Jesus Conquers Guilt
We are not guests in the house of God. We are family at the table of the Lord. Romans reveals how Jesus conquers guilt and brings Jews and Gentiles together into the family of God.
Rom 1:14-17 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish…16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” NIV
Suddenly the Law was no longer the focus and the elite membership of God’s chosen people had an open enrollment. The Jews had worked so hard for so long, generation after generation, to preserve the bloodline of the Messiah embracing and reiterating the Law. The problem is when we work so hard to present what we have to present to God it can blind us to what He’s presenting to us.
Paul’s writings were absolutely offensive. Samarians were half-breed dogs whose forefathers had intermarried. These Jews had something to be proud of and Paul had been at the head of their pack. But now he embraced the heart of Jesus to dismantle religion and welcome everybody to God’s table.
Not only are these filthy Gentiles now embraced by God but they are given a Holy Spirit internal guidance system as sons and daughters.
Rom 2:14 The Gentiles who did not have the Law did instinctively the things of the Law…
There is a signal coming from heaven and every believer has a receiver. We need to tune in to the signal God is releasing. While traveling in England once I was in a Pastor’s home where I was ministering that weekend. In the search to get online I found there were multiple signals coming into his home from his neighbors but he didn’t have his own. Interestingly the neighbors used their last names for their signals and some of them were open so I could access my email, etc.
The next morning at breakfast I inquired about his neighbors calling them by name. He was astonished that I could know this information thinking God had revealed it to me in the night. We had a good laugh when I explained. Later I thought about the fact that he lived with an open signal in his home and he never even knew it. This is much like the signal coming from heaven. So many of us simply have no idea what is accessible to us from God.
Pain is to the body what conviction is to the spirit #destinyokc
God is so gracious to us that He created a system of conviction that is different from the world’s system. In God’s system conviction comes before we do the crime prompting us to avoid the sin. In the world’s system you do the crime and then you get convicted.
Rom 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (NAS)
Possibly the greatest hindrance to our being led by the Holy Spirit is our own guilty conscience. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could walk around plagued by our mistakes! Maturity is lessening the time between sin and repentance.
Rom 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. NAS
What you owe brings a perspective of obligation in life.
- Jealousy says, “God owes me”
- Greed says, “I owe it to myself”
- Anger says, “You owe me”
- Guilt says, “I owe you”
Our debt must be paid or canceled for the guilty heart to experience relief. Guilt is a heavy burden that we were never designed to carry. Because we aren’t designed to carry guilt it’s very natural to shift ½ the load to blame. Carrying guilt and blame is the natural result of rejecting God’s grace.
Guilt produces blame while grace produces freedom.
Rom 15:1 ...(Let's) not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. MSG
GP4RL: Purpose this week to thank God every day for his grace and extend that same grace to others very intentionally by loving, serving and giving.
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
Icebreaker: Who laid down the law in your home when you were growing up? Was it fair, just or kind?
Romans 1:14-17 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish…16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” NIV
- Who are the people toward whom you sense an obligation to reach for Christ?
- How is that reflected in your prayers and actions?
Romans 2:14 The Gentiles who did not have the Law did instinctively the things of the Law…
- How has God’s kindness led you toward real love for him?
Romans 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (NAS)
- What does it mean to you that you are not God’s slave but His child?
Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. NAS
- How does this differ from what love means to many people today?
Romans overall theme is salvation and righteousness for all humanity, Jew and Gentile, by faith.
Romans can be summarized in 3 categories.
1. The wrath of God because of sin.
2. The Righteousness of God because of Jesus.
3. The life of God in Christ for all!
THE MESSAGE BIBLE INTRODUCTION:
The event that split history into “before” and “after” and changed the world took place about thirty years before Paul wrote this letter. The event - the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus - took place in a remote corner of the extensive Roman Empire. The province of Judea in Palestine. Hardly anyone noticed, certainly no one in busy and powerful Rome.
And when this letter arrived in Rome, hardly anyone read it, certainly no one of influence. There was much to read in Rome - imperial decrees, exquisite poetry, finely crafted moral philosophy - and much of it was world-class. And yet in no time, as such things go, this letter left all those other writings in the dust. Paul's letter to the Romans has had a far larger impact on its readers than the volumes of all the Roman writers put together.
The quick rise of this letter to a peak of influence is extraordinary, written as it was by an obscure Roman citizen without connections. But when we read it for ourselves, we begin to realize that it is the letter itself that is truly extraordinary, and that no obscurity in writer or readers could have kept it obscure for long.
The letter to the Romans is a piece of exuberant and passionate thinking. This is the glorious life of the mind enlisted in the service of God. Paul takes the well-witnessed and devoutly believed fact of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and thinks through its implications. How does it happen that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, world history took a new direction, and at the same moment the life of every man, woman, and child on the planet was eternally affected? What is God up to? What does it mean that Jesus “saves”? What's behind all this, and where is it going?
These are the questions that drive Paul's thinking. Paul's mind is supple and capacious. He takes logic and argument, poetry and imagination, Scripture and prayer, creation and history and experience, and weaves them into this letter that has become the premier document of Christian theology.
CHUCK SWINDOLL’S INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS:
The primary theme running through Paul’s letter to the Romans is the revelation of God’s righteousness in His plan for salvation, what the Bible calls the gospel:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16–17)Paul showed how human beings lack God’s righteousness because of our sin (1–3), receive God’s righteousness when God justifies us by faith (4–5), demonstrate God’s righteousness by being transformed from rebels to followers (6–8), confirm His righteousness when God saves the Jews (9–11), and apply His righteousness in practical ways throughout our lives (12–16).
How do I apply this?
The structure of Romans provides a hint into the importance of the book in our everyday lives. Beginning with eleven chapters of doctrine, the book then transitions into five chapters of practical instruction. This union between doctrine and life illustrates for Christians the absolute importance of both what we believe and how we live out those beliefs. Does your day-to-day life mirror the beliefs you hold, or do you find yourself in a constant battle with hypocrisy? Take heed of the doctrine you find within the pages of Romans, but don’t forget to put it into practice as well.