Responsibility Over Rights

Romans 14.13 23In Galatians 5:23, Paul lists one of the fruits of the Spirit as self control, in 1 Corinthians 9:27, he talks about the measures he took to subject his own body and bring it under control so that he would not be “disqualified for the prize.” Paul knew that through Christ, he had the freedom to do many things, but he also knew that if he did those things he could harm someone else’s walk with Christ so he trained himself out of love for others. Last week we talked about not being a stumbling block for others and part of not being a stumbling block is, through self control, not doing a thing that you believe, through Christ, you can do.

Romans 14:15, If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Paul is saying that if you flaunt the freedoms you have in Christ, you are abusing that freedom. Our rights through Christ are less important than our responsibilities to Christ.
We live in a world that tells us “me first,” “my rights,” “it’s all about me,” but Paul says no. For the Christian, it’s all about God. Freedom says that we can do a thing or say a thing, but love asks is it going to harm a fellow Christian.
Romans 14:13-23

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Mind Your Own Salvation

Romans 14We are all guests at Christ’s table; invited by Christ alone. The question Paul asks in verse four is who are we to judge. None of us have the right to make someone feel unwelcome. Paul says that if someone needs to be corrected, that’s for God to do, not us.
Y’all think about something. One of the last things Jesus spoke was “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus died welcoming people to the table, who are we to think that we have the right to uninvite them?
Think about it, we will stand before our Savior. Jesus Christ who suffered torture and an imaginable death so that we could be with Him in Paradise.
Imagine the feelings that we will have when Jesus looks at us with His love for us showing in His eyes and His face and He tells us of the things we did that broke His heart – the times that we lived for self, for our glory. The times that our self-righteousness led us to judge another’s faith.

Bulletin for Service

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A Deliberate Choice

Love debtPaul says in verse ten, “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Think about that, think about the difference between keeping the law out of love verses keeping the law out of consequence. Now, for most of us, the consequences of cheating, stealing, or murder would keep us from breaking those laws even if we weren’t Christians. But what about bearing false witness, what about telling a lie about someone, what about spreading gossip that may or may not be entirely true? Typically, there aren’t legal repercussions for these things but, as Christians, we know that these things could bring harm to a neighbor and is not showing love to them, it’s not the way Christians should act, and definitely not anything we want done to us so we don’t do it. The law itself doesn’t keep us from it, love does. Love therefore, as Paul says, is the fulfillment of the law. We love God and we love each other to the point that we are basically saying, “I owe you my very life.”

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Silent Witness

Romans 12.17 18

If we are going to be the people God calls us to be, we can’t just love Him, ourselves, and those inside the church, we have to love those outside of the church. In some cases, we will have to have much patience to show them love, but we have to remember how much patience God has with us.
Verse 19 says Do not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath. As hard as it can be, we must leave this judgement up to God. We cannot be plotting revenge if we are truly trying to love others. We cannot be praying for their salvation if we are dreaming up ways to get them back for something.
If you have to do something to get over your mad then do something for them instead of to them.
Y’all the power of good that we have is so much greater than evil. We need to use that power to overcome evil. Don’t waver from good, feed your enemy, and help them in every way that you can think of.
Do you want your enemy to find Christ? Then be Christ. He is your silent witness and He lives in you, give Him a voice!
The world says pay people that wrong you back, Jesus says feed them. Overcome evil with good.
Jesus died thinking about each one of us, shouldn’t we be living thinking about Him?

Romans 12:9-21

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Freedom Through Servitude

Romans 12.1

Consider whether your activities, actions, and words are an acceptable offering to God. In Malachi 1:8, God says that offering less than is acceptable to Him is showing contempt for His name. It’s wonderful to gather on Sundays and worship together, but so often, we are not showing our true self. Paul says that offering our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God is our true and proper worship. So the measure of our living sacrifice to God isn’t our best moment, it isn’t when we’re all spiffed up and on our best behavior to come into God’s house, the measure of our living sacrifice, our offering of ourselves is our worst moments.

Paul continues in Romans 12:4-8 to list the spiritual gifts that God gives us to bring glory to Him. Paul is saying that it takes us all but remember, in this section he is talking how our attitude toward ourselves in cooperation with others as we go about the tasks that utilize our gifts. Basically, he’s telling us to stay in our own lane. How many cooperative projects get derailed because folks spend more time worrying about how someone is using their gifts than they spend utilizing their own?

If you are unsure what gift(s) you have, go to this website and take the survey. Every believer has been given one or more spiritual gifts for a very specific purpose: to glorify God by ministering to people. God invites each one of us to reach out in His name. Spiritual gifts are God’s provision for the Holy Spirit to minister to people, through people.

How is God calling you to be part of the body? If you truly want to offer your body as a living sacrifice, if you want to be holy and pleasing to God, you need to discover and answer your call. Are you willing to do that?

Romans 12:1-8

Malachi1:6-8

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