Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans

Skip Heitzig

When the wrath of God meets the righteousness of God, where does that leave us? The apostle Paul says that we are marked by sin at birth but marked righteous at salvation. In this series through Romans, Skip Heitzig explains the essentials of Christian doctrine that can transform your thoughts, words, and actions. Move from sinner to saint, and from saved to Spirit-filled as you inscribe the essence of the gospel onto your heart and soul.


 

Table of Contents

# SCRIPTURE: MESSAGE:
1 Romans 1:1-7 The Heart and Soul of the Gospel
2 Romans 1:16-17 Unashamed!
3 Romans 1:18-32 Is God Mad?
4 Romans 2:1-11 Four Mistakes Religious People Make
5 Romans 2:17-29 Hypocrisy Gets an Audit
6 Romans 3:1-8 The Advantage of Having the Bible
7 Romans 3:9-26 How Prisoners Go Free
8 Romans 4 Old Age; Young Faith
9 Romans 5:1-5 Our Benefits Package
10 Romans 5:6-11 Unrivaled Love
11 Romans 5:12-21 A One-Man Show
12 Romans 6:1-7 Don’t Look Back
13 Romans 6:11-14 Winning the War with Sin
14 Romans 7:14-25 The Struggle Is Real
15 Romans 8:1-11 Safe and Secure
16 Romans 8:12-18 The New You
17 Romans 8:28-30 The Steady Hand of a Caring God
18 Romans 8:31-34 A Midterm Exam: Five Questions to Test Your Understanding
19 Romans 8:35-39 For the Love of God
20 Romans 9:1-26 God, the Jew, and You
21 Romans 10:1, 14-17 Salvation: Reverse Engineered
22 Romans 11:25-27 God’s Plan for Israel—and the World
23 Romans 12:1-2 Now It’s Your Turn
24 Romans 12:3-8 Made for Purpose
25 Romans 12:6-8 Exercise for Your Soul
26 Romans 12:9-21 Love Is a Verb
27 Romans 13:1-7 The Christian and Government
28 Romans 13:11-14 Wake Up Call
29 Romans 14:1-6 Acceptance, Judgment, and the Essential Point of Nonessential Points
30 Romans 15:1-6 The Cure for "I" Disease
31 Romans 16:1-24 How to Treat Your Family

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: The Heart and Soul of the Gospel
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:1-7
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4407

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Today we embark on a thirty-two-week journey through the book of Romans. Considered to be Paul the apostle’s magnum opus, this book is largely responsible for igniting the fires of the Protestant Reformation and the Wesleyan Revival. As Paul introduced himself to the church at Rome, he got right to the heart and soul of the matter—the gospel—the good news that presents Jesus Christ as God’s great answer to the pressing need of the human race.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: May 5, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Heart and Soul of the Gospel"
Text: Romans 1:1-7

Path

With this teaching—"The Heart and Soul of the Gospel"—we embark on a thirty-two-week journey through the book of Romans. Considered to be Paul the apostle's magnum opus, this book is largely responsible for igniting the fires of the Protestant Reformation and the Wesleyan Revival. As Paul introduced himself to the church at Rome, he got right to the heart and soul of the matter—the gospel—the good news that presents Jesus Christ as God's great answer to the pressing need of the human race.

  1. Its Servant (v. 1)
  2. Its Source (v. 2)
  3. Its Subject (vv. 3-4)
    1. The Seed of David
    2. The Son of God
  4. Its Scope (vv. 5-7)
Points

Its Servant (v. 1) Its Source (v. 2)Its Subject (vv. 3-4)Its Scope (vv. 5-7)Practice

Connect Up: As Pastor Skip stated, prophecy is an indicator that Jesus is the Messiah. Using the texts provided, discuss how prophecy is God's means of proving His point:Connect In: Since Jesus is the subject—the overarching theme of the Bible—why is it important for the church to teach through the entire text of the Bible? Using Pastor Skip's outline, discuss how each part of the Bible gives a complete picture of the birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Connect Out: Consider Pastor Skip's sentence, "The scope of the good news wasn't just local but worldwide headlines: it affected the entire human race." Why is evangelism vital for the health of the church? Look up the following texts Pastor Skip used, discussing the implications of each in the good news:

DETAILED NOTES
"The Heart and Soul of the Gospel"
Romans 1:1-7

  1. Introduction
    1. Bad news tends to get more attention than good news
      1. The gospel is good news
      2. The Greek word used here is euaggelion, which is where we get the word evangelism
      3. Paul used the word gospel sixty times in the book of Romans
      4. The word gospel comes from the Anglo-Saxon godspell, which means good story; God's story is a good story
      5. The term originally came from Roman times
        1. Heralds who were sent out into the public square to proclaim news
        2. Someone who would make a favorable announcement
    2. Why do I need to hear the gospel?
      1. You probably haven't heard the bad news yet
        1. Romans 1:18
        2. Romans 3:23
      2. When you understand how bad the bad news is, you will love the gospel
      3. All have sinned, the wrath of God has been revealed, and you have to pay for that yourself—or let somebody else do it for you
    3. The book of Romans is the Christian manifesto of freedom
      1. Romans tells us that we have been set free, unshackled from the grip of sin and Satan, and that we are set free to become God's slaves—a slavery of freedom
      2. The theme of the book is the righteousness of God
      3. The book can be divided into four sections that fall under the banner of the gospel
        1. The wrath of God
        2. The grace of God
        3. The plan of God
        4. The will of God
  2. Its Servant (v. 1)
    1. Apart from Jesus, Paul was the most significant person in the New Testament
      1. Paul was born to Jewish parents in Tarsus in Silicia—modern-day southeast Turkey
      2. His name at birth was Saul, and he was probably named after King Saul
      3. His Roman name was Paulus, which means small or short
    2. Saul was a Pharisee, educated by an anti-Christian rabbi—Gamaliel
      1. Saul became the chief antagonist of the early church
      2. He was converted on the road to Damascus, and the chief antagonist of Christianity became the chief protagonist
      3. After his conversion, Paul considered himself a bondservant of Jesus Christ
        1. On the road to Damascus, Saul asked two questions:
          1. "Who are You, Lord?" (Acts 9:5)
          2. "Lord, what do You want me to do?" (Acts 9:6)
        2. The second question made him a bondservant of Christ
        3. The term bondservant should describe every believer, and every Christian should ask both of these questions
    3. As a Pharisee, Saul was separated from the Gentiles; after his conversion, Paul was "separated to the gospel" (v. 1)
      1. What are you separated to?
      2. It's not all about what you don't do—it's about what you do
      3. How do you serve the Lord?
        1. It is possible to have a saved soul but a lost life
        2. You can be right with God and believe in Jesus Christ but not ask Him what He wants you to do
  3. Its Source (v. 2)
    1. The gospel has its source in God
      1. No human would create the gospel story; nobody would write a story that says all men are condemned apart from Jesus Christ
        1. Man-made religions are about what man can do for God—the goodness of mankind
        2. The gospel is about what God has already done for man—the goodness of God
      2. The apostles didn't invent the gospel—they discovered it as it was revealed to them (see 2 Peter 1:16)
    2. The New Testament is not an addition; it has been anticipated all along
      1. Matthew 5:17
      2. "The New is in the Old contained—the Old is in the New explained" —Augustine
      3. Jeremiah 31:31-34
      4. Acts 2:16
      5. Acts 26:22
    3. The gospel is part of a continuous, progressive revelation that started in Genesis 3:15, continued through Genesis 22 and the exodus, and was predicted in Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and about 300 other Scriptures
      1. Biblical prophecy is not just a good guess
      2. It always contains multiple contingencies that cannot be known or controlled, and this gives evidence that divine authorship is involved
      3. Luke 24:25
  4. Its Subject (vv. 3-4)
    1. Jesus Christ is the main subject of the Bible
      1. John 5:46
      2. The Old Testament is the anticipation of Jesus Christ
      3. The Gospels are the presentation of Jesus Christ
      4. The book of Acts is the continuation of the work of Jesus Christ
      5. The Epistles are the explanation and clarification of Jesus Christ
      6. The book of Revelation is the consummation by Jesus Christ
    2. The prophets had many questions themselves
      1. They wrote the prophecies but didn't know the totality of what they were writing
      2. 1 Peter 1:10-11
      3. They didn't know it when they wrote it, but it all came true in one person
    3. The Bible is about one person and two events:
      1. Jesus Christ
      2. His first coming: to deal with sin
      3. His second coming: to rule and reign with those who have been cleansed from sin
    4. Paul referred to the dual nature of Jesus Christ with two titles:
      1. The Seed of David
        1. Jesus was fully human
        2. As such, He fulfilled all of the predictions of the Messiah who would be born
      2. The Son of God
        1. Jesus was fully God
        2. Conceived by the Holy Spirit
        3. Jesus has the same nature as God
    5. The good news isn't about a good man—it's about the God-man
      1. Because He was fully man, He had the ability to substitute for mankind
      2. Because He was fully God, He had the capacity to save all mankind
  5. Its Scope (vv. 5-7)
    1. The gospel is not just local news; it's worldwide news
      1. God sent us to tell everyone everywhere the good news; it's for every people in every place at every time
      2. Romans 3:29
      3. God's plan encompasses the whole world
    2. Christianity is not a Western religion; it's no more Western than it is exclusively Middle Eastern
      1. Christianity originated in the Middle East
      2. To say that it's a Western religion defies intellect and basic knowledge of geography
      3. Matthew 28:19
      4. Luke 2:10
      5. John 3:16
      6. Acts 1:8
    3. As the gospel crosses all social and cultural barriers, so must the Christian
      1. Medicine works universally; it doesn't discriminate
      2. The world has many religions, but only one gospel
  6. Conclusion
    1. God's headline is good news
    2. The gospel is good news for two basic reasons:
      1. It tells us that God exists and that He is knowable
      2. It tells us that we can know Him through the saving work of His Son, Jesus Christ
    3. Has the gospel come to you like that?
Figures referenced: Augustine

Cross references: Genesis 3:15; 22; Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 5:17; 28:19; Luke 2:10; 24:25; John 3:16; 5:46; Acts 1:8; 2:16; 9:5-6; 26:22; Romans 1:18; 3:23, 29; 1 Peter 1:10-11; 2 Peter 1:16

Greek words: euaggelion

Topic: the gospel

Keywords: barriers, bondservant, Christ, good, grace, Jesus, mankind, news, plan, religions, saved, sin, will, wrath

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Unashamed!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:16-17
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4411

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Standing up for and speaking out about our faith in Jesus Christ can sometimes feel awkward and intimidating. Often our message is not received with glad faces or with open arms by the people we work with and live next to. As Paul was planning to visit Rome, he expressed eagerness rather than hesitation to herald this message. Why was that? The apostle gives us five reasons for his readiness and enthusiasm.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: May 19, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Unashamed!"
Text: Romans 1:16-17

Path:

Standing up for and speaking out about our faith in Jesus Christ can sometimes feel awkward and intimidating. Often our message is not received with glad faces or with open arms by the people we work with and live next to. As Paul was planning to visit Rome, he expressed eagerness rather than hesitation to herald this message. Why? In this teaching, Pastor Skip provides five reasons for Paul's readiness and enthusiasm:

  1. Because It's Good News
  2. Because It's God's Power
  3. Because It's Given Freely
  4. Because It Gets Us Right
  5. Because It's Greatly Simple
Points:

Because It's Good NewsBecause It's God's PowerBecause It's Given FreelyBecause It Gets Us RightBecause It's Greatly SimplePractice

Connect Up: God's righteousness is taught throughout Scripture. Why is it crucial we understand that people polluted by sin cannot fellowship with God in His perfection apart from Christ (discussed in detail throughout the book of Hebrews)? 
Look up the following verses about God's holiness. What do they say about God's holiness and how believers are to respond to His holiness?  How does Hebrews 7:26 describe Christ's fulfillment of perfect holiness as our High Priest? Why is this good news?

Connect In: The Bible calls Christians to live a holy life (see 1 Peter 1:15-16). Using Scripture to back up your views, what does a holy life look like? (Consider Psalm 68:4-5; 103:1; 119:9; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 5:3; Philippians 2:5, 14-16; Hebrews 2:14.) How is it holy to be led by the Spirit, pray, study, serve, praise God, have compassion, and live right before God? What else can you think of?

Connect Out: Although holy living can be a turnoff for unbelievers, how would you describe God's holiness to a non-Christian, the good news Pastor Skip described? And how would you explain the fact that we can't live up to God's perfection, but Christ did? How would you explain that when we receive Christ, we are covered by His righteousness? Spend time praying for unbelievers you know, asking God to open doors for you to share the good news.

DETAILED NOTES
"Unashamed!"
Romans 1:16-17

  1. Introduction
    1. Instead of seeing the gospel as a task, we should see it as a treasure
    2. Even after all that Paul had been through up to this point because he preached the gospel, he was still eager to share the gospel again
      1. Forced to flee Damascus
      2. Stoned and left for dead in Lystra
      3. Beaten, arrested, and imprisoned in Philippi
      4. Chased out of Thessalonica
      5. Laughed to scorn in Athens
      6. Nearly torn to pieces in Jerusalem
    3. Paul was unstoppable—he was not intimidated by:
      1. The religious and political leaders of Jerusalem
      2. The intellectuals of Athens
      3. The caesars of Rome
    4. Paul was eager to engage in exactly what got him jailed, beaten, and scorned over and over because he found joy in sharing the gospel
  2. Because It's Good News
    1. Why should we be ashamed of good news?
    2. Rome was the most powerful empire in the world at that time (AD 60)
      1. Rome was the political and cultural center of the world—the heart of civilization (caput mundi in Latin)
      2. Any news that came out of Rome affected the entire world
      3. It would have been easy for Paul to be intimidated by the sheer size and power of Rome
    3. Not everyone saw the gospel as good news
      1. Most people then, like today, considered it bad news
        1. The gospel was identified with a poor Jewish carpenter who had been crucified
        2. The Romans conquered and occupied Judea; they saw the Jews as inferior
        3. The Romans imposed crucifixion only on the very worst of criminals who stood against the empire
      2. Who would put their faith in a dead Jew who had been crucified?
        1. Rome had great religions and great philosophers
        2. Romans referred to Christians as atheos—atheists, because Christians had rejected the Roman pantheon
      3. Some Romans even referred to Christians as cannibals—the result of misunderstanding the Lord's Supper
    4. The gospel is unattractive and repulsive to a natural, unsaved person
      1. The gospel speaks about man's lost condition
      2. The gospel strikes a blow to human pride and ego
    5. People tend to react adversely to the gospel because it exposes their sinful nature
      1. Because of their adverse reaction to the gospel, we tend to grow silent
      2. We become embarrassed of our message, even though it is good news
      3. Fear is probably the greatest roadblock to sharing our faith with others
        1. "The fear of man brings a snare" (Proverbs 29:25)
        2. But it's such good news that it must be shared
  3. Because It's God's Power
    1. The Romans boasted in their power
      1. At the time, the Roman legions were the most powerful fighting force in the world
      2. Rome had over 55 million subjects
      3. When Caesar Augustus ordered a census (see Luke 2:1-3), entire families returned to their hometowns because they feared Rome's power
    2. Even with all that power, Rome was still powerless to save
      1. Rome's power couldn't change one soul for all of eternity
      2. Rome was strong militarily, but weak morally
      3. The gospel is the one message that can change people's lives
    3. The gospel is the power of God—in and of itself, it's powerful enough to accomplish God's purpose in a fallen world polluted by sin
      1. Saul's transformation from the enemy of Christianity to Paul the apostle
      2. 3,000 people at Pentecost in a single day
      3. Thousands responded during the first and second Great Awakening, thousands more during the Welsh and Moravian revivals
      4. More than two million through the ministry of Billy Graham
      5. Powerful enough to convert scholars:
        1. Augustine
        2. Dr. Francis Collins
        3. Antony Flew
        4. C.S. Lewis
        5. Martin Luther
      6. Powerful enough to convert celebrities:
        1. Johnny Cash
        2. Alice Cooper
        3. Bob Dylan
        4. Brian Head Welch
      7. Powerful enough to change murderers: David Berkowitz (the Son of Sam)
    4. Not only is the gospel God's power, God also promises power to those who speak it
      1. "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" (Acts 1:8)
      2. God promises to meet you in that moment when you decide to speak the good news
  4. Because It's Given Freely
    1. The gospel is for everyone
      1. It's not only for a chosen people
      2. It is freely given "for everyone who believes" (v. 16)
    2. When Paul said it was "for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (v. 16), he wasn't speaking exclusively; he was speaking chronologically
      1. The gospel was promised through Jewish prophets, in Jewish Scriptures, to a Jewish nation, with a Jewish context, about a Jewish Messiah, but it is for the whole world
      2. It came to the Jews first, "for salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22)
      3. The gospel is nondiscriminatory
    3. Paul borrowed the word debtor (see v. 14) from a Roman word used in economics
      1. It meant to borrow money from someone or to entrust money to someone for someone else
      2. Paul was in debt because he had been entrusted with the gospel by Jesus Christ for other people
      3. Jesus gave us the treasure of the gospel, and we are in debt to those people it's meant for until we deliver it to them
        1. If the gospel stops with us, it's a crime
        2. The moment we're set free from sin and death by Jesus, we're encumbered by a debt to deliver the good news to those who are still lost
  5. Because It Gets Us Right
    1. The theme of Romans is the righteousness of God
      1. How to get right with God
      2. How to make wrong people right with God
    2. This implies that we're not right with God naturally
      1. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven" (v. 18)
      2. Romans 3:10
      3. God can make anyone right with Himself by conferring on them the status of His righteousness (see Romans 3:21-24)
      4. It's not something you can produce—it's something you have to receive
    3. God wrote us a letter, telling us that He was coming (the Old Testament)
      1. He constantly promised it
      2. It was fulfilled when Jesus came
      3. "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9)
  6. Because It's Greatly Simple
    1. What do you need to be saved?
      1. God is not asking people to behave in order to be saved—He's asking people to believe in order to be saved
      2. Romans 10:9
    2. Belief will change behavior
      1. You're not saved by behavior; you're saved by belief
      2. But if it's real belief, it will change your behavior
      3. It's not the faithfulness of Christians that saves them; it's faith in Christ that saves
  7. Conclusion
    1. Eternal life is a gift—it's not an earning
      1. It's free, not a fee
      2. Received, not produced
    2. The gospel is too simple for some
      1. That's why religion is such a big business
      2. People will accept that they're sinners, but they will not accept that they can't solve the problem themselves
Figures referenced: Augustine, David Berkowitz, Johnny Cash, Dr. Francis Collins, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Antony Flew, Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther, Brian Head Welch

Cross references: Proverbs 29:25; Luke 2:1-3; John 4:22; 14:9; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:18; 3:10, 21-24; 10:9

Topic: the gospel

Keywords: ashamed, believe, eternal, everyone, faith, gift, good news, power, received, righteousness, salvation, treasure

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Is God Mad?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:18-32
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4413

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The Wrath of God Is Revealed God is full of love, right? Right! That’s the good news. And Paul gets back to that theme and develops it fully in the chapters ahead. But first, there’s some bad news. Like a powerful prosecuting attorney, Paul made the case as to why we need the good news of Christ. God’s grace is necessary because of our guilt. In this section, we learn about the wrath of God—an attribute that many people can’t wrap their heads (and hearts) around.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: May 26, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Is God Mad?"
Text: Romans 1:18-32

Path

God is full of love, right? Right! That's the good news. And Paul gets back to that theme and develops it fully in the chapters ahead. But first, there's some bad news. Like a powerful prosecuting attorney, Paul made the case as to why we need the good news of Christ. God's grace is necessary because of our guilt. In this section, Pastor Skip taught about the wrath of God—an attribute that many people can't wrap their heads (and hearts) around:

  1. What Does It Regard?
  2. Why Is It Required?
    1. For Suppressing God's Truth
    2. For Ignoring God's Revelation
    3. For Perverting God's Glory
  3. How Is It Revealed?
Points

What Does It Regard? Why Is It Required?
For Suppressing God's Truth For Ignoring God's Revelation For Perverting God's Glory
How Is It Revealed? Practice

Connect Up: Though God is love (1 John 4:7-21), why can't Christians only focus on one attribute of God? Why is it important to see the full nature of God's attributes, including His wrath, judgment, and sovereignty? Discuss this quote by Wayne Grudem: "If God loves all that is right and good, and all that conforms to his moral character, then it should not be surprising that He would hate everything that is opposed to His moral character." (Systematic Theology)

Connect In: Judgment is a recurring theme in the Bible. In 1 Peter 4:17, Peter states that judgment begins at "the house of God." Given that Peter means the church—the visible gathering place of believers—what do you think this passage means? Using Pastor Skip's three-tiered points listed above, here are some thoughts to discuss:Connect Out: Many people have been brought to Christ through the thought of eternal judgment in hell, and recognizing that sin separates them from a holy God. Though they are saved through the thought of judgment, they soon realize it is because of His love (see John 3:16) that God uses judgment. Take a moment to discuss the connection between love and wrath. Why would a loving God show wrath or judgment? God loves the sinner but hates the sin. How would you explain this connection to an unbeliever you are trying to reach with the good news?

DETAILED NOTES
"Is God Mad?"
Romans 1:18-32

  1. Introduction
    1. The wrath of God is an attribute that some dismiss because it's too painful to consider
      1. Some people tend to be offended when the words God and wrath are used in the same sentence
      2. The idea of God's wrath can insult sensitivities and sensibilities
    2. Paul announced the bad news as well as the good news
      1. The theme of Romans is the righteousness of God, but Paul believed that you will never fully appreciate the good news until you fully apprehend the bad news
      2. You must know how bad things are before you realize how good the good news is
      3. Until mankind admits the problem of sin, they will never seek a savior
  2. What Does It Regard?
    1. God is not neutral when it comes to sin
      1. There are two Greek words used for wrath in the New Testament:
        1. Thumos
          1. A red-hot anger; overcome by rage
          2. This is impulsive, passionate anger
        2. Orgē
          1. To grow ripe
          2. This is an anger that builds up over a long period of time, the way that water collects behind a dam; it is stable, settled, and controlled
      2. God doesn't fly into a rage or lash out; He lets the water collect and controls His response, waiting for the right timing
      3. Romans 2:5
    2. The wrath of God, as Paul presented it here, is God's firm, settled, and perfect hostility toward all evil
      1. The wrath of God is parallel to the righteousness of God (see Romans 1:17)
      2. God is perfectly righteous; therefore, God is perfectly wrathful
    3. Some refuse to believe they are guilty—they want to live in a false paradise of supposed innocence
  3. Why Is It Required?
    1. For Suppressing God's Truth
      1. God put His stamp in us and His workmanship around us
        1. We can look inward through our conscience and see the testimony of God
        2. We can look around us at the cosmos and see the testimony of God
      2. To suppress means to hold down or hold back
        1. Some don't believe, not because they can't believe, but because they won't believe
        2. It's not a matter of ability, but a matter of will
    2. For Ignoring God's Revelation
      1. God, who is invisible and unknowable, has made Himself visible and knowable through His creation
        1. This is known as the teleological argument for the existence of God—the argument from design
        2. Creation is the visible disclosure of invisible God—the divine artist has revealed Himself
      2. Creation is general revelation—anybody, anywhere, at any time, can know this truth
        1. "The undevout astronomer is mad" —Johannes Kepler
        2. Psalm 19:1-3
      3. The art speaks of an artist—the design speaks of a designer
        1. The radiation of the sun is produced by the sun losing some of its energy
        2. Because it will obviously have an end at some point, it must have had a beginning
    3. For Perverting God's Glory
      1. The theory of devolution: the Bible does not teach that man started lower and climbed higher, but that man started high and sunk lower
        1. We began in familiarity with God, then moved to vanity, then went from vanity to idolatry and from idolatry to immorality
        2. Idolatry always tends toward immorality, because an errant theology will produce an errant sexuality
      2. Paul painted a picture of the downward slope of the human condition and God's settled and perfectly righteous antagonism toward those who have knowledge of the truth but suppress it in favor of a self-centered path
  4. How Is It Revealed?
    1. God's wrath is released in three different ways:
      1. Final wrath: a final reckoning at the last day
        1. The great white throne judgment
        2. This will be unlike any earthly court—no defense, jury, appeal, parole, or escape
        3. 1 Thessalonians 1:10
        4. Romans 2:5
      2. Provisional wrath: God's wrath satisfied through the judicial system
        1. Romans 13:4
        2. God uses human government to execute His wrath
      3. Permissible wrath: God gives you what you want
        1. He abandons them to their desires (see vv. 24, 26, 28)
        2. This is the quiet, non-intervention judgment of God
          1. Hosea 4:17
          2. Matthew 15:14
          3. Acts 7:42
    2. How often have we heard that God is going to judge America?
      1. God has already judged America
      2. Part of the judgment of God is abandoning us to our own wills and desires
      3. "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'" —C.S. Lewis
    3. The more God lets go, the worse things get
      1. The spiritual and moral degradation around us is a judicial act of God
      2. When God gives you over to whatever you want, that's the wrath of God
  5. Conclusion
    1. If you believe, you already have everlasting life
      1. No matter what you go through, things will only get better
      2. John 3:36
    2. If you're in this world, the wrath of God already abides on you
      1. Every person in this world is sitting under the fabled sword of Damocles, waiting for the rope to break
      2. When you believe, you move to sit underneath the grace of God, and that is why the good news, set against the bad news, is really great news
Figures referenced: Damocles, Johannes Kepler, C.S. Lewis

Cross references: Psalm 19:1-3; Hosea 4:17; Matthew 15:14; John 3:36; Acts 7:42; Romans 1:17; 2:5; 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:10

Greek words: orgē, thumos

Topic: the wrath of God

Keywords: anger, artist, creation, design, glory, good news, grace, judgment, judicial, rage

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Four Mistakes Religious People Make
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 2:1-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4453

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Jesus was not a religious leader. He was a righteous leader. And He was often confronting the religious leaders of His day. Likewise Paul found many enemies among the religious elite of his day, among both Jews and Gentiles. After announcing his theme of good news in Jesus, Paul promptly plunged into the bad news of God’s wrath—a subject that religious people sometimes love (but for all the wrong reasons). Paul tells us some of their most common mistakes.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: July 7, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Four Mistakes Religious People Make"
Text: Romans 2:1-11

Path

Jesus was not a religious leader. He was a righteous leader. And He was often confronting the religious leaders of His day. Likewise, Paul found many enemies among the religious elite of his day, among both Jews and Gentiles. After announcing his theme of good news in Jesus, Paul promptly plunged into the bad news of God's wrath—a subject that religious people sometimes love (but for all the wrong reasons).

  1. Blame: Pointing the finger but not perceiving the heart (vv. 1-2)
  2. Brashness: Sitting as A judge while standing before THE Judge (v. 3)
  3. Bitterness: Hating people's badness over loving God's goodness (v. 4)
  4. Blindness: Beholding others' sin; being blind to their own (vv. 5-11)
Points

Blame: Pointing the finger but not perceiving the heart (vv. 1-2)Brashness: Sitting as A judge while standing before THE Judge (v. 3)Bitterness: Hating people's badness over loving God's goodness (v. 4)Blindness: Beholding others' sin; being blind to their own (vv. 5-11) Practice

Connect Up: Echoing Leviticus 11:44, Jesus said, "Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). The word Jesus used for perfect is teleios, which means complete and full. The only way to be complete and full is to be saved by the grace of Jesus Christ; as the righteousness of God (see Romans 6), Jesus secures a believer's salvation. The New Testament presented a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. Use the following verses to discuss the results of Christ's righteousness:Connect In: Discuss Pastor Skip's thought: "Jesus was not a religious person, but a righteous person." What does this mean? If you were a "religious person" before coming to Christ, share your story. If you know of a religious or self-righteous person, discuss the habits that are unbecoming (as outlined above). Take time to pray for people struggling with a self-righteous mindset, particularly those in the church.

Connect Out: Hypocrites—two-faced people—alienate non-believers, who see the falsehood of a hypocrite's life. This is one of the reasons Jesus spoke against hypocrisy. In Matthew 6:5, Jesus says not to be like the hypocrites, including drawing attention to your spirituality (how you pray, fast, etc.). How can Christians be on guard against religious hypocrisy? Discuss how to not condemn others, how to listen before talking, how to trust others—even when you disagree—and how to not live a legalistic life. Take time to pray for yourself, asking God to reveal any hypocrisy, and to replace it with love, patience, kindness, and all the fruits of the spirit (see Galatians 5).

DETAILED NOTES
"Four Mistakes Religious People Make"
Romans 2:1-11

  1. Introduction
    1. The hardest people to reach with the gospel are religious people, because they can't see their own need for Christ
      1. Those who are morally bankrupt and have hit rock bottom know they need help; people who have religion and religious ceremonies often do not
      2. Religion can cover a multitude of sins; it can become a mask worn by hypocrites
    2. In Romans 2, Paul began to address the religious person—the moralist—who lives by some kind of code
      1. In chapter 1, Paul introduced the gospel and how we can get right with God
      2. Paul said that first, each person needs to know how not right with God they are—they need to hear the bad news before they can grasp and appreciate the good news
      3. The bad news, the wrath of God, was introduced in 1:18
    3. There are those who don't know the bad news; they don't think they need a doctor because they have already diagnosed themselves
      1. Who was Paul speaking to?
        1. Religious people—either Jews or very moral Greeks and Romans
        2. Romans 1:28-32
      2. Who would fit in this category today?
        1. Any unsaved person who is hiding behind religion or morality
        2. The self-righteous—those who trust in ritual observances or anything other than Christ alone for their eternal safety
        3. This person is moral, friendly, and charitable, but self-satisfied and unsaved
      3. No one can be saved until they realize we're all guilty and we all need God's solution in Christ
  2. Blame: Pointing the finger but not perceiving the heart (vv. 1-2)
    1. You can point your finger, but you can't pinpoint the heart
      1. All human judgment is skewed and distorted because we don't know all the details of the situation and the motives of the heart
      2. How often do we misjudge people anyway?
      3. Luke 18:9-14
    2. Only God judges according to truth
      1. Truth is part of God's nature
      2. He is omniscient—there's nothing He doesn't know
        1. Psalm 139:1-6
        2. Acts 15:8
        3. 1 Kings 8:39
        4. Revelation 2:23
      3. Rather than being fault-finders, we need to realize that God is the only one qualified to point the finger at all
  3. Brashness: Sitting as A judge while standing before THE Judge (v. 3)
    1. Some pious people are experts at evaluating others
      1. They have forgotten that they are being evaluated by God
      2. "What we are often doing is seeing our own faults in others and judging them vicariously. That way, we experience the pleasure of self-righteousness without the pain of penitence" —John Stott
    2. The problem is in our thinking
      1. The Greek word for think here is logizomai, which means to estimate, evaluate, or calculate
      2. A religious person calculates, but wrongly; he's logical, but he's not theological, so his logic is skewed
        1. He evaluates people and their lifestyles, as well as his own life, but he does it falsely because he's self-righteous
        2. The self-righteous person is always underestimating God's perfection and overestimating their own
        3. Hebrews 4:13
        4. 2 Corinthians 5:10
    3. The secret hope of the hypocrite is that God will judge them by a lower standard
      1. Our fallen nature tends to justify our own sins
      2. This is not a call to suspend analytical judgment and discernment, but a reminder not to take God's place as judge, condemning others without examining yourself
      3. Romans 3:23
  4. Bitterness: Hating people's badness over loving God's goodness (v. 4)
    1. Religious people love to focus on people's badness rather than God's goodness
      1. They focus on the nature of the world rather than the nature of God
      2. Paul used the word despise, which means to scorn, look down upon, or undervalue
      3. They undervalue God's patience, which Paul described using several colorful words:
        1. Forbearance
          1. Withholding judgment; God calls a temporary truce
          2. Noah built the ark and preached to the people for 120 years
          3. God sent prophet after prophet for 800 years before the Babylonian exile
        2. Longsuffering
          1. The Greek word is makrothumeó, which means large, great anger
          2. When used in reference to God, it means that God has an incredible capacity to store up anger before He lets it spill out in judgment
        3. Goodness
          1. The English word good comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for God, which meant the good
          2. Goodness is God's nature
    2. Some people despise the goodness of God
      1. How could God ever forgive something so bad?
      2. Ted Bundy came to faith before his death, and people hated the notion that God could, or ever would, forgive such badness
      3. The religious leaders were not happy about Jesus' forgiveness
    3. Why is God so good?
      1. Paul answered this question in verse 4: to lead us to repentance
      2. 2 Peter 3:9
      3. God isn't being lenient when He waits to judge; He's being patient
      4. He's not winking at the sinner; He's waiting for them to change their mind
    4. Before you hate people's badness and the world's wickedness over loving God's goodness, ask yourself one thing: Was God patient with your ignorance and your rebellion?
  5. Blindness: Beholding others' sin; being blind to their own (vv. 5-11)
    1. This passage uncovers the human tendency to be hard in our judgment of others but soft in our judgment of ourselves
      1. Sometimes, this isn't righteous indignation, but self-righteous indignation
      2. This kind of blindness—noticing others' problems and failures without acknowledging your own—reveals a hard heart
      3. The word used for hardness is sklērotēta
        1. This is where we get the word sclerosis
        2. This is the hardening of one's spiritual heart—becoming unresponsive to God, which is much worse than arteriosclerosis
        3. Most people who have arteriosclerosis don't know they have it; the first symptom is a heart attack
    2. Most people do not know their own spiritual condition
      1. Hardening of the arteries may send you to your grave
      2. The hardening of your spiritual heart will send you to hell
  6. Conclusion
    1. This is the mask religious people hide behind
      1. Paul exposed this mask because he wanted everyone to know we're saved by grace
      2. The good news is that all who call upon Him will be saved
      3. Paul was honest about his own sin (see 1 Timothy 1:15)
    2. The essence of the good news is that God extends grace to unworthy people, and we are all unworthy
      1. You can't hide behind your religious background
      2. You can't hide behind your rituals
Figures referenced: Ted Bundy, John Stott

Cross references: 1 Kings 8:39; Psalm 139:1-6; Luke 18:9-14; John 8:11; Acts 15:8; Romans 1:18, 28-32; 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Timothy 1:15; Hebrews 4:13; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 2:23

Greek words: logizomai, makrothumeó, sklērotēta

Topic: the wrath of God

Keywords: bad news, bitter, blame, blind, brash, forgive, hard, heart, judgment, good news, mask, religion, sin

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Hypocrisy Gets an Audit
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 2:17-29
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4455

MESSAGE SUMMARY
All businesses, corporations, and individuals have blind spots. Auditors can help by giving a clear and unbiased reading of practices and procedures, and then give appropriate recommendations for change. Here, Paul played the role of auditing the hypocrite—the one who has spiritual style but no substance. Let’s consider the assets, the deficits, and the net appraisal of the one who wears a spiritual disguise.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: July 14, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Hypocrisy Gets an Audit"
Text: Romans 2:17-29

Path

All businesses, corporations, and individuals have blind spots. Auditors can help by giving a clear and unbiased reading of practices and procedures, and then give appropriate recommendations for change. Here, Paul played the role of auditing the hypocrite—the one who has spiritual style but no substance.

  1. The Assets
    1. The Right Background (v. 17)
    2. The Right Book (v. 18)
    3. The Right Business (vv. 19-20)
  2. The Deficits
    1. The Wrong Practice (vv. 21-23)
    2. The Wrong Prominence (v. 24)
    3. The Wrong Perspective (vv. 25-28)
  3. The Net Appraisal (v. 29)
Points

The AssetsThe DeficitsThe Net Appraisal (v. 29)Practice

Connect Up: Jesus criticized the Jewish religious leaders for hypocrisy—their failure to put their knowledge and privilege as God's chosen people into true practice in their hearts and lives. It's important to ask God to show us any ways in which we have been hypocritical. How can we know a true believer from a counterfeit? Here are some key ways to spot a true believer:1Connect In: It's important to make sure that we are living what we teach before we address any sin outside the church. Remember what Jesus said about removing the plank from your own eye before you tell someone about the speck in theirs (see Matthew 7:3-5). As Peter said about Christian house cleaning, "The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God" (1 Peter 4:17). Let grace be the rule as you deal with what you see in God's house.

Connect Out: Christianity is not invalidated by the bad behavior of a few members—Jesus is the standard of integrity. Rather than looking for hypocrisy in others, take a serious look at your own behavior this week. Is there something you have been doing that might cause unbelievers to disregard God? Consider the areas Paul warned about: being self-righteous or criticizing someone for something you've done yourself. Ask God for the opportunity to make things right, and wisdom in how to make things right.


1 Tom Hicks, "How to Distinguish a True Christian from a Hypocrite," https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/founders-ministries-blog/how-to-distinguish-a-true-christian-from-a-hypocrite.html, accessed 07/15/2019.

DETAILED NOTES
"Hypocrisy Gets an Audit"
Romans 2:17-29

  1. Introduction
    1. 25 percent of the American public is afraid of being audited; nobody really likes auditors
      1. In this passage, Paul acted as an auditor commissioned by the Holy Spirit
      2. Paul used the word profitable, which means valuable or to gain something
    2. Jesus used the word hypocrite frequently
      1. Matthew 6:5
      2. Matthew 23:27
      3. An unbeliever wearing a mask—an unsaved person disguised as a saved person—is a hypocrite (see 2 Timothy 3:5)
    3. Paul addressed those who had a Jewish background, and he anticipated an objection
      1. In the first chapter of Romans, he wrote to those who did disgraceful things
      2. In the beginning of chapter 2, he wrote about the religious crowd, addressing their assets, deficits, and ultimate appraisal
  2. The Assets
    1. The Right Background (v. 17)
      1. God's chosen people—the Jewish nation—took pride in the name Jew
        1. This is a shortened form of Judah, which means praise to YHWH; of all the people on earth, God chose them to give Him praise
        2. Many Jews who lived in Gentile cities used it as a second surname
        3. Paul called himself "a Hebrew of the Hebrews" (Philippians 3:5)
      2. Paul acknowledged their background and spiritual heritage
        1. However, a good thing can be a bad thing if it keeps you from the best thing
        2. They stood behind the name Jew and relied on their background for salvation
          1. They thought they were safe simply because they were Jews
          2. Many people today consider themselves Christians because of their own family heritage or cultural background (see Matthew 3:9)
    2. The Right Book (v. 18)
      1. The Jewish people had the Law—the first five books of Moses—but Paul was also referring to the Old Testament in its entirety (the Tanakh)
      2. Of all the people in the world, God gave the Jews His oracle (see Romans 3:2)
      3. Jewish children were taught the Scriptures from an early age:
        1. The Sh'ma at age three (from Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
        2. The Hallel at age five (Psalm 113-118)
        3. Reading and writing the Torah at age six
        4. Bar mitzvah for boys at age thirteen; bat mitzvah for girls at age twelve
          1. Bar mitzvah means son of the commandment
          2. After bar mitzvah, the boys would wear tefillin or phylacteries (small leather boxes containing Scripture—reminders to keep the Law) on their forehead and left arms
    3. The Right Business (vv. 19-20)
      1. God's original design for Israel was for her to become an exporter of truth to the world (see Genesis 22:18)
      2. God's chosen people were to be God's responsible people
        1. Being chosen, they were also responsible—their business was to be ambassadors of truth to the world
        2. Being instructed, they were to instruct; being taught, they were to teach; being enlightened, they were to enlighten
        3. Isaiah 42:6
        4. Matthew 5:14-16
        5. Christians who never witness are like kids shining flashlights in each other's eyes; the purpose of a flashlight is to lead people out of darkness
        6. We must take the light where the light really counts—we have to be exporters of truth
  3. The Deficits
    1. The Wrong Practice (vv. 21-23)
      1. They had the right background and the right book, but they didn't practice it; in theological terms, they had the orthodoxy but not the orthopraxy
      2. Their behavior did not match their beliefs
        1. Paul provided a spiritual spreadsheet; they had the right profession, but the wrong practice
        2. Matthew 7:21
      3. Jesus has a lot of fans, but not as many followers as you might think; we need to follow Him with the right practice to match the profession
    2. The Wrong Prominence (v. 24)
      1. They were known for the wrong thing
        1. A hypocrite gives God a bad name; for a Jew to live differently than he preached would make a non-Jew dismiss the claims of the Jew
        2. Paul called them out just as Nathan called David out (see 2 Samuel 12:14)
      2. When a believer falls into sin, his witness is ruined, God's name is sullied, and the world will then be justified in ridiculing Christians
    3. The Wrong Perspective (vv. 25-28)
      1. Circumcision was meant to be an outward sign of an inward change—the sign of a commitment to God and a covenant with God
        1. The ritual of circumcision was meant to point to the reality of following God
        2. But if you have the ritual that points to the reality of following God, but you don't follow God, all you have is an empty ritual
      2. They had begun to view the ritual of circumcision as a sort of insurance policy against God's wrath; the ceremony became a substitute for obedience
        1. Deuteronomy 10:16
        2. When we wear masks, we can do a lot of things that look great, but there may not really be life underneath
        3. Your baptism or church membership is useless if your heart isn't in it
  4. The Net Appraisal (v. 29)
    1. The only one you need approval of your life from is the one who matters most—God
      1. In the end, He's the only one who judges according to truth
      2. He sees it all and knows it all, and He will be the one who approves or disapproves of your life
    2. It doesn't matter what people think—what matters is what God thinks of you
  5. Conclusion
    1. In Romans 1, Paul showed that no one is so bad that he can't be saved; in Romans 2, he showed that no one is so good that he doesn't need to be saved
    2. We all need the same thing: God's grace
    3. If you're making the right speech but missing the right stuff, you won't be approved
      1. So many people will be shocked at the end of days when they stand before God at the great white throne judgment and Jesus says to them, "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23)
      2. Don't be whitewashed—be washed white with the blood of Jesus Christ
Figures referenced: Howard Carter, Luke Goodrich, Jesse James

Cross references: Genesis 22:18; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; 10:16; 2 Samuel 12:14; Psalm 113-118; Isaiah 42:6; Matthew 3:9; 5:14-16; 6:5; 7:21, 23; 23:27; Romans 3:2; Philippians 3:5; 2 Timothy 3:5

Hebrew words: bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, Hallel, Sh'ma, Tanakh, tefillin, Torah

Topic: hypocrisy

Keywords: appraisal, approval, background, judge, mask, perspective, practice, profession, whitewashed

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: The Advantage of Having the Bible
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 3:1-8
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4463

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Those who have been raised in a home with spiritual foundations and the teaching of Scripture have an edge over those who were never exposed to such benefits. The advantage of having access to the Bible is enormous, but it is not a fail-safe. Paul addressed the Jews who were caretakers of God’s own words, and much can be applied to anyone who has the advantage of revealed truth but fails to take it to heart.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: Saturday, July 28, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Advantage of Having the Bible"
Text: Romans 3:1-8

Path

Those who have been raised in a home with spiritual foundations and the teaching of Scripture have an edge over those who were never exposed to such benefits. The advantage of having access to the Bible is enormous, but it is not a fail-safe. Paul addressed the Jews, who were caretakers of God's own words, and much can be applied to anyone who has the advantage of revealed truth but fails to take it to heart.

  1. The Arguments of the Skeptics (v. 1)
  2. The Answers of the Scholar (vv. 2-8)
  3. The Advantages of the Scriptures (v. 2b)
  4. The Admonition of the Scribe (vv. 3-4)
Points

The Arguments of the Skeptics (v. 1)The Answers of the Scholar (vv. 2-8)The Advantages of the Scriptures (v. 2b)The Admonition of the Scribe (vv. 3-4)Practice

Connect Up: Why do you think God communicated His plans for salvation through the Bible and not some other way? Discuss the similarity between Jesus as the Word, and the Bible as the word. Think of these analogies: both are called the Word of God, each has two natures (divine and human), the two natures are united by one medium, and both Christ and Scripture are without flaw (for more, see Norman Geisler's Systematic Theology, Volume 1, page 259).

Connect In: Why is biblical teaching and study crucial for a healthy church? How have you grown from systematic Bible teaching?

Connect Out: How would you defend the reliability of the Bible to an unbeliever? Theologians would argue that there are internal and external reasons, including historical, archaeological, and scientific evidence to confirm the reliability of the Bible. If time permits, download Dr. Geisler's insights at http://www.apologetics315.com/media/trustthescriptures.pdf and discuss.

DETAILED NOTES
"The Advantage of Having the Bible"
Romans 3:1-8

  1. Introduction
    1. The Bible doesn't just change a life—it changes a lifestyle
      1. However, not everyone who is exposed to the truth lives by the truth
      2. Some hear the truth and twist it
    2. The theme of the book of Romans is the gospel
      1. How an unrighteous human can be made right with a righteous God
      2. The book of Romans is divided into four sections:
        1. The wrath of God (1:1-3:20)
        2. The grace of God (3:21-8:39)
        3. The plan of God (9-11)
        4. The will of God (12-16)
    3. Paul took apart each component of the gospel, examined each piece, and reassembled it
      1. The theme of the first section was introduced in 1:18: "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven"
      2. Paul pronounced judgment on the raunchy crowd in chapter 1 and the religious crowd in chapter 2
      3. Paul said that God judges everyone so He can save anyone
      4. Once you realize you're at the bottom, there's only one way to turn, and that's up
    4. Paul also anticipated objection
      1. Romans 2:1
      2. Romans 2:11
      3. Romans 2:29
    5. This is not an easy passage to understand
      1. 2 Peter 3:15-16
      2. If an apostle found it hard to understand another apostle, we can be comforted in our own struggle to understand
  2. The Arguments of the Skeptics (v. 1)
    1. Paul expected them to respond with these questions:
      1. "What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?" (v. 1)
      2. "What if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?" (v. 3)
      3. "If our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath?" (v. 5)
    2. Essentially, they would ask, "If the Jewish heritage doesn't make us right with God, what's the advantage of the heritage at all?"
      1. Anyone who has studied the history of Judaism might ask this question, because, of all people, the Jews have the most difficult history
        1. Slavery
        2. Deportation
        3. Persecution
        4. Dispersion
        5. Intimidation
        6. Mass genocide
      2. The reality is that they are God's chosen people
        1. They knew it, Paul knew it, and Scripture affirmed it
        2. Deuteronomy 14:2
        3. Isaiah 43:21
    3. It's great to be God's chosen, but they concluded that this alone made them acceptable to God
      1. Paul explained that being physical descendants of Abraham did not make them spiritual descendants of Abraham
      2. If God hasn't put a mark on your heart, the mark on your flesh (circumcision) is worthless
  3. The Answers of the Scholar (vv. 2-8)
    1. Paul wrote this chapter as a scholar
      1. He used a diatribe method, which was an ancient Socratic teaching method
      2. The writer asked rhetorical questions then answered those questions in order to lead those who were listening from error into truth
        1. The questions Paul asked and answered were probably questions Paul had heard as he visited the synagogues in different cities
        2. These also may have been questions he, as a Jew, had once asked
    2. Paul anticipated these questions and objections from his audience because he had just demolished the Jews' false security in their external religion
      1. Paul never said that their heritage was not important—just that it wasn't enough
      2. Heritage is good—it gives you an edge—but heritage by itself is never enough
      3. Paul himself was a Jew and respected that heritage
        1. He worshiped in the temple whenever he was in Jerusalem
        2. He had Timothy circumcised as a concession to the Jewish believers in Galatia (see Acts 16:3)
        3. Paul paid for the purification rites of four men in the temple so that they could fulfill their Nazirite vows (see Acts 21:26)
  4. The Advantages of the Scriptures (v. 2b)
    1. What's the advantage of being a Jew?
      1. "Much in every way!" (v. 2)
      2. Paul said they had many advantages, but he focused on one
        1. If you were raised in a Christian home, you have advantages that nobody else has
        2. Don't depreciate your own testimony in favor of others' testimonies
        3. If your testimony is that you were raised in a Christian home with a framework of biblical truth and you still follow Him today, you have the best testimony, because it testifies to the keeping power of God
    2. Paul's answer: "Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God" (v. 2)
      1. In the NIV, chiefly is translated "first of all," which implies a list
        1. Paul finished this list in Romans 9:1-5 and included eight advantages
        2. The Greek word is prōton, which means primarily, most importantly, or first in rank
      2. Paul said that the most important advantage the Jewish people have is "the oracles of God" (v. 2)
        1. The Greek word used for oracles is logia, which means word or words
        2. Paul was referring to the Old Testament
          1. God chose the Jews in that He revealed Himself to the world through them
          2. God spoke to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc.
    3. Paul stressed this advantage above all others because this is the basis for all the others
      1. Paul answered his first question, but not his second
      2. Paul zeroed in on their primary advantage—the Scripture
    4. This is also our chief advantage as Christians
      1. Giving our lives to Christ is not the end; He doesn't leave you adrift in a sea of human speculation about the meaning of life
      2. He gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide, as well as His Word
    5. This leads to an important question: What is the Bible? There are three positions you can take:
      1. It's the Word of God
        1. 2 Timothy 3:16
        2. The Greek word for inspiration here is theopneustos, which means breathed out by God
        3. How does God inspire writing?
          1. Each writer had his own style, education, circumstances, and experiences
          2. God "moved" each of them (2 Peter 1:21); moved is a sailing metaphor that refers to a ship being carried along by the wind
      2. It's the words of men
        1. Liberalism does not accept the Bible as the Word of God; it's inspired on the same level as a Picasso
        2. In this view, the Bible embodies the highest human ideals, ethics, thought, and aspirations, but at the end of the day, it's just a human book
      3. It's a combination of the two
        1. It's both the Word of God and the word of men; some things are the true Word of God, and some things are from men, so they're wrong
        2. Their scholarship is what tells you which is from God and which is from man; this leads to the scholar taking preeminence over God
        3. Everybody's a sinner, including scholars (see Romans 3:23)
  5. The Admonition of the Scribe (vv. 3-4)
    1. Jewish history is filled with failure
      1. They failed to believe God's promise
      2. They failed to obey His Word, especially when Jesus came into the world—He was rejected (see John 1:11)
    2. God has promised in both the Old and New Testaments to one day restore and redeem the nation of Israel
      1. It's happened in part, but it's been delayed
      2. Romans 11:25-27
      3. All of these are unconditional promises, and the fulfillment may be postponed, but it will never be prevented; God still has a plan for the future of the nation of Israel
      4. Not believing God's promises won't nullify God's promises
    3. The advantage can become the disadvantage
      1. You can have the oracles of God, but if you don't read, believe, and apply them, they're worthless
        1. John 5:39
        2. Hebrews 4:2
      2. Outward identity with God's people is one thing, but inward conformity to God's principles is another
  6. Conclusion
    1. Being in a Christian environment where the Bible is taught has many advantages
      1. But to take advantage of the advantage, you have to read it, study it, apply it, and share it
      2. The Bible has the power to change a life, but it also has the power to do more—only when you apply it
    2. In studying the Bible, you will find things you like, and others you don't want to hear
      1. Many truths sound very narrow; so is every landing strip in every airport—but every passenger would have it no other way
      2. The oracles of God may seem very narrow, but they lead to the gateway of a fulfilled, happy life
Figures referenced: Pablo Picasso, Alexander Smith, Mark Twain, John Wesley

Cross references: Deuteronomy 14:2; Isaiah 43:21; John 1:11; 5:39; Acts 16:3; 21:26; Romans 1:18; 2:1, 11, 29; 3:23; 9:1-5; 11:25-27; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:2; 2 Peter 1:21; 3:15-16

Greek words: logia, proton, theopneustos

Topic: the Scriptures

Keywords: advantage, the Bible, grace, heritage, history, Jews, Jewish, meditate, oracles, promise, study, word

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: How Prisoners Go Free
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 3:9-26
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4465

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Freedom is a huge word for the Christian believer. Picture yourself nervously standing in a courtroom before a judge who has just read the pile of evidence against you. Just before the gavel strikes the bench proclaiming your guilt, a piece of evidence strikes his gaze and he unexpectedly announces your innocence. You can now go free! Here Paul explains how any person anywhere can find hope and freedom because of the gospel.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 4, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "How Prisoners Go Free"
Text: Romans 3:9-26

Path

Freedom is a huge word for the Christian believer. Picture yourself nervously standing in a courtroom before a judge who has just read the pile of evidence against you. Just before the gavel strikes the bench proclaiming your guilt, a piece of evidence strikes his gaze and he unexpectedly announces your innocence. You can now go free! Here Paul explains how any person anywhere can find hope and freedom because of the gospel.

  1. Our Guilt Is Universal (vv. 9-20)
    1. Condemnation of Sin (v. 9)
    2. Confirmation by Scripture (vv. 10-18)
    3. Clarification of a System (vv. 19-20)
  2. God's Gift Is Available (vv. 21-24)
    1. It's Completely Scriptural (v. 21)
    2. It's Completely Suitable (vv. 22-24)
  3. This Grace Is Remarkable (vv. 24-26)
    1. God Acted Graciously (vv. 24-26)
    2. God Acted Judiciously (v. 26)
Points

Our Guilt Is Universal (vv. 9-20)God's Gift Is Available (vv. 21-24)This Grace Is Remarkable (vv. 24-26)Practice

Connect Up: The declaration of Scripture is clear, but profound—all are guilty, but, through God's grace, all can receive the gift of salvation in Christ. Two key attributes of God are found in the guilt/grace model: God's perfect righteousness and His all-goodness (love and grace). Why are both attributes necessary for a biblical picture of God? How are these two attributes related, in that you can't have God's grace without His holiness?

Connect In: The guilt/grace pattern can be found in our interaction with other Christians. As an example, someone may wrong you, but you are called to forgive them (see Matthew 18:21-35). Without using names or indicting someone, share the story of a time when you had to go out of your way to forgive someone when they didn't deserve it. Discuss how God gives us grace, and how we are to follow His example.

Connect Out: Romans 3:23-24 is one of the clearest proclamations of the guilt/grace reality. Using this text, how would you reach out to an unbeliever, describing our guilt, as well as God's grace? How can you tie in your personal testimony? Why is it important to balance the truths of guilt and grace when leading someone to Christ?

DETAILED NOTES
"How Prisoners Go Free"
Romans 3:9-26

  1. Introduction
    1. About 2.3 million Americans are incarcerated
      1. 1 out of 138 Americans is in jail
      2. The United States has 5 percent of the world's total population and 25 percent of the world's prison population
    2. How do prisoners become free?
      1. There is a cross that sets men and women free; that cross is the key to liberty
      2. Luke 4:18
      3. John 8:36
    3. In this section of Romans 3, Paul announced both guilt and freedom
      1. As prisoners, we are brought into the courtroom, but instead of pronouncing a guilty verdict, the judge sets us free
      2. If I'm guilty, how can I have liberty?
  2. Our Guilt Is Universal (vv. 9-20)
    1. Condemnation of Sin (v. 9)
      1. Paul brought a fourteen-count indictment against humanity
      2. These indictments fall into three categories:
        1. Character: who a person is
        2. Conversation: what a person says
        3. Conduct: what a person does
    2. Confirmation by Scripture (vv. 10-18)
      1. Paul acted as the prosecutor in a courtroom and used Scriptures to show the magnitude of our guilt
      2. This is Paul's summary statement; after talking about the guilt of the raunchy, religious, and self-righteous crowds, Paul's conclusion was that all of us are guilty
      3. Paul repeated the word none four times and the word all three times
        1. In the Scriptures, the number seven represents completion or totality
        2. This is God's complete indictment against humanity
          1. How many are righteous? None
          2. How many are guilty? All
    3. Clarification of a System (vv. 19-20)
      1. We have a problem—very few people believe that
        1. Many people believe that mankind is basically good, and guilt is a "wasted emotion"
        2. Mankind is good only in that we are created in the image of God, but that image can be very faint at times
      2. People feel guilty because they are guilty
        1. The feeling is only a symptom of the problem
        2. The only permanent solution is to deal with the guilt at a deeper level
      3. Every human being will "fall short" (v. 23) of the standard of the glory of God
      4. Where does this leave us?
        1. It leaves us speechless
        2. Revelation 8:1
  3. God's Gift Is Available (vv. 21-24)
    1. It's Completely Scriptural (v. 21)
      1. This is the first transition in the book of Romans—from the wrath of God to the grace of God
        1. There is a Grand Canyon of sorts between verses 20 and 21
        2. "But now"—after a long, dark night, the sun begins to shine
      2. This is where Paul introduced the righteousness of God
        1. Paul referred back to a theme he introduced in Romans 1:16-17
        2. The righteousness of God does not refer to God's personal righteousness
          1. This is the righteousness He provides
          2. Isaiah 64:6
    2. It's Completely Suitable (vv. 22-24)
      1. Paul quoted the Old Testament to indict humanity fourteen times, but he referred back to the Law again
        1. The same Law and prophets that announced our guilt also announced God's gift
        2. Isaiah 53:6
        3. Jeremiah 31:31-33
      2. How is this righteousness available?
        1. "Through faith in Jesus Christ" (v. 22)
        2. This is not faith in God generally; it is faith in Christ specifically
        3. Faith in God is not enough; faith in the Son of God is enough
        4. John 14:6
  4. This Grace Is Remarkable (vv. 24-26)
    1. God Acted Graciously (vv. 24-25)
      1. If God is to be perfectly just, He must judge sin
      2. How can He be just but at the same time free the prisoners—justify people?
        1. He has to let it all rest on one sinless victim so that He can confer grace on those who are guilty
        2. This happens through grace—unmerited and undeserved favor
        3. God is filled with the sheer generosity of grace
    2. God Acted Judiciously (v. 26)
      1. Justification (see v. 24) appears thirty times in the New Testament, fifteen of which are in the book of Romans
        1. This is a legal term that means to declare a person righteous and to treat them as such; it does not mean to make someone righteous
        2. When we are justified, God treats us as if we'd never sinned
      2. Redemption (see v. 24) is language that comes from the slave market
        1. To redeem is to set someone free by paying a price
        2. The fact that money is given shows that the buyer places value on the slave
        3. Redemption indicates value; you are so precious to God that He looks at you and says that you are worth all of the pain that Jesus suffered through
          1. John 3:16
          2. Your value comes from being loved by the God of this universe
      3. Propitiation (see v. 25) means appeasement or satisfaction
        1. Modern translations don't use this word because it's difficult to translate the Greek word—hilastērion
        2. God's wrath is appeased by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross
        3. The word propitiation is used twice in the New Testament but twenty times in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament)
          1. It is translated as mercy seat in the Old Testament
          2. This was the only place God would meet with His people
          3. What kept God from judging His people? The blood on the mercy seat
  5. Conclusion
    1. Jesus is the only place God in heaven will meet with mankind on earth
      1. He is the only place where God and man can come together
      2. Jesus is our mercy seat
    2. Jesus satisfied the just demands of God's holy law and bought our freedom, paying the price with His own blood
      1. God is now able to declare you as righteous as Christ and treat you as such
      2. This is all summed up in the word grace
    3. This gift must be received
      1. Unless you accept God's forgiveness, you won't be forgiven
      2. If you're not forgiven, you'll still have guilt
      3. You'll never get rid of guilt until you come to the cross to be forgiven
Figures referenced: Donald Grey Barnhouse, Martin Luther, Alva McClain, Leon Morris, Henry Smith

Cross references: Isaiah 53:6; 64:6; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Luke 4:18; John 3:16; 8:36; 14:6; Romans 1:16-17; Revelation 8:1

Greek words: hilastērion

Topic: freedom

Keywords: gift, grace, guilt, indictment, justification, propitiation, redemption, righteousness

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Old Age; Young Faith
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 4
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4467

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Our skin may wrinkle but our faith never has to. Abraham’s faith was vibrant and youthful even when he was nearing one hundred years of age. As Paul points to the patriarch Abraham as an example for justification by faith, we can learn what it means to believe God through all the ages of life. How vibrant is your Christian faith? Have you let cynicism and doubt choke out your confidence in God?

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 11, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Old Age; Young Faith"
Text: Romans 4

Path

Our skin may wrinkle but our faith never has to. Abraham's faith was vibrant and youthful even when he was nearing one hundred years of age. As Paul points to the patriarch Abraham as an example for justification by faith, we can learn what it means to believe God through all the ages of life. How vibrant is your Christian faith? Have you let cynicism and doubt choke out your confidence in God?

  1. Abraham's Faith Exhibited (vv. 1-15)
  2. Abraham's Faith Explained (vv. 16-17)
  3. Abraham's Faith Examined (vv. 18-25)
    1. He Believed God Can Do Anything (vv. 17-18)
    2. He Believed Circumstances Aren't Everything (v. 19)
    3. He Believed Challenges Are Nothing (v. 20)
    4. He Believed Promises Mean Something (v. 21)
Points

Abraham's Faith Exhibited (vv. 1-15)Abraham's Faith Explained (vv. 16-17)Abraham's Faith Examined (vv. 18-25)Practice

Connect Up: Though we can see the handiwork of God in creation, we can't physically see God. Having faith in God is like trusting in the laws of physics to get a plane in the air. According to Hebrews 11:1 and 6, why is faith vital for belief in God? Knowing is not enough, nor is conviction. We must receive—by faith, through God's grace—the promises of God in Christ. Discuss why each of the following kinds of faith is important in our relationship with God:Connect In: How is faith communicated and lived out in the church? Here are some areas to discuss:Connect Out: How would you explain to an unbeliever the role of faith in the Christian life? Knowing that all people have faith in something, how can you direct an unbeliever's faith in self, science, money, power, etc., to faith in God?

DETAILED NOTES
"Old Age; Young Faith"
Romans 4

  1. Introduction
    1. You should never fear growing old; you should fear growing stale as you grow old
      1. You should be afraid of losing a vibrant, active, childlike faith in God
      2. Psalm 92:13-14
      3. Confidence in God makes a person attractive at any age
    2. A survey of people over the age of ninety-five indicated three things people would have done differently if they could live their lives over again:
      1. They would reflect more, they would risk more, and they would do more things that would live on after they died
      2. You will never regret a life of faith; you won't get to the end of your life and say, "I think I trusted God way too much when I was younger"
    3. In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul focused on what it means to be right with God
      1. He said the Law can reveal sin, but never remove sin
      2. He also said that salvation by faith was witnessed by the Law and the prophets
        1. As Paul said this, he expected that those who read it would question it
        2. Paul knew he would be questioned because he understood the Jewish mindset
      3. Paul called on Abraham and David as witnesses in chapter 4 to prove his case that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone
  2. Abraham's Faith Exhibited (vv. 1-15)
    1. Paul referred to an incident in Abraham's life when he was eighty-six years old
      1. Genesis 15:5-6
      2. Abraham believed God's promise, and God counted it to him as righteousness
      3. In Hebrew, the word believed is amen
      4. The word Paul used in the Greek is episteusen, which is a banking term meaning to credit something to somebody's account
    2. Abraham was spiritually bankrupt before God, but as soon as he said amen and trusted God, the accounts changed
      1. God considered Abraham righteous because he believed by faith
      2. Abraham's faith was used four times in the New Testament to make the same point—any sinful person can be right with holy God simply by faith
    3. When Abraham believed God, the Law wasn't even around; Moses wouldn't be born for another 400 years
      1. Abraham wasn't circumcised until age ninety-nine; he did it after he believed and after God counted him righteous
      2. Abraham's was a living, active, vibrant faith; he was an old man and God asked him to look to the future, not backwards
        1. If you want to stay young, say amen to God's promises more often—don't just read them in the Bible
        2. You are as young as your faith and as old as your doubt
  3. Abraham's Faith Explained (vv. 16-17)
    1. In verse 16, Paul explained a principle that he also laid out in Ephesians 2:8-9
      1. Abraham was the prototype—the poster child—of salvation by faith so that everyone who believes can trace their lineage back to him
      2. When you place your trust in Jesus Christ alone, you enter a spiritual heritage that goes all the way back to the simple faith of Abraham
    2. Like Abraham, we don't work for salvation or go through a ritual to obtain it
      1. When you believe in Jesus Christ and trust in Him, you are saved
      2. Romans 10:9-10
    3. Believing is just the beginning; growth follows, and works follow the growth
      1. But you're not saved by those works; they simply verify your real faith
      2. The simple amen, the simple belief in your heart makes you right with God
        1. Paul's audience thought exactly the opposite; many people in ancient pagan religions thought you had to work hard for it
        2. Most people today believe that you have to do something more than believe
          1. 77 percent of Americans believe that people must contribute their own effort for personal salvation
          2. 52 percent believe that good deeds help them earn a spot in heaven
        3. What a place heaven would be if people got there by paying their own way
          1. It would be a miserable place; people would be bragging and boasting
          2. We're all going to say, "I got here by grace—because of what Jesus did for me, not because of anything I did for Him"
  4. Abraham's Faith Examined (vv. 18-25)
    1. He Believed God Can Do Anything (vv. 17-18)
      1. Abraham brought God into the equation
        1. When a problem arises, the first thing we try to do is work it out in our own minds, and if we can't figure it out, we assume that God can't figure it out
        2. Throughout the Genesis narratives, God talked about Isaac as though Isaac was living at the time, even though he wasn't born yet
      2. Our issue is that we tend to carry our limitations over onto God
        1. God told Abraham several times that he would have a son
          1. On one of these occasions, Sarah was listening and responded by laughing
          2. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Genesis 18:14)
        2. Jeremiah 32:27
      3. We need a perspective adjustment
        1. Remember who you're dealing with—who you're praying to
        2. Acts 4:18
          1. A law was passed that the church could not mention the name of Jesus in the city of Jerusalem
          2. They responded by holding a prayer meeting, and they framed their perspective using the character and power of God
      4. We tend to let our circumstances block our view of God, but Abraham decided, at age eighty-six, to let God be God and believe that He can do anything
    2. He Believed Circumstances Aren't Everything (v. 19)
      1. Abram was eighty-six when God promised that he would be the father of many nations
        1. Abraham was ninety-nine when God made the promise again and changed his name to Abraham, which means father of a multitude
        2. Abraham became his name in an act of faith; he wasn't thinking of the frailties of the flesh as much as the faithfulness of God
      2. Abraham believed that because God can do anything, circumstances aren't everything
    3. He Believed Challenges Are Nothing (v. 20)
      1. If God can do anything and circumstances aren't everything, then a challenge is nothing to God
      2. Abraham did not waver from believing in God's promises
        1. Waver means to vacillate or doubt
        2. It might seem like Abraham wavered in his faith
          1. Genesis 16:4
          2. Genesis 17:17-22
          3. Struggling in your faith is not the same as unbelief or doubting, just as being tempted isn't the same as sin
      3. Abraham was circumcised at age ninety-nine as a seal that he believed God's promises; he was strengthened in faith
        1. Luke 1:37
        2. This is the kind of faith that stays young; when you live like that, life is an adventure
        3. Romans 10:17
    4. He Believed Promises Mean Something (v. 21)
      1. Abraham was "fully convinced"; to Abraham, the promise was as good as the performance
      2. What do you do with God's promises?
        1. Your answer should be, "I take them to the bank and cash them in"
        2. Are we standing on the promises? Or sitting on the premises?
        3. 2 Peter 1:4
  5. Conclusion
    1. Abraham lived a life of faith
      1. "Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup, uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better, I'd have come running with a bucket" —Nancy Spiegelberg
      2. Romans 8:32
    2. Did you know that what you believe about God is the most important thing about you?
      1. Circumstances will not make or break you; they will just expose you
      2. What you believe about God determines what you believe about everything else
Figures referenced: George Muller, George Bernard Shaw, Nancy Spiegelberg, Billy Sunday

Cross references: Genesis 15:5-6; 16:4; 17:17-22; 18:14; Psalm 92:13-14; Jeremiah 32:27; Luke 1:37; Acts 4:18; Romans 8:32; 10:9-10, 17; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Peter 1:4

Greek words: episteusen

Topic: faith

Keywords: age, believe, challenges, circumstances, childlike, doubt, life, perspective, promise, regrets

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Our Benefits Package
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:1-5
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4469

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Why is being a Christian so great? Every unbeliever you meet is asking that question as they observe your life. What are the benefits of living with a committed faith in Jesus? After explaining what it means to be right with God by believing in Christ, and after illustrating that principle with Abraham, Paul gives a short list of some of the benefits of a saved life.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 18, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Our Benefits Package"
Text: Romans 5:1-5

Path

Why is being a Christian so great? Every unbeliever you meet is asking that question as they observe your life. What are the benefits of living with a committed faith in Jesus? After explaining what it means to be right with God by believing in Christ, and after illustrating that principle with Abraham, Paul gives a short list of some of the benefits of a saved life.

  1. Peace with God (v. 1)
  2. Privilege of Access (v. 2a)
  3. Preview of the Future (v. 2b)
  4. Purpose in Pain (vv. 3-5)
Points

Peace with God (v. 1)Privilege of Access (v. 2a)Preview of the Future (v. 2b)Purpose in Pain (vv. 3-5)Practice

Connect Up: It's good to talk about the moment God justified you (your salvation). Share your personal testimony. Talk about God's peace, and how it brought purpose to your life.

Connect In: Access to God is a privilege for Christians and the church. Discuss how we have access in the following ways:As Prophet, Priest, and King, how does Christ fulfill each of the above areas? For example, as High Priest, He gives us access to God's throne. As Prophet He proclaims (and is) the Word of God, giving us access to God's truth. And as King, He is worthy of prayer and honor, giving us access to a personal relationship with the King of Heaven. (If time permits, see Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry for more information: https://carm.org/prophet-priest-king.) What other connections can you make?

Connect Out: How can you use Pastor Skip's summary points as a guide in sharing your faith with others, highlighting the benefits of the Christian life? As an example: a Christian has peace with God (justification, evangelism), access to God (via prayer, worship, and Bible study), hope to be with God in heaven, and purpose in life, even in trials (trusting God in all areas).

DETAILED NOTES
"Our Benefits Package"
Romans 5:1-5

  1. Introduction
    1. Have you ever thought about how great the company we work for—the church of Jesus Christ—is?
      1. Our product works universally: you can share the gospel with any person willing to listen and receive it, and it will change their life
      2. We have offices worldwide: you can go to any country or culture and find some expression of the church
      3. Our benefits are exceptional: forgiveness for our past, which means peace of mind in the present
      4. We have a retirement package that is out of this world: when it's all over, heaven is waiting for us and we'll be rewarded based on our service for the Lord on earth
    2. The last word of Romans 4:25 is justification
      1. Justification is how you get right with God
      2. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone; it is not earned, but received
        1. None of us are going to be able to say how good we were to get into heaven
        2. We're all going to point to the man with five wounds and say, "That's how I got here—based on what He did for me"
      3. But forgiveness is just the beginning
  2.  Peace with God (v. 1)
    1. This is the first, immediate effect of justification
      1. Peace with God is not a feeling of peace; it's a fact of peace
      2. An unsaved person is at enmity with and separated from God
        1. Isaiah 48:22
        2. Psalm 7:11
        3. Romans 1:18
    2. The great enemy of peace is sin
      1. We need to have a peace treaty with God
        1. Unbelievers might feel peaceful, but they're not at peace with God
        2. Their feeling of peace is only a temporary illusion
      2. Believers are at peace with God, but might not have feelings of peace because of carnality or because they're untaught in Scripture
    3. God has declared us righteous and made peace possible; the peace treaty has been signed
      1. The cross made peace possible; when you said "yes" to Jesus, you received peace with God
      2. Isaiah 53:5
      3. Once we have peace with God as believers, we should experience the peace of God
        1. Philippians 4:6-7
        2. Peace with God should generate the peace of God, but the first is a fact and the second is a feeling
          1. The first is judicial; the second is experiential
          2. The first is objective; the second is subjective
          3. Jesus as Savior brings peace with God; Jesus as Lord brings the peace of God
          4. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace because He primarily came to make peace between mankind and God
      4. Everybody says they want peace, but not everybody wants what it takes to get peace
        1. They must surrender their lives to Christ
        2. For those of us who have been justified, our number one benefit is peace with God
  3. Privilege of Access (v. 2a)
    1. The word access is used of someone who brings another into someone else's presence
      1. This word could be used of a man who secured an audience with the king and brought another man, properly attired, before the king
      2. In and of ourselves, we are ill clad—our righteousness is as filthy rags (see Isaiah 64:6)
      3. Jesus clothes us with His righteousness, then takes us in and introduces us to the Father (see John 14:6)
    2. The idea of access to God was a revolutionary concept
      1. For pagans, the idea of intimacy with and access to God was unheard of
        1. The Greek and Roman gods were angry and petulant
        2. The pagans believed that the gods were to be placated, not approached
      2. Judaism was different, but not much better in terms of intimacy with or access to God
        1. There were different courts in the temple to keep people separated from God
        2. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies once a year—briefly and carefully
        3. All of that ended at the cross; when Jesus died on the cross, a significant event occurred that showed access is now available
          1. The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom, signifying that there is no longer a wall of separation
          2. You can come into the court of the king; you have access to His presence
        4. Ephesians 2:13
        5. Lamentations 3:22-23
      3. Jesus introduced us to the Father, then gave us the key card to the throne room so that we can make repeat visits
      4. Hebrews 4:16
    3. Paul used the word stand in verse 2 because we are to stand firmly, immovable
      1. Even when you fall, you can enter the throne room and come boldly before God
      2. The child of a king can enter his father's presence no matter how he looks; you can come because you have peace with God and access to God
      3. God bought us out of the slave market, adopted us as sons and daughters, and brought us into the family so that we have peace between us and God, access to the throne of grace, and all the resources of heaven at our disposal
  4. Preview of the Future (v. 2b)
    1. Our salvation is anchored in the future because we have a promise that all of this will lead somewhere else
      1. If Christianity is just a philosophy that gets people through life—a belief system that people hold on to, so they have a way to cope with this crazy world—then what we're doing is stupidity
      2. Our hope is founded in the glory of God
        1. The glory of God is a reference to heaven, where God's glory will be fully displayed
        2. Moses wasn't satisfied with what he had already experienced (see Exodus 33:18)
          1. God spoke to him audibly
          2. Moses witnessed the burning bush
          3. He witnessed all of the signs that God worked in Egypt
      3. No man can see God and live, but one day, Moses' prayer will be answered for us
        1. We will see God's full glory
        2. Our glorified bodies will share in a glory like His
        3. 1 John 3:2
        4. This is our hope in the glory of God; J.B. Phillips translates it "a happy certainty"
    2. We have hope for two reasons:
      1. Jesus prayed for us to see His glory (see John 17:20-24)
      2. Jesus did something to ensure that it would happen
        1. When Jesus rose from the dead, it proved that everything else He promised is possible
        2. 1 Peter 1:3
        3. When Jesus died, the disciples' hope was dead, but when Jesus rose from the dead, hope went ballistic
        4. All the promises Jesus made are true
          1. John 11:25
          2. John 14:6
          3. John 5:24
          4. John 14:19
      3. When Jesus rose from the dead, His promises became real, with real meaning
        1. If He can rise from the dead, every promise He made about everlasting life is possible
        2. We have a living hope that we know to be true; we rejoice in the certainty of the glory of God
  5. Purpose in Pain (vv. 3-5)
    1. In the past, we have peace with God; in the present, we have access; in the future, we have glory—but what about all the hardships we go through?
      1. Salvation isn't a fairytale; after you receive Christ, you will have tribulation
      2. John 16:33
    2. Justification is not an escape from trials—it is a guarantee that those trials have purpose
      1. Those trials will work for you, not against you
      2. Romans 8:28
      3. The English word tribulation comes from the Latin word tribulum
        1. A tribulum was a piece of wood with spikes
        2. It was used to separate the wheat from the chaff
    3. Tribulations separate what's important from what's unimportant; they work for you because they produce perseverance, character, and hope
      1. We are to glory in our tribulations
      2. We should thank God for our tribulations, because there's a purpose to the pain
      3. Unbelievers are unable to glory in tribulation
        1. To an unbeliever, this life is all there is, and if it's marked with pain and tribulation, they've lost everything
        2. The believer is able to glory in tribulation because no matter how dark the evening gets, the morning is coming
        3. Tribulation will work these character traits and depth into our lives, and heaven is on the other side
      4. This is why we need to be careful when we ask why God lets bad things happen to good people
        1. Be very careful what you're calling bad; what you look at as bad might be the best thing for you
        2. Genesis 50:20
  6. Conclusion
    1. "Why should I tremble at the plow of my Lord that makes deep furrows in my soul? He is no idle husbandman. He purposes a crop" —Samuel Rutherford
    2. Because we are justified by faith, we have peace with God, access to God, hope to be with God in glory, and purpose in our trials
    3. May the benefits that follow forgiveness motivate you to serve Him diligently
Figures referenced: J.B. Phillips, Samuel Rutherford, Kenneth Wiese

Cross references: Genesis 50:20; Exodus 33:18; Psalm 7:11; Isaiah 48:22; 53:5; 64:6; Lamentations 3:22-23; John 5:24; 11:25; 14:6, 19; 16:33; 17:20-24; Romans 1:18; 4:25; 8:28; Ephesians 2:13; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 3:2

Latin words: tribulum

Topic: salvation

Keywords: access, benefits, forgiveness, glory, hope, justification, pain, peace, purpose, resurrection, salvation, tribulations

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Unrivaled Love
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:6-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4471

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Modern wisdom continually tells us, “Love is a verb,” rather than a sentimental feeling. Love is a commitment that involves action. For the first time in the letter to the Romans, Paul introduced the word love and a very singular kind of love—God’s love for us. Wanting to show how secure we are in this salvation, he described the greatest demonstration of love—its proof, its provision, and its product.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 25, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Unrivaled Love"
Text: Romans 5:6-11

Path

Modern wisdom continually tells us, "Love is a verb," rather than a sentimental feeling. Love is a commitment that involves action. For the first time in the letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul introduced the word love and a very singular kind of love—God's love for us. Wanting to show how secure we are in this salvation, Paul describes the greatest demonstration of love—its proof, its provision, and its product.

  1. The Proof of God's Love (vv. 6-8)
    1. His Gift Was Sacrificial (vv. 6-8)
    2. His Gift Was Unconditional (v. 6)
    3. His Gift Was Incomparable (vv. 7-8)
  2. The Provision of God's Love (vv. 9-10)
    1. Jesus' Death Saved Us from God's Wrath (v. 9)
    2. Jesus' Life Saved Us from Our Ruin (v. 10)
  3. The Product of God's Love (v. 11)
Points

The Proof of God's Love (vv. 6-8)The Provision of God's Love (vv. 9-10)The Product of God's Love (v. 11)Practice

Connect Up: God is love (see 1 John 4:7-21), but that does not mean He is without justice (leading to wrath). God's love is both caring and just, making us perfect and complete like Him (see Matthew 5:48). Theologically, the unified character of God is called simplicity (i.e., without parts, indivisible). Why is it important to discuss both love and justice in relation to a unified understanding of God's character? Why does God punish evil, yet love the evildoer? How can both be true?

Connect In: How should the love/justice dynamic work in harmony within the church? Here are some areas to ponder:Connect Out: Using the concept of joy as a springboard, how could you implement the quote Pastor Skip gave from Thomas Aquinas to describe why people pursue carnal things in life? Why are people seeking joy apart from God, and why does that joy fail them? How can you weave true joy (the result of our salvation from wrath and ruin through Christ) as a talking point in sharing the gospel? Because of the power of joy, why is it important for Christians to exude joy when witnessing? What does our joy look like? How is it different from happiness?

DETAILED NOTES
"Unrivaled Love"
Romans 5:6-11

  1. Introduction
    1. True love is what people search for in life
      1. People want to be loved and to love
      2. Google provides over two billion results for true love, including:
        1. Advertisements on how to find true love
        2. Hit songs that talk about true love
        3. Articles about how to ensure that you'll find true love
        4. Explanations as to what true love is all about
    2. True love has been discussed, pondered, argued, and debated for centuries
      1. Some have become cynical
        1. Nobody can find true love
        2. Love is just a result of chemicals in the brain; it's a physiological response
      2. Others are hopeless romantics
        1. They believe they'll find a soulmate who is compatible with them in every way
        2. They believe they will have an endless romance as the sun sets over their white picket fence
    3. We live in a fallen world
      1. Our world is filled with broken and imperfect people
      2. Any relationship can fail at some point, because when broken, imperfect people love other broken, imperfect people, their love is imperfect
      3. However, God's love is in a different category altogether
        1. 1 John 3:1
        2. What foreign kind of love is this?
    4. The last word in Romans 4 is justification
      1. To be justified means to be declared righteous
      2. God declares that you are now right with Him, simply because you believe in what Jesus did for you
        1. He declares you right with Him and then treats you as such
        2. As a result of justification, we have peace with God, access to God, hope in the glory of the future, and purpose in all the trials of this life
    5. The first time the word love is used in the book of Romans is in 5:5
      1. Paul presented the wrath of God and the grace of God
      2. When you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you enter a lifelong relationship with God
      3. The second use of the word love is in verse 8
        1. God demonstrated His love toward us
        2. Paul introduced God's love, then pointed to the cross as the greatest example and act of love
    6. The overwhelming truth of the gospel is that God loves broken, imperfect people
      1. "No truth in the whole Bible ought to affect us as the love of God" —Dwight L. Moody
      2. Love is an essential part of God's character
        1. That does not mean that God doesn't hate
        2. Proverbs 6:16-19
      3. 1 John 4:8
      4. Paul discussed justification by faith, then he gave us God's motive for it all: love
  2. The Proof of God's Love (vv. 6-8)
    1. His Gift Was Sacrificial (vv. 6-8)
      1. The proof of love is always in the gift; what is love willing to give?
      2. God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life
        1. John 3:16
        2. Galatians 2:20
      3. Love is willing to give
          1. Love is willing to make a sacrifice
          2. Love is never passive or silent
          3. Love is always active and willing to act
      4. One of the reasons many marriages deteriorate is because couples stop giving to each other
        1. They stop giving their interest, time, energy, or care
        2. The marriage relationship deteriorates into a legal, formal relationship where those feelings disappear because giving stops
      5. For God, love was a verb, and He gave His very best: His only Son
      6. For Jesus, love was a verb
        1. He gave His life
        2. John 10:18
        3. Jesus was a true King searching for what He could give
          1. Matthew 20:28
          2. The proof of God's love is that the gift given was a sacrificial gift
    2. His Gift Was Unconditional (v. 6)
      1. "Without strength" (v. 6) means hopeless, powerless
        1. We had no ability to improve our condition, no capability to help ourselves, because we were spiritually dead
        2. Ephesians 2:1-2
        3. Before salvation, you were the walking dead—insensate to spiritual things
      2. "In due time" (v. 6)
        1. Galatians 4:4
        2. Our God, at the right time, sent His Son to save those who were in a helpless, hopeless, powerless condition; this is the style of God's love
          1. God loves the prodigal when they run away and wallow in the muck and mire of their own sin
          2. Jesus loves the prostitute
          3. Jesus loves the drug dealer and the drug user
          4. God hates what they're doing, but He loves the person (see Mark 10:21)
    3. His Gift Was Incomparable (vv. 7-8)
      1. In these two verses, Paul compared divine love to human love in order to show the vast difference between the way people love and the way God loves us
        1. Human love is almost always based on the attractiveness of the object that is loved
          1. If the object is more attractive, there's more love; if the object is less attractive, there's less love
          2. Human love is object-oriented, based upon the value, worth, status, or beauty of that object
          3. We are also inclined to love people who love us (see Luke 6:32)
        2. Our mistake is that we often attribute human love to God
          1. We think that God must love those who love Him, or that His love depends on how good we are
          2. "If God loved us because we loved Him, He would love us only so long as we love Him, and on that condition; and then our salvation would depend on the constancy of our treacherous hearts" —Charles Hodge
        3. God's love is not like human love; it is subject-oriented, not object-oriented
          1. Love is part of His nature, completely independent of the beauty, attractiveness, and value of the object
          2. God's love is completely dependent on the character of the subject giving the love
          3. It's unusual, from a human perspective, to love and sacrifice for a scoundrel, villain, rascal, cheat, or thief, but God is so inclined (see Luke 5:32)
  3. The Provision of God's Love (vv. 9-10)
    1. Jesus' Death Saved Us from God's Wrath (v. 9)
      1. Paul introduced the wrath of God in Romans 1:18, then unleashed for three chapters, describing the wrath of God and the condition of humanity
        1. This is the wrath that we're saved from
        2. For those who believe in Jesus, God's wrath is not an issue; a believer never has to worry about God's wrath
        3. John 5:24
      2. For you and I who trust in Jesus Christ simply, authentically, and wholeheartedly, God's wrath will never be an issue
        1. But that's not true for everybody (see John 3:36)
        2. The Bible divides all of humanity into two camps:
          1. Those who believe in Jesus—those who have escaped God's wrath
          2. Those who do not believe—those who will one day encounter God's wrath
        3. For believers, though, wrath is not an issue
          1. 1 Thessalonians 1:10
          2. God's wrath has been removed because Jesus took the brunt of it
          3. All the wrath of God was allowed to be poured into and on the body of Jesus so that when He died for you and me, God's wrath was satisfied in that sacrifice
    2. Jesus' Life Saves Us from Our Ruin (v. 10)
      1. Verse 10 is one of the strongest promises in the New Testament: we will be kept by God
        1. Paul argued from greater to lesser, both logically and theologically
          1. If the dying Savior reconciled us to God, then surely a living Savior will keep us reconciled to God
          2. If God can bring a sinner to heaven, then surely God can keep a saint while on the earth
          3. If our sin couldn't keep Him from loving us before we were saved, can anything keep us from His love now that we are saved?
          4. If our sin was not a barrier to the beginning of salvation, then how can our sin ever be a barrier at the completion of our salvation?
        2. God always finishes what He starts
          1. Hebrews 12:2
          2. Philippians 1:6
          3. Our safety depends on God's nature, not our own, just like your salvation didn't depend on your character and nature, but on God's
      2. Jesus not only pardons you; He preserves you
        1. John 17:15
        2. 2 Timothy 1:12
        3. He heals your soul, and He can keep your soul
  4. The Product of God's Love (v. 11)
    1. What does this love of God do in us?
      1. Authentic joy is the result of experiencing that true love
        1. Joy is what the world is missing, and joy is what the gospel produces
        2. Every person wants to be happy
        3. "No man can live without joy. That is why one who is deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures" —Thomas Aquinas
        4. Whenever you see someone trying to fill up their life with sensual, carnal, worldly pleasures, it's because they haven't found what they're looking for: a true sense of spiritual joy
      2. One of the first signs that a person is right with God is joy
        1. Luke 2:10
        2. Acts 13:48
        3. Acts 8:8
    2. The joy that God offers is not the joy that the car dealership promises
      1. God is not interested in just putting a temporary smile on your face
      2. He wants to deposit real joy, hope, and love in your heart
      3. The effect of true love is true joy, and Jesus is the author of both
  5. Conclusion
    1. God knows exactly what you need and sent a Savior
      1. He sent someone who demonstrated His love for you in His sacrifice
      2. He loves you at your worst so that He can take you at your worst and turn you into His best
    2. True love is when you discover that God in heaven, your Creator, who did all of this, thought that you were worth it
      1. When you realize that God thought you were worth all of this, you experience true love like you've never experienced it before
      2. You'll never find this love on a human level; it might be good, and it might come close, but it will be nothing like this
      3. God's great love is sacrificial, unconditional, and incomparable and provides salvation from wrath, and salvation for you, forever
Figures referenced: Thomas Aquinas, Stephen Covey, Corporal Jason Dunham, James Harrison, Charles Hodge, James Earl Jones, Dwight L. Moody

Cross references: Proverbs 6:16-19; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:21; Luke 2:10; 5:32; 6:32; John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 10:18; 17:15; Acts 8:8; 13:48; Romans 1:18; 4:25; 5:5; Galatians 2:20; 4:4; Ephesians 2:1-2; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 12:2; 1 John 3:1; 4:8

Topic: the love of God

Keywords: believe, character, incomparable, joy, love, nature, sacrificial, salvation, true, unconditional, wrath

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: A One-Man Show
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:12-21
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4473

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Just one person can do a lot of damage, and conversely just one person can do a lot of good. Paul here showed the effect that Adam brought on by his rebellion and the effect that Jesus bought with His blood on the cross. One caused death. One conveys life. One brought guilt. One bought the gift of grace. The big question is, have you received the gift?

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 1, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "A One-Man Show"
Text: Romans 5:12-21

Path

Just one person can do a lot of damage, and conversely just one person can do a lot of good. Paul here showed the effect that Adam brought on by his rebellion and the effect that Jesus bought with His blood on the cross. One caused death. One conveys life. One brought guilt. One bought the gift of grace. The big question is, have you received the gift?

  1. One Man's Failure Brought Mankind's Fall (vv. 12-14)
    1. Adam Sinned
    2. All Were Affected
    3. Condemnation Resulted
  2. One Man's Fix Bought Mankind's Favor (vv. 15-21)
    1. Christ Sacrificed
    2. All Can Be Affected
    3. Justification Resulted
Points

One Man's Failure Brought Mankind's Fall (vv. 12-14)One Man's Fix Bought Mankind's Favor (vv. 15-21)Practice

Connect Up: Why do you think God allowed Adam and Eve to sin? Here are some thoughts to discuss:Because of Adam and Eve's choice, sin has been passed down from one generation to another. Although the Bible doesn't explicitly state how this is accomplished, here are three points to discuss:Connect In: A sacrifice is defined as "offering something precious up for a reason." Christ is our final sacrifice—He died for His bride, the church. How should the church serve each other sacrificially? Use the following verses to discuss: Connect Out: Why do you think the Lord used the shedding of blood to redeem? Discuss Leviticus 17:11 and Hebrews 9:11-18. How does blood function biologically, and what does it symbolize? In a day when many see sacrifice as barbaric, how would you describe why God worked through sacrifice to an unbeliever? As one person asks, "Why must God employ such distasteful means to effect salvation?"1 Discuss a response.

1 Pulliam, Ken, Blogspot, "Why I De-Converted from Evangelical Christianity," August 4, 2010, http://formerfundy.blogspot.com/2010/08/why-must-someone-die-before-god-can.html, accessed 09/03/19.

DETAILED NOTES
"A One-Man Show"
Romans 5:12-21

  1. Introduction
    1. One person really can change their world
      1. But just as one person can effect great good, one person can effect great evil
      2. One person can invent things to help people, while another person can destroy those things
    2. In this passage, Paul laid one man and what he did against another man and what He did
      1. Paul compared Adam and Christ and the effects of their actions
      2. This passage is perhaps one of the most difficult passages to understand that Paul ever wrote (see 2 Peter 3:15-16)
        1. The word one appears eleven times in this passage
          1. We have one man, one sin, and one wrong choice that opened the door for corruption
          2. On the other hand, we have one man, one sacrifice, and one right choice that opened the door to salvation
        2. The word reign appears five times
          1. Paul acknowledged these two men as reigning over two different kingdoms
          2. Adam reigned over the kingdom of death, and Jesus reigns over the kingdom of life
          3. Condemnation flows from the stream of Adam; salvation and justification flow from the stream of Christ
        3. The phrase much more appears five times; we have gained much more in Christ than we ever lost through Adam
    3. We've each met thousands of people over our lifetimes, but there's only one person we will ever meet who can completely change our lives—Jesus Christ
      1. He motivates us to do what we do—to start churches, go out as missionaries, etc.
      2. He's the only one who can change lives
  2. One Man's Failure Brought Mankind's Fall (vv. 12-14)
    1. Adam Sinned
      1. Adam's sin affected every single person
      2. Romans 3:23
      3. If God had tested every human being individually, the result would be the same
      4. Paul talked about Adam seven times throughout his writings, and he spoke about Adam as an actual, historical figure
        1. Jesus also spoke about Adam and Eve (see Matthew 19:4-5)
        2. Both Paul and Jesus referred to a literal Adam and a literal Eve—not mythical figures
          1. Most people today do not believe in a historical Adam and Eve, because that would mean believing in the creation
          2. The prevailing belief of the last century is Darwinian evolution
          3. As believers, we hold a teleological viewpoint: if something looks like it's been designed, there's a designer behind it
          4. Wherever there is a thing, there must have been a preceding thought; wherever there is a thought, there must have been a thinker
          5. If a historical Adam does not represent mankind in sinfulness, then a historical Jesus could never represent mankind in righteousness; one requires the other
    2. All Were Affected
      1. Evil seems to grow with each subsequent generation
        1. Right now, there are forty active conflicts on earth
        2. There's a rise in depression and suicide in our country
      2. Whose fault is this?
        1. Adam was given an incredible power—the power of choice, or volition
        2. Through one man, sin entered the world; when he opened that door, a deadly virus infected humanity
          1. Since Adam, every human is born with sin in their DNA
          2. Sin entered, death entered, death spread, and death reigned
        3. One man's act brought results so catastrophic we are still experiencing the repercussions to this day
        4. When Adam sinned, he generated a constitutional change in his character, and he acted as the federal head of humanity, passing on his nature throughout history
    3. Condemnation Resulted
      1. Why would God condemn the world because of what one person did?
        1. This principle works in other aspects of human propagation
          1. We get physical characteristics from parents and grandparents
          2. Eye color, hair color, body type, height, etc.—all of that gets passed on through our genetic code
        2. In the same way, sin is a matter of spiritual genetics—we inherit a fallen nature
      2. By condemning the race through one man, God is able to save the race through one man
        1. In consigning all of us under the condemnation clause, since we're all born into that state, we can all be saved by His grace by simply believing
        2. By one man we are condemned; by one man we are saved
      3. Our condition is the total depravity of mankind
        1. The word depravity means marked by corruption
        2. Depravity does not mean you're as bad as you can possibly be; it means you're as bad off as you can possibly be
        3. Before God, you and I can't get any worse
        4. Romans 1:18
        5. Romans 3:23
        6. We are, by nature, the children of wrath
  3. One Man's Fix Bought Mankind's Favor (vv. 15-21)
    1. Christ Sacrificed
      1. Paul called Jesus "the last Adam" in 1 Corinthians 15:45
        1. Just as through one man's failure came mankind's fall, so one man's fix bought mankind's favor
        2. Adam is a "type" (typos in Greek) of Christ (v. 14), not because they are similar, but because they are dissimilar to each other
      2. The only similarity between Adam and Christ is that what they did affected the rest of mankind; Adam is the antitype of Christ
    2. All Can Be Affected
      1. One choice, one act, one sin affected the many; one sacrifice, one righteous deed affected salvation for the many
        1. The many refers to all mankind
        2. Many is an appositional statement of every single person
      2. When the Law was written at the time of Moses, it made sin worse, because you might be doing everything the Law says not to do
        1. But now that the Law says, "Don't do it," you know it's wrong
        2. The Law makes the offense known and amplified
      3. Whatever we lost in Adam, we gained in Christ much more
        1. When sin reached its high-water mark, grace completely flooded over
        2. The point of this passage is that sin cannot erect a dam so high that grace cannot overflow
        3. God's grace can overflow your failures; where sin abounded, grace can abound much more
      4. If you think your failure has tapped out God's grace, you don't know your God and you don't understand His grace
    3. Justification Resulted
      1. After Adam and Eve sinned, they had a sudden self-realization of something that hadn't been an issue before: their nakedness
        1. They covered themselves with fig leaves, but fig leaves dry out; it was a temporary fix
        2. God graciously provided animal skins for them
          1. To get animal skins, you have to kill an animal
          2. God killed the animal, shedding innocent blood, to provide clothing
          3. Hebrews 9:22
      2. God shared two truths with Adam and Eve that became part of the biblical narrative
        1. Death came into the world because of sin, and only a life can pay for it
        2. A substitute can be offered in the place of the one who committed sin
      3. The cost of Adam and Eve's sin was one lamb per person
        1. But as time moved on, God established the Passover among the Hebrew nation and allowed one lamb to be slain for each family
        2. For Yom Kippur, God allowed the slaying of one lamb for the whole nation
        3. With Jesus, it became one lamb for the world (see John 1:29); Jesus undid the damage left by Adam
      4. It's not fair that Jesus should pay for your sin
        1. Some people complain and say, "Why should I get punished for what Adam did?"
        2. But the question is, why should Jesus get punished for what you did?
        3. Yet, He did; He must think we're worth it
  4. Conclusion
    1. Some of us may feel like leftovers at a yard sale—useless, worthless
      1. But God doesn't see you that way
      2. He doesn't think you're a bargain at a yard sale, because He was willing to pay the highest price to enter into a relationship with you
      3. John 3:16
    2. But it's a gift—you can't earn it
      1. Because it's a gift, you can't brag about your own accomplishments; you can only receive the gift
      2. But you have to receive the gift, or it's not valid
    3. What will you do with Jesus?
      1. Will you believe?
      2. Let Him change your heart and your life
        1. If you want to change a nation, or even the world, let Him begin with you
        2. God has given you the incredible power to choose
Figures referenced: Charles Darwin, Michael Denton, Adolf Hitler, Kent Hughes, Pol Pot, Charles Spurgeon

Cross references: Matthew 19:4-5; John 1:29; 3:16; Romans 1:18; 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Hebrews 9:22; 2 Peter 3:15-16

Greek words: typos

Topic: grace

Keywords: believe, change, damage, death, gift, lamb, life, overflow, sin, world

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Don’t Look Back
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 6:1-7
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4475

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 8, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Don't Look Back"
Text: Romans 6:1-7

Path

Returning to a life of sin after becoming a Christian is like winning the lottery but choosing to continue to live in poverty. Pastor Nate Heitzig poses this question: Can one be a Christian and continually pursue a sinful lifestyle? In examining Romans 6:1-7, we find the biblical answer: No. Because of what God has done for the Christian, the Christian's rightful response to God should be to pursue a transformed lifestyle.

  1. Get Up (vv. 1-2)
  2. Go Forward (vv. 3-5)
  3. Never Go Back (vv. 6-7)
Points

Get Up (vv. 1-2)Go Forward (vv. 3-5) Never Go Back (vv. 6-7)Practice

Connect Up: The Christian life can be summarized in three overarching acts of God:Throughout Romans, Paul shows how Christ procured our salvation (see Romans 8:27-32). Jesus calls us (see John 15:16), confirms us (see John 12:44-47), and conforms us (see John 13:15). Discuss the role of the Spirit in all areas: calling, confirming, and conforming. How are both Jesus and the Spirit involved in getting Christians up, moving forward, and never looking back?

Connect In: How can Pastor Nate's outline act as a guide for the local church? As an example, the church is to:What other parallels can you find?

Connect Out: How can Pastor Nate's points act as an outline for evangelism? Here are some thoughts to discuss:

DETAILED NOTES
"Don't Look Back"
Romans 6:1-7

  1. Introduction
    1. How can we break free from sin?
      1. Can you be a Christian and yet be continually living in a sinful lifestyle?
      2. Sometimes, as Christians, we find ourselves looking back at our old lives
        1. There's nothing wrong with looking back as you share your testimony, or looking back with regret and disdain for the life that you lived
        2. However, some of us look back at the sins we struggled with not with disdain but with fondness and even desire
    2. As a Christian, going back to a life of sin is like winning the lottery but continuing to live in poverty
      1. We've experienced the riches, abundance, mercy, and love of God, but how often do we go back to the sin that we used to commit, only to find no satisfaction?
      2. We need to move forward instead of going back to our old way of life
        1. Don't look back at the sins of your past
        2. Instead, get up out of the sin, the muck, and the mire of your old life
        3. You are no longer a slave to sin—you have been freed in the name of Christ
    3. In this passage, we continue to learn more about all that God has done for us
      1. So far, we've had the opportunity to check our spiritual bank balance:
        1. We've seen that He has justified us, bringing us peace with God
        2. We've accepted God's conditions to know Him
        3. We've discussed the idea of unconditional surrender
      2. We have access to His presence, day and night, and we've learned that He is interceding for us at this very moment
    4. Paul began a new development in his teaching for this section of Romans
      1. Paul started with a question, then answered it
      2. The book of Romans focuses on salvation and its practical effects on the saved
      3. Up to this point, Paul had been building a case that every one of us is a sinner—we're all lost and messed up
        1. Paul presented the process of justification
        2. Jesus Christ came to earth and died for our sins so that we could be made righteous on His behalf
  2. Get Up (vv. 1-2)
    1. In this passage, Paul began to talk about what justification looks like and its effects within a believer's life
      1. Paul asked if we should keep sinning "that grace may abound" (v. 1), and he answered firmly
      2. We should get up and move forward in the newness of life that Christ Jesus brings
    2. Paul refuted the argument that he knew religious leaders would bring
      1. He anticipated the argument because he was teaching that salvation comes from God and there is nothing we can do to make it happen
      2. Paul answered a question that some might ask: If we are saved by the grace of God, and He is the one who justifies us, then why not continue sinning so that more grace might come?
        1. Is justification a free pass to continue living our old lives?
        2. Can we be justified and continue in sin?
      3. The word continue here carries the idea of habitual persistence
        1. This word was sometimes used of a person who intentionally chose to live in a certain place and made it their permanent residence
        2. Luke 15:11-32
      4. Some of us experience Stockholm syndrome—we fall in love with sin, so when Christ brings freedom, we reject it
    3. In verse 2, Paul answered his own question: "Certainly not!"
      1. In the Greek, this was the strongest repudiation that Paul could possibly bring
      2. How can those whose relationship with sin has been broken by their own death continue in their sin?
    4. Paul presented a paradox
      1. When you become a Christian, you die to self and become alive in Christ
        1. It's impossible to be dead and live in something at the same time
        2. As Christians, we should be dead to sin, but we choose to be the walking dead when we walk in our sin
      2. Before salvation, sin is the established way of life
        1. Ephesians 2:2
        2. Prior to salvation, sin is the default
          1. Salvation is a hard reset; it wipes your life clean and provides a fresh start
          2. Paul told us to get up out of the muck and mire of sin—to get out of that cycle of sin and misery
        3. As believers, we are new creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17)
    5. Paul did not say that we won't struggle with sin or temptation
      1. Throughout the Christian life, we will always struggle with sin to some degree (1 John 1:8)
      2. Paul wasn't speaking of a believer's occasional fall into sin, because that happens to everyone
        1. He was speaking to those who intentionally, willfully choose to sin as an established pattern in their life
        2. What controls the way you live?
    6. If there has been no change in your lifestyle after salvation, but you continue in sin, the question isn't whether a believer can lose their salvation, but were they ever saved to begin with?
      1. Jesus made it really simple when He said, "Every good tree bears good fruit" (Matthew 7:17)
      2. If you want to know if you're a Christian, examine your fruit; if you're not bearing fruit, you're a dead tree
    7. The problem for those in Paul's day was the belief that holy living and following the Law brought about God's favor and resulted in salvation
      1. Throughout Romans, Paul showed the extent of our sinful condition; there is no way for us to earn God's approval
      2. The great news is that God's favor toward us is not because of what we've done for Him, but because of what He's done for us
        1. The understanding of this truth should revolutionize the way we live
        2. Holy living will not produce salvation, but salvation will produce holy living
    8. Many have had their eyes opened and they believe conceptually
      1. But they haven't turned from the power of Satan to God (see 1 John 3:9)
      2. Practicing sin means sin becomes your natural response in real-life scenarios
    9. The repetition of the word know in verses 3, 6, and 9 indicates that Paul wanted us to understand this doctrine
      1. Christian living depends on Christian learning
      2. Duty is always founded on doctrine, and if Satan can keep a Christian ignorant, he can keep a Christian impotent
  3. Go Forward (vv. 3-5)
    1. It's time for us to stop practicing sin and start practicing righteousness
      1. We need to start learning God's Word so that we can put it into practice
      2. It's not enough to just get up and get out of the filth and mire of sin; we need to go forward in the newness of life found in God's Word
    2. Paul said we've left our old way of life, and now we should go forward in a new life
      1. Our new life is a new relationship with God and a new relationship to sin
      2. This is what baptism is all about—it's an outward showing of an inward doing
        1. Baptism doesn't wash away someone's sins; it's a symbol of identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
        2. Baptism appropriates the divine provision that God has for you
      3. Justification isn't just a legal matter between us and God, it's a living relationship
        1. You can't avoid sin's power merely by imitating Christ any more than you could avoid falling off a building simply by imitating Superman (see Romans 5:18)
          1. The power is found in impartation, not imitation, and that's what baptism is
          2. Through baptism, we are identified with Christ; when He conquered sin, sin was conquered in my life (see Ephesians 2:1-10)
        2. Because of this living union, we also have a new relationship with sin
          1. We are dead and buried in our identification with the death and burial of Jesus Christ, but we are also risen with Him in new life
          2. We should identify our lives by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus
    3. In verse 11, Paul told us to "reckon" ourselves dead to sin
      1. Paul said we need to stop feeling like we're destined to stay under the power of sin
      2. There are certain things that only God can do, and there are certain things that only we can do—only He can justify and forgive, but only we can repent
    4. The Scriptures are full of descriptions of the believer's new spiritual life—what it means to walk in newness of life
      1. As a child of the Most High, you must choose to either possess them or reject them
        1. He promises a new heart (see Ezekiel 36:26)
        2. He promises a new song (see Psalm 40:3)
        3. He promises a new self (see Ephesians 4:22-24)
      2. God has offered you all these things, but you have to accept them
        1. Even though God's given this to us, we still have the capacity to sin
        2. We need to discipline ourselves to live in the Spirit's power and to live according to God's Word; as we do, that break with sin will happen
    5. We have a greater defense and offense than we could ever imagine in Jesus Christ (see 1 Samuel 17:45)
      1. The power to no longer be under sin's control, but to live in newness of life
      2. We have been stolen from our graves through baptism, not because we are worth something or because we are famous, but because the grave could not hold Jesus Christ
    6. We are alive in newness of life through Christ
      1. Sadly, many believers are still living like spiritual corpses, not realizing all that God has done for and given to them
      2. We must walk in newness of life, but also recognize that the battle lines are drawn
      3. We must choose to go forward in newness of life and choose to never go back
  4. Never Go Back (vv. 6-7)
    1. An important doctrinal truth emerges here
      1. The old self was crucified with Christ, so the body need not be controlled by sin
      2. The phrase "done away with" (v. 6) doesn't mean annihilated or destroyed, but rendered inactive
      3. Sin in your life has been put out of business; you can try to go back to it, but it's not going to give you the same fulfillment it once did
    2. We need to make a conscious decision each and every day to never go back to our lives of sin
      1. Sin wants to be your master, to have a controlling share and vote in your life as it did prior to salvation
      2. When you truly accept Jesus into your heart, sin is put out of business, but sin won't stop just because it's been defeated
  5. Conclusion
    1. Get up out of the muck and the mire, go forward in newness of life, and never go back
      1. You're no longer a slave to sin—you've been freed, and the last thing the slave wants to do is go back to the evil master
      2. You're free; now never go back
    2. Many times, as believers are praying for victory, they're missing an essential truth that could revolutionize their spiritual lives
      1. You've already won
      2. We don't fight for victory; we fight from victory
      3. We don't fight the Devil; we stand in the power of the Lord's might
      4. We share in what He has done on our behalf
      5. Sin is already defeated; we just need to start acting like victors
    3. We are already victors, but often because of what sin has done to us—because of the scars it's left upon our lives and the pain that it's brought—we let it sit and fester in our lives
      1. Sin is a horrible master, but it finds a willing servant in the human body; the old nature gives sin a beachhead from which it can attack and then control us
      2. If we've learned nothing else in our studies through Romans, we've learned that we are all sinners and unable to change in our own strength
        1. Romans 7:18
        2. The power of sin is so devastating, destructive, and degenerative; we all know its allure and the resulting devastation that it brings in the life of a person who gives into it
        3. John 8:34
      3. Sin promises success, life, and pleasure, but it ultimately brings misery
    4. The gift that God has given to us is rebirth
      1. He's given you the tools and newness of life to rebuild your life into something truly fantastic
      2. God has done His part; the prison door is open and your debts have been paid
      3. Do you want to be free?
      4. You don't have to ask God to give you the victory; you don't have to ask for something that you already have
      5. Instead, build up your new nature, and the old will be weakened
      6. Walk in the Spirit, and you won't fulfill the lusts of the flesh
Figures referenced: Donald Grey Barnhouse, Bob Dylan, Eliud Kipchoge, John MacArthur

Cross references: 1 Samuel 17:45; Ezekiel 36:26; Psalm 40:3; Matthew 7:17; Luke 15:11-32; John 8:34; Romans 5:18; 7:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:1-10; 4:22-24; 1 John 1:8; 3:9

Topic: overcoming sin

Keywords: alive, debt, fight, forward, freedom, life, nature, newness, power, regret, salvation, struggle, victory

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Winning the War with Sin
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 6:11-14
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4477

MESSAGE SUMMARY
There is not a person I know who doesn’t struggle with sin. Evil thoughts, bad habits, immoral impulses, and recurring temptations all rear their ugly heads, leaving us exhausted and disappointed in ourselves and wondering if any deliverance is possible. This struggle is real. The war can be fierce. How can we believers (who still have our old natures) win in these battles? Consider this four-step strategy.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: Sunday, September 15, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Winning the War with Sin"
Text: Romans 6:11-14

Path

There is not a person I know who doesn't struggle with sin. Evil thoughts, bad habits, immoral impulses, and recurring temptations all rear their ugly heads, leaving us exhausted and disappointed in ourselves and wondering if any deliverance is possible. This struggle is real. The war can be fierce. How can we believers (who still have our old natures) win in these battles? Consider this four-step strategy:

  1. We Reason (vv. 3, 6, 9)
  2. We Reckon (v. 11)
  3. We Resist (vv. 12-13a)
  4. We Replace (vv. 13b-14)
Points

We Reason  We ReckonWe Resist We Replace Practice

Connect Up: One theme Pastor Skip touched on is holiness. Holiness is a moral attribute of God; God is holy (see Psalm 99). Following His example, we are called to holiness as well (see 1 Peter 1:15-17). Consider these two Hebrew words as you discuss holiness:.
Connect In: Pastor Skip mentioned accountability with other Christians as support from the outside. Use these questions to discuss accountability:Connect Out: An unbeliever must first become a Christian before he or she can truly reckon, resist, and replace sin (since they don't have the Spirit living inside them). How can you use God's holiness and humankind's sin as a springboard to discuss the good news of Jesus? Using the Romans Road to Salvation, look up these verses to discuss: Romans 3:23; 3:10-18; 5:8; 6:23, 8:38-39; 10:8-10; 10:13; 10:17.1


1 For more information, visit www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html.

DETAILED NOTES
"Winning the War with Sin"
Romans 6:11-14

  1. Introduction
    1. Sometimes we can have the false assumption that our old temptations are long gone
      1. However, they can spring to life when we least expect it
      2. The old nature that is prone to do evil wars against the new person that we are in Christ (see Galatians 5:17)
    2. The struggle between the two natures is a struggle that every child of God is familiar with—including Paul the apostle (see Romans 7:24)
      1. Romans 7:15
      2. You may be tempted to think that nobody knows your struggle, but the truth is that everybody knows your struggle because everyone has it
        1. Their struggle might be different than yours, but it's still a struggle
        2. It's a battle everyone has—a battle we all want to win
      3. "In war, there is no prize for the runner up" —General Omar N. Bradley
    3. We are engaged in battle, and there are three enemies allied against us:
      1. The Devil
        1. The Devil isn't a myth—he's a real and powerful spiritual entity
        2. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life; Satan hates you and has a miserable plan for your life
      2. The flesh; the Devil wouldn't be powerful unless we had an old nature that is susceptible to his temptations and can be lured away
      3. The world
        1. Without this third enemy, the first two would not be powerful
        2. Satan uses this world, its values and allurements, to attract our flesh toward his cause
    4. Paul provided our battle strategy to win the war with sin in Romans 6
  2. We Reason (vv. 3, 6, 9)
    1. The first step begins with the mind—with reason and knowledge
      1. "Do you not know?" (v. 3)
      2. "Knowing this" (v. 6)
      3. "Knowing that Christ" (v. 9)
    2. This is where victory begins
      1. If you want to grow, there are certain things you need to know; in doing anything, you must first be learning something
        1. This is true with anything in life—if you do anything, you need to first learn about it
        2. Learning always precedes living; doctrine always comes before doing
      2. Before you go to battle, you have to know your enemy and strategize how to face that enemy
        1. 2 Peter 3:18
        2. Hosea 4:6
        3. Matthew 22:29
      3. We must begin with a knowledge base
    3. What are we to know exactly?
      1. We are to know that our old life is over
        1. The believer's old nature is publicly executed in Christ through baptism
        2. Baptism is the public declaration that a life has been changed
      2. In the Bible, the "old man" is the old you who was identified in Adam before you came to know Jesus Christ
        1. Our old man was crucified with Him
        2. Paul used the word katagaro, which means put out of business
      3. We need to know that our old life has passed and our old lifestyle has been rendered powerless
        1. We also need to know that with new life comes new power
        2. Jesus conquered death by resurrection, and His resurrection becomes the power source for my victory over sin
    4. As a believer, you are both dead and alive: dead to the old you and alive in Christ to serve Him
      1. The problem is that many Christians live in-between lives—between death and resurrection
      2. Jesus died for them, but there's no real advancing, life-giving transformation that takes place
    5. The first step in winning the war with sin is to know certain truths
      1. "This book will keep you from sin, but sin will keep you from this book" —D.L. Moody
      2. Psalm 119:11
  3. We Reckon (v. 11)
    1. The term reckon is logizomai in the Greek, which means to calculate or to estimate something to be true
      1. This is a word of conviction that basically means we believe that what God says to be true in His Word is true in our lives
      2. There's a big difference between knowing something and believing something
      3. We need to be convinced and convicted of these truths; we need to turn our knowledge into conviction
    2. To be sanctified does not mean you never sin; it means you never have to sin
      1. "Sin is inevitable, but it is never necessary" —John Stott
      2. When you're in the battle and the temptations come, you can say, "I don't have to be a slave to that any longer"
      3. Understand that you are dead to sin, then act on that truth
    3. With knowledge comes a deep conviction
      1. So far, all the steps to winning the war with sin have been inward
      2. Proverbs 23:7
  4. We Resist (vv. 12-13a)
    1. The fact that Paul said, "Don't let sin reign in your mortal body" shows us that there's an element of personal control involved
      1. You don't have to sin, so don't let it happen
      2. Sin is a dethroned monarch—it tries to make its claim on you, but you don't have to let that happen
        1. Some people struggle with besetting sins, habits from the past, or addictive behavior and might need support from a group or counselor
        2. The point is that we can't let sinful impulses call the shots
      3. James 4:7
      4. Once we're plugged into the power source of the resurrection, we can stop being servants of sin
    2. If knowing has to do with the mind, and reckoning has to do with the deep conviction of the heart, then resisting has to do with the will
      1. Maintain proximity
        1. If you get too close to temptation, you're going to go over that line every time
        2. Sin is a lot like a wild animal at the zoo: the animal is dangerous, but as long as you stay behind the barriers put there for your safety, it cannot hurt you
        3. "You can't stop birds from flying above your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair" —Martin Luther
      2. Cut off opportunity
        1. Even when you put distance between yourself and temptation, that temptation will follow you around and present itself to you
        2. When Satan calls, the right response is to cut him off, and that might mean you need to physically run away
        3. This is what Joseph did when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him (see Genesis 39:11-12)
      3. Foster accountability
        1. Sometimes you need people around you to help you through and support you in this struggle
        2. Just telling another brother or sister about your temptation and the things you struggle with often causes that temptation to lose its power and grip on you
        3. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
        4. Just having that accountability can give you the extra courage to walk away from the temptation
  5. We Replace (vv. 13b-14)
    1. This final step is what cements the victory for you
      1. This turns the battle from a defensive position into an offensive position
      2. The best way to deprive my old nature is for me to cultivate my new nature
    2. If knowing has to do with the mind, reckoning has to do with the heart, and resisting has to do with the will, then this has to do with my walk
      1. We can become so focused on the temptation that's bothering us or we can get so busy with serving God, sharing Christ, or fellowshipping with other believers that we don't spend much time cultivating the new nature
        1. It's important to maintain our upward focus
        2. We need to focus on maintaining our pursuit of God, seeking first the kingdom of God
      2. Sometimes our problem is that we get in Christ, but we stay where we got in
        1. We need to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
        2. We grow by presenting ourselves to God
        3. Instead of letting the Devil use your mind, eyes, ears, mouth, and hands, present them to God and let Him use you
  6. Conclusion
    1. It's basic military strategy: don't give your weapons to the enemy; don't give the Devil the use of your body
    2. We need to learn to be focused on our master's face
      1. God's aim for our lives as believers is righteousness, transformation, and holiness—life change
      2. Could it be that you have just covered over your life with a thin layer of morality or ceremony without conversion?
      3. God wants all of you, and He wants you to win this war with sin
Figures referenced: Omar N. Bradley, Martin Luther, D.L. Moody, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Stott

Cross references: Genesis 39:11-12; Psalm 119:11; Proverbs 23:7; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Hosea 4:6; Matthew 22:29; Romans 7:15, 24; Galatians 5:17; James 4:7; 2 Peter 3:18

Greek words: katagaro, logizomai

Topic: sin

Keywords: accountability, grace, knowledge, love, new nature, old nature, resist, strategy, struggle, temptation, war

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: The Struggle Is Real
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 7:14-25
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4479

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 22, 2019
Speaker: Nate Heitzig
Teaching: "The Struggle Is Real"
Text: Romans 7:14-25

Path

Christians can struggle with consistency. Like everyone, we sin and fall short in many areas. It's easy to get discouraged and think to ourselves, "I'm weak," or "I must not be called to the Christian life." The struggle with sin is real for every Christian. In this message, Pastor Nate Heitzig examines the believer's situation and struggle with carnality as well as the solution for victory.

  1. The Situation We Face
  2. The Struggle We Fight
  3. The Solution We Find
Points

The Situation We FaceThe Struggle We FightThe Solution We FindPractice

Connect Up: As Pastor Nate stated, the struggle we face as Christians is real. Why do you think God allows us to struggle? Why not just fix everything at salvation? Why must we go through trials or temptations? To help answer the question, read James 1:3 and James 1:13. What is the difference between trials, temptations, and sin?

Connect In: How are Christians to help one another go through life—trials and tribulations included? Discuss a few things Jesus instructed us to do—serving one another (see John 13:14) and loving one another (see John 13:34). How can service and love help someone who is struggling? To help unpack the details of love, refer to its definition in 1 Corinthians 13.

Connect Out: What are you doing to help believers or unbelievers who are struggling? If you have a personal story, or know someone who excels at helping others, share the story (e.g., someone who helps with homelessness, parenting, failed marriages, drug abuse, etc.) What have you learned in helping others? How did someone help you through a rough patch in life?

DETAILED NOTES
"The Struggle Is Real"
Romans 7:14-25

  1. Introduction
    1. We need to be honest with each other about who we are, and what we struggle with
      1. Some of us could say, "I believe in Jesus, but I still struggle with common sins"
      2. We can be doing great in certain areas of life while struggling in others
      3. Our struggles can make us wonder if we're strong enough, and this thinking can cause us to doubt our salvation
    2. Many of us believe that turning away from sin means never sinning
      1. We think that giving our lives to Jesus means that we've suddenly become righteous
      2. Justification is the immediate result of salvation, but sanctification is a daily process
        1. We are all in process, and that's all right—you don't have to have it all together
        2. Accepting where we are in this process can bring us freedom
    3. As we appropriate these truths in our lives, we begin to experience them
      1. We all know what it's like to struggle with sin
      2. The struggle that every believer faces in some capacity is the battle between right and wrong, between holiness and unholiness, between the flesh and the spirit
    4. The struggle that Paul talked about in Romans 7 is that of a man trying to live out the teachings of Romans 6, free from the penalty and power of sin
      1. This is someone trying to live out Romans 6 without the power of God
      2. In chapter 7, the word I is used thirty times without a single mention of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to chapter 8, where the Holy Spirit is referenced more than twenty times
  2. The Situation We Face
    1. There are some truths we must recognize as we fight this struggle
      1. The word carnal in verse 14 is the Greek word sarkinos, which literally means belonging to the world, natural, and weak
      2. Paul further described our situation in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
    2. Carnality is a state of arrested spiritual development
      1. Paul was talking to believers, and focused on the reality that each of us, no matter where we are in the sanctification process, have carnality in our lives
      2. Just as a baby is dependent on others to take care of them, so the carnal believer is dependent on other people for growth in their relationship with Christ
        1. Eventually, you have to grow up and start learning how to feed yourself
        2. You have to learn what it means to grow in Christ
          1. Some believers get stuck in this carnality and don't grow up
          2. The carnal believer is experience-oriented
    3. Many people get saved because of a feeling, and they chase that feeling from one church to the next rather than chasing facts
      1. This is dangerous because eventually the feeling will dwindle
        1. If you've only based your relationship with Christ on experience and excitement, you won't have anything left
        2. The problem for a carnal Christian is that the second you open the Bible, they shy away; they never develop a real hunger for the Word of God
      2. Carnal believers find the Word of God boring; they think it's just a bunch of rules and regulations
        1. Carnal believers love Christian entertainment, but not committed Bible study
        2. Carnal Christians always have time for pleasure, but never time for prayer
      3. The carnal Christian is miserable because they can never have enough; many people walk away from God because it's never enough for them
        1. Carnal people are always looking for things to fill a void, but they never realize that it doesn't matter how much of the world you get; you can never be happy if you're using things of the world to make you happy
        2. A carnal believer is still looking for things in the world to make them happy when they have the thing that could bring them true joy right in front of them
    4. Carnal believers are easily deceived because of this arrested state of development
      1. Because they're not growing for themselves—they're relying on other people for nourishment—they will accept and believe anything someone says is from the Bible
      2. If you've studied the Bible and understand it, then when you hear something that isn't true, you can spot it as false because you've grown in Christ
        1. This is why there are so many false churches in America—they've found what appeals to carnal Christians
        2. We need to grow up, be fed and nourished, and be taught sound doctrine so that we can spot the fake things when we see them
        3. Ephesians 4:14
    5. Carnal believers are given to division and envy
      1. 1 Corinthians 3:4
      2. Carnal Christians always try to convince people to see things their way
      3. They're fault finders because they're personally frustrated
        1. David was a fault finder; he saw in someone else the sin that he was guilty of
        2. He was frustrated in his own life and couldn't see clearly
    6. At their core, carnal Christians are bare minimum Christians and are addicted to the highs of sin, even though it's killing them
      1. To defeat sin's control in our lives, we need to move from the carnal, self-indulgent living that we're stuck in, to the Spirit-empowered life, where those sinful things in our lives simply cannot survive
      2. If you try to battle your carnality and sin by yourself, it won't work; sheer willpower and determination can't get you through anything
    7. The only way to defeat the carnality in your life is to focus not on your sin but on God; start focusing on what you've been redeemed to
      1. Start focusing on getting back up after you've fallen, not on the fact that you've fallen
      2. Rise up, and the things that are bringing you down will naturally fall off
  3. The Struggle We Fight
    1. Carnality is a place of constant struggle and turmoil
      1. Paul presented the situation that we face
      2. We're all carnal; we're all sold under sin
    2. Paul referenced the dilemma between the struggle with sin but wanting to do good because of who he had become through salvation
      1. Paul said that he believed the Bible and wanted to do good, but he couldn't do good, so he determined not to do bad
      2. And yet, he continually found himself in circumstances where his determination melted away and he ended up doing exactly what he swore he would never do
    3. Remember: if you're struggling, you're not alone
      1. We all struggle with consistency in some form or another
      2. Know that someone else is struggling with the same issues that you struggle with
      3. The way you feel is the reality of life, so don't believe the lie that you're alone
    4. The description Paul gave is that of a person who's come face-to-face with God's perfect and holy law and has acknowledged its truth
      1. But upon acknowledging the truth, they see their own reflection, the painful truth of who they are, and they are horrified
      2. Although we struggle with sin and fight against the old nature, Scripture teaches us that there is a way out of carnality and into a godly life; although it's impossible to be sinless, it is possible to sin less
    5. Paul gave us the solution so that we can leave the state of carnality
      1. In verse 17, Paul recognized what he was fighting against
        1. This might seem like a cop out, but it's simply a recognition of what we're really up against
        2. You can't fight a battle if you don't know who you're fighting; any good general will find out what kind of enemy he's fighting before he marches his troops into battle
      2. We need to know what we're up against if we want to win this war
        1. We're fighting against human nature, and it has to be dealt with appropriately
        2. Galatians 5:17
    6. A vital step to your deliverance from carnality is a realistic look at who you are
      1. Paul may have given us a description of a carnal believer, but this actually applies to each of us, even the most dedicated believers
      2. The more we grow spiritually and the more we learn of Him, the more we see our own sinfulness
        1. Isaiah 6:5
        2. Psalm 51:3
        3. 1 John 1:8
      3. Apart from God, we can do nothing
        1. All the New Year's resolutions, promises, programs, and willpower that you can muster cannot get rid of sin
        2. You can be a good sinner, but you're still a sinner
        3. "In me…nothing good dwells" (v. 18)
    7. Our struggle is a struggle with the law
      1. The law magnifies our sinful nature, and in doing so, it points us to where the real power is—Jesus
      2. If we try to fight that battle with the power of law, we're going to lose
        1. There's no victory to be found in the law; it's not until we shed the law and accept the Savior that we find real power to fight our battle
        2. Oftentimes we struggle with consistency and fulfilling our commitments because we focus on following the law
          1. But because of the law, we are made constantly aware of our shameful condition, even to the point of feeling like we need to leave the faith
          2. It's easy to look at the law and say, "If I can't win, why should I even fight?"
    8. When we understand grace, it allows us to harness the true power through Jesus Christ and go through the process of becoming more Christlike
      1. Every one of us is in process, and we find our power not through the law, but through Jesus
      2. We become hypocrites when we are no longer willing to admit that we continuously fight these struggles
        1. Our struggle is real
        2. However, we must not let the struggle we fight with sin disqualify us from the solution we find in the victorious life that Jesus Christ died for us to have
  4. The Solution We Find
    1. In verse 24, Paul cried out in desperation
      1. This is the cry of a man who is tired of the recurring condition of sin in his life and wants help
        1. The word wretched is defined as miserable, afflicted through the weight and burden of slavery
        2. Paul was saying, "I am a slave to sin"
      2. You can only save a drowning man who's stopped trying to save himself
        1. You have to wait until they stop trying to save themselves or you could drown, too
        2. This is the only point where God's help is given
          1. If we think we have something in ourselves that can work out our problems, we have yet to come to the end of ourselves
          2. We have to come to this place of desperation where Paul found himself
    2. If you've found yourself caught in this carnal dilemma, and you realize that you're tired of being a slave to your own desires and passions, nothing that is of this world can save you
      1. When we look to the things the world says will heal our soul to save us, it actually does the opposite
      2. The things of this world will kill our souls and destroy us, and we will be left asking, "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (v. 24)
      3. The disease and decay of our old nature—the remnant of who we are—is attached to us, and it will destroy us because we cannot help ourselves
        1. The sinner has to look outside of himself to the cross to be cleansed of sin through justification
        2. The believer must look outside of himself to that same cross for the power of sanctification
  5. Conclusion
    1. How can we be freed from the state of carnality?
      1. How do you get rid of the guilt and shame?
      2. How do you get rid of those feelings that you're not good enough or strong enough—that you should just quit?
      3. Jesus is always the answer
        1. In Jesus, we find the power to live a sanctified life
        2. The secret is that once we begin to live that life and find the source of that power, we begin to walk in the power of the Spirit
    2. Every day, we make a number of choices
      1. We decide what to wear, what to eat, what to say, etc.
      2. We also make choices that have spiritual rewards or consequences in our lives
      3. When we're walking in the Spirit and focus on doing what God has called us to do—when we rise into the Spirit-empowered life that God wants for us—the mediocrity of carnality naturally fades away
    3. If you're dealing with pain and guilt, there are two things you need to know:
      1. You need to understand that everyone around you has struggled with the same things you're struggling with
      2. You have to start accepting your forgiveness and your lack of condemnation
        1. In Romans 8:1, Paul didn't say that there would be no failures and no inconsistencies, but that there is "no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus"
        2. When the Father looks at us in Christ, He loves us in spite of our failure, inconsistencies, struggles, and broken commitments
      3. When we enter into this union with Jesus, we find a new power that we didn't have—the power of the Holy Spirit—and it's only through the Spirit's power that the flesh can be overcome
    4. We have to remember to focus on what we've been redeemed to, instead of focusing on our failures
      1. We can trust that when God sees us, He sees the finished work of Jesus
      2. We can pursue a life of sanctification out of love for our Savior
Cross references: Psalm 51:3; Isaiah 6:5; Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:17; Ephesians 4:14; 1 John 1:8

Figures referenced: Augustine, Antonio Brown, Cara Delevingne, Tom Brady, Tim Keller, Oscar Wilde

Greek words: sarkinos

Topic: carnality

Keywords: consistency, fight, flesh, justification, honest, life, nature, power, sanctification, struggle

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Safe and Secure
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:1-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4481

MESSAGE SUMMARY
As the old saying goes, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” That’s certainly true of Paul’s authorship of this book. He closes chapter 7 on a low note, only to crescendo to a swelling high point in chapter 8. “Don’t despair! You’re in secure hands and you’re safe,” Paul tells us. He reminds us of four facts that should settle every heart.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 29, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Safe and Secure"
Text: Romans 8:1-11

Path

As the old saying goes, "It's always darkest before the dawn." That's certainly true of Paul's authorship of this book. He closes chapter 7 on a low note, only to crescendo to a swelling high point in chapter 8. "Don't despair! You're in secure hands and you're safe," Paul tells us. He reminds us of four facts that should settle every heart.

  1. Our Punishment Is Done (v. 1)
  2. Our Position Is Defined (v. 1b)
  3. Our Power Is Dynamic (vv. 3-4, 9)
  4. Our Practice Is Different (vv. 5-11)
    1. The Unbeliever
    2. The Believer
Points

Our Punishment Is Done (v. 1)Our Position Is Defined (v. 1b)Our Power Is Dynamic (vv. 3-4, 9)Our Practice Is Different (vv. 5-11)Practice

Connect Up: Talk about what it means to be "in Christ." John Stott states, "The expressions 'in Christ,' 'in the Lord,' and 'in him' occur 164 times in the letters of Paul alone, and are indispensable to an understanding of the New Testament. To be 'in Christ' does not mean to be inside Christ, as tools are in a box or our clothes in a closet, but to be organically united to Christ, as a limb is in the body or a branch is in the tree. It is this personal relationship with Christ that is the distinctive mark of his authentic followers." Stott gives three points to ponder when we are in Christ: personal fulfillment, unity, and radical transformation.1 What are some of the other benefits and blessings of being "in Christ?"

Connect In: Being in Christ means that our lives should be different; we should live holy lives. What do you think the marks of holiness are? Billy Graham lists twelve, including: being of one mind with God, striving to be like Christ, loving God and others, etc.2 What more can you think of?

Connect Out: Knowing that there is a difference between believers and unbelievers, one seeking after bodily desires, the other seeking spiritual pursuits, how would you explain to an unbeliever the difference between the Christian and non-Christian without being condescending? Discuss the following:
1 John R.W. Stott, "In Christ:" The Meaning and Implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, July 15, 2013, http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/In_Christ_page1, accessed 09/30/19.
2 J.C. Ryle, 12 Marks of Holiness, June 6, 2007, https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/june-2007/12-marks-of-holiness/, accessed 09/30/19.

DETAILED NOTES
"Safe and Secure"
Romans 8:1-11

  1. Introduction
    1. We can feel that our spiritual position is tenuous as we read the book of Romans
      1. We discover the struggle that all believers go through
      2. There are some who say they love the book of Romans, then they read it
        1. Paul spoke about "the wrath of God" (1:18)
        2. "There is none righteous, no, not one" (3:10)
        3. "All have sinned and fall short" (3:23)
    2. Everything Paul taught in the book of Romans is an introduction for the truth of the gospel of God's grace
      1. Paul clearly wanted believers to feel safe and secure in Christ
      2. No matter what struggles you go through, you can have hope because of your security in Christ as a believer
      3. Deuteronomy 33:27
    3. Romans 8 could be considered the crowning chapter of the book of Romans
      1. The chapter opens with no condemnation in verse 1 and ends with no separation in verse 39
      2. These are the great bookends of the Christian life; no matter what chapters are written in your life, there will be no condemnation and no separation
    4. This is a welcome reprieve from the desperation found in chapter 7
      1. Romans 7:13-18
      2. In just those verses, there are nineteen personal pronouns
      3. The truths of Romans 7 are among the most depressing truths found in Scripture
      4. Paul was very honest about the frustration and struggle we all deal with
      5. In Romans 7, we feel the chains of bondage; in chapter 8, we hear those chains falling
  2. Our Punishment Is Done (v. 1)
    1. Some people consider the first verse of chapter 8 to be the most hopeful verse in the entire Bible
    2. The New King James Version includes a comma after Jesus, and the verse continues with a phrase that was not included in this verse in the original text but is in verse 4
      1. This is called a copyist error; this phrase was copied into verse 1 and continued to be copied this way through the years
      2. We know this because we can look at many older manuscripts and find that not one of them has this clause in verse 1
        1. If you keep that phrase in verse 1, you will look inward and question whether you're walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh
        2. But if you remove that phrase, verse 1 will cause you to look upward rather than inward
    3. Paul did not say that as believers we won't make mistakes
      1. We can expect to deal with the consequences of our actions, but there's a big difference between consequences and condemnation
        1. Abraham lied about his wife (see Genesis 20:1-10)
        2. David committed adultery and murder (see 2 Samuel 11)
        3. Peter tried to kill a man, then later denied Jesus that same night (see John 18:10-18)
        4. Paul and Barnabas argued over a teammate, and it severed their relationship (see Acts 15:36-41)
      2. This verse could literally be translated "therefore now not one condemnation"
      3. The Greek word for condemnation, katakrima, is a strong word for judgment
        1. While there is no condemnation for believers, there will be an evaluation at the judgment seat of Christ, where believers will be rewarded for their service on earth
        2. There will be condemnation for unbelievers
        3. Romans 1:18
        4. As believers, we will never stand in judgment like the rest of the world; Jesus paid the price for our sin
        5. John 5:24
  3. Our Position Is Defined (v. 1b)
    1. There's no condemnation because, as believers, we have a new address
      1. We are now in Christ
      2. The phrase "in Christ" is used eighty-seven times in the New Testament and is one of Paul's favorite descriptions of believers
      3. If you were to count all the equivalents of that phrase, such as "in Him," the phrase appears 130 times in the New Testament
        1. You are identified with one of two people
        2. You are in Adam, or you are in Christ
          1. 1 Corinthians 15:22
          2. As believers, we are in communion with Christ, but without Christ, we are nothing
    2. A lot of us are interested in our heritage; we want to know who our ancestors were, what they did, and where they came from
      1. We are linked physically, culturally, and intellectually to our ancestors
      2. When you are in Christ, everything changes
        1. In Christ, we are "a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
        2. In Christ, we have "no condemnation" (Romans 8:1)
        3. In Christ, we have a new connection as "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (Romans 16:3)
        4. In Christ, we have a new expectation (see 1 Corinthians 15:22)
  4. Our Power Is Dynamic (vv. 3-4, 9)
    1. There's a noteworthy shift in focus from chapter 7 to chapter 8
      1. The personal pronouns that were so prevalent in chapter 7 are absent in chapter 8; the Holy Spirit takes the place of the personal pronouns
      2. Until now, there have only been two references to the Holy Spirit
        1. Romans 1:4
        2. Romans 5:5
      3. In the first seven chapters of Romans, Paul mentioned the Holy Spirit once, maybe twice, but in chapter 8 alone, he mentioned the Holy Spirit twenty times
    2. Chapter 8 is all about the freedom that comes from being in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit
      1. John 16:7
      2. 2 Corinthians 3:17
      3. Because we've received the Holy Spirit, we have freedom
      4. Paul showed us how we have freedom in verses 2-4; he used the word law in two different ways
        1. In verse 2, he used it to refer to a principle or driving force, such as the law of gravity
          1. Within each of us is an impulse to do wrong—the sin of law and death
          2. But within every believer is a new, vitalizing force which moves us to do right—the law of the Spirit
        2. The second usage of the word, found in verses 3 and 4, refers to the actual Law—the law of Moses, which was weak and couldn't fix the law of sin and death
    3. What the law of Moses could not do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His Holy Spirit to dwell in His people
      1. The Holy Spirit is not a force; He's a person equal in every way to the Father and the Son
      2. Since the day of Pentecost, that person of God indwells and empowers every believer; this is the secret of our victory
    4. How do Christians move forward?
      1. Through the storage principle—we are filled with the Holy Spirit
      2. Through the contact principle—we must abide in Christ
  5. Our Practice Is Different (vv. 5-11)
    1. The Unbeliever
      1. Paul was not addressing the mature Christian and the carnal Christian; he was speaking to the saved and unsaved
      2. Unbelievers are totally earthbound
        1. Their only concern is immediate gratification; they are spiritually dead
        2. Matthew 6:25
    2. The Believer
      1. Believers think differently, act differently, and should live differently
      2. There is no believer who doesn't want to live a holier life—and we can, because of the power of the Holy Spirit
      3. Paul didn't want us to just have imputed righteousness; he wanted us to have practical righteousness
        1. God's primary objective isn't for you to be happy; it's for you to be holy
        2. God wants you to be happy, but you can't be happy unless you're holy
  6. Conclusion
    1. The key to maturity is where your mind goes—what you think about
      1. In verse 6, we learn that "to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace"
      2. However, this does not mean that the struggle is over; it's just different, because the Holy Spirit has entered the scene
    2. We can be overcomers, not because we're strong, but because the Holy Spirit is strong
      1. When you fall, don't feel like you can't get up
      2. Get up, move on, move forward, and get help; let the body of Christ stand with you
      3. It will be the same struggle with one difference—the Holy Spirit will empower you to fight
Figures referenced: F.B. Meyer, William R. Newell, Anthony Johnson Showalter, Griffith Thomas, A.W. Tozer

Cross references: Genesis 20:1-10; Deuteronomy 33:27; 2 Samuel 11; Matthew 6:25; John 5:24; 16:7; 18:10-18; Acts 15:36-41; Romans 1:4, 18; 3:10, 23; 5:5; 7:13-18; 8:1, 39; 16:3; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 5:17

Greek words: katakrima

Topic: security in Christ

Keywords: believers, different, dynamic, holy, position, power, practice, struggle

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: The New You
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:12-18
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4483

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Most people love new stuff: a new car, a new set of clothes, a new puppy, a new haircut, a new adventure. But the best new thing you could have is a new you! Being a Christian isn’t a temporary reformation but a total transformation. When the Holy Spirit gets hold of a person’s life, He begins the process of a total makeover—changing you from the inside out. As a Christian believer these are among the changes you can expect to see.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: October 6, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The New You"
Text: Romans 8:12-18

Path

Most people love new stuff: a new car, a new set of clothes, a new puppy, a new haircut, a new adventure. But the best new thing you could have is a new you! Being a Christian isn't a temporary reformation but a total transformation. When the Holy Spirit gets hold of a person's life, He begins the process of a total makeover— changing you from the inside out. As a Christian believer these are among the changes you can expect to see.

  1. A New Relation (vv. 14-17)
  2. A New Motivation (v. 14)
  3. A New Validation (v. 16)
  4. A New Compensation (vv. 17-18)
Points

A New Relation (vv. 14-17) A New Motivation (v. 14) A New Validation (v. 16) A New Compensation (vv. 17-18) Practice

Connect Up: As the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit plays a central role in the lives of believers. Discuss the Holy Spirit's role through three overarching stages of the Christian life: Connect In: As Pastor Skip stated, the evidence that we are believers is the growth of fruit in our lives (see Galatians 5:22-23). Discuss the "fruit of the Spirit" (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). Which areas of your life do you need the Holy Spirit to work on, to produce healthy fruit? In which areas have you seen a transformation since you became a believer? Talk about how the Holy Spirit worked in growing the fruit in your life—taking you from producing little to a full harvest. How does His work help you keep perspective when things get difficult?

Connect Out: Pastor Skip noted that suffering is part of the Christian life. How would you explain this to a non-believer, allowing them to see that suffering is part of God's plan? Why do you think God allows suffering, and doesn't just keep everything copasetic and clean in life?

DETAILED NOTES
"The New You"
Romans 8:12-18

  1. Introduction
    1. Getting new things can be exciting
      1. Imagine getting a whole new you, changed from the inside out—a change so profound that those around you take notice
      2. 2 Corinthians 5:17
    2. As believers, we will receive a whole new body in the resurrection
      1. One day, the change will not just be inward, but until then, we live as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16
      2. This inward change is what the Holy Spirit produces in the life of the believer
  2. A New Relation (vv. 14-17)
    1. One of the prominent features of this passage is our new relationship with God
      1. Believers become "sons of God" (v. 14)
      2. Before you were saved, your relationship with God was not intimate
        1. Before Christ, fallen humans were at enmity with God, standing in His judgment
        2. It's not that God didn't love you, but there was separation because of your sin
        3. Isaiah 59:1-2
    2. Things are different now
      1. The relationship you have isn't that between God and fallen human—it's that of Father and child of God
      2. Not everyone is a child of God (see John 8:41-44)
        1. There's only one way to become a child of God—by believing in Him; a new birth that leads to a new life
        2. John 1:12-13
    3. We are, in the creative sense, all children of God; every human being is a child of God by virtue of creation
      1. Genesis 1:27
      2. Acts 17:29
    4. In the redemptive sense, however, it's a very narrow category
      1. Those who believe in Him are children of God
        1. Paul used the word adoption to describe this
        2. Paul used this word five times as an analogy of our new relationship with God
      2. Before salvation, we were "by nature children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3), but God adopted us and brought us into His family
      3. In using the word adoption, Paul reminded us that God chose us to be in His family (see Ephesians 1:4)
    5. When God adopts you, your relationship with Him changes, and you can now call Him Abba, Father
      1. Abba is a Hebrew term which means daddy; it's an intimate term of endearment
      2. This is how Jesus taught us to pray (see Matthew 6:9-13)
        1. This would have been a shock to first century Jews because they had a reverence for God that superseded familiarity
        2. They were so in awe of God that they didn't even use His name as He revealed it in the Old Testament
          1. They used the title Hashem, which simply means the name
          2. The New Testament records seventy occurrences of Jesus either calling God Father or allowing us to call Him Father
  3. A New Motivation (v. 14)
    1. We need all the help we can get
      1. As believers, we have the best helper in the Holy Spirit, who leads us
      2. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will be with you and lead you in truth (see John 16:13)
        1. A shepherd doesn't force a sheep—he leads his sheep
        2. Even Jesus was led by the Spirit (see Matthew 4:1)
    2. The language Paul used is important because it reflects the fact that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman
      1. He leads; He doesn't force or drive us
        1. Some people speak of being driven, but Christians should be Spirit-led
        2. You must relinquish control so that He can lead you
      2. As Christians, we should be asking, "Am I letting the Holy Spirit lead me?"
        1. The phrase "I feel led" is abused by Christians today; it's come to refer to a subjective mental impression for direction in our lives
        2. But it's often just a way of saying we don't want to do something or go somewhere God is asking of us
    3. Being led by the Holy Spirit means not letting your bodily appetites control you any longer
      1. This is a very practical, specific way of saying that God leads you into His will so that you have a new motivation
      2. Our new motivation is that now we want to do what He wants us to do
  4. A New Validation (v. 16)
    1. The Holy Spirit steps forwards as a witness to our adoption
      1. Not only do we bear witness of our own salvation, but the Holy Spirit acts as a witness as well
      2. How does the Holy Spirit prove that we are children of God?
        1. Through the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16-23)
        2. The character traits that Paul mentioned here are produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit
        3. When these traits are present in our lives, they become benchmarks which show that we are adopted children of God
    2. God validates the reality of our commitment
      1. The Holy Spirit comes into us and starts working to produce the fruits of the Spirit in our lives
      2. These traits are how He bears witness in our lives
        1. This is not perfection
        2. This is growth—the simple growth of the life of the Spirit inside us
  5. A New Compensation (vv. 17-18)
    1. We are "joint heirs with Christ" (v. 17)
      1. Everything that Jesus Christ received by divine right we have received by divine grace, including future glory
      2. Though we suffer now on this earth, one day that will be eclipsed by incomparable glory
        1. The suffering can't even compare to the glory
        2. Paul gave us a cosmic perspective of the present versus the future
        3. 2 Corinthians 4:17
      3. We should expect to suffer, if it's suffering for the right reason
        1. If we're aligned with Jesus, we should expect blowback from this world as a result
        2. 1 Peter 4:12-13
    2. If you are indeed an adopted son or daughter of the living God and have aligned yourself with Him and love Him, you should see suffering for Him as an honor
      1. We have no right to expect better treatment from this world than Jesus got from this world
      2. Suffering is an indicator that you're on the right path—that you're doing everything right
      3. 2 Timothy 3:12
      4. Only the Christian can endure suffering knowing there's a purpose for it and it's leading somewhere
  6. Conclusion
    1. Many Christians do not understand the heart of God for them
      1. God desires the very best for you
      2. He doesn't want to ruin your life; He wants to rescue your life
    2. God offers us an inheritance
      1. Forgiveness from the past, meaning in the present, glory in the future
      2. You have to stop running and start receiving
      3. A gift is only as good as your ability and willingness to receive it
Figures referenced: F.F. Bruce, Jamie Foxx, Faith Hill, Steve Jobs, John Lennon, C.S. Lewis, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Nelson Mandela, Marilyn Monroe, Eleanor Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Charles Spurgeon, John Stott

Cross references: Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 59:1-2; Matthew 4:1; 6:9-13; John 1:12-13; 8:41-44; 16:13; Acts 17:29; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17; 5:17; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 1:4; 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12-13

Hebrew words: hashem

Topic: the new nature

Keywords: adoption, change, family, fruit, glory, Holy Spirit, relationship, suffering, will, witness

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: The Steady Hand of a Caring God
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:28-30
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4485

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The world to many people seems to be a random place where anything can happen. But a believer can (and should) step firmly onto the soil of life. Why? Not just because God exists, but also because God cares! There is not a single atom nor molecule out of place in God’s universe; His hands and heart are steadily controlling your every breath. Let’s examine some of the richest truths about the quality of care from a loving God.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: October 13, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Steady Hand of a Caring God"
Text: Romans 8:28-30

Path

The world to many people seems to be a random place where anything can happen. But a believer can (and should) step firmly onto the soil of life. Why? Not just because God exists, but also because God cares! There is not a single atom nor molecule out of place in God's universe; His hands and heart are steadily controlling your every breath. Let's examine some of the richest truths about the quality of care from a loving God.

  1. The Certainty of God's Care
  2. The Comprehensiveness of God's Care
  3. The Cohesiveness of God's Care
  4. The Culmination of God's Care
  5. The Condition of God's Care
  6. The Continuation of God's Care
Points

The Certainty of God's CareThe Comprehensiveness of God's CareThe Cohesiveness of God's CareThe Culmination of God's CareThe Condition of God's CareThe Continuation of God's CarePractice

Connect Up: Pastor Skip used the functionality of a steel bar to illustrate how God uses hardship to increase the value and durability of our faith. Think of a time when God used hardship to draw you closer to Him. How difficult was it for you to look past your trial to seek God? How can that experience and knowledge help you tread carefully when it comes to the pain of others?

Connect In: As Christians, we can sometimes be judgmental of hardships in the lives of fellow believers. We can be put off, or even angered by, the sins of our brothers and sisters in Christ. How does Romans 8:28-30 remind us of the importance of God's grace at work in all our lives? God is in the process of justifying all of us as we move toward the time when He will glorify us. Read Galatians 6:1-5. What does God want us to do when a fellow Christian has stumbled?

Connect Out: The promise of Romans 8:28 is for believers, not unbelievers. How could you use the idea of God's sovereignty in all things to encourage an unbeliever that God can use their hard times for good purposes? Consider what God used in your life to bring you to faith in Christ.

DETAILED NOTES
"The Steady Hand of a Caring God"
Romans 8:28-30

  1. Introduction
    1. Life can feel haphazard and random
      1. It feels like life doesn't make sense and you don't know why certain things are happening
      2. Why would a loving God allow this to happen?
    2. Romans 8:28 is one of the most famous verses in the Bible
      1. It's brought comfort to millions of believers for centuries
      2. In this verse is a Grand Canyon of Scripture that covers absolutely everything in life
    3. The theme of Romans is the gospel—the righteousness of God
      1. The first few chapters, however, plummet downward; Paul first revealed the wrath of God before revealing the grace of God
        1. In the first three chapters, Paul consigned the world as unrighteous and under God's judgment
        2. In chapters 4 and 5, Paul showed us that faith is the solution
      2. But in chapters 6-8, we find that there is no condemnation—we're children of God
  2. The Certainty of God's Care
    1. Paul used definitive language
      1. It wasn't a guess, but knowledge
      2. According to Kenneth Wuest, a Greek scholar, the phrase "and we know" (v. 28) should be translated "and we know with absolute knowledge"
    2. There are a lot of things in life that we don't know; as Paul said, "We do not know what we should pray for" (v. 26)
      1. We also don't know why certain things happen to us
      2. Habakkuk 1:2
      3. James 4:14
    3. But there are other things that we do know
      1. There are certain things you can hold on to, even when there are other things you don't understand
      2. We don't need to hope so or think so—our salvation is certain
  3. The Comprehensiveness of God's Care
    1. As Paul said, "We know that all things work together for good" (v. 28)
      1. There isn't another statement that brings more assurance, joy, or confidence to believers than this one
      2. Paul did not say that all things are good in and of themselves, or that God will keep us from bad things
        1. It does not say some things work together for good to those who love God, although that might be easier to believe
        2. It also does not say all good things work together for good
      3. Paul used the word panta in Greek, which literally means "all things"
        1. There are no qualifications or limitations
        2. Nothing is beyond the overruling, overriding scope of God's providential care
    2. What's included in "all things" in this context?
      1. Suffering in the present world (see v. 17)
      2. The groaning that comes because of it (see v. 23)
    3. The idea is not that all things just happen to work out for good on their own
      1. Behind all things is a God who is the prime mover, who is causing all those things
      2. This is an ongoing activity that is orchestrated by God; it's not a statement of fate, but of faith—God is providentially overruling in all things for His plan
      3. It doesn't matter what's going on in your path, what obstacles are on your path; He will direct your path (see Proverbs 3:5-6)
        1. Psychologists have identified a counterpart of post-traumatic stress: post-traumatic growth
        2. This is a positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity, which is due to a shift in thinking about and relating to the world in response to a traumatic event
        3. For most of us, adversity is healthy; it changes the way we think, and we grow as a result
  4. The Cohesiveness of God's Care
    1. In the Greek, "work together" is just one word—synergeo
      1. This is where we get the word synergy—the working together of various elements to produce a result greater than the sum
      2. Nothing is random; God superintends the mixture of all things
    2. There are certain things in life that are, in and of themselves, evil
      1. But when God puts those things in the crucible of omnipotence and mixes it just right, He can give it back to us and it's become helpful
      2. Jacob and Paul both suffered
        1. Jacob responded by saying, "All these things are against me" (Genesis 42:36)
        2. Paul responded with a completely different viewpoint: "All things work together for good" (v. 28)
        3. The difference between the two is perspective
    3. This scripture must be seen from an eternal perspective, not a temporal perspective
      1. There's a law of physics which explains that energy is never lost, but is transformed from one state to another
      2. It's the same in the human experience; nothing is ever lost entirely—God uses it to accomplish His purpose
  5. The Culmination of God's Care
    1. Paul did not say that all things work together for our comfort, because they don't always work out that way
      1. Certain experiences are very uncomfortable
      2. However, God is always working toward a supreme good as God defines good
    2. The Christian is not naïve about suffering, pain, heartache, and tragedy
      1. "God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves" —Joni Eareckson Tada
      2. Matthew 5:45
      3. Job 1:21
    3. Sometimes God calms the storm for us, but usually He calms us in the storm
      1. God never wastes our pain; He always causes it to work out for our ultimate good—the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son
      2. James said that we should "count it all joy" when we suffer (see James 1:2-4)
      3. We should be excited to go through a trial because God has something up His sleeve
  6. The Condition of God's Care
    1. Things don't work together for good to anyone and everyone, but to those who love God
      1. This is given to those who love God—believers
      2. The fact that we love the Lord is proof that we are "called according to His purpose" (v. 28)
    2. The principle of this passage can be seen throughout the Old Testament
      1. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and suffered for years as a result, but he had an eternal perspective (see Genesis 50:20)
      2. The Jews were in captivity in Babylon, and Jeremiah wrote about God's heart for them (see Jeremiah 29:11)
      3. The ultimate example of Romans 8:28 is the cross of Jesus Christ (see John 3:16)
        1. Acts 2:23
        2. Something that was so bad became something so good for those who believe that faith in Him is enough to get us from earth to heaven
    3. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of the cross—He experienced it, and He knows how something so bad can become something so good for those who trust in Him
  7. The Continuation of God's Care
    1. This is the scope of God's care
      1. This is where we move from eternity past to eternity future—from predestination and election all the way to glorification
      2. There are five golden links of God's sovereign care:
        1. He foreknew
        2. He predestined
        3. He called
        4. He justified
        5. He glorified
    2. All but one of these conditions are past tense
      1. He knew us in advance; He predestined us in Christ before the foundation of the world; He called us and justified us at the time of our salvation
      2. We haven't been glorified yet, but God writes about it in the past tense because He's sure that it will happen
        1. Your glorification is as certain to God as Him choosing you before the foundation of the world
        2. That is the continuation of God's care—it doesn't stop when you face trials; it's going to happen, and He'll continue to display His care forever
  8. Conclusion
    1. Right now, you might be holding a dark piece of the puzzle of life
      1. Why would God allow this to happen?
      2. Don't forget that God sees the whole puzzle
    2. Are you okay with knowing that He knows?
      1. You don't know, and you won't be able to figure it out
      2. He has the big picture in mind, and that's where we have to leave everything we go through
Figures referenced: Jerry Bridges, Jim Elliot, George Mueller, William R. Newell, John Stott, Joni Eareckson Tada, R.A. Torrey, Kenneth Wuest

Cross references: Genesis 42:36; 50:20; Job 1:21; Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 29:11; Habakkuk 1:2; Matthew 5:45; John 3:16; Acts 2:23; Romans 8:26; James 1:2-4; 4:14

Greek words: panta, synergeo

Topic: God's care

Keywords: care, certainty, eternity, good, know, perspective, purpose, suffering, trials

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: A Midterm Exam: Five Questions to Test Your Understanding
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:31-34
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4487

MESSAGE SUMMARY
In the middle of any given course or semester, a test consisting of questions is given. This does two things: it measures the student’s grasp of the course materials, and it helps identify any areas that need work. Right in the middle of his sixteen-chapter book, Paul gives his readers a series of questions to jog our spiritual memory and face some wonderful realities about the love of God. Let’s consider five questions in these verses.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: October 20, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "A Midterm Exam: Five Questions to Test Your Understanding"
Text: Romans 8:31-34

Path

In the middle of any given course or semester, a test consisting of questions is given. This does two things: it measures the student's grasp of the course materials, and it helps identify any areas that need work. Right in the middle of his sixteen-chapter book, Paul gives his readers a series of questions to jog our spiritual memory and face some wonderful realities about the love of God. In this teaching, Pastor Skip considers five questions found in the verses.

  1. A Question of Reaction (v. 31a)
  2. A Question of Opposition (v. 31b)
  3. A Question of Qualification (v. 32)
  4. A Question of Accusation (v. 33)
  5. A Question of Condemnation (v. 34)
Points

A Question of ReactionA Question of OppositionA Question of QualificationA Question of AccusationA Question of CondemnationPractice

Connect Up: God sometimes asks rhetorical questions to reveal the truth. Refer to the following verses to determine the heart of the question. What do you learn about God and what He's communicating?Connect In: One of the themes Pastor Skip touched on is grace. How is grace central to the Christian faith and the church? Discuss this story about C.S. Lewis:"During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C.S. Lewis wandered into the room. 'What's the rumpus about?' he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity's unique contribution among world religions. Lewis responded, 'Oh, that's easy. It's grace.'"1 Do you agree with Lewis? Why or why not?

Connect Out: How is Pastor Skip's final question "Why should I let you in?" the most important question when reaching out to unbelievers? How would you explain that we can't pass the exam on own; we need the One who stands in for us. What are some of the answers/excuses you've heard from unbelievers? How would you respond to the various answers given (based on your group's input)?

1 GraceGuy's Blog, "What's so unique about Christianity? C.S. Lewis Answers," December 5, 2010, http://www.graceguy.org/blog-posts/whats-so-unique-about-christianity-cs-lewis-answers, 10/21/2019.

DETAILED NOTES
"A Midterm Exam: Five Questions to Test Your Understanding"
Romans 8:31-34

  1. Introduction
    1. In the middle of Romans, Paul administered a midterm exam of sorts
      1. He asked his readers a series of questions meant to drive home his point
      2. Paul employed a literary method of questions and answers—the Socratic method
    2. Throughout the book of Romans, Paul had an imaginary conversation with a critic, asking questions then answering them (see Romans 3:1, 9, 27; 4:1)
      1. The Socratic method was used to challenge assumptions, clarify notions and ideas, and lead a student or audience from error into truth
      2. In this passage, Paul layered question upon question, as if to say there was nothing more to add
  2. A Question of Reaction (v. 31a)
    1. Paul's first question was "What then shall we say to these things?"
      1. This question should cause a reaction
      2. Paul was testing his readers' response to the truth
    2. The reader's response to his question would be to ask which things Paul was talking about
      1. Paul could have been referring to everything he'd written so far in the previous chapters
        1. The book of Romans so far is about the wrath of God and how it's eclipsed by the grace of God
        2. In the first few chapters, we discovered that we're under the judgment of God, but God, in His grace, sent Jesus to save us and justify us based on our faith
      2. Paul may have been referring to the truths that he wrote about in the eighth chapter
        1. There's no condemnation to those who are in Christ
        2. We're adopted children of God
        3. We were indwelt by the Holy Spirit
        4. We have been promised future glory
      3. The third possibility is that he was referring to what he'd written in the previous paragraph
        1. "All things work together for good to those who are in Christ Jesus" (8:28)
        2. He foreknew us and predestined us
        3. He called us and justified us, and one day, He will glorify us
    3. How do we respond to spiritual truth?
      1. We should at least apply it to our lives; it should make a difference in the way we live
      2. When you hear the truth, are you enthusiastic about it, indifferent to it, or open to it only if it agrees with you and how you want to live?
      3. This is an important question because we're not talking about just any book—we're talking about God's book
        1. Since God is the teacher, it makes sense to listen carefully and respond accordingly
        2. Jesus taught His disciples that they should be very careful how they listen to God (see Luke 8:18)
    4. Our reaction to spiritual truth determines our action with spiritual truth
      1. Psalm 27:8
      2. You should determine how you are going to respond to what you hear before you have quiet time or go to church
      3. James 1:22-24
  3. A Question of Opposition (v. 31b)
    1. There are many in the Bible who questioned that God was for them
      1. Job suffered greatly and asked, "Why do You hide Your face, and regard me as Your enemy?" (Job 13:24)
      2. Jeremiah predicted a captivity and, when Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonians, said, "The Lord was like an enemy" (Lamentations 2:5)
      3. Jacob said, "All these things are against me" (Genesis 42:36)
    2. A recent study revealed that one of the top questions people Google is "Why does God hate me?"
      1. Paul asked, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
      2. The word if makes it seem conditional
        1. Paul used the Greek conditional participle, which refers to a fulfilled condition, not a possibility
        2. A better translation would be "since God is for us"
      3. We should wake up with the knowledge that God is for us
        1. If God is willing to put the gavel down and say, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1), we can know that God is for us
        2. If God is willing to look at your life but still justify you, He's definitely for you
    3. There are many people or entities who are against us
      1. Satan, the demons that work for him, and the world itself is against us
      2. The enemies of God and unbelievers in general are not for the Christian
    4. But if God is for us, who cares who's against us?
      1. If the God who created the heavens and earth is for me, who cares who's against me?
      2. Knowing that God was for him, David wrote, "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around" (Psalm 3:6)
      3. The only type of person who could say that is a nutcase or somebody who believes God is for them
        1. Knowing God was for him enabled Gideon to fight an army of 135,000 Midianites with 300 soldiers
        2. Jonathan and his armor bearer attacked the Philistine army because "nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few" (1 Samuel 14:6)
      4. If God is for us, it doesn't matter how many are against us
      5. God doesn't need a big army; He could use one, but He doesn't need one
  4. A Question of Qualification (v. 32)
    1. The question Paul asked in verse 32 is logical as well as theological
      1. Paul was closing out his section on the grace of God
      2. Throughout the book of Romans, he pointed back to the cross
    2. The question is: Are you tempted to doubt the love of God for you?
      1. If so, you need to look back at the cross—at what He's already done for you
      2. Paul argued from greater to lesser
        1. Because God already gave the supreme and costliest gift possible, the rest is chump change
        2. If God was willing to give the ultimate gift of His only begotten Son, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
    3. Whatever you need today is nothing in comparison to what God has already given you in Christ
      1. The diamond God is giving you is His only Son; all the other things you need are like the wrapping paper in comparison
      2. If God has already given you the best and costliest, won't He take care of everything else He knows you need?
  5. A Question of Accusation (v. 33)
    1. Paul followed the next question with a declaration
      1. "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?"
      2. This is legal language; it speaks of a formal accusation in court
      3. A better translation would be "Who will press charges?"
    2. Who charges you with the mistakes you've made and sins you've committed?
      1. Satan, more than anyone else
      2. The Greek word diabolos literally means slanderer or one who defames
        1. Revelation 12:10
        2. Before we sin, he tempts us; after we sin, he taunts us
    3. Satan is eager to point out our weaknesses, mistakes, failures, and lack of fervency—all of which is true
      1. Job 1:9
      2. Zechariah 3:1
      3. But it doesn't matter, because it is God who justifies
        1. God is the judge who puts the gavel down and says, "You're forgiven," while Satan is only the prosecutor
        2. We should be glad that Satan is our enemy, because it proves we're on the right side
  6. A Question of Condemnation (v. 34)
    1. Paul's fifth question was "Who is he who condemns?"
      1. Sometimes you don't need anybody accusing you
      2. Your own heart sometimes condemns you (see 1 John 3:20)
    2. It's liberating to realize that God is not your celestial principal
      1. He's your heavenly Father, and He's done something for you—He sent Christ not only to die in your place, but to rise from the dead, conquering death and promising you the resurrection
      2. Christ also sits at the right hand of God and makes intercession for us
      3. The cross is done, but Jesus' work is not done—He prays for you (see Luke 22:31-32; Hebrews 7:25)
  7. Conclusion
    1. We need to think of our final exam
      1. When it's the end of the age or the end of your life, God will ask, "Why should I let you into heaven?"
      2. No matter how hard you've tried, whether you went to church every week, or you were raised by good parents, it all falls short
    2. You need somebody who will stand in for you—who doesn't just know the answers, but who is the answer: Jesus Christ
      1. John 14:6
      2. God will ask, "What have you done with My Son?"
      3. Have you let Jesus be your answer?
Figures referenced: D.L. Moody, G. Campbell Morgan, John Newton, J.I. Packer, C.H. Spurgeon, Steve Winger

Cross references: Genesis 42:36; 1 Samuel 14:6; Job 1:9; 13:24; Psalm 3:6; 27:8; Lamentations 2:5; Zechariah 3:1; Luke 8:18; 22:31-32; John 14:6; Romans 3:1, 9, 27; 4:1; 8:1; 28; Hebrews 7:25; James 1:22-24; 1 John 3:20; Revelation 12:10

Greek words: diabolos

Topic: spiritual truth

Keywords: accusation, condemnation, knowledge, opposition, qualification, question, reaction, understanding

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: For the Love of God
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:35-39
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4489

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Can anyone really comprehend unconditional love? Perhaps the love that parents have for their children is the closest to unconditional love from a human point of view. But life’s circumstances certainly can challenge the idea that God loves us unconditionally. We’ve all heard about God’s love, we’ve sung about it, and we’ve affirmed it with our “Amens!” But as Paul closes out this section of Romans, he moves us into a fixed and secure confession that no matter what life can throw at us, we need never doubt God’s love for us.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: October 27, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "For the Love of God"
Text: Romans 8:35-39

Path

Can anyone really comprehend unconditional love? Perhaps the love that parents have for their children is the closest to unconditional love from a human point of view. But life's circumstances certainly can challenge the idea that God loves us unconditionally. We've all heard about God's love, we've sung about it, and we've affirmed it with our "Amens!" But as Paul closes out this section of Romans, he moves us into a fixed and secure confession that no matter what life can throw at us, we need never doubt God's love for us.

  1. We Have a Principle (vv. 35, 37, 39)
  2. We Face a Peril (vv. 35-36)
  3. We Need a Perspective (v. 37)
  4. We Should Be Persuaded (vv. 38-39)
Points

We Have a Principle (vv. 35, 37, 39)We Face a Peril (vv. 35-36)We Need a Perspective (v. 37)We Should Be Persuaded (vv. 38-39)Practice

Connect Up: God is love. But is all love God? C.S. Lewis would say no. Loving pizza is not the same as loving God. To underscore this truth, Lewis presented four general facets of love.1 Discuss the similarities and differences of each. Which one truly represents God’s love toward people? Why?Connect In: In this message, Pastor Skip asked several questions. Take time to discuss each:Connect Out: How would you respond to a skeptic who says: "I don't believe in God because of evil and suffering in the world. If God was truly loving and all-powerful, He would stop bad things from happening in the world." Consider John 9:1-3. Is it more important to ask God: 'Why is this happening?" or "What are You doing through this?" Refer to this summary of Dr. Norman Geisler's book If God, Why Evil: http://crossroadshv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Geisler-on-Problem-of-Evil.pdf.

1 Lewis, C.S., Four Loves, Harper Collins Publishers, 1960.

DETAILED NOTES
"For the Love of God"
Romans 8:35-39

  1. Introduction
    1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life
      1. The idea that God loves them is not an easy concept for some
      2. Unbelievers don't understand that God loves them because God isn't on their radar, let alone the love of God for them personally
    2. The final paragraph of Romans 8 is a crescendo of everything Paul has spoken about—a crescendo of God's love
      1. Paul stated a truth that we all know, which is sometimes threatened by life's circumstances
      2. Certain circumstances can make us doubt the truth that we know
      3. We need a vantage point so that we can rise in victory above those circumstances and come to a settled conviction of heart about that truth
  2. We Have a Principle (vv. 35, 37, 39)
    1. The theme of God's love is prominent in the book of Romans and in the life of Paul
      1. Romans 5:5; 8
      2. This is basic theology (see 1 John 4:8)—love is part of the very core of God's character
    2. God's love for the people He created is not just a theme of Romans but also a theme of Scripture in its entirety
      1. 1 John 3:1
      2. Jeremiah 31:3
      3. Deuteronomy 7:7-8
    3. God's love must be balanced with His other attributes
      1. God's love is so amazing because God is holy, and because He is holy, He is unapproachable
        1. Exodus 19:12; 21
        2. Exodus 33:22
        3. Isaiah 6:3-5
      2. In His holiness, God is unapproachable, but in His love, God approaches us through Christ
        1. John 14:9
        2. Jesus came to show us the love of God up close and personal; His was a life of love
          1. Luke 18:18
          2. John 11:35-36
        3. Jesus never met anyone He didn't love; He loves the worst of sinners, the best of saints, and everyone in between
    4. Knowing that God loves us should cause great relief, joy, and humility that God's plan includes us
      1. His love is eternal (see Jeremiah 31:3)
      2. He loved you before He put anything else here, and it can never be taken away
  3. We Face a Peril (vv. 35-36)
    1. God loves us, but that can be challenged by the experiences of life
      1. When these experiences happen, they can move us away from the truth that we already know about God
      2. We can sometimes question God's love for us and even conclude that He's against us or that He doesn't exist
    2. Paul listed seven painful experiences:
      1. The word tribulation means to be squeezed or placed under pressure
        1. Job, who suffered greatly, said, "Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7)
        2. Tribulations are the pressures of life
      2. In Greek, the word for distress is stenochōria
        1. This word refers to a narrow or confined place; it's the feeling of being hemmed in
        2. Joseph, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Paul all experienced a period of incarceration and distress
      3. Third on the list is persecution; Paul was writing this to the church in Rome, which would face 200 years of persecution
      4. The last four things Paul listed are the results of persecution
        1. Famine
        2. Nakedness
        3. Peril
        4. The sword
    3. Paul asked this question: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (v. 35)
      1. The word Paul used for separate is typically used in the New Testament for divorce
      2. Is there anything that could divorce you from God's love?
        1. Paul quoted Psalm 44:22 in answer to his own question, and in doing so, he was saying that we shouldn't be surprised if we suffer for Christ, because God's people always have
        2. If you suffer for Christ, you are not alone—you stand next to Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, Daniel, and Jesus
  4. We Need a Perspective (v. 37)
    1. Paul provided us with a perspective: "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (v. 37)
      1. In the Greek, "more than conquerors" is one word—hypernikōmen, which literally means hyper conquerors
      2. We have power to spare
    2. This verse is well-known but misunderstood
      1. First of all, to be a conqueror is to rejoice when the battle is over
        1. People who fight through the battle rejoice when they've won it
        2. To be more than a conqueror is to rejoice in the midst of the battle; only one who is more than a conqueror can sing before the battle is fully over
      2. The second way to look at it is this: conquests have casualties
        1. We didn't conquer anything—hell, sin, or death; we are just piggybacking on the conqueror's victory at the cross
        2. He fought the battle and incurred the cost; we didn't lose anything in the battle except impurities, bad habits, and old lifestyles
    3. Any temporal loss we suffer in any of these situations is far outweighed by the rewards that are given afterwards
      1. Mark 10:29
      2. 2 Corinthians 4:17
  5. We Should Be Persuaded (vv. 38-39)
    1. Paul seemed to search the universe for any contingency or possibility that could separate us from God's love, but he couldn't find one
      1. Death cannot separate you from God (see Psalm 23:4)
      2. It will unite you with Him, to His immediate glory, because death's sting has been taken away; we have victory in death
    2. Paul was fully convinced
      1. How could he be so sure?
      2. Paul experienced everything he mentioned in this passage except death
        1. Paul knew what it was like to lack food and water, to be shipwrecked, and to face scorn from a crowd
        2. It's worth listening to someone who experienced all of that and came out the other end saying, "I still believe God loves me"
  6. Conclusion
    1. God always loves you, but you don't always experience God's love
      1. As Jude said, "Keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude v. 21)
        1. This does not mean keep yourself lovable; there are no conditions to God's love
        2. This simply means you should keep yourself in a place where you are experiencing God's love
      2. God always loves you, but you could put up an umbrella of doubt, self-pity, sin, selfishness, jealousy, envy, or comparison with others
    2. How convinced are you?
      1. Is there anything at all that could happen to you that would keep you from loving or serving Jesus Christ?
        1. The death of a child?
        2. A paralyzing accident?
        3. Losing your business or your wealth?
      2. Any of those things could stop you from loving Him, but they will never stop Him from loving you
Figures referenced: Billy Graham, Ignatius, D.L. Moody, C.H. Spurgeon

Cross references: Exodus 19:12; 21; 33:22; Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Job 5:7; Psalm 23:4; 44:22; Isaiah 6:3-5; Jeremiah 31:3; Mark 10:29; Luke 18:18; John 11:35-36; 14:9; Romans 5:5; 8; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 John 3:1; 4:8; Jude 21

Greek words: hypernikōmen, stenochōria

Topic: God's love

Keywords: conquer, love, peril, perspective, persuaded, power, principle, separate, truth

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: God, the Jew, and You
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 9:1-26
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4493

MESSAGE SUMMARY
We now come to the third major section of Paul’s letter to the Romans that reveals God’s plan for Jew and Gentile. The early church in Jerusalem was entirely Jewish, but by this point, in most other parts of the world, it had become predominantly non-Jewish. But if God made so many promises to the Jewish nation, does that mean those promises are all now annulled? How does Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah fit into God’s sovereign strategy, and where do we fit in?

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: November 10, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "God, the Jew, and You"
Text: Romans 9:1-26

Path

We now come to the third major section of Paul's letter to the Romans that reveals God's plan for Jew and Gentile. The early church in Jerusalem was entirely Jewish, but by this point, in most other parts of the world, it had become predominantly non-Jewish. But if God made so many promises to the Jewish nation, does that mean those promises are all now annulled? How does Israel's rejection of Jesus as Messiah fit into God's sovereign strategy, and where do we fit in?

  1. God's Pick Is Israel (vv. 1-5)
  2. God's Preference Is Independent (vv. 6-13)
  3. God's Plan Is Impeccable (vv. 14-18)
  4. God's Purpose Is Inclusive (vv. 19-26)
Points

God's Pick Is Israel (vv. 1-5)God's Preference Is Independent (vv. 6-13)God's Plan Is Impeccable (vv. 14-18)God's Purpose Is Inclusive (vv. 19-26)Practice

Connect Up: God's election is a difficult doctrine. Many people wonder, If God is love, why doesn't He save everyone? God is more than exclusively love; He is also holy, just, righteous, etc. God is all His attributes. Therefore, sin cannot go unpunished. Take a moment to discuss some of the attributes of God that lead to His righteous judgment of sin:Connect In: The church consists of undeserving people saved by God's grace (see Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8). How does the big picture of God's sovereignty in salvation relate to Israel and the church? How do you understand the difference between the Jewish people and the church?

Connect Out: How can the doctrine of election inspire you to reach out to unbelievers? Discuss the following quotes. How do you think unbelievers would respond to them? Do you think these quotes are effective for evangelizing? Why or why not?
1 "List of God's Attributes," http://www.theattributesofgod.org/list-of-attributes.html, accessed 11/9/19.

DETAILED NOTES
"God, the Jew, and You"
Romans 9:1-26

  1. Introduction
    1. We live in an age of polarization
      1. Political parties don't trust each other, and rhetoric is high
      2. This doesn't indicate just the political condition, but also the human condition
        1. 91 percent of Americans admit to routinely lying about trivial matters
        2. 36 percent of those say they lie about important matters that hurt others
    2. The Bible is full of promises made by a promise-keeping God
      1. There are 31,173 verses in the Bible, and it's estimated that, of those verses, there are 7,487 promises that God made to us
      2. Numbers 23:19
      3. Are you creeping on the premises or standing on God's promises?
    3. The issue at stake in Romans 9 is that God's promises are under scrutiny, especially those He made to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament
      1. As Paul wrote this book, a demographic shift was happening in the church
        1. The early church was Jewish
        2. At the time Paul wrote this book, there were far more Gentile believers
      2. As a nation, Israel rejected Christ, so the issue is this: Has God rejected them since they rejected Jesus?
    4. Romans 9-11 could be called the Israel trilogy
      1. Chapter 9: Israel's past
      2. Chapter 10: Israel's present
      3. Chapter 11: Israel's future
  2. God's Pick Is Israel (vv. 1-5)
    1. Paul began by acknowledging that God chose the nation of Israel for three reasons:
      1. To reveal Himself
      2. To reveal His plan
      3. To reveal His Son
    2. Paul listed several advantages Israel had because they were chosen by God
      1. The adoption
        1. No other nation could say they were God's special treasure (see Exodus 4:22)
        2. Deuteronomy 7:6
      2. The glory
        1. They had the shekinah glory—literally the presence of God
        2. Exodus 13:21; 24:16; 40:34
      3. The covenants
        1. God made a covenant with Abraham for the land (see Genesis 15:18-21)
        2. God made a covenant with Moses for the people of the land
        3. God made a covenant with David for the Messiah (see 2 Samuel 7:16)
      4. The giving of the Law
        1. Every book of the Bible is Jewish, except two (Luke and Acts, both written by Luke, a Gentile)
        2. The Jewish Scriptures were given as special revelation from God
      5. The service of God: the Israelites were allowed to administrate the temple as a worship center so people could have fellowship with God as He dwelt among them
      6. The promises
        1. Many of the 7,487 promises in the Bible were given to Israel
        2. God promised them a land, an eternal kingdom, and a Messiah
      7. The fathers
        1. Israel began through God's choice of one man—Abraham (see Genesis 12:2)
        2. From one old man with an infertile wife, to a nation of slaves in Egypt, to a land God gave them, so that He could showcase His glory through them
      8. The greatest blessing is God's fulfilled promise of the Messiah
        1. Jesus was Jewish—He was dedicated in the temple, went through the bar mitzvah, and celebrated Passover
        2. Salvation came to the Jews through a Jew (see John 4:22)
    3. Some people, even Christians, wonder why we support Israel so strongly, even though we don't support everything modern Israel does politically
    4. We support God's covenant with Israel, so we support Israel and God's future plans for Israel
  3. God's Preference Is Independent (vv. 6-13)
    1. God's promise to Israel has not failed
      1. Genesis 21:12
      2. Genesis 25:23
      3. Some Jews did believe, and those who did are part of God's elect remnant
    2. The rejection of Christ by the majority does not negate the promise of God to the minority
      1. He still has a covenant with them
      2. God's choice to save is not based upon physical descent or human merit
        1. God doesn't operate based on human connection—who you're related to
        2. God's choice does not operate based on human perfection—earning your way to heaven
        3. God operates on the basis of divine election
    3. Paul used two examples:
      1. Abraham and Isaac
        1. Abraham's firstborn son was Ishmael
        2. The promise was not made to the firstborn, but to the son of promise
      2. Isaac and Rebecca
        1. Isaac also had two sons: Esau and Jacob
        2. As the firstborn, Esau should have received the inheritance, but it went to Jacob
    4. Paul quoted Malachi 1:2-3 in verse 13
      1. The book of Malachi was written 1,000 years after Jacob and Esau were born
      2. Malachi was not speaking of Jacob and Esau, but of their descendants; two nations came from Jacob and Esau
        1. From Jacob came the nation of Israel
        2. From Esau came the nation of Edom, which hated the worship of God and the Jewish people
    5. It's hard to understand how God predetermines and elects you before you're born but also demands that you make a choice to follow Him after you're born
      1. He chooses us, but we must choose Him
      2. God elects us, then tells us to select Him
      3. He predestines and calls us, but we have to decide to believe
      4. Ephesians 1:4
  4. God's Plan Is Impeccable (vv. 14-18)
    1. God's election is always a matter of grace
      1. He doesn't elect based on what we deserve
      2. If God acted only on the basis of our righteousness, no one would be saved
    2. Paul quoted Exodus 33:19 in verse 15
      1. In Exodus 32, Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments and found the people worshiping a golden calf
      2. The whole nation was involved, and the whole nation deserved to be destroyed, but God was merciful and compassionate to the many
      3. Paul argued that if you say God is unrighteous because He chooses one over another, then you have to say that God was unrighteous at Mount Sinai
    3. Some might say that God isn't fair
      1. It wasn't fair that Jesus had to die on a cross; He was perfect and didn't deserve it, but we did
      2. He did it because God was showing mercy and compassion to me and you
    4. Paul illustrated his point using Pharaoh and Moses (see Exodus 9:1-7)
      1. Moses and Pharaoh were both leaders, sinners, and murderers
      2. Both of them saw the power of God
      3. Moses was saved, but Pharaoh was lost because he hardened his heart
        1. Exodus mentions Pharaoh's heart twenty times
        2. He hardened his own heart ten times, and God hardened his heart ten times
        3. The word in the original Hebrew also means to confirm; Pharaoh made his decision, and God confirmed it
    5. If you decide you're going to harden your heart against God—if you're determined to go to hell—God will honor your choice
      1. God did not create hell for any human being (see Matthew 25:41)
      2. God never meant for humans to go to hell, but He lets them go if they choose to
        1. If you want nothing to do with God on this earth, how could a loving God force you to be in heaven with Him forever?
        2. God won't save you if you don't want to be saved
        3. God makes a sovereign, independent choice to show mercy to whom He will
  5. God's Purpose Is Inclusive (vv. 19-26)
    1. God's plan includes everyone—Jew and Gentile
      1. 2 Peter 3:9
      2. If you choose Him, you'll discover that God has already chosen you (see John 6:44)
      3. John 15:16
    2. God's predetermination and election never precluded anyone from entering the kingdom of God, because they discover they were already selected by God when they make that choice
      1. Salvation is like throwing a rope to a drowning man, but the rope can't save him—he has to take it
      2. God, by election, draws you to safety, but you must take hold of the rope
  6. Conclusion
    1. You can be numbered among God's people yet not be one of God's people
      1. How do you know you're saved?
      2. You don't become a Christian by walking into a church
    2. Spiritual life doesn't come from physical birth; it comes from spiritual birth
      1. Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Esau was the son of Isaac, but neither were sons of the promise
      2. You aren't a Christian simply because your parents were Christians; it comes from being born again
    3. God's plan includes you
      1. But does your plan include God?
      2. The fact that He picked you should cause you great humility and elation
    4. God wants everybody to be saved
      1. 2 Peter 3:9
      2. You make the choice, but you'll discover you were chosen
Figures referenced: G.K. Chesterton, William Norman Ewer, D.L. Moody, Griffith Thomas

Cross references: Genesis 12:2; 15:18-21; 21:12; 25:23; Exodus 4:22; 9:1-7; 13:21; 24:16; 33:19; 40:34; Deuteronomy 7:6; Numbers 23:19; 2 Samuel 7:16; Malachi 1:2-3; Matthew 25:41; John 4:22; 6:44; 15:16; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Peter 3:9

Topic: salvation

Keywords: choose, election, plan, predetermination, preference, promise, purpose, salvation

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Salvation: Reverse Engineered
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 10:1, 14-17
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4495

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Right in the middle of Paul’s great trilogy about Israel (Romans 9, 10, and 11), he gave an expanded view of how salvation operates. These are the seven components that make up the journey for anyone (Jew or Gentile) who comes to know Christ. Evangelism always begins with God’s sovereign election, but it also involves human cooperation. It takes both someone who will transmit the gospel and someone who will receive it.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: November 17, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Salvation: Reverse Engineered"
Text: Romans 10:1, 14-17

Path

Right in the middle of Paul’s great trilogy about Israel (Romans 9, 10, and 11), he gave an expanded view of how salvation operates. These are the seven components that make up the journey for anyone (Jew or Gentile) who comes to know Christ. Evangelism always begins with God’s sovereign election, but it also involves human cooperation. It takes both someone who will transmit the gospel and someone who will receive it.

  1. Caring (v. 1a)
  2. Praying (v. 1b)
  3. Going (v. 15)
  4. Speaking (v. 15a)
  5. Hearing (v. 14c)
  6. Believing (vv. 14b, 8-10)
  7. Calling (vv. 13-14a)
Points

Caring (v. 1a)Praying (v. 1b)Going (v. 15)Speaking (v. 15a)Hearing (v. 14c)Believing (vv. 14b, 8-10)Calling (vv. 13-14a)Practice

Connect Up: Though there is disagreement within the body of Christ as to the order of salvation (ordo salutis in Latin), most agree that several factors are involved. Use the following words to discuss aspects of salvation, but do not become dogmatic or insensitive to others. For help, visit carm.org/what-is-the-ordo-salutis; for more ideas, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordo_salutis. Connect In: What's next for the new Christian? Paul (see Ephesians 2:10) and James (see James 2:24) said we are saved to do godly works. Christians are to do great things in Christ's name once we are saved—being light and salt in the world. Discuss the following:Connect Out: Take time to pray for the unbelievers you will reach out to leading up to Christmas. Pray for them by name, asking God that they'd respond to His gracious love this holiday season.

DETAILED NOTES
"Salvation: Reverse Engineered"
Romans 10:1, 14-17

  1. Introduction
    1. Reverse engineering is the process of deconstructing a device or system in order to analyze its design and function
      1. Reverse engineering does not start with what you want or need; it begins with a finished product and works backwards
      2. This is a helpful process for manufacturers to look at their products and the components that go into those products in order to improve them
      3. Reverse engineering is also how companies steal from other companies by copying products and producing their own version
    2. In the middle of this section of Romans (chapters 9-11), Paul reverse engineered the concept of salvation
      1. In deconstructing the process, he showed how salvation works
      2. Paul presented seven stages of salvation
        1. The first four stages are things believers do as we share the message with others
          1. Caring
          2. Praying
          3. Going
          4. Speaking
        2. The last three are things unbelievers do as they become believers
          1. Hearing
          2. Believing
          3. Calling
    3. Salvation is a divine work
      1. If God didn't save you, you're not going to be saved
      2. God's sovereignty predestines, elects, and calls (see Romans 8:30)
      3. Salvation is a divine work, but it's also a human work—people become instruments that sovereign God uses to do His work
      4. Evangelism is the intersection between predestination and human volition; it's a cooperation between people and God
        1. God has confined Himself to using people to reach other people
        2. God does the electing, the calling, and the saving, but He uses people to share it
  2. Caring (v. 1a)
    1. Paul was carrying a burden (see Romans 9:1)
      1. It's possible to have great joy and sorrow in your heart at the same time
      2. You have the joy of the Lord, but you carry the burden of those loved ones who don't know your Savior
    2. Evangelism always begins with caring
      1. Evangelism always starts with your care for the lost, because it's only when you care that you feel the need to share your faith with others
        1. Matthew 9:36
        2. The Greek word for compassion is splagchnizomai, which refers to the gut
        3. The Hebrews believed that the deepest, most intense emotions were felt in the pit of one's stomach
        4. Matthew 23:37
      2. You can have a great deal of biblical knowledge, but people won't care how much you know till they know how much you care
  3. Praying (v. 1b)
    1. Paul moved from his heart to his knees
      1. He cared, so he prayed
      2. The heart of Paul's prayer can be seen in Romans 9:1
    2. Can you imagine someone who has come to know Jesus Christ and all that salvation entails being willing to be lost forever if it meant somebody they love would come to know Christ?
      1. When Paul wrote this, he wasn't thinking theologically
        1. He was writing emotionally; he knew that nothing can separate us from the love of God (see Romans 8:38-39)
        2. Paul was saying that he loved them so much that if it were possible for them to be saved because he was cut off, he would do it
      2. Exodus 32:32
    3. How often do we look around at our country and realize we're in bad shape?
      1. America needs a revival
      2. When was the last time you prayed for a revival?
      3. The Bible says you have not because you ask not (see James 4:2-3)
      4. James used a very powerful man from the Old Testament—Elijah—to make this point (see James 5:16-18)
    4. After caring, we should be moved to praying
      1. Matthew 9:37
      2. You can always do more than pray after you've prayed, but you can never do more than pray until you've prayed
    5. When you pray for the lost, you may be surprised by the answer
      1. In Matthew 9:38, Jesus told His disciples to "pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest"
      2. In Matthew 10:5, Jesus answered their prayer by sending them; those who prayed for workers became the workers
      3. As you pray, your concern will deepen, and you'll want to do something about it
  4. Going (v. 15)
    1. The idea of being sent implies that somebody is willing to go
      1. This idea of sending isn't the formal kind of sending in the sense of a church board or mission organization sending someone
      2. God does the sending
        1. Acts 13:2-4
        2. The word apostle simply means someone who is sent out; you are on a mission from God
        3. Mark 16:15
        4. Acts 1:8
    2. This is an important stage in a Christian's spiritual development
      1. Churches that do not evangelize will eventually fossilize, and the same is true for the Christian, because the church consists of individuals
      2. What begins in your heart by caring and is nurtured in your heart by praying is produced in your life by going
  5. Speaking (v. 15a)
    1. "And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (v. 14)
      1. The word preacher here doesn't refer to a pastor behind a pulpit or an evangelist in a stadium; it simply means one who proclaims something
      2. The Greek word, kérussó, refers to a herald; this was an officer of the court who held a high place in the Greco-Roman world
    2. A preacher is someone who speaks truth to people
      1. This is why St. Francis was wrong when he said, "Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words"
      2. When somebody quotes this, it reveals that they have embraced a version of Christianity in which words don't matter
        1. You need more than words, but you have to begin with words because words convey truth, and nobody will understand truth without hearing the right words
        2. Mark 16:15
    3. As Christians, we share our story and tell people how we came to Christ because our story is part of His story—the good news
      1. "We are to seek our neighbor's conversion because we love him. We are to speak to him in loving terms and share God's loving gospel, because our heart desires his eternal good" —Charles Spurgeon
      2. The gospel isn't just words, but it includes words (see v. 17)
  6. Hearing (v. 14c)
    1. Salvation requires hearing
      1. This is listening, contemplating, and processing the truth, then responding to it
      2. People hear the same message differently (see Matthew 13:1-8)
    2. Before faith can be activated, the truth must be heard, so words are necessary
      1. Acts 15:7
      2. The hearing ear becomes the conveyor of truth to the believing heart; a person must hear the truth before they can interact with it
    3. What does this mean for us?
      1. All of us should know, at any given time, the basic facts of the gospel
      2. Don't give wrong directions on how to get to heaven
  7. Believing (vv. 14b, 8-10)
    1. This is the contact point of salvation, which comes with saving faith
      1. Saving faith is raw trust, apart from good works, family heritage, or the religion you grew up with (see Ephesians 2:8-9)
      2. John 3:16
    2. Saving faith is trust in Him that leads somewhere
      1. Believing in the heart (see v. 9) is a Hebrew concept
      2. The Hebrews considered the heart to be a person's core
      3. To believe in the heart is to be all in, not to believe superficially or simply acknowledge that God exists
      4. The demons know the facts of the gospel—they know Jesus is the Son of God—but there is no salvation (see James 2:19)
  8. Calling (vv. 13-14a)
    1. "For 'whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved'" (v. 13)
      1. When it's true faith, this always happens
      2. There's always a moment at which a person who has true faith calls upon the Lord, invites Christ to come in, and asks God to forgive them of their sins
        1. The Old Testament term "calling on the name of the Lord" was always associated with the right worship of the true God
        2. Joel 2:32
    2. Calling on the name of the Lord is opening the door to Christ (see Revelation 3:20)
      1. It's one thing to acknowledge the greatness of a parachute; it's quite another to jump out of an airplane with a parachute strapped to your back
      2. You're calling on the name of the Lord when you jump—you're applying it to your life, making it real and personal for yourself
  9. Conclusion
    1. As Christians, we have a unique opportunity
      1. We have the only message that gets a person from earth to heaven
      2. It's a very simple message: believe in Jesus Christ, call upon His name, and trust Him completely
    2. We are called to stand in the gap for unbelievers—to talk them off the ledge and out of jumping into the eternal abyss
Figures referenced: Charles Blondin, Francis of Assisi, John Patton, Don Ritchie, C.H. Spurgeon

Cross references: Exodus 32:32; Joel 2:32; Matthew 9:36-38; 10:5; 13:1-8; 23:37; Mark 16:15; John 3:16; Acts 1:8; 13:2-4; 15:7; Romans 8:30, 38-39; 9:1; 10:9, 13; Ephesians 2:8-9; James 2:19; 4:2-3; 5:16-18; Revelation 3:20

Greek words: kérussó, splagchnizomai

Topic: salvation

Keywords: calling, believing, faith, gospel, hearing, heart, heaven, praying, preaching, truth

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: God’s Plan for Israel—and the World
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 11:25-27
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4497

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Can God be trusted? More to the point, can God’s promises be trusted? If He promised to the Jews a kingdom, won’t their rejection of Christ cancel out His promises to them? Wouldn’t that mean that God is finished with Israel as a nation? Does their blindness forfeit God’s blessing? Today we’ll get the big-picture view of Israel, the church, and the kingdom age, and I think you will have a few loose ends tied up about God’s future plan for the world.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: November 24, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "God's Plan for Israel—and the World"
Text: Romans 11:25-27

Path

Can God be trusted? More to the point, can God's promises be trusted? If He promised to the Jews a kingdom, won't their rejection of Christ cancel out His promises to them? Wouldn't that mean that God is finished with Israel as a nation? Does their blindness forfeit God's blessing? In this teaching, Pastor Skip provided the big-picture view of Israel, the church, and the kingdom age, tying up a few loose ends about God's future plan for the world.

  1. Blindness Is on Israel Presently (v. 25a)
  2. Benefits Are Given Simultaneously (v. 25b)
  3. Blessing Will Happen Ultimately (vv. 26-27)
Points

Blindness Is on Israel Presently (v. 25a)Benefits Are Given Simultaneously (v. 25b)Blessing Will Happen Ultimately (vv. 26-27)Practice

Connect Up: Why do you think God allowed blindness to fall upon Israel? Discuss these texts:Connect In: Use the following texts to discuss why it is important to support Israel as Gentiles in the church. What are some practical ways to support Israel?Connect Out: How would you reach out to a non-believing Jew? Which strategies and Scriptures should you use?Pray for the peace of Israel.

DETAILED NOTES
"God's Plan for Israel—and the World"
Romans 11:25-27

  1. Introduction
    1. Some people know the Bible really well, but they misapply or misquote it
      1. When Paul wrote the book of Romans, there was already a belief that God was done with the nation of Israel because they had rejected Christ
      2. The church that began in Jerusalem was now mostly Gentile in the rest of the world; most of the congregations which were scattered throughout the modern world were all non-Jewish people
    2. Romans 11:25-27 is a summary of the rest of the chapter
      1. Paul began with the question "Has God cast away His people?" then definitively answered it: "Certainly not!" (v. 1)
      2. Amillennialists believe that God has rejected Israel
        1. Amillennialists deny the millennium—the earthly thousand-year kingdom—and all of God's promises to Israel
        2. They believe that all the promises God made to the Jews in the Old Testament were forfeited because of Israel's rejection of the Messiah and will instead be fulfilled in the church
        3. Amillennialism spiritualizes the eschatological texts of Scripture; it disregards the plain meaning of the text
        4. Amillennialism was already developing by the time Paul started writing Romans, so he addressed it specifically in chapter 11
  2. Blindness Is on Israel Presently (v. 25a)
    1. Paul referred specifically to Israel
      1. It's the same in verse 1, when he said, "Has God cast away His people?"
      2. God's people are the Jewish people
      3. Romans 9:3
      4. Israel is God's covenant people, and Paul was one of them
    2. Blindness has overtaken them in interpreting the Old Testament Scriptures, especially those Scriptures that refer to the coming Messiah
      1. 2 Corinthians 3:14-15
      2. There's a national blindness, though there are some Jews who believe; Paul was one of them, and the early church in Jerusalem were others
        1. The modern state of Israel was born May 14, 1948
        2. In 1948, only twenty-three Jews in the nation of Israel believed that Jesus is the Messiah; today, over 30,000 believe Jesus is the Messiah
        3. The population of Israel today is 9 million; 6.6 million are Jewish, so only a fraction of a percent believes in Jesus
    3. Israel's blindness is undeniable
      1. Jesus recognized their blindness and prophesied the fall of Jerusalem under Titus in 70 AD (see Luke 19:42-44)
      2. Because they were blind and rejected Jesus as their Messiah, they lost everything
        1. They lost the temple, they lost their national identity for 2,000 years, and they lost their land
        2. But, worst of all, they lost eternal life (see John 5:40)
    4. Blindness is on Israel presently, but God has preserved them
      1. God brought them back from captivity
      2. If you study Jewish history and you still don't believe in miracles, you aren't a realist
      3. What other nation has ever survived as a distinct race after 400 years of slavery, two total destructions, multiple deportations, 2,000 years of dispersion, and a holocaust?
        1. Jerusalem has been fought over numerous times throughout history
        2. It's been destroyed twice, besieged twenty-three times, attacked fifty-two times, and captured and recaptured forty-four times
    5. The miracle of Israel is that it feels safe and peaceful and the economy is thriving
      1. The nation of Israel consists of 9 million people surrounded by a hundred million enemies who want to annihilate them
      2. Will Israel survive in the future? And why has she survived in the past?
      3. If God has cast away His people, why are they back in their own land?
  3. Benefits Are Given Simultaneously (v. 25b)
    1. Blindness is on Israel, but that blindness has brought a benefit
      1. Israel has rejected Jesus as the Messiah, but that has opened a door for Gentiles
      2. Because Israel rejected Him, He's offered to the world
        1. Paul always went to the synagogue first, then to the Gentiles (see Romans 1:16)
        2. But because he was continually rejected in the synagogue, he became known as the Apostle to the Gentiles (see Acts 13:46)
    2. God promised Abraham a nation and said, "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3)
      1. 0.2 percent of the world's population is Jewish
      2. 20 percent of the Nobel Peace Prizes ever awarded have been given to Jews, as well as over 30 percent of the Nobel prizes for music, science, and literature
        1. If you've ever taken an aspirin, you can thank a Jewish man named Friedrich Bayer
        2. If you've ever been vaccinated for polio, you can thank two Jewish men: Dr. Albert Sabin and Dr. Jonas Salk
        3. If you've ever had your gums numbed with Novocain, you can thank Jewish chemist Dr. Albert Einhorn
        4. If you've ever been given streptomycin, you can thank Jewish physician Abraham Waksman
        5. The discovery of the double helix coil of DNA was made by James Watson and Francis Crick
        6. If you've ever been forgiven of your sins, you can thank a Jewish Savior—the Messiah
    3. Israel is blind, but that blindness is temporary
      1. Their blindness has opened a door of faith for us
      2. Paul used the analogy of an olive tree whose branches—Israel—had been cut off and branches from a wild olive tree—the Gentiles—were grafted in (see v. 17)
        1. In the ancient Mediterranean world, olives were a commercial mainstay
        2. Olive trees can live for hundreds of years, but individual branches can stop producing fruit; those branches are then cut off, and branches are taken from younger trees and grafted into the older trunks
        3. Paul's analogy was very clear:
          1. The old, nonproductive branches—the Israelites—were broken off because of their blindness
          2. The branches from a wild olive tree were grafted in—the simultaneous benefit of bringing the Gentiles into the church
    4. We get our energy and nourishment from God's covenant promises to Israel
      1. We are tapped into the trunk of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not as Israel's replacement, but in addition to Israel, to add fruit for the kingdom (see Matthew 21:42-43)
      2. John 10:16
        1. This is why no Christian can be anti-Semitic—we owe them too much
        2. They gave us our heritage, our Bible, and our Messiah
    5. "The fullness of the Gentiles" (v. 25)
      1. In the NLT, this phrase is translated as "the full number of Gentiles"
      2. Acts 15:7
      3. When the present age runs its course and the church is filled with the last Gentile believer, the rapture of the church will happen (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
  4. Blessing Will Happen Ultimately (vv. 26-27)
    1. In verse 29, Paul specifically referred to God's promises to Israel
    2. Paul presented a contrast throughout chapter 11
      1. "Stumbled" (v. 11), "fall" (v. 12), "failure" (v. 12), "cast away" (v. 15), "broken off" (v. 17)—all of this language speaks of Israel's experiences and consequences because they rejected the Messiah
      2. "Salvation" (v. 11), "fullness" (v. 12), "acceptance" (v. 15), "life from the dead" (v. 15)—their rejection has caused God to set them aside temporarily, but they will be restored ultimately
    3. "All Israel will be saved" (v. 26)
      1. The term "all Israel" appears 156 times in the Old Testament
      2. Whenever this term is used, it doesn't refer to all Jews throughout history; it speaks of all Jews alive at one particular time
      3. Paul wasn't saying that every Jew who ever lived will be saved; he was speaking of the Jews at the time of Christ's return, who will see Him and receive Him
      4. In the future tribulation period, the Jewish nation will believe in Jesus Christ; 144,000 Jews will be saved (see Revelation 7:4-8)
      5. Two witnesses will also preach from Jerusalem, and by the end of their ministry, the city will glorify God (see Revelation 11:2-13)
      6. The blindness that has been on Israel will be lifted at the second coming
        1. "They will look on Me whom they pierced" (Zechariah 12:10)
        2. This is an odd statement because God said it; how can God, who is spirit, be pierced?
        3. The only answer is that the Spirit had to become incarnate
      7. Israel will mourn because they'll recognize that He was the Messiah all along
    4. There's only one way to be forgiven of our sins, and that's through the Messiah
      1. In that day, Israel will recognize that He is the one and turn back to Him, and all Israel will be saved (see Matthew 23:39)
      2. If you think it's impossible for Israel to come to Christ, look at Paul the apostle, who was anti-Christian and blind (see Romans 11:1)
      3. If you say that God can't save all of Israel, how do you explain God saving millions of Gentiles ever since Israel rejected Him?
  5. Conclusion
    1. Israel is God's yardstick
      1. By Israel, He measures time
      2. By Israel, He measures other nations, even though He knows who He's dealing with
        1. God called them stiff-necked eight times and stubborn seven times in the Bible
        2. He said they do what is right in their own eyes three times
        3. They persisted and fell away, disobeyed and were taken into captivity
        4. They worshiped idols and rejected their Messiah
    2. Yet God's calling is irrevocable
      1. He will persist in His covenant with Abraham
      2. He will save and seal 144,000 Jews in the tribulation period
      3. When Christ returns, the nation will receive Him as Messiah
    3. Do you want proof of the inspiration of Scripture?
      1. It can be found in the Jew—the God-elected, God-selected, God-protected people of Israel
      2. God made them promises, one of which was the promise He made to Abraham for the land of Israel
    4. Romans 11 reveals a God who will not let failure change His determination to bless
      1. We serve a God who knows our failures, mistakes, fallings, and proneness to walk away
      2. But when God is determined to change and bless a person, He's going to do it
Figures referenced: Augustine, Friedrich Bayer, Francis Crick, Albert Einhorn, Vance Havner, Justin Martyr, Origen, Albert Sabin, Jonas Salk, Titus, Abraham Waksman, James Watson

Cross references: Genesis 12:3; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 21:42-43; 23:39; Luke 19:42-44; John 5:40; 10:16; Acts 13:46; 15:7; Romans 1:16; 9:3; 11:1, 11, 12, 15, 17, 29; 2 Corinthians 3:14-15; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 7:4-8; 11:2-13

Topic: Israel

Keywords: bless, blind, covenant, Messiah, people, promise, reject, restore

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Now It’s Your Turn
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:1-2
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4501

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The blessings of God and the work of Christ have been flowing like a dynamic stream for eleven chapters so far. He saves, He justifies, He promises, He gives peace, He works everything together for good in our lives, and He plans an epic eternity for us. So how should we respond to all of this? What is our part? That’s what the next five chapters of Romans are all about. The thrust of this next section is: Based on all that God has done for you, now it’s your turn!

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 8, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Now It's Your Turn"
Text: Romans 12:1-2

Path

The blessings of God and the work of Christ have been flowing like a dynamic stream for eleven chapters so far. He saves, He justifies, He promises, He gives peace, He works everything together for good in our lives, and He plans an epic eternity for us. So how should we respond to all of this? What is our part? That's what the next five chapters of Romans are all about. The thrust of this next section is: Based on all that God has done for you, now it's your turn!

  1. The Presentation of Our Bodies (v. 1)
    1. The Audience
    2. The Awareness
    3. The Appeal
  2. The Transformation of Our Minds (v. 2a)
    1. Negatively
    2. Positively
  3. The Apprehension of His Will (v. 2b)
Points

The Presentation of Our Bodies (v. 1)A. The AudienceB. The AwarenessC. The AppealThe Transformation of Our Minds (v. 2a)
A. NegativelyB. PositivelyThe Apprehension of His Will (v. 2b)Practice

Connect Up: Pastor Skip talked about God's will; in the Bible, we find three types of His will:How do the various wills of God correspond to each other? In God's permissive will, He allows you to sin, but His prescriptive will is that you don't. In His perfect will, He conforms you into the image of Christ. What are some other examples that involve all three aspects of God's will?

Connect In: What are some practical things Christians can do to present our bodies to God and renew our minds in the following areas?Connect Out: Pastor Skip explained what Paul meant by "this world" in verse 2. How would you articulate to an unbeliever that God is not against creation or community, but takes issue with elements of the ethical world? What are some of the ethical systems that oppose God? Here are some to discuss: naturalism (things arose without the aid of God), materialism (the material world is all there is), and atheism (belief that there is no God). What others can you think of? And how would you respond?

DETAILED NOTES
"Now It's Your Turn"
Romans 12:1-2

  1. Introduction
    1. For some believers, life has become nothing more than what they can get rather than what they can give away
      1. We're too often seizing when we should be surrendering; if you live that way, you'll be trapped
      2. Matthew 10:39
    2. In the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul presented a litany of the blessings of God—"the mercies of God" (12:1)
      1. He's forgiven us, He's declared us righteous, He's made us His children, and He's given us promises (see Romans 8:28)
      2. He's also given us so much more—His own Son (see Romans 8:32)
    3. In the last five chapters of Romans, Paul explained how we should respond
      1. The Christian needs a purpose, a motive for living, and Paul gave it to us
      2. Because He died for you, you should live for Him
    4. Our response to God comes in three stages:
      1. The presentation of our bodies
      2. The transformation of our minds
      3. The apprehension of His will
  2. The Presentation of Our Bodies (v. 1)
    1. The Audience
      1. Paul was writing to the brethren
        1. Throughout the book of Romans, Paul distinguished between different groups—Gentiles, Jews, and the church
        2. In the first few chapters of Romans, he talked about the world, which is under the wrath of God
        3. In chapters 9-11, he focused on one group in particular—the Jewish nation
      2. We cannot expect unbelievers to live like this; these instructions are for believers
        1. Sometimes, as Christians, we try to impose our values on the unbelieving world; we want a Christian culture and a Christian society
        2. We cannot expect sinners to do much more than sin, but we can expect Christians to surrender
    2. The Awareness
      1. Paul appealed to believers based on their awareness of the truths he covered in the first 11 chapters of Romans
        1. Chapters 1-3: We're all condemned under sin—we're under God's wrath (see Romans 1:18)—but we can be made righteous by Jesus Christ
        2. Chapter 4: We are justified freely by faith
        3. Chapter 5: We have access to God, and the hope of heaven; He promises to shape us through the trials of life
        4. Chapters 6-8: We have been freed from the law, freed from sin, adopted into His family, and the Holy Spirit lives inside of us
        5. Chapters 9-11: Paul presented the promises that God made to the Jewish nation
        6. Chapter 12: This is the graduation chapter; Paul first provided the foundation, then focused on what our response should be
      2. It's healthy to think of the mercies of God on an individual level
        1. God's merciful to me
        2. How can I not serve a God who's done all these things for me?
    3. The Appeal
      1. The word present is a technical term—a Levitical word
        1. This is a word that was used of a priest who would present an animal to be sacrificed on the altar
        2. We are "a holy priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5)
      2. The idea of this is that as God's priests in the new covenant, we give Him our lives
        1. We worship with our lives
        2. Worship is an experience that should take place every single day as we present our bodies for Him to use
      3. Our bodies are to be "a living sacrifice" (v. 1)
        1. Paul's audience would have known and understood that Jewish sacrifices were not living—they were always dead
        2. This is a sacrificial lifestyle
          1. The problem with a living sacrifice is that living sacrifices tend to squirm off the altar
          2. As humans, we tend to be distracted by various allurements
          3. The idea is to present your body once and for all, but if you must, do it regularly
      4. Paul explained why our bodies are so important in 1 Corinthians 6:19
        1. The temple was not just a place where sacrifices were made; it was the community center
        2. Your body as God's temple becomes a base of operations for God to work His will through you
        3. Scripture is filled with examples of people who presented their bodies to God, allowing God to move powerfully through them
          1. Sarah's womb was barren, but she dedicated it to God, and God gave her Isaac
          2. Moses stuttered, but God called him to be a spokesman to Pharaoh and the children of Israel
          3. David was a simple shepherd boy, but God used him to defeat Goliath
          4. Paul presented his body to God and was used to spread the gospel around the world
      5. Our bodies can be a base of operations for God to work through; He wants to touch the world through you
        1. Our bodies were once a base of operations for the enemy; we surrendered, at one time, to the Devil and his work, even if you didn't see it as his work
        2. Romans 3:12-18
        3. Human depravity is expressed through human bodies, but, just like you allowed your body to be used for evil, let it now be used for God's best good
          1. Just as human depravity is revealed through the body, human spirituality is to be revealed through the body
          2. Just as Jesus took on a body to accomplish God's work, God uses our bodies to accomplish His work
      6. God has condescended to use human bodies to spread His message and do His work (see 1 Corinthians 1:27)
        1. Paul said this is our "reasonable service" (v. 1)
        2. The Greek word used here is logikos, which is where we get the English word logic
        3. The NIV translates this as spiritual
        4. True worship isn't singing songs or going through rituals; it's living an obedient life by presenting your body to God
  3. The Transformation of Our Minds (v. 2a)
    1. Negatively
      1. "Do not be conformed" (v. 2)
        1. The Bible calls us to be nonconformists
        2. Matthew 6:8
        3. "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould" (v. 2, PHILLIPS)
      2. This idea of nonconformity can be seen in the Old Testament, when God took the children of Israel out of Egypt and brought them into the land of Canaan
        1. Leviticus 18:33
        2. 1 John 2:15
      3. We are not meant to hate the physical world
        1. Psalm 24:1
        2. As believers, we are stewards of this earth and should do our best not only to treat it well, but to love it the right way—without letting it stand in the way of our love for God
      4. We are not meant to hate the human world (see John 3:16)
        1. Paul was referring to the ethical world
        2. The Greek word is cosmos, which refers to the ordered system of behaviors, activities, ideas, and people that are against God and under the control of Satan
        3. 2 Corinthians 4:4
    2. Positively
      1. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (v. 2)
        1. Your mind is important to God
        2. Matthew 22:37
        3. It's vital to be a thinking Christian
        4. Struggle with real issues; if you have doubts, work through them—you'll be stronger for it
      2. How do you renew your mind?
        1. By saturating it in the Word of God
        2. Your thinking will be transformed
  4. The Apprehension of His Will (v. 2b)
    1. God has a specific will for your life
      1. He wants you to know His will, and He wants you to do His will
      2. Every true Christian wants to do God's will
    2. How do we discover God's will?
      1. Some people think God's will is revealed mysteriously—every weird sign must be from God
      2. God works supernaturally, very naturally
    3. A transformed mind will produce a transformed will
      1. When you present your body to God and your mind is renewed, you'll start wanting what God wants
      2. If you're presenting your body to Him and your mind is being renewed through His truth, what you want is going to be exactly what He wants
    4. The will of God is good
      1. God's will is always good, though it doesn't always feel good
      2. God's will isn't always fun, but it's always for our good (see Romans 8:28)
    5. The will of God is acceptable
      1. The NIV renders it as pleasing
      2. When you do God's will, it's pleasing
      3. It's pleasing to God, but it will also be pleasing to you because you're pleasing God
      4. When you delight in the Lord, He will plant within you a desire for the right thing—He'll give you the right desire (see Psalm 37:4)
    6. The will of God is perfect
      1. In Greek, the word for perfect is teleios, which means complete, full-grown, or mature; this is a mature satisfaction
      2. If you come to the end of your life and you're dissatisfied with it, it means you've been conformed to this world—you were living for yourself and not for God
  5. Conclusion
    1. If we love God, we'll want to do what He wants because He plants His desires in our hearts
    2. We should commit our days to Him every morning before our feet hit the ground
      1. It's okay to have a schedule and plans, but He may have other plans
      2. Commit the script to Him—live surrendered, not seizing
Figures referenced: James Montgomery Boice, J.B. Phillips

Cross references: Leviticus 18:33; Psalm 24:1; 37:4; Matthew 6:8; 10:39; 22:37; John 3:16; Romans 1:18; 3:12-18; 8:28, 32; 1 Corinthians 1:27; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 John 2:15

Greek words: cosmos, logikos, teleios

Topic: the surrendered life

Keywords: bodies, commit, lifestyle, minds, sacrifice, seizing, surrendering, will

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Made for Purpose
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:3-8
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4503

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The beauty of God's creation is evident all around us, yet nature is not God's greatest work; mankind is God's greatest masterpiece. It's estimated that to write down one person's DNA blueprint would require 200,000 pages. And God knows every sentence on every page. For the Christian, there's a custom design—a purpose in life to partner with God through gifts from the Holy Spirit. Pastor Nate Heitzig explains how believers can find their purpose in Christ in this message from Romans 12:3-8.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 15, 2019
Speaker: Nate Heitzig
Teaching: "Made for Purpose"
Text: Romans 12:3-8

Path

The beauty of God's creation is evident all around us, yet nature is not God's greatest work; mankind is God's greatest masterpiece. It's estimated that to write down one person's DNA blueprint would require 200,000 pages. And God knows every sentence on every page. For the Christian, there's a custom design—a purpose in life to partner with God through gifts from the Holy Spirit. Pastor Nate Heitzig explains how believers can find their purpose in Christ in this message from Romans 12:3-8.

  1. The Identity of Your Purpose
  2. The Impairment to Your Purpose
  3. The Importance of Your Purpose
Points

The Identity of Your PurposeThe Impairment to Your PurposeThe Importance of Your Purpose Practice

Connect Up: Discuss this phrase: "God has dealt to each one a measure of faith" (v. 3b). Dealt in Greek is merizo, meaning "to part or bestow." Measure is metron, meaning "degree or portion." And faith is pistis, meaning "faith or moral conviction."  Connect In: As members of a family—the body of Christ—what do you think your function (v. 4) is within the Church? The Greek word for function is praxis, practice or act, a deed, office, or position within the church. Connect Out: A Christian's purpose in life is conformity to Christ. God called, foreknew, justified, predestined, and conforms us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-30).

DETAILED NOTES
"Made for Purpose"
Romans 12:3-8

  1. Introduction
    1. God's creation is truly wonderful
      1. Psalm 19:1
      2. We are God's greatest masterpiece
    2. You don't have to go far to see God's greatest work of art—the uniqueness, wonder, and magnitude of His greatest creation: mankind
      1. Ephesians 2:10
      2. Without question, man is God's crowning achievement, and each of us are made on purpose for purpose
        1. There's a unique, custom-designed work, plan, and purpose that God wants to do in and through your life, and you were created for it
        2. God not only created each of us unique in DNA, physical appearance, and personality, but He has given to each of us a unique set of spiritual gifts
    3. What were you made for?
      1. Finding your purpose and living for purpose are two very different things
      2. Some people know their gifts and know how they're wired, but refuse to use them
        1. Many of us fight against the way we were created; we want to be somebody different, or we want different gifts than we've been given
        2. There's a big difference between knowing your purpose, finding your purpose, and living for purpose
    4. You are burdened with glorious purpose and you are blessed with glorious purpose
      1. God has a plan for your life; He wants to use you to do things above and beyond what you could do on your own
      2. You have a purpose within the purpose of the church, and once you find it, you can begin living for purpose
        1. Being alive isn't just a physical state, because we aren't just physical beings
        2. God spoke all of creation into existence, and Jesus made a way for us to get to the Father
        3. In Jesus, we are made alive, and through the Holy Spirit, we are made for purpose
    5. We reach our full potential and beauty only when we find purpose through Jesus Christ
      1. In Romans 12:1, Paul urged us to present our bodies as "a living sacrifice"
      2. God has given us something as well, but it's not a fair trade, because God has given us something far greater
        1. He's given us the assurance of salvation, hope, belonging, the knowledge of eternity in heaven, and a sense of purpose
        2. He's also given us the Holy Spirit, and through the Spirit, a specific set of gifts
      3. Paul explained how important these gifts are and how integral they are to a believer's life
  2. The Identity of Your Purpose
    1. It's important to understand who the Holy Spirit is and what role He plays in the lives of believers today
      1. The Holy Spirit is controversial, as are the gifts He gives to the church
      2. Some believe that certain gifts of the Spirit were only relevant to the first century church and are no longer available to Christians today
      3. The Holy Spirit is the chief means of identifying our purpose
    2. Are the gifts of the Spirit available to Christians today?
      1. The church of the first century, which clearly had and utilized these gifts, had a far more profound effect on their society and culture than the church of today
      2. What the early church lacked in size, they made up for in power and effectiveness
        1. This small group of people turned their world upside down and spread the gospel across the globe through the power of the Holy Spirit
        2. This was the power of God working in and through them as they worked in unison, finding their purpose within the body of Christ
    3. The modern church isn't having the same impact on our world as the early church
      1. The question is whether the gifts utilized by the early church are available today
      2. Two distinct camps have formed:
        1. The charismatics
          1. Known as Pentecostals or charismatics
          2. Emphasize signs and miracles
        2. The noncharismatics
          1. Fundamentalists or evangelicals
          2. Emphasize teaching and making disciples
      3. But why should the two be mutually exclusive?
        1. The reality is that some things don't fit in a neat little box
        2. The problem with polarizing is that you end up with passages and ideas that don't fit with what you believe
      4. The goal should be balance
        1. With too much Scripture and no Spirit, you'll dry up
        2. With too much Spirit and no Scripture, you'll blow up
        3. Enough of both, and you'll grow up
      5. If the Bible doesn't take sides, you don't need to, either
        1. We can be thankful for salvation even if we don't understand how the free will of man and the election of God balances out
        2. If we could understand every facet of God, He probably couldn't deal with your sin or your issues
    4. There's a great danger in interpreting Scripture in light of our experiences or lack thereof; we should interpret our experiences in light of Scripture
      1. There are two ways we can go wrong in relating our experiences to Scripture
        1. Claiming things that go beyond Scripture or even contradict Scripture
          1. Much of the charismatic movement does this by claiming health and wealth for all believers
          2. Some claim things for themselves that Scripture doesn't mention
        2. Being satisfied with much less than what God has offered in Scripture
      2. If you have to experience something yourself in order to believe that it's true, you'll have to explain away the Bible
    5. Some people say that the power of the Spirit was only meant for the early church
      1. This theology is called secessionism, or quenching the Spirit
      2. The belief is that once Scripture was completed and made whole, there was no longer any use for certain gifts of the Spirit
        1. The Scripture most often used to support this is 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
          1. The defining word in this text is perfect
          2. Many secessionists say this word refers to the fulfillment of Scripture, but if that were true, all of it would have been fulfilled
          3. If this refers to the completion of Scripture, then our knowledge of God and His Word as believers today would exceed that of those who wrote the Scriptures
        2. Paul wasn't referring to Scripture, but to Jesus and His return to earth
          1. Jesus used the same word to describe His Father in Matthew 5:48
          2. We are to keep using the gifts as we wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 1:7)
    6. When Jesus returns, we won't have any need or use for these gifts anymore
      1. John 14:16
      2. Until that day comes, we need all the help we can get
      3. The result of the Holy Spirit's power in your life lies in receiving the much-needed gifts of the Holy Spirit
      4. The gifts of the Spirit are not the goal—they're the gateway
  3. The Impairment to Your Purpose
    1. Nothing can put a stop to you being used by God faster than pride and arrogance
      1. We can begin to think that God chooses to use us because we're special
      2. God could easily replace us in the blink of an eye, yet He has chosen people to do His work among people
        1. Acts 14:15
        2. We can never forget that these gifts which God has instilled in our lives are given according to His grace
          1. They have nothing to do with merit
          2. You don't deserve them; God gave them to you because He loves you
    2. We should never become arrogant, as God graciously chooses to use us
      1. Although God has chosen to work through us as human vessels, it is not out of necessity, but desire
        1. He doesn't need us, but He wants us; God can easily get the job done without us
        2. It's a privilege and an honor that He uses me as His instrument in any capacity, and it's certainly not because of my skills and abilities
      2. It's His power working in and through us, and if we forget that, our work will have absolutely zero impact
        1. It's only when He's working through us that we are effective
        2. 1 Peter 5:5
      3. You can never be too small for God to use, but you can become too big
  4. The Importance of Your Purpose
    1. Attending church is not a spectator sport
      1. It is important that you use the purpose God has given you to impact people
      2. The Bible compares our involvement in the church to being part of a family; Paul compared it to being part of a body
        1. Any part of the body can't exist without the rest of the body to support it
        2. God has commanded each of us to be a functioning, vital part of the church
      3. The purpose for which God has called the church will be impaired if you refuse to fulfill your purpose as part of the body
    2. If you refuse to step up and be active in the body of Christ, you're hurting the body, the people around you, and yourself
      1. Ephesians 4:15
      2. The body grows and builds itself up as each part does its work
    3. God has put you exactly where He wants you
      1. He's made you for the purpose that He wants you to fulfill (see 1 Corinthians 12:18)
        1. If you question your gifting and function in the body, you're questioning God
        2. Each part of the body—visible and non-visible—is necessary
      2. We're not called to question the purpose we were created for
        1. We're meant to serve the purpose that God has given us
        2. When we recognize that each of us serves our own purpose, we can accomplish a far greater work than we ever could individually
    4. When you serve your purpose within the body of Christ, you enable the body to do things it couldn't do without you
      1. You are necessary; without you, the church can't do what it's called to do
      2. If you're not serving as part of the body of Christ, there are things that we could be accomplishing but can't because you're unwilling to serve
    5. The early church was effective not just because they had the power of the Holy Spirit, but because every one of them utilized that power
      1. Each of them was volunteering
      2. Each of them was operating in their gift set, so they were able to move in unison and accomplish incredible things
  5. Conclusion
    1. Paul encouraged us in 1 Corinthians 12:31 to "desire the best gifts"
      1. What are the best gifts? It depends on what your needs are
      2. The NLT translates it as "the most helpful gifts"
    2. Each gift has its place, and we should not ignore any of the gifts we've received because they're not important enough to use
      1. Although there is a danger of becoming prideful in the gifts God has given us, there's also the danger of having a false sense of humility and not using those gifts
      2. Every gift is vital, with its own role to play within the church, just as the church has a purpose to fulfill in the world
        1. What would your church be like if every single member was just like you?
        2. What are the gifts the Holy Spirit has given you?
    3. You need to identify your individual purpose within the body of Christ in order for you to be a part of our purpose as the body of Christ
      1. What are we doing?
      2. Why are we doing it?
      3. Where do I fit in?
    4. What we are doing is what makes each of us important
      1. Everything that God wants to do in and through this church exists in the congregation of this church
      2. If you're not connected to what you were born to do, the purpose you were made for, you're impairing the church from doing what God wants us to do
      3. Too many people today are consumers instead of servants
Cross references: Psalm 19:1; Matthew 5:48; John 14:16; Acts 14:15; Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 12:18, 31; 13:8-10; Ephesians 2:10; 4:15; 1 Peter 5:5

Topic: spiritual gifts

Keywords: arrogance, effective, grace, Holy Spirit, humility, identity, important, purpose

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Exercise for Your Soul
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:6-8
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4505

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Americans seem obsessed with fitness and exercise, yet the U.S. is one of the most obese nations in the world. It’s similar in the body of Christ—many Christians are idle, preferring to sit around rather than exercise our spiritual gifts. The key to both spiritual and physical health is balancing exercise and rest. In this teaching, Pastor Nate Heitzig discusses why God gives certain gifts to each member of the body of Christ as well as how those gifts are given so that the entire body might grow and be strong.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 22, 2019
Speaker: Nate Heitzig
Teaching: "Exercise for Your Soul"
Text: Romans 12:6-10

Path

Americans seem obsessed with fitness and exercise, yet the U.S. is one of the most obese nations in the world. It's similar in the body of Christ—many Christians are idle, preferring to sit around rather than exercise our spiritual gifts. The key to both spiritual and physical health is balancing exercise and rest. In this teaching, Pastor Nate Heitzig discusses why God gives certain gifts to each member of the body of Christ as well as how those gifts are given so that the entire body might grow and be strong.

  1. Explaining the Different Gifts
    1. Prophesying
    2. Believing
    3. Serving
    4. Teaching
    5. Encouraging
    6. Giving
    7. Caring
  2. Exercising Your Distinct Gifts
    1. Discovering Your Gifts
    2. Developing Your Gifts
Points

Explaining the Different GiftsExercising your Distinct GiftsPractice

Connect Up: Why do you think God gives spiritual gifts to individuals (as opposed to fruit, which is given to all)? Why not give all gifts to all people? (See also last week's Recap.) What are the correlations between the gifts God gives and the attributes God has? What other correlations can you think of? Please note, not all of God's attributes correlate to people (for example, omniscience or omnipresence).

Connect In: As you've learned about your spiritual gifting, how did you discover what it was? How are you using your gifts for the edification and equipping of the church? Where do you fit in within the body of Christ? What connections have you discovered between your natural abilities and your spiritual gifting?

Connect Out: Talk about the difference between the gifting of evangelism and the common call for all Christians to share his or her faith. Discuss Pastor Nate's comment: "Some are gifted in evangelism, but we're all commanded to share Christ with the lost."

DETAILED NOTES
"Exercise for Your Soul"
Romans 12:6-8

  1. Introduction
    1. Americans are obsessed with exercise and fitness
      1. If you search fitness on Google, you'll get more than one million results
      2. We like to watch people work out online, and read about working out, but we don't like to exercise
      3. It's important to exercise each muscle for the good of the body as a whole
      4. As Christians, we need to exercise the gifts God has given us
    2. There is a place for everyone, and each person's contribution is significant
      1. The key for a healthy spiritual body is the same as the physical body—balance
      2. It's important that each part exercises their gifts, so the body can be fit for God's purpose
    3. Some people become more obsessed with the gifts than with the giver Himself
      1. Problems arise when believers begin to follow signs and wonders
        1. We should be following Jesus, but some believers are on a quest for miracles
        2. The search for God's will is not a mystic quest or search for a sign
      2. If your heart, soul, and mind are completely devoted to God, the things God wants you to do will be the things that you want to do
  2. Explaining the Different Gifts
    1. Prophesying
      1. The Old Testament defines prophecy as something that bubbles forth or lifts up; the New Testament definition is to speak for one another
      2. In 1 Corinthians 14:3, Paul defined it as "edification and exhortation and comfort"
      3. What comes to mind when you think of prophecy?
        1. Today, prophecy often comes into play when someone asks your advice or counsel and the Holy Spirit leads you to tell them something specifically
        2. Prophecy is God using a human vessel to share a message directly
      4. 1 Corinthians 14:32
      5. The gifts of the Spirit are God speaking through your life
      6. People who have been gifted with certain gifts can become hesitant to use them because they've seen them misused
        1. A lot of people who use those gifts don't actually have them; it's an act to make them look more spiritual and draw unnecessary attention to themselves
        2. We must be careful not to do anything in order to get attention from people
          1. The purpose of the gifts is to edify, exhort, and comfort—to draw attention to God, share His glory, and speak the message of God into people's lives
          2. If a gift is not used for the right purpose, it's doing more damage than good
    2. Believing
      1. "In proportion to our faith" (v. 6)
        1. God has given us each a measure of faith—some more and some less; we shouldn't do or say anything that we don't have the faith to do or say
        2. This flies in the face of name-it-and-claim-it theology, which says that you can go beyond your faith—that if you say something out loud, it has to happen
          1. There are far too many people today who put their faith in the words of "prophets"
          2. Ezekiel 13:3
      2. Has God given you a gift that you're not using because you've seen others misuse it?
        1. Are you resistant to using the gifts that God's given you?
        2. We have to be careful, because not using our gifts is quenching the Spirit (see 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)
    3. Serving
      1. The NIV translates ministry in verse 7 as serving: "If it is serving, then serve"
      2. The gifts of service often take place behind the scenes, but everyone notices when those gifts aren't used
    4. Teaching
      1. "He who teaches, in teaching" (v. 7)
        1. The gift of teaching is vital to the church
        2. Hosea 4:6
      2. The gift of teaching is the ability to make the Bible understandable for others
        1. The word teaching refers to systematic training
        2. The gift of teaching doesn't just happen on a stage; it can be used in a kid's ministry classroom, in the youth ministry, and in your home
        3. Isaiah 28:9-10
      3. Preaching is different from teaching
        1. Teaching refers to systematic training; preaching refers to urgent proclamation
        2. It's possible to have both gifts, and it's possible to have only one (see 1 Timothy 2:7)
      4. If your gift is to teach, you should be a student first and foremost
        1. You cannot be a leader unless you're willing to learn; you can't be a teacher unless you're willing to be a student
        2. You have to know what Jesus said if you want the Holy Spirit to help you remember it (see John 14:26)
        3. Study and prepare; dig into the Word of God and study to show yourself approved (see 2 Timothy 2:15)
    5. Encouraging
      1. The gift of exhortation makes you desire to grow
      2. This is why being part of a brick-and-mortar church is important
        1. You can experience the gift of teaching online, but you can't experience the gift of exhortation unless you're in a room with people who know and love you—people who will exhort and encourage you to keep fighting
        2. To exhortmeans to correct, motivate, encourage, or stimulate
        3. This is what the body of Christ is (see Acts 14:22)
        4. Hebrews 10:24
    6. Giving
      1. "He who gives, with liberality" (v. 8)
      2. The Scriptures teach that each believer should regularly give of their resources to the work of the kingdom, but it's also true that some believers have received the gift of generosity
      3. How do you know if you've been given the gift of giving?
        1. If God has given you the resources, it's possible that He's also given you the gift of generosity
        2. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing—so that we can give, and continue to give, in order to make an impact in people's lives
        3. Acts 20:35
        4. Malachi 3:11
      4. Those who have the gift of generosity can never out-give God; He always pours back into them, oftentimes in a greater capacity than they gave to start with
        1. These people are so generous with what God has given them that He continues to give them more so they can give more
        2. 2 Corinthians 9:6
        3. 1 Timothy 6:17
    7. Caring
      1. "He who shows mercy, with cheerfulness" (v. 8)
        1. Also known as caring
        2. This refers to caring for the people the rest of society has cast out, those who aren't cared for by the world
      2. How do you know if you have the gift of mercy?
        1. If you find yourself caring for those who are without or are forgotten, and when you do so it brings you joy, you likely have the gift of mercy
        2. If you're in this ministry, don't do it out of duty, but with genuine cheerfulness; if you're ministering to someone who's miserable, don't do it in a miserable way
  3. Exercising Your Distinct Gifts
    1. Discovering Your Gifts
      1. How do you discover what your gifts are?
        1. Taking a spiritual gifts assessment can help you get started in identifying things that might be an innate part of your personality
        2. People often trust these tests to lock in on a specific gift they didn't know they had
        3. What it can do is box them in, and they limit themselves to those results; they're not open to other possibilities and opportunities in which God wants to use them
      2. What are the best ways to discover your gifts?
        1. Ask God to reveal the gifts He's given you
        2. Get involved; start serving in a variety of ministries
      3. If you want God to direct you, start serving
        1. As you start serving, you'll discover some things you love to do and others you hate; your desires will help direct you, if you're being true to what God has said
        2. This doesn't mean that you're going to find your area of gifting easy
      4. What do you complain about at church?
        1. People tend to complain about things in their area of giftedness
        2. The solution is to quit complaining and start serving
          1. Stop looking at the things you don't like
          2. Start serving in your area of giftedness so the church can improve in that area
          3. Don't just point out the problems; be the solution
    2. Developing Your Gifts
      1. Once you've discovered your gifts, it's important to continue to the next step—developing your gifts
        1. This is what exercise for the soul is all about—exercising the gifts God has given you
        2. Even though the Holy Spirit empowers us with these gifts, we need to develop them
        3. 1 Timothy 4:14
      2. Once you've discovered your gifts, the most important thing you can do is get busy
        1. The way you learn to ride a bike is getting on the bike and doing it
        2. The only way to learn how to use your gift is to practice doing it
        3. You might mess up, but you need to get back up and keep practicing, because the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll get
  4. Conclusion
    1. Almost all of the spiritual gifts have corresponding commandments for all believers
      1. You can't opt out of doing something because you're not gifted in that area
      2. All believers are called to exhort one another, teach one another, and share Christ with the lost; we all must serve, we all should be merciful to the suffering, and we're all told to give with what God has entrusted to us
    2. If we're supposed to do all these things, what's the purpose of your individual gifting?
      1. It helps you know where to focus your time
      2. It shows you where to focus your effort so you can have the greatest impact for the kingdom of God
        1. The apostles in the early church recognized that their gifts were in praying and the teaching of the Word
        2. In order to focus their energy in those areas, they directed the elders to fill other areas of need (see Acts 6:1-4)
    3. We should all be looking for needs in the body and be quick to fill those needs
      1. You don't have to have the gift of helps to pick up a vacuum or clean some tables—but if you have the gift of teaching, you shouldn't make cleaning up your main ministry
        1. Know your gifts and focus most of your time and energy on them
        2. Trust the rest of the body to do the same
        3. Be willing to fill other needs, too
      2. When you work out, it's normal to be sore, but any good trainer will tell you to push through the pain; the more you push through the pain, the greater the results
        1. It's important to push through spiritual pain and continue using your gifts, because God will pour into you when you do
        2. Operate in the gifting that He's given you, and He will pour back into you with an abundance of blessing and mercy
Figures referenced: Billy Graham

Cross references: Isaiah 28:9-10; Ezekiel 13:3; Hosea 4:6; Malachi 3:11; John 14:26; Acts 6:1-4; 14:22; 20:35; 1 Corinthians 14:3, 32; 2 Corinthians 9:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 2:7; 4:14; 6:17; 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 10:24

Topic: spiritual gifts

Keywords: balance, blessing, develop, exercise, gift, health, helps, learn, ministry, needs, serve

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Love Is a Verb
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:9-21
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4508

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Perhaps the most overused (but under-practiced) word in human language is the word love. We use the word for everything that includes a mild liking of a meal to having intense affection for another human. Paul is far more practical, knowing that love will show itself in the form of action. Love is a verb. He shows us how the hallmark virtue of Christianity, love, is shown among other believers and in the world, even when they hate us.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: January 5, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Love Is a Verb"
Text: Romans 12:9-21

Path

Perhaps the most overused (but under-practiced) word in human language is the word love. We use the word for everything that includes a mild liking of a meal to having intense affection for another human. Paul is far more practical, knowing that love will show itself in the form of action. Love is a verb. He shows us how the hallmark virtue of Christianity, love, is shown among other believers and in the world, even when they hate us.

  1. Love in the Family (vv. 9-13)
  2. Love amidst Hostility (vv. 14-21)
  3. Love among Our Enemies (vv. 17-20)
Points

Love in the Family (vv. 9-13)Love amidst Hostility (vv. 14-21)Love among Our Enemies (vv. 17-20)Practice

Connect Up: Love for people—especially those in the household of faith—is essential to our love of God. Why do you think Jesus connects the love of God and our love of people (see Mark 12:30-31)? Discuss how Jesus expanded Deuteronomy 6:4-9 to include love for people, tying Leviticus 19:17-18 to the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. The weaving of the two Old Testament verses is expressed in Matthew 22:37-39. Because "God is love" (1 John 4:8), He yearns for His people to represent His love for people in the world, as He did in Christ (see John 3:16).

Connect In: What does it mean to love people within the church? How are we to connect our doctrine with our duty? It's easy to say we love someone but not so easy to live a life of love in action as Pastor Skip discussed—connecting our belief to our behavior. In Pastor Skip's booklet, Jesus Loves the Broken, the following acronym is listed: L (listen to people), O (observe them to see how you can help), V (voice God's truth), and E (embrace and empathize with them based upon shared experience). What other words can you think of?

Connect Out: Love is essential when reaching out to non-believers. Without love, we are nothing but a clanging symbol in their ears (see 1 Corinthians 13). Without love, our witness will be lacking. Why is it imperative to love people in order to win them to Christ? Yet, with our love of people will come persecution, which is the result of the Great Commission, as Pastor Skip stated. Share a story when your love for a person (family member, friend, co-worker, etc.) resulted in a form of persecution (ended friendship, rebuke, hatred). What did you learn from the experience? Did it strengthen your love for that person, or lessen it? What did it teach you about how God loves us in Christ?

OUTLINE


  1. Love in the Family (vv. 9-13)

  2. Love amidst Hostility (vv. 14-21)

  3. Love among Our Enemies (vv. 17-20)

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: The Christian and Government
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 13:1-7
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4510

MESSAGE SUMMARY
There has always existed a tension between God’s people and human government, especially when we are not in favor of those who are in power. We may find it hard to “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21) while being faithful to God. The Christians in Rome were no different when Paul wrote this letter. Let’s consider five principles that form a practical theology for Christian believers in relationship to secular human government.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: January 12, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Christian and Government"
Text: Romans 13:1-7

Path

There has always existed a tension between God's people and human government, especially when we are not in favor of those who are in power. We may find it hard to "render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (Matthew 22:21) while being faithful to God. The Christians in Rome were no different when Paul wrote this letter. In this teaching, Pastor Skip considers five principles that form a practical theology for Christian believers in relationship to secular human government.

  1. Our Role with Government (vv. 1, 5)
  2. The Rule of Government (vv. 1b-2)
  3. The Reason for Government (vv. 3-5)
  4. The Response to Government (vv. 6-7)
  5. The Rival against Government (v. 5b)
Points

Our Role with Government (vv. 1, 5)The Rule of Government (vv. 1b-2)The Reason for Government (vv. 3-5)The Response to Government (vv. 6-7)The Rival against Government (v. 5b)Practice

Connect Up: Although we can't always answer with certainty, why do you think God allows some leaders to rule (e.g., Nero, who persecuted Christians)? Why doesn't He superintend godly leaders? What does this tell you about God's providential care of people? Use these verses in your discussion:Connect In: Even when we disagree with the leaders in our government, Christians are called to respect and pray for them. Some of the key elements to pray for include purity, peace, openness to God's truth, sincerity, and wisdom. Use the following texts to determine specifics. What are some other areas?Connect Out: Take time to pray for our leaders using the previous texts:

Local: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Lt. Governor Howie Morales, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Mayor Tim Keller (Albuquerque), Mayor Alan Webber (Santa Fe), Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, and Representatives Debra Haaland, Xochitl Torres-Small, and Ben Ray Luján

National: President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the White House Cabinet (executive branch); Supreme Court, Federal Courts (judicial branch); House of Representatives, Congress, Senate (legislative branch); Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

OUTLINE


  1. Our Role with Government (vv. 1, 5)

  2. The Rule of Government (vv. 1b-2)

  3. The Reason for Government (vv. 3-5)

  4. The Response to Government (vv. 6-7)

  5. The Rival against Government (v. 5b)

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Wake Up Call
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 13:11-14
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4515

MESSAGE SUMMARY
We are a fallen people living in a fallen world. Romans 3:10 says "none is righteous." There is evidence all around us that Jesus is setting the scene for His return, and Romans 13 is Paul’s call for the church to prepare for that event. Jesus Himself told us to "occupy till [He] comes" (Luke 19:13, KJV). In this message, Pastor Nate Heitzig explores the apostle's wake-up call to believers and helps us understand how we can effectively occupy until Jesus returns.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: January 26, 2020
Speaker: Nate Heitzig
Teaching: "Wake-Up Call"
Text: Romans 13:11-14

Path

We are a fallen people living in a fallen world. Romans 3:10 says "none is righteous." There is evidence all around us that Jesus is setting the scene for His return, and Romans 13 is Paul's call for the church to prepare for that event. Jesus Himself told us to "occupy till [He] comes" (Luke 19:13, KJV). In this message, Pastor Nate Heitzig explores the apostle's wake-up call to believers and helps us understand how we can effectively occupy until Jesus returns.

  1. Get Up (vv. 11-12)
  2. Get Out (vv. 12-14)
  3. Get Going (vv. 12-14)
Points

Get Up (vv. 11-12) Get Out (vv. 12-14) Get Going (vv. 12-14) Practice

Connect Up: The church has proclaimed Jesus' second coming from the New Testament to the earliest statement of faith (the Apostles' Creed).Using Matthew 24:1-14 as a guide, discuss some of the signs that will precede His return (false prophets, see vv. 4-5; "wars and rumors of wars," v. 6; nation rising up against nation, see v. 7; "famines, pestilences, and earthquakes," v. 7.) What other signs does Matthew 24 indicate for Christ's return? How do these signs correlate to our contemporary world? E.g., what constitutes a false prophet? Or, how do you think end-times wars will differ from historical wars? For other references to the end-times, look up 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 1 Timothy 4:1-5, and 2 Timothy 3:1-9.

Connect In: As Pastor Nate mentioned, the Church needs to "get going" in our world.Part of the call is to "put on the armor of light" (v. 12) and "put on Christ" (v. 14).What do these phrases mean? Following the idea of putting on clothes, look up Colossians 3:12-17.What does Paul tell Christians to "put on" in this text (e.g., kindness, humility, longsuffering, and forgiving)? What else does the text state?How are we to put on Christ in our contemporary world, walking properly as light (see Matthew 5:14-16)?

Connect Out: Take time to pray for your connect group and your family. Pray for them by name.Pray that they would "get up," "get out," and "get going." Ask God specifically what it is that you, your group, and your family are to do this year. Pray that you'll put on the light of Christ—His character—in all you do. What does it mean to live in light of Christ's return, even though we don't know the exact day (see Matthew 24:36 and 2 Peter 3:10)? How should the fact that Christ will return affect and influence our actions in the world, especially as we connect with non-believers?

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Acceptance, Judgment, and the Essential Point of Nonessential Points
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 14:1-6
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4517

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Today it seems that the church has become known for being judgmental and critical, not just toward unbelievers but even among fellow Christians. That's why we must focus on our commonality in Christ alone. In Romans 14, Paul addressed two groups of Christians—Gentile believers and legalistic Jews—who were causing division and friction among the early church. In this teaching, Nate Heitzig shares how to navigate the nonessential points of our faith while embracing unity in the essentials.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: February 2, 2020
Speaker: Nate Hetzig
Teaching: "Acceptance, Judgment, and the Essential Point of Nonessential Points"
Text: Romans 14:1-6

Path

Today it seems that the church has become known for being judgmental and critical, not just toward unbelievers but even among fellow Christians. That's why we must find and focus on our commonality in Christ alone. In Romans 14, Paul addressed two groups of Christians—Gentile believers and legalistic Jews—who were causing division and friction among the early church. In this teaching, Nate Heitzig shares how to navigate the nonessential points of our faith while embracing unity in the essentials.

  1. Start Accepting All Believers (vv. 1-2)
  2. Stop Judging Some Believers (vv. 3-4)
  3. Whatever You Do, Be Convinced (vv. 5-6)
Points

Start Accepting All BelieversStop Judging Some BelieversWhatever You Do, Be Convinced Practice

Connect Up: One of the clear teachings in the New Testament is for Christians to love and have unity with one another. Why does God yearn for Christians to represent Him in love and unity? Discuss these verses: John 13:35 and 17:11-23, Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 4:3, Philippians 2:2, and 1 Peter 3:8. What are some key similarities in these verses? How can you work as an individual toward the unity described? What can Christians do—with each other and with others—to represent the Lord in unity and love (e.g., listening before we talk)?

Connect In: Pastor Nate said that Christians need to have unity in the essentials and charity in nonessentials. What are the key essentials of the Christian faith that all Christians should uphold and defend? Throughout history, they were encapsulated in the early statements of faith (the creeds). Here's what Dr. Norman Geisler stated concerning the essentials: "The essential doctrines of the Christian faith…are those contained in the Apostles' Creed and unfolded in subsequent creeds of the first five centuries. These include (1) human depravity, (2) Christ's virgin birth, (3) Christ's sinlessness, (4) Christ's deity, (5) Christ's humanity, (6) God's unity, (7) God's triunity, (8) the necessity of God's grace, (9) the necessity of faith, (10) Christ's atoning death, (11) Christ's bodily resurrection, (12) Christ's bodily ascension, (13) Christ's present High Priestly service, and (14) Christ's second coming, final judgment, and reign."1Connect Out: Often Christians hurt unbelievers by foisting nonessential doctrines on them when presenting the gospel. What are the essential aspects of sharing the gospel? Our emphasis should be that it is God's rescue plan: Christ died for our sins; Jesus lived the life we never could; Jesus rose as proof of God's love for the world; and Jesus offers His salvation as a free gift which must be received. Do you agree? How would you summarize the essential points of the gospel?

1 Geisler, Norman L. Christian Research Institute, "The Essential Doctrines of the Christian Faith (Part One)," June 10, 2009, https://www.equip.org/article/the-essential-doctrines-of-the-christian-faith-part-one/, accessed 02/03/2020.

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: The Cure for "I" Disease
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 15:1-6
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4521

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Selfishness is part of our basic human nature. It is the default position for every human being. Left unchecked, everybody would focus on himself and live only to please himself. But redemption brings with it a different lifestyle—one that is focused on others, patient with faults, and motivated by a sense of unity in the church. Let’s consider a fourfold strategy to counteract selfishness and promote harmonious living.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: February 16, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Cure for 'I' Disease"
Text: Romans 15:1-6

Path

Selfishness is part of our basic human nature. It is the default position for every human being. Left unchecked, everybody would focus on himself and live only to please himself. But redemption brings with it a different lifestyle—one that is focused on others, patient with faults, and motivated by a sense of unity in the church. In this teaching, Pastor Skip considers a fourfold strategy to counteract selfishness and promote harmonious living.

  1. Patient Activity (vv. 1-2)
  2. Personal Conformity (v. 3)
  3. Purposeful Study (v. 4)
  4. Practical Harmony (vv. 5-6)
Points

Patient Activity (vv. 1-2)Personal Conformity (v. 3)Purposeful Study (v. 4)Practical Harmony (vv. 5-6)Practice

Connect Up: The expectations of God for His people derive from His character. Because God is love (see 1 John 4:7), He yearns for His people to love (see Mark 12:30).  Because God is peace (see 1 Corinthians 14:33), He yearns for His people to live peaceably with others (see Romans 12:18). The same holds true for unity. Because God is One (see Deuteronomy 6:4), He yearns for His people to be one in mind and heart. Theologically, the unity of God is known as simplicity. Simplicity means "without parts" and "indivisible." There are no seams; He is absolutely unified. The Trinity (God's tri-unity) does not go against the nature of God's unity but reinforces the relationship and equal nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—unchangeable and inseparable, a mutual exchange of love and will within the Godhead. Look up the following texts and discuss God's unity: Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 37:16-20, Isaiah 45:18, Mark 12:29, Romans 3:30, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, Ephesians 4:6, 1 Timothy 2:5, and James 2:19.

Connect In: Expand upon Pastor Skip's four main points. Why are patience, conformity to Christ, study of Scripture, and harmony essential for the church in our day and age? How are all four elements being attacked by outside forces (e.g., culture calls for people to conform to it, rather than to Christ)? What practical steps can you take to ensure you are abiding by the teaching of Romans 15:1-6?

Connect Out: How would you reach out to a person with the I disease? Here are four areas to discuss: First, the Christian must preach Christ—His love and grace—to someone. Second, the Christian must practice Christian behavior (conformity to His person), showing them Christ's love. Third, be patient with the person. Four, pray for the person. Take time to pray for people with I disease (perhaps starting with yourself), asking God to intervene.


1 Josh McDowell, "Parenting," 2005, https://s3.amazonaws.com/jmm.us.media/Parenting+-+Research+2005+and+prior.pdf?iframe=true&width=100%&height=100%, accessed 2/17/20.

OUTLINE


  1. Patient Activity (vv. 1-2)

  2. Personal Conformity (v. 3)

  3. Purposeful Study (v. 4)

  4. Practical Harmony (vv. 5-6)

 


 

SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: How to Treat Your Family
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 16:1-24
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4529

MESSAGE SUMMARY
I am so honored and thankful to be part of this spiritual family. You are one of God’s greatest gifts in my life! In this last chapter of Romans, Paul’s tone and subject matter is familial—he approaches them not as Paul the theologian, but Paul their brother in Christ. It’s unfortunate that many believers don’t pay much attention to chapter 16 because in it we get a great example of how to treat our own spiritual family.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: March 15, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "How to Treat Your Family"
Text: Romans 16:1-24

Path

In this last chapter of Romans, Paul's tone and subject matter is familial—he approaches them not as Paul the theologian, but Paul their brother in Christ. It's unfortunate that many believers don't pay much attention to chapter 16 because in it we get a great example of how to treat our own spiritual family.

  1. Be Welcoming (vv. 1-2)
  2. Be Honoring (vv. 3-16, 21-24)
  3. Be Discerning (vv. 17-20)
Points

Be Welcoming (vv. 1-2)Be Honoring (vv. 3-16, 21-24)Be Discerning (vv. 17-20)Practice

Connect Up: As pastors protect the sheep of the church, so, too, God protects His people. Discuss the following verses about protection: Deuteronomy 31:6, 2 Samuel 22:3-4, Psalm 5:11, Psalms 46:1, Isaiah 41:10, John 10:28-30, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, and 2 Thessalonians 3:3. What form of protection does God's care take in these passages? Share a time when you experienced God's protection personally.

Connect In: The church is a family, part of the support group Donald Joy calls "associates." But for the Christian, the church is much more—a spiritual family which sometimes rises above relatives, especially if those relatives have been antagonistic to one's faith. Although the church can have problems, like every family, what are some benefits of the church family you have experienced in your Christian walk? Why is it important that the church be more than a social club, inviting people from all walks of life to experience the love of God in Christ? What are the church's main functions as the body of Christ?

Connect Out: Take time to pray for those affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Pray for protection, peace, and personal growth for your family and friends. Ask that God's will would be accomplished in every circumstance, that people would hear what the Lord may want them to hear during this crisis.

OUTLINE


  1. Be Welcoming (vv. 1-2)

  2. Be Honoring (vv. 3-16, 21-24)

  3. Be Discerning (vv. 17-20)


Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans | CalvaryABQ.org/series398
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