The Everyday MiracleRomans1_14_17
The Everyday Miracle:
Oscar Cervantes as a small child began to get into trouble. Then as he got older, he was jailed 17 times for brutal crimes. Prison psychiatrists said he was beyond help. But they were wrong! During a brief interval of freedom, Oscar met an elderly man who told him about Jesus. He placed his trust in the Lord and was changed into a kind and caring man. Shortly afterward he started a prison ministry. Chaplain H.C. Warwick describes it this way: The third Saturday night of each month is Oscar night at the prison. Inmates come to hear Oscar and they sing gospel songs with fervor; they sit intently for over 2 hours; they come freely to the chapel altar. What professionals had failed to do for Oscar in years of counseling, Christ did in a moment of conversion.
· The scientific community denounces the idea that miracles happen
· If it cannot be explained logically it could not have happened.
· Many Christians over the years have began to doubt the possibility of miracles.
· There are many types of miracles.
· Miracles are placed in the category of the strange and unusual.
· the stories I just read were examples of two different miracles
· miraculous transformations
· Unfortunately many Christians have never experience this type of miracle.
· 74% of all churches are dying, 24% are maintaining or growing from transfers, 1% grow from converts.
· The miracle that God calls us to be part of is rarely experienced
· tired of the ordinary, then you can be part of a miracle
· Paul understood this concept-he wanted the miracle to part of his daily life.
· It was his life and his passion and because of this he saw many miracles.
· In Romans 1:14-17 he helps us to understand what we must do to experience miracles.
· Lets look at this together so that you and I can experience a miracle.
Consider your Motivation. (14-15)
1:14 I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15 Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.
· Why should you share? (14)
Ø The text in v. 14 indicates that Paul is a debtor or has an obligation.
Ø Why would Paul call the preaching of the Gospel an obligation or debt?
Ø Duty: We have been commanded in Scripture to share our faith. (Matt. 28:19-20)
Ø Desire: sharing of our faith should be our passion, our compulsion.
Ø But…you may say that I am unable. I do not know how, or it is too intimidating.
· With whom should you share? (14)
Ø Those of varied social status: Greeks represents those who are cultured or of high social status.
Ø Barbarians or Non-Greeks represent those who we may find hard to be around, who live a lifestyle that is unacceptable to us. This includes in the context of the passage those who were from different lands or cultures.
Ø Those of varied economic status: The wise would be equated with the educated. These people often believe that they are too smart or refined to need God.
Ø The foolish are those who may be considered ignorant or uneducated.
Ø Those of varied races: Paul cites in v. 16 the Jews, those for which the revelation of God was first revealed and those who are racially similar to us.
Ø The Greeks or gentiles are those who are different and maybe even socially oppressed or considered inferior.
Ø The point that Paul is trying to put before his audience is that the message of God’s redemption is available for all people. What it also emphasizes is that the Gospel is able to overcome any type of person no matter their circumstances.
· How should you share? (15)
Ø Our first priority: The first consideration is to make the gospel our highest priority.
Ø We should want to share the Good news eagerly but this hinges entirely upon our motivation.
Ø So why are we not eager to share our faith? What keeps us from providing the people we know and care for with the message of God’s hope?
Ø Do we demonstrate our true heart by our desire or lack of desire to reach people?
"I'm so depressed and I can't get any dates, the 300-pound man told his minister. "I've tried everything
to lose weight.' "I think I can help, said the minister. "Be dressed and ready to go tomorrow at 8 a.m.' Next morning, a beautiful woman in a skintight exercise suit knocked on the man's door. "If you can catch me, you can have me, she said, as she took off. He huffed and puffed after her. This routine went on every day for the next five months. The man lost 115 pounds and felt confident that he would catch the woman the next day. That morning he whipped open his front door and found a 300-pound woman in a jogging suit waiting for him. 'the minister said to tell you, she began, 'that if I can catch you, I can have you.’
· Experiencing the miracle of a changed life can happen in the life of absolutely anyone. Our desire to share the Gospel must come from a perspective that God can save anyone and is not restricted by economic, social or racial factors.
· What Paul demonstrates above all else in these two verses is that the witness of a miracle is partly dependent upon our motivation. Without a holy desire to be obedient to our calling and without a desire to see people share in our joy there is little reason to share the Gospel. It must be done because you believe in it, otherwise we will not have the stomach for it.
· I wonder how it would change our perspective if we saw people as God saw them?
Check your Attitude. (16)
1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
· Being Ashamed
Ø Shame comes from the consequences of being shown to have acted on a false assumption or misplaced confidence.
Ø Paul is trying to make clear that the message of the Gospel-the need of a world for a relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is not something that is a false hope or belief.
Ø He has not placed his confidence in something irrational or foolish but in the fundamental truth of human existence-without Christ we are doomed!
Ø His statement is directly linked to Luke 9:26:
9:26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Ø The implication that Christ gives is quite clear and sobering. If we are embarrassed of Christ and this includes his gospel message he will be no less ashamed of us before God.
Ø What a horrible thought: To have Christ turn away from us because of our view of his sacrifice.
· Its Importance
Ø The gospel contains a great deal of power.
Ø It has power in the very words of its message
Ø It has power to take a person dead and wasting and resurrecting them to new life
Ø It has the power to transform a person from hopeless to hopeful
Ø It has the power to change absolutely anyone.
The noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question, “What are you doing?” The first replied, “I’m cutting stone for 10 shillings a day.” The next answered, “I’m putting in 10 hours a day on this job.” But the third said, “I’m helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London’s greatest cathedrals.”
· Is our attitude that this message is irrelevant or hopeless? Do we stop short of declaring the message of salvation through out words and living because of how it may make us feel or because what others may think of us?
· Do we really believe this message? Do we really believe that it has the power to perform miracles that Paul says it does? Do we believe that its power is not found in our particular gifting but in God alone? If so we need to change our perspective, we need to change our attitude.
Choose the Life. (17)
1:17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”
· Righteous Compulsion
Ø The righteousness of God is his compulsion to do what is right according to his covenant with humanity. The Gospel is the manifestation of his righteousness and assurance to us of his loving care.
Ø Through the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel we have had the honor and ability to share in this righteousness-to be declared righteous or right with God.
Ø We also have the compulsion to be agents of Christ’s righteousness to others-passing along this gift.
· Genuine living
Ø In the context of this passage concerning the Gospel there are several ways of considering the phrase ‘faith to faith’
Ø It has the idea of going from the faith that has placed its trust in Christ for salvation to faithful living
Ø It has the idea of saving faith to the faith that causes us to serve one another
Ø It has the idea of saving faith to the faith that brings us closer to God through sanctification.
Ø The life of faith is one that lives the message of the Gospel and is transformed from the initial moment of redemption to acting out on it.
The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans city pool. In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.
· Christianity is interesting in that it calls us to change our lives and never look back. To live lives that are very different than once we lived. In some ways we are too never look back and avoid all connections to the past.
· But on the other hand, our faith calls us to live in such a way that we engage deliberately with what we once were through relationships with people dying in their sin.
· We are commended to be good life guards, not preoccupied with our own celebrations, ignoring who we are but making every effort to live normally the task of sharing our faith so that the presence of a miracle can be witnessed.
· I am not an evangelist
· I am deathly scared of sharing my faith, but I am compelled to do it.
· It is hard and scary
· I have been able to experience miracles.
· I am looking forward to experiencing more miracles.
· It is the primary mandate of my ministry
· It is the desire I have in my personal life
· We are all called to a life of evangelism
· Paul was great because he saw miracles
· Billy Graham is the ultimate evangelist because he saw miracles
· Jesus is not our savior because he said nice things, but because he is the miracle
· Do you want to change your life and be part of a miracle?