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Romans: The Master Key to Scripture

The Epistle of Paul to the Romans is undoubtedly the most powerful human document that has ever been written. It is pure gold from beginning to end. This is the book that lit the fire in Martin Luther's heart and brought about the Protestant Reformation, changing the history of Europe, as well as the world. This is the book that struck home as John Wesley sat in a little chapel in London listening to Luther's Prelude to the Epistle to the Romans. Wesley said his heart was strangely warmed as he heard the truths of Romans set forth. There followed, through him, the great evangelical awakening that saved England from the fate of France and arrested the decay of English life, completely altering the history of the world again.

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Total Wipeout (Romans 3:1-20)

It has been interesting to note, as we have gone through this letter to the Romans, how logically and powerfully the Apostle Paul develops his subject. He evidently possessed a very vivid imagination and used it skillfully and with great power to illustrate and illuminate what he wanted to say. I never fail to be delighted at how the mind of the Apostle Paul works as he sets this truth out for us.

25 Sep 2018

Rank #1

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If God be For Us (Romans 8:29-39)

Last week, when we looked at a section from Romans 8 under the title of The Agony and the Ecstasy, none of us knew that this very week a family among us would be passing through an experience of deep and heart-felt agony, and that mingled with that agony would be the joy and ecstasy of a new life. Little did we know that a baby girl would be born to a couple from this church on the same day that they suffered the death of their son. But life is like that -- a strange intermixture of good and bad, of heartache and joy, that we oftentimes find very hard to understand. But the glory of Christianity is that, whether our hearts are aching or rejoicing, there is no incident or circumstance -- no matter how trivial -- that is without purpose or meaning. God has declared that "all things work together for good to those who love him, who are the called according to his purpose," (Romans 8:28).

9 Sep 2018

Rank #2

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How to be Saved (Romans 10:1-13)

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. (Romans 10:1 NIV)

6 Sep 2018

Rank #3

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The Father of Faith (Romans 4:1-12)

Today we are studying Romans, Chapter 4. Do you remember how this letter from the Apostle Paul began? After a brief introduction, Paul declares, in striking terms, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile," (Romans 1:16 NIV). In those words you have the theme to the book of Romans. It is the "glorious gospel of the blessed God" (1 Timothy 1:11 NIV), as Paul calls it in Ephesians -- the gospel that possesses something that men desperately need and search for everywhere.

23 Sep 2018

Rank #4

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The True Baptism of the Spirit (Romans 6:3-14)

The book of Romans is a tremendous revelation of what happens in the believer's life when he comes to Christ. The opening two verses of Romans 6 make it very clear that the apostle is dealing with the question of whether the believer can go on living in sin after he has come to Christ. Can he go on in a lifestyle that is basically wrong and sinful? Can he live as an alcoholic, or a swindler, or an adulterer, or a homosexual, or a slanderer? Is it possible to maintain such a lifestyle and be a Christian? The apostle's answer -- as we have already seen in the first two verses -- is, "By no means!" (Romans 6:2a NIV). It is impossible, Paul says, because, as he puts it in these four little words, "We died to sin," (Romans 6:2b NIV). Paul's conclusion is: "How can we go on living in it any longer?" (Romans 6:2c NIV).

17 Sep 2018

Rank #5

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But Now (Romans 3:21-31)

The title of our study this morning is taken from the opening words of Verse 21 of Chapter 3: "But now..." You can almost hear the sigh of relief in those two words. After God's appraisal of man's efforts to achieve some standing before him, given to us in the verses previous to this, now come God's words of relief, God's total answer to man's total failure.

24 Sep 2018

Rank #6

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Rejoicing In God (Romans 5:11-21)

In Romans 5, we have been learning that the one clear mark of a true Christian is that he always rejoices. Three times in this chapter we are given reasons for rejoicing, as believers:

19 Sep 2018

Rank #7

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The Continuing Struggle (Romans 7:7-25)

As we have been reading through this great letter from Paul to the Romans, we have seen the gospel of Jesus Christ which is able to set men free. This is the central declaration of the gospel: Christ has come, he has died, he has risen again, and he has come into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit in order that we who believe in him might be free. That is what the gospel is all about -- freedom!

14 Sep 2018

Rank #8

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The Sons of God among Men (Romans 8:14-17)

The song Thank You, Lord, by Dan Burgess, says:

11 Sep 2018

Rank #9

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Have they not Heard? (Romans 10:14-21)

This section of Romans 10 brings before us the answer to the most frequently asked questions we hear, especially from non-Christians. That question is, "What happens to all the people who never hear about Jesus?" That question in phrased in a variety of forms, but basically it is the expressed concern of many -- especially when they hear Christians talking about the uniqueness of Jesus. When we say, as Paul so strongly says in this passage, that Jesus is Lord and it is only through him that men come to God, immediately it raises the question, "Well, what about those who never hear of Jesus?" We are going to come to the answer to that in Verses 14-21 of Romans 10. In the first part of Chapter 10, the apostle said that in order for any individual person to be salvaged from the wreck of humanity, he must call upon the name of the Lord. Notice how Paul quotes the prophet Joel in Verse 13:

5 Sep 2018

Rank #10

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Can we Go on Sinning? (Romans 6:1-2)

Let me ask you a question: Now that you are a Christian -- now that you understand that the grace of God forgives your sins, past, present, and future, that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on your behalf settles the debt for sin, no matter when sins occur -- do you then have the privilege to go on sinning, living as you were, knowing that the grace of God will cover those sins? That is a very relevant question, because a lot of people today are asking it, and a lot of people are saying that we can go on sinning:

18 Sep 2018

Rank #11

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The Faith of our Father (Romans 4:13-25)

This morning we are going to talk about faith -- a simple thing, but hard for many to comprehend. Many people are confused on the subject of faith. Some think that faith is nothing but a mental assent to a truth -- that if you believe a thing is true, then you are exercising faith. But faith is more than simply believing something is true.

22 Sep 2018

Rank #12

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Let God be God (Romans 9:14-33)

There was a time when almost everybody on earth believed that the earth was flat. At that time, this was a very comfortable theory to live with. It was safe, easy to understand -- it was comfortable. Now, believing this did not make it true, but it was easier to handle and it made life more predictable. In reading accounts of the time, we learn that people got rather upset when some evidence that this was not true was presented. As more and more scientists began to say that the earth was really round and not flat, contrary to the way it looked to their eyes, and that it was spinning on its axis and floating in a great sea of space, people got very upset. Religious people, especially, were upset, for they believed with all their heart that the Bible taught that the earth was flat. They would quote certain passages that seemed to indicate this. So there was a great deal of controversy over the issue. It was a long time before people began to realize that the new evidence really made God appear more wonderful and more powerful than he ever had before. They began to discover, too, that there were certain verses and passages which they had overlooked before that supported this new evidence. They could see how the old viewpoint could be fitted within the context of this new truth that was appearing.

7 Sep 2018

Rank #13

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Free to Win or Lose (Romans 7:1-6)

This is an election year, and we are hearing plenty about it. On television and radio and in newspapers we are confronted with the question, "What is wrong with this country?" Both of the major candidates are telling us what they think is wrong; and if you listen to them, you hear that the problem is always the other party. But, in our hearts, we know that both parties are wrong, because the problem really isn't in our politics -- it's in us. In those immortal words of Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

15 Sep 2018

Rank #14

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No Condemnation (Romans 7:25 - 8:4)

The eighth chapter of Romans is the favorite chapter of many of you, I know -- and not without reason. This is one of the most significant chapters of the Scriptures. Somebody has likened this to "the brightest jewel in the casket of gems in the Word of God." I like to think of it as a great mountain, like Mt. Shasta, rising above all the surrounding hills and capturing the attention of all. Yet, the interesting thing about this is that it is not until you get to the middle of the chapter (Verse 17) that Paul introduces any new thoughts. In the opening words of this chapter he is simply gathering it up, bringing it to focus.

13 Sep 2018

Rank #15