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Romans 1.7 - What you believe will determine how you behave

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What you believe will determine how you behave

Romans 1:1-7

Introduction:

Paul begins his epistle to the Romans with an emphasis on belief; he concludes it with an emphasis on behavior.  In Romans 1-11, he deal with doctrine and in Romans 12-16, he deals with duty.  Unfortunately many Christians know more about the behavioral passages in the Bible, while the doctrinal ones are virtually neglected.  The problem is that many people may look at Christianity as mere behavioral modification and as a result, many believers lead inconsistent and frustrated lives.  They attempt to alter their behavior without an effort of solid understanding of Biblical doctrine.  What we believe will ultimately determine how we behave.  Therefore doctrine must precede duty and faith must precede function.

I.     Every believer is beloved of God (vs. 7)

A.   Beloved – esteemed or dear.  We are esteemed in God’s sight.

B.   In spite of this, too many believers are insecure in their relationship with God.

C.  They erroneously believer that God loves them less when they are bad and more when they

are good.

D.  God’s love for His own is an established fact – Romans 8:38-39, John 17:23

E.  Security is not in a place, but in a person and that is Jesus Christ!

II.   Every believer is called to be a saint (vs.7)

A. saint means holy ones.  This term is found 18 times in Romans alone.

B.     Most believers would not consider themselves to be saints.

c.       God refers to believers as “holy ones” regardless of our behavior because it is His presence, not our performance which makes us holy (I Cor. 3:16-17)

d.      There is great confusion in this matter because of the Roman Catholic Church who says that saints are a select group of real good Christians who have been canonized.

e.       Saint is more to be seen in growing to be more like Christ, not in perfection of behavior.

f.       It is not referring to a special class within the church but it describes all those who have trusted Christ and carries a companion though to the word “church” or ekklesia and it means set apart for God.

g.      In Christ, every believer is made “the righteousness of God” II Cor. 5:21

h.      Because of that – God’s Spirit reproves or convinces us of the following

                                                              i.      Sinners of sin – because they are lost, they must be disturbed.

                                                            ii.      Saints of righteousness – because we cannot see Him, we must be reminded.

i.        The emphasis is not on sinful behavior, but believing in righteousness.

j.        Who would fear filth the most?  1) Farmer in dirty overalls  2) Bride adorned in a wedding gown.

III.             Every believer is indwelt by God’s Spirit (vs.7)

a.       Notice the omission – there is no reference to the Holy Spirit in any of Paul’s salutations.

b.      Why?  Could it be because the Spirit indwelt those to whom he was writing ( I Corinthians 6:19)

c.       Our great failure behaviorally is a fundamental disregard of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16)

d.      Hudson Taylor “All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them”

e.       God never demands of us that which He has not already provided.

f.       Christ is not only essential, He’s enough.

Conclusion:

1)      Has your relationship with God been insecure?

2)      Have you disregarded the Spirit of God in your life?

3)      If so, I trust that you will:

a.       Rest in the fact that God loves you

b.      Recognize the fact that God has called all of us to be saints

c.       Rely on the fact that God indwells you

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