Saturday, April 14, 2007

Paperclip Champion

[this is my script for a five minute mini preach i'm doing at church on sunday. you can listen to it here]

Endings are important aren't they? We saw that on Tuesday evening as eight million people watched the last episode of 'Life on Mars' to find out whether Sam was a time traveller on in a coma. At the same time in spain Chelsea scored a last minute goal to take them through to the champions league semi final, making the end of the game, more important than anything that had happened before. So how does Paul choose to end this great letter? What impression does he want to leave on the minds of the people who have been reading this letter in first century Rome?

The rest of Romans 16 has been taken up with personal greetings, but the start of verse 25 changes the focus as Paul starts to address someone else. 'Now to Him who is able to establish you by my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ', he writes.

What can God do? God can establish us by the Gospel. If we want to be established in God and by God, we must be established by the Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ. These are God's means for making sure we persevere. What chance do we have on our own to stand firm against the tide of apathy and disbelief around us? Very little. So we must rely on God's way of doing it, which is described in verse 25 as the Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ. We, then, have a responsibility to make sure we are established in the Gospel. To get to know what the Bible says about Jesus. We must have our feet fixed firmly on this solid ground because everything else around us is sand. There is nothing more important for our life than what the Word of God says about the Son of God for the Glory of God. We must get to know it. The Gospel is not just a saving Gospel, it's a living Gospel. An establishing Gospel.

Why does God want us to be established? Why did God the Father send His Son to us in the first place? So that, as it says in verse 26, we might believe and obey Him. This links back to what Paul was saying in verse 25. If we are to believe and obey Him, we must be established in Him. If this was the reason that Jesus came then it's something we need to pay attention to. We need to believe and obey God by being established in the gospel

This is how we participate in verse 27. To only wise God, be glory forever through Jesus Christ. Jesus is our mediator before God, so it is necessary and appropriate for our worship to be directed through Him and to Him. That is how God will be glorified.

One of my favourite things about this passage is that it can be applied so easily. If the reason that Jesus came is to establish people by the Gospel so that all nations might believe and obey Him, then our mission as a church and as individuals is to be established ourselves, and to establish others. To believe and be obedient and to help others believe and be obedient. This is why as a church we are running Alpha again in two weeks and are putting on a healing meeting as part of the Front Edge weekend in four weeks…so that people might hear and become established in the Gospel. So that they might be saved.

Jesus came ultimately so that we might give glory to God through Him. So lets do that, lets be involved in the healing meeting and Alpha, be inviting people and praying for them so that they might be established in the Gospel to the glory of the only wise God though Jesus Christ.

No comments: