Categories
Life

We All Get to Choose

“You’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

– Bob Dylan

Every day we wake up with choices to make. Hundreds if not thousands of them. Some easy. Some hard. And we get through the day by making choices.

It’s easy to forget this and play the victim. I was reminded of (reproved by?) this at a homeschool conference I attended with my wife a few weeks ago. The lecturer reminded us parent-educators in the room to use words like “choice, choose, chose” with our kids. Kids aren’t only or mainly victims. “You have a choice to make here.” Naturally, she followed, you must use the word “consequence.” Choice necessitates consequence.

Some people like to turn choice into an academic, theological debate. Do we have free will or not? That’s really a category mistake. Choice not an intellectual issue as much as it is a worship issue. A heart issue.

When I wake up in the morning, I’m going to choose whether to get out of bed or hit the snooze. I’m going to choose to pray or not. I’m going to choose to be cheerful or grumpy when the kids wake up. And on and on.

All these choices are built on one foundational choice. Will I chose to love and obey Jesus or something else? It’s the simplest and hardest question to ask and answer everyday.

This is real, raw life. It’s not academic theology. Choice doesn’t deal in the head, but the gut. It gets after what we want. For the Christian, we know that we must love and obey Jesus. We just don’t always want to.

Dylan said it best: “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

Whom will it be?

Categories
Theology

Sermon 12: Being Real

Being Real
Series: Redemption
Pastor Steve Moltumyr

Romans 7

In Scripture we see four frames of Paul’s life:

  1. Sinner
  2. Saved by grace
  3. Victory in Christ
  4. The Dark Corridor

In Romans 7, when Paul describes himself as a wretched man, it is about as dismal of a description as one can give himself.  The Romans 7 dilemma is that we are wretched people, but there is a solution to the problem.

  • Romans 7 describes Paul’s Christian journey, not his pre-Christian journey. Here’s a few reasons why:
  1. Verses 14-25 are in present tense,
  2. Paul’s relationship to sin shows that he hates sin.
  3. Paul delights in God’s law like a believer would not.
  • When Paul talks about the Law, he means the Ten Commandments. Jesus summed up the law by saying, “Love the LORD your God…and love your neighbor.”
    • The problem isn’t the law, it’s us!
    • The law inspires us to sin against it. It’s like a sign that says, “Don’t walk on the grass.”  You know what people will do?  They will walk on the grass.
    • The law cannot solve the problem we have with the law. Think of an MRI. The MRI tells you that you have a tumor or a disease or something else, but the MRI will not solve the problem. You need something outside of the MRI to heal you.
    • Sin is deadly. The law tell us just that. But the law isn’t the cure, Jesus is.
  • If you have never felt what Paul felt in Romans 7, you have to ask yourself if you are truly a Christian.
  • Whatever your sin, you stand at a very level place at the foot of the cross.
  • Apply: Honestly face sin, confess, and ask Jesus for strength in your fight against sin.

*               *               *

I agree that Romans Romans 7:14-25 is about Paul’s Christian life and I have written about this elsewhere.

Categories
Life Theology

Weekly Spurgeon

“There were also with Him other little ships.”
– Mark 4:36

Jesus was the Lord High Admiral of the sea that night, and His presence preserved the whole convoy. It is well to sail with Jesus, even though it be in a little ship. When we sail in Christ’s company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the vessel which carries the Lord Himself, and we must not expect to find the sea less boisterous around our little boat. If we go with Jesus we must be content to fare as He fares; and when the waves are rough to Him, they will be rough to us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as He did before us. When the storm swept over Galilee’s dark lake all faces gathered blackness, and all hearts dreaded shipwreck.

When all creature help was useless, the slumbering Saviour arose, and with a word, transformed the riot of the tempest into the deep quiet of a calm; then were the little vessels at rest as well as that which carried the Lord. Jesus is the star of the sea; and though there be sorrow upon the sea, when Jesus is on it there is joy too. May our hearts make Jesus their anchor, their rudder, their lighthouse, their life-boat, and their harbour. His Church is the Admiral’s flagship, let us attend her movements, and cheer her officers with our presence. He Himself is the great attraction; let us follow ever in His wake, mark His signals, steer by His chart, and never fear while He is within hail. Not one ship in the convoy shall suffer wreck; the great Commodore will steer every barque in safety to the desired haven. By faith we will slip our cable for another day’s cruise, and sail forth with Jesus into a sea of tribulation. Winds and waves will not spare us, but they all obey Him; and, therefore, whatever squalls may occur without, faith shall feel a blessed calm within. He is ever in the centre of the weather-beaten company: let us rejoice in Him. His vessel has reached the haven, and so shall ours.