Auto Generated Transcript
I invited you to Romans Chapter ten is where we’re going to be together today. Romans Chapter ten. As we continue through this section of Romans, we’ve we’re going to go through the whole book of Romans. But this particular part of Romans is within a Section nine, Chapter nine, ten and 11 is this section of where God has dealt with salvation, how we find our identity in Christ. And then in ninth and 11, he now deals with the really the Jewish people, because they start to ask questions about how they fit into God’s scheme, especially in dealing with with the New Testament. When you read in the New Testament, you’ll see that God is working primarily through the Gentile people that Israel by and large has rejected Christ. There are still some Jewish believers that have embraced Jesus, but but now they’re seeing God moving to the Gentile community and they’re wondering what happened to us because we’re God’s chosen people. The promises have come through us. And so they want to find this position in the Lord and in order to walk with him. And so they’re looking for for really their identity, whether they’re to do now and they’re asking all sorts of questions. In fact, nine, ten, 11, ten and 11 up until this point, they’ve asked four questions. Today, we’re going to look at their really a fifth question. And and Paul, what he’s doing, he’s he’s understanding the Jewish mind and the questions that they’re going to that are going to arise, as he’s taught through the first eight chapters of Romans.
And so he’s sort of rebutting their questions before they’re actually answering them because he knows the Jewish mentality. He’s he’s been Jewish himself. Right. And so he knows the kind of questions they’re going to ask and he’s helping them understand their journey. And so when you look at nine, ten and 11, it really breaks down like this. Chapter nine deals with Israel in the past, Chapter ten, dealing with Israel and the present, and Chapter 11 dealing with Israel in the future. But all of it becomes applicable to us because truth is timeless and the nation of Israel is not indifferent to us as a people. The same things they wrestle with and struggle with. It’s the same things that we wrestle with and struggle with. So as they’re asking these questions and Paul’s giving them an answer, it very much applies to our life to see how how the Lord works in our life, to accomplish His desire, his will, his purpose for you and for me. And so what we want to talk about today is is really understanding the way God works. Because in chapter ten, we’re dealing with God in the present, working with Israel. And here’s the assumption that they’re operating from In chapter nine, especially, God has highlighted his sovereignty for us. He rules and he reigns, and he’s above all of creation. We’ve seen words like predestined and for knowledge and and talked about what some of those words mean in relationship to our walk with God.
But but Israel’s question how in dealing with that sovereign hand of the Lord over all of creation, they’re coming at it saying, well, if God is in control that much, if he has that kind of authority, then let God do what God desires, right? He doesn’t need us. Or if we don’t, we don’t really see how we fit into that because really he’s just in control. And so let let God do what he wants to do and let God work it out well, because he can write. But what we discover in this passage of scriptures, the way God chooses to work, is important because it involves both you and I. Because God’s primary means through which he desires to accomplish his will in this world. And this is point number one in your notes is through his people. God primarily works through his people. In fact, I would say for us to not walk in line with the Lord, according to his will, is to choose a path that is less than what God’s desire is for your life. In fact, in the book Instrument in the Hands of a Redeemer, Paul Tripp says to choose any other path than to glorify God with your life is to choose something subhuman because you were created for the Lord. You are made to be a worship being and to not come before the Lord and worship Him and find the purpose of your existence is is to choose a lesser than path for your life.
You ultimately will worship something you can’t. You cannot resist the temptation of worship because you are made to find your worth, value and meaning in something. And if you don’t discover it in the Lord, you will choose something less than and you will honor and worship something with your life that God never intended because God created you for His purpose. And in so doing, God’s primary way of working is is through his people. In fact, in Romans chapter ten, verse 14, this is what he says. How then can they call on the one in whom they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard and how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And Paul’s understanding of the way this is to work and what the way God has created us is that we would become his mouthpiece to declare His glory in this world. In fact, that story is as old as creation when God created the world. He did it in a beautiful way, very purposeful, intentional. It didn’t just randomly happen. Everything he created was for his glory. But the unique thing in his creation that happened, it took place when he created both you and I. When God created all things, the Bible tells us in Genesis Chapter one.
And to that God spoke and things came into existence. It was by the authority of his mouth. God didn’t even have to lift the finger. He just spoke things into existence. But when God created you and me, according to the Book of Genesis, God in those moments, He pauses. He doesn’t just speak anymore. It tells us he forms us from the dirt of the earth. God, like a master craftsman, shapes us uniquely. And then not only does he breathe into us the breath of life, but it also tells us in Genesis chapter two, verse 17, God, also different than any other created thing. God makes God speaks to us. And it’s saying to us that God created us for relationship. When you go look at all other things God created, God doesn’t communicate like this with the rest of His creation, but when he fashions mankind, he speaks to us intimately, purposefully as the crown of of his creation, God’s voice to his people, that we may know him intimately. In Genesis chapter two, verse 17, you hear some of the first words God shares with man. He says, But of the tree, of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat from for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die. Now, what’s interesting in this passage of Scripture is at this moment in Genesis chapter two, the only human being that exists is Adam. Eve has yet to be created, and it’s after God gives his word to Adam that he says in verse 18 that then he creates woman.
He says in verse 18 Then the Lord God said, It is not good. That man should be alone. And every man says, Amen, and I will make him a helper fit for him, right? And so God, God creates us intimately, purposefully. He shares his word with us that we can have that relationship with him. And then he creates woman. And you know what you don’t find in Genesis chapter two, that God then repeats his word to Eve. Rather God’s expectation of Adam is that Adam would glorify God by taking His word and sharing it with Eve. But you know what happens in Genesis chapter three. The serpent enters. And in Genesis chapter three, verse six, you start to see has this this battle plays out, that the serpent tempts Eve from believing what God’s Word says. And she wrestles back and forth in verse six, it says this. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and then the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. And look at this. And she also gave some to her husband who was with her. And he ate. God gave Adam his word. To share that word with the world. Starting with his wife. And you know what Adam does in the very first chapter, right after God gives us to him nothing.
Nothing in this Garden of Eden. There are two people there. There is Satan and there is Adam. And Adam knows God’s Word and Satan wants to tempt, contrary to to God’s Word. And rather than choose to to proclaim what’s true, Adam sits there silently next to his wife and lets her go down rather than to say something. And guys that’s that’s just a representation of of really our position in this world as you come to know Christ and you know his world his word sometimes there is there is a place where there’s just two voices or there’s the temptation that leads to destruction, and there’s what God’s Word says. And God’s expectation of God’s people is that we would understand the significance of what God’s Word is for and live for God’s glory by being the means through which God desires to make Himself known in the world. God created you in his image to reflect his beauty to the people around you. God’s primary means of working in this world is through His people. He made you in his image and gave you a voice to declare his goodness to others. God’s desire to move is through our hands and feet. And Genesis Chapter three were reminded of the destruction when God’s people choose to remain silent. I often say I say this to the men. Sometimes we have opportunity to to teach.
Is that one of the primary struggles that we have as human beings? And guys, let me just say specifically to us. One of our greatest sins is a sin of passivity. Rather than take responsibility and a group of men, you typically ask what’s what’s the number one thing that men struggle with? Almost always guys will say lust. But can I tell you one of the root reasons men struggle with lust. It’s because they’re passive. They don’t take time to nourish the relationships that develop intimacy and want to short change that and choose things like lust instead. Indulge. God’s given us a position, a really a beautiful position to know him. And with that great privilege comes responsibility. But in that responsibility is and is another opportunity that people could come to know Christ and glorify Him and find their purpose and worth and value and meaning and life. So not only is it a responsibility that we carry, but it should be a joy and a delight to know that we can connect to our creator and share the goodness of God and hit with him primarily beginning in your own home. That meant you would stand up and see the importance of being a voice within your home, because sometimes the only other voice that they hear. As something that would lead to destruction. And ladies, not to leave you out. But you carry the responsibility to. God made us male and female to reflect His glory in this world.
And it is a sacred privilege to value another human being. Do you know the danger to leaving that alone? At best all human beings ever become are a commodity. But in Jesus, we have an intrinsic worth. Because God has created us for a reason and Jesus has given his life for us that we could be free in him and there is no greater worth you can put on a human being than that that you were made intentionally and purposefully and with love and God’s desire for you to know Him for all of eternity. That you would live that pursuit for His glory to the benefit of others. If those created in his image that know him would use their voice to reflect his glory in this world. In fact, at the end of Jesus’s ministry and John chapter 20, verse verse 20, as Jesus was resurrected, he said this to his disciples, and when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. And then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord, I love this. They they think everything’s over. And all of a sudden Jesus is resurrected and Jesus is showing him Him His piercings, his wounds to to demonstrate He’s he’s conquered sin, Satan and death. And then the first words Jesus says to them again, Peace be with you. There’s such a a rich Jewish word of reconciliation to God and restoring what’s been destroyed by sin.
That Jesus was victorious. Peace be with you. And then he gives this statement as the Father has sent me. Even so, I am sending you. God’s primary way in working in this world is through his people. But the Bible also reminds us it goes on and it says Paul in the section he just goes through and he quotes several passages in the Old Testament to show how all of God’s Word brings together. He goes on and says in verse 15, he says, And how can anyone preach unless they are sent and it is written? How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news? I like this verse. One of the reasons I like this first is for selfish purposes, because when I think about the scale of pretty feet versus ugly feet, I am not on pretty feet side. I am not on team pretty feet. But this verse tells me there is an opportunity for me to to to let my feet in their condition be considered beautiful, phenomenal, and saying I got the worst. I’m not saying I’ve got the ugliest feet on the planet, but. But sometimes I’ll look at my feet and I feel like if anyone sees these, someone has to apologize like I have. I have the flattest feet on the planet, I think. But, but, but this this talks about the idea of having beautiful feet and maybe not to another human being, but before the Lord, if my feet don’t look pretty to you, at least they can look pretty to Jesus.
Right? But. But what makes this passage so important is it comes from Isaiah chapter 52. And as Paul is thinking about his people, God’s people reflecting God’s glory in this world to the to the to the benefit of of each other. He’s recalling Paul’s, recalling Isaiah 5152 53. This this comes from the suffering servant section of Isaiah. This is what they refer to this passage as this really Isaiah 42 to chapter 55. It’s the suffering servant section of Scripture. And in chapter 51, it describes for us the destruction of Jerusalem. God’s people have been defeated. They’re carried into captivity in a Babylon. But then in chapter 52, something incredible happens. Often the distance a watchman who is on the rubble of the city walls. Really, he sees a herald coming. A gospel proclaimed for one who proclaims good news, and he’s running to the city. And he pronounces good news. The king has been victorious. You were not defeated. And the king will return and he will rule and reign. The idea of the word gospel, it’s a proclamation. It’s really a proclamation of a celebration that that the king has won his battle. I think in in first century and even previous to that time period when kings would go to war, the people of that land would set anxiously and they would wait for a gospel herald to come back to the city to tell them if they have been victorious or have they been defeated.
And and when that person would return, that would be the proclamation of whether or not the people remain free or the people are now in bondage slaves to another people group. And they would wait with this anticipation and hopes that their king was victorious. And that gospel is that word of good news, that you belong to the king. And the King rules and reigns and the king is good. And Isaiah 52, they’re looking at this gospel herald coming to the city and and they hear his good news and they think, how beautiful are the feet of the one who ran this way to share this message that we are a people who are free. And then something interesting happens at the very end of Chapter 52. It starts to share with us that the the way this king brings our freedom. Is to surrender his own life. The way forward is found in his death. And in fact, in Isaiah 53, verse five, it goes on and says this, But he was pierced for our transgressions and he was crushed for our iniquities upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace. And with his wounds, we are healed. It’s not our battle to fight, but rather it’s his battle that he fought for us. And in verse 11, out of the anguish of his soul, he shall see and be satisfied, and by his knowledge, shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Through this king giving his life, we find our freedom. And and what’s very interesting to me in Isaiah 52 is it talks about the beautiful feet of this gospel Herald. I think this this feat, this idea of feat is connected really all the way back to the Book of Genesis right after right after the Serpent tempted, Eve and Adam allowed Eve to eat the fruit and didn’t stand up for that truth. Sin has made known in this world, and Jesus gives this promise that a king will come and deliver us. And the way it chooses to describe this king as this, I will put enmity between you and the woman talking about the snake, the serpent between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. And he her offspring will crush your head, meaning your position of authority. And you will strike his heel. I’m. In case you don’t know what happens when a snake bites you. You die. Right. And that’s what happened to Jesus. But what we see in the crucifixion of Christ is that Jesus suffers a heel wound. His feet. Become a beautiful demonstration of of our freedom. He was wounded. He. He returned from the grave. He was resurrected. And now likewise, we as this people, we we represent those feet that gave its life for us that we could then use our feet to go through this world to to live for his glory and share the hope of Christ to to others.
The Gospel is not what we do. But it’s what’s been done for you and me. And we have the privilege to share. Well, certainly there is a ton of brokenness in this world. I think that’s why Paul is thinking back to Isaiah 51 at the destruction of Jerusalem by the hands of the Babylonian. But he’s also reminding in Isaiah 52 that we are a people that that can have have hope. And if I just took a moment to talk to my fellow ugly footed friends to say to you before the Lord. Your feet. Your feet can look beautiful. If you just think of the opportunity that you have to share the hope of Christ with this world. As you come to know Jesus and as God transforms your life. God, God burdens your heart for the brokenness in this world. To to think and conceive of ways you could go towards people, particular people, groups or different needs that people encounter in this world and speak a gospel hope that in that struggle people can find meaning in life and value by connecting to their creator who who designed them perfectly and purposefully that they may have relationship with them. That while we struggle in this world, they have an ultimate hope that transcends beyond all things. Where is God burden your heart for people in this world, or who has God burden your heart for it could be an age demographic.
It could be people going through a certain life circumstance. It could be a particular culture or people group. But but wherever God has burdened your life to to live for his glory, that that others may may know him. Paul also gives us this reminder. That’s it. Every generation carries a responsibility. To share God’s truth with that generation. That through that generation, it would then be lived on to the next generation. Do you know, we’re always one generation away from the gospel being lost among a people. That we carry the torch of responsibility to share it. But Paul. Paul reminds us in Romans 1016 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. Point number two in your notes is to say this Humanity may reject your message. Humanity may reject your message. And he says about Israel, But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says. And he goes on and quotes then from Isaiah 53, Lord says, The Lord, who has believed our message? For Isaiah says, Excuse me, Lord, who has believed our message. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word about Christ. So Paul is telling us, you want to know how people receive Christ. It’s through the Word of God, verse 17 and he quotes Isaiah 53 as a reminder to us that not everyone would embrace the Messiah.
Not everyone’s going to accept them. So as you as you walk faithfully to share the Lord, the expectation is not perfection in the way you do this. But rather it’s simply to honor God. And to give an invitation. No matter who accepts it or rejects it. No matter how someone chooses to react or respond to me. My responsibility every day is to wake up and just honor God. It doesn’t matter if I’m one of 7 billion Christians on this world or I’m the only Christian in this world. Every day. What I what I desire to do is to wake up and faithfully serve Jesus. Now, when we talk about living for the Lord in this world, I want to be careful. And I want to recognize that sometimes we don’t always represent Jesus well. Sometimes Christians, they really get all pent up, sometimes out of frustration. Or sometimes they get really excited about what God’s done. And they just can’t wait to tell people. They don’t even understand how someone could reject what they’re about to say. So it’s usually one of the two things. Someone comes into the Lord and they’re just on fire and they think the first people they’re going to talk to are going to listen to everything they have to say and they’re going to just agree with them and they can’t wait to tell someone. And when that doesn’t happen, they get really upset about this, Right? And then people feel like they’re being all pushy.
And so they’ve got to learn a little bit of patience and temperament. But then there’s the other side. You look at the world, you get so frustrated, you get so pent up, and you finally just say, Fine, I’m going to just share it with people. And all of a sudden you go at this like a 1990s mom on Black Friday, right? Like, you don’t know what’s coming at you in that moment, but all she knows is she wants what’s in front of her and you better look out. That’s how it’s going. And all of a sudden, the way that you represent Jesus, it’s more concerned with your agenda that you want to accomplish rather than the heart of the person you’re trying to reach. Everyone better get on board with what it is that you desire. Because quite honestly, your pursuit is is not about the heart of a person, but rather frustration with the way things are going. And you think people need to change and you’re willing to even force them to do it. Because people are not the enemy. People are the mission. And glorifying God is is our goal. The way you treat people matters. And we should make it our duty. To make the gospel be the only thing people stumble over if they stumble at all. Make it hard for people to hate us. Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t take a stand. You certainly should take a stand and the truth of Christ.
But we do it with grace and love. Take a stand. And I think in our culture today, there is a lot of things that we’re calling heroism that is not. But I think in our culture, the way the way things are going today, like one of the greatest heroes we can have are people that are standing for Jesus. And that can cost you now. But to take that stand in Christ with with with grace and truth and and to not always be worried that everyone’s going to get offended. You know, Adam could have done that in the Garden of Eden. Who knows? Who knows why he didn’t stand up against what Satan was saying. Maybe he was like, well, you know, that’s Satan’s truth. And I don’t want to I don’t want to undermine Satan’s truth. And Satan might get hurt by me living contrary to him. Right? Like, that’s not that’s not a time of place for that. The only thing that brings you freedom is Jesus. Jesus died for a reason. If the consequences of not embracing Christ or finding hope in Christ weren’t so great, then Jesus would not have died. But the fact that he died, that God was willing to become flesh and give his life should tell us something about the urgency of the message that we carry as his people, and to not undermine that, but to stand on that. And it’s okay to disagree with people, but we want to do it in love.
Like I can tell you this morning, there are a lot of religions in this world and they can’t all be right. In fact, I will say they’re all wrong, Right? Because the only truth I think that that endures for eternity is what we have in Jesus. And let me tell you, I can say that and say to every religious group in the world, I still love them. You can be wrong and I can still love you. That’s okay. But but to not diminish the beauty of what Jesus means and to realize people, people are going to reject it. But my my goal my goal is to glorify God. And to give people the opportunity. The primary way God desires to work in this world are through his people, made in his image, redeemed by by his blood. And so point number three then in your notes. God’s people must respond patiently. God’s people must respond patiently. And I should probably caveat that and say with enduring patience. I’m not saying you just be patient once and you call it good. We’re talking about the continuation of patients with with our lives before the Lord to the benefit of others. This is how God responded to us. In fact, in these next few verses, Paul starts to lay out the the different ways people embrace the gospel message. And it’s the same thing we experienced today.
It’s not just the Jewish people. He’s going to start with talking here, but but all people groups within them have certain people that react the way that we find in verse 18. And this is what he says. But I ask. Did they not hear? Of course they did. Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. What Paul is saying is, were people ignorant to what we were saying? Were they blind and Paul saying, no, no, no, no. Let me quote Psalm 19 for you and Psalm 19. It’s a perfect psalm in this moment because Psalm 19 deals with general revelation that we can see the evidence of God’s glory through all of creation. So the idea of not knowing God is real, that’s that’s not even a possibility. The evidence of who God is and his perfect design and creation, the heavens declare the glory of God. Psalm 19 That’s what Psalm 19 is about. But coincidentally, at the same time, by quoting Psalm 19, he’s also quoting not just general revelation, but the idea of special revelation, because some 19 is also God’s word, and God’s word has certainly gone out. And so what he’s saying is people can’t claim ignorance, but because God has made himself known, he has revealed himself. And so he certainly declared that that word to us. But he goes on further and he says this, But regards to Israel, God’s not finished with them.
But I ask you, he said, did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation with a foolish nation. I will make you angry. God is saying a couple of things here. He really called in. He called him the Scrubs. So this verse is saying he’s called in. Now that the Jewish people have predominantly rejected the Messiah. He’s now called in the scrubs, which is you and me. That’s the Gentiles. He’s called us in. And and I like to refer to us in this passage as the B-level leaders. And let me let me now that I’ve demoted you for a minute, let me let me complement that. When it comes to the idea of leadership, any time you can get it, I would rather have a hungry B-level leader over an arrogant, a level leader any day. Arrogance blinds us to our shortcomings. Makes us walk in this world with really out any humility. And God doesn’t work with a stubborn heart. God. God works with a humble heart that’s hungry. And he’s saying this about the Gentile people within this passage, that God is really accomplishing two things here. One is with the Gentiles that are sinners. You know, the great thing about a sinner is they know that they’re a sinner. Like, if you if you identify your sinful people, great. You’re already you’re already one step closer to the gospel because you understand more than anyone how much you need forgiveness from the Lord.
Right. And so to acknowledge yourself as a sinner is already a great first foot in the right direction for those that are religious and think, well, I’m better than other people. That arrogant heart lacks the humility to surrender to God. And so God is saying in this passage, he’s doing a couple of things. One, he’s provoking the Jewish people to jealousy, which is good, which will ultimately lead to their salvation when they look at it the right way. But also the Gentile people now have a place. A place to embrace what God has done and and come to know him. And then he goes on in verse 20, says this, and Israel boldly says, I was found by those who did not seek me. I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me. There’s a beautiful passage saying God reveals himself to those who did not ask for him. Sometimes people will categorize this this way their relationship with God. They’ll say, I finally found God, which I understand when people say that, what they mean by that. But but when we use those terms, I think it’s important to remember God’s never been lost. So. So for you to find him like, as if he didn’t know where he was, that that doesn’t fit with who got his God hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s. It’s us. It’s us who is straight from him, and God is the one in a special revelation who has revealed himself to us that we would have the opportunity to know him.
And one of the things I love about this passage is experientially, I have I have walked this verse in my own life. I know what it’s like to live a life completely contrary to the Lord and the Lord to supernaturally intervene in your life that you would come to know Him. Like when Jesus picked his team, Jesus didn’t pick the All Stars because if he did, I would not be on Team Jesus. Jesus goes after the broken the sinner. That’s what he said. And in coming to those that know their broken. That no other sinful. That need is forgiveness. God completely transforms your life. And so understanding God in that way is why with the rest of my life, I just want to give all that I am for his glory. Because apart from him. Apart from him, I was lost. I had no sense of worth in this world, no purpose. But in coming to find my identity and Christ and the reason for which he created me and the forgiveness for which I have received and now the privilege of an opportunity to represent him in this world. And this verse. And. Oh, God. To think that I was the one. Lawson He sought me that I could be made free. And then he goes on in verse 21, and this is why at the very beginning I said, God’s people must be patient.
But concerning Israel, he says. All day long. I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people. It is incredible. How God consistently keeps this posture of patience with people that reject him. That. Mark him. That crucify him. It’s incredible how the consistent patient character of God. Impacts our lives. God doesn’t owe us even this moment. God is just to bring his wrath at any moment. Because before God were sinful people. But he doesn’t. He continues to extend a hand of patience, and his patience is powerful. It becomes the runway of opportunity to experience his grace and to know him personally and for God to continue to do a work in our lives, to transform us in his image every day. His patience is a gift. During Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, there was a man named Edwin Stanton, and Edwin Edwin was a political figure, and he despised the president. In fact, Edwin is on record really calling Abraham Lincoln all sorts of filthy names, constantly fighting against him, talking about his shortcomings as a president and every problem he could put a spotlight on. Edwin was always there to degrade Abraham Lincoln. But you know what Abraham Lincoln did? Laughing. Abraham Lincoln chose not to reply to his accusations. In fact, Abraham Lincoln went on to make Edwin Stanton the secretary of war because he said Edwin was, quote, the best man for the job. In fact, every opportunity Abraham Lincoln had, he treated Edwin with with respect and courtesy.
And the years we’re on. And finally, one day. Abraham Lincoln was struck down. At the Ford Theatre with a bullet. And he was carried off to an adjacent room. And standing in that room. Was Edwin Stanton. And with tears in his eyes, Edwin Stanton said. There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen. The patients of Abraham Lincoln’s love had conquered in the end. Those of us who don’t know Christ personally, who may know Christ personally. Can I just encourage you not to make a terrible mistake today? And that mistake for us would be would be to mistake God’s patience for weakness. God’s patience is not weakness. God’s patience is an opportunity for His grace to be made known in your life. In fact, John Chrysostom said this He was an early church father and he said a patient man is one who having the resources and opportunity to avenge himself chooses to refrain from the exercise of these. God is completely sovereign. And he completely has the opportunity and ability at any moment to bring his judgment. It does. But rather he choose chooses to be patient. And this purpose of his patients is to give you his grace that you may come to know him and live for his glory. When it comes to eternity. It plays out simply like this. To have Jesus is eternal life and to not have Jesus is to miss out on eternal life with God.
And the reason is, is because heaven is His home. And without knowing Christ, you have no promise of heaven because it’s his. And he calls who belongs there and who doesn’t. And it all, all of us have that privilege of entering through the the joy of knowing God for all of eternity because of his grace, thanks to his patience. As patients becomes the runway to experience his grace forever. And to those of us who may struggle with the idea of patience, I know in this room I’m talking to a group of people that the only one who might struggle with such a thing as me. So let me just talk about me for a second. But and first, Timothy, chapter one, verse 16. It says this, But I received mercy for this reason that in me as the foremost Jesus Christ, might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. Paul saying, You know what my life is? It’s nothing but the patient hand of God, because what I did was war against him constantly. And if my example becomes a display of his patience, and it would give other people the opportunity in realizing in their own state how they might war against God and seeing how God has transformed my life. And if God can be gracious to me, then God can be gracious to anybody.
And for those who struggle with patience. It’s important to remember who we are apart from Christ. God works with us as that raw material. Not because he’s okay with where we are, but because he desires for us to grow. Wrath is what we’ve deserved. Grace is what we’ve received because of the patience that gives us the opportunity to experience it in him. If you exercise impatience. It’s because you’ve lost sight of God’s patient grace in your life. And you’ve started to believe that someone owes you something. Rather than focus on the fact that anything you have at all is only because of the grace of God. Because there is nothing that you have to do. That someone owes you. The moment to experience. Even right now, it’s simply a hand of God’s grace. And it’s from that perspective. Then when you realize everything that you receive in this world that is good as a gift of God’s grace. That you start to realize it’s not because of of something you deserve or you’ve owned, but it’s something the good hand of God has given you. And the only reason you are where you are is because of His grace that’s brought you to that point. And just as you’ve had the privilege to experience that grace, now you have the opportunity to extend that same grace to others that they may have the privilege of walking in as well. If God hadn’t been as patient with you as He has been, you would never be where you are today.
But it’s only because of his patients. That we get to live for that purpose. And this becomes, I think, especially important for task driven people. I know a lot of us have become or are task driven people. We tend to operate that way to accomplish a mission, and we get laser focused on getting that task done. But we forget. The whole point of accomplishing things in this world is only to glorify God and to reach the hearts of people to bless others. The God’s purpose for ministry is never about accomplishing a task. God’s purpose for for ministry is always about glorifying him and blessing others. If on that journey of doing ministry that you get so task driven that you treat other people like dirt, you have lost the perspective of what God has called you to in this world to begin with and to come back to the position of recognizing. It’s not about you. And it’s not about what you do. It’s about glorifying him. And blessing others. Ministry. The whole point of ministry is always about people. And that ministry began in the way that God has served your own heart. Didn’t owe any of that. By his grace, he’s given it to you. So the way that God works, He desires to work through his people with the expectation that not everyone has gone to receive it. But we patiently, consistently live for his glory in this world. And it’s through that patience. God continues to do a work in us.