(#479) Romans 15 - God is calling His Believers to Serve.
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Welcome to Barah Ministries… a small, intimate, and local Christian Church with worldwide impact. My name is Pastor Rory Clark. At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God, and at Barah Ministries we make a difference by teaching God’s Word from His perspective, and not from man’s perspective…because how our God sees things is very different from how we see things.
In today’s lesson, you’ll hear the gospel message…the good news concerning what the Lord Jesus Christ did for you at the Cross…and just as we do every month, we’ll celebrate The Lord’s Supper…At the Cross, the Lord Taught Us the Power of our Union with Him...we’ll hear Deacon Denny Goodall’s message as we take the offering…and we’ll finish up our study of Romans, Chapter 15. Welcome to a place where you can grow your spiritual life through the study of the Word of God.
THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
GOD WANTS YOU!
Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life
The opening moments of our study today 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 is going to happen to you when you close your eyes in this life? Will you go to heaven or will you go to hell?
Many think the key to getting to heaven is to be a “good person.” According to this standard, a “bad person” goes to hell. The bible obliterates this delusion. Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23 says…
…all creatures have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
The bible says we’re all “bad people!” Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10…
…it is written, “There is no creature who is righteous, not even one…”
First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22 says…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22a
…all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human being) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…
This not your fault, but it is your circumstance.
The good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ did something about the problem because He doesn’t want anyone to go to The Lake of Fire… Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9 says…
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 unbelievers…not wishing for any to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all to come to repentance (which is a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).
The Lord provides human beings with the bible, the Word of God…the exact thinking of Jesus Christ…to illuminate the path to heaven…John, Chapter 20, Verses 30 and 31…
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book (the bible)…
…but these things written here 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.
How can you get to heaven?
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 says…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”
Who is the God that saves you? The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3
For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance what I also received… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4
…and that He was buried (confirming His death)…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day (confirming His resurrection)…according to the Scriptures…
Believing in Jesus Christ is your acknowledgment that you can’t do a thing
to get to heaven on your own. Being a “good person” does not get you to heaven. You can’t work your way into heaven. Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…
But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer based on your works…otherwise, grace is no longer grace.
If you have to work for a gift then the work makes you deserve the gift. In salvation, there is no work you could do that is impressive to God. The Lord would never allow you to save yourself! The one way…the ONLY way to get to heaven is through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ…John, Chapter 14, Verse 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.”
It’s wise to let God save you because once God does something, He never changes His mind. So, heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 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.”
Are you ready to join me in heaven when you close your eyes in this life?
As believers in Christ we are never discouraged for long if we go to the Word of God when we’re down. Deuteronomy, Chapter 31, Verse 8 says…
“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you…He will be with you…He will not fail you or forsake you…so not fear or be dismayed.”
Here’s For King and Countryto express that sentiment in their song SHOULDERS.
MUSIC AND REFLECTION
Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Enjoy the Singing of His Praises
For King & Country
Let us pray...
We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…
Father thank you for placing us into union with your Son, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…let that amazing gift bear fruit in every situation you put us in…
…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
At the Cross, the Lord Taught Us the Power of Our Union with Him
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…
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.
And the Lord said to the apostles, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer … ”
“…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 (representing His body)…and as often as you drink this cup (representing 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 in unity with one 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. This 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 for a moment to REMEMBER how He rescued us from the kingdom of darkness. The Lord wants us to REMEMBER His sacrifice…how He shed His blood to cover our sins. The Lord Jesus Christ wants us to REMEMBER the deliverance to the resurrection life He orchestrated, bringing us into His kingdom of light. Most of all, the Lord wants His believers to look forward with ANTICIPATION that He is coming again.
As believers in Christ, when we celebrate The Lord’s Supper we ask ourselves in reflection, “What did the Lord Jesus Christ do for us at the Cross?”
At the Cross, the Lord Taught Us the Power of Our Union with Him.
EN KRISTO IESU
Those are the words in Greek.
IN CHRIST JESUS…or said another way…IN UNION WITH CHRIST JESUS.
As amazing as His work at the Cross was, even more amazing, in fact MOST AMAZING is that the Lord, with God the Father’s permission, let God the Holy Spirit place us into union with Christ at the moment of salvation…EN KRISTO IESU. It’s called the baptism of the Spirit…the one and ONLY legitimate baptism.
Some of you may have experience with cards…I do…I grew up playing cards with my Mom and her friends…a game called BID WHIST. In the game, there is one suit that is the trump suit. A player holding most of the cards in the trump suit has a tremendous advantage over other players. The trump is the ultimate suit or the ultimate card…the one above all others.
Being in union with Christ even trumps the Cross!
The fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden was a disaster in God’s eyes. Don’t get me wrong…He is omniscient…Adam’s fall didn’t surprise the Lord… but it was never what He intended for Adam or for any of His creatures. As a result of Adam’s fall, we were born with a problem …spiritual death. Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 1…
And (at physical birth) you were spiritually dead in your trespasses and
There is no way the Lord Jesus Christ would allow His creatures to be dead. He went to the Cross to give them a chance at life. First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22
For just as in union with Adam all die spiritually…so also in union with Christ all will be made spiritually alive.
EN KRISTO IESU
By placing us into union with Himself, the Lord assured us that we would never fall again. Being in union with Christ is the believer’s trump card. Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 1…
…there is now no condemnation for those who are IN UNION WITH CHRIST JESUS.
First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verse 17…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 6:17
But the one who joins himself to the Lord (EN KRISTO IESU) is one spirit with the Lord.
Galatians, Chapter 2, Verse 20…
I have been crucified with Christ…and it is no longer I who live…but Christ lives indwelling me…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God…who loved me unconditionally and who gave Himself up (as a sacrifice) for me.
Ephesians, Chapter 1, Verses 3 and 4…
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN UNION WITH CHRIST…
…just as God the Father chose us believers to be IN UNION WITH CHRIST before the foundation of the world…so that we would be holy and blameless before the Father…
Being in union with Christ is being in union with LIFE.
Your spiritual life is just that…LIFE! The spiritual life is a manifestation of our life in union with Christ. The spiritual life is alive. The spiritual life is powerful. The spiritual life is living. The spiritual life is active. The spiritual life is sharp. The spiritual life is a fellowship through the power and the agency of God the Holy Spirit. The spiritual life is not stale…the spiritual life is not stagnant…the spiritual life is not fixed. The spiritual life is fluid. The spiritual life is ever-changing. The spiritual life is ever- growing. Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 18…
SECOND PETER 3:18
…grow in the sphere of grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Believers in Christ are in union with Christ…placed there by God the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Spirit. And that which an immutable, unchanging God the Holy Spirit does, no man…no mereman…can undo. It is the ultimate in stale and stagnant thinking…it is absolute blasphemy…to ever suggest that a believer in Christ could ever be removed from fellowship with Christ by any means. To be out of fellowship with Christ is to have no relationship with Christ. Those who do not have a relationship with Christ are destined for the Lake of Fire. A person who would suggest that a believer in Christ could lose his fellowship with God, especially by sinning, has no idea who God is, and has no idea what unconditional love is, and has no idea what really happened at the Cross.
Satan, the enemy of God, does everything in his power to obscure the fact that believers are in union with Christ. He wants us to think about everything but that. Why? Because through Adam, man fell. And Christ, at the Cross, solved that problem forever by offering union with Himself. Once we are in union with Christ, by believing in Christ, we are untouchable for all eternity. Nothing can harm us. Nothing can blemish us. Nothing can stain us. Nothing can ruin our perfection.
So whenever you are under attack from the kingdom of death and darkness, just pull your trump card…EN KRISTO IESU. When I look back to the Cross during the Lord’s Supper Celebration, I see a God who made us powerful by placing us into union with Himself.
Godspell put it this way…in a very simple song…day by day…day by day…oh dear Lord…three things I pray…to see thee more clearly…to love thee more dearly…to follow thee more nearly…day by day.
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
Enjoying the Elements
Obeying God’s command, we keep on celebrating Christ and His Cross regularly. 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…
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).”
And when He 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 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 burial…His resurrection from the dead…and His Word.
At the Cross, the Lord gave us another thing…RESURRECTION POWER…here’s Chris Tomlin to sing about it.
LORD’S SUPPER SONG
When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take the offering and then we’ll complete our study of Romans, Chapter 15.
FIVE MINUTE BREAK
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
God is Calling His Believers to Serve
There are many things God requests from us, and one of them is generosity. Second Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 10 says…
SECOND CORINTHIANS 9:10
Now God the Father, who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will both supply AND multiply your seed for sowing…and He will increase the harvest (rewards and blessings) for your righteousness (generous giving)…
Do you have faith in the one who provides your seed? Your giving reflects your faith. You can afford to be generous because God supplies what you should give and He replenishes your generosity in abundance.
Let’s welcome Deacon Denny Goodall with today’s offering message.
Deacon Denny Goodall
For you have need of endurance…so that when you have done the will of God…you may receive what was promised.
SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
God is Calling His Believers to Serve
Deep down in the places we don’t talk about at parties, every one of us would like to think that our time here on earth is significant. We want to KNOW that WE are significant…that our lives mean something. I have spent the last moments on earth with many people in my lifetime…I come from a big family, and most of them are dead now…I just talked to the oldest member of my family the other day to warn him that no matter how long he lives, I’m going to beat it! I have seen many people experience the desperation of taking their last breath here on earth. Their faces are vivid to me now…remembering the struggle that breathing held for them in those last moments as I watched the life drain from their mortal bodies. I have visited many cemeteries. I have quietly wondered the significance of the people whose remains rest under headstones.
I certainly want to make a difference with every person I meet, one person at a time. I want people to look at me and to remember that I helped them, especially with their spiritual lives. I want them to look at me and see Christ reflected through me. That is how I experience significance. I want to make a difference for Christ.
In union with Christ, we believers in Christ are significant. God has called us to the privilege of service…He has equipped us with the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit…He has armed us with prayer…He edifies us with His Word…and now He wants us to GO!...baptizing all the nations in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. He wants us to make a difference with our lives, especially in the lives of others.
We don’t make a difference because we have talent…we don’t make a difference because we have money…we don’t make a difference because we are attractive…we don’t make a difference because of the things we own…we don’t make a difference because of the influential friends we have…we don’t make a difference because of the jobs we hold… we don’t make a difference because we are masters of Gloria Gainer’s song…I WILL SURVIVE! The gifts we have from God were never intended to give us significance, and they certainly weren’t given to us because He wanted us to merely survive. God wants us to thrive!
In Romans, Chapter 15, Verses 20 to 33, the apostle Paul is not only closing a chapter…but also, he is reflecting on his entire letter to the church in first- century Rome…indeed he is even reflecting on the significance of his life up to that point. Let’s take this final journey with him…
And I aspired to preach the gospel…not where Christ was already known so that I would not build on another man’s foundation (of preaching the gospel)…
…but as it is written, “They who had no news of Jesus Christ shall see…and they who have not heard of Jesus Christ shall understand.”
It is the job of every Christian to bring the good news of the gospel message, the good news about the significance of the life of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to all places…especially to the places where it has not been heard. We go to them…they do not come to us.
For this reason (meaning my hard work in preaching the gospel) I (Paul) have been prevented many times from coming to you (in Rome)…
Paul was too busy…
…but now, with no further place for me (to preach) in these regions (no virgin territory)…and since I have for many years had a longing to come to you…
…whenever I go to Spain (an unevangelized Roman colony…virgin territory for Paul, a Roman citizen)—I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while—
Literally…after I have gotten my fill of your company…after I’m am filled up with all the fullness of your company. Paul wants their help as well… moral support by means of prayer…people to go with him…and money… giving isn’t free. Yet there was something to do first…
…but right now, I am going to Jerusalem in service to the (poverty-stricken Jewish) saints there (to take them a love-gift of money).
For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make an offering for the poor among the (Jewish) saints in Jerusalem.
Yes, the churches at Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to give an offering voluntarily…AND they are indebted to the impoverished Jewish saints in Jerusalem. For if the Gentiles have shared inthe Jewish spiritual things… and they did…the Gentiles are indebted to minister to the Jewish saints also in material things.
Therefore, when I have finished this…and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs…I will go on by way of you (in Rome) to Spain.
Paul has a confident expectation of a positive result. He sees himself as the star in his own movie. He knows that God will endorse His visit.
I know that when I come to you…I will be coming in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the unconditional love from the source of God the Holy Spirit…to AGONIZE together with me in your intercessory prayers to God the Father for me…
…that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea (Jewish unbelievers who want to kill me)… and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints…
…so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God the Father and find refreshing rest in your company.
Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
We are significant as believers in Christ when we develop a ministry for the benefit of others. You’ve heard me talking about this building we want to build. We own the land…we have the architectural plans…we are learning how to seek grants to help us build the facility…and I know the resources must be close because we are starting to experience discouraging things that have me questioning whether we should even do it. It’s the surest sign that we are on the right course.
We are getting kicked out of our current facility. It’s a challenge finding a new place to house the ministry. We need more people to make the ministries a reality after the facility is built.
When we think about our local community…Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona…it’s easy to see that Mesa would be a fruitful ground for our ministry. Many broken people live there. But the beautiful people live in Chandler and Gilbert (of course me among them…J). God has made it clear to me that there is a desperate need for Barah Ministries in this community…and He has encouraged me not to be fooled by appearances.
What’s the challenge of developing a ministry? Galatians, Chapter 6, Verse 9 highlights it…
Let us not lose heart in doing good…for in due time (at the proper time) we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Your ministry is your unique course…something you are passionate about…something you think about incessantly…your unique contribution to mankind. Your ministry is your chance for significance.
Many of us have given up hope. Many of us have quit. Many of us no longer dream. Satan, the deceptive thief, is successful in stealing from us. We are designed by God to endure in the face of adversity. Philippians, Chapter 3, Verses 12 to 14…
Not that I (Paul) have already obtained spiritual maturity or that I have already become perfect…but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I (Paul) do not regard myself as having laid hold of spiritual maturity yet; but one thing I do…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead…
I (Paul) press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I encourage us not to lose hope. As we exit this life, I want it to be our experience for being together that we can say…as Paul says in Second Timothy, Chapter 4, Verses 7 and 8…
SECOND TIMOTHY 4:7
I have fought the good fight…I have finished the course…I have kept the faith…
SECOND TIMOTHY 4:8
…in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day…and not only to me…but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Evangelism is a form of giving. We are at our best as people…we feel the most significance …when we are giving. We are never at our best when we are just sitting around. People who are successful in this life are spent and tired, yet they are pressing on.
I have wired up my life to not depend on people. Yet as I get older, I must depend all the more. It’s virgin territory for me. We live in a world that is not our home…as Laura Story says in her song BLESSINGS…the pain (of living here on earth) reminds this heart…that this is not our home… Philippians, Chapter 3, Verse 20…
For our citizenship is in heaven…from which heaven also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…
So, we press on…we pray on…we take Paul’s advice and we enjoy the fullness of each other’s company…we tighten the circle…we don’t let the devil in…we don’t let him have his way with us…and we remember that in union with Christ we are significant. Let’s make ourselves matter to everyone we meet…one person at a time.
God is like He wants us to be…He doesn’t want us to talk about loving others…He wants us to do it…as June highlights in the closing song… DEOMSNTRATED LOVE.
Let us pray...
Thanks for coming!
Thanks for watching!
Thanks for listening!