You Can Have Hope in Your Struggle

Dr. Steve Viars March 22, 2020 Romans 8:1-17
Outline

Psalm 61:1-2 - Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 119:49-52 - Remember the word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me...I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, and comfort myself.

Romans 7:15 - For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

Romans 7:19 - For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

3 gospel provisions that put feet to our desire to change

I. You Can Have Hope Because of God’s Amazing Verdict – vv. 1-4

A. The affirmation of the verdict

Romans 8:1 - Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

“no – ouketi – an emphatic negative adverb of time and carries the idea of complete cessation” (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 399)

“condemnation – katakrima - Although it relates to the sentencing for a crime, its primary focus is not so much on the verdict as on the penalty that the verdict demands. As Paul has already declared, the penalty, or condemnation, for sin is death (6:23). Paul here announces the marvelous good news that for Christians there will be no condemnation, neither sentencing nor punishment for the sins that believers have committed or will ever commit.” (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 399)

“What I found most interesting is that this word has a very small semantic range. It means to judge as guilty. This is not a term for ‘judging and we will find out’…you use this term (both noun and verb) when the verdict is obvious…guilty as charged.” (Pastor Rob Green)

“Although the Bible is a book offering the good news of salvation from sin, it is also a book that presents the bad news of condemnation for sin. No single book or collection of writings on earth proclaims so completely and vividly the totally desperate situation of man apart from God. The Bible reveals that, since the Fall, every human being has been born into the world with a sin nature. What David said of himself can be said of everyone: ‘Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me’ (Ps. 51:5, NIV). Earlier in his letter to the Romans, Paul declared, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:23). Because of that universal and innate sinfulness, all unbelievers are under God’s condemnation and are ‘by nature children of wrath’ (Eph. 2:3). Man is not simply influenced by sin but is completely overpowered by it, and no one can escape that dominance by his own effort. Sin is a defiling disease that corrupts every person, degrades every individual, disquiets every soul. It steals peace and joy from the heart and replaces them with trouble and pain. Sin is implanted in every human life, and its deadly force brings a universal depravity that no man can cure...Because of sin, all of humankind is born in bondage to pain, disease, and death. One of Job’s friends rightly observed that ‘Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward’ (Job 5:7). Because of sin, all the rest of ‘creation was subjected to futility [and]…groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now’ (Rom. 8:20, 22). Because of sin, fallen men are heirs of God’s judgment. ‘A certain terrifying expectation of judgment’ awaits all unregenerate sinners, ‘and the fury of a fire which will consume [God’s] adversaries’ (Heb. 10:27). The sinner who lives in unconcern apart from God does so as if he were Damocles at Dionysius’s banquet, with a sword hanging over his neck by a single horsehair, which at any moment could break and usher him into eternity…For at least three reasons, God is justified in His condemnation of sinners. First, He is justified because all men, through their lineage from Adam, share in the guilt of original sin and in the moral and spiritual depravity it produces. ‘For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one,’ Paul has already explained in this epistle, ‘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’ (Rom. 5:17–18). Second, God is justified in condemning sinners because every person is born with an evil nature. ‘Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,’ Paul reminded the Ephesian believers, ‘indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest’ (Eph. 2:3).Third, God is justified in condemning sinners because of the evil deeds their depraved natures inevitably produce. God ‘will render to every man according to his deeds: … to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation…’ (Rom. 2:6, 8).” (John MacArthur, Romans p. 395-396)

Romans 8:1 - Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

B. The basis of the verdict

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…

Matthew 26:39 - And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

C. The implication of the verdict

II. You Can Have Hope Because of God’s Powerful Spirit – vv. 5-13

A. You no longer have to walk in the flesh

In the Flesh

In the Spirit

• Walks according to the flesh

• Sets their minds on the things of the flesh

• Hostile toward God resulting in death

• Does not subject itself to the law of God

• Does not have the Spirit of Christ

• Does not belong to Christ

• Under obligation to the flesh

• Lives according to the flesh

• You must die

• Walks according to the Spirit

• Sets their minds on the things of the Spirit

• Is life and peace

• You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit

• The Spirit of God dwells in you

• Christ is in you

• Under obligation to the Spirit

• By the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the body

• You will live

B. You can, and must, learn to set your mind on the things of the Spirit

Romans 8:6 - For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…

“Whatever preoccupies the mind controls the life.” (Tim Keller, Romans 8-16, p. 19)

Colossians 3:2-3 - Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Matthew 6:25-34 - For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

C. In so doing, you will please God

Romans 8:8 - …and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:11 - But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

III. You Can Have Hope Because of God’s Marvelous Family

A. We can be called “the sons of God”

Romans 8:14 - For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Psalm 37:25 - I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.

B. We have something far better than slavery and fear

Romans 8:15 - For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’

“Abba is an informal Aramaic term for Father, connoting intimacy, tenderness, dependence, and complete lack of fear or anxiety. Modern English equivalents would be Daddy, or Papa. When Jesus was agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane as He was about to take upon Himself the sins of the world, He used that name of endearment, praying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt’ (Mark 14:36). When we are saved, our old sinful life is completely canceled in God’s eyes, and we have no more reason to fear sin or death, because Christ has conquered those two great enemies on our behalf. In Him we are given a new divine nature and become a true child, with all the attendant blessings, privileges, and inheritance. And until we see our Lord face-to-face, His own Holy Spirit will be a ceaseless witness to the authenticity of our adoption into the family of God. (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 437)

- most of us would say that we are struggling in multiple ways right now…

- it’s very healthy to be honest about that…for example, in one of my favorite Psalms, David prayed… Psalm 61:1–2 - Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

- many of us would say that we are struggling with worry…and trying to discern the balance between proper concern and preparation compared to sinful fear and worry…

- you might be worried about your health or the health of someone you love…

- as one of many, many examples I could give – Pastor Green’s 93-year-old grandmother is in the hospital right now with very serious physical challenges…

- when we see images coming out of some other countries in the world…we struggle to know how to respond…

- or you might be worried about your job…

- we’re so interdependent…and when one facet of the supply chain breaks down…the trickle-down effect is amazing…

- small business owners are facing incredible struggles…

- what do you do if your restaurant has been shut down…who would have even believed we would ask a question like that?...what would we do if the government closed restaurants, or schools, or churches…

- you might be worried about your finances…or our country’s economy…or your retirement…the list is long…

- and the challenge with worry is – it can very easily become a debilitating spiral that feeds on itself and becomes paralyzing…

- others might say you are struggling with newfound responsibilities…

- all of sudden parents are home with their school-age children and that’s not necessarily easy…

- someone posted on FB – 9:00 am – I now believe teachers should be paid a billion dollars a year…then 11:00 am – I now believe teachers should be paid a billion dollars a day…

- and for many parents…they are trying to juggle work responsibilities with the fact that their school-age children have to be at home and its very difficult if not next to impossible to make that work…

- think about the implication to single moms and the problems become complex very quickly…

- you might say you are struggling with new relational challenges…

- you might be very lonely right now – I know that I have a new appreciation for the joy of Sundays and being with our church family…

- I’ve been in some church, somewhere, practically every Lord’s Day since I became a Christian…

- being away from a church family for 2 Sundays in a row – I don’t know that that’s every happened in my entire life…and many others would say something similar…

- well, it appears that it’s going to be a whole lot more than 2…we miss people…

- others might say – yes, and then there’s the 2, or 3, or 5 people we’re locked up with under the same roof…

- I chuckled at one of our families – the Church’s – who have 15 children in their family…and they asked – now that we are not supposed to be around more than 10 people at a time…who do we vote out?...

- but let’s face it…being under the same roof and not being able to go to many places can create an entirely new set of relational challenges…

- you might be very disappointed these days…

- think about seniors who may not ever be able to do any of the typical activities we associate with this phase of life…no senior trip, no graduation, no TP’ing your teacher’s trees…[especially no TP’ing your teachers trees..] –– by the way…funny Pastor Good story…

- some of you have made the connection that before Pastor and Mrs. Goode served here, he pastored Grace Baptist Church in Gary…

- that means I was a little boy in his church…once when I was in about 5th-6th grade – I was riding in his car with him – and it was just the two of us – and he looked over at me and said, “So when are you going to stop TP’ing your neighbor’s trees”…I wish you could have seen the look on my face at that moment…it’s like, how in the world does he know that…and, what else does he know?...

- but there’s all sorts of reasons to be disappointed…consider someone who has a wedding planned for the next few weeks…or a vacation…or some other special event…

- is anyone struggling with anger?...

- the other day I was at Sam’s…because our staff needed…and I mean needed…some more Cheese Puffs…

- so, when I was putting this healthy, nutritious snack in the back of my Jeep, the woman next to me opened the door of her car and slammed it right into the side of mine…

- and I found myself unusually angry…and thank the Lord I caught myself before saying or yelling something I shouldn’t have…

- but when I sat down in the driver’s seat, I thought – wow, where did that come from?...

- so we’re all struggling…there’s no doubt about that and since God knows, we might as well acknowledge it as well…

- friends, I am here to announce some marvelous news…the Word of God promises us that You Can Have Hope in Your Struggle…

- with that in mind, please open your Bible to Romans chapter 8…we’re continuing our verse-by-verse study of this marvelous book in God’s Word…

- this is part of our annual theme of Celebrating God’s Truth…

- aren’t you glad that, in the sovereignty of God, we launched out on this study this particular year?...who would have thought we’d be facing days like these?...

- we can say with the Psalmist…Psalm 119:49–52 - Remember the word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me...I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, and comfort myself.

- now, I know what you’re thinking…and aren’t you glad that’s not just something pastors can do in person, but even over the internet…[and if you doubt that, just hearken back to Pastor Goode’s question…when are you going to stop TP’ing your neighbor’s trees?]…

- you’re wondering if we’re going to have some sort of quiz to help us think our way through the book thus far…and the answer is – yes we are…

- because the first word in Romans chapter 8 is “therefore”…pointing us back to the main ideas we’ve been learning from this great book thus far…

- and since so many people have been asking me for another quiz…I think I should serve them in that way, don’t you?...

- BTW, if you’re wondering – just how many people really asked him for another quiz…

- here’s how overwhelming it’s been – there’s not one person in this auditorium this morning who hasn’t asked me for one…just let that one settle in for a minute…

- now, we’ve going to do the same thing we did a couple of weeks ago…but since we’ve added a couple of weeks, it will fill the entire screen which means the tech guys will have to take me out of the picture…but I haven’t left to go get a doughnut…my sweet voice will be here guiding us through]…

Everyone is lost

The religious are lost

Introduction to the Gospel

Benefits of the Gospel

Christ’s righteousness is available to all

The moral are lost

The immoral are lost

Example of father Abraham

Our Union with Christ

Gospel Authenticity

- now please think about what we said in the Introduction…we’re all struggling in certain ways…and remember what we just saw last week about that last summary – gospel authenticity…

- Romans 7:15 - For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

- Romans 7:19 - For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

- here’s what we need to remember at this point – authenticity is not the end of the conversation…it’s the beginning…

- like a spouse who says…I really need to work on ________

- that’s well and good…but ultimately not very useful unless there’s follow through…that’s why the theme of chapter 8 is so encouraging…please go back to that list you were making in your heart and mind…and rejoice because…You Can Have Hope in Your Struggle…

- as I read, please be looking for 3 gospel provisions that put feet to our desire to change.

- read Romans 8:1-17

- so we’re talking about how You Can Have Hope in Your Struggle…and now let’s work our way through these great verses…looking for 3 gospel provisions that put feet to our desire to change.

I. You Can Have Hope because of God’s Amazing Verdict – vv. 1-4

- friends, I know times are very hard right now…but please pause and rejoice at…

A. The affirmation of the verdict

- Romans 8:1 - Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

- no – ouketi – an emphatic negative adverb of time and carries the idea of complete cessation (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 399).

- and what’s especially delicious about that – is the word it precedes…which is what?...

- condemnation – if there was ever a word in your life you could find a way to put a “no” in front of, that’s it…

- condemnation – katakrima - Although it relates to the sentencing for a crime, its primary focus is not so much on the verdict as on the penalty that the verdict demands. As Paul has already declared, the penalty, or condemnation, for sin is death (6:23). Paul here announces the marvelous good news that for Christians there will be no condemnation, neither sentencing nor punishment for the sins that believers have committed or will ever commit (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 399).

- Pastor Green – our resident Greek expert – did some research on this word for me, and I appreciated his comments…What I found most interesting is that this word has a very small semantic range. It means to judge as guilty. This is not a term for “judging and we will find out” … you use this term (both noun and verb) when the verdict is obvious … guilty as charged (Pastor Rob Green).

- now, I realize that part of the challenge is that many people in our world have very little place in their heart and mind for the concept of the wrath of God, or His condemnation…

- if you have access to this resource, I would encourage you to carefully read John MacArthur’s introduction to Romans 8 on pages 395 – 398 in the commentary I’ve already been referencing…

- in light of what is happening in our world right now – it is absolutely breathtaking…

- here’s just a few of the opening paragraphs…

Although the Bible is a book offering the good news of salvation from sin, it is also a book that presents the bad news of condemnation for sin. No single book or collection of writings on earth proclaims so completely and vividly the totally desperate situation of man apart from God.

The Bible reveals that, since the Fall, every human being has been born into the world with a sin nature. What David said of himself can be said of everyone: “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5, NIV). Earlier in his letter to the Romans, Paul declared, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Because of that universal and innate sinfulness, all unbelievers are under God’s condemnation and are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).

Man is not simply influenced by sin but is completely overpowered by it, and no one can escape that dominance by his own effort. Sin is a defiling disease that corrupts every person, degrades every individual, disquiets every soul. It steals peace and joy from the heart and replaces them with trouble and pain. Sin is implanted in every human life, and its deadly force brings a universal depravity that no man can cure...

Because of sin, all of humankind is born in bondage to pain, disease, and death. One of Job’s friends rightly observed that “Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). Because of sin, all the rest of “creation was subjected to futility [and] … groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now” (Rom. 8:20, 22).

Because of sin, fallen men are heirs of God’s judgment. “A certain terrifying expectation of judgment” awaits all unregenerate sinners, “and the fury of a fire which will consume [God’s] adversaries” (Heb. 10:27). The sinner who lives in unconcern apart from God does so as if he were Damocles at Dionysius’s banquet, with a sword hanging over his neck by a single horsehair, which at any moment could break and usher him into eternity…

For at least three reasons, God is justified in His condemnation of sinners. First, He is justified because all men, through their lineage from Adam, share in the guilt of original sin and in the moral and spiritual depravity it produces. “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one,” Paul has already explained in this epistle, “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” (Rom. 5:17–18).

Second, God is justified in condemning sinners because every person is born with an evil nature. “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,” Paul reminded the Ephesian believers, “indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Eph. 2:3).

Third, God is justified in condemning sinners because of the evil deeds their depraved natures inevitably produce. God “will render to every man according to his deeds: … to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation” (Rom. 2:6, 8).

- friends, I know those are hard words…and I thought and prayed a long time before putting that out during a time of such intense suffering…

- but now is not the time to be ashamed to be the gospel—especially if an antidote is available to this terrible condition…

- that’s why the next words in this verse are so delicious…Romans 8:1 - Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

- and I have to ask you – are you sure you are living in the second half of this marvelous verse?...has there been a definite time in your life where you admitted your sin, and acknowledged God’s just penalty in light of His perfectly Holy character…and then you ran to the cross for forgiveness and grace?...

- because did you see what our Holy God did in verse 3?...

B. The basis of the verdict

- 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,

- you could not ask for a clearer verse about the substitutionary death of Christ than that…

- we are not freed from condemnation because of Jesus’ perfect life…or because of His perfect teaching…we’re freed because of Jesus’ perfect death…

- and I realize someone might say -- you know PV, I didn’t like to hear what was just said about God’s just condemnation for sin…

- here’s a very important question to ponder – Who, more than anyone else, understands the severity of the wrath of the First Member of the Godhead?

- the answer is -- the second member of the godhead…the Lord Jesus Christ…

- because He understands God’s holiness…because He too possesses it in perfect measure…

- and He understands that you can’t have holiness without justice…which is why He prayed what in the garden of Gethsemanea?... Matthew 26:39 - And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

- and you know what’s amazing – it wasn’t possible…not if people like you and me could ever be placed in a position where we could say…”ouketi katakrima” – no condemnation…

- now, what is…

C. The implication of the verdict

- how does this fit in with the topic of authenticity?...of being honest about the ways we might be struggling?...

- this is very much like a big Dagwood sandwich

- what has the importance of authenticity [of admitting our need for salvation and even our ongoing struggle with indwelling sin]…been surrounded by?...

- incredible truth that has been secured by the finished work of Christ…

- we’re united with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection in chapter 6 so we have the power to change

- we’re married to Christ in chapter 7 so we have the desire to change

- and there’s no eternal condemnation in chapter 8 so we have the power to change…

- now to be clear – this does not mean that we’re delivered from Fatherly discipline…as Christians we want and need that…

- nor does it mean we’re delivered from accountability in our walk with Christ…because we’ll still reap what we sow in this life…

- but knowing that Jesus bore the condemnation we so clearly deserved gives us both the desire and the motivation to deal squarely with the ways we still may be struggling….

- now, as we read on, the news just keeps getting better…

II. You Can Have Hope Because of God’s Powerful Spirit – vv. 5-13

- please remember what we said earlier – authenticity is not the end of the conversation…

- but why and how can we be open about the ways we’re struggling and perhaps even sinning right now?...its because since there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…we don’t have to walk according to the flesh…we can walk according to the Spirit…

A. You no longer have to walk in the flesh.

In the Flesh

In the Spirit

• Walks according to the flesh

• Sets their minds on the things of the flesh

• Hostile toward God resulting in death

• Does not subject itself to the law of God

• Does not have the Spirit of Christ

• Does not belong to Christ

• Under obligation to the flesh

• Lives according to the flesh

• You must die

• Walks according to the Spirit

• Sets their minds on the things of the Spirit

• Is life and peace

• You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit

• The Spirit of God dwells in you

• Christ is in you

• Under obligation to the Spirit

• By the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the body

• You will live

B. You can, and must, learn to set your mind on the things of the Spirit.

- a key verse here is…

- Romans 8:6 - For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

- Tim Keller makes this helpful observation – Whatever preoccupies the mind controls the life (Tim Keller, Romans 8-16, p. 19).

- so, minding the Spirit means choosing to think about, and prioritize, what matters to the Holy Spirit of God at any given point…

- a parallel passage to this is…Colossians 3:2–3 - Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

- so let’s go back to some of the struggles that we all are facing right now…let’s start with the woman ramming my Jeep door…

- if I become sinfully angry with her…am I minding the things of the flesh…or am I minding the things of the Spirit?...

- And how many of the things that we might be worried about right now could be put in their place if we let the Holy Spirit help us set our minds on the biblical truths He’s given us?....we said at the beginning of the year that we wanted to celebrate it…

- Matthew 6:25–34 - For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

- and I’m prophet – but here’s what I believe is going to happen…I believe our community, and our country, is going to come together in amazing ways…by the power of the Spirit of God…and get through this situation victoriously…

- and I think we are going to see that in all sorts of ways…

- there are examples of incredible bravery on the part of the researchers, and doctors, and nurses, and hospitals fighting this together…

- and in some cases – those are followers of Jesus Christ who are doing exactly what these verses are telling us…the Holy Spirit is helping them remember…

- 2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

- some of it too is just the way the Lord is empowering some people to use humor is ways that are appropriate and helpful…

- that kind of joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit…

C. In so doing, you will please God.

- cf. Bethany as a little girl – “daddy. That brings a smile to Jesus’ face”

- Romans 8:8 - and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

- Romans 8:11 - But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

- the Holy Spirit can actually empower us to live in a way that brings honor and pleasure to our God…

- so we have an amazing verdict – there’s no condemnation, and a powerful Spirit who allows us to have victory in our struggles…and lastly…

III. You Can Have Hope Because of God’s Marvelous Family

A. We can be called “the sons of God”

- Romans 8:14 - For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

- what does that say about whatever might make us worried today?...

- Psalm 37:25 - I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.

- and did you see what verse 15 adds….

B. We have something far better than slavery and fear

- Romans 8:15 - For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

- Abba is an informal Aramaic term for Father, connoting intimacy, tenderness, dependence, and complete lack of fear or anxiety. Modern English equivalents would be Daddy, or Papa. When Jesus was agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane as He was about to take upon Himself the sins of the world, He used that name of endearment, praying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt” (Mark 14:36). When we are saved, our old sinful life is completely canceled in God’s eyes, and we have no more reason to fear sin or death, because Christ has conquered those two great enemies on our behalf. In Him we are given a new divine nature and become a true child, with all the attendant blessings, privileges, and inheritance. And until we see our Lord face-to-face, His own Holy Spirit will be a ceaseless witness to the authenticity of our adoption into the family of God (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 437)

- and because all of this is true, we can move from simple authenticity acknowledging we need to change], toward steps of practical holiness to please our heavenly Father…

1. Discuss the issue of supporting our local restaurant owners

2. Upcoming blood drives

3. TV inspirational spots

4. Childcare for healthcare workers

5. Update on giving

- examples of our missionaries on the front lines…

- cf. the Standridges and the Konuch’s

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video