PEOPLE WITH A PURPOSE

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9, 2020

ROMANS 10:5-17

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture say, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


INTRODUCTION

Genesis 1 gives us a view of God our Creator who is awesome in power and majesty—a God who creates the entire universe and everything in it by the sheer power of his Word and his Spirit.  God says, “Let it be…” and it happens!  And after each act of creation, God declares it “good.”   This story of creation gives us a cosmic, bird’s eye view—like we’re getting a view of God’s creative act from the Hubble space telescope.  We are pulled into the wonder and awe of swirling galaxies and spinning planets and fiery stars.  The earth suddenly exploding with vegetation and flowers and all kinds of living creatures.

When sin enters the world and God’s plan of salvation begins God’s view of the world is often different from our view of the world. God’s view is one that looks down and sees His Son, Jesus Christ, hanging on a cross looking at a fallen and broken, decaying world.  

This view from God’s perspective is hard for us to accept. When we look at the world we see something we often want to run away from. The very structure of creation seems to be coming apart. Same sex marriage, divorce, and abortion. It is easy to simply come to church and close our eyes to everything going on around us. Just gaze upward at Jesus and forget everything else.

Paul’s perspective is God’s perspective. Paul tells us that God is calling us. He is giving us a purpose to reach out to the world with the love of God.


PART ONE

It was God’s love for you and me that led Jesus to the cross. It was God’s love that kept Jesus on that cross, taking our sin, to give us eternal life. He willingly gave His life for us.

Living by grace instead of by works means you are free from the performance treadmill. It means God has already given you an A when you deserved an F; He has already given you a full day’s pay even though you may have worked only one hour.

 

It means you don’t have to perform certain spiritual disciplines to earn God’s approval. Jesus Christ has already done that for you. You are loved and accepted by God through the merit of Jesus, and you are blessed by God through the merit of Jesus. Nothing you ever do will cause Him to love you any more or any less. He loves you strictly by His grace given to you through Jesus.

 

Paul understands this. Salvation comes to us only by grace. Restoration has come to God’s people, and it has come in Jesus Christ in grace. The heart of our restoration lies in God’s grace to us.


PART TWO

Paul shows us the world reaching purpose we have. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” All people. Everyone.

Paul brings this purpose down to our level. 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  How will God make His saving grace known? How are we to fulfill this purpose? We are to listen to His word. And in listening believe. And in believing tell.

Jesus sends His Spirit to speak through His children. Simple testimonies of faith. But through this speaking of simple words, His work is done today. No special training, no fancy vocabulary. Just love for Jesus and love for others. God has called you, chosen you, to be His people with a purpose.


CONCLUSION

A missionary to Africa told the story of an elderly woman who was reached with the gospel. Though she was blind and could neither read nor write, she wanted to share her new found faith with others. She went to the missionary and asked for a copy of the Bible in French. When she got it, she asked the missionary to underline John 3:16 in red and mark the page it was on so she could find it. The missionary wanted to see what she would do, so one day he followed her.

In the afternoon, just before school let out, she made her way to the front door. As the boys came out when school was dismissed, she would stop one and ask if he knew how to read French. When he said “Yes” she would ask him to read the verse that was marked in red. Then she would ask, “Do you know what this means?” and tell him about Christ.

The missionary said that twenty-four of the school boys that lady led to the Lord became pastors.

When we come to worship we should not only see Jesus. We should also see the work that Jesus does through His children. A purpose to the whole world. A beautiful picture of the good news. Amen.

 

 

 

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