Sunday was a rich day with our church. I knew going into Sunday that it would be one of those days that I would look back on fondly. The main reason was the text and sermon series we were beginning. Romans 5-8 are some of the most theological encouraging chapters in the entire Bible. I love Psalm 119, Philippians 3, Colossians 2, and a few others. But Romans 5-8 are a “sweet spot” for me. And I’m not alone. Theological commentators throughout history marvel at these chapters. So…Sunday was rich.
Behind the Scenes:
However, knowing this, the week heading into Sunday was remarkably crazy. It was not a hard week by any stretch, but it was very full. It made my preparation time be more condensed and the writing of this sermon was broken up into 2-hour stretches of time. Normally, I take all day on Friday and just write, with few interruptions, but I didn’t have that luxury this past week.
Instead, I thought through this text in my car, in the locker room, at my desk, while laying in bed, and at the coffee shop. This is really no different for me because I really do try to “lay asoak in the text” as CH Spurgeon would say. But this week, I was moving from place to place a little more than normal and I was at One Champion Field for most of Thursday and Friday, as we hosted a younger team tournament.
But in my soul, I was so refreshed. Romans 5:1-11 were a particular calm over my hectic week.
When you read Romans 5:1-11, it is not hard to see how “past tense” everything is. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2, emphasis mine)”. I continue to be amazed at how God ‘sees’ our justification. It is completed by His declaration and decrees. That means, there is nothing that can change this.
This is why we’ll close this series in Romans 8, with these words, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:35, 37)”
Because of the “past tense”, we can have hope in the “present tense” and look ahead with happy certainty to the “future tense.”
This coming Sunday, we will study Romans 5:12-21 and we will see the difference of those who are “in Adam” and those who are “in Christ”. Of particular interest to me is Romans 5:20-21: “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Emphasis mine)”
From the Cheap Seats:
- Freddie Freeman’s trip back to Atlanta was remarkable to watch. He was a member of the Braves’ organization for his entire career until this past offseason when he joined the Dodgers but this was his first trip back to Atlanta this season. Here are his comments to the crowd before his first game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0XIXHidxW8.
- Congrats to the Colorado Avalanche and to one of our elders, Mike Keller. He’s a big Av’s fan and they had a great ending to their remarkable year.
- How about the College World Series Championship staying in the state of Mississippi for the last 2 years? And Ole Miss being the last team selected for the tournament and being the champion is another reminder that anything can happen in sports. To say that I’m glad that Oklahoma didn’t win, would be an understatement.