Faithlife Sermons

Standing Before the Lord

Walk Through Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As we walk along this Christian path, we are called to live a life of humility and love, and not one of judgement or snubbing our noses at others who are diferent and hwo have experienced the Lord differnetly than we have.

Notes
Transcript

Introduction

Good evening and welcome to our Sunday Evening worship service for May 24, 2020!
If you are watching the premier or later on in the week, don’t forget to leave us a comment letting us know you stopped by to join us.
This evening we are going to be pushing forward in our study and “Walk Through Romans”
And we are going to be pushing into chapter 14 and tonight we will be covering the first 12 verses of that chapter.
If you recall from last Sunday night, we finished up Romans 13 and one of the last things Paul challenged us to do was to wake up from our slumber.
Just as a refresher, he says in chapter 13, starting in verse 11 . . .
Romans 13:11–14 NIV - Anglicised
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
And what Paul is saying is it is time get up and start acting like the Christians we claim to be.
Remember, he is not talking to the people of Rome in general, but he is talking to the Christians who are there in Rome.
Those who are claiming and proclaiming Jesus Christ.
And he is telling them that they, in essence have been asleep and the time has come that they wake up and get with it.
And the reason for this all to action, according to Paul is because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed, in other words, Jesus’ return is nearer now than the first day we accepted Him.
And every single day that we go through this life and inch closer and closer, the day is nearer.
And the times are urgent.
And there is no time to be dilly-dallying around slothfully wasting God’s time and the talents that God has given us.
There are a multitude of people out in our world that need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And we, as God’s people, the messengers of God, have an obligation to get that message out.
So we need to wake up and get with it.
We need to put aside our sinful and wordly ways, and rise up to the level that God has called us to rise up to.
We need to be those good ambassadors and representatives of Jesus Christ, by loving God and loving our neighbors.
When people see us, they need to be seeing Jesus.
So, Paul issues this challenge to the people.
But as soon as he issues it, he already knows what is going to happen.
Paul knows humanity and Paul knows human nature.
He knows that his challenge for them to step it up, is going to also lead some of them to step up their judgemental attitude.
He knows that regardless of how much he teaches and preaches, there are some out there who are inevidtably going to lift themselves up.
They are going to go down this path of comparing themselves to everyone else, in an attempt to make themselves feel better for their own shortcomings.
Because we all know what happens.
God calls us to do something and we don’t want to do it, so instead of giving in to God, we instead compare ourselves to someone else who, in our mind, we think isn’t doing quite as well as we are.
And we say, “well, I didn’t, but look at how they are living, at least I’m not like them.”
Which in itself is a sinful and wrong attitude.
So, Paul, in chapter 14 is going to address that and as Barney Fife would say on Andy Griffith, “nip it…nip it in the bud!”
So, that kind of lays the foundation for tonight, but before we break it all down, I want to skip ahead and show us where we are hopefully going to end up.
So, starting in verse 9, Paul gives us the main point of the first half of chapter 14.
He writes . . .

Scripture Focus

Romans 14:9–12 NIV - Anglicised
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

We All Experience God Differently (vs 1-8)

And that is the main point.
We should not judge because we all will stand before God one day.
Every last single one of us.
No exceptions.
And if that was all we needed to talk about tonight we could stop right there.
But that is not the case.
So let’s back up to the beginning of the chapter and look at how Paul starts out and gets to this point.
Starting in verse 1, he writes . . .
Romans 14:1 NIV - Anglicised
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
Honestly it is a pretty simple comment and one would think that alot wouldn’t need to be said about it.
One would think, but we know from experience that what we think and what we do sometimes do not line up and match up with one another.
Which is exactly why Paul had to write these words.
Again he tells us to . . .
Romans 14:1 NIV - Anglicised
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
Two things Paul points out here .
First, acceptance and secondly, judgment.
He tells us that each and every person has a different level of spiritual growth they are at.
Some are “babes in Christ” and some are more mature.
Some are stuck on the “milk of the Gospel” while others are ready to gnaw on that steak.
Depending on our own background and our own life experiences, we have each experienced God in a very different way.
We have each come to our relationship with God through Jesus Christ in a very unique and different way.
And how we experience our everyday lives and the circumstances surrounding our everyday lives is very different and very unique than from everyone else.
We are each individuals created with great love and care by God.
And only God really knows how we tick and how we think.
And only God really knows how to reach us the best.
And a second aspect of that is that because of our very unique experiences with God, our vastly different level of spiritual growth, and the outside influences of life on us, we all have different takes and different ways in which we experience the Christian life.
We all have unique ideas about things like how much we should read our Bibles.
How long we should pray.
How much we should pray.
How often we need to go to church.
How we should calculate our tithes.
What we should watch on TV.
What we should wear.
How we should conduct ourselves with others.
What English translation of the Bible we should read.
All of these things are very unique to each of us, and to be honest are more rooted in our traditions than in what the Bible actually says.
We have formed our opinions on lots of things from what we have been taught by our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents.
What the church we belong to has taught for the last 100 years and we don’t even consider that other people, who have accepted the same Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as we do, and happen to do things differently, are just as much Christians as we are.
We develop this judgmental attitude that Paul is warning them not to do.
Now, does this mean people can go around and do whatever they want to do and live however they want?
Absolutely NOT!
There is a key point that Paul makes in this verse.
The very last part he says without passing judgement on disputable matters.
And that is a very important point.
It is the disputable matters he is talking about.
He is not talking about things that are plainly sinful and plainly go against God’s Word.
And hear me on this, go against God’s Word, not our piling on of rules and regulations above and beyond God’s Word.
If God’s Word says it’s sin and it needs to be avoided, then that is the end of the discussion.
However, on things that are a matter of taste or opinion, then he tells us that we are to . . .
Romans 14:1 NIV - Anglicised
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
And then he goes on to give us several examples . . .
Romans 14:2–6 NIV - Anglicised
One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
And then he tells us . . .
Romans 14:7–8 NIV - Anglicised
For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
And that last thing Paul says here is very, very important, so whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
If we have repented of our sin and accepted Jesus Christ then we belong to the Lord.
And regardless of where we are at on our journey to Spiritual Maturity, when we leave this world we belong to the Lord.
If Jesus comes back to get us all, we belong to the Lord.
Period.
Jesus isn’t going to take the “Spiritually mature” and leave the “spiritually weak” behind.
He takes us as, as we are.
And instead of us passing judgement on others we as Christians should be lifting one another up, helping one another reach our full potential in Jesus Christ.

Every Knee Shall Bow (vs 9-12)

Which brings us to the main point that Paul is making in his passage.
Again in verse 9 he says . . .
Romans 14:9 NIV - Anglicised
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
And don’t be confused with what he is saying here.
He is not saying that Jesus Christ died and rose again for those who are PHYSICALLY alive and dead.
He is talking about those who are Spiritually alive and those who are Spiritually dead.
Jesus died and rose for all humanity, yes that includes past, present and future.
But what Paul is talking about is how before we accept Jesus Christ, we are all spiritually dead.
Every single one of us.
But then through Jesus Christ we obtain Spiritual life.
And once we are brought to life spiritually, Jesus doesn’t just stop working in our hearts and lives.
Jesus keeps working and keeps moving and keeps changing us, day by day, by day.
Jesus is for all of us.
That is what Paul is talking about.
It was to bring about Spiritual life and growth, and not to give us a measuring stick so that we can pass judgement on everyone out there that doesn’t believe or think the way that we think.
And he goes on . . .
Romans 14:10–12 NIV - Anglicised
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Altar/Challenge

And that is where the rubber meets the road.
it doesn’t matter who we are or how Spiritually mature we think we are, we will all stand before Christ.
Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess—which by the way includes all of those who have rejected Jesus Christ.
And every single one of us will give an account to God.
So, the question tonight is, when you give your account, what will that account be?
What will Jesus have to say about you?
How will you answer?
Will you be able to say, Lord I did the best I could for you?
Or are there things that you know that God is not pleased with in your life?
Are there things that are sinful in your life?
Are there things that God has told you to do that you have refused?
Are there things that God has told you not to do that you have done anyway?
Is there anything that is creating a barrier between you and the Lord tonight?
If there is, are you willing to do something about it?
Are you willing to pray about it?
Like this morning’s message, are you willing to humble yourself, seek his face, repent of your sins, and turn from your wicked ways?
Are you willing to allow God to work in your life?
No one can answer that but you.
And you have the opportunity to do that right now, before logging off.
What will your choice be?
So, that’s our sermon for tonight, if you haven’t watched our video announcing our return to face-to-face Sunday Morning service schedule yet, stay logged on, as it will play right after this one concludes.
And as always if you need anything fee free to reach out via phone, text, messenger.
And as always until next time stay safe and be blessed.
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