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The Lord’s Day

May 17, 2015

sermonaudioerbcToday’s CE lesson, “The Family-Part 10” is available on SermonAudio. There was a technical problem with the recording of the sermon, “Election & Perseverance” – Romans 11:22 and it will be uploaded as soon as possible. The Scripture readings and sermon details from the Worship Service follow.

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 25:8-11

Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
(NKJV)

READING OF THE LAW: Romans 2:6-8

…who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; (NKJV)

Commentary: In this text, Paul is not denying that salvation is a gift and not a reward for earned by our works. He makes this clear in many other passages found in his letters in our new testament, Romans 5:15, 5:17 and Romans 6:23 for example. The main point here is that eternal life by grace and eternal life to those who persevere in good works are not incompatible ideasThere are no works that we can do that would ever earn eternal life for us. As Ephesians chapter 2 tells us we are saved by grace and not by works. However, just as evil works are a sign of an unregenerate heart; good works are an indication of a new, regenerated heart. All mankind will face God’s judgement. And this judgement is based on obedience to Gods law. No one has every followed God’s law perfectly. We have all sinned a fall short of God’s standard of righteous. Therefore it is only by His grace and through faith in Christ alone, that we are saved. Works do not save us, but good works are an outward sign of an inward change accomplished only by a supernatural work of God in our hearts.

READING OF THE GOSPEL: Acts 13:43

Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. (NKJV)

Commentary: Paul would later give the same instructions he gave to the Jews and devout proselytes in Antioch about “continuing in the grace of God” to the Colossians, And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Colossians 1:21-23 NKJV) Trusting in Christ alone is the sole condition for eternal salvation. However, continuing in the faith is required in order to be presented at the Judgment Seat of Christ as holy, blameless, and beyond reproach. Continuing in the faith takes obedience over a lifetime. As Paul said elsewhere, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal 6:9).

SERMON: “Election & Perseverance” – Romans 11:22

Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. (NKJV)

Summary: Paul has shown that God’s taking the gospel to the Gentiles is part of His plan, His decree. Rather than engendering pride in the Gentiles, it should humble them. The cause of Christ does not depend on the Gentiles, or any person or group. Rather, all stems from the Root, Jesus Christ and the promise of salvation through Him. In this light, Paul warns the Gentiles that the goodness of God has come to them “if they continue in His goodness.” This phrase should make us wonder how election and perseverance work together. Why does Paul warn those whom God has chosen? Do the elect have to persevere in order to be saved? Why is perseverance necessary? Paul shows us that perseverance and election, rather than at odds to each other, are in fact part of the same system of doctrine that equally emphasizes God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.

BENEDICTORY READING: Revelation 21:5-7

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (NKJV)

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