The Amazement of No Condemnation ABF Lesson

Faith Church September 22, 2007 Romans 8:1-3

 

Introduction:

-  We’re continuing our series this week in our Worship Service:  Reaching New Heights in our Ability to Grow!

- we're continuing our study of Romans in the worship service with the goal to further APPLY the subject to our lives as an ABF, as families, as individuals!

- we hope this will give you an opportunity to ask questions in response to the various passages we're studying:

- it also gives us time to think through more specific application to our lives

1. Remember, a key principle we've always tried to follow:  We meet people where they are, but then we help them take the next spiritual step!

- i.e. we expect people to be growing and changing – that’s the NORM, not the exception!

* Our Key Verse in this type of thinking is based on:

  • NAB Psalm 40:2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

- footsteps implies progress . . . we’re moving, we’re making progress along the way

* Key Principle: Either you are growing or you’re not growing!

Q: What is one of the KEY CHARACTERISTICS of Christianity that we’ve emphasized?

2.  Christianity is a religion of ACTION! --  God wants us to DO something with our faith!

3.  This whole process is called:  Progressive Sanctification = the doctrine of spiritual growth

4.  The *Focus last week:  The Power of Authenticity! – being genuine and ready to acknowledge your weakness, or areas where you struggle spiritually but you keep trying to grow!

#1:  Believers Experience Spiritual Struggles.

- we saw other examples recorded in the Scriptures where people knew the Lord but they still struggled spiritually in their life?

- we also stressed some key passages we can focus on when we are struggling spiritually? Ex:

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

- but the most important point, as is the case every time we study the Word… 

#2:  What Do We Need to DO as a Result of This Truth?  - what does God want us to DO??

- we studied a few action steps we need to take:

A. Get the log out of your eye first, quickly, and thoroughly!

B. Don’t expect others to be perfect.

C. Keep your focus on growing, not being perfect!

D. Don’t live in Gen. 3 – instead, live in 1 John 1 (walking in the light)

walking in the light = to have an open attitude toward the exposure of my sin!

E. Let your life reflect your faith in Christ!

F. Remember the ‘one another’s’ of the NT [give 2-3 examples]

G. Practice the spiritual disciplines.

- today, we turn our attention to Romans 8:  The Amazement of No Condemnation -  read 8:1-3

* Three steps to achieve amazement that followers of Christ no longer face condemnation.

I.  Understand Why the Words “No Condemnation” Should Be Such a Delight to Us!

- one of the statements that our former Senior Pastor, Bill Goode, used to make was this:

“People don’t change until they see the magnitude of their sin!”

- i.e. as long as we have the view, “I’m not that bad”, we’re focusing more on our pride and self-righteousness than on humility and repentance!

- the fact is, God has shown us more grace than we can imagine

> and one of the reasons we don’t ‘get that’ is because we don’t see the magnitude of our sin and what we DESERVE from the perspective of a holy God

  • Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

- one of the problems in our spiritual lives it coming to grip with the MAGNITUDE OF OUR SIN . . . and then seeing how God in His grace DELIVERED us from His wrath:

- in order to do this and really try to grasp the seriousness (and/or evidence of our ‘condemnation’) lets do a quick overview of biblical history

- I want to remind you of Paul’s words:

  • Romans 5:17-18 - For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

Input: What are some examples in biblical history that reveal the sinfulness of our hearts and would merit God’s condemnation: [various answers – try to do these in chronological order to some degree]

  • Starts with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3)
  • Cain murders Abel (Gen. 4)
  • Wickedness of man’s heart, therefore the flood (Gen. 6,7,8,9)
  • Rebellion at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11)
  • Abraham lying about Sarah (saying she was his sister)
  • Jacob deceiving his father to get the blessing
  • The sons of Jacob treating Joseph the way they did
  • After Israel released from Egypt – they complained (40 yrs of consequences) [Exodus]
  • After Jericho, the acceptance of false gods/idols (Joshua)
  • Some good kings, some bad kings (1 Samuel – 1 Chronicles)
  • The rejection of the Messiah and the crucifixion (response of the disciples)
  • The persecution of the church
  • The problems at the church at Corinth and other NT examples
  • The final rebellion of man during the millennium!

- you might be thinking, ‘well, that was true of them . . . it’s not true of me!” (WRONG!)

- think about Paul’s words:

  • Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
  • Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God

Point: To fully understand/appreciate the blessings of the words “no condemnation”, we need to acknowledge the magnitude of our sin (to realize what we have been forgiven of!)

- Paul also says this...

II. Recognize How the Words “No Condemnation” Were Made Possible.

- verse 3 is a wonderful summary of the essence of the gospel...

  • Romans 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

- these great words were not made possible...

A. The purpose of the law = to reveal our sin!

- the law simply points out that fact that we CAN’T obey it!

- the law is weak, it’s not able to accomplish redemption . . . it only reveals WHY redemption is necessary!

- the words “no condemnation” are only possible because of . . .

B. The Gospel:  Death, Burial, Resurrection.

- maybe we should focus more on the following verses:

  • John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
  • Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

- think about this verse that Paul wrote to Titus:

  • Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

- if we truly are rejoicing in that truth, then what’s the next question?

III.  How should this truth that there is no condemnation between us and God impact our Lives?

A.  Personally thankful and willing to share your faith with others!

- seriously, when is the last time you have shared this truth with someone?

Q: Is Matthew 28:19-20 only for the ‘missionaries’ or is it for ALL of us?

- remember, we are His ambassadors – if we don’t take the message, who will:

>  A friend of mine said to me:  If not me, then who? If not now, then when?

B.  Good works as a RESULT of salvation!

- just like Paul’s words to Titus, you have consider Paul’s words to the Ephesians:

  • Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Q: What are you doing to serve the Lord and reveal your salvation?

IMPORTANT: List some of the ways to serve in FCC, Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, MOPS, Nursery, Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, etc.!

C. Be quick to admit you are wrong, ask forgiveness, and seek to change/grow!

- contrast the response to sin from those who recognize there is no condemnation and those who fail to remember that truth:

Those who remember the truth

Those who neglect the truth

   

E. Make our church a place of “no condemnation” of others.

Those who remember the truth

Those who neglect the truth

Very friendly

Remembers the one another passages

Humble

Thankful to God for His grace

Only reach out to the beautiful people

Show partiality to others

Pride/self righteousness

Faith Church