Faithlife Sermons

Unashamed

Marks of a Christian  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Marks of a Christian is going to be a series that takes us deeper in our relationship with God.
In order to do this, we are going to have to make a commitment to let the Holy Spirit do a work in us.
At times it is going to be painful, and very real how much we need God’s grace in our life.

Recap

What can I do?
What can We do?
We are aiming to achieve Mature Unity
> Open your Bibles to
> Pray

Have a vision for your life ()

Romans 1:1–17 ESV
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, 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 the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
vs 1 - Paul recognizes his position in the world. First He is a servant of Jesus. Second he is called to be an apostle.
My hope for every single person in here is that you would not miss your first duty - to be a servant of Jesus
Servant: (doulos) is complete and utter devotion, not the abjectness which was the normal condition of the slave.
vs 11-12 - Paul has a vision/plan for his life, to come see the Christians in Rome. WHY?
Romans 1:11–12 ESV
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
The vision for your life should not only bring encouragement to others, but should also bring encouragement to you.

Key Verse

Romans 1:16–17 ESV
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
At the time it was not popular to be preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When Paul makes the statement that he is “unashamed of the Gospel” he is essentially saying, he is unafraid.
Fortress is making students that are unshaken and unafraid.
Paul is unashamed of the Gospel because he realizes the power in the Gospel…the message of the Gospel has the power to save!
In the Gospel, righteousness is found.
Righteousness: doing what (God says) is right
Righteousness: doing what (God says) is right
Unrighteousness: suppressing the truth of God
How can we find God’s righteousness? Along the way we may have...

Speed Bumps & Hiccups

Is there a God that calls for righteousness?

Romans 1:20 ESV
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Rom 1:
Understanding the that world was not created by any means of an accident…there’s too much complexity, too many details for it to just happen on accident.
If all the details of the world were created by some accidental boom, what made the boom? Where did it come from?
Understanding that God didn’t just create the world to show off…he had us in mind when He created everything else. He wanted to give us a place to dwell with Him
God desires relationship with You.

The road to unrighteousness

The road doesn’t have a big sign telling you you’re on the wrong road…it starts small.
It starts with Idols
Idol: something that is placed in more importance than God
It may not start out as full blown slander (spreading lies to belittle someone), but it might be a little gossip here and there. Before you know it, that path has led to making up stories about people and spreading it as truth = slander
It may not start out as you cheating on your wife, but maybe a little bit of lust that turned into pornography that ultimately turns into cheating.
It may not start out as an addiction to drugs, but it may start out with smoking a cigarette, that leads you to want more. Eventually you find yourself addicted to drugs, alcohol, pain killers, and you have no idea how to get out.
It doesn't start out with you listening to only secular music, but you throw in a song here and there, and before you know it, all you listen to is secular music - "because the beat is better"
"What the enemy can't destroy, he distracts" - Pastor Michael Todd

Hope for the unrighteous

Before I get to the good stuff, I have to take you to rock bottom...
Many people can find themselves here, you may even have found yourself here.
Your passions have overtaken you and led you down a road that makes you feel unrighteous
It’s in this moment we feel the righteous judgment of God...
Romans 2:5–6 ESV
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works:
But this is only half of the story

Suicide

Suicide is a partial revelation of God's righteousness. It's partial because someone has realized that they don't deserve to live, but they are missing the second part of the revelation that says, ()
But why would God be so kind? () ...that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentanceSuicide is a lie - remember that the Devil will take a truth and twist it. The Devil will tell you you're not worth it (which is true), but he leaves out the part where God says that you are worth it.
John 3:16–17 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
But why would God be so kind? () ...that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance
Suicide is a lie - remember that the Devil will take a truth and twist it. The Devil will tell you that you alone are not worth it (which is true), but he leaves out the part where God says that you are worth it.

Thoughts that Judge

One day you will stand before God and He will judge you on everything you did in life - from start to finish.
I believe most of the things that we are going to be judged for are the thoughts & feelings we have inside. The deep desires that are in our hearts.
Good Desires = Good Reward
Bad Desires = Bad Reward
Paul being a Jew writing to Gentiles (non-Jews), makes an argument to them.
For the first time in history, the idea of the God of Israel was open to anyone.
The Problem: Jews were still following the law, but Gentiles knew nothing about it, therefore they did not follow the law.
Does this mean that Gentiles are les righteous than Jews? Does this mean that we don’t have the same opportunity for God’s righteousness?
Gentiles (us) have the Holy Spirit that provides us with all the revelation we need.
Romans 2:15 ESV
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them
If we are seeking to do good for God by loving Him, we will actually find ourselves following the “Law” without even realizing it.
It’s a matter of the heart
To see fulfilled vision, we must empty our hearts of our desires.

Making Sense of It All

Paul goes on in Chapter 3 to plead an argument, or express apologetics
- reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.
Here it is...
If my unrighteousness allows God’s righteousness into my life, should I just continue to live an unrighteous life?
His answer...
Romans 3:5–6 ESV
But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world?
Pauls goes on for the next couple verses expressing his argument.
If we view God’s grace in this way, this is an abuse of God’s grace.
Yes, God will forgive you and has even forgiven you for sins you haven’t committed yet. BUT, God’s love for you goes far beyond just forgiveness, He truly desires to bless his children (you & me) with good gifts.
The problem is that God cannot bless you if He is constantly having to forgive you. He first must trust you will little blessings, and once you have shown yourself responsible with little, He will bless you with more.

Who is God’s Righteousness For?

Romans 3:22–24 ESV
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
God’s righteousness is for everyone who believes!
Why? Because everyone is equally messed up and in need of God’s Righteousness in their life. This should be an encouragement, not a discouragement.
Our righteousness comes through an exercising of our faith in Jesus Christ, specifically His death and resurrection. Without His death and resurrection, he was just another teacher in history.
Jesus’ Death & Resurrection = THE GOSPEL
Paul shares an example of what it means to believe:

It was counted unto him...

Genesis 15:6 ESV
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Genesis
Abraham’s faith was “counted unto him” because many times throughout his life, he believed in the promises God laid before him, even when they seemed impossible.
Romans 4:23–25 ESV
But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
In the same way that Abraham expressed his faith, we are called to have faith in Jesus Christ.
This brings us full circle...
Romans 1:16–17 ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
As we live our life, unashamed of the Gospel, we will find the righteousness of God.
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