December 15, 2013 A Love You Can Experience #343

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1 December 15, 2013 A Love You Can Experience #343 Lesson on the topic: Do Over: Experience New Life in Christ December 1 A Problem You Can t Solve You can t meet God s standard on your own. December 8 The Gift You Can t Give Yourself Jesus offers you His gift of a relationship with God Our Scripture text today: Romans 5: 6-11, The Point: Even at our worst, God loves us. The Bible Meets Life: When we seek to get right with God-or closer to Him-our human tendency is to do something to gain God s attention or favor. The uniqueness of Christianity-its very foundation-is that, because of the love of God, Jesus Christ has already provided everything necessary for us to be right with God. The Setting: Beginning in Romans 3, Paul presented the truth that we are justified by faith. In Romans 4, he illustrated that truth from the life of Abraham. In Romans 5, Paul showed us the result of that justification: we have peace with God. Peace with God means that we have been fully reconciled to God and given eternal life in Christ. Student question #1: What do you mean when you say I love you? It could be implied that you love that person for their acts of kindness to you. It would have a far keeper meaning being said to your spouse or child. You have set apart your affection for that person different from anyone else. Romans 5: 6-8 (Lesson Point: Even at our worst, God loves us. ) HCSB 6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Key words in this text: Just Good) v7: Just in verse 7 identifies one who does what is right in a legalistic manner. Good conveys the same commitment. Love v8: Here, love refers to God s merciful, unmerited, and redemptive love for sinners. 1

2 In Romans 4, Paul used the example of Abraham to demonstrate that Israel s great patriarch was justified by faith, not works. In chapter 5, Paul focused on one of the results of saving faith in Christ- peace with God 5:1. In verse 6, Paul focused on the amazing grace that motivated God s provision of His Son for our salvation. While we were still helpless v6 Describes the weakness and inability of sinners to save themselves. The state of helplessness extends to all because we are all sinners (3:23). This statement implies no participation on your part in producing salvation, which is a gift of God. Before salvation there was nothing in us to attract God s favor. He was motivated by compassion as He looked on our helpless condition of lostness (9: 15-16). At the appointed moment v6 Refers to God s sovereignty in providing for salvation by sending His Son, Jesus Christ (Gal. 4:4). God worked through individuals and events for thousands of years to prepare the world for the one sufficient sacrifice for our sins. Prophecies, sacrifices, and foreshadowing types of Christ in the OT provide context and understanding of Jesus death on the cross. Christ died for the ungodly v6 Describes the substitutionary atonement necessary for sins to be forgiven. For in this instance means in place of. Jesus took our place on the cross and suffered the punishment we deserved. The Evidence of God s Love A love realized in the present A subjective, internal proof for God s love is experienced through the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Paul already made the point that this hope will not disappoint us, because God s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom. 5:5). The Spirit, dwelling in the heart of the Christian, whispers God s love in the ear day by day. A love rooted in the past The love of God is more than sentiment. There is an objective, historical evidence of God s love, observed in the cross of Christ. Jesus put Himself in harm s way and endured the incredible pain of the crucifixion. 2

3 When we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). Student question #2: How does the love and sacrifice of Jesus compare with the heroic acts of others? Heroic acts on earth the person usually dies for the sake of someone he respects. God demonstrates His kind of love in that Jesus died for His assassins. He died for the disrespectful. Who does this? Only God. One of the many gifts God s love gives to us is reconciliation, and Jesus is the One who put us back on friendly terms with God. Romans 5: 9-11 (Lesson Point: Even at our worst, God loves us. ) HCSB 9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him. Key Word: Reconciliation v11: Bringing together two parties at odds with each other. A benefit of Jesus death for those who trust Him as Savior. Sin prevents a relationship with God. Jesus made reconciliation possible through His substitutionary death on the cross. Student question #3: How do you feel when you reconnect with someone? Being estranged from a loved one is agonizing. A dad erupts in anger one day in the kitchen and a cold war ensues with his daughter. A brother disagrees with the handling of the family estate and refuses to join the party at Christmas. A marriage, once marked by passion and romance, cools to a dull domestic partnership. Before Jesus came and died, a massive invisible wall separated heaven from Earth. Humanity was cut off from God and nothing short of supernatural explosives could make this barricade crumble. The death of Jesus destroyed the wall our sin had built. His sacrifice suddenly restored the relationship our sin had broken. The result of reconciliation caused the believer to rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ v11. This is not only for the moment of salvation but extends as comfort and encouragement through the trials of the Christian life (Rom. 5: 1-3). 3

4 The permanent joy for the believer is in the knowledge that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8). In the NT doctrine of salvation are the concepts of: Justification Sanctification And glorification. We can accurately say, I have been saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved. These statements reflect the various stages of the process of salvation. We are justified at the moment we believe. We experience the power of God in this life following justification through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to transform us into the likeness of Christ (sanctification). And we await the glorious consummation of our salvation and inheritance in the kingdom of God when we die or when Christ returns (glorification). All of these are granted to us by the grace of God as a gift and through no merit of our own. Student question #4: How do we attempt to clean up our act before coming to Christ? Even at our worst, God loves us (today s lesson point). Paul said, Where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more. Romans 5: 18-21(Lesson Point: Even at our worst, God loves us ) HCSB 18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone. 19 For just as through one man s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Sinners by nature and choice is a phrase we often use to describe the fallen natures of all people. The doctrines of original sin and depravity refute the idea that people are born righteous or morally neutral. We are born with a sin nature that is bent toward sin. Selfish acts from childhood demonstrate we choose to sin as a result of our sinful nature. Paul clearly said all have sinned and fall short of God s glory (Rom. 3:23). The fact we are born with a sin nature also refutes the modern excuse some people give for their sin: I was born that way. We are born with a sin nature but our many sinful ways are not normal or moral. 4

5 In verse 20 Paul turned his attention to the purpose of the law in God s plan of salvation. The law in this context refers to the moral principles and commands of the OT and specifically to the Mosaic Law. The revealed moral legislation of God was wrongly misappropriated by some as a means of salvation. If it was never intended to be a means of salvation, what was God s purpose in revealing the law? Paul answered by saying the law came along to multiply the trespass v20. In other words, God sent the law in order to demonstrate the sinful nature of man, because where laws increased sin multiplied v20 God did not want sin to multiply. He never tempts us to sin and never endorses sin in His purposes. Paul summed up the comparison of Adam and Christ in verse 21 with the phrases sin reigned in death and grace will reign through righteousness. The language regarding sin looks back to verses 12 and 14 regarding the effects of Adam s sin. Even before the revelation of the Mosaic Law people sinned, and death was the penalty for their sins. The introduction of the law only resulted in more sin, as people rebelled against every new expression of God s will for their lives. Jesus Christ, through His death, dethroned sin and made it possible for believers to live according to God s righteousness. Only through grace and faith in Jesus Christ are we able to keep the law. Faith in Christ as Savior results in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord v21. Student Question #5: In what ways does the gift of eternal life impact our today as well as our future? We can be assured that His gift gives us joy and purpose every day. We know that God loves us. He has reconciled us. He has prepared a place for us in heaven. Prayer: Lord we thank You for your immeasurable gift of love and grace to each of us who did nothing to deserve it. 5

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