(#457) Romans 14 – Honoring God is Not Enough
What more does God want from us in addition to honoring Him?
(#457) Romans 14 – March 10, 2019 – Honoring God is Not Enough
a Christian Church
Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church that makes a difference. 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 - Honoring God is Not Enough
The Lord certainly recommends to our freedom that He is to be the center of our worship. In Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 3 He says…
EXODUS 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
In today’s lesson we’ll find out that there is more that God recommends to free beings. Also in today’s lesson we’ll celebrate The Lord’s Supper, our monthly look back at all the things the Lord did for us at the Cross.
In the opening of every lesson at Barah Ministries we learn something about God. Recently we have learned that God is FORGIVING…He is JUST… He is RIGHTEOUS…He is SOVEREIGN…and He is OMNISCIENT. Today, we learn that He is OMNIPRESENT…the combination of two Latin words…OMNI…which means ALL…and PRASENS…which means present. What is omnipresence?
The ability to be everywhere at the same time.
A frustrated mother may tell her children, “I can’t be in two places at the once!” Well God can! God is everywhere simultaneously. Since He is omnipresent, nothing escapes His attention. He is a witness to every single act of every single one of His creatures everywhere on earth and everywhere in the universe at the same time…in the past, for now and for all time.
God is not sequential as His creatures are…He doesn’t do things in a linear sequence one after another. God rules simultaneously over all of human history…He does everything at the same time…He is the ONLY real “multi-tasker” in the universe. He is not bound by physical limitations nor is He constrained by time. God’s whole being is fully present in every single place throughout space.
King David reflects on God’s OMNIPRESENCE in Psalm 139, Verses 7 to 12…
PSALM 139:7 Lord, where can I go to escape from Your Spirit? Or where can I go to flee from Your presence?
PSALM 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there…if I make my bed in Sheol (an Old Testament term for Hades)…behold, You are there.
PSALM 139:9 If I take the wings of the dawn (flying at the speed of light)…if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea…
PSALM 139:10 …even there Your hand will lead me…and Your right hand will lay hold of me.
PSALM 139:11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me…and the light around me will be night”…
PSALM 139:12 …yet even the darkness is not dark to You…and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
With God, there is nowhere to hide. Welcome to a place where through the study of the Word of God you can learn you are never alone because an OMNIPRESENT God is always with you.
The Lord says, “I am God…and there are no other gods.” In her song, Babbie Mason calls Him what He is… JESUS THE ONE AND ONLY.
MUSIC AND REFLECTION
Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Enjoy the Singing of His Praises
JESUS THE ONE AND ONLY
Let us pray...
We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…
Father…thank you for making us the kind of people You want us to be…thank you for helping us to see the value in the differences between us and others…thank you for showing us how to honor the journey of others… thank you for using the Word of God to renovate our thinking…
Help us to avoid taking the bible out of context and using it for our own agenda…instead, and in every way, show us how to be reflections of Your Word, especially to others, but even to ourselves.
…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Honoring God is Not Enough
Several years ago, a friend of mine was complaining about his wife’s fighting style. They are both believers in Christ. Whenever the subject of their fights shifted to money, his wife would invoke what my friend called “the God card.”
His wife was a “consumer.” My friend is a “saver.” She is a stay-at-home Mom, and she saw it as her job to spend her family’s money as fast as it came into the house. Well the word “consume” has an interesting definition…
To destroy…to expend by use…to use up…to devour…to spend wastefully.
My friend had a problem with his wife’s “consumption” of their income, and every time he wanted to have a civil conversation about it, his wife would pull out “the God card” … “God provides the money,” she would say.
Technically, his wife was right. God is the supplier of all our resources. God is the provider of the money. So I was stumped. I really did not know what to tell him. Well the Holy Spirit knew what to tell him, and the Spirit is always willing to use me as His spokesman. I told my friend, “Your wife is right. God provides the money. But it’s your ass that keeps getting on that plane to earn it, right?” My friend asked, “Do you have any biblical backup for that thought?” Unfortunately, I didn’t…at least not until now. J
We continue our study of the first four verses of Romans, Chapter 14…
ROMANS 14:1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith…but not for the purpose of passing
judgment on his opinions (his viewpoint concerning things).
ROMANS 14:2 One person has faith that he may eat all things (anything)…but the one who is weak eats vegetables only.
ROMANS 14:3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat… and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats…for God has accepted him.
ROMANS 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master a servant stands or falls…and the servant will stand…for the Lord is able to make him stand.
My friend’s wife was resting behind Romans, Chapter 14, Verse 4. Taking this verse out of context, my friend’s wife was saying that she is only accountable to God, and has no requirement to listen to her husband. Is she right? If we look at this issue from God’s eyes…and that’s what makes us different here at Barah Ministries…we’re looking at things from behind God’s eyes…is my friend’s wife only accountable to God?
Romans, Chapter 14 identifies two categories of believers in Christ…The Weak and The Strong. Believers in Christ have differing levels of maturity. In this passage, Paul is addressing maturity with the believers at first century Rome. There is no value judgment intended in his assessment…just the facts. God created The Weak Believer and The Strong Believer, and He clearly does not want there to be divisions. Rather, the Lord wants unity of the weak and the strong.
How should we treat each other when there are differences? Differences certainly exist in relationships, especially in marriage relationships between believers in Christ. There is a difference in how my friend and his wife value money. Moreover, there is a difference between how my friend and his wife value each other, although they would likely not think so. How would God see this issue if He were a marriage counselor?
It seems my friend’s wife is a weak believer, one in the category I call the “Cop Out” Christian. “Cop Out” Christians are saved…they’re going to heaven…they may even study the Word of God…yet they use the Word of God to advance their own agenda rather than God’s agenda.
My friend’s wife says that she only has to honor God. My friend asked if there is biblical backup to support her position. Jesus Christ is clear that honoring Him is not enough. Here’s a diagram that illustrates God’s viewpoint…
Matthew, Chapter 28, Verses 37 and 38 say…
MATTHEW 28:37 And Jesus said… “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…
and with all your soul…with all your mind…and with all your strength.’ This is the foremost commandment.”
MATTHEW 28:38 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself… unconditionally.’”
Clearly our God as marriage counselor would advise this couple to look at life from three dimensions simultaneously…our relationship with God…our relationship with self…and our relationship with others. If our decision in a matter violates any of theses three dimensions then it violates all of them. Honoring God onlyis not enough. It falls short of God’s desire for the Christian.
Not only must we honor God, but also we must value others and ourselves. We must honor where people are on their life journey. Yet we must also embrace it that there are weak believers who will always be weak because they choose not to be anything else. In a marriage this is a dilemma because you’re stuck with the person you picked. Often, marriage can feel like a trap when there is a one-on-one power struggle…instigated by the enemy of God, Satan…between married believers in Christ. Both sides want to win arguments at the other person’s expense.
Clearly God expects us to honor Him…yet simultaneously He expects us to honor ourselves and to honor others. In Matthew, Chapter 5, Verses 23 and 24, the Lord says…
MATTHEW 5:23 “Therefore…if you are presenting your offering at the altar…and at the altar you remember that your brother has something against you…”
MATTHEW 5:24 “…leave your offering there before the altar and go…first be reconciled to your brother…and then come and present your offering.”
In this Matthew passage, as in Romans 14, the Lord is dealing with wrong attitudes in personal relationships. It may be convenient for the “Cop Out” Christian to think that if they ignore reconciliation with their brothers that there is no consequence, but clearly the Lord thinks such conduct is a wrong attitude in relationships. Do you honor others and yourself as much as you honor God? We learn more about how to treat others next week as we continue our study of Romans, Chapter 14. Let’s take a five-minute break, and when we come back we’ll take the offering and we’ll celebrate The Lord’s Supper.
FIVE MINUTE BREAK
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Honoring God is Not Enough
When the rent is due…it’s nice to know we can count on you! Let’s welcome Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.
Deacon Denny Goodall
JOHN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word (THE LORD…GOD THE SON)…and the Word was with God THE FATHER…and the Word (THE LORD…GOD THE SON) was God (Deity).
JOHN 1:2 The Lord existed in the beginning with God the Father.
FLIGHT OF THE EAGLE
Dave McClure, Instrumental
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
At the Cross, the Lord Gave Us Hope in Our Hopelessness
Welcome to The Lord’s Supper Celebration, the most intimate expression of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ in The Christian Way of Living. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ demonstrates His desire for a deep, intimate and personal relationship with His believers by creating a way to keep on sharing His body and His blood with us, just as He did with His apostles on the night before His death. Luke, Chapter 22, Verses 14 to 16…
LUKE 22:14 When the hour had come (and His crucifixion was near)…the Lord Jesus Christ reclined at the Passover table…and the apostles reclined with Him.
LUKE 22:15 And the Lord said to the apostles, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer…”
LUKE 22:16 “…for I say to you I (the Lord Jesus Christ) shall never again eat this Passover meal until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God the Father.”
In First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 26, the apostle Paul says, on behalf of the Lord…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 11:26 …as often as you eat this bread (His body)…and as often as you drink this cup (His blood)…as part of the Lord’s Supper Celebration…you proclaim as a reality and you announce the significance of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross…and His resurrection from the dead…until He comes again at the second coming.
For non-resident congregation members, you are invited to join in the sharing of the communion elements with your resident congregation family. Get your own bread and your own cup and celebrate with us. We are one…we are in unity with each other…we are in fellowship with each other…so let’s break the bread and drink the cup together in grateful remembrance of our Lord. This is a celebration for which we set aside time. We don’t do it on the move. It is a happy time and a significant event in the Christian Way of Living.
During The Lord’s Supper Celebration, the Lord Jesus Christ wants His believers to look back to REMEMBER how He rescued us from the kingdom of darkness. He wants His believers to look back to REMEMBER His sacrifice…the shedding of His blood for us. The Lord Jesus Christ wants His believers to REMEMBER the deliverance He orchestrated, bringing us into His kingdom of light. The Lord wants His believers to look forward in ANTICIPATION of His coming again.
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION - At the Cross, the Lord Gave Us Hope in Our Hopelessness
As believers in Christ we ask ourselves…what did the Lord Jesus Christ do for us at the Cross? When I look back to the Cross I see a God who gave hope to the hopeless.
So why do believers in Christ act so hopeless? Why do we set “the bar” for our lives so low? Why don’t we believe our dreams will come true? Why don’t we dream more? Why don’t we ask for more? Why don’t we take more risks? Why do we play inside our self-created little boxes of comfort? Why don’t we get comfortable with things that are risky and uncomfortable? When our health is threatened, why do we always imagine the worst will happen? Why do we settle for the extra pounds as if we are powerless to lose weight? Why do we count on drugs and alcohol to get us through when we know they simply obscure the problems we refuse to face?
Believers in Christ have been asking these questions of themselves since the beginning of time. The Lord Jesus Christ, who went to the Cross to die for us, had an answer for His disciples…Matthew, Chapter 17, Verse 20…
MATTHEW 17:20 And the Lord Jesus Christ said to his disciples, “ (YOU CAN’T DO THINGS) BECAUSE OF THE LITTLENESS OF YOUR FAITH! For truly I say to you…if you have faith the size of a mustard seed…you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”
God’s enemy, Satan, has a powerful influence in our lives. We have a supernatural God who loves us unconditionally. We also have a supernatural enemy who hates us unequivocally…his hatred for us is clear and unambiguous…and he wants to destroy us.
Most people balk at the thought that they have enemies, even in the natural realm. Often, we are so self-focused and so oblivious to what is going on around us, that the idea of a human enemy is just too hard to grasp. It’s especially hard to grasp when it suggested that our enemies might be family members. How could anyone actually HATE sweet little old us? Well the thing about enemies is that they are deceptive like Satan. They don’t regularly announce their hatred for us. They simply work against us in the background.
Satan wants to destroy you, and one of the ways he does it is by destroying your hope. For example, He obliterates the Word of God in your soul… In Mark, Chapter 4, Verses 15, the Lord interprets a parable from earlier in the chapter…
MARK 4:15 These are the people who are beside the road where the Word of God is sown…and when they hear the Word, immediately Satan comes and takes away the Word which has been sown in them.
Satan tempts us with the pseudo-pleasures of life…fake pleasures that ALWAYS lead to real pain. The sad thing is we WILLINGLY fall into his traps over and over again rather than taking the advice of Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 11…
EPHESIANS 6:11 Pick up and put on the full armor of God…so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Yet when we look at the Cross, it is obvious there is no need for hopelessness, even in the face of opposition, because nothing is impossible to believers in Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ paved the way for us to have an amazing life, even as He hung from the Cross.
Satan offers us the allure of sin, which leads to death and hopelessness. Sin has a bitter penalty…DEATH…and all things connected to sin end badly. Sin requires atonement. What is atonement?
To make amends for a wrong…the restoration to favor.
Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to atone for ourselves. We can’t redeem ourselves…we can’t right the wrongs of our past. Knowing this, the Lord made atonement on our behalf. First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3 For I (Paul) delivered to you (believers in Christ) as of first importance what I also received…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4 …and He was buried…and He was raised from the dead on the third day…
Christ’s death on the Cross made amends to God the Father for our sin, and fostered reconciliation between the Creator and His creatures. Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 11…
ROMANS 5:11 And not only this, but we also exult in God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation (atonement).
Sin is an abuse of freedom. It’s a misuse of God’s gift of free will to us. Hopelessness results when we use our free will against ourselves.
When we look back at the Cross, we see hope. All the Old Testament references to atonement referred to an innocent animal shedding blood to pay for sins…Leviticus, Chapter 16, Verse 27…
LEVITICUS 16:27 But the bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall be taken outside the camp, and they shall burn their hides, their flesh, and their refuse in the fire.
We can’t atone for our own sin. The shed blood of “the innocent” … the Lord Jesus Christ … is what gave hope to the hopeless. His work at the Cross was “red” with blood … and it turned us “white” with righteousness. His blood gave us the chance to have absolute righteousness credited to our account, the admission ticket to heaven. Hebrews, Chapter 9, Verse 22…
HEBREWS 9:22 And according to the Mosaic Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
How can the hopelessness in us be turned to hope? Matthew, Chapter 19, Verse 26…
MATTHEW 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible… but with God all things are possible.”
Because we were born in a state of sin we die spiritually. Because we commit personal sins, executed by our flesh, our bodies…this body of corruption we walk around in…must die. God the Father’s righteousness and justice demand that the penalty of sin be paid. Knowing our hopelessness, our inability to pay for our own sin, God the Father sent His Son to pay the price of sin for us…Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 8…
ROMANS 5:8 But God the Father demonstrates His own unconditional love toward us…in that while we were yet sinners (as ungodly, unrighteous unbelievers)… Christ died instead of us.
When a righteous God sees the best in us while we were sinners…the time in our lives when we are at our worst…believing in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves…and when He sees fit to allow a supernatural enemy to edify us with pain and suffering and tribulation…yet He will not allow us to be hurled headlong…we must rise up from our knees of hopelessness…we must look up to the sky in prayer…therefore, we have hope as our eyes look to the Cross and to the heavens where our power resides in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 24…
ROMANS 8:24 For in hope we have been saved…but hope that is seen is not hope…for who hopes for what he already sees?
The hope we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through His work on the Cross, tells us that no matter how many mistakes we make in this life, He will always deliver us to victory. He alone is our hope…even when we are hopeless…and the Cross is a constant reminder of an unchangeable and guaranteed reality…we win with Christ.
Once a month, through the Lord’s Supper, the Lord reminds the whole world
it can be saved. He finished our salvation! He paid for it in full! He gave hope to the hopeless.
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
Enjoying the Elements
Obeying God’s command, we keep on celebrating CHRIST and His Cross
on a regular basis. We eat to remember who He is as a PERSON. We drink to remember His WORK on the Cross…the voluntary sacrifice He made to deliver us. We remember with gratitude what God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have done to save us. Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 26 to 28…
MATTHEW 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take…eat…this is My body (which is being broken for you).”
MATTHEW 26:27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you…”
MATTHEW 26:28 “…for this is My blood…the blood of a new testament (a new covenant)… blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of their sins.”
As you enjoy the bread and the cup, REMEMBER the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us keep on giving thanks that we are loved unconditionally and we are accepted fully by a Lord who is always there for us…the One on whom we depend. Let’s keep on being transformed by His life…His death…His resurrection from the dead…and His Word.
On the day of the Lord’s Crucifixion, all seemed hopeless. Yet the Lord rose from the dead three days later to win the strategic victory in the Creator-creature conflict. He gave us hope FOREVER…let’s hear Kari Jobe sing about it.
LORD’S SUPPER SONG
GOD WANTS YOU!
Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life
The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of 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.
After hearing these opening comments, an atheist would say, “There is no god. God doesn’t exist.” The bible has a different view. The apostle John makes the function of the bible clear…John, Chapter 20, Verses 31…
JOHN 20:31 …but these things written here (in the bible) have been written here 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.
Philosopher Blaise Pascal, in what has come to be known as “Pascal’s Wager,” says that human beings bet with their lives that God either exists or He does not. Pascal is right. Atheists would do well to at least consider what the bible has to say. Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23 says…
ROMANS 3:23 …for all creatures have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10…
ROMANS 3:10 …as it is written “There is no creature who is righteous, not even one…”
Since atheists are created creatures, created human beings, they would do well to be curious about exactly what the bible is proposing. First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22…
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…
That’s horrible news for an atheist! The good news is that the Lord has an interesting attitude toward ALL of His creatures…even those who think there is no god. Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9…
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 (including atheists)…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).
The bible claims that God exists, and He lives in heaven. How can you get to heaven? If you’re an atheist, and you think Pascal was right, then there is no downside to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Right where you sit, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you. 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.”
Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is an atheist’s acknowledgement that if there is a God, it might be smart to place faith in Him. John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…
JOHN 14:6 Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”
No creature can do a thing to get to heaven on his own. Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…
ROMANS 11:6 But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer on the basis of works…otherwise grace is no longer grace.
God’s grace makes your salvation a free gift to you…if you have to work for a gift then the work makes you deserve the gift. In salvation, there is no way for you to impress God enough that He would allow you to save yourself. It’s very wise to let God save you, because once God does something He never changes His mind. 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.”
The apostle Peter reminds us of the words of Old Testament prophet Joel in Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 21…
ACTS 2:21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.’
If you’re an atheist, I encourage you to keep investigating to see if you’re right that there is no god. And if you’re not right, and you think there may be a God, there’s plenty of room for you in heaven!
Here’s June Murphy to tell you about God’s attitude toward atheists and unbelievers…LOVE…a song sung from God’s perspective…WHEN I SAY I LOVE YOU.
WHEN I SAY I LOVE YOU
Let us pray...
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