1. God’s Love is Active (Romans 5:6-8)
2. God’s Love Surpasses (Romans 5:9-10)
3. God’s Love Compels (Romans 5:1-5,11)
When we look at the world around us – it is clear to see the world values loves.
Shows such as the Bachelor, Love Island and If You are the One reveals to us
that human love is emotional and superficial.
In contrast to this, Romans 5 reveals how different God’s love is. In Romans 5:6-6,
we see God’s Love is active – seen by Jesus dying on the cross for us while we
were still sinners. Paul examines how out of the ordinary this all is by comparing
how someone would rarely consider dying for a righteous person, let alone an
enemy. Yet God does just this, choosing to love us when we were his enemies.
The passage further explores God’s love. In verse 9 and 10, we see are
challenged that if we were saved when enemies of God, how much more will
we gain now that we have been reconciled. This surpasses the expectation of an
ungodly person being justified. God’s love exceeds all our human understanding –
now that we are reconciled, how much more shall we be saved by his life.
But how should we be responding to such acts of Love and sacrifice?
The passage highlights the transformative nature of God’s Love. When we
understand what it means to be loved by God, our heart changes and our attitudes
changed. We are compelled to rejoice – even in our suffering. This concept is so
counter-cultural. We rejoice, even when we are suffering. The world tells us that
when we suffer, we should just be sad, to be angry, to think life is unfair and cruel.
But Romans 5 reminds us how God has shown is love – and that empowers us to
change our attitudes even when life is seemingly at its toughest. Our suffering isn’t
purposeless, no, instead it produces character and ultimately hope. A hope that we
too will share in the Glories of our Lord and Saviour. We rejoice in our sufferings.
Human love is emotional and superficial. God’s love is indescribable and
supernatural. Ask, pray, read what God has done for you – as his love surpasses
anything we can experience.
Life is such a precious thing but if you were to listen to the news or to look at humanity at large you wouldn’t get that impression. With the amount of violence and abuse Instead of seeing all humanity as precious and valuable, people are given value and status based on their race, gender, achievements, connections, abilities, looks, characteristics even their religion or lack thereof and the list goes on and on.
As such the embryonic human inside the womb, at the very beginning of his or her development as a single, unique and self directed human is as dignified as the fully grown adult human. Whether we are at the beginning of our journey or towards the end, whether we are a 1 cell human or a 37 trillion cell human, we are all dignified because we are human. Unique and precious from every other human. Fearfully and wonderfully made. And it is precisely because we are created by God and in the image of God that we have intrinsic value.
This is why the practice and endorsement of abortions is unjustifiable. It is the ending of the beginning of human life. To be clear, the single cell embryo, is not a potential human but an actual human in himself or herself. Like every actual adult human can have their developmental history traced back to when they were teenagers, toddlers, and babies, if you keep going back you get to the very beginning of each of our development when we were but tiny embryonic humans. And though you may not see the resemblance between your singular cell embryonic form and the man/woman in the mirror, from the moment of conception, you have always and only ever been you – an actual human. Even your gender was clear at conception. You either had the XX chromosome or you had the XY chromosome. The point is, you didn’t go from being a potential human to being an actual human. You were either a human being or you did not yet exist.
All human life is precious. Your physical features do not make you any more or any less valuable. Nor do your spiritual features make you any more or any less valuable. Committing the sin of abortion does not make you any less precious. It doesn’t mean it is not serious, but it means to say that those who have sinned even in abortion are still people made in the image of God. As we should not dehumanise people based on their looks, we should not dehumanise people based on their sin. Indeed, we should never dehumanise anyone, for we are then robbing God of his glory and making a mockery of his work in creating people in his own likeness.
In fact we ought to have more compassion on those who have had abortions. No one ever plans to have an abortion as if it is something to accomplish and experience. You will never see “have an abortion” on anyone’s bucket list. The irony with the pro-choice movement is that, the reason why people have had abortions is because they have had no other choice. They had no choice but to abort the baby. They had no support, they had no help, they didn’t see a future for themselves, they didn’t see a future for the baby, they didn’t think they could do it.
So, lets be pro-active in giving people the choice to life and eternity.
Mission Sunday: Life Transforming Partnership with FOR BETTER LIFE FOUNDATION (FBLF), Thailand(Isa 53:v4-6, v10-11; Matt 6:9-11; 2 Cor 9:6-7)
1) The community of ESCCC is called by God to store up treasures in heaven (Mt 6: 19-21.) . In 2 Cor 9: 6-7, Paul urges the Corinthian Christians to give generously and cheerfully to the work of God.
2) I have the privilege of promoting “WHY For Better Life Foundation” deserve our support and partnership.
2.1) They have Clear Vision Purpose Driven Mission Strategies.
2.2) The leaders are Christian Thai nationals, who are culturally and linguistically relevant
2.3) Their Mission work are highly Cost-Effective. They have no visa problems.
2.4) Their partnership with the convicting work of the Holy Spirit are very strong.
2.5) Their Evangelistic programs reaches to both rural and city population of 60 millions.
3) Evidence of Effective Strategy Programs :
3.1) Five Children’s Homes and Orphanages. They “rescued 210 vulnerable children from very poor tribal communities from being “sold” as sex slaves in sex industries.
3:2) Maitreejit Chrsitian School : 304 children from displaced tribes and Children’s Homes are enrolled in the MCS. Dr Alan and Jolie Heng, members of ESCCC, have poured their life savings into building a High School, to install classrooms for Year 11 and 12. There is a shortage of A$40,000. Is there a Generous Giver to store up treasures in heaven?
3:3) Every Home for Christ, Thailand (EHCT) : Their effective evangelistic programs cover Prison Ministry; Children ministry, Door to Door Outreach. Every Home and Family won for Christ is transformed into a House Church through Discipleship and Pastoral Training. This is a highly effective way of planting new house churches.
3:4 ) Creator Church : 7 Churches have been planted with 785 members coming from displaced tribes and ex-prisoners. Each church is being equipped with Discipleship and Pastoral Training.
3:5) Thai Media Ministry (in Partnership With Trans World Radio): This Evangelistic tool has reaped immense responses from listeners from Mountain villages, Muslims-dominated regions. 47 Radio Stations beaming Bible Stories and Messages in every half-hour broadcasts cover an immense populations residing in many regions.
How can we Support ?
A) ESCCC can be engaged in Earnest corporate prayers
B) Adopt a Community Church
C) Sponsor a child through University / Bible College @A$550 pa.
D) Support the completion of the high school building.
E) Pray and anoint the members of the short term mission.
In Romans 4, Paul uses Abraham as a old testament example of how God provides justification to those who believe in Him.
Abraham is a hero of the Jewish faith. Even Abraham the father of all Jews, was justified by faith as well, all the way back in the old testament. Abraham was called by God at the point of time in the world that the Law of Moses did not exist yet. In Genesis 15:6 we are told that “he believed, and it was credited to him as righteousness”. It was the point of belief where he was given righteousness, not after he had “proven” or “qualified” himself.
Even in the time of David when the Mosaic laws did exist, the way of attaining righteousness or sinlessness, is still not in the hands of man. In Romans 4 and Psalms 32 David acknowledges his own sin in his life, and proclaims that those whose sins are forgiven by God, are blessed. So we must understand that being credited with righteousness, or having our sins removed from us, is something that can ONLY be done by God. The law can’t forgive you of your sins, and trying to do more righteous acts could never make up for it.
Abraham, the father of the Jewish people was not circumcised when he was justified. It happened before any so called “works of righteousness”. We must understand that circumcision is one of the main things that the Jews believed set them apart from other people, and qualified them to be the “people of God”. But now Paul is saying that circumcision is just the seal, but not basis of righteousness.
Now, having faith like Abraham is difficult. But we are called to have that same kind of faith as well. We often find ourselves in situations whereby it is hard to believe God’s promises, and place our trust in Jesus Christ and the gospel alone. We often have a compulsive need to depend on logic and the things of this world. But Abraham knew what God had said and promised. Thus he was fully persuaded by God and not by probabilities or science. We have answer God’s call to love Him and love our neighbours, despite what we see in the world today.
True faith will always result in actions. So if we truly say that we believe in Jesus and absolutely trust God, let us leave our comfort zones just like Abraham did. Struggling through the doubts that plague us and tell us that “its not possible”, the same doubts that Abraham faced when he obeyed God.
“Be not deceived… [the devil’s] cause is never more in jeopardy than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending to do [God’s] will, looks round upon a universe in which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” – C.S. Lewis
Hao Yi Tan
Why can’t a loving God just forget our sin?
It would be immoral for a righteous God to forget what we have done. A Righteous God cannot forget sin. He cannot until it is paid for. At the cross, God shows that he can remain just. He did not ignore our sin but deal with it perfectly and completely through the death of his Son. He is loving, because He freely gave Jesus, who was righteous and without sin , to die in our place allowing us to escape his anger against our sin (2 Cor 5:21). Without God’s merciful action, we would have been held accountable. God save us, and the way He saves us reflects His righteousness, a right way.
God imputes Christ’s righteousness to us when we put our trust in Christ and so before God, we are declared righteous. This is what it means to be justified by faith. It is by grace, a gift from God, to those who believe.
When we repent of our unbelief in Jesus, we are in a position to be sanctified. Sanctification is the process of being sanctified, of being made holy and righteous. We begin to see other sins that we need to repent from. Christ will begin to show us how to follow Him, to think, to talk and to act more like Him.
And this is what being a Christian, a follower of Christ is about. It’s a process. A very long process. A lifelong process.
God has given us the Holy Spirit who will impart righteousness on us as we seek to follow Christ and be more Christ like. How are you living out your Christian faith? Will others see the fruit of the Spirit in us (Gal 5:22)?
Elder Freddie Lee