Romans is Paul's most famous letter. It has deep theology, raw descriptions about our struggles with sin, evangelistic clarity that we call the Roman Road, and lots and lots of quotable passages. But overall, and maybe most importantly, it simply talks about the power of the Gospel … not simply the facts and theology of the gospel, but Paul's words in Romans emphasize just how much we need the power of God right next to us.
1. Was Paul a Humble Guy?
In the introductory paragraphs of Romans, Paul uses these first words to set a tone and thesis for the whole book … simply, it is the humble person who finds the truth and power of the Gospel.
July 4, 2021 |
2. Lists of Sins (Handle with Care)
There are a lot of "sin lists" in the Bible. You may know them as the "thou shalt not" scriptures. Many times, people will weaponize these lists to condemn others, to feel superior, and to win arguments. But in doing so, they mishandle that list from Romans Chapter 1 in a way that Paul clearly condemns in Romans Chapter 2.
The ways we handle scripture is important. Today I want to help you see a couple of ways that prideful attitudes can cause well-meaning people to fumble the messages of God.
July 11, 2021 |
3. What if Church were a Karate School?
Paul's writing in Romans can be confusing. He uses words that are often unfamiliar, and he is describing religious attitudes that we've never encountered.
So I wondered ... what kind of analogy might help us to better understand what Paul is saying? Maybe I could compare the church to a karate dojo, and illustrate how karate belts represented aspects of our knowledge and maturity with God. And that's what I'm doing this week.
July 18, 2021 |
4. Faith without Healing
Some might say, "You need strong faith to be healed." But, Paul asks, "Do you have strong faith when you are not healed?"
July 25, 2021 |
5. Do You Hear What I Hear?
Learning in a church isn't simply information transfer, as if we are all in a school adding this week's lesson to our collection of Christian knowledge. True "learning" happens as God reveals His wisdom and His will to hearts that are ready to be changed by it ... and then we change.
Though there are thousands of potential things to be learned from Scripture, God uses teachers and preachers to communicate that which is needed within the community. But, even then, maybe you absorb the lesson this week and I absorb next week's lesson. Maybe we don't grow at the same pace, or in the same way, but if we have faith then we will indeed be changing.
August 1, 2021 |
6. The Two Metro Lines To Pleasing God
We all want to please God, but did you realize that people take one of two approaches? One of those approaches will lead to success, and the other will get you lost.
Paul talks about this in Romans 7. The first approach is trying our best to learn everything and then be perfectly obedient to God - a self-willed, forced obedience. This approach always fails, because we are bound to make a mistake. The second approach is to pursue faith and Jesus, which will lead to natural wisdom and empowered obedience.
This message helps you to understand which path you might be pursuing, and hopefully encourage you to get on the right path.
August 22, 2021 |
7. Is the Spirit in Me?
A primary teaching of the New Testament is that the Holy Spirit will indwell in the life of a Christian, and the church widely describes "spiritual gifts" as the litmus test for knowing whether or not the Spirit is actually within someone. However, this can be misleading because spiritual gifts are often misunderstood as we confuse natural abilities with spiritual gifts. Just because one can teach doesn't mean it is a spiritual gift ... just because someone speaks on tongues, doesn't mean it is a spiritual gift.
Paul gives us another litmus test in Romans 8. He tells us that when the Spirit is in us, our hopes & dreams change ... and thus our prayers change. Our prayers are no longer a list of "gimme these things I want", like we are sitting on the lap of Santa Claus. Instead, we want God's mysterious will, we stop talking, the Spirit prays for us, and we begin to receive God's will.
August 29, 2021 |
8. Success with the world is not success with God.
If God is for us, then what can succeed against us? Nothing. This is the key message of Romans 8:31-39 In that passage, Paul mentions examples of tribulations that people face, and encourages God's chosen that they will find success.
But what success? Will God protect, preserve, restore, etc. whatever we have in the world that is threatened and perhaps lost? No. You see, the hope of a Christian is not the health and trinkets and comfort in the world. Our hope is God. So, we are successful because God has not abandoned us in a difficult time - so we do not despair, and we continue to give God praise in the suffering.
September 5, 2021 |
m. Orange Line, Dunn Loring - Merrifield Station a. 2500 Gallows Road (lower level), Dunn Loring VA 22027 p. 703.204.9549 g.