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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Second Sunday In Lent
Series B

Option #1: "God's Demonstration of Love"
Romans 5:6-11
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.

 
  I. While one might choose to die for a good man, Jesus died for rebels: Eph 2:1-5; 1 Tim 1:16; Isa 53:6; 1 Pet 3:18; 1 John 4:9-10

 II. Our sins are transferred to Him and we receive His righteousness: 2 Cor 5; Col 2:13-15; Titus 3:3-7

III. The result is reconciliation: 2 Cor 5:18-19; Eph 2:15-18; Heb 2:17

Adam Clarkes Commentary on the New Testament, Romans 5:6: For when we were yet without strength--the apostle, having pointed out the glorious state of the believing Gentiles, takes occasion to contrast this with their former state; and the means by which they were redeemed from it. Their former state he points out in four particulars; which may be applied to men in general:

I. They were astheneis, without strength; in a weak, dying state: neither able to resist sin, nor do any good: utterly devoid of power to extricate themselves from the misery of their situation.

II. They were asebeis, ungodly; without either the worship or knowledge of the true God; they had not God in them; and, consequently, were not partakers of the Divine nature: Satan lived in, ruled, and enslaved their hearts.

III. They were hamartooloi, sinners, Romans 5:8, aiming at happiness but constantly missing the mark, which is the ideal meaning of the Hebrew chata and the Greek hamartanoo. And in missing the mark they deviated from the right way; walked in the wrong way; trespassed in thus deviating; and, by breaking the commandments of God, not only missed the mark of felicity, but exposed themselves to everlasting misery.

IV. They were echthroi, enemies, Romans 5:10, from echthros, hatred, enmity, persons who hated God and holiness; and acted in continual hostility to both. What a gradation is here!

1. In our fall from God, our first apparent state is that we are without strength; have lost our principle of spiritual power by having lost the image of God, righteousness and true holiness, in which we were created.

2. We are ungodly, having lost our strength to do good; we have also lost all power to worship God aright. The mind which was made for God is no longer his residence.

3. We are sinners; feeling we have lost our center of rest and our happiness, we go about seeking rest but find none: what we have lost in losing God, we seek in earthly things; and thus are continually missing the mark, and multiplying transgressions against our Maker.

4. We are enemies; sin, indulged, increases in strength; evil acts engender fixed and rooted habits; the mind, everywhere poisoned with sin, increases in averseness from good; and mere aversion produces enmity; and enmity, acts of hostility, fell cruelty, etc.: so that the enemy of God hates his Maker and his service; is cruel to his fellow creatures; "a foe to God, was ne’er true friend to man;" and even torments his own soul!

In due time Christ died for the ungodly--He died INSTEAD of the ungodly, see also Romans 5:8; so Luke 22:19. The body of Christ, which is given FOR you; i.e., the life that is laid down in your STEAD. In this way the preposition huper is used by the best Greek writers.

John F. MacArthur, Jr.: God’s immense love is supremely demonstrated by Christ’s dying for the ungodly, for totally unrighteous, undeserving, and unlovable mankind. In the human realm, by contrast, Paul observes that one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. Paul is not contrasting a righteous man with a good man, but is simply using those terms synonymously. His point is that it is uncommon for a person to sacrifice his own life in order to save the life even of someone of high character. Still fewer people are inclined to give their lives to save a person they know to be a wicked scoundrel. But God was so inclined, and in that is our assurance. Saved, we can never be as wretched as we were before salvation--and He loved us totally then.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That sort of selfless, undeserved love is completely beyond human comprehension. Yet that is the love that the just and infinitely holy God had toward us even while we were yet sinners. The God who hates every sinful thought and every sinful deed nevertheless loves the sinners who think and do those things, even while they are still hopelessly enmeshed in their sin. Even when men openly hate God and do not have the least desire to give up their sin, they are still the objects of God’s redeeming love as long as they live. Only at death does an unbeliever cease to be loved by God. After that, he is eternally beyond the pale of God’s love and is destined irrevocably for His wrath. In Christ, we are forever linked to God by His love, demonstrated in (positive) blessings and (negative) mercy.

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Lamb's Message on Romans 5:6-11

Object: white styrofoam ball

I was driving near a school the other day. The children who didn’t ride the bus were walking home. Snow was falling--those big beautiful lakes that people like to take pictures of. I noticed that these students weren’t getting very far on their trip home. They were having a snowball fight.

Now I want you to think of the meanest person you know and imagine him/her in that snow ball fight with you. He doesn’t get into it right away because he’s doing something very nasty. He’s making big snowballs and he’s putting stones inside of them. You would not want to get hit with one of those. But suppose that he hit you on the head with one of those and now your head feels like a man is inside of it banging away with a hammer.

You keep on walking home and then you hear somebody crying for help. It’s the same guy who you hit you with the very hard stone snowball. Somebody hit him back but didn’t bother with a snow ball; they hit him with a rock and now his head is bleeding and he needs some first aid.

Now what? You could say: "Serves him right. He asked for it!" Or you could look at him the way God would. The Bible says: "While we were still sinners, God’s enemies, Jesus died for us." That means that Jesus didn’t die for a bunch of great people; He died for people who hated him. He died for people who wanted to pound nails right through his hands and feet. He died for people who spat on Him and hit Him over the head while He was wearing a crown of thorns. While we didn’t do those things, we still were God's before He changed us into His friends. Because we’re sinners, we’re no different from the people who did those things to Jesus.

When Jesus shed His blood for us, He took our sins away. He washed them away with His blood. Now, as far as God can see, Jesus is the sinner and we are the good guys. Now He forgives our sins everyday because Jesus paid for them with His blood shed on the cross. We are RECONCILED to God. That means we once were His enemies; now we are His friends. And that’s why you could help that guy who hit you with the rocky snow ball; not because he’s such a great guy, but because God loves him and he helps you to love him.

That’s the kind of Savior we have--one who loved us when we didn’t love Him and one who helps us to love people who are hard to love.

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Option #2: "Getting The Life and Living The Life"
Mark 8:31-38
Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.

 

A. "It's all about me!"
 
    1. Self-indulgence, self-service, and pride; acceptance, ease, and living it up
 
    2. Personal gain, personal concern, personal importance 

B. "It's all about Him!"

    1. Self-sacrifice, self-denial, and humility; rejection, suffering, and death

    2. Persons gained, concern for persons, the importance of persons

Notes:

1. epitimao {ep-ee-tee-mah'-o}, v32: to show honor to, to honor; to raise the price of ; to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely; to admonish or charge sharply. (Strong's)

2. Satanas {sat-an-as}, v33: adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act), the name given to; the prince of evil spirits, the inveterate adversary of God and Christ; he incites apostasy from God and to sin; circumventing people by his wiles; the worshippers of idols are said to be under his control; by his demons he is able to take possession of men and inflict them with diseases; by God's assistance he is overcome; on Christ's return from heaven he will be bound with chains for a thousand years, but when the thousand years are finished he will walk the earth in yet greater power, but shortly after will be given over to eternal punishment; a Satan-like man. (Strong's)

3. phroneo {fron-eh'-o}, v33: to have understanding, be wise; to feel, to think; to have an opinion of one's self, think of one's self, to be modest, not let one's opinion (though just) of himself exceed the bounds of modesty; to think or judge what one's opinion is; to be of the same mind, i.e., agreed together, cherish the same views, be harmonious; to direct one's mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for; to seek one's interest or advantage; to be of one's party, side with him (in public affairs). (Strong's)

4. aparneomai {ap-ar-neh'-om-ahee}, v34: to deny; to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone; to forget one's self, lose sight of one's self and one's own interests. (Strong's)

5. psuche {psoo-khay'}, v35: breath; the breath of life; the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing; of animals; of people; life; that in which there is life; a living being, a living soul; the soul; the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul, etc.); the (human) soul insofar as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life; the soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body). (Strong's)

6. moichalis {moy-khal-is'}, v38: an adulteress; as the intimate alliance of God with the people of Israel was likened to a marriage, those who relapse into idolatry are said to commit adultery or play the harlot; figuratively, equivalent to faithless to God, unclean, apostate. (Strong's)

7. The preacher will want to be cautious not to preach the description of the Christian disciple as a "new law" which must be met in order to please God. Jesus is describing the life of His disciple. The ability to do this in a God-pleasing way can only follow God's work of regeneration in a person... It is a complete denial of self that Jesus describes, not a mere changing of a few tendencies or habits... "Take up his cross" refers to hardships and even death suffered as a result of being a follower of Jesus. (Glen Thomas)

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