Most recent Sermons on Sermon Cloud All Time
Sermons about Paul
Biography: Barnabas April 28, 2013 Text: Acts 15:35-41; I Corinthians 13:4-7 Key Thought: Barnabas’ life shows that believing in people like God does is essential to following Christ. After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. Acts 15:36-37, NLT
In the previous chapter, Paul presented something that went way beyond radical. No doubt the Jewish reader would interpret Paul’s epistle as heretical. Without a doubt the unbelieving heathen would have had eye brows raised to the sky in shock as they, (along with their religious and pious Jewish neighbor), read that salvation does not come from keeping rules and regulations…from trying to be “good little boys and girls,” from trying to be mystical or spiritual…but by faith, apart from the deeds of the law! Well then, “for what purpose was the law given?” his readers must have wondered! Years ago a Hindu philosopher came forth after a ten year silence and declared to his followers at an ashram (a Hindu religious retreat) in India that the whole world runs by the Ten Commandments. Even the completely estranged from God, the Hindu who worships everything…millions of gods…can read the law and make that correct observation. And that is correct by the way…just not complete. Paul said that the law is not made void through faith but rather it is established! It is completed! It is satisfied and the debt is put to rest! Paul presented the completion of the picture for the heathen, for the religious, for the entire world in revealing that the sole reason that the law was given was to show people that they are desperate sinners…we can’t help but sin because sin is not so much what we do…it is our condition! And in that condition, our works cannot make us right and so we, us, all of us…are in desperate need of a Savior. “We’re not voiding the law,” Paul insisted, “we’re fulfilling the very reason for which it was given…to make you see your need for a Savior and to drive you to the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ…because His work…has settled the debt!” So after arguing theologically in Chapter 3 that justification and salvation come simply by believing, Paul makes his point historically and heroically here in Chapter 4. Heroically? Yes, now he takes his truth and he strikes at the root of the root within the hearts of the religious elite. Jesus, when rejected publically and being resisted openly by the Jews, actually there in John Chapter 5 verse 16, John writes that, “the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him,” when that was going down, how did Jesus plead with them? He proclaimed that in Him there is no condemnation…no accusation…but only life…and then He told them that there is one who accuses them…Moses! What? Right there in John 5 verse 45…Moses in whom you trust, in other words, the law…it does not save you, it accuses you! And oh by the way, the law and everything that Moses wrote about, mighty Moses in whom you boast and trust, all that he wrote about…was about Me, Jesus proclaimed! But Paul is going to go even deeper. All the way to the one whom they called their father…Abraham. The root of even Moses! The predecessor to the law…the primary character in the story of God’s dealings with the Jew…and so he begins his history lesson…practical Paul, there in Chapter 4. Romans Chapter 4 Verses 1 – 3 • Verse 1 is worded by the translators in an awkward way and so looking at the original text in the Greek, what Paul is saying here is more practically phrased, “think about our father Abraham…do you think that he observed and progressed in the things of God according to his works?” • And immediately the thoughts of the Jews would go to the recorded and traditionally-taught works of Abraham. Was it when Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees at the command of God, a place of sophistication and wealth to go to a place of risk…that he knew nothing of just because God commanded him to go. Was it then that God declared Abraham righteous? No. • Was it when Abraham took his son Isaac to Mount Moriah in order to offer him as a sacrifice just as God had commanded…was it then that God declared him righteous? No. And what’s interesting is that these Jews knew these stories, this text, these Genesis accounts front and back. If they were Jews in any middle to upper level of their communities then they had the entire Book of Genesis memorized! And so they were probably with Paul completely as he brings to their remembrance when precisely Abraham, their father, their hero, the root of their confidence and trust…Moses…was declared righteous within the pages of scripture. • It’s Genesis 15; they know that! God declared Abraham righteous when Abraham simply believed Him. It’s not works folks, Paul is pleading. It’s not our own external righteousness Paul is even exposing historically. Those things are good. Those things will be there but understand, and we know this, the mind and the hands and the feet and the intentions and the actions and the works…they are all slaves to what? The heart! • If I say I love my wife and then I don’t pour my life out to learn her and to serve her and to protect her and to please her then I lie! In my heart there is love for sure…but it is for me! If a person says they love God and yet they live their life patterned after precisely what cost Him everything then folks, they lie…and John would write in 1 John that the truth is not in them man…they have a heart condition you see… • The heart is the origin, the place, the connection point where true belief either exists as shown by its servants (the mind, the hands the feet, the works) or it doesn’t exist as shown by its servant…works. And Jesus told us to watch for this. Look out for this. That we would know who does love the Lord, who are His disciples by their lives man…we can identify you see by their abiding in the Word and their peaceful, graceful after taste…that wonderful power that comes from just being free. • Jesus said that in John Chapter 8 verses 31 and 32. “If you abide in My Word (speaking of works man…works driven by what is in the very heart of a person…the Word) if you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free!” It all begins in the heart man. • Paul says, think about it. Abraham was not pronounced righteous when he was doing something spiritual or sacrificial. He was pronounced righteous by God when he simply believed. That is why he left Ur. That is why he was ready to offer up Isaac…not because he was a good man…but because he believed God, trusted Him…his life simply followed suit. His works simply obeyed his heart. And it’s the same with us. Romans Chapter 4 Verse 4 • So think of it this way, and we talked about this last week. If Abraham would have been counted righteous for any of his acts of obedience…for leaving Ur of the Chaldeas, for sacrificing his son Isaac…then salvation would be his reward. In other words, God would owe him…which completely nullifies grace. Simply not the case. • Works are good. Following the Lord and obeying Him will certainly brings about blessing…because in doing as the Lord has commanded, He is well able to bring you into circumstances of abundant life! • Works are natural for the believer, for the righteous. Good works and a life that honors God will just flow man…a manifestation as we talked about of what is in the heart…but the works don’t make you righteous….your righteousness makes ya work! You don’t HAVE to love your neighbor, you get to and in that there is freedom. You don’t have to read your Bible, you get to and in that there is wisdom. You don’t have to come to church, you get to and in that there is blessings! • And so you see it’s Abraham’s belief man, his trust in God that produced these wonderful acts of obedience…it’s faith alone…the works are just the fruit on the vine…not the vine itself. Paul clears it up for us in verse 5… Romans Chapter 4 Verses 5 – 8 • So Paul is just churning and burning here. He is preaching such a powerful sermon right now to his brethren the Jews! Our father Abraham got this y’all, are you better than Abraham? Nope. Our hero Moses got this my homies, are you better than Moses? Nope. Well guess what, our king got this to, David. Has there ever been a king so great as King David? In the eyes of the Jew, not a chance…and so Paul just delivers what I like to say is the conversion catalyst! I wonder how many Jews hit their knees in bankruptcy after reading this and opened their hearts to God’s grace apart from works and the righteousness that even David spoke of which is only found in Jeshua Meshiach! Jesus Christ! • Paul gives us such a wonderful wonderful practical, theological and historical hope and truth! He says our lawless deeds are not simply outweighed by our lawful deeds, he says they are forgiven! The word there in the Greek is aphiemi which literally means, to be put away as in a divorce…in God’s righteousness apart from works, apart from the law…our sinful fallen state has been utterly cast away from us in the eyes of God. But how Paul? • Through the everlasting and sufficient covering of sin…covering of sin? Yes that is lingo that the Jew would readily understand. Lingo that David used in Psalm 32…but how could all the sin of all men of all time be covered in one sacrifice? The Jews would know, the scripture would foretell, the prophets would proclaim…by the perfect and eternal sacrifice of God Himself providing the Lamb…just as the angel spoke to Abraham upon Mount Moriah… • And then the gift, the blessed assurance, the hope, the firm and unchanging truth that Paul had found that Saul had missed…verse 8, how filled with joy and approved of God the Father is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin…and the implication is rather than sin being imputed…given freely, counted on his account…rather than sin…righteousness! • And now for you Jew, for you gentile, for us, for all men and women who would believe in Jesus Christ and be filled by Him, God’s blessings are given eternally and immediately on the basis of God’s abundant grace and not on the basis of my good works and THAT WAY, He and His loving blessings…His presence, His truth, His hope, His joy, His power…are always available to me. • I mess up, but He doesn’t. I sin, but He never did. I fall short, He ascended into heaven! And so in Him, being born again by His indwelling Spirit, even though I am a busted formation of dirt, the breath of life from God in me is restored to all of the glory of the perfect garden and I am alive unto Him. Knowing Him, talking to Him, hearing Him, watching Him, hanging out with Him, just being near to Him who created all things and near to Him whose glory fills not only my own heart to overflowing but every place that I go! He is forever all around me why? Because the door is never shut! I can always come to Him on the basis of God’s grace towards me… • And that is utterly apart from works. That is the root of works Paul has pled. That is to place your belief and life in Jesus Christ and be saved from all of this toil and tragedy…and walk with Power on High!
Kevin gives a brief overview of Paul's missionary journeys as we move into the ending of the book of Acts.
Hans gives a short sermon preparing us for our final leg of Acts Series "To The End" where we will finish out the book of Acts as we study Paul's Missionary Journeys.
This is the beginning of the series on Romans. This talk the Romans are introduced to Paul an apostle and slave of Jesus Christ. Pete looks how at rather how Paul doesn't describe himself but how he introduces himself to the church in Rome.
Romans Chapter 3 Verses 19 - 20 • So by now the Jews are in upheaval. Paul has broken down how the unrighteous heathen has a problem and that same problem is shared by the self-righteous Jew. And right before he gets into what true righteousness is, how a man truly can be restored to a right relationship with God the Father…he delivers the knockout punch. • “You see my friends,” Paul would say, “the law, the ten commandments, the Mishna, the hundreds of particular do’s and don’ts that the Jews had extrapolated from the ten commandments and the Torah, (the first Five Books of the Bible, or the Books of Moses), you’re not made right by them, you’re made wrong by them!” • Made wrong? Yea, made wrong and not only the contemporary to Paul Othrodox Jew that sought to follow the law but also contemporary to us religious…anyone who has established a false idea, a false righteousness based upon works. Well how’s that? I thought that if you lived your life well, were gracious to the poor, went to church and said your prayers before bed…you know stayed out of trouble and really tried to do well…I thought that is good. Well it is! There is certainly value in all of those things in that God is able to bring about His purpose and plan for your life. Through those types of things God orchestrates our moments to bless us and reveal more of Himself to us. • I mean if all you’re ever doing has been to ignore the poor and not attend church and not ever acknowledge God in prayer then how is God going to bring blessings in your life such as the pure tears of a hurting person as they eat the first meal they’ve had in weeks…or the shear priviledge of fellowshipping with other believers in church…He’s not…you’re boxing Him out by your lifestyle, you see…and so those things are good, they are wonderful, they are essential in your life as you seek the Lord…but those things don’t wash your sins away…that’s the issue. Following the law was never the purpose of the law and that is the heart of what Paul is saying here to us… • In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that we may have the external regulations down pat but sin remains within us. Sin is not what we do…sin is who we are. Man is fallen and estranged from God and therefore the law was never to make a person right, that would actually trample the righteousness of Jesus under foot…don’t need Him…but rather the law was to reveal to us, all of us, that no matter our religiousity, no matter our pure intentions, no matter our self-generated and self-perceived goodness…we can’t do it. We can’t keep it. We all fall short and its interesting here Paul uses the phrase, “that the world may become guilty.” • Become? Better stated, that all eyes would be opened…opened to what? A specific and unique Greek word. Another one here in the Book of Romans that you will not find elsewhere in the entire Bible. It’s the word hypdikos (paa-di-kas). It literally means “one who has lost their suit.” We all as one have been weighed, we have been measured and we have been found wanting…the writing is on the wall man…what wall? The wall of our hearts. We all know don’t we…that we’re sinners and we fall short of perfection… • The law of what to do and what not to do would have God chasing us around all of the time like a wild dog off of a leach…I just witnessed this with the family a few days ago…we came around the corner on a street and we see this dog just running for it with a grown man sprinting after it yelling “Fifi nooooooo” as it got closer to the road that we were on…that is not God’s desire for His children! That is what religion teaches though. Paul would say to the Jew, that is what following the law will get you, a tight leash…but instead, His desire from the very beginning has been for us to not be in bondage to the law but alive unto Him! • But we have a problem don’t we? hypdikos (paa-di-kas). We know we have fallen short of perfection, we all even though we strive to be good, we strive to do well, we all still make mistakes and we all still have the disease of sin within us… • Well the Jew knew it too but they made their boast in circumcision, they boasted in the external keeping of the law…they were so meticulous and calculated in all that they did, in every move they made…to the point that they had fallen into self deception that fooled them into believing that when they stood before God they could demand entrance into heaven based on their own righteousness…Paul pretty much pukes here and he says, “shut up!” He does! It’s right there in verse 19, the translators have just been PC…he says, “pas stoma phrasso,” and the translators tell us that means “every mouth stopped,” but what he’s saying here is “shut yo mouth!” • Why? Because that insults the very goodness and love and grace of the Father that has saved him and us you see. That is to stand in front of the righteous King, and reject the loss of His Son for the sake of your own merit. No no no, I’d advise you to, well just as Paul said here, shut your mouth... • And that is the type of righteous indignation that Paul expresses elsewhere in his epistles of those who would take suit even against eachother. Those that would be offended by a brother or a sister in Christ and then when offense is not considered in light of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, how you yourself are in need of much much much grace…you know what happens? Sin. And sin brings division, strife, death, regret and loss. Not innocence, sin never brings innocence. Accusation never brings innocence. It only always brings…guilt! Maybe not immediately, but it’s a coming… • You’re all upset at someone, maybe they corrected you (that’s typically how folks in a church get offended), maybe they didn’t open the door for you, maybe they sat in your seat (oh the horror!), do you think that bitterness you’re allowing will bring about innocence and life? You’ve forgotten bro, you’ve forgotten ‘lil sister that we are all sinners and that Christ showed us what it is to honor Him in that He laid down His life for His friends. You’re in sin…and death is at the door man. Time to love hard, serve for real, and let the Spirit live through you…let the Spirit lead you…lead you right on into victory! • That’s Paul’s plea here…they’re not guilty alone you see…they are godless heathens but you jews, you religious elite are self-righteous mirror worshippers! Circumcision, the law…its all good…but you’re not! • And then practical Paul delivers the smelling salts… Romans Chapter 3 Verses 21 – 23 (and into verse 24) • The Jew, the heathen, the Muslim, the Mormon, the Budhist, the deist, Paul says to all and on all…righteousness is within reach…justification has arrived but quit looking to the law, Paul would say to his Jewish brethren…quit looking to a man, Paul would say to the Muslim and to the Mormon and to the Budhist…look somewhere he would say to the heathen! And that somewhere, is a Someone…Paul delivers the answer to the fret of all mankind right here…righteousness of God, peace with God, justification and redemption…is apart from the law > all laws > and is through faith in Jesus Christ! • Justification man…just-as-if-I-never-sinned. No other name under heaven by which man must be saved. Why? No other name under heaven has ever even claimed to have that power! Judaism, goods outweigh the bads…Islam, goods outweigh the bads…Mormonism, keep to the doctrine and covenants, Catholocism, faith AND good works…all of them! Dealing with everything but the issue of man is utterly fallen and must be utterly redeemed…not by the work of fallen man but by the work of Perfection…or better said…Perfection Himself. • Being justified in through placing your hope, trust…your life in the hands of Jesus Christ does not only mean that your sins are forgiven…that is mercy…it doesn’t only mean that God just loves you and blesses you even though you are a mess…that is grace…it means much much more than that…it means your sins are forgotten! Satan brings accusation against you and God the Father opens the book and says, I have no record of that! That is only only only ONLY found…Paul says it here…quit trying to be good enough Jew, quit suppressing it heathen…you both know that deep down your hope is on wishy washy shifting sand…that clearing away of your sin just-as-if-you-never-had-sinned in the first place…only found in Jesus Christ! • Paul says no matter what, in all men there is no difference. Jew or gentile, black or white, male or female, young or Chin…no difference. Whether you keep to the law or whether you’re a rebel without a cause…all have sinned, all have fallen short of the glory of God…”but now” he says there in verse 21. NOW! Now what? Romans Chapter 3 Verse 24 • Did you catch that? Now what, Paul? What’s the price, what are the rules? If its not the law, if its not circumcision…then tell us, how can we have this justification? Paul says, “freely!” But that’s not just a price tag on our contribution…it is also the destination! What! • You can’t earn it! You can’t learn it! You can’t steal it and you can’t make a deal for it! Paul said back in verse 21 that this righteousness apart from the law is what? REVEALED! Bingo! • How can I grow in my understanding of you? One would awkwardly say it this way, “how is it that the secrets of you, the rhythm of you, the deep secrets of you, how is it that those things are able to revealed to me?” The answer? Relationship! Being with you, talking to you, watching you, staying tight with you…man I will learn the secrets…we will begin to know eachother…the deep truths of you, what makes you tick…all those things are revealed! • I cannot buy information about April. Information that’s worth anything. How can I know her, how can I love her, what does she love, what does she hate…I can buy information that tells me what she likes…but not what she loves you see!? That can only be revealed by my drawing near to her, seeking her…see that? And Paul says here that true, genuine righteousness is not for sale, but it is free…What’s the cost, what must we do, what are the do’s and don’ts they ask… • Paul says here in verse 24, this justification that doesn’t just deal with sin…it erases it…that doesn’t just procure the favor of God and the blessing of God…it restores it to all of its grandor and purity…its free by His grace through redemption…revelation…relationship with and in Christ Jesus. • But what did you mean by destination? We are freely justified by Jesus…all of the law, all of the prophets, all of the Old Testament heros and types were not meant to save us but rather to point us to the Savior and by Him, and Him alone are we made right, for ever in the sight of God the Father and all of eternity…and therefore the gift of God to man…man’s salvation is free…the free gift of God…BUT…by this redemption we also arrive at free! We call it freedom! • Freedom from what? Freedom from decay man, regret…loss…death, stack it up! There’s so much! And the reader would have perceived this readily by what Paul wrote. You see Paul used a specific word here for redemption. There are three words he could have used. • Agorazo means redemption in the Greek. It is a word that draws the picture of a transaction. This slave is $10,000, pay the $10,000 and you have paid the redemption, paid the price for this slave. Congratulations, you have redeemed a slave, bought a slave and now they are your slave. Not the word Paul used. • Exagorazo means redemption in the Greek. It is a word that draws the picture of a final transaction. Congratulations, you have bought a slave and you will never again sell him. Congrats on your new slave for life. Not the word Paul used. • Apolutrosis. Specific word. Odd word to the Jew and the Greek. Hardly ever used. It means redemption in the Greek but it speaks of a slave being bought with the sole purpose of elevation. The sole purpose of making that slave a part of the family and giving him a portion of inheritance. Buying a slave…without rights, without means, without hope, without family…simply to set him free…to give him or her all of those things…never to be sold again. That is the word Paul uses here. • Jesus said in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” Redemption found in the law is redemption to the law, Jews. From one tyrant to another. Redemption found in self is redemption to self. From one tyrant to another. Redemption found in the cults is redemption to the cults. From one slave master to another. Redemption found in Jesus Christ is redemption unto absolute everlasting and eternal freedom and inheritance in the very house and family of the Father of all eternity. • Free to you because the price was paid already…by the precious blood of God Himself…His only Son…all He ever had that was just His…there in verse 25… Romans Chapter 3 Verse 25 • God set forth Paul says there….God gave Him to us…because that was the only way…God set forth Jesus as a propitiation by His blood…what is propitiation? Just what we’ve talked about! Beyond mercy, beyond grace, beyond any law…Jesus restored us man…Jesus has become our worthy sacrifice because He was and is and will always be the only One righteous so that Paul could say here that God has passed over our sins…Jesus has paid the full price, purchased us all for the purpose of setting us free… • Not covering the sin like the law did…not ignoring the sin like the heathen did…not outweighing the sin like all the religions try to do…erasing the sin man…God has moved on you see…that is the thought here…we use the word forgotten because that is all we have in the limitations of human understanding…but the idea is that Jesus has walked you into the courtroom of righteousness and although there is one who has kept a book of all the wrong that you have ever done…that book is not permitted as evidence…and the judge dismisses all charges due to a lack of evidence…and then He sits you right next to Him upon His wonderful bench…amazing. THAT is propitiation…and it is only by Jesus, God makes that clear in verse 26. Romans Chapter 3 Verses 26 – 31 • Paul places the “and so” upon the conversation for us…after shedding light on the state of fallen man, even in light of the laws they believed they were keeping, he comforts them…in Jesus Christ, God Himself, the Messiah…my brothers the law is established. • Galatians 3:24 says that the purpose of the law from the mountain top with Moses to the Book on your laps was always and forever will be to bring us to Jesus Christ. Therefore placing out trust in Jesus, exercising our free will of choice to commit our lives and plans and purposes to Him…to place our faith in only Him…the very purpose for which the law was given is utterly accomplished. How’s that? • The law was a debt. A debt that no man could pay…and so it stood. Mankind must accomplish all of these things perfectly, lest mankind be estranged from God. Because perfection cannot dwell with imperfection. And so God became a man, and just as through one man, sin entered…through One Man sin was defeated. The law was perfectly fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He humbled Himself, took on the form of man, walked as we walk, hungered as we hunger, suffered as we suffer, loved as we love…yet without sin. • You shall have no other Gods before Me. He didn’t. You shall not make for yourself any idols. He didn’t. You shall not take My name in vain. He didn’t. You shall remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. He did. You will honor your father and mother. He did. You will not murder, not commit adultery, not steal, not bear false witness, not covet…these things never even entered in His heart. And the law observed, the school master watched…and upon Jesus’ gift of His body and blood for all of mankind…the law looked upon creation and sighed with relief and rested… • Jesus said it is finished. Your slavery. Your separation from your father…it is finished. Walk with Him into the courtroom of your heart…your day…your life…your eternity…don’t go it alone…take His hand, walk with Him…and be free…NOW.