날짜: 2018년 6월 10일
제목: 서바나로 가는 길
올리브연합감리교회 김배선 목사
20180603 Sunday Worship Sermon
Romans 15: 22-29 “On the way to Spain”
We have meditated and shared the words of Romans for almost a year.
It has been and is… a precious and meaningful time for myself in meditating on words of Romans and preparing sermons.
And I hope it was a great time for you too.
The Book of Romans is the book that explains to us the essence of the gospel.
So, the Book of Romans has always been at the center of change in Christian history.
There was an outstanding theologian and philosopher called St. Augustine.
He was smart, but he lived a fast life.
It was in the Book of Romans that he was transformed into one of the most brilliant theologians in Christian history.
In the Middle Ages, the words of Romans influenced one Catholic monk.
He was Martin Luther who was a leader of the Reformation.
The Book of Romans was the driving force of courage that enabled him to stand at the forefront of the Reformation.
It was the words from the Book of Romans that also changed John Wesley who was the founder of the Methodist Church into a preacher and evangelist of the gospel.
Thus, the words of Romans have the power to change lives.
This is because of the power of the Gospel of the Romans.
Therefore, I believe that it is meaningful and very important for us to understand and accept the words of Romans.
Also, I believe that the words of Romans has the power to move our lives.
We already know the contents of the Book of Romans is made up of two major parts:
First, the Word of Romans is a doctrinal summary of the problem of salvation.
How will we be saved?
In response to this important question, Paul answers Romans 1:17:
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”
It is not by our will or act that we are moved from the place of sinners to the place of righteousness.
It is possible only by faith, by grace that gives faith.
When we believe and rely on the love of Jesus who gave his life for us, we are free and saved.
It is in Romans 8: 1~2.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
After this proclamation about salvation of personal dimension, Paul leads us to a well-balanced place of faith in which we practice.
Balance of our spiritual and faith health is very important, just as our body's health depends on balance.
The doctrine of salvation proclaimed from Romans chapter 1 to chapter 11 is extended by faith as a practice, not as knowledge from chapter 12.
It is emphasized that if we have experienced the grace of God and the joy of salvation, we are now living as a saved person.
That is, as people who are saved, we live as if we were saved.
What do you think is the reason why churches and Christians today do not have a positive influence in society?
Christians must think, speak, and act like Christians.
However, many Christians are giving up living a Christian life because of the small profits and self-satisfaction in front of their eyes.
Those who do not go to church know what the gospel is.
They know who Jesus is.
But why not come to church?
There are two reasons.
One, as I mentioned last Sunday, is that they are disappointed because of two faced Christians.
Another reason is that if they go to church, if they become a Christian, they come to know what a true Christian life is.
They know they need to lay down or give up the self- centered life.
That is why they cannot come to church.
That's what it means to say, "I'll go next."
They want to go, but it is still hard for them to give up the way they are living.
In other words, it is a proof that those who do not believe in Jesus know well what a true Christian life is like.
So Paul is asking us to live as Christians once again.
He continues to explain how to live as Christians from chapter 12.
Let’s look at 12:10-14
“Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them…”
It is these things that we must observe in our church community and in our relationships with others.
When these things go well, our faith will be balanced and healthy.
And when our faith becomes healthy, we will live a fruitful life.
In the first half of chapter 15, Paul has made this exhortation to life as a faithful Christian who is saved.
And now Paul adds one thing in today's text.
One thing is added, and the word of Romans is finalized.
What is it?
There is a final piece to complete the Romans, that is, to complete our beautiful faith.
Imagine the Book of Romans as a puzzle, there is a piece in the puzzle that is missing.
To complete this puzzle, we need that final piece.
It is "mission."
Yes, it is a missional mind.
Let’s look at verse 23-24.
“I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while…”
Paul has a plan to visit the Roman Church and then go to Spain.
Yes, Paul writes this letter to the Roman Church, revealing that he has a future goal.
The final destination of his missional life is to go Spain.
People at that time thought Spain was the end of the world.
As we know, Paul was devout and wanted to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He wanted to go to Spain, which he thought was the end of the land to spread the Gospel there.
He prayed earnestly for it.
But before Spain, he wanted to go an another place..
It was Rome.
At that time, Rome was the center of the world.
He thought that if he went to Rome, there would be a way to Spain.
Therefore, Paul wanted to go to Rome.
But, in verse 22, Paul mentions;
“I have so often been hindered from coming to you.”
We do not know what happened, but it did not work out as planned.
Nevertheless, Paul never gave up on the plan.
The reason why Paul did not give up was because of the purpose of his life.
The destination of Paul's mission was Spain.
And the purpose of his life was "to please God."
Yes, in 1 Thessalonians 2: 4, Paul confesses:
“but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts…”
Paul wanted to please God all throughout his life.
The reason why he devoted himself to mission is because God is pleased with it.
Paul wanted to go to Rome because he wanted to preach the gospel there and please God.
Likewise, Paul wanted to go to Spain, the end of the world, not to have a pleasant trip, but because of the idea that God would be glad if he would proclaim the Gospel there.
Paul had a desire for this mission and a passion for pleasing God.
This passion for mission and the missional mind is the last piece of the puzzle to complete the book of Romans.
Paul is now seeking the support of the Roman Church in His mission to Spain.
Brothers and sisters, mission is not just done.
Of course, we can do this anytime if we have a mind of mission.
If we want to go on a mission, we can go.
If we want to do it, we can do it.
But the problem is that we cannot do what we want.
We need to take a more serious approach to this issue.
The heart and steps toward the mission field are not possible with our will and efforts, but possible with the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In the end of the Book of Roman, we can see Paul who is asking for another chance for the mission to Spain.
The words of Romans so far would have been an exhortation to invite the people of the Roman church into the place of mission.
If we believe in Jesus and are saved and live happily without any struggles or conflicts with people around you, is that all of our Christian life?
Is that all done?
If that is the goal of our faith, what is God's promise to save the whole world?
If the last piece of this puzzle, "Mission", is not fitted, then our faith will end up in a "prosperity gospel" tha