Transforming Truths of the Gospel
August 23, 2020
“The world is broken.” That is what Raye Jeanne said to me Wednesday evening as we sat on our porch and recounted our day and the people we had interacted with and the world circumstances we’d observed.
I’m not talking about COVID, though that is one example of its brokenness. I’m talking about the personal situations that give us heartache — grief and sorrow that keeps us longing for Heaven. The world is broken:
- Marriages are broken: in every marital union there are challenges from day one until year 60 or 70 (or however long God gives) — there are struggles and conflicts over competing desires and finances and jobs and headship and parenting and sex and expectations (both spoken and unspoken).
- Relationships are broken: Relationships between children and parents, parents and children, co-workers, extended family members, neighbors, churches and ministries…
- Ethnic relationships are broken: there is one common race called mankind in which all people are created in the image and likeness of God, designed to glorify Him. There is no superiority of gender or ethnicity or nationality. But still ethnic biases and favoritism and prejudice exists.
- Political processes are broken: the government is given as a gift of common grace to the world, but even in the best of governments there are abuses and injustice and various kinds of folly.
- Sex and sexual identity is broken: the incidence of sexual abuse is alarming and horrific (if you’ve been sinned against in that way, there is hope for you — call us so we can help you); sexual sin is alarming and produces a devastation that is unimagined when sinners enter into it; questions of gender the blessing of homosexual unions indicates that the world is deeply confused and perverse.
- Finances are broken: economies are broken, but so are personal finances, and the skewed attitudes that individuals have towards money. Jobs are lost and paychecks and retirement funds decrease.
- ?????? — many other things are broken — health, car and house repairs, and pets dying… What is broken in your world and what have you seen to be broken?
The world is broken. The world seems to be broken irrevocably and irretrievably. Where is any hope? The hope for the world, the hope for Granbury, the hope for our church, the hope for you, and the hope for me is all the same. It’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing else that will save or fix us.
The book of Romans is Paul’s letter to the church in Rome in which he asks them to consider being his sending church on his missionary venture to Spain (15:23-24, 28-29). And since he has not previously visited this church, this letter is a “letter of introduction” to them in which he establishes his orthodoxy.
He lays out his understanding of some theological basics to establish credibility with the Roman church so that they will support him as he takes the gospel to Spain.
His goal is to demonstrate that he believes the truth and that his beliefs are consistent with what God has always said, which is one reason he quotes from the OT more than any other NT writer.
This morning, we are about to enter a new section in the book of Romans (chapter 12) — I want to spend the morning reminding us where we have been in this great letter. These doctrines are tied to Paul’s imperatives in chapters 12-15 (note the connection with the word therefore in 12:1). This morning we will not just be reminded of the doctrines that Paul has taught, but also focus on the reality that these truths (which are all centered around the gospel) are transformative — they will change us. That’s the theme of the morning:
The gospel of God is a sanctifying gospel for sinners.
How will the gospel change us? Let’s consider four realities about God’s gospel, as Paul has unfolded them in Romans 1-11:
- The Gospel of God is a Sanctifying Gospel for Sinners (1:18 – 3:20)
- The Gospel of God is a Sanctifying Gospel for Sinners (3:21 – 4:25)
- The Gospel of God is a Sanctifying Gospel for Sinners (5:1 – 8:39)
- The Gospel of God is a Sanctifying Gospel for Sinners (9:1 – 11:36)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 1-11.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.