It’s getting close to election time and I would just encourage you all to do 3 things as we approach this incredibly important season in our history. Pray, Do your homework, and vote. Let’s ask God what is important to him. Search the scriptures give the word of good the authority it deserves. Let’s make sure we understand the issues, look at more than just one source. Let’s make our voices known.
We have been placed here in this time to lead our community. We can do this through prayer, knowledge, and by demanding godly leadership by casting our vote.
Last week we left of with the close of Chapter 9. Where Paul was finishing his thoughts on Israel’s unbelief. We learned how we continue to have a lot to learn from Israel. We have become righteous through faith in Jesus. We ought to be careful to not trip on our own religion. That Christ will never put us to shame.
My big idea today is this; Let’s not let an outward intensity for God replace knowing Him. My prayer today is this, that by hearing this message together, as a family, we will seek God and we will find him. We will be a people in submission to Christ and in Him find contentment and peace underneath His righteousness. If you have you Bibles today will you turn with me to Romans 10 starting in verse 1.
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.Romans 10:1-4
I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections/points in order to share them with you today. Let’s take a look at my first point.
God Is Merciful When We Miss The Mark.
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.Romans 10:1 & 2
Paul is demonstrating the heart of a spiritual father. Out of his own experience and failure, Paul recognizes the failure of Israel. I see your zeal/enthusiasm for God, but you are going in the wrong direction. Paul recognizes that zeal for God is a good thing. When Jesus cleared the temple…
His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”John 2:17
Quoted from Psalms 69:9 Let’s look at Paul’s first response. His first response is to pray.
Paul is telling his testimony. Paul had zeal for God. He missed the mark. But in all of his efforts and enthusiasm he missed the righteousness of God because He missed Jesus. God is merciful even when we miss the mark. Paul receives a merciful encounter (That come to Jesus meeting)
He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.Acts 9:4-5
Now we don’t all have these drastic Damascus moments. Some of you don’t need them. Many of us, from time to time, get of track and as a nation, I would say that we are of track. Let’s remember that our excitement or enthusiasm for God must be tempered with relationship and love for Christ and the knowledge of His Law.
God’s Mercy Does Not Negate Our Response.
Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.Romans 10:3
Paul levels a charge against his fellow Israelites. They did not submit to the righteousness of God and as a result they did not know the righteousness of God. Just because God gives mercy does not mean that we are free to continue sinning or living like the world, They sought to engage God on their own terms. They sought to establish their own righteousness as a means to satisfy God’s requirement. As you can imagine they could not succeed. It wasn’t good enough. If we were able to make our own righteousness, then we would not need a savior.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.Isaiah 64:6
Isaiah is not talking about others in general or pagan nations. Let’s see what he has to say about himself.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”Isaiah 6:5-7
Isaiah, with great anguish, understood his condition. And God provided Isaiah’s atonement through the application of a hot coal.
Our proper response is 2-fold.
1) Recognize our sin and our inability to be righteous in God’s sight. This means we admit that we are sinners in need of a savior.
2) Seek God’s righteous solution for our salvation in Christ Jesus.
In Isaiah’s time the priests were trash they were corrupt and defiled God’s temple. God chose Isaiah as his Prophet. Isaiah was the man and even he knew that he was ruined in the presence of God. This is what’s so important for us today… There is not a person on this planet that can create their own righteousness. No one can satisfy God’s holy requirement. God’s Mercy Does Not Negate Our Response/responsibility to Christ.
God’s Mercy Is Reflected In Jesus Christ.
Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.Romans 10:4
Everything comes down to do we believe and respond to the offer of Christ. Christ is the Culmination of the law and righteousness of God. Culmination: Synonyms here are just a few examples. Apex, Climax, Pinnacle, Consummation, Crown, Finale, Height, Maximum, Payoff, Perfection, or summit. When it comes to the Law of God and the righteousness of God (because that’s what we’re talking about) Christ is the authority and the source. There is no other way to God. There is no other way to salvation.
Did you ever notice that the loudest voice in your life generally have the least to offer.The voice of the Holy Spirit that will lead you to eternal life in Jesus Christ is a still small voice.
Any and everything we aspire to be, in terms of character and righteousness is unattainable without Jesus. In Christ Jesus, even our weakness, failure, and our brokenness is cleansed. Its refined like Isaiah and we are purified in the Lord.
Recently, I was reminded of these quotes. These are deathbed confessions by the leaders of great faith and philosophical movements. Muhammad: “I do not know the purpose of life.” Buddha: “Seek for truth.” Confucius: “I am not the way.” But Jesus said this…
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6
All of these other leaders are dead and yet Jesus lives. It is well documented that Jesus rose from the grave. And these other men did not.
RESPONSE: Let’s dump all of our allusions of righteousness, so we open our hearts to Jesus. He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late
It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.
If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’