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Romans 5:12-21

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Verse by verse study through Romans

Notes & Transcripts

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SLIDE 3
Romans 5:12–14 ESV
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
Romans 5:12-
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INTRO:
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been in our Roman’s study… but, the previous passage has been holding on to me. -Verses 6-8 have continued to bounce around in my head -
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The whole idea in verse six… ‘while we were still weak’… or as it is also translated… when we were at our worst, Christ died for us. Not when we we were at our best… not when we were making attempts to behave righteously… no… WHEN WE WERE STILL SINNERS… or as vs. 10 says: “while we were enemies” -That is the moment, when the greatest price was paid on our behalf.
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And I understand… that is not, this week’s passage… But we need to touch on it for two reasons.... - 1. TODAY’S PASSAGE STARTS WITH A ‘THEREFORE’… - so it reacts and builds upon the previous verses… 2. I SIMPLY JUST WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT SOME MORE…
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Here’s what that passage means to me, right now, as a believer. It means, that when I fail, and I beat myself up for my failure… God is not writing me off.
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Friends might write me off. Family members might write me off…
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But not God. Because… He’s seen worse, not just in other people… but in you, and in me. He has seen us at our worst.
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I might have times in my life, when I’m bad… but… in the span of my life, there was, or will be… a moment, a horrible low… where I was… or maybe will be… at my worst. And God foresaw that horrible moment… and even there, at my worst… deemed it appropriate, to pay the greatest of all prices, for me.
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So now… when I struggle. So now, when I mourn the loss of relationships with people. Now, when I feel distant, or weak, or unworthy… I know, that my position with God is not in jeopardy. He isn’t shoving me aside. He isn’t un-friending me on social media. He isn’t talking smack about me with the angels. - no. HE IS CONTINUING TO LOVE ME…
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THIS RE-AfFIRMS A FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH ABOUT GOD… He is unlike, us.
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Ask any friend… if they would sacrificially do something for you. And maybe they would… maybe they would give up much to help you in your time of need. But, that friend will first… judge your condition. AND THAT’S NOT A BAD THING -that’s a wise thing… - they will consider you, and determine if you are capable of handling their gift responsibly.
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That’s what we humans do. It’s wise.
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But God is not like us. And we fault our understanding when we try to make Him like us. When we try to project our sense of judgement upon Him. When we broadcast our opinions on Him… we are, essentially… belittling His greatness by thinking of Him in our own terms.
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When we… like the obedient son, consider the blessings that our Father has showered down upon the prodigal brother… we are perplexed. How can someone so wretched receive so great a gift of restoration?
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Well… that’s our story, the experience of the prodigal son, is our story.
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When that prodigal son returned to his father… he was at his worst. And that is when his father blessed him the most.
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That gives me assurance. That should give us all assurance. And that assurance, should draw us in closer to Him.
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Today’s passage reveals that incredible demonstration of grace which flows from God’s heart… all the more.
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The unimaginable magnitude of sin and death… which came upon humanity through one man… IS COUNTERED, IS DEFEATED, IS OVERCOME- by ONE man.
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We learn about this grace beginning in verse 15… but, before we get there, Paul has to build a case.
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For us to truly see how AMAZING the life giving gift of Jesus is… we must first see how hopeless and wretched our condition, apart from Jesus is.
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VERSE ONE STRUGGLES TO CONVEY IN ENGLISH, what is written in Greek. When it says, at the end of the verse ‘all sinned’… it is literally saying, that all sinned in Adam.
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Adam sinned… and because of Him, we come into this world, as sinners. - AND I REALIZE, THAT THIS IS A DIFFICULT THING FOR US TO GRASP. We are individualistic people, we are independent souls… and if we are going to take on the label of sinner, well, we are going to own that by our own deeds of sin!!!!
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And don’t worry… we have sinned, we do sin, we will sin… and we do earn it… -But, before we ever earned it for ourselves, we were granted the label, and suffer the consequences of it.
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Remember what God told Adam in ...
SLIDE 4
Genesis 2:17 ESV
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
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In , Adam did eat of the fruit… but, he didn’t die… not in that moment.
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However, in that moment, death became a reality. It wasn’t a reality before that moment. Decay, breakdown, entropy… they weren’t realities for Adam and Eve before the fall… But after the fall… both, spiritual death, and physical death became a reality.
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This is why people die… and anyone who is subject to the reality of death, have been accredited the burden of Adam’s sin.
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NOW.... THIS SHOULD OFFEND OUR SENSES. Why do we enter into this world under the curse and condemnation of one man, who lived thousands and thousands of years ago?
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And… if you think that this is SOOOOO WRONG. Then you are right. It is so wrong, that we are labeled and cursed as sinners. It is so wrong, that we are born in innocence, only to be held responsible for Adam’s sin.
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I wasn’t there, I had nothing to do with it… and yet, I sinned in Adam.
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If Adam were hanging out out in the maternity ward… he could welcome children with this good news..
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“Welcome to the world. You don’t know this yet, but thousands of years ago, I sinned.... and now, because of me, you get to bear the label and the responsibility of my action. “
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And this makes us uncomfortable… because we are then forced to consider the eternal state of babies… If they are sinners, and they don’t have the opportunity to realize and recognize Jesus as their Lord… -what happens to them?
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I have a few observations.
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However… we see a few things in the scriptures that give us comfort..
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FIRST OFF: God is compassionate and just. -
Psalm 18:30 ESV
30 This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Psalm
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Now, in this broken world, with all this confusion flying around us… we see the things of God as one who looks through a dark glass darkly.
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But there will come a day… when we will see HIm face to face… we will know as we are also known..
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In that day, we will see and recognize that everything God does, is good.
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God is going to do the right thing. Where we lack understanding, we can fall back on this. God is going to do the right thing.
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First off… … it says in … that even one believing parent, reckons the children as being holy.
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1 Corinthians 7:14 ESV
14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
Before that child comes to a place where they understand their need for Jesus… they are covered.
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Secondly… When King David’s child died in , he confessed in vs. 23… “I shall go to him, be he will not return to me.”
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David knew that he would see his child again in Heaven.
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Fourthly… In their ignorance and in their lack of maturity, babies are horribly sinful. They abound is selfishness and anger.
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However… we see a few things in the scriptures that give us comfort..
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Thirdly: God is compassionate and just. -
SLIDE 5
Psalm 18:30 ESV
30 This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
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Right now, in this broken world, with all this confusion flying around us… we see the things of God as one who looks through a dark glass darkly.
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But there will come a day… when we will see HIm face to face… we will know as we are also known..
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In that day, we will see and recognize that everything God does, is good.
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God is going to do the right thing. Where we lack understanding, we can fall back on this. God is going to do the right thing.
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SLIDE 6
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
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We all agree, that confession and faithful recognition are vital in the salvation process..
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Why would a just, perfect, and fair God, hold someone accountable, who is unable to confess and recognize?
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NOw… I would have rather that we didn’t broach the topic of babies… Because, quite honestly, it does take us a little off track.. - BUT I ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT THIS PASSAGES FORCES OUR MINDS TO GO THERE.
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All sinned in Adam.
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sin leads to death… and death has reigned… even when it wasn’t defined by the law.. it reigned.
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We have to be reminded here… that death is not just the physical thing that we are all too familiar with. When the Bible speaks of death, it specifically refers to the separation of man from God… which is both a spiritual, and a physical reality.
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Just as life is eternal to those who believe… even though the flesh will face death…
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Death is eternal for those who don’t believe… and when the flesh faces death, it merely joins the spiritual condition which was already separated from God.
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This is the build up… verses 12-14 are the set up. We see and recognize how dire our situation is… so that we can truly understand how incredibly amazing the free gift of Jesus is.
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SLIDE 7
Romans 5:15–16 ESV
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
Romans 5:15 ESV
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
Romans 5:15–16 ESV
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
Romans 5:15-
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Adam brought disaster upon humanity. They are labeled guilty under his sin and are subject to death..
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But Jesus brings the opposite. In Adam’s sin, we were labeled sinners.... in Christ’s victory, we are are labeled just.
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Verse 16 shows us… that the one sin of Adam, brought condemnation upon all…
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But, the gift of Jesus brings justification… even after many sins. .
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What Paul is saying… is that the gift Jesus offers… is far more powerful… and far more amazing… and has a greater reach… - than the curse which was incurred by Adam.
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Paul has not held back in showing us how great a tragedy Adam has brought upon humanity… - But in that, the contrast elevates the work of Jesus to an incomparable level.
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In a nutshell… - One man brought death. But then, one man brought life… and that gift of life, is far more powerful than the curse of death.
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Romans 12:17 ESV
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
SLIDE 8
Romans 5:17 ESV
17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 ESV
17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
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In history, we read about Kings who reigned… and then, when those kings die… other kings reigned. Sometimes, it was natural succession… sometimes, it was flat out murder.
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One king reigned… and then another.
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This verse follows this path of thinking.
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The words ‘reign’ in this passage, literally mean: ‘reign as king’.
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This verse shows us… that death reigned as a king through Adam… but now… for those of us who received the abundance of grace, and the free gift… we reign as kings in life, through Jesus.
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We already know that there will be a time when we will rule and reign with Christ, when He comes again to establish His kingdom..
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BUT NOW… He has given us the the freedom and the might to reign, and the territory over which we reign… is life.
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Yes, Jesus is our King. Yes, we are subjects to His rule… but as His subjects, we are given freedom… we are given grace… we are given responsibility…
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We are no longer slaves to sin and subjects to death…
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The countless offenses that imprisoned us in the dungeon have been absolved… we have been broken out… brought into the throne room… we have been made new… and Jesus sends us out into this world with freedom and unchallenged might… to make the most of this life for His glory.
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Paul is portraying a complicated idea here… but in reality… it’s just another great contrast. In Adam, death enslaved us and left us powerless… in Jesus, we are set free with might… to fully experience life.
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SLIDE 9
Romans 7:18–19 ESV
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Romans 7:18–19 ESV
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Romans 5:18–19 ESV
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Rom 5.1
Romans 7:18
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Here, Paul re-states more simply, the comparison he’s been making between Adam and Jesus.
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Vs. 18 tells us that the act of righteousness leads to justificaiton and life for all men. - Which causes us to take pause. -Not all men take advantage of this gift. Not all men receive this great gift. Not all men are set free from the slavery of sin.
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But that’s not to say… that the gift isn’t sufficient for all men.
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In Paul’s comparison, he continues to show us how massive the work of Christ is, in comparison to the curse of death. It doesn’t match it… it overwhelmingly defeats it.
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This is how opulent the love of God is… that He would die for the sins of mankind… knowing good and well, that not all would benefit from that payment.
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Romans 5:2
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Romans 5:20–21 ESV
20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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If that was true, then Paul’s contrast in this passage would look a little different. It would be more balanced…
I love the message of vs. 20. - No matter how much sin there is… there is always more grace.
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The idea of limited atonement if more philosophical than it is doctrinal. There is no clear, direct Biblical instruction on the concept.
Since Adam… sin increased exponentially in the midst of humanity..
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Their own confession states that the death of Jesus is sufficient to atone for the sins of all mankind… but it is only effective for the elect.
But, because of the obedient work of Jesus… Grace abounds. No matter how much sin increases… grace simply abounds over it… and above it.
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CONCLUSION…
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I opened this sermon, telling you that it was going to be a message of grace… -then, we started out by talking about sin.
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You see… it’s hard to grasp the reality of grace, if we don’t first, understand the magnitude of sin.
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One man labeled all… - everyone comes into this world as a sinner… and as proof of this, everyone is subject to death.
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It’s bad… it’s huge… it’s horrible..
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But it is a speck in comparison to the gift which comes by way of grace.
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Folks, I want to end this message today, by encouraging you of this one truth.
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You stand before God, as a righteous and holy child… loved and adored.
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You might not experience or acknowledge this reality.... because you are distracted by all of your fears, doubts, anxieties, anger, insecurities, and your overwhelming feelings of unworthiness…
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Maybe you think… “Why would God want anything to do with me?”
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Maybe you think… “I’m barely a Christian… I’m sure God has me on probation for all my failures.”
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Maybe you think… “I’ve doubted God too much.”
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If you are thinking these things.. then you are not believing… that grace abounds much more.
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remember… the greatest price was paid… when you were weak. When you were an enemy. - If Jesus died for you when you were at your worst… - He is not going to turn His back on you, because you are struggling.
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Today, I hope you will be more prepared than ever… to walk in the grace of God.. and go out there.. and reign as a king in life… to make the most of your life, for His glory…
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He doesn’t hold you back… that’s all on you. Remember what said:
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SLIDE 11
Romans 2:4 ESV
4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
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We come to HIm, in repentance, and receive His restoration… because He is kind.
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His grace, abounding grace, is our motivation… to push all that garbage aside… and receive His favor… and live freely, with might… in the life which He has given!
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