The movie, "Fly Away Home," is the story of a man who is concerned because geese have neglected to migrate. The next generation of Geese didn't know that they should. He raises a flock of Geese virtually from the egg. At the time of migration, gets in an ultra-light aircraft and leads them on their migration route. He believes if he shows one generation, they will in turn teach the next. It works.
Many young people of our generation are growing up with a tremendous void in their lives. We have not walked & lived how we ought. In turn, we have not taken the young person and invested our lives in them. In our guilt, we've sought to replace our neglect with programs and money. We need to be showing and directing our children a solid point of reference.
When a Sailor would mark his course in the days before radar, he would choose a fixed point of reference...land or star. He would not choose a cloud, or the popular opinion of the crew. In life, we must make a decision to set their lives on course, to be directed by a fixed object. While they're in the process of going, take a young person with you.
Since the time the Apostle Paul penned this epistle, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it has been a leading fixed object upon which we can, with confidence, set our course. It's theme is Righteousness. How do we live right? How do we live in order to find acceptance with God? How do we find salvation? When does God get angry? What are God expectations from man? What is Holy & what's not? How do we worship? What ought to be the vision & passion of the Christian & Church?
This book is responsible for Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther was a law student. Hit by lightning, it so frightened him that he vowed to become a monk. Within one month, out of Law School & into a Monastery. However, he remained filled with guilt. He sought every which way to please God, struggling for acceptance. He drove the Priests crazy at confession. One day, while teaching through Romans,as though hit a 2nd time with lightning, he discovered that his acceptance with God was based upon the Grace of God and initiated by his faith in God. 95 Thesis on the Church Door & Protestantism.
A. "I Am Obligated." (Romans 1:14)
As a Christian, Paul considered himself "bound to some duty, action."
"To Greeks and non-Greeks." Those cultured & uncultured.
"To the wise and the foolish." Those educated & uneducated.
Look around you. You are obligated. Who is your neighbour? You are obligated. Christians need to be the conscience for government. Paul's words can be taken personal.
B. To What was He Obligated? (Romans 1:15)
(15) To preach the gospel.
Not only to preach it, but do it with eagerness. ("let me at it!...you want to stop me, go ahead, make my day!" It was #1 on his passion list.) Neither was there any shame in expressing it. Boldness. (In Vancouver Airport on the 10th, watched Buddhist Monk express his faith without shame.)
C. Why Was He Obligated?
1. He Understood His Calling (1:1)
"a servant" (douloV) one who gives himself up to another's will. You give up the Lordship of your life. Off the throne. This business of receiving Jesus as Saviour but still living how you please is not salvation. Interesting that a synonym to this word is deacon. The root idea of a deacon is a servant. A servant describes his will.
He was a surrendered person. "called to be an apostle" (apostoloV) - a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders. This is your calling. What is your calling? What is it that God wants you to do, be? Brian Ferguson said last week that he sensed God wanted him to be more than just a Grade 5 teacher. Right! His calling is not to be a Grade 5 teacher. Called to be an apostle. "You shall be my witnesses" "Go into all the world..."
"set apart for the gospel of God" (to mark off from others by boundaries) The arena in which he will practice his calling. In Paul's case it was 24 hours a day. "Set apart at Line Creek."
Why did Paul sense his obligation to the Gospel. He understood his calling. He had a surrendered will to God. He accepted his calling to be a messenger for Jesus Christ. He knew his parameters, field.
2. He Understood The Need of the World.
The real need of this world is to make peace with God. Until then, the vacuum of a life without meaning will only continue to burn a crater of emptiness. Christians are obligated to show others how to make peace. The gospel of today is much different. Let's briefly observe two of the most prominent.
There are basically 3 different view of God:
- Theism = God is creator and sustainer of universe
- Atheism = No God
- Pantheism = God is all and all is God. You decide what God is. God is an impersonal source of energy. (Hinduism) Man is his own saviour. In fact, man has saved God. "What is true for me may not be true for you." No need to consult God about morals.
These belief systems fallow the same pattern as Satan introduced in his first conversation with man. "You will not die" (reincarnation) "You will know good and evil"(relativism)"You will be as gods"(Pantheism). The same Satan is the mastermind to the religious systems today that oppose God.
3. The Power of The Gospel
We must rise up with the Gospel of God. The Gospel (good news) is the only message that tells the truth about finding peace with God. To embrace this message is the need of every living being. The message of the Gospel reveals how to become righteous before God.
Why sweat it? I mean, after all, I have interests too. There are things I like to do. I'm far too busy to add anything else to my life. At the judgment, the Lord will not be interested in whether you finished remodeling your home, got that promotion, made MVP Hockey player, get your deer.
What did you do with your calling. Christians, we are obligated to preach the gospel. When was the last you told someone the good news. Sunday School Teachers, your responsibility is to preach the gospel.
What is the gospel?
- God Loves You and wants a relationship with you
- Man sinned. That sin hinders us from having a relationship with God. (Sin of rejecting God)
- Christ came to pay the debt for our sin. He did that on the Cross.
- We must accept Christ's payment for our sin. It's by faith.
"Dear Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Saviour and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."
Christians, has the Bible continued to be the point of Reference upon which you are directing your life?
If you are not a Christian, I invite you to make that decision today. Find Peace with God today.