(#460) Romans 14 - Unconditional Love is The Trademark of Christianity

ROM-420-190331 - length: 83:51 - taught on Mar, 31 2019

Class Outline:


What makes Christianity unique?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome To 

BARAH MINISTRIES

a Christian Church

Rory Clark

Pastor-Teacher

 

Good Morning!

 

Welcome to Barah Ministries…a small and intimate Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We make a difference by teaching the Word of God from God’s perspective, and not from man’s perspective. 

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Unconditional Love is the Trademark of Christianity

 

What distinguishes Christianity from religion and from other forms of pseudo-spirituality?  Well the first and most obvious answer is the Lord Jesus Christ.  But an even more obvious answer is LOVE…unconditional love.  It’s the one thing that Christians can do through the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit that is not available to unbelievers. For Christianity to be distinct, it has to have something unique.  Christianity’s uniqueness is LOVE.  In today’s lesson, we’ll wrap up the first quarter of 2019 by wrapping up the first passage in Romans, Chapter 14, with some reflections on what we’ve been learning about LOVE for the last several lessons.

 

In the opening of every lesson at Barah Ministries we learn something about God.  In recent weeks we have learned that God is FORGIVING…He is JUST…He is RIGHTEOUS…He is SOVEREIGN…He is OMNISCIENT… He is OMNIPRESENT…He is OMNIPOTENT…He is IMMUTABLE.

 

Today we learn that God has VERACITY…a little used word today that describes God perfectly.  What is veracity?

 

VERACITY

Habitual observance of truth…in thought…in word…or in deed…

 accurate…correct…always right.

 

Or as I like to say it…TROOF…God tells the TROOF!  Amen?

God IS truth according to John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…in His very being…

 

JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way…and I AM THE TRUTH…and I am the resurrection life… no one comes to God the Father but through believing in Me.

 

Jesus spoke of His Father as the true God in the realLord’s Prayer…John, Chapter 17, Verse 3…

 

JOHN 17:3

This is eternal life (the resurrection life)…that believers in Me may know You…the only true God and Father…and that they may know Me…Jesus Christ…whom You have sent.

 

Because God is the truth, He is always reliable…He can be counted on.  In Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 4, the apostle Paul says…

 

ROMANS 3:4b

…let God be found true…though every man be found a liar…

 

Since God IS truth…He cannot do the opposite…Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 18…

 

HEBREWS 6:18b

…it is impossible for God to lie…

 

We have this promise from a truthful God…Titus, Chapter 1, Verse 2…

 

TITUS 1:2

…in the hope of eternal life…which God the Father…who cannot lie… promised long ages ago…

 

So when we know that God tells the truth…and when we know that God does not lie…and we know that the bible is the Lord’s exact thinking…we can take comfort in the advice He provides for us in the bible, knowing that it will always work.  As the Lord’s believers…His followers…we do well to follow Timothy’s advice in Second Timothy, Chapter 2, Verse 15…

 

SECOND TIMOTHY 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

 

Welcome to a place where you can learn the truth from the One true God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

First Peter, Chapter 1, Verses 6 and 7 have a recommendation…

 

FIRST PETER 1:6

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time…

 

FIRST PETER 1:7

casting all your anxiety on Him…because He cares for you.

 

The Lord considers your problems to be His responsibility…so you’d do well to follow the lead of the group Finding Favor in their song CAST MY CARES ON YOU. 

 

MUSIC AND REFLECTION

Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises

 

CAST MY CARES ON YOU

Finding Favour                         

 

OPENING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…

 

Thank you, Father, for the way you love…because without your unconditional love there would have been no way for any of us to be saved…thank you for loving Your enemies with the same fervor and passion as You love Your friends…the love you have for all of Your creatures is just too amazing to comprehend…thank you for sending Your Son, our Lord, as a sin sacrifice…You don’t just talk about loving unconditionally…You demonstrate it…thank you for sending God the Holy Spirit to lead us into all the truth…

 

And as the Spirit does His job today, let the truth You are sending to us through this lesson resonate in our souls and make us different people…people who are able to reflect Your love to all we meet…and especially to other believers and the members of our own household…

 

…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s

name...Amen.

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Unconditional Love is the Trademark of Christianity

 

Today we’ll complete our study of the first passage of Romans, Chapter 14…Verses 1 to 12…with reflections on what we have learned.  The subject is unconditional love, specifically how believers in Christ should handle each other in love in light of the fact that some of us are strong in faith and some of us are weak in faith…let’s listen to the passage with the new understanding we should have as a result of our study.

 

ROMANS 14:1

Now accept the one who is weak in faith…but not for the purpose of passing

judgment on his opinions.

 

For example…

 

ROMANS 14:2 

One person has faith that he may eat all things…but he who is weak eats

vegetables only.

 

ROMANS 14:3 

The one who has the faith to eat all things (The Strong) is not to regard with contempt the one who does not have the faith to eat all things (The Weak)… and the one who does not have the faith to eat all things (The Weak) is not to judge the one who has the faith to eat all things (The Strong)…for God has accepted both of them.

 

ROMANS 14:4 

Who are you to keep on judging the servant of another? To his own master a servant stands or falls…and the servant will be made to stand by God…for the Lord is able to make him stand.

 

Another example…

 

ROMANS 14:5 

One person regards one day above another…another person regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind (he is doing what God would want him to do).

 

ROMANS 14:6 

He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord…and he who eats, does so for the Lord…for he gives thanks to God…and he who eats not…it is for the Lord he does not eat…and he gives thanks to God.

 

ROMANS 14:7 

For not one of us lives for himself…and not one of us dies for himself…

 

ROMANS 14:8 

…for if we believers in Christ live…and we do…we live for the Lord…or if we die…and we do…we die for the Lord…therefore whether we live or die, (as believers in Christ) we are the Lord’s (possession).

 

ROMANS 14:9 

For to this end Christ died and lived again…that He might be the Lord… both of the dead and of the living.

 

ROMANS 14:10 

But you…why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard

your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

 

ROMANS 14:11 

For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord (Jesus Christ), every knee shall

bow to Me…and every tongue shall give praise to God the Father.”

 

ROMANS 14:12 

So then each one of us (as believers in Christ) will give an account of himself to God.

 

As we reflect on this passage, remember that at the end of the last lesson I asked you to consider this thought…how does the spirit of the law, that we are being taught in this passage…guide mature conduct?  Paul offers believers in Christ crystal clear direction, as he reflects on his own struggles in this life, in Roman, Chapter 7, Verse 21…

 

ROMANS 7:21

I (Paul) find…the principle that evil is present in me…the one who wants to do good.

 

There is nothing inside of a human being that wants to love unconditionally…not others and not self. Unconditional love comes to us as a gift from God through the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit. Philippians, Chapter 3, Verses 13 and 14…

 

PHILIPPIANS 3:13

Brethren, I (Paul) do not regard myself as having laid hold of it (all the benefits of perfect righteousness) yet…but one thing I do…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead…

 

PHILIPPIANS 3:14 

…I press on toward the goal…for the prize…of the upward call of God the Father in union with Christ Jesus.

 

In the climb of faith…pressing on as we believers might, there is always a time when we run out of human strength.  We can be the equivalent of an Olympic athlete in the spiritual life…climbing to the highest heights…and at a point, our own strength will no longer propel us. That realization makes us turn to Almighty God for the strength of His might to solve whatever problems we might want to solve.  This is both the challenge and the benefit of Christianity…that we can’t do anything without God.

 

In this first passage of Romans, Chapter 14…we see The Strong in

Faith…they are mature…having had their thoughts transformed by God the

Holy Spirit through constant exposure to the Word of God in such a way that they are clear about the life of freedom God offers.  The Weak in Faith are immature…that is, not fully developed yet…either because they are steeped in legalistic thoughts and actions planted by false teachers or because they are constantly obsessing about past sins…feeling guilty…as if there is something we can do to change the past.  Maybe it’s natural to feel these ways…but these approaches to life certainly are not spiritual.

 

The apostle Paul would have us reflect on this thought…Colossians, Chapter 2, Verse 16…

 

COLOSSIANS 2:16

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—

 

Whether we are strong or weak, we are not married to legalism (the strict adherence to a set of rules)…nor are we married to lasciviousness (the deep attraction to the lusts of the flesh)…we are married to, and in union with the Christ. Therefore, each meal and each day is an opportunity to give thanks to God for His wondrous gifts.  All days and all meals are worthy of equal honor.

 

Religion is Satan’s system of thought.  He proposes the “you gotta life” … “If you want to be spiritual, you gotta do this…and you gotta do that.”

 

In this first passage of Romans, Chapter 14…the “you gottas” concern food and the observance of days. Yet the religious life proposes a whole series of prescriptions for what it takes to be spiritual and what it takes to please God.  After trying for years to achieve this pseudo-perfection, all of us must come to the conclusion that we cannot live the life that is being proposed.

 

It is important to realize that the portrait Satan, the enemy of God, has painted about what a spiritual person looks like, is a lie.  A spiritually mature person is not an uptight follower of rules.  A spiritually mature person is at ease…he is comfortable with who he is and who he is not.  He is not bound by rules.  He is bound to Christ…buoyed by the freedom to choose while being willing to accept the consequences of the choices until the inevitable conclusion of Christianity comes…and that is this…only what Christ recommends works.  The spiritually mature reject the “you gotta” life. 

 

Imagine having a parent who hounds you about every choice you make…a parent who is critical of everything that is not in exact line with what the parent thinks is right for you…then imagine another parent who taught you how to make decisions and let you then exercise choices consistent with a clear set of guidelines…and to live with the consequences you have created.  Which do you prefer?

 

Yes…as Christina parents…we must exercise unconditional love even with our children.

 

In Romans, Chapter 14 we learn to accept where people are on their journey…even though it pains our heart when we see people on the broad road that leads to destruction…our Buddhist Friends…our Religions Friends (especially the Roman Catholics)…most of all, our Jewish friends.  I completely relate to the apostle Paul’s thoughts about His Jewish brethren in Romans, Chapter 9, Verses 1 to 5…

 

ROMANS 9:1

I (Paul) am telling the truth in union with Christ…I am not lying…my conscience testifies with me in the (enabling power of the) Holy Spirit…

 

ROMANS 9:2 

…that I have great sorrow (deep anguish) and unceasing grief in my heart.

 

ROMANS 9:3 

For I wish that I myself were accursed (destined for the Lake of Fire)…eternally separated from Christ…for the sake of my brethren…my kinsmen according to the flesh (The Jews)…

 

ROMANS 9:4 

…my brethren who are Israelites…to whom belongs the adoption as sons…and The Shekinah Glory…and the covenants (the promises to Abraham)…and the giving of the Mosaic Law…and the temple service (in the tabernacle)…and the promises (including the coming of the Jewish Messiah)…

 

ROMANS 9:5 

…my kinsmen whose are the fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob)…and from whom is the Christ (the Messiah) according to the flesh…the One who is over all…the God who is blessed forever. Amen.

 

This is unconditional love, expressed by a human…and powered by God the Holy Spirit.  One of the most painful realities of the Christian Way of Living is that everyone doesn’t choose to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ…everyone doesn’t think Jesus Christ is God…everyone doesn’t think Jesus Christ is The Jewish Messiah…but Jesus Christ is all of those things.  As we watch the journey of others, we honor their journey…yet we know that God has given us a way to love that changes people.

 

When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll finish up our reflections on the passage under study

 

FIVE MINUTE BREAK

Unconditional Love

Donna Summers

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Unconditional Love is the Trademark of Christianity

 

Once again the rent is due…and we count on your generosity to keep Barah Ministries alive…let’s welcome Deacon Denny Goodall with today’s offering message.

 

THE OFFERING

Deacon Denny Goodall

 

OFFERING VERSE

 

EPHESIANS 5:15-16

Therefore be careful how you walk not as unwise men walk…but as wise men walk…//making the most of your time…because the days are evil.

 

OFFERING VERSE

 

EPHESIANS 5:17

So then do not be foolish…but understand what the will of the Lord is.

 

OFFERING SONG

FLIGHT OF THE EAGLE

Dave McClure, Instrumental

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Unconditional Love is the Trademark of Christianity

 

Isaiah, Chapter 41, Verse 10 says…

 

ISAIAH 41:10

‘Do not fear…for I am with you…do not anxiously look about you…for I am your God.  I will strengthen you…surely I will help you…surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

 

Zach Williams tells us why not to fear in his song…it’s because FEAR IS A LIAR.

 

MUSIC AND REFLECTION

Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises

 

FEAR IS A LIAR

Zach Williams

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Unconditional Love is the Trademark of Christianity

 

Welcome back!  

 

The apostle Paul expresses the sentiment of Romans, Chapter 14 in another letter…the letter we’ll be studying when we finish Romans…First Corinthians, Chapter 8, Verses 1 to 13…he reminds the Corinthians of the dilemma between The Strong in Faith and The Weak in Faith…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:1

Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all has

knowledge (The Strong and The Weak). Knowledge makes a person arrogant…but unconditional love edifies.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:2 

If anyone supposes that he knows anything…and many do…he has not yet known as he ought to know (no believer is yet perfected in unconditional love…we’re on the journey)…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:3 

…but if anyone loves God unconditionally…and many do…he is known by God (he’s a believer in Christ).

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:4 

Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols…we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world (idols are merely mirages)…and that there is no God but one.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:5 

For even if there are so-called “gods” … whether in heaven or on earth…as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords” (here in Satan’s kingdom)…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:6 

…yet for us believers in Christ there is but one God…the Father (not a pantheon)…from whom come all things…and we exist for Him…and there is one Lord…Jesus Christ…by whom are all things (created)…and we exist through (the agency of) Him.

 

Paul describes the Weak in Faith…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:7 

However…not all men have this knowledge (that idols are nothing)…but some, being accustomed to the idol until now…eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol…and their conscience…being weak…is defiled.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:8 

But food will not commend us to God…we are neither the worse if we do not eat…nor the better if we do eat.

 

Now Paul speaks to The Strong in Faith…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:9 

But take care that this liberty of yours (the life of freedom) does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak (in faith).

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:10 

For if someone sees you who have knowledge (The Strong in Faith) dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience…if he is weak…be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?

 

Kids mimic their parents…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:11 

For through your knowledge…he who is weak is ruined…the brother for whose sake Christ died.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:12 

And so…by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak…you sin against Christ.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:13 

Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble…I will never eat meat again…so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

 

Unconditional love is better…stronger…higher…than knowledge.  The Strong in Faith has a responsibility toward The Weak in Faith…this is the point of the first passage of Romans, Chapter 14.

 

We learned that Christianity is the spirit of the law not the letter of the law.

We learned that in God’s eyes all are created equal.  We know that as believers in Christ all of us are in union with Christ…we are in unity.

 

Therefore, honoring God is not enough.  Instead, do you honor the journey of others?  Because not one of us decides what is right for others.  There is no room for force in Christianity.  God does the growth.  So do you value the differences between you and others?  Do you give people the feeling that they are welcome even when they are different?

 

The Beatles had it right. All we need is love.  And it is God who keeps on reminding us of this simple difference that Christians own thanks to Christ, the One who keeps on showing us how to love.

 

GOD WANTS YOU!

Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life

 

The closing moments of our study are for anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU!  

 

What does God want for you? First Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4…

 

FIRST TIMOTHY 2:3

This is good and acceptable in the sight of the God who is our Savior (the Lord Jesus Christ)…

 

FIRST TIMOTHY 2:4 

…who desires all men to be saved and for all men to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

Are you saved?  There are two things God wants from you.  First and foremost, God wants you to be saved. Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9 affirms His intentions for you…

 

SECOND PETER 3:9

The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of, but instead He is patient toward you unbelievers…not wishing for any of you to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all of you to come to repentance (a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).

 

This immutable and irrevocable fact may contradict the thoughts placed in your head by God’s enemy, Satan, who contends that God is just waiting to come down on you.

 

Second, God wants you to know the truth.  So, God provides you with the bible…which contains the absolute truth…His exact thinking. John, Chapter 20, Verses 30 and 31…

 

JOHN 20:30

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book (the bible)…

 

JOHN 20:31 

…but these things written here in the bible have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah)…the Son of God (in human form)… and that by believing in Him you may have the resurrection life in Hisname.

 

Do you know the truth about God?

 

Maybe you don’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ…and maybe you don’t think the bible is His exact thinking.  Maybe you don’t even think you need to be saved.  The bible says that being saved…salvation…is exactly what all humans need from the moment of physical birth.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 1…

 

EPHESIANS 2:1

At physical birth all mankind were born spiritually dead in your trespasses and sins…

 

First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22 says…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22a

For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…

 

The bible says you need to be saved when you are spiritually dead.  The Lord Jesus Christ volunteered for the task of saving you.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 4 and 5 say…

 

EPHESIANS 2:4-5

But God the Father…being rich in mercy…because of His great unconditional love with which He loved all of us…//even when we were spiritually dead in our transgressions…made us believers in Christ spiritually alive in union with Christ…by grace you have been saved…

 

When you were spiritually dead, as an ungodly, unrighteous unbeliever here’s what God the Father planned for you…Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 8…

 

ROMANS 5:8

But God the Father demonstrates His own unconditional love toward all mankind, in that while we were yet sinners (as spiritually dead, ungodly, unrighteous unbelievers), Christ died as a substitute for us.

 

Because of the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, right where you sit right now, you can have eternal life…the resurrection life…and it’s this simple…Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…

 

ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”

 

You would also do well to heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…

 

JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”

 

If you reject a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, eternity will not go well for you.  Acts, Chapter 4, Verse 12 says…

 

ACTS 4:12

“…there is salvation in no one else…for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (except the name of the Lord Jesus Christ).”

 

You don’t have to work to be saved…it’s a free gift from a gracious God… Titus, Chapter 3, Verse 5…

 

TITUS 3:5

The Lord Jesus Christ saved us…not on the basis of deeds which we have done in self-righteousness…but according to His mercy…by the washing of regeneration and through the renewing by God the Holy Spirit…

 

There is no excuse for not knowing how to be saved…it’s SO simple.  Why?  It’s simple because God does the saving for you.  All you have to do is invest your gift of faith…a gift you received from a loving God…and place that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation.  Do it now!  There is no time to waste.

 

Here’s June murphy to remind us about our forgiving God in her song HE REMEMBERS TO FORGET.

 

CLOSING SONG

 

HE REMEMBERS TO FORGET

June Murphy 

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!

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