Saturday, February 23, 2013


Since the first of the year I've been frequently filling the pulpit of a small church that is currently without a pastor.  Tomorrow morning I'll be preaching the fourth message in a series on the foundations of the faith.  One of the great scandals of modern Christianity is its failure to know and understand its history.  Along with that, the comprehension of the foundations of the faith have gone away.  Many churches don't preach, or at least don't emphasize many of the things that are important: the blood of Christ, the reality of hell and other things. I've tried in these four messages to incite a hunger to regain the knowledge of history and the facts of the foundation.
In my first message, we started with 2 Timothy 2 and looked at the five critical concepts of the Reformation.  They were know as the five solae: Sola fide, Sola Christo, Sola gratia, Sola scriptura, and Sola Dei Gloria.  That's Latin for faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone, scripture alone, and glory to God alone.  We also discussed the need to pass those concepts down to the next generation of the church.
Next we went to Romans 1 and spoke about God's wrath, the reason for it and "respectable" sins--those we don't think are all that bad.  We noted that Paul didn't pull any punches in dealing with the diversity within the young Roman church.  They all had the same problem--sin, and the same need--faith in Christ.
Last week was from Romans 3, where we dug into the meaning of some of those words we toss around all the time, but the meaning of which has been largely lost to the masses.  Grace, justification, propitiation...all can be tough concepts.  Within this message, the necessity of Christ's shed blood came into view quite vividly.
Tomorrow is from Romans 6 and deals with the fact that pay day is coming and the wages of sin is death.  We'll be looking three time frames of salvation, a concept I picked up at a conference a couple years back.  I have been saved from sin's penalty; I'm being saved from its power and will be saved from its presence.
Within this message we'll talk about the reality of Hell, and the certainty of Heaven.  I'm looking forward to bringing that message.  I borrowed some of the great imagery from Jonathan Edwards' powerful sermon,  Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
So far in this series, I've also been able to weave in the five points of Calvinism--TULIP:  the total depravity of man; unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace and the perseverance of the saints.  It's been an aggressive series.
I have but one message left in this "Romp through Romans," and won't get a chance to deliver it until May or June, so this will be a wrap up of the basics.

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