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Sermon #143 — Romans Series
Title: ŇWe are the LordŐsÓ
Text: Romans 14:1-23
Subject: Putting on Christ
Date: Sunday Morning — April 29, 2018
Reading: Jude 1:1-25
(1) Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (2) Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
(3) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
(4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
(5) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
(6) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
(7) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
(8) Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
(9) Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
(10) But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
(11) Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
(12) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (13) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
(14) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
(16) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having menŐs persons in admiration because of advantage.
(17) But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; (18) How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
(19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
(20) But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (21) Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
(22) And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
(24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
LetŐs open our Bibles to the 14th chapter of the Gospel of Romans. Just hold your Bible open on your lap as I endeavor to preach the message God has given me for you in these twenty-three verses of Inspiration. The title of my message is — ŇWe are the LordŐs.Ó
In the early church of the New Testament era many carnal divisions arose. Sometimes those divisions were caused by the offense of the gospel (Galatian 5:11).
á The Judaizers at Galatia
á Those Who Denied the Resurrection at Corinth
á The Gnostics at Colosse
á Asceticism at Colosse
á Antinomianism — The Teaching that Salvation by Grace Alone Promotes Licentiousness (Jude 4)
(Jude 1:4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 11:19) For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
When the gospel of the grace of God offends people, they need to be offended. Gospel issues cannot be compromised for any reason. If you do not like the gospel that is preached from this pulpit, if you refuse to bow to Christ and his gospel, I suggest you find some other place to play religion. — My message is not going to change.
á Divine Sovereignty
á Total Depravity
á Unconditional Election
á Limited Atonement
á Irresistible Grace
á Preservation of GodŐs Elect
á ŇSalvation is of the Lord!Ó
Some division is inevitable. It cannot be avoided without compromising the gospel of the glory of God and the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ and Belial cannot dwell in the same house. Light and darkness cannot live together. The ox and the ass must not plow under the same yoke.
But, sadly, divisions exist among true believers. Such divisions are always needless and shameful. Yet, needless, shameful divisions have been dark clouds in the Church of God, the City of Light, throughout her history.
á Division over Preachers at Corinth
á Division because of Gift Envy
á DiotrephesŐ Love of Preeminence
At the close of Romans 13 the Spirit of God tells us to ŇPut on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereofÓ (Romans 13:14). Specifically, that is an admonition telling us not to mistreat our brethren. In chapter 14 the Apostle was inspired of God to tell us exactly what it means to put on Christ and how we must not make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts of the flesh.
Proposition: All needless division among men, especially among GodŐs saints is rooted in and springs from pride and is a direct result of men making provision for the flesh, striving to fulfil the lusts of the flesh. — Avoid needless, unnecessary strife and division by bending to and accommodating one another in all matters of insignificance.
Divisions: As we go through this chapter, I want to show you five things, five things we need to learn and need bear in mind day by day. May God the Holy Ghost, whose Word this is, be our Teacher.
1. All GodŐs elect are equally dear to him and should be equally dear to us (vv. 1-3).
2. If we are truly one with Christ and one in Christ, then none of us live unto ourselves (vv. 4-8).
3. Christ the Lord is Lord of all (vv. 9-16).
4. The kingdom of God is altogether spiritual (vv. 17-21).
5. Everything done without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is sin (vv. 22-23).
1st — All GodŐs elect are equally dear to him and should be equally dear to us (vv. 1-3). — To put on Christ is to receive and embrace GodŐs people as God receives and embraces them.
(Romans 14:1-3) Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. (2) For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. (3) Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
In all matters of indifference — (I mean by things of indifference anything and everything that is not detrimental to the gospel of Christ, things that will not matter in eternity.) — In all matters of indifference, we should be accommodating to our one another.
There are great diversities of gifts in the church, but it is the Spirit of God who gives those gifts to each of us as he will (1 Corinthians 12:11). And all the redeemed, whether weak or strong, are equally loved of God and equally accepted in the Beloved. All are equally dear to Christ.
á All should be equally loved by us.
á All should be equally accepted by us.
á All should be equally dear to us (Philippians 2:1-4).
(Philippians 2:1-4) If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (2) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
We should each take care to accommodate ourselves to one anotherŐs needs.
á Quick to Compliment
á Slow to Criticize
á Quick to Praise
á Slow to Correct
Receive weaker brethren as equal brethren.
á Hold none in suspicion.
á Overlook the infirmities of others.
á Help the weak.
á Forgive offenses, especially unintended offenses. Presume that any offense is unintended.
á Put the best construction upon the attitudes, words, and actions of others.
á Be gentle and forbearing with one another, especially the younger and weaker brother or sister in the Lord.
á Refuse to look upon the faults, failures, offenses, and sins of GodŐs saints. — Rather cover them (Proverbs 10:12; 12:16; 17:9)
(Proverbs 10:12) Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
(Proverbs 12:16) A foolŐs wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
(Proverbs 17:9) He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
That is what Christ does for us. IsnŐt it? Then, that is the least we can do for one another. Strengthen the weaker hands, confirm the feeble knees, lift up the fallen (Isaiah 35:3-4; Galatians 6:1-3).
(Isaiah 35:3-4) Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. (4) Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
(Galatians 6:1-3) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one anotherŐs burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
That is what it is to put on Christ!
One in Christ
2nd — If we are truly one with Christ and one in Christ, then none of us live unto ourselves (vv. 4-8). — To put on Christ is to live with, serve, and treat one another as the LordŐs own people.
(Romans 14:4-8) Who art thou that judgest another manŐs servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. — Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. (5) One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (6) He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (7) For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. (8) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the LordŐs.
Our lives are not our own, but the LordŐs. And our deaths are not our own, but the LordŐs. Let us, then, live for our Savior, to his glory. And when the time appointed comes for us to leave this world, let us die in Christ, with Christ, and for Christ, to his glory. We are the LordŐs.
á He chose us (John 15:16).
á He bought us with his precious blood (1 Corinthians 6:1-20).
á He called us and saved us by his grace (Isaiah 43:1).
á All this he has done for us to make us peculiarly and distinctly his own (Titus 2:14).
We belong to God! We are his people, his sons and daughters! We have life in Christ, from Christ, with Christ, in eternal union with Christ. — Eternal life! And what comes from Christ must lead to and terminate in Christ!
á We live by Christ!
á We live with Christ!
á We live in Christ!
á Christ lives in us!
á And when we die, we shall die in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:14). — ŇBlessed are the dead which die in the Lord!Ó (Revelation 14:13)
Each one who is of the seed of Christ is part of Christ. Christ and his seed are one. — ŇWe are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bonesÓ O Spirit of God, give me and to each of these who are the LordŐs grace never to lose sight, even for a moment, that we belong to God our Savior, that we live in eternal and everlasting union with him!
á We live in the Lord by grace, being grafted into him by the Spirit of God.
á We live on the Lord by faith, trusting his righteousness and his blood, his Person and his work.
á We live, not unto ourselves, but to the Lord, for his glory, seeking his will, doing his bidding.
á All who thus live shall die to the Lord! — And ŇBlessed are the dead which die in the Lord!Ó
We have this assurance and confidence of faith becauseÉ
á God the FatherŐs Covenant love and faithfulness is the same in life and in death!
á God the SonŐs finished redemption is the same in life and in death!
á And God the SpiritŐs life-giving power is the same in life and death!
As we live, so shall we die, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God! So, the Spirit of God tells us every heaven-born soul lives and dies, not to ourselves but to the Lord. Let us treat one another this way, each one as the LordŐs, not to be ruled or judged by us, but by the Lord God alone, to whom he belongs! — That is what it is to put on Christ!
(Romans 14:4) Who art thou that judgest another manŐs servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Lord of All
3rd — Christ the Lord is Lord of all (vv. 9-16). — To put on Christ is to bow to recognize Christ alone as Lord of all.
(Romans 14:9-16) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. (10) But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (11) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (12) So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God. (13) Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brotherŐs way. (14) I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (15) But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. (16) Let not then your good be evil spoken of.
The great and glorious end and purpose of all that Christ did for us from his incarnation to his resurrection, he did that he might be manifestly exalted by the Triune Jehovah the Lord of all (John 17:1-5).
(John 17:1-5) These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
á Christ is Lord of all as God because he is God the Creator of all.
á Christ is Lord of all from everlasting as our Mediator because of his accomplishments for us as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Psalm 2:6-12; 110:1)
(Psalm 2:6-12) Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (7) I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (8) Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. (9) Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potterŐs vessel. (10) Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. (11) Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (12) Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
(Psalm 110:1) The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, died, and rose, and revived (ascended), that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Jesus Christ our Savior is Lord of all. He reigns everywhere, in all things, all the time! — He died to redeem us as one worthy of death because he was made sin for us! — He arose from the dead as one upon whom death had no claim, because he had put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. — He ascended as the Victor over death, as Lord of death, hell, and the grave, with the keys of death and of hell swinging on his belt!
á Christ reigns over all men, both the dead and the living, both the reprobate and the chosen, both the wicked and the righteous.
á Our Lord Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior, reigns over all as sovereign Lord for his chosen, his redeemed. — Those who are yet dead in trespasses and in sins and those now made alive by his omnipotent mercy and almighty grace!
Eternal, almighty, everlasting, universal Monarch our Savior reigns! All his dead men shall live. He will raise the dead in trespasses and sins who are his, to the life of grace here and then to the life of glory hereafter. O Son of God, come, raise our souls day by day and hour by hour that we may live above all our dying frames and dead affections, that we may live unto you! We bow to you, Sovereign Lord, Sovereign Savior. Come, take possession of your own! — That is what it is to put on Christ.
4th — The kingdom of God is altogether spiritual (vv. 17-21). — To put on Christ s to live and walk before God and with one another in righteousness peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
(Romans 14:17-21) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (18) For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. (19) Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (20) For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. (21) It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
How silly, how ungodly it is for GodŐs people in this world to offend one another, fuss, fight, and divide over things that donŐt matter!
á Money and Meat!
á Dress and Drink!
á Business and Buildings!
á Holy Days and Holidays!
á Meaningless Doctrines and Measured Duties!
How shamefully disposed the minds of men are to be up taken up with religious activities and religious disputes, anything short that righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost that comes to poor, needy sinners by faith in Christ! — These are the things that ought to occupy our minds, the things we ought to pursue relentlessly.
á Righteousness — Imputed and Imparted!
á Peace of Reconciliation — By Redemption and By Repentance! — Peace from God and with God! — And Peace Ruling Our Hearts and Lives!
á Joy — The Joy of Faith! — The Joy of Life! — The Joy of the Lord!
Living upon the righteousness of Christ, living with one another in peace, living and serving God together in joy, that is what it is to put on Christ!
5th — The secret of all true religion is faith, faith in Christ. — Everything done, all religious activity, all religious service, all religious sacrifice, all religious duty without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is nothing but sin, nothing but making provision for the flesh (vv. 22-23). — To put on Christ is to live by faith in Christ.
(Romans 14:22-23) Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. (23) And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
To put on Christ is to believe on the Son of God. Everything else, call it what you will, is just sin, just a show of wisdom in will-worship to the gratifying of the flesh!
(John 16:8-9) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me.
Oh, may God give you grace to put on the Lord Jesus Christ! — O Holy Spirit of God, give me grace to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to live after the flesh! — Oh, may the Lord God graciously teach us to live and serve him together. — ŇWe are the LordŐs!Ó