Edited: Jul 2, 2018
날짜: 2018년 7월 1일
제목: 우리를 견고하게 하는 복음
올리브연합감리교회 김배선 목사
20180701 Sunday Worship Sermon
Romans 16: 17-27
“The Gospel that will Strengthen us”
We have shared the book of Romans for almost a year since last July.
And today is the last sermon on Romans.
Romans is full of the essence of the gospel.
As we conclude Romans today, we have learned that the gospel has power, the power to change people.
I am grateful to God for letting us finish the Book of Romans.
Above all, I was able to stand before the gospel again as I prepared the words of Romans.
And I want you to be able to stand before the gospel.
Today’s scripture is Paul 's last exhortation.
When we usually write a letter, we first greet and ask for the other's best regards.
And we write the details we want to write, then we finish the letter with the last greeting.
But sometimes, we think of something additional to say after we finish writing the letter.
Then, we use “P.S.” at the end of the letter and add our last thought.
P.S. is the abbreviation for post script.
Yes, today's scripture is almost like a post script of Paul’s letter.
In Romans 1 to 11, Paul gave the theological explanation of "What is salvation and how can we be saved?"
He logically explained the principles of the gospel.
He clearly declared that we are saved through the cross of Jesus Christ
And in Chapters 12 to 15, he told us that once we are saved, how one should live our lives.
Then, at the end of the letter, he listed those who worked together in his ministry and thanked them.
That was word we shared last Sunday.
That seemed like the end of the letter to the Romans, but Paul is continuing today’s scripture as post script.
Today, Paul is teaching that there is another important thing we need to remember while living on the earth.
It was about evil, or “heresy.”
Even after hearing the precious gospel, you cannot get out if you fall into evil.
Even if you have been changed by hearing the gospel, if you fall into the wrong teaching, you will forget it all again.
So Paul teaches about the characteristics of heresy and how to deal with it.
Why is Paul giving a warning about the heresies?
As you might guess, Paul did not write Romans overnight, but he probably contemplated and wrote over a long period of time.
In the meantime, those who preach heretical teaching came to not only the Roman church, but also other churches that the apostles had found, and confused and even divided the churches.
For many years, Paul preached the gospel to each one, practically one by one, and nurtured them with tears.
He could not help but warn them at the end about the possibility that the wrong teachings may come in and destroy it all.
Because they may forget and lose it all if they fall into the wrong teachings and heresy.
There are also many heresies around us today – tempting those who believe in Jesus.
The characteristic of heresy is that they seem genuine.
It is not easy to distinguish.
So people are easily fooled.
It seems plausible.
There are some heresies that can be identified immediately, however, there are some that are hard to tell whether they are heresies or true gospels.
Most people fall into these hard to tell heresies and leave the church.
It’s hard for them to come back to the church once they fall into heresy.
So Paul emphasizes this at the end of the Romans.
What is Paul's advice?
Let us look at verse 17.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them.”
Brothers and sisters, even if we do not fall into heresy, we must listen to this statement very carefully.
There are certain characteristics shared by those who teach false teachings and divide the church.
First, they teach against the true gospel.
They make rumors and false teachings.
They interpret and rationalize the Bible the way they want.
Second, they cause conflicts and divisions.
The church almost always has someone who complains.
In fact, it’s not just the church.
Any human organization naturally has someone who complains.
And the heretics are good at finding such people.
If you have complaints in mind, please be careful.
Please pray and turn your complaints to thanks giving, because Satan first knocks on those who complain.
The outward slogan of the heretics is "for the benefit of church..."
They always say, “it is for the Lord."
And at the same time, they complain.
Those who have a complaint to the church or other members of congregation are prone to the temptation, and they divide the church.
Third, in today’s text, Paul says “those who causes dissensions and offenses.”
The heretics, at first, pretend to work for God and the church, but later they oppose the church.
They say the church is wrong and God is wrong and they conflict against God and the church, and they lie.
They do whatever that is necessary to achieve their evil purpose.
Paul has two concerns when such heretics appear and divide the church and attack the believers.
In verse 17, he said,
"I urge you to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned and avoid them.”
I want you to have spiritual discernment.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what is the true gospel and what is the wrong teaching.
Because the heretics are always kind and promise good things, and they speak plausible words.
Paul asks us to keep an eye on these kinds of people.
The word "keep an eye on" means to be careful and alert.
Brothers and sisters, the wicked person does not expose himself.
So, you should have spiritual discernment to distinguish about what is true and what is false.
Paul is talking about how to have spiritual discernment.
Let’s look at verse 18.
“For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.”
They attend church well, and seem to believe in Jesus and even serve at church.
But if we look carefully, they don’t believe in Jesus.
They just pretend to believe in Jesus.
When we look at today’s scripture, Paul says they do not serve the Lord, but they just serve their own appetites.
What does it mean to serve their own appetites?
They just serve their self-greed.
Their interest was money and material.
Their only focus is self-interest.
When we see scammers, they are very well versed.
Please do not believe those who tell you that they will make you big money.
They are articulate.
They have wit and entertain people.
They are good at grabbing people’s attention.
They hold on to those who are innocent as their target.
The problem of innocent people is that they fall easily into heresy and that they cannot come back after they fall into heresy.
We should be careful not to fall into heresy in the life of our faith.
Please be careful not to be deceived.
In the last part of verse 17, Paul tells us to avoid these people.
Paul tells us to look first, and second… cut and avoid those who divide and hurt the church and its believers.
Let’s continue onto verse 19.
“For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil.”
Brothers and sisters, this world is not heaven.
We are people who believe in Jesus and are saved, but we live in a battle with evil forces while we live in this world.
We live a spiritual battle, that’s why it is very difficult to live.
There are many things that cannot be compromised because we believe in Jesus.
The world, its social structure and culture, does not allow us to fully worship our Lord.
So we are always in conflict – conflict between the law of the world and the law of God, faced with decisions as to which to choose.
That's the world we live in.
We have a responsibility to make this world a world in which to believe in Jesus.
So Paul said, "be wise in good, foolish in evil..."
Brothers and sisters, we are living in a much better world compared to Rome.
We can’t imagine how hard it was to believe in Jesus in the Roman society as a gentile.
Our struggle is nothing compared to the hardship the early Roman believers had to deal with.
The believers of the Roman Church kept their faith through all kinds of suffering and persecution.
Brothers and sisters, I hope you are wise in good, and foolish in evil.
If we do not live wisely when we live in this world, the world will be too difficult for us to live.
But do not worry.
Look at verse 20.
“The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you”
Brothers and sisters, please do not be afraid.
Please go forward with faith.
The wicked seem to be victorious and live well, but do not worry.
Satan seems to win at first, but God's people will eventually win.
Do not be afraid.
God gives us peace.
And He promised to put Satan under our feet.
God tells us, "Trust me." "Look at me." "Believe in the power of the gospel..."
I shared with you in Chapter 1.
The believers of Roman Church lived in the underground catacombs for 300 years against persecution...
For 300 years they did not abandon their faith, but they held the gospel, worshiped, and prayed under Roman persecution and preached the Gospel.
Christianity seemed as though it was losing.
Then in 313 AD, Christianity became the state religion of Rome under the influence of those who trusted God and kept the gospel.
The world seemed like it would never change, but eventually the gospel spread throughout all of Europe.
Satan seems to win, but eventually God's people will win at the end.
It is the power of the gospel.
The gospel defeats any evil forces.
So, do not be afraid, do not worry.
In verses 21 and 22, Paul again introduces his co-workers and then he returns to his last gospel.
Look at verses 25-27.
“Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen”
It was the gospel that made Paul the Apostle Paul.
It was the gospel that changed the life of Paul and whom wrote Romans.
Paul says in verse 25 that it is "my gospel."
It is the "gospel" that made me pastor, put me here, and made me live for the Lord and for the church.
I believe in the power of this gospel.
I believe this is also the gospel to you.
From the beginning to the end of the book of the Romans, Paul continually mentioned "the gospel."
It is because the Gospel is so important.
The gospel is Jesus Christ.
Paul is completely sacrificing his life for this gospel.
Paul says that in Romans 1:16 this gospel introduces God's ability to deliver salvation to all believers.
I endeavor to exhort you again at the end of the Romans.
I pray that all of us at the Olive church will be captured by this gospel.
I hope we all live for this Gospel.
Our Olive church exists because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I exist because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The last part of verse 26 says that this gospel will make us strong.
The gospel is to make us strong and bold, capable and wise.
The gospel has the power to save the dead, to heal the sick, and to make the cursed child a child of blessing.
That is the Gospel.
I hope that this gospel will be all yours today.
Those who have this gospel will be firm and will not shake.
The anthem of the Gospel is in verse 27.
“To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen” (ppt)
I pray that we praise and glorify God in our lives and live a beautiful life, full of miracles and blessings. Amen.