The Hypocrisy of Religion | Sunday, January 27, 2019

January 27, 2019 |

Romans 2

Does religion seem hypocritical to you? Well… you might be on to something!

The Hypocrisy of Religion

Religion is man’s effort to meet the expectations he perceives God has for him in order to feel justified and deserving of God’s favor. These efforts are most often associated with religious ceremonies and rituals, rules for daily living, cultural practices, and even ethnicity.

Religious people feel entitled to authoritatively determine the righteousness of others and issue consequences based on those determinations (judgement) despite being guilty of the very same things! (Romans 2:1-13)

The external success of religious people in practicing religion tends to blind them to their own internal corruption. (Romans 2:14-29)

Challenge: What are the rebellious/sinful areas in your life that you are justifying by weighing them against things you are “doing” right? Is your relationship with God through Christ the highest motivation and measure of your life?

Human Nature | Sunday, January 20, 2019

January 20, 2019 |

Romans 1:18-32

If you want to know why religion fails look no further than what it means to be human.

Human Nature

By nature mankind suppresses the emotions stirred by the knowledge of God in order to be at peace with rejecting God! (1:18-20)

By nature mankind intellectually rationalizes the rejection of God’s authority in order to justify the creation of his own gods that mankind has authority over! (1:21-27)

By nature mankind values the approval of man more than God. (1:28-32)

Conclusion: It is in the nature of all mankind to serve ourselves rather than God. Therefore, any man driven effort to glorify God (religion) will always fail because in the end it will really be about glorifying ourselves. By nature mankind rejects God for himself!

Challenge:

Are you defining morality by your terms (“religious” or not) or are you submitting to God and thus submitting to his terms?

Identify the areas and ways in your life that you are rejecting the authority of God, be honest about the price you, your family and those around you are paying for it, and then repent and claim God’s grace!

Don’t Be Ashamed to Abandon Religion | Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 13, 2019 |

Romans 1:8-17

How should Christians respond to the pressure of being religious?

Don’t Be Ashamed To Abandon Religion
Romans 1:8-17

The Church in Rome was famous because of the Gospel! (1:8)

As an Apostle, Paul had authority over the church but he did not see his standing or spirituality as greater than the church. (1:9-15)

The Gospel is so powerful that it makes no sense to even dabble with religion! (1:16-17)

Challenge: Romans 1:8-17 should lead us to pray something like this,

Dear Lord grant me to have faith in you, therefore teach me what you alone did for me that I may be blown away by it; that I may be confident that I am eternally secure by it; and that I may be committed to joyfully walk under your rule and thus in your ways (righteousness!) because of it!

Related: Religion vs. The Gospel

God Never Planned On You To Be Successful | Sunday, January 6, 2019

January 6, 2019 |

Romans 1:1-7

God never planned on your success and that’s REALLY good news!

Message Notes

  1. Paul didn’t see himself as one called to achieve success for God but rather to bask in what God had achieved for him! – Romans 1:1
    1. Paul considered his greatest joy to be a slave of Christ! – “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus”
    2. Paul new He didn’t make himself an apostle nor see his apostleship as something to benefit himself. - called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
  2. God’s plan has always been for Jesus to succeed! – Romans 1:2-6
  3. God’s plan is to come to us, not us to Him! – Romans 1:7

Conclusions: If you gave your life to Jesus it’s because He called you. If He called you it’s His will for you to live in faith and submission to Him and His will is never thwarted. He is and will be your success! Likewise, if you are being convicted of your need to surrender to Him then know there is no reason not to do it. If you are being convicted that means your being invited! Because it’s based on what He did we can totally surrender to Him for who He is (GOD) without worry of failure!

Related: Life Group Discussion Guide