J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Back to the Future – Sermon Preview for 08/16/09

Last week at Sovereign King Church, we hunkered down in Romans 8 with the goal of understanding the implications of verse 1: there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That understanding led us to explore the three dimensions of this now non-condemned state.

The first implication is that there is no condemnation for past sins in Christ Jesus which means the intended life of a believer is to live without guilt for ourselves and without impugning guilt on others. Guilt means there is some penalty left to pay, but Christ pays His bills. There is no penalty left for sin.

There is no condemnation in the present for sins either, so the believer can repent boldly and fearlessly confess sin as Heaven rejoices when sinners come to repentance. Fear is removed in the present because there is now no condemnation.

There is also no condemnation for our future knowing that Jesus has promised not to lose any of those that the Father has given to Him. If you profess faith in Christ for your righteousness and forgiveness of sin, then the promise of persevering faith is yours and ultimately you will enjoy Heaven and the presence of God because Jesus cares for and preserves His own.

These things are true because of what God has done as illustrated in verses 2-4 of Romans 8. God saw your need and was compassionate to you. He sent His son, Jesus, in the flesh to take the curse of sin. Jesus fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God’s law on your behalf, and now you can live a life of Spirit enabled worship and obedience.

This is the Gospel.

Notice the progression of God’s work for us and how it plays out in the life of the believer. God saw your need, sent Jesus, Jesus lives, dies, and rises again, and you get to live a new and transformed life. Danish Theologian Søren Kierkegaard best summarized this out when he said, “Life in Christ is best understood backwards but lived forward.”

Consider that for a moment. The life of the believer only makes sense if it is understood backwards in light of God’s compassion and Jesus’ work. Then the believer can live going forward with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Believers in Christ always look back to Jesus’ work to understand their life so they might live it best going forward.

Now, the reason that truth is so foundational is because that it is exactly how all of us live. Every one of us have some life changing event or series of events that cast a great light on the rest of life. Grow up with a damaged relationship with your parents and you can spend a lifetime trying to fix that mess. You can experience great success in school and in sports and then spend the rest of your life either trying to recapture that glory or using those experiences to go on to bigger and better things. Someone can break your heart years ago, and then you decide to spend the rest of your life never really being vulnerable again because you don’t want to get hurt again.

We all understand our lives backwards but live them going forward. That’s why the work of Jesus is so transformational. It is the one event in our past that will not truly haunt us. Understand it, and then live your life forward. Understand it, and every other event in your life will pale in comparison.

With that tremendous truth in front of us, why don’t we just make that our Big Picture Question?

Big Picture Question: How is life in Christ best understood backwards but lived forward?

If you would like to worship with us at Sovereign King, we meet each Sunday at 10:30am, and you can find directions to our space at http://www.sovereignkingpca.net/1.2.html


August 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment