and so
in verse 24 says therefore God gave them
up God gave them up to the lusts of
their hearts to impurity to the
dishonouring of their bodies among
themselves because they exchanged the
truth about God for a lie and worshiped
the creature rather than the Creator who
is blessed for ever amen and so he says
and that brings us to our second point
and this is a real sobering one you see
our first point was when we dishonor God
we dishonor ourselves as well the second
point is that God gives us what we want
God gives us what we want God is enough
of a gentleman that he doesn’t force us
but he invites us into the gospel of God
he invites us into the truth of God and
when we reject it and we exchanged the
truth of God for a lie and worshiped the
creature and worshiped ourselves more
than the Creator he gives us what we
want and that’s a sobering thought
God gives us what we want and we earn
the outcome of what we pursue
we either pursue God’s Way in the world
or we pursue our way in the world it’s
one of the other and even as a Christian
we have to learn to practice pursuing
the truth of God and what you see here
is a pattern in fact three different
times in this passage he talks about how
men exchange God’s will for our own in
Romans 1 23 he says and they exchanged
the glory that immortal God for images
in Romans 1:25 he says because they
exchanged the truth about God for a lie
and then in verse 26 for this reason God
gave them up to dishonorable passions
for they their women exchanged natural
relations for those that are contrary to
nature and likewise men gave up or
exchanged the natural relationships with
women and I want to just point out here
the God here are that Paul here is not
picking on homosexuals as this as if
that’s some unique sin among sins but he
does see it as a sign he does see it as
a flag in the sand that talks about to a
point to where mankind has gone in this
day and age this there’s nothing more
apropos to the day and age we live in
right now we have this condition now
where people are born a man and decide
that they want to be a female and vice
versa there’s a name for it called
gender dysphoria and for Paul what he’s
talking about is this kind of thinking
where you where we lose perspective of
the simplicity of the creation that God
made them male and female
and it doesn’t give us a position to be
judgmental toward those who are in that
kind of sin because we all sin and all
sin falls short of the glory of God but
the point that Paul is is making here is
that when we are without the truth of
God we sink farther and farther and
farther away from God where truth
becomes so blurry that we don’t know
what is up and what is down what is
right and what’s wrong and that’s what
Paul is talking about here is that when
we choose this path as people when we
choose the path to exchange the truth of
God for a lie God will give us what we
want and we will sink lower and lower
and lower and you may be saying well I’m
a Christian I’m not choosing that path
and and that’s good but even we as
Christians have to be on the guard
because the whole world is pressing in
on us and especially with today’s
technology and stuff we constantly
bombarded with ideas that are not about
God and what we have to do is guard our
mind and that really brings us to our
last point that last point here is that
the gap that the battleground for the
gospel is your mind it’s what’s going on
between our ears the battleground for
the gospel is our mind look at verse 28
he says since they did not see fit to
acknowledge God God gave them up to a
debased mind to do what not ought to be
done you see my point there they chose
the way they want they chose rebellion
we we as a human race chose rebellion
against God and God says I’ll be a
gentleman here have what you want if
that’s what you really want but in the
gospel God comes to us and he sends the
and he sends preachers and he sends the
body of God to bring the truth of God in
the world to call men out of it to call
us out of it but this little verse here
is like the Magna Carta of the entire
gospel because he says since they did
not see fit to acknowledge God God gave
them up now I love the old King James
translation of that says since they did
not see fit to retain God in their
knowledge what it’s basically saying is
sense of mankind did not choose to
actively harbour thoughts about God in
their mind they went over the falls
there’s a spiritual classic called the
practice of the presence of God by
brother Lawrence and that classic is
about practicing harboring God in our
thoughts and I think you know as well as
I that when we don’t have God in our
thoughts a lot of other ugly thoughts
enter in you know it’s the classic thing
if I say don’t think about the pink
elephant what are you guys all thinking
about now the pink elephant that’s right
and so it is with every horrible thing
you can’t stop thinking and you can’t
stop pondering the bad things the world
by not actively putting other active
things in and so now if I say something
like how many of you went to Disney
World when you were a kid that’s a good
thought right and now you’re not
thinking about the pink elephant until I
mentioned it again because you’re
thinking because I suggested something
else and that’s where the mind works
that’s the battleground of the mind he
says since they did not see fit to
acknowledge God God gave them up they
did not see fit to hold God in their
and it goes on back in you know back in
verse 20 once for although they knew God
they did not honor him as God or give
thanks to him but became futile in their
thinking and their foolish hearts were
darkened and so you see this pattern
where we darken our hearts and then God
darkens our hearts more when we rebel
against him you see nothing could be
more important than this battleground
for the mind and as we go through Romans
you’re gonna see him talk about the mind
the mind the mind he’s gonna talk about
the mind of Christ he’s gonna talk about
those who walk in the spirit and walking
in the spirit is all about listening to
the spirit in our own mind and so as we
close let me just give you kind of a big
takeaway just a big idea that kind of
close us out with it’s made of kind of
two points number one all mankind has
condemned themselves under sin that’s
where we started out the wrath of God
has been revealed from heaven against
all ungodliness and unrighteousness of
men who suppress the truth but see God
doesn’t want to be a wrathful God you
see the gospel is about his love and God
responds to our rejection of him by
giving us what we want but God so loved
the world that He gave His only begotten
Son that whosoever believeth in him
should have eternal life and that is the
reign of grace and that’s what we’re
gonna keep learning about here in this
Pentecost season amen

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