Romans 103: Romans 2 - God's Enemy Offers Us a Series of Lifestyles

ROM-11-140525 - length: 80:29 - taught on May, 25 2014

Class Outline:


Welcome To

BARAH MINISTRIES

a Christian Church

Rory Clark

Pastor-Teacher

 

Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church…my name is Pastor Rory Clark.  The apostle Peter encourages us to serve our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, willingly.  That is what we gather each week to do…to serve our God willingly…First Peter, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 10 say this…

 

1PE 5:1

Therefore, I (Peter) exhort (give urgent recommendation to) the elders among you, as your fellow elder and (as your fellow) witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a(s)(a fellow) partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed…

 

1PE 5:2

…shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight (that is) not under compulsion, but voluntarily (willingly), according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness…

 

1PE 5:3

…nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

 

1PE 5:4

And when the Chief Shepherd (the Lord Jesus Christ) appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

 

1PE 5:5

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

 

1PE 5:6

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

 

1PE 5:7

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

 

1PE 5:8

Be of sober spirit, (and) be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

 

1PE 5:9

But resist him (withstand his vicious attacks), firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished (experienced) by your brethren (other believers in Christ) who are in the world.

 

1PE 5:10

After you have suffered for a little while, (God the Father) of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in (union with) Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

 

I have always wanted one thing in this life…to be able to look in the mirror and to find myself to be “good enough,” whatever that really means.  Whether it is on the field of play in an athletic endeavor, or in a relationship, or in a business dealing…I wanted to look at a situation and to find the way I handled it to be without stain, above reproach, better than the way everyone else handled it.  My hope is to provided unique and lasting in value to others in whatever I was doing for them.  Unfortunately, I cannot look at myself in the mirror and stake the claim that I have succeeded in this endeavor…to claim that I am good enough at anything…not as a husband, not as a father, not as a Pastor, not as a friend, not as a business owner, nor in any other matter.

 

After self-assessments like these, I feel defeated, deflated, and disgusted.  I stand with my hands by my side, unable to raise them, with my mind in complete disarray, unable to believe that I just don’t make a difference to anyone.  It’s a hopeless feeling.  Just after one of these self-destructive self evaluations, there always seems to be someone in my life who picks that moment to affirm that my assessment of my own worthlessness is correct.  It plunges me into deeper despair.

 

But then a still small voice emerges from within, from the indwelling Trinity, and reminds me that I am valued by Someone, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who even though He is not visible, is very real to me.  And He whispers to me the words of Colossians, Chapter 2, Verses 13 and 14…He says, “Rory…”

 

COL 2:13

When you were (spiritually) dead in your transgressions and (in) the uncircumcision of your flesh, (God the Father) made you (spiritually) alive together with (the Lord Jesus Christ), having forgiven (all of) us (of) all (of) our transgressions…

 

COL 2:14

…(and) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and (God the Father) has taken (the certificate of debt) out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross (of Christ).

 

If the Sovereign of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, is willing to treat me this way, if He is willing to see me this way when I see myself as worthless and as not good enough, then I must take courage and I must have hope in Him.  Therefore, when I fail, I count on Him to lift me up.  And He does…with His Person, and with His Words.  I press on.  Therefore, I substitute the thought of my own worthlessness with these thoughts…Philippians, Chapter 4, Verses 6 to 8…

 

PHI 4:6

Be anxious for nothing (stop worrying about anything), but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 

PHI 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in (union with) Christ Jesus.

 

PHI 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence (and there is) and if (there is) anything worthy of praise (and there is), (let your mind keep on) dwell(ing) on these things.

 

MUSIC AND REFLECTION

Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises

 

Shout to the Lord

 

We begin our service today by worshipping the Lord in song.  The opening song is SHOUT TO THE LORD.

 

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

My Jesus, my Savior

Lord, there is none like You!

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of Your mighty love!

 

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

My comfort, my shelter

Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath, all that I am

Never cease to worship You!

 

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing!

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down and the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name!

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You!

 

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

My Jesus, my Savior

Lord, there is none like You!

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of Your mighty love!

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

My comfort, my shelter

Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath, all that I am

Never cease to worship You!

 

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing!

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down and the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name!

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You!

 

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing!

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down and the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name!

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You!

 

SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

 

OPENING PRAYER

 

Let us pray...

 

We’re grateful Heavenly Father for the privilege of studying the absolute

truth...the Word of God…

Stabilize our mentality…wake us up from our delusions…teach us unity…lift us up with encouragement…illuminate our misgivings…strengthen our faith…redouble our resolve…encourage us with Your thoughts…focus us on edifying others…

 

We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit...in Christ’s name... Amen.

 

TODAY’S STUDY

Romans 2 -God’s Enemy Offers Us a Series of Lifestyles

 

To the resident and non-resident members of Barah Ministries, and to our guests who join us from time to time…welcome.  Grace to you and peace from God the Father…from God the Son…from God the Holy Spirit and from the manifest member of the Godhead, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Blessed are all those who persevere under trial.  Exodus, Chapter 14, Verses 13 and 14 say…

 

EXO 14:13

But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.”

 

EXO 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”

 

Sometimes, I think Christians think that Christianity is like kindergarten…a place to play.  I think it is more serious than that.

 

I was on the plane this week on the way home from Philadelphia.  My routine was once again successful.  The pressurization of the cabin at take- off had sufficiently constricted my head to the point of unconsciousness, as it always does.  I was fast asleep…not a bother to anyone.  But before I closed my eyes, I had noticed the flight attendant.  It is not unusual.  I notice everything around me.  She had on eye make-up that seemed a little severe for her beauty, a little heavier than necessary, as if she were hiding behind it.  No matter.  It was just an observation.  Soon I would be fast asleep after an intense week of service to others in the corporate world, and while fast asleep I was in a state where I wasn’t noticing anything.

Then I heard the “ding,” that joyful noise that indicates there are but twenty minutes left in the five-hour flight.  I was home.  My bladder was angry at the five hours of neglect, and insisted that I care for it immediately.  So I made the mad dash to the restroom.  There was the flight attendant again.  Joyce was her name.  She was deep in thought and looked pained in her expression.  I inquired.  “How are you?”  My bladder said, “Who cares?!”  She said, “Fine,” but her expression indicated that she was lying.  My bladder won the moment.  On the way out of the restroom I grabbed her hand.  And yes…I had washed my hands…and I recited verses you heard earlier in this lesson…Philippians, Chapter 4, Verses 6 and 7…

 

PHI 4:6

Be anxious for nothing (stop worrying about anything), but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 

PHI 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in (union with) Christ Jesus.

 

On the way out of the plane she handed me a note.

 

NOTE FROM JOYCE

 

Thank you for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and listening…you spoke words to me that God knew I needed.  Thank you for being a brother in Christ.

God Bless…Joyce

 

These are the moments I cherish in life.

 

I cherish the phone calls from a non-resident member of the congregation who is going through a nasty divorce…not that any divorce is anything but nasty.  As she talks, she is so upset she is hyperventilating.  She is barely able to catch her breath.  For her, things seem hopeless.  She has known for a long time that her life needed this change.  For most of her life she has suppressed her own voice and she has born the burden of others neuroses, including the lethargy of important people in her life, only to be betrayed and lied about by the people she holds dear at a moment in her life when she is at her strongest, at a moment in her life when she finally has decided to stand up for herself.  There is not enough of me that I can give her, but if there were anything I could do to keep her from experiencing this pain, I would.  I feel helpless when I offer her solace in verses from the Word of God…and an occasional call…only God can deliver her from this mess… and He will…yet for her, the pain of today is so overwhelming as to take her breath away.  I feel for her.

 

Christianity is not a play toy to me.  It is a real solution to the real problems that our humanness just can’t solve.  We continue our study of the books of Romans. We are in its second section, and we’re studying the consequences of sin.

 

THE BOOK OF ROMANS

The Consequences of Sin

Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20

 

For me, this week was a reflection on the three lifestyles offered in Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 18 to Romans, Chapter 2, Verse 16…the three lifestyles are…

 

THREE LIFESTYLES
Romans 1:18 to Romans 2:16

 

The Lascivious Lifestyle

 

The Religious Lifestyle

 

The Self-Righteous Lifestyle

 

These lifestyles are the offer of the enemy of God.   Yes…God has an enemy, and the bible describes him with many functional titles.  We don't talk about him much, but we are at the affect of his insidious strategy and his nefarious tactics, called “schemes” in the bible at Second Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 11.  As believers in Christ we are to be alert…

 

2CO 2:11

…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we (believers in

Christ) are not ignorant of his schemes.

 

Take a five-minute break and we’ll see what the bible has to say about God’s enemy.

 

BREAK

Be Glorified

When I Think About Home

 

Welcome back.  God’s enemy has many names…he is called The Ruler of the World in John, Chapter 12, Verse 31…

 

JOH 12:31

“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out (dethroned).”

 

…and in John, Chapter 16, Verse 11…

 

JOH 16:11

“…and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

 

He is called The Devil and A Liar in John, Chapter 8, Verse 44…

 

JOH 8:44

“You (Jews who believe in Me) are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

 

He is called The Prince of the Power of the Air in Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 1 and 2…

 

EPH 2:1-2

And (when you were unbelievers) you were (spiritually) dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked (as a lifestyle) according to the course (curriculum) of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, (a lifestyle) of the spirit that is now working in the sons of

disobedience.

 

He is called Satan in Luke, Chapter 22, Verses 31 and 32…

 

LUK 22:31-32

“Simon (Peter), Simon (peter), behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift (all of) you (apostles) like wheat; but I have prayed (specifically) for you (Peter), that your faith may not fail; and (I have prayed that) you, when once you have turned (back to Me) again, strengthen your brothers.”

 

He is called The Evil One in Matthew, Chapter 13, Verse 19…

 

MAT 13:19

“When anyone (any unbeliever) hears the word of the kingdom (the gospel message) and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.”

 

He is called The Serpent in Second Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 3…

 

2CO 11:3

But I (Paul) am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

 

He is called The Great Dragon in Revelation, Chapter 12, Verse 9…

 

REV 12:9

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

 

He is called The Tempter in Matthew, Chapter 4, Verse 3…

 

MAT 4:3

And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God (and I know You are), command that these stones become bread.”

 

…and he is called The Tempter in First Thessalonians, Chapter 3, Verse 5…

 

1TH 3:5

For this reason, when I (Paul) could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.

 

As a Pastor, it is easy to ignore the enemy of God, because as a Pastor you don’t want dwell on the negative…you don’t want to dwell on the things that fascinate your congregation…because talk of Satan, for many, is much more fascinating, intriguing and engaging than the truth.

 

But the truth is, God does have an enemy and he is always looking to destroy anything or anyone that is positive to God and His Word.  He’ll use any means necessary to do it.  He will use you to destroy yourself or he will use you to destroy others in your periphery, and he is amazingly good at what he does, even if he is somewhat predictable.

 

Satan is always looking for the opportunity for a vicious attack, a spiritual attack, designed to leave believers thinking that they are completely unworthy of God’s love. He is awfully successful at what he does.  He leaves us feeling like God could never really love us because we are just not good enough.  In spite of every biblical piece of evidence to the contrary, we find Satan more believable, and we love enjoying his lifestyle offers…

 

THREE LIFESTYLES
Romans 1:18 to Romans 2:16

 

The Lascivious Lifestyle

 

The Religions Lifestyle

 

The Self-Righteous Lifestyle

 

He tempts us with these lifestyles to draw us into death.  The result of every one of these lifestyles is death.  We know these lifestyles are not from God, because God does not tempt us to commit sins or to engage in evil.  James, Chapter 1, Verses 13 to 15…

 

JAM 1:13

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God;” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

 

JAM 1:14

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

 

 

JAM 1:15

Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

 

JAM 1:16

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

 

What are the three lifestyles of Satan with which we are tempted?

 

THREE LIFESTYLES
Romans 1:18 to Romans 2:16

 

The Lascivious Lifestyle

 

The Religious Lifestyle

 

The Self-Righteous Lifestyle

 

What is the lascivious lifestyle?

 

LASCIVIOUS

A lifestyle inclined toward lust, sexual interest, and sexual desires.

 

THE LASCIVIOUS LIFESTYLE

 

<THE LIFE BEYOND SLIDE Right-Wrong>

 

<THE LIFE BEYOND SLIDE Good-Bad>

 

What is the religious lifestyle?

 

RELIGION

A lifestyle engaging in extreme conformity to a set of practices that provide a delusion that these practices earn righteousness approved by God.

 

THE RELIGIOUS LIFESTYLE

 

<THE LIFE BEYOND SLIDE Heaven-Hell>

 

What is the self-righteous lifestyle?

 

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

A lifestyle of smugly moralistic conduct which is often intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others…having or showing an exaggerated awareness of your own virtue…engaged in self-love and self-flattery…the thought that you are better than others, and due a set of privileges because of it…the thought that God likes you because of something inherently good in you while simultaneously disliking others of whom you do not approve.

 

THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS LIFESTYLE

 

<THE LIFE BEYOND SLIDE Moral-Immoral>

 

When you are running these lifestyles…or when you are obsessing about others who are running these lifestyles, while simultaneously thinking you aren’t doing these same things yourself, you are missing the whole point of Christianity.

 

If you’re honest with yourself, you flunk the test of “good enough” when you look in the mirror.  I’m not the only one who has a sins list.  I’m not the only one who falls short of the glory of God.  You do, too.

 

If you’re honest with yourself, you have circuited these three lifestyles.

 

THREE LIFESTYLES
Romans 1:18 to Romans 2:16

 

The Lascivious Lifestyle

 

The Religious Lifestyle

 

The Self-Righteous Lifestyle

 

If you’re even more honest with yourself, you’re still circuiting these lifestyles.  I have spent 51 years circuiting the three lifestyles.  My conclusion is this…they’re not good enough.  It’s not that I’m not good enough.  It’s that when I run these lifestyles, they are not good enough to give me the feeling of being worthy.  But Christianity gives me a feeling of worth.  Because in Christianity, I get to do what Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verse 1 suggests…

 

EPH 4:1

…walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…

 

I get to remember Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 10…

 

EPH 2:10

For we (believers in Christ) are (God the Father’s) workmanship, created in (union with) Christ Jesus for good works, which God (the Father) prepared beforehand (in eternity past) so that we would walk in them.

 

…and every once in a while, I do walk in them.  I have come to learn in my nearly six decades on earth, not to spend too much time obsessing about the things which I am not.  I am just starting to become comfortable with the things I am in union with Christ.  I just wish the Christians in my periphery didn’t find it necessary, every day, to remind me of all the things I am not.  God doesn’t do that.  My unbeliever friends don’t do that. So why my Christian friends find the need to do that is beyond me.  I guess that’s what people do when they have had a prolonged period of time away from the mirror of the word of God.  James, Chapter 1, Verses 23 and 24…

 

JAM 1:23

For if (for the sake of argument) anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer (and there are some like this), he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror…

 

JAM 1:24

…for once he has looked at himself (in the mirror) and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

 

If I could undo the things I have done to hurt others in the past, I would.  If I could forget the things others have done to hurt me, I would.  If I could get others to forget the past, I would.  But I can’t.  Neither can you.  So we’d just do well to look to Christ for our example when we can’t tolerate the imperfection of others, or ourselves.  Because humans don’t have the perfection some seek.  I guarantee you this…when you are calling on others give an account to of themselves, you haven’t been to the mirror in a long

time.  Because if you had been to the mirror lately, you wouldn’t have time to worry about others.

 

The Promises of the Lord Jesus Christ

 

PSA 37:3

Trust in the Lord and do good…

 

PSA 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

 

PSA 37:5

Commit your way to the Lord…and He will do it.

 

PSA 37:7

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…

 

PHI 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in (union with) Christ Jesus.

 

CLOSING SONG

How Great Thou Art

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

THANKS

INTERCESSION

PETITION

 

And we pray that You continue to shape the messages from this pulpit that are a reflection of Your unconditional love, Your Magnificent Person, Your perfect thinking, Your impeccable work, and Your indescribable essence...we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit, in Christ’s name, Amen.

 

Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!

 

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