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How to Treat Your Family - Romans 16:1-24

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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.

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3/15/2020
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How to Treat Your Family
Romans 16:1-24
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans

Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans

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.

Outline

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  1. Be Welcoming (vv. 1-2)

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

  3. Be Discerning (vv. 17-20)

Study Guide

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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)
  • It's been said that a happy family is an early heaven. The Christian family is both personal and communal. During times of crises, it's good to know that Christians are acting as Christ's family: serving, helping, and loving those in need.
  • Romans 16 is a family chapter. Paul used words such as brother, sister, and brethren. Paul addressed his spiritual family and showed us how to treat our own family. Paul reminded us to be connected to other Christians.
  • According to relationship expert Donald Joy, people need support from four groups: family (parents, spouse, kids), relatives (extended family), friends, and associates (social groups, church, etc.).
  • The first person Paul welcomed in this chapter is a woman (Phoebe) which reminds us Christianity is not a chauvinistic faith, but a compassionate faith—loving to both female and male, young and old. Jesus welcomed women and had friends that were women.
  • Notice three things Paul said of Phoebe. She was a sister in the Lord, a servant (a deaconess who helped the poor and visited the sick), and a helper—possibly a patron or benefactress who supported the church. Paul called on Christians to be welcoming. The word welcome is a derivative of hospitality, meaning "a love of strangers."
Be Honoring (vv. 3-16, 21-24)
  • Paul was a friend-maker as well as a soul-winner. "A man who has friends must himself be friendly" (Proverbs 18:24). What does friendliness mean? Friends operate on the basis of supply, not need. We don't demand attention; we give it to others. In Paul's tentmaker ministry, he met many people, including Priscilla and Aquila, a couple he met in Corinth.
  • The next two names Paul mentioned, Urbanus and Stachys, were common names for slaves and members of the royal household. Paul's friends included people of different social standings. Christians are not to be respecters of persons (see James 2:1-13).
  • Aristobulus, Herodian, and Narcissus may have been members of Herod Agrippa and Herod the Great's households.
  • Rufus may have had a connection to the man who carried Jesus' cross (see Mark 15:21).
  • Out of great calamity comes great opportunity.
Be Discerning (vv. 17-20)
  • Paul loved the church, but does give a warning, like any father in the faith. He wanted the church to be discerning with regard to those that cause division. Paul didn't want division to creep in (see Acts 20:29-31 and 1 Corinthians 13:6).
  • The best way to handle divisive people is not to argue or debate with them, but to ignore them; simply reject what they are saying and move on. What a divisive person hates the most is the lack of attention his or her divisiveness affords them.
  • We should welcome, honor, and protect those who belong to Christ. Marching forward together is better than marching alone.
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.

Transcript

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How to Treat Your Family - Romans 16:1-24 - Skip Heitzig

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[CHEERING]

Thank you. Thank you. Wow. Wouldn't miss that for the world. It's been so long, I think I've forgotten how to preach.

[LAUGHTER]

Hey, listen-- let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Peace, I give to you-- My peace I leave with you, not as the world gives, do I give to you. Those are words, those are promises from your Savior and mine, the Lord Jesus Christ.

[APPLAUSE]

Hey, do you think-- do you think that there's enough fear being dispensed out there? I think we need words of faith, don't you? So let's do this. Let's turn in our Bibles to the book of Romans chapter 16. Romans chapter 16. We have been in a series in this book. We're going to be touching a little bit on the issue at hand as we go through this message tonight.

My year so far has been very interesting. I seem to go from one crisis to another. And just when I get out of the hospital, the ICU, I am met with a coronavirus-- not personally, but it's out there, and people are living in fear of it. But somebody once put it this way-- a happy family is but an earlier heaven. And I've learned that.

I've learned the value of my own family during a time of crisis, and I have learned the value of this family during a crisis-- the spiritual family, the brothers and sisters, the men and women of God who pray and walk through and work through crises together. Now we find ourselves in another one, called the coronavirus. Everybody in the world, I think, knows that word now, and it didn't take long for them to learn it.

So what do we do during a crisis like this? Well, we act like a family. We act like family should act. We should be careful, yes, but we should be caring, certainly. We should take precautions, but we should never panic. We should never give over to fear.

[APPLAUSE]

It takes the same amount of energy to pray as it does to worry. One leads to peace, one leads to panic. Do you ever wonder during this crisis-- I wonder what the churches in Wuhan, China are doing? Would you like to know? Many of them have decided to act like a family. Many of them have decided to go to the streets and minister to the emergency care workers-- the medical workers-- to take meals to those who are quarantined because of this disaster.

They see it as an opportunity to share the love of their Heavenly Father and their Savior in very, very tangible ways. And there's something else-- this is not unfamiliar territory. Plagues have happened before in times past. Epidemics have happened in the world. Pandemics have happened before in the world. And there were Christians.

For example, in Europe during the time of Martin Luther, there was a horrible pandemic that was called the bubonic plague that killed 50 million people in Europe alone. 50 million souls died because of that plague in Europe. And that's just Europe. If you were to add up North Africa and Asia and other countries around, estimates are between 75 and 200 million people lost their lives. It was a crisis.

And people were asking, what should Christians do during those times? Martin Luther was asked, what should Christians do? What should churches do? What should pastors do in the bubonic plague? And the biggest question he got is, should Christians run? Should they flee? And he was very careful in how he answered it as far as a response. Of course, they had closed the university where he lived in Wittenberg-- sound familiar? They closed the university. The year was 1527. Cases of the plague hit the town Luther was in. The people in charge urged Martin Luther to leave town.

He would not leave town. He told them to attend to the sick-- their sick neighbors, if they had a family certainly stay at home, he said, and attend to your sick family, much like the protocol you and I have heard recently. He said follow the practical advice of the powers that are over you as they give their mandates. But he was also vying for taking the sick people out of homes and isolating them to treat them medically so the people could fumigate their homes from some of these problems that they were facing.

But then he gave what I think is the most practical piece of advice you could give to any human being at any time, certainly during a crisis. He said, prepare for your own death. Be ready to face eternity with God. It is appointed, and a man wants to die after this, the judgment. He said, how do you prepare? By listening to sermons, by getting the word of God in you, by taking the sacraments, he called it-- gathering together and taking the Lord's Supper, et cetera.

Now, we are in a very lengthy chapter-- chapter 16 of the book of Romans. Just put your eyes over that chapter and see how much territory we have to cover. This is a family chapter. It is filled with family language. Verse 1, he mentions Phoebe our sister. He's speaking spiritually, of course. Down in verse 17, I urge you, brethren-- that's a family term. Down to verse 23, Paul writes about Quartus, a brother. All of these are family terms-- brother, sister, brethren.

And then there's also a common thread that runs through this chapter, a phrase that tells us what kind of family Paul was speaking about. I want you to notice in verse 2 that you may receive her in the Lord. Verse 3-- greet Priscilla and Aquilla, my fellow workers, in Christ Jesus. Skip down to verse 7-- greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen, fellow prisoners who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Verse 8-- greet Amplius, my beloved, in the Lord. Verse 9-- greet Urbanus, our fellow worker, in Christ. I'll stop there-- 11 times in this chapter, in Christ, in the Lord.

So I draw that to your attention so that we are dealing here with a spiritual family. That is the thrust and the theme of this chapter. Paul ends this incredibly doctrinally rich epistle filled with justification by faith, filled with so many great theological nuggets. He ends it with the spiritual family in mind. That's why I've called this message How to Treat Your Family-- the family of God.

In this chapter, Paul lists 26 people that he names by name and two people that are unnamed-- so a list of roughly 28 individuals this chapter includes, which is why many people ignore chapter 16 of the book of Romans. My heart just didn't resonate with a genealogy. I'm not going to get much out of a whole bunch of names. What do I care about names? Well, if your name's in it, you care.

[LAUGHTER]

But I submit to you that it should gladden our heart, and here's why. What this chapter shows us is that Paul was not a lone ranger. He didn't operate alone. He always had a team. He always had a group. He always had a collaborative around him. He spoke to people that way. He ministered that way. Which brings up sort of an umbrella issue-- how connected are you to people in church? How connected are you to the spiritual family?

One author puts it this way-- who's holding your trampoline? I'm referencing a book that was put out some years ago by Donald Joy. He was an expert on relationships, and he wrote a book. And the very first chapter was called, "Who's Holding Your Trampoline?" And the way he sets this book off is that you need individuals in your life when you're bouncing up and down and there's viruses floating around and you don't know where you're going to land and you've had brain surgeries and back surgeries, you just don't know what's going to happen in your future.

[LAUGHTER]

When you come bouncing up and down, who's holding your trampoline? What Donald Joy says is every individual needs four groups of people. Think of it as a four-sided trampoline. You need a group on this side, this side, this side, and this side. He calls them four groups-- family, relatives, friends, acquaintances. Family, relatives, friends, acquaintances. Let me explain.

Your family, of course, is your immediate family-- parents, children, spouses-- spouse.

[LAUGHTER]

Brothers and sisters. If you're in the Old Testament, I could say spouses. So family-- number two, relatives. Those are also part of your family but they're a little more distant-- uncles, aunts, grandparents. Third group-- friends, those are your growing, solid, active collection of friends that you have in your life. And finally, number four, associates-- people you work with, people you work out with, people in your church.

All four groups, says Donald Joy, represent a person's support system in any crisis. So just think-- you don't have to take a test or write it down-- but how many people can you count in your life that are holding your trampoline? Paul counts 28, and that's just this letter. According to Donald Joy and according to researchers, a healthy system has at least 12 people holding you. Most of them know each other. That's a healthy system.

A neurotic system-- somebody who's neurotic-- has about 10 or 11, maybe 10 to 12, and they don't necessarily know each other-- about a third of them do. A psychotic individual, only about four or five. Now, I have divided chapter 16 into three sections, each of them with a directive. How do you treat your family? You treat them this way. Be welcoming, be honoring, be discerning. Be welcoming, be honoring, and be discerning.

Now, let me just say that I wish I had more time on chapter 16. I know I say that in every chapter of the Bible, but I discovered I could do-- and I'd love to do-- an entire series just on the 16th chapter. I'm only going to touch on some issues tonight. So be welcoming, be honoring, be discerning. First of all, be welcoming.

Verse 1-- I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchreae, that you may receive her or welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the Saints and assist her in whatever business she has need of you. For indeed, she has been a helper of many and of myself also. What I love among a lot of things of this chapter is the very first person on Paul's list in chapter 16 is a woman.

Now, this is huge if you realize this was written in antiquity 2,000 years ago in a Greco-Roman culture. First on his list was a woman named Phoebe. In fact, in this list, chapter 16, nine of the 26 people that are named are women's names. And four of those women are described as being laborers in the Lord or hard workers for Christ. I love that.

I love it because it destroys the notion that Paul is a chauvinist, that the Bible is misogynistic, and Paul wasn't very friendly to women. Listen, the Bible honors the role of women over and over again. If you compare biblical culture to prevailing culture, huge difference. In the Greco-Roman culture, which was male-dominant-- ancient cultures were male-dominant-- Jewish men could divorce their wives, Jewish women could not divorce their husbands.

In the Greco-Roman culture, when a baby was born, everyone hoped it was a boy. It had a better chance of survival. Girls were regarded as a financial burden in one's future. At least boys could contribute to the family. That's how they saw it. So we have a little snippet of that in a letter from 1-- the year 1-- BC, where a man writes his wife. He's a Greek laborer. I think he's writing in Egypt.

And he writes his wife because he found out that she's pregnant. She's going to deliver a child soon. So he writes a letter and says, quote, "if, good luck to you, you have another child, if it is a male child, let it live. If it is a female, cast it out." Close quote.

Now, what he was referring to in the letter was a common practice in Greco-Roman culture where people could take their babies and toss them out on the garbage dump. And if they survived, they were usually picked up by people who would make them slaves and/or prostitutes. How different women are treated on the pages of the New Testament. Jesus welcomed women.

There were a group of women around Jesus, not just his disciples. They followed him in his Galilean ministry. Luke chapter 8 tells us 12 were with him-- those are the Twelve Apostles-- and certain women-- and they're named Mary called Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. Then there was a group of women that followed Jesus all the way to the Cross, and they were there in those final moments as our Lord was hanging on that cross.

You ever think about the role of women in the Bible? Deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt began with a woman obedient to God named Jochebed, the mother of Moses, who put that little baby down stream in that river. The story of the line of King David includes a faithful Gentile woman by the name of Ruth. The preservation of the Jews in Persia were due to a woman named Esther, who saw such a time as this to speak up. And the New Testament story of salvation by faith through Jesus Christ begins, in part, by a virgin woman named Mary.

And now, Paul begins his list in Romans chapter 16-- his list of helpers with Phoebe, first mentioned a woman. Now, three things are said of Phoebe. Number one, she is our sister. That describes her relationship spiritually. Second, she is called a servant. This describes her role ministerially. And third, she is called a helper. That describes her activity practically.

She is our sister. She is a servant. She is a helper. Here's what's interesting. The word "servant" used here is the same word used in Acts chapter six for a group of men that the early church identified deachonoy. The word here is deaconos a deacon, a deaconess, somebody who serves the church in a very practical way.

And there were deaconesses, history tells us, in the earlier years of the church who were dispatched to do a number of things like visit the sick and help the poor and many things like that. Paul says that she has been a Helper of many and of myself also, verse 2. Now, you see that word helper? Best translation-- patroness, benefactress. So because he uses this word, we can infer that she was probably a wealthy woman, some kind of a business woman who gave support to Paul the Apostle. Maybe she owned property. Maybe she owned a business. Maybe she was a merchant. Perhaps her husband died and left that to her. We don't know, but she had means.

And it seems that she was the one who carried the Epistle of Romans to the Church at Rome on behalf of Paul-- and paid for that journey. And she went along with the people who went along with her. Paul says when she comes, receive her. Welcome her. So how do you treat your family? Be welcoming. Be welcoming. The New Testament word would be, be hospitable. Hospitality.

Hospitality's a word used in the New Testament-- Greek word is philinexia, and it literally means the love of strangers. Be hospitable. Be welcoming. Love people. Love strangers. Somebody once said, if the world seems cold to you, light fires to warm it. I think that's a good word right now. I think during this crisis that we face, the world seems very cold, very fearful. How many people do you know freaked out?

And isolation, which we're told to do-- and I understand that's part of being responsible-- makes people feel colder. If it feels colder to you, light fires to warm it. World is so scary right now for people. And one thing we're seeing is people's fears coming to the surface. Act like a family. Be welcoming. Introduce the fearful, freaked out people to the peace and love and hope of Jesus Christ.

[APPLAUSE]

That's an opportunity. Our hope is not found in staying healthy this side of heaven. We want that. Trust me, after what I've been through, I want that. They asked me in the hospital, what is your goal for the day? My goal, I said, is to get out of here and never come back.

[LAUGHTER]

That's my goal. But I realize our hope is not found in staying healthy this side of heaven. I have hope beyond this earth. So be welcoming. Second big theme here is be honoring. Now, after verse 2, beginning in verse 3, for the next several verses, Paul is being honoring. He's sending regards to people by name. Greet this guy, greet that guy, greet that gal. Hey, people here, say hi. Let's get a flavor of that verse 3.

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise, greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epenetus, who is the first fruits of a Achaya to Christ. Greet Mary, who labored much for us. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen, my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Amplius, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker and Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. Greed Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodian, my countryman.

Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord. Greet Rufus-- anybody named Rufus, I'm going to greet, because that just sounds like he's a mean guy. Greet Rufus-- hey, Rufus, what's up?

Chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. Greet Philoligus and Julia, Narius and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.

Go down to verse 21-- Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen. Greet you. I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle-- he's the secretary or emmanuencus here-- greet you in the Lord. Gaius, my host, and the host of the whole church, greet you Erastus, the treasurer of the city greet you, and Quartus, a brother the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

What these names in this list, these greetings, this honor-- what this shows us is that Paul was a friend-maker, not just a soul-winner. You know, we usually picture Paul as sort of austere, maybe to himself, very intense, nose to the grindstone. I'm going to write letters and I'm going to build churches and I'm going to win souls. But he also made friends.

He knows a lot of people. I mean, it's hard for me to say these names. He knew these names. They were friends of his. He was not a one-man show. He was not a one-man band. He was not so isolated that he didn't involve himself with other people. Paul was a friendly person. One of my favorite Proverbs, Proverbs 18:24, says a man who has friends-- do you know this verse-- must himself be friendly.

How come I don't have any friends? Maybe you're just, like, a curmudgeon. Maybe you need to be friendly. A man who has friends must, himself, be friendly. What does that mean? A friendly person operates on the basis of supply, not on the basis of need. You can operate two different levels. You can operate on the basis of need. I need this. People better give this to me. I hope somebody is there to do this for me.

Or you could be the kind of person who operates on the basis of supply. That's a friendly person. You give. You minister. You share. We remember Philippians chapter 2, do we not? Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Paul made friends. He was a friendly person. Now, I read a lot of names that are listed here, and let me cheat a little bit by saying, when you get to heaven, you'll meet them all. And you'll learn who they are. And you'll get their full story. I'm not going to give you their full story. I don't have the time. That would require a series in this chapter. But indulge me a little bit, I want to get acquainted with a few with you.

First, notice this great couple in verse 3. Greet Priscilla and Aquila. How cute is that? That's a husband and wife team, and their names rhyme. Hi, I'm Aquila. Hi, I'm Priscilla. I mean, I could just sort of picture them, right? They were a great team. They were from Rome originally. They were from Italy. They were kicked out of Italy when the Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews in 49 AD.

And so they moved. And Corinth was a great spot to move, because it was a commercial hotspot. They were tent-makers, so they came to Corinth and they set up their business in Corinth. They were Jews. They went to the synagogue. When Paul comes to Corinth to visit Corinth, first thing he does is go to the synagogue. Now, let me give you a little trivia. I think this is fun.

In ancient times, synagogues were divided. Men sat on one side, women sat on the other. So wives did not sit with their husbands like we are afforded today. So they were separated male and female. But also, the men, on their side of the room, sat in groups according to their trades or professions. So Paul comes into the synagogue visiting Corinth and sits in the section where tent-makers are, because he is a tent-maker.

And who does he bump into? Not Priscilla, Aquila. And they start talking, because they are both tent-makers. Paul gets to lead both of them to Christ. They become very dear to Paul the Apostle. Paul sends them to Ephesus later on, and now they're back in Rome where they are from. So that's Aquila and Priscilla. She is mentioned first-- Priscilla and Aquila here. But go down to verse 5, and here's something very interesting.

Likewise, greet the church that is in their house. So we have a couple that had a church now in their home. They opened their heart to the gospel, then they opened their home for the gospel and with the gospel. Now, you should know that churches operated in the earliest years of Christianity from private homes until about 200 AD.

In 200 AD, the persecution in that part of the world was so fierce that they had to abandon their home. They had to go underground, meet in homes privately. Often in the city of Rome, they would meet in the catacombs-- the burial chambers underneath the earth. But they met in homes for 200 years. Justin Martyr, who was on trial during this time in the third century-- when he was on trial, the Roman prefect-- that is the Roman official-- said to him, where do you Christians assemble?

Justin Martyr said, we do not, as you suppose, meet in one place, for our God fills the heaven and the earth, and therefore he is present anywhere. We can meet any place and have communion and fellowship with him. When I go to Rome, I have a home where I go and remain. And those Christians who desire to hear me teach will come into that home. So they met in homes.

And there was now a church in the home of Aquila and Priscilla. Now, using that as the springboard, we, depending on what happens with this crazy coronavirus, must be prepared to do the same thing. If we need to, thank God for technology. If we need to, we can operate, and this feed right now is being seen by people who are meeting in homes, people around the country, people around the world. And if we need to close down the public assemblies, and that is mandated, we will certainly do that. And we're prepared to live stream.

Now, some people question that-- why would Christians do that? Here's why. Love may require that we do that for a season. That is not being fearful. That is being responsible. It is a way to love our neighbor. And how do we show that we love our neighbor? We give up certain privileges that we have, and we use the technology available. And I guarantee you-- it's pretty obvious that enough Christians are freaked out. Imagine your unbelieving neighbors. You think they're freaked out? Because they don't have the hope you have.

And you've invited them to church, I bet-- some of you have. And they haven't come. How about now bringing church to them? How about meeting in the home, inviting them over-- I'll feed you a meal, we're going to watch something on TV. It's live-streamed. It could be an opportunity. So be useful, be purposeful, be available during this time. That's being honoring. So be welcoming. Be honoring.

But we're not done. Go down to verse 9. There's a couple of names I can't pass up. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. Who are they? I have no clue. But actually, I do have a clue. Urbanus was a common name for slaves. Urbanus-- do you recognize the word? Urban. Our word urban comes from Urbanus-- it means city. And so the word Urbanus actually means city-bred-- or we call it a city slicker.

What it probably means is he was a slave who was raised and worked in a city, probably Rome. It was a very common name for slaves. The next name, Stachys, is an uncommon Greek name, but there is one listing in antiquity that mentions a guy named Stachys found in the royal household in Rome. What I think is significant is in the same sentence, Paul mentions somebody who is a slave and somebody who is noble-- somebody who's a servant and somebody who is royalty-- not a respecter of persons.

Which, by the way, this virus, we have discovered, is no respecter of persons. The virus doesn't care if you're poor or rich. It doesn't seem to care where you live, doesn't seem to care your skin color, doesn't seem to care how much education or how important you are in the community. You could be poor or you could be Tom Hanks and his wife down in Australia shooting a movie about Elvis Presley and are now quarantined, or an NBA player who is positive with this, or the wife of the Canadian Prime Minister-- doesn't matter.

In this regard, the coronavirus is very much like sin. The only thing is, we're all infected with sin. And it is far more lethal. And sin, like the virus, is not a respecter of persons. But that's where the Cross comes in, because neither is the cross of Jesus Christ. It is the great bulldozer that levels everyone. God has no favorites. You can Urbanus, you can be Stachys, but if you're in the Lord, you're part of us. No respecter of persons.

Billy Graham used to say the ground is always level at the foot of the Cross. And Paul demonstrates that in verse 9 by using these two names together. Go down to verse 10. Don't worry, we're going to finish. 10 and 11. Greet Apelles, approved in Christ, greet the household. Those who are of the household of Aristobulus. Mark that name. Greet Herodian, mark that name, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus-- mark that name-- who are in the Lord.

Now, Aristobulus, we believe-- scholars believe-- was none other than the brother of Herod Agrippa I and also the grandson of Herod the Great. Herodian, who is mentioned here, is related, obviously, to the Herod family, and perhaps is associated with Aristobulus. Narcissus, named here, happened to be very well-known in Rome. He was rich, very influential, and a real creep-- very ungodly, profligate. And he was well known.

He was the Secretary of the Roman Emperor Claudius for a while. But what Paul is doing is greeting members of the household of these people who have obviously come to faith in Christ-- employees, slaves-- but they came to know Jesus. That's noteworthy. Then again verse 13, greet Rufus. Now, I made a joke about Rufus a minute ago, but let me get a little more serious.

When we read this, we go, I don't know who Rufus is any more than I know who Phlegon is in the next verse. It's just a name. It doesn't mean anything. But we actually get insight into who Rufus was by reading the gospel of Mark. Incidentally, guess where the gospel of Mark, we believe, was written-- Rome. Now, in the gospel of Mark chapter 15, you'll know this story, you'll know the reference, Jesus is carrying His cross to Golgotha, and at one point, it gets so heavy, He falls, right? And somebody is compelled to carry it. Remember his name?

Simon from Sirene. Mark 15-- they compelled a certain man, Simon, a Sirenian, the Father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His Cross. Now, there would be no reason for the gospel writer to mention Rufus and Alexander to the church in Rome unless they knew Alexander and Rufus.

Here, he mentions him in this story. And the fact that Simon was his father, let's put the story together. Obviously, Simon, who carried the Cross of Jesus Christ, and Mrs. Simon, according now to the text in this chapter, both came to know Jesus Christ, probably because of that encounter, and maybe even going to the Cross and watching the Savior die. That's probably what happened.

Then, they had kids, and they raised them to be believers, and now they are in the church at Rome. I'm sort of belaboring all this, because I want to make a point. There is a common thread that runs through this chapter, and here it is. Out of great calamity comes great opportunity. Whether it's the calamity of getting kicked out of Rome if you're Aquila and Priscilla and you have to move and you happen to end up in Corinth and you sit next to a guy named Paul in the synagogue who leads you to Christ-- bam, that's good. Hallelujah for that-- calamity, opportunity.

Or there's persecution and you have to go underground-- whatever it is-- or you're Jesus and you get crucified, but that atones for the sins of the world, and a guy named Simon who bore the Cross comes to know that Savior, and there's that trickle-down opportunity. I say that, because in this crisis, we should start viewing it-- yes, responsibly, yes, protectively, but, yes, as an opportunity.

Do you think this took God by surprise? The Bible says even the winds and the sea obey him. God could stop this in a heartbeat if he chose. But here it is. God's people can use this as an opportunity. Now, in verse 16, it says, greet one another with a holy kiss. I would have to get this text right in the middle of coronavirus.

[LAUGHTER]

Right? It says greet one another with a holy kiss. And let me just say, don't do that tonight. And I'll tell you why. First of all, in ancient times, this was a custom to kiss a family member or a relative that was not a close family member, maybe even a close friend, if you hadn't seen that person for a long time-- especially you kiss them on the forehead or both cheeks. Justin Martyr in the second century said when we finish our prayers, we greet one another with a kiss. Tertullian called this a kiss of peace.

You know why it was important to the early church? By the way, five times in the New Testament, by both Paul and Peter, we are told to greet one another with a holy kiss. Here's why-- it's a family gesture. And he's writing to people who have been kicked out of their families. Their families have disowned them because they know Jesus now. So Paul is saying, treat them like family. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

They're not getting that from their family. You be their family. That's what this is about. But I love how the Phillips translation translates it. Give one another a hearty handshake all around for my sake. Now, I'm going to say don't do that either tonight. Don't kiss each other on the cheek, don't give each other a handshake. Now, let me read this to you in the NSV-- the New Skip Version.

Greet one another with an enthusiastic, hello.

[LAUGHTER]

Do that. Maybe I should call it the new coronavirus version. Just say hello for right now. No handshakes, no hugs, no fist bumps. Viruses can get passed this way. Just hi. God bless you. I love you. Consider yourself hugged. Don't kiss each other on the cheek. Don't even blow a kiss. Just-- you got it. Now, I want to bring this to a close. Be welcoming, be honoring, third, be discerning.

How do you treat one another in a family? You be discerning. That is you love people enough who watch out for people who come in and don't love them. That's called being discerning, verse 17. Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them, for those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly-- that is their own appetite, it's all about them-- and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore, I am glad on your behalf, but I want you to be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace-- I love this, love this, love this-- the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, amen.

This paragraph, to some people, seems out of place, but it is not. Here's why. Any dad, any husband, any man who loves his family is going to want to protect his family. Love will do that. Paul was their father in the faith. Paul knew God had done a great work in Rome. He did not want division to destroy that work. It is not unlike Paul at all to say things like this. 1 Corinthians 13:6-- love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. When Paul left the church of Ephesus on the shores of Miletus he said, I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in not sparing the sheep. Even people from among your own flock will come in and draw disciples under themselves.

I've warned you of this, he said. I wept for years about this, and I warned you about it. That's a good shepherd. A good shepherd protects his sheep. A good shepherd used to carry a staff and a rod. The staff was to direct the sheep, gently lead them. A rod was to beat not sheep, but wolves. A wolf would come in, he'd take out that club, bam, bam, bam. You want a shepherd like that. That's a good shepherd.

I love that when the conversation the Pharisees were once having with the disciples of Jesus, Jesus sort of walked over to them and said to the Pharisees, what are you talking to my disciples about? Not that he didn't know what they were talking about, he was God, but he just sort of got in their grill-- their little Pharisaic face and was a good shepherd to them.

Any time there's a work of God, there's going to be a counter-work of Satan. That's the way it is. If God is on the move, so is the devil. Light always attracts bugs. And so you need a fly-swatter, and Paul provides that in this paragraph. So notice what Paul says-- bringing this to an end now. I should sound more like Paul-- finally, my brethren. Of course, he said that then he kept going in several of his letters, but I want you to notice the way to handle divisive people.

He says, first of all, you've got to be aware of who they are. Now I urge you, verse 17, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses. Obviously, people wormed their way into the church in Rome, sowing seeds of disunity, making it about themselves. So it says note who they are. And then look at the end of verse 17-- and avoid them.

What do you do with a divisive person? What do you do a person who wants to argue? Don't. Walk away. Ignore them. Because when you ignore a person like this, you're not giving them what they want the most, and that is attention. They want to control the narrative. Don't let them. They want to make it about them. Don't let it be. Walk away. Don't post something nasty on your Instagram. Don't tweet something really bad in response to their tweet. Just move on. Reject what they say and move on. So in short, this is how you treat your family. Welcome them, honor them, protect them.

As we close, in the next few weeks, we may have to give up certain privileges. We'll see how this goes day by day, week by week. We are prepared if we needed to stop the mass assembly and get this out to you via phone and Roku and Apple TV and computer, et cetera. We may have to give up a privilege to protect the vulnerable. But-- but, hope is better than fear. And prayer is better than panic. And that's what we're demonstrating here.

And let me just say this-- marching forward together is way better than marching into the future alone. I'm happy to march into the future with you, no matter if we do it online for a few weeks only and get back together. But we want to honor the Lord. We're going to close in prayer. I'm going to ask a few people to come up and pray-- three to be exact. That's because our president wisely decreed this weekend, tomorrow, to be a National Day of Prayer. And that's where this nation should be. So I'm going to have three individuals that represent our church to close us in prayer. Would you all stand?

Good evening, everybody. My name is Vince. I just want to lift up in prayer our public safety and our medical personnel across the country. In 2 Timothy 1:7, it says God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. So I want to rest on that. Father God, we just thank you, Lord, that we can come to you humbly and ask for prayers for our country. Lord, just like Skip said, Lord, it's an honor to come before you always, and we focus on that, Father.

We thank you for the Cross. Lord, we ask for special protection on those public servants across the country, Lord, that are working tirelessly in the ERs and the urgent cares, the firemen, the rescue, the police officers, the Sheriff's deputies, the firemen. We ask for a special blessing and protection. Lord, we ask special wisdom for our leaders across the country at the federal level, the state level, and the local level. We ask this in your precious, holy name, amen.

Hi, I'm Roxie Sharpe. I'm director over at Calvary Kids here at Calvary, and we'll be praying for the families and the kids. Lord God, just thank you and praise you for who you are in our lives, God, that you are a God that loves us so much, that we can call out to you as our father-- and you are a good, good father. Families, God, just a special blessing on them, on their children, not just here at Calvary, but in our community and worldwide, God.

God, I just pray for little hearts that may be scared right now, the unknown, changes in their schedule, God-- I just pray that You hold them oh so tight in Your loving hands. God, I just pray for these next few weeks when kids are out of school, just that families would be knit together, that there would be just precious, precious family time, and that you would be the center of it, God. So just lift all this up to you and, God, just that you would show us how to be your hands and your feet during this time-- how we can be a light in the darkness, God.

I thank you also for the New Mexico kids and for some of the things that have been put through in the school districts so some of these kids that will be out of school will have food, they'll have lunch and breakfast. So, God, I just pray for all those provisions that are being made, God, and that you would be forests in all of this, God. We love you, we praise you, and it's in your Son's name we pray. Amen.

Well, my name is Neil, and we're going to pray for God to redeem and to work uniquely during this very interesting season of life. Would you please pray with me? God, we thank you that we can pray praise echoing the word of the Psalmist who said that he who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. We will say of the Lord, He is our refuge and our Fortress, our God-- in Him we will trust.

God, we pause to thank You that we have safety in Your abiding presence, no matter what life might contain. And, Lord, You, and often uniquely You through your people, can shine the brightest in the darkest of times. And so, God, we thank You that You have not ceased to be on the throne, that You are at work, You're fully in the know, and we trust, we ask that You would redeem to the fullest extent this disruption to the normal flow of life.

And, God, that men and women around the globe and in our city would come to know You-- for those that have been running from You, they would turned towards You, God. Lord, that you would capitalize by Your Holy Spirit on peoples' fresh thoughts and perhaps, even their fears-- and just like You so goodly and awesomely have done for so many of us even gathered now, You met us in our darkest hours on the wave of our greatest fears. And so, God, around this globe, we pray for revival, Lord, for You to work in and through people's lives-- that their spiritual health, Lord, would be brought to life, that it would be preserved, that it would grow.

And yet, God, we also pray for the many around the globe that are currently sick and that are in the grip of fear. Please, Lord, meet those who are sick with healing, with health. Please, Lord, meet those who are fearful with the great gospel of Your salvation, God. So Lord, we join with our brethren from all across this nation and the globe asking for You to shine brightly against the dark backdrop of this trouble, and that, Lord, You would be the Prince of Peace and the God of salvation-- radically, powerfully, freshly throughout the globe and in our city. We ask all of this gratefully, confidently in the name of our great Redeemer, our great Rescuer, the ultimate Healer, Jesus Christ. And if you agree, say amen. Amen.

How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvarynm.church. And just a reminder-- you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.

Additional Messages in this Series

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5/5/2019
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The Heart and Soul of the Gospel
Romans 1:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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5/19/2019
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Unashamed!
Romans 1:16-17
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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5/26/2019
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Is God Mad?
Romans 1:18-32
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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7/7/2019
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Four Mistakes Religious People Make
Romans 2:1-11
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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7/14/2019
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Hypocrisy Gets an Audit
Romans 2:17-29
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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7/28/2019
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The Advantage of Having the Bible
Romans 3:1-8
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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.
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8/4/2019
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How Prisoners Go Free
Romans 3:9-26
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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8/11/2019
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Old Age; Young Faith
Romans 4
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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?
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8/18/2019
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Our Benefits Package
Romans 5:1-5
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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8/25/2019
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Unrivaled Love
Romans 5:6-11
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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.
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9/1/2019
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A One-Man Show
Romans 5:12-21
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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?
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9/8/2019
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Don’t Look Back
Romans 6:1-7
Nate Heitzig
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9/15/2019
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Winning the War with Sin
Romans 6:11-14
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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.
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9/22/2019
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The Struggle Is Real
Romans 7:14-25
Nate Heitzig
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9/29/2019
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Safe and Secure
Romans 8:1-11
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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.
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10/6/2019
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The New You
Romans 8:12-18
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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.
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10/13/2019
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The Steady Hand of a Caring God
Romans 8:28-30
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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10/20/2019
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A Midterm Exam: Five Questions to Test Your Understanding
Romans 8:31-34
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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10/27/2019
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For the Love of God
Romans 8:35-39
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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11/10/2019
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God, the Jew, and You
Romans 9:1-26
Skip Heitzig
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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?
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11/17/2019
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Salvation: Reverse Engineered
Romans 10:1, 14-17
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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11/24/2019
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God’s Plan for Israel—and the World
Romans 11:25-27
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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12/8/2019
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Now It’s Your Turn
Romans 12:1-2
Skip Heitzig
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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!
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12/15/2019
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Made for Purpose
Romans 12:3-8
Nate Heitzig
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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.
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12/22/2019
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Exercise for Your Soul
Romans 12:6-8
Nate Heitzig
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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.
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1/5/2020
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Love Is a Verb
Romans 12:9-21
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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1/12/2020
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The Christian and Government
Romans 13:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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1/26/2020
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Wake Up Call
Romans 13:11-14
Nate Heitzig
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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.
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2/2/2020
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Acceptance, Judgment, and the Essential Point of Nonessential Points
Romans 14:1-6
Nate Heitzig
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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.
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2/16/2020
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The Cure for "I" Disease
Romans 15:1-6
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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There are 30 additional messages in this series.