Romans 1: Are You Better Than Others?

ROM-460-240211 - length: 81:53 - taught on Feb, 11 2024

Class Outline:

The humble will be exalted.











If you're in the resident congregation, turn off your electronic devices and put them away. Let this be a place where you aren't distracted by the world.


Welcome To



Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with a worldwide impact. My name is Pastor Rory Clark. Thanks for listening to this Bible lesson!




You may be wondering some things about Barah Ministries…


Who is the God we worship?

What is our source of truth?

Who is our enemy?


Isn't it great the Lord is willing to keep on sending messages to you about His Person…His truth…and His enemy Romans, Chapter 10, Verse 17 says…


ROMANS 10:17

…faith comes from hearing…and hearing comes by the Word of the Christ (the Jewish Messiah).


God the Father helps us hearthrough the power of God the Holy Spirit, and He gives us the gift of faith. By investing our faith in the Lord and in the study of the Word of God, we are edified…we continue to hear over and over again who God is, how He talks to us, and who is our adversary.


Who is the God We Worship?


We worship a Triune Godhead. There is One God who expresses Himself to

mankind as three separate, distinct, co-equal, co-infinite, co-eternal Persons…God the Father…God the Son…and God the Holy Spirit.


GOD THE FATHER is the author of the Triune Godhead's plan for all creatures.

The Father warns us that getting to know Him will be despised by the world…First John, Chapter 3, Verse 1…



See how great an unconditional love God the Father has bestowed on us believers in Christ…that we would be called children of God…because we areFor this reason, the world (Satan'scosmic system of thought) does not know us, because it did not know Him.


God the Father encourages His children not to pay attention to the world.


GOD THE SON (the Lord) volunteered to execute God the Father's plan. Is Jesus Christ God He thinks so…John, Chapter 5, Verse 18…


JOHN 5:18

…the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Jesus Christ because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but alsoHe was calling God the Father His own Father, and He was making Himself out to be equal with God.


Why would Jesus make Himself out to be equal with God the Father? Because He is equal with God the Father!


There is ONE AND ONLY ONE WAY to heaven. You invest your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, asking Him to save you. Jesus is the Christ…the Jewish Messiah…and by believing in Him, you instantly have the resurrection life… eternal life…in His name. Such blessing comes only from God, and Jesus Christ is God.


We worship GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. He is our Mentor and Teacher, a guide who is the rudder of a Christian's life. God, the Holy Spirit, is the Divine Executive Officer of evangelism…spreading the gospel message all over the world. Acts, Chapter 1, Verse 8 says…


ACTS 1:8

"…you believers in Christ will receive enabling power when God the Holy Spirit

has come upon you (indwelling you)…and from His power,you shall be My witnesses…in Jerusalem…in all Judea and Samaria…and even to the remotest part of the earth."


What is Our Source of Truth?


As Christians, we can develop a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with the

entire Godhead through the study of THE WORD OF GOD…THE BIBLE  It's exactly what the Berean believers did…Acts, Chapter 17, Verses 10 and 11…


ACTS 17:10

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea…and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.


ACTS 17:11

Now these Berean believers in Christ were more noble-minded than the believers in Thessalonica…because they received the Word of God being taught by Paul with great eagerness…and they also examined the Scriptures daily to see whether these things Paul was sayingwere so.


Do you Daily study of the Word of God is essential for intimacy with God.


Who is Our Enemy?


GOD HAS AN ENEMY…Satan…whom God made 'the ruler of this world' for a finite period He, is the enemy of believers in Christ as well.


Satan is always using his influence to infiltrate our souls. Do you let him in? He presents ways for us to exclude God from our lives. He promises to "meet our needs"… promises never kept by the great deceiver. His promises are empty…his strategy is bait and switch…he promises everything and gives us nothing. In Job, Chapter 1, Verses 9 to 11, he suggests that believers don't really care about the Lord…


JOB 1:9

Then Satan said to the Lord, "Does Job respect God for nothing?"


JOB 1:10

"Have You not made a hedge of protection about him and his house and all that he

Hason every side You have blessed the work of his handsand his possessions have increased in the land."


JOB 1:11

"But put forth Your hand and touch all that he has and he will surely curse You to Your face."


Satan asserts that we only worship the Lord because He blesses us. That's false. What a liar Reject his lies and get the truth from the Lord…not from your enemy.



Are You Better Than Others?




As we transition from Romans, Chapter 1 to Romans, Chapter 2…the Lord provides a few stories that help us understand the depth of our depravity. We may want to think so, but we are not better than other people. In Acts, Chapter 10, Verses 34 and 35…a reminder from the apostle Peter…


ACTS 10:34

Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality….


ACTS 10:35

…but in every nation, the man who respects the Lord and does what is right is welcome to Him.


So why do you think you are better than others? The Lord welcomes every sin-filled resume. Bring yours and see what the Lord is willing to do for you. We'll get a glimpse of His faithfulness in today's lesson, and as we do every month, we'll celebrate the Lord's Supper. We'll remind ourselves that the Lord forgives us even when we don't forgive ourselves.




Let's hear some music. The first three chapters of Romans introduce us to our need for forgiveness. These chapters are an indictment of the whole human race. Luckily, the Lord…God the Son…volunteered to take on the challenge of restoring us to a relationship with God that was broken by sin. In Psalm 103, Verse 12, we learn that an omniscient God who can't forget chooses to overlook our faults…


PSALM 103:12

As far as the east is from the west…so far has the Lord removed our transgressions from us.


He will not remember our sins. Why Matthew West tells us in song… FORGIVENESS.




Let's Sing the Lord's Praises



Matthew West



Let us pray...


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


Thank You for overlooking our flaws…thank you for taking care of us when we were Your enemy…thank you for sending Your Son to be a sin substitute for us when He made the sacrifice of His blood to pay for our sins at the Cross…


…help us to realize that we are no better than anyone else…and help us to treat all members of the human race with the respect with which you treat them…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ's name...Amen.



Are You Better Than Others?




Many think so. Remember the sins list at the end of Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 28

to 31?



And just as unbelievers did not see fit to acknowledge there is aGod any longer (atheism)…GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind…allowing them to practice those things which are not proper…



…and unbelievers became filled with all unrighteousness, such as wickedness, greed, and evil…they were full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice…they are gossips…



…they are slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil,

and disobedient to their parents…



…they are without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful…


Seeing this list of sins…seeing the failings of others…makes some think they are superior to others. Let'stake a look at an example in Luke, Chapter 18, Verses 9 to 14… it's the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector…


LUKE 18:9

And Jesus told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous…and viewed others with contempt…


What a perfect description of self-righteousness!


LUKE 18:10

"Two men went up into the temple to pray…one a Pharisee…and the other a Tax Collector."


LUKE 18:11

"The Pharisee stood and was praying (to himself and to anyone listening) … 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people…like swindlers…like the unjust…like adulterers…or even like this tax collector.'"




LUKE 18: 12

"'I fast twice a week…I pay tithes of all that I get.'"


In other words, I work to please You.


LUKE 18:13

"Now the tax collector…standing some distance away…was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven…instead, he was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'"


The tax collector, like the Pharisee, was an unbeliever…sinners are unbelievers. Believers in Christ are saints. What does the Lord say next? Luke, Chapter 18, Verse 14…


LUKE 18:14

"I tell you, thisTax Collectorwent to his house JUSTIFIED (saved through God's mercy) but not the Pharisee…for everyone who exalts himself (like the Pharisee) will be humbled…but he who humbles himself (like the Tax Collector) will be exalted."


To be justified is to be declared righteous as a legal declaration because the Lord imputes His righteousness to believers at the moment of salvation…once and for all time. Righteousness is the admission ticket to heaven. The Tax Collector is saved…the Pharisee is not.


Satan offers two perverted lifestyles…LASCIVIOUSNESS and LEGALISM What is LASCIVIOUSNESS?



The process of subtracting from the perfection of Christianity with rebellion against the perfection of God's commands…it involves taking out the things in Christianity you don't agree with or ignoring the things in Christianity you don't like… it's disobedience to the Word of God… it's an insatiable lust for all things sinful…it is the eat, drink, and be merry mentality!


The people who indulge in the sins listed in Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 21 to 31 are of the lascivious crowd. They let it all hang out. Their sins are obvious.




The process of adding to the perfection that is Christianity with an overfocus on the rules…it turns Christianity into a perversion of self-righteous superiority and into a series of steps no one could ever follow successfully, not even those who propose they follow the rules.


LEGALISM is self-righteousness, and self-righteousness is condescending. In Matthew, Chapter 15, Verses 7 and 8, Jesus says about those who are legalistic…



"You hypocrites (you actors talking from behind a mask) … rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you…"



"'…this people honors Me with their lips…but their heart is far away from Me."


The Lord gives us another story, which is a perfect illustration. You've heard it before. It's the story of the prodigal son. The cast of characters are the gracious father…the lascivious younger son…and the legalistic older son. The story could easily be renamed for any of the characters, but the focus is the prodigal son.


What is a prodigal?



Someone who spends money or uses resources freely, recklessly, wastefully, and extravagantly.


Let’s learn from the story…Luke, Chapter 15, Verses 11 to 32…and as we learn…we reflect…


LUKE 15:11

Jesus said, "A man had two sons."


LUKE 15:12

"The younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that falls to me.'So the Father divided his wealth between the two sons."


The younger son was saying, "I wish you were dead." It was an absolute insult that broke his father's heart, Yet the father gave his son a share of the father's estate. It was not an unusual practice to give of an estate while the giver was alive. Once the recipient was given his portion of an estate, he was free to do with the estate what he willed…he could even sell it. Typically, the older son got twice as much as the younger siblings.


LUKE 15:13

"Not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living."


Prodigal The son did what many in that day did…he did the equivalent of going from Rome to Corinth (what happens in Corinth stays in Corinth) to party hearty!


LUKE 15:14

"Now when the younger son had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished (he was "po!")


The younger son found out that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. What does sin do? It promises everything and delivers nothing.


LUKE 15:15

"Sothe younger son went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and the citizen sent the younger son into his fields to feed swine."


Jewish people did not eat pigs, nor did they have anything to do with pigs, so this was a degrading job for the young man.


LUKE 15:16

"The younger son would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating because no one was giving anything to him."


He was "po!"


LUKE 15:17

"But when the younger son came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!'"


The young son repents…not of his sins…he simply changes his mind about his circumstances.

LUKE 15:18

"I will get up and go to my father and will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight…'"


LUKE 15:19

"'I am no longer worthy to be called your son…make me one of your hired men.'"


I WILL is free will. The younger son had the choice to remain in his circumstances or to make a different decision. He was thinking, "MAYBE my father is willing to forgive me!" Is he right?


LUKE 15:20

"So the younger son got up and came to his father But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him."


What a gracious father. The penalty for this kind of error on the part of a son in the ancient world is to be stoned to death. The father running to his son and embracing him indicated the father's willingness to die in place of his son if a stoning occurred.


LUKE 15:21

"And the younger son said, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight…I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'"


The father interrupted the confession. The father rejected the son's desire to work his way back into good graces…to EARN forgiveness.


LUKE 15:22

"But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him…and put a signature ring on his hand…and put sandals on his feet…'"


LUKE 15:23

“‘…and bring the fattened calf…kill it…and let us eat and celebrate…’”


The ring is a sign of sonship. It is also a welcome back into wealth. The robe is a sign of acceptance. The father threw a feast instead of a funeral. Why?



LUKE 15:24

"'…for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again…he was lost and has

been found.' And everyone began to celebrate."


This is equally the story of the Father's grace. What about the older son…the legalist?


LUKE 15:25

"Now the father's older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and saw dancing."


LUKE 15:26

"And the older son summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be."


LUKE 15:27

"And the servant said to the older son, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.'"


LUKE 15:28

"But the older son became angry and was not willing to go in (to the party)…and his father came out and began pleading with him (to join the party)."


LUKE 15:29

"But the older son answered and said to his father, 'Look For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours…and yet you have never given me a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends…'"


LUKE 15:30

"'…but when this younger son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'"


True…but the father gave the older son a double portion of the estate. Why didn't the son organize his own party if he wanted one so badly? The older son did not demonstrate love for his father…and he did not demonstrate love for his brother. We are commanded to love God and to love others unconditionally.


The legalistic brother did not forgive. He did not appreciate forgiveness. He was

doing things for his father begrudgingly, all the while longing to party. He had no concern for his brother's well-being. In self-righteousness, he thought of himself as better than his brother He announces the sins of his brother while refusing to see his own sins.


LUKE 15:31

"The father said to the older son, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.'"


LUKE 15:32

"'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has

begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"


Are you better than others? Hardly. When we get into Romans, Chapter 2, Paul takes on the legalists. Let's hope you don't see yourself in that mirror.


When we return from the break,we'll take the offering, and then we'll celebrate the Lord's Supper.




Casting Crowns



Are You Better Than Others?




Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, "You can't have a perfect day without doing something for someone who'll never be able to repay you." Hebrews, Chapter 13, Verse 16 reflects this sentiment…



…do not neglect the doing of good and sharing…for with such sacrifices God is pleased.


Our God is generous every second of every day. As believers in Christ, we choose to reflect His grace. When you give to Barah Ministries, you make it possible for people all over the world to get spiritual food to feed their spiritual lives free of charge. Thank you for your generosity.


Let's welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with one of his always inspiring offering messages.



Deacon Denny Goodall





Pick up and put on the full armor of God so you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.




Instrumental Version



Because of the Cross, We Are Forgiven Fully by the Lord Jesus Christ




Welcome to the Lord's Supper Celebration!


As we remember the Lord, let's relax and enjoy memories of the things the Lord has done for us, especially His work on the Cross on our behalf. The Lord's Supper gives you a chance to direct your focus to the Lord alone.


Concerning the Lord's Supper, our God commands in Luke, Chapter 22, Verse 19…


LUKE 22:19c

"…keep on doing this Lord's Supper Celebrationin remembrance of Me."


The Lord wants you to think about everything special in your life. He is the special One in your life!

The Lord's Supper is a chance to experience the real meaning of the most important relationship in your life…whether you are a believer in Christ…or even more if you are an unbeliever.


Yet the Lord's Supper is for the born-again ones…for spiritually alive people who were placed into union with Christ by God the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation through the baptism of the Spirit. God the Holy Spirit turned us into eternal companions of Christ. We don't do this celebration on the move… it's a chance to be still and to reflect.




In Luke, Chapter 23, Verse 34…as He hung from the Cross…


LUKE 23:34

Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."


Imagine that on a day when He was subjected to torture and humiliation, no human has ever faced, He forgave. At the Cross, the Lord forgave us for every sin we would ever commit, past, present, and future. His work is complete John, Chapter 19, Verse 30…


JOHN 19:30

…when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit (into the hands of God the Father).


The graciousness of God forgave the wickedness of man and restored us to the possibility of fellowship with God. It's called reconciliation. What is God's attitude toward sinners and toward those believers in Christ who sin? Let's look at another story…John, Chapter 8, Verses 3 to 11…


JOHN 8:3

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery…and having set her in the center of the court…


JOHN 8:4

…they said to Jesus, "Teacher…this woman has been caught in adultery…in the very act."


Think about it…how tough would that be?


JOHN 8:5

"Now in the Law…Moses commanded us to stone to death such women…what then do You say?"


The Law required that BOTH the man and the woman who committed adultery be stoned to death Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 10…



"If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife…or one who commits adultery with his friend's wife…the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."


Yet, in this case, the man is never indicted. He was likely a Pharisee, and he likely set the woman up, Yet he was never accused. Continuing at John, Chapter 8, Verse 6…


JOHN 8:6

The scribes and Pharisees were saying this (to the person who wrote the Mosaic Law and the Person who fulfilled the Law)…testing Him…so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.


The scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites…accusing others while exonerating self.


JOHN 8:7

But when they persisted in asking Jesus, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."


JOHN 8:8

Again, He stooped down and wrote on the ground.


JOHN 8:9

When the scribes and Pharisees heard it, they began to leave one by one, beginning with the older ones (those who were more mature)…and Jesus was left alone with the woman…where she was…right in the center of the court.

JOHN 8:10

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they Did no one condemn you?"


JOHN 8:11

She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either Go From now on sin no more."


The Law reveals sin…Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 20…



The Law came in alongside sin so that law-breaking would increase…but where law-breaking increased, God's grace abounded all the more…


Jesus Christ paid for sin at the Cross. It is His forgiveness that we remember today. What does the Lord have to say about sin? What does it mean to forgive Isaiah, Chapter 43, Verse 25…


ISAIAH 43:25

"I (the Lord)…even I am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins."


Isaiah, Chapter 1, Verse 18…


ISAIAH 1:18a

"Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow…"


Ephesians, Chapter 1, Verse 7…



In union with Christ we believers have redemption through His blood…the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace…


Daniel, Chapter 9, Verse 9 says…



To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him…

Yet Hebrews, Chapter 10, Verse 17 says…



"And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."


Why Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 13 and 14…



For God the Father rescued us from the domain of darkness…and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (the Lord Jesus Christ)…



…in union with whom we believers in Christ have redemption…the forgiveness of sins.


Psalm 103, Verses 10 to 12…


PSALM 103:10

The Lord has not dealt with us according to our sins…nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.


PSALM 103:11

For as high as the heavens are above the earth…so great is His lovingkindness toward those who respect Him.


PSALM 103:12

As far as the east is from the west…so far has He removed our transgressions from us.


Matthew, Chapter 26, Verse 28…



…for this is My blood of the covenant…which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.


First John, Chapter 1, Verse 7…



…but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light…we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us believers in Christ from ALL sin.


Hebrews, Chapter 9, Verse 22…



And according to the Law…one may almost say…all things are cleansed with blood…and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.


David says in Psalm 32, Verses 1 to 7…


PSALM 32:1

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven…whose sin is covered!


PSALM 32:2

How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose Spirit there is no deceit!


PSALM 32:3

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.




PSALM 32:4

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me…my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.


PSALM 32:5

I acknowledged my sin to You…and my iniquity I did not hide…I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" and You forgave the guilt of my sin.


PSALM 32:6

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found…surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.


PSALM 32:7

You are my hiding place…You preserve me from trouble…You surround me with songs of deliverance.


Forgiveness: If the Lord forgives you for all of your sins…why can't you forgive yourself once and for all time? Why do you keep bringing up your sins as if they are not paid for? Like the prodigal son, when we as believers in Christ find ourselves entangled in sin, we simply change our mind about sinning and go back to a Lord who is waiting with open arms to be gracious to us. That'swhat we remember today…forgiveness…once and for all time.



Enjoying the Elements


Bread and wine.


The Lord gave us these things to remember Him. We will enjoy the elements together in a few moments as we listen to The Lord's Supper Song.


Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 26 to 28, tells us the reason the Lord wants us to celebrate this meal together…



While the apostles were eating, Jesus took some bread…and after a blessing…He

broke the bread, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take…eat…this is My body which is being broken for you."



And when Jesus had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it…all of you…"



“…for this is My blood…the blood of a new covenant…My blood…poured out for WHOSOEVER…for the forgiveness of sins.”


We celebrate to remember.


Jesus Christ died as our sin substitute…Jesus Christ is risen from the dead to prove His Deity…Jesus Christ loves us unconditionally…Jesus Christ forgives us once and for all time through His work on the Cross…Jesus Christ's BLOOD paid for our sins…Jesus Christ will come again to gather us unto Himself. We celebrate, and we are grateful.

Enjoy the elements as we listen to Telly Leong, who reminds us that ALL GOOD GIFTS, including forgiveness, come to us directly from God.





Telly Leong



The Good News of Jesus Christ's Salvation Offer to the Human Race


The closing moments of this lesson could be the ten most important minutes of your life. You'll be introduced to the good news concerning how you can spend all eternity in heaven when you close your eyes in this life. We want you to know that…



He Wants You to Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


Where you spend eternity matters to God because YOU matter to God. He wants you to be saved. In John, Chapter 4, Verses 13 and 14, the Lord Jesus Christ is talking to a woman at a well…a Samaritan woman whom the Jews wanted nothing to do with. After a brief introduction, the Lord says to the woman…


JOHN 4:13

"Everyone who drinks of the water in this well will thirst again…"


JOHN 4:14

"…but whoever drinks of the water that I (the Lord Jesus Christ) will give him (the water of the Word…the gospel message) shall never thirst…but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to the resurrection

life (eternal life)."


It is the Lord's will for you to live with Him in heaven forever when you close your eyes in this life. First Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4 say…



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



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


Unfortunately, most people think religion shows the way to be saved. Is religion the truth? Billions of people in this world think so, believing religion and its rituals are their tickets into heaven. They embrace religious beliefs that tell them how to live, but the religions never tell them how to have a personal relationship with the Lord.


Religions propose that if you don't do everything their god expects that, he will be disappointed. And regardless of your best efforts to follow religious rituals…which you CAN'T and DON'T do…even IF you do them all, the religion does not GUARANTEE you will get to heaven.


Christianity is NOT a religion. It's a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ…a relationship GUARANTEED to save you.


The Bible tells you how to get to heaven when you close your eyes in this life. It's as simple as a nine-word conversation with God the Father…like the one in Luke, Chapter 23, Verses 42 and 43…


LUKE 23:42

And a thief being crucified next to Jesus was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!"


LUKE 23:43

And Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you…today you shall be with Me in Paradise."


A nine-word conversation with God can get you to heaven…Jesus, remember me

when You come into Your kingdom, Or if you prefer…a couple of five-word conversations with God the Father … "Father…I believe in Christ"…  or as a man said to Jesus when He was on the earth… "I believe…help my unbelief!" Believe. Simply take God's word for what it takes to be saved, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.


Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31 says…

ACTS 16:31

"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved by God, you and everyone in your household who also believes."


Who is this God who saves you? The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…



For I (Paul) delivered to you believers in Christ…as of primary importance…the gospel message I also received from God…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Old Testament Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Old Testament Scriptures…


If you reject the relationship offer the Lord Jesus Christ makes to you, He will honor your rejection…Matthew, Chapter 13, Verses 49 and 50…



So it will be at the end of the age…the elect angels will come forth and take out the wicked (a description of unbelievers) from among the righteous (believers in Christ)...



…and will throw the wicked into the furnace of fire (The Lake of Fire) … and in that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


On the other hand, once the Lord saves you, no matter how hard you try, you cannot lose your salvation…John, Chapter 10, Verse 28 says…


JOHN 10:28

"…I (the Lord Jesus Christ) give eternal life to believers in Christ, and they will never perish…and no one will snatch them out of My hand."


Anyone who says you can lose your salvation is lying to you. So, follow the advice 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."


It's not religion that gets you to heaven… it's a RELATIONSHIP with theone and only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Have that conversation with God the Father right now, and you will be saved!




Let's close with music. All of us could use forgiveness practice. The apostle Peter asked the Lord about forgiveness in Matthew, Chapter 18, Verses 21 and 22…



Peter came and said to Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him Up to seven times?"



Jesus said to Peter, "I do not say to you up to seven times…but up to seventy times seven."


June Murphy helps us reflect on forgiveness in her song WE'RE FORGIVEN.




Let's Sing the Lord's Praises



June Murphy



Let us pray...


Almighty God and Father…


Thank you for helping us learn how to forgive as You do…totally…once and for all time…help us to shed our grudges and to remember that the only way to have control in a forgiveness situation is to forgive… because it is something you have control of…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ's name...Amen.




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