February 2, 2020
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church February 2, 2020
Church Service Notes
Scripture: Romans 1:16-17
Central to these verses is the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that God loved us so much Jesus left heaven and came to earth, Jesus lived without sin, Jesus died on the cross for our sins, Jesus was buried and then He rose from the dead.
The verses tell us that the Gospel is for all people. In verse 16 it reads “every one” and verse 17 tells us the Gospel is for the Jew and the Greek which in Paul’s terminology of the era would have included all people. The Gospel is not something we earn, buy, steal, inherit, achieve, or gain by any of our own means. The Gospel is received by faith as it tells us in verse 16 with the reference of believing and in verse 17 with the admonition to live by faith. It is faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that brings us salvation, that rescues us, redeems us and restores us.
What is the salvation saving us from? This morning I want to present three things we are saved from. First, is guilt. Prior to receiving the Gospel, we are all sinners with guilt in need of forgiveness. The guilt of our sins is a burden we bear, some of us may carry the burden better than others, some of us may numb guilt’s sting, and we may learn to ignore guilt, but it is present all the same. When we receive the Gospel we are freed from the guilt because our sins are forgiven. It does not mean we escape all consequences of sin, but we are forgiven and restored into right relation with our Holy God. We see the forgiveness of sins being offered by Jesus to those with faith repeatedly throughout His ministry. Jesus would often encounter people the world saw as needing physical healing. Jesus would proclaim that by these people’s faith their sins were forgiven and in order to show the other people present His authority to forgive sins Jesus would also provide physical healing. It is through our salvation that we find freedom from guilt. Our sins, which stain us crimson red are washed by the blood of Jesus to be white as snow.
Second salvation saves us from the curse of sin on our present and future life. The Bible tells us before salvation we are slaves to sin. Our nature is cursed to succumb to temptation and commit sin. It controls our lives. Until we find our freedom in the Gospel and by the power of the Holy Spirit we can live free lives, able to withstand temptation. We no longer have to be slaves to sinful habits. The drunk can be sober, the thief steals no more, the addicted is loosed from addiction, the hater loves, sexual deviants are pure! Consider the example of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a traitor to his people, siding with the Romans to tax Jews. Zacchaeus cheated his people, stealing from them as he collected the taxes to take extra money for himself. Then Zacchaeus met with Jesus and He was changed! After Jesus, Zacchaeus returned what he had stolen plus extra! Zacchaeus was able to live a new life repentant from his past for God’s glory because of the salvation offered by Jesus! Consider Saul, an enraged, murderous man who hunted Christians down for the purpose of killing them. Then Saul encountered Jesus and he was transformed into Paul the missionary! Jesus has the power to transform lives!
Finally, salvation rescues us from eternity in hell, the lake of fire. The Bible tells us that our sins condemn us to everlasting torment in hell if they are not forgiven. Hell is a real place. It is a place of agony and suffering. Thirst is never quenched. The worm never dies. Smoke and fire. The most horrible things we have experienced in life or can imagine cannot compare to the horror of hell. And people will go there apart from salvation in Jesus. Consider the testimony of the rich man who died and went to hell. He begs for a moment of relief but is left with none. Then he begs for someone to tell his brothers so they will turn from their sins and find salvation.
This year we have introduced a vision for our church in which we run our race together in a manner worthy of pleasing God. Our race includes worship, fellowship, discipleship, missions, and evangelism. Last week we discussed evangelism. Today we see how the Gospel has the power to bring salvation, it is our duty to share the Gospel with people so that they may be saved! If no one tells people, how will they hear to believe? People need salvation and we have the Gospel!
I want to encourage everyone to think of one person they know who needs the Gospel. Let’s join the North American Mission Board’s Who’s You One Campaign to share the Gospel with that person. Commit to praying for them and commit to share the Gospel with them! If all Christians will share the Gospel faithfully how might the people we know change, our families change, our communities, our nation, and our world?
Scripture: James 1:19-27
After reviewing how we can move through the trials and temptations of life and avoid falling into sin, James now turns the focus of his teaching to the importance of the Word of God. Verses 19-21 emphasize the need and importance of bringing God’s Word into our life. Verse 21 contains the culmination of this teaching by commanding us to receive the Word of God with meekness, with humility. Verse 20 tells us the goal or outcome of allowing the Word of God to transform us – that the righteousness of God grows in us. Contrasted to the Word of God is our own wrath. We are to be swift to hear, we are to listen to God’s Word, receive it with meekness and let it transform us. How many of us are too proud to let God’s Word move us? How many of us don’t value the Word of God to bring it into our lives and allow it the opportunity to speak into us? How many of us argue with God’s Word or with God and come to a place of wrath? As verse 21 tells us we must remove all sinfulness and wrong desires and seek God and His Word! We must allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives!
Verses 22-25 tell us to not merely read or hear the Word of God but we must also apply the Word of God! We must be doers and not just hearers! James provides the example of a person looking into a mirror and forgetting how they look. James compares this to a person who would receive God’s Word but choose not to apply it. The mirror is a truly absurd thought. Mirrors are purchased so we can examine ourselves. How absurd for us to forget our appearance after looking in a mirror? Consider the use of mirror. Many of us look in a mirror to review our appearance for the purpose of finding imperfections that we may correct prior to presenting ourselves to others. What is the point of the mirror if when we see the imperfections in the mirror we choose to do nothing to address them? The mirror would have no use to us. It’s the same way with God’s Word. When we read or hear it taught, God is speaking to us and prompting us to actions in our lives. If we choose to ignore the leading from God’s Word, what is the point of even seeking it? I fear this true for many Christians in our churches today. We have often heard God’s Word taught to trust in God but how many of us constantly worry, we’ve heard it taught to not forsake the gathering of believers but how often do Christians choose not to attend church services, we’ve heard it taught to evangelize but do we share the Gospel, we’ve heard it taught to sing God’s praises but how many of refuse to sing hymns, how many of us give thanks in all things, how many of us pray without ceasing, how many of us do good at every opportunity? How many of us are truly applying what we are taught? Verse 25 connects God’s blessing in our lives with our obedience to apply God’s Word. Are we receiving the blessings we desire? If not, maybe we need to consider our application of what we have been taught.
In verses 26 and 27 James instructs us with how to live by God’s Word. Verse 26 gives us an example of what not to do. We should not allow our words to be uncontrolled. We must carefully consider our words, the impact our words will have on our reputation, their impact on our relationships, and their impact on the representation of Jesus. Once spoken, words cannot be silenced. The verse commands us to guard against deceiving ourselves. Many people deceive themselves by prioritizing their own words over God’s Word. When we do this we hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can lead others astray, and we can become a stumbling block to unbelievers. Verse 27 tells us what we should do: we should help those who are in need of help. Jesus did this, He sought out people in need and He helped them. We must do the same. Jesus also lived in the world without sin. We must strive to live in the world without sin too. Sin can disqualify our witness in the eyes of some people. People who do not believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior often look for sin in the lives of Christians to validate their own choice to not follow Christ. We must show others living holy is possible and also better. It is important that as we do the work of Christ we do so in a holy manner. Let God’s Word speak to you, apply it, and live accordingly.
If we can be of help in some way to you, please let us know.
In Christ’s Love,