Peace With God
Please remain standing as we read Gods Word together.
My heart breaks for the direction the church has gone. It is the reason why I got into pastoral ministry. I wanted to see gospel transformation take place but I knew that the gospel was fading from the mouths of preachers.
And as it began to fade from the mouths of preachers, it began to fade out of the mouths of the people. And the result is that we actually have burried the gospel.
That is the second time in history that has happened. The Gospel being burried. The Church began to hide the gospel around 500 ad. In all honesty, it began well before than but movements from 300 Ad to 500 ad were exposed as heretical.
But some of those movements had large followings, so there was always a large group of people going against orthodox christianity. Now I need to explain my use of words real quick.
When I use that phrase, orthodox christianity, more often I say biblically orthodox christianity, that word orthodox means in the traditional sense. It means histroically and theologically this view has been held.
I use that phrase, and I am not the only one, but I use that phrase to describe biblically christainity. That is what was meant when it was used by those around the 4th and 5th centtury. This is not to be confused with eastern orthodoxy or the orthodox church.
That was the name the east gave themselves around 1000 ad during what was called the great schism, and the latin west church and the Greek east split up. The Latin west began to call themselves the Roman Catholic church and the Greek East called themselves Greek Orthodox, Eastern orthodox and just flat Orthodox.
I am not talking about that, I am talking about biblical christianity. We have departed from that word orthodox, and today we ask are you conservative. I do not like that word. Not when it comes to christianity. When people ask me if i am conservative;
They are not interested on what I teach on the trinity, or what I teach about Jesus, Do I affirm that Jesus is truly God and truly man, they do not care to know my views on the virgin birth, sin and salvation or the ordinanaces of the church.
They are not concerned in anyway if i am gospel centered or not, what they are usually really asking is what are my views on homosexuality and guns.
So I use that word orthodox to describe the core of our beliefs, not some political position. By the way, this has nothing to do with today's message, But because I mentioned something, it seems fitting that I take the time to correct our understanding on something.
Homosexuality is not a political issue, it is not a social issue though it has impacted the political real and social standings, it is not one of those things. Homosexuality is a biblical issue, it is the issue of sin.
I say that Because it is my fear that too many people are giving a gospel according to fox news.
But getting back on track, false views had a huge following between 300-500 ad and biblical orthodox christianity has always fought the good fight. But after 500AD, conformity grew as power grew.
And the gospel was buried in darkness. The world had a false gospel. We call this the dark ages. Many historians have different theories about the dark ages and how or why it happened.
I do not find it a couincidence that when a false gospel was proclaimed the world was in darkness. And the world came out of that darkness when the gospel began to be preached once again. That is not by chance.
The false teaching that was taking place was one of works. much of it being the works that the catholic church does still to this day. beyond just the works that was taking place, for the right amount of money you could be forgiven as well.
It is tragic to no how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been adulterated. Then the reformation came and the gospel was out of the darkness. We shouldnt look at that word reformed like we commomly do.
We hear that word reform and we think health care reform, tax reform; we think change. When Rome had the power they deformed the doctrines of God and the reforms were trying to bring it back to its original form.
Its not the latin vulgate we should be looking at but, no we need to go back to the greek and hebrew. Its not these new traditions we should be carrying but going back to the heart of the New Testament.
Bring the church back to its original form. And that is what they did and much of what we love today began with them. Our sense of freedom, liberty, a land to freely worship, a land with education and health care, all of those ideas began at the reformation.
While surrounded by chaos and war, so much good came from the reformation and the most important of those things was the gospel proclimation. And while the protestant church did not agree on everything, one thing was for certian. Entire socities were better when the gospel was proclaimed.
Then many within the protestant church began to bury the gospel once again. It was seen by men like Charles Spurgeon who had the dicernmant to act.
Slowly but surly the gospel was being buried throughout the 1900’s. Now we have a bunch of confused church goers.
A man is sitting at a bus stop, his head is hanging low as he reflects on his life. Another man comes and sits of the bus bench with him and can clearly see that this man is troubled.
He hesitated to speak to the depressed man as he did not want to over step boundries. But he decided it was only right to do. He asked the the depressed man, whats wrong.
The Depressed man looked and the caring stranger and decided to let it all out.
“Where to begin? My whole life has been one big joke but latley it has been worse. I lost my job because my company is feeling the effects of our bad economy so I was a part of the trimmed fat. My wife left me because it has taken me too long to find another job.
She knows i am a loser and she was smart enough to get away from me. I have no more money, I have no home, no respect, no self worth.
The stranger replied, “i am sorry you are going through all that. I was in a bad state too once. I thought I lost it all, then I found Jesus. And my life has turned around.
I know it seems bad now, if you faith in Jesus, things will get better.
Then the bus comes and we do not know whatever happened to both men. Its not important, its not about where they end up its about the conversation they just had.
The kind stanger had good intentions, He knew the man was sad, he hesitated, he wanted to respect the mans space. But he couldnt help himself, he was drawn in to talking to that man.
He listened, the depressed man clearly had to get that off his chest and the kind stranger listened. After he listened he told the man the key to happiness, he told the depressed stranger what the mass majorty of christian church goers would tell that stranger.
It was about Jesus but it was in no way the good news of Jesus. But that is typiclly how we present the gospel message today, he present it as the key to happiness.
I have made this mistake in my life too. I was leading a youth group, not ready to do so, I admit. We went to where the youth hang out and started to talk to these young kids about Jesus.
One girl asked, why do you believe this. She was genrally asking. She wanted to know, and I told her because my life got better.
She wanted to Know about Jesus and I told her about me. I didnt know the mistake I was making at the time. This is a mistake far too often made and the reason why it is made is because we have too many preachers who design the message to be about you.
But the issue is a bit deeper than that. Take a look around at our culture. It is har to figure out what is made for adults and what is made for kids. The adult clothing looks like child clothes.
we were at walmart the other day and I was staring at blender bottles the bottles that you shake your protien mix in. But it was superman, wonder woman and the flash. I was staring at that thinking why would an adult want that?
Because of that, Brittany and the kids are always buying batman stuff. Not just them but my grandmother still often buys me batman stuff. But i do not buy myself batman stuff.
many do, because many adults are being kept in a state of adolecence. The average adult under 30 acts like a spoiled kid. If you had kids you took your kids trick or treating today, its grandma and grandpa who take the kids while mom and dad go to a holloween party.
I know adult men with families who play video games all the time, they cant stop. Its their world. Adults are big kids and the church is helping that.
WWII is when the youth group movement began. It was actualy originally for the young men who came home from war. The youth group was different for these men different than regular church service.
It wasnt long after that people started to bring youth group like worship to the adult worship. Billy Grams style of preaching and his crusades were modeled after the youth group movement of the late 1940’s.
Many young people then, and many people today love Billy gram but he was not so well liked by the adults of the late 1940’s and 50’s. as each generation grew into adulthood, the preaching style changed.
What was happening 5 years was the youth group of yesterday is now the adult church of today. And here we are.
There are pastors who are making grand entrances on dirt bikes. I have seen the video, he crashes the bike into the wall. A well known mega church pastor, I think in North Carolina, was teaching on blessings and he decided that the best way to illisrate that was by getting a super soaker a squirting people in church.
One preacher told a story about his time as a youth pastor. There was a kid that was pushing his buttons and according to this preacher was not taking God seriously.
The preacher said finally he just walked up and punched the kid right in the chest, laid him out. Here is the preachers words “ I stood over him and asked, when are you going to take God seriously? I led him to the lord right there. there are times when it calls for that.”
I did not know that was an option. These are childish things. If the adult church, if you will allow me to use that term, is set up like this, how bad do you think the youth group is. And the answer is it can be pretty bad.
Games where you have to chug soda through another persons sock or lick peanut butter off another persons armpit, actual youth group practices.
The reason for all of this is because we have burried the gospel. It is not the good news of Jesus Christ but the Good news for your life with the help of Jesus.
We are not concerned for your spiritual well being, we are not concerned with biblical truth or mature christianity. We will teach that you need to be improved with Gods help.
Another tragedy that comes from this kind of teaching is when someone who is raised in this kind of church decides they want to get into ministry. They go into seminary and they learn things they have never heard of before.
And often what happens with this kind of person is they see what the scriptures say and they go I dont believe that. I cant teach this stuff.
From their point of view they have lost their faith but it is clear that they never had faith.
A video was sent to me, we are talking about the adolesence of adult ministry, it was a girl maybe 9 years old perhaps 10, she was preaching to the congragation.
One sermon emphasized that God is not done with your story.
And they were going crazy. They stood up and clapped and raised their hands and this child, who has been mislead, spoke many heretical teaching including the means of salvation.
That is not all, well know pastors have been busted plagerizing other well known pastors. the one who plagerizes passes off the other pastors childhood memories as his own. word for word.
Donald Grey Barnhouse, anyone heard of him? He had a radio program and on one of his episodes he described what Philidalphia would look like if Satan ran it.
He said there would be no crime, the streets would be clean. The Children are polite and say yes sir, no maam. There is no debt, no gambling, no pornography. Everyone is happy and they all wave to each other and say good morning.
And the churches are filled, every single sunday, where Christ is not preached. When we think of Satan we think of the demonic monsters that Hollywood has created. But I think Barnhouse is right. I think satan rather create a false happiness as long as you do not have christ.
Could that be the reason why we have sin being proclaimed in the name of love. That homosexuality makes a person happy and dont we want a culture of happy people?
We are living in the most self centered time in history. where the churches preach a self centered service and throw the name of Jesus in their enough to keep people from raising any questions.
The church has moved towrads a christless christianity. jesus is there to make all your dreams come true and if things are bad, dont worry, he is not done writing your story.
You have struggles in your life, you need the love of Jesus, then you will have happiness, and joy like me.
While I do have happiness and joy in Christ the gospel is not about me or my happiness. And salvation is not the search for happiness. The scriptures paint a very different story and our text discusses something not often talked about, espeacilly in the type of church I just crituqed.
So lets look at our text for today
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
There is a debate out there on where chapter 5 belongs. Should we tie it to chapters 1-4 where we see sin, mans inabilty to save himself and justification, or should it be connected with chapters 6-8 that discusses the christian life.
What does being a christian look like. And I do not find it edifying in anyway to discuss this. At the end of the day, Paul wrote a letter that was not meant to be devided but read as a whole.
Paul clearly moves from different subjects and it appears he is switching gears here with that simple word therefore. So we are no longer teaching on justification but what comes after justification.
Therefore having been justified by faith, now that we are in a legal right standing with God. Your sins have been imputed or credited to Jesus, his righteousness has been imputed to you, therefore, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many take this passage and teach the peace of God, that is not what is being said here. Some manuscripts do say let us have peace with God but that is an improper greek structure that is not in line with pauls style.
beyond that, if Paul really did say let us have peace, it assumes that peace is optional for the justified which is absolutly forgian to paul.
Paul is making the argument that because we have been justified we now have peace with God.
Before that we are hostile with God. As sinners we are hostile with God. As sinners we are at war with God. And we are on the losing end of that battle.
Paul has spent a great deal of time explaining the hostility between man and God. He went in to detail about the idolitry of man, mans constant dependence on his own works and then the climax of sin. all fall short of the glory of God.
No man seeks after God Paul claimed, not one. Then pauled introduced Justification for us and explained it to us. It is not because what we have done or will do that will save us but what Jesus has done for us.
Because of this, through Jesus Christ and through him alone, we have peace with God.
-do we hear about being at war with God?
-explain verse 2 The focus is on the one who introduces for the glory of God
The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.