the scripture comes from Romans first chapter verses 16 and 17 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has Faith to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it, the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith. As it is written the one who is righteous will live by faith. and with that it is my great pleasure to introduce to you. Today's lay speaker. Ron flaking in telling you I am looking forward to hearing what Ron is got to say today. I many times after church council meeting we have busted on the parking lot 10 minutes afterwards and has some really thoughtful conversations. And so Really? Yeah, really looking forward to what the Ron has to say. So without further Ado. Here we go.
This verse we just heard was maybe the most famous first that you never heard of before.
There's two phrases in it and I want to come to work on so we can understand this verse before we go on. One was in the the first part of it says salvation to everyone who has faith. everybody's pretty well
Knows what salvation is it means to be saved when your saved means you're accepted into the kingdom of God. And it is just pretty simple that way and then the other word is Faith in that sentence. faith means different things to different people But in the Bible that have faith that means you believe. It's that simple you just believe. Then the second verse the second phrase is at the very end of what we just read. The one who is righteous will live by faith. Now this righteous word. That's a tough word. That's
I don't know how that it's a it's a word that. It's important and it's also derisive. because in the Old Testament
To be righteous you had to be perfect. You had to follow the law had to follow the Commandments had to follow the holidays you had to attend. synagogue regularly and you had to sacrifice. When will get over to the New Testament it's different when I get to the New Testament. All we have to do is believe and we're righteous. That's why this word is so derisive.
Look at our church today. We have some people to believe that righteousness the Old Testament way and we have some people believe righteousness through the New Testament way. And there's not much Middle Ground. are there probably not any middle ground begin with but
so just look at the things have been happening in our churches lately. Its righteousness affects everything and how you looked at it. If you take the Old Testament righteousness over here. Not very many people are going to make it to Salvation. But that's basically what this whole verse is all about. It says if you believe in God You going to be safe or do bees make it simpler? It means if you believe in God. You can go to heaven.
But it all stands where you all depends on where you stand on this righteousness. Do you believe that Jesus? by dying on the cross for your sins made you righteous. Where do you believe that? You got to follow every Rule and you're taking for granted what Jesus did and you're going by the Old Testament part?
Righteousness is very dangerous word and you got to figure out where you stand on it.
who won the Paul says the one who is righteous is righteous will live by faith. What is really meaning is all you have to do is believe
now he's not saying that. You got to believe. And you got to be baptized correctly to be accepted always saying is you got to believe. He's not saying that you got to believe and you got to take communion properly. Always saying is you got to believe he's not saying that. If you don't make 1,400 cookies for Bible school, you're not going to be.
admitted to the kingdom of God because all you have to do is believe
that's one reason why I like the Methodist Church. Cuz we're open to so many different things. We have open communion Berkeley. Anybody can come up for communion. I don't see any reason why everybody doesn't come up for communion cuz you could change by the time you get up out of your seat. And do you make it up here? It's all during that act of communion. Baptism we don't care how you get baptized will work around it. If you want dump sprinkled, whatever will hold you by your sheet and stick your head down a well if that's that's what that's what you want.
But this purse is also famous because he's changed the lives of some of the greatest religious figures of our time. Augustine, he was a early Bishop in the church round the 400 we get back half of our a theology from him and a half away. We run our church services from him. Here's what he said after reading that verse he says, I never wished or needed to read any further. It was as if the light of relief from anxiety for flooded my heart all my doubts were dispelled.
And it changed his life. Martin Luther which some of you know, I'm kind of Martin Luther geek the hairs and I can tell you about Martin Luther. He believed that you had to suffer. That's how you show God. That you loved him you suffered. I like the Green Day song that used to say the more you suffer the more it shows you care.
Martin Luther was nothing for him to pray for 6 hours a day go out and lay in a snowdrift of the other monks had to drag him back in for a frozen death. They need pray for 2 more hours. But he read this in the change. This life is what Martin Luther said. He says, I grasped the righteousness of God the righteousness by which to Grace and sheer. Mercy God Justified Us by faith there a pain. I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through the doors of paradise.
One other guy I got here. You might be a little bit familiar with him. John Wesley. Last but not least. Here's what he said.
After reading Luther's text after listening to Luther's text. He had his aldergate experience. And here's what he said. He says I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did not press Christ Christ alone for my salvation. And the sure it's giving me that he had taken away my sins even mice even mine and save me from the law of sin and death.
Here's amazing thing about these guys. They didn't read this until they were halfway or three-quarters of the way through their life and that's when it changed their lives. And we have to ask a question. Now. Why did this change their life that point in time in their life? And I think it's because that's when the Holy Spirit start working on them. And also this is when they started doing their best work after they'd read this I went so far to I think they were spending so much time. Over here in the Old Testament way of thinking that they didn't have time to do what God really was intended intended for them to do in their life.
So there's another question we want to ask about this. If all we have to do is believe why do we do on our part that that that completes the circle between us and God? You're something we ought to do to probably show that we believe.
Romans 10:10 I forgot to tell you before we started I'm kind of a geek on Romans 2. Romans 10:10 says 4:1 believe in your heart and so was justified and one confesses with his mouth and so would say so basically you have to pray. And you have to pray earnestly. Just like the truck children's sermon up here. You just start out praying and sooner or later. You'll get more Earnest it with it. Pray, not only shows your face.
But there's one other thing if you pray for your neighbor, it satisfies the Commandments and Matthew to love the Lord and love your neighbor. So if you pray for yourself and you pray for your neighbor
Sly 2 killing two birds with one stone
That's probably a poor analogy. Mets Sometimes when I'm out in my backyard, I see Bob Thomas don't think he's here today by see Bob Thomas out more when I know he's been going through health problems. And I sometimes I see a need it. I just say a little prayer usually under my book. I usually don't even say it out loud It's just in my mind. I say, you know God watch over Bob Bob watch over Anita.
So when we pray for our neighbors that shows our faith. We have a fancy word for that in. In church, we call that affirmation of faith. It firms are face when we do that. Scientists say we make 35000 voluntary decisions a day. I have no idea what they are cuz I think it seems like I make about a hundred but
but here's what happens. Do your fav. Hopefully it governs how you make them 35,000 decisions. Sometimes you have to do things that show your faith to others.
When I was working a lot of you know, I worked in Decatur. When I tried to drive and some of you know the story already, but when I drive to work when I cross the bridge at allensville that went across the river and I always say a little prayer usually in my head. Probably not out loud. Why can't I be praying that I didn't hit any deer because some people have lawyers on retainers. I had a body guy on retainer almost but
For years I prayed and I thought I don't know really if I'm a Christian or not. I knew I was a Christian, but I didn't know if I was a good enough Christian. Then finally hit me I've been praying here every day for five years. I must be a Christian cuz I wouldn't be talking to God if if I didn't believe in God.
But some of you might say but this just really never happens in in the Bible. It never happens in real life that all you have to do is believe Natural way to go to Luke 23 you guys know this story has a about the criminals on the cross. I got let me set the the mood here a little bit.
Think of three criminals Jesus and two criminals on the cross up here always put the bad criminal as we're looking at them on on the right and the good Criminal on. Jesus Is Right I don't know why but that's why I do it. But here's what they say. There's one of the criminals who hung their hurled insults at him. He says aren't you the Messiah save yourself and us but the other criminal rebuked him. He says don't you fear God not to me when he said it don't you fear God that means he believes in God.
in the Bible
I found where it says a fear God 92 times. But also his also says Don't Be Afraid a hundred fifty four times. There are few times in the Bible when Jesus said God says fear God and most of time this other people talking to other people and tell them not to fear God but most the time when Jesus or the angel. Talk to people they say don't fear God. But let me go on with this.
He says since you are under the same sentence. We are punished just lie for we are getting what our Deeds deserve but this man has done. Nothing nothing me. That's an affirmation of Faith. He's telling Jesus that he believes in Jesus.
It's also set asking for a little bit of forgiveness in there.
Then here's what happened. But he says but this man has Done nothing wrong. Then. He said to Jesus Remember me when you come into the kingdom. You just answered him. Truly. I tell you today. You will be with me in Paradise. You know why Jesus says that cuz he knows a Guy believes.
Don't remember Jesus was up there.
Everybody deserve him all the disciples were gone the church and deserted him the government. It deserves it just a handful of people down at the bottom of the cross. And this guy stands up for God and Jesus. What more could you ask for?
CS Lewis says when you get the get to heaven the people at the right hand of God won't be the people that you think down here on Earth, but I'm voting for that guy that does the good good thief on the cross cuz he stood up forgot when nobody else did.
So far this sermon sounded like a Joel Osteen sermon. mostly good good news So I better give you a little bit of the disclaimer here. If you can if you're a Believer and you think that your kids are probably never going to get in trouble that they're going to be valedictorian at the going to go off to school on the, CEO some major corporation. If you think they're going to have a house in Malibu on the on the ocean where you want them where you see the waves hit them big rocks, it could happen, but it's probably not going to happen. You might have to settle for a view out at Lake Mattoon or something or you might have to settle for a view in the ditch behind my house or something.
If you think because you're a Believer, your marriage is going to be perfect that you're never going to say a disparaging word one another that's probably not going to happen either. if you think you're going to have a the perfect amount of kids
you think you're going to live in one of them open concept houses that chip and Joanna Gaines has that has no walls at all. Just like a pole barn or whatever it is. That's probably not going to happen either. You're probably going to be happy you might live in a ranch-style house on 10th Street or you might live in government housing or you might live in your car or you might live in
Know that you might live in a shelter somewhere. But you know what Jesus your friend and Savior and Lord will be with you all them times.
One more if you if you think you're going to be a live to be a hundred fifteen and never have any aches or pains and I silently and your sleep that's that's probably not going to happen either. You're probably going to have all kinds of aches and pains. You're going to have to put you're going to have to go through things. You never thought you'd ever have to go through but you know what God. Jesus Lord and Savior friend will be there with you all the time.
Can we learn from all this?
One thing is just relax a little bit. If you would believe her just relax. You don't have to keep trying to satisfy everybody cuz there's only one person you got to satisfy. That's Jesus from God.
Listen to the Bible in the Holy Spirit in your life. Don't want you the right direction. But just relax. Remember, you're one of God's people because you believe. Thank you.