Sermon: Broken Pieces
Scripture: Romans 2:4
ICE BREAKER: What is a view you held as a teenager or young adult that you have completely changed your mind on now?
This week, we saw what it looks like to trust God with the broken pieces of our life. We focused on the word REPENTANCE - a very loaded word in the church world.
For many people, this word brings memories of hellfire and brimstone sermons. Preachers who seemed to delight in reminding people how terrible they are and how much God dislikes them.
We looked at a passage in Romans 3 that highlights the depravity of man. These are the kind of sections that can be taken out of context to demand evil sinners REPENT... OR ELSE!!
10 as it is written:There is no one righteous, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.
13 Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
This passage definitely leaves nowhere to run. We are sinners and cannot measure up to a perfect God!
BUT, like all passages, this has to be understood in its context. We learned that Paul was addressing JUDGMENTAL Jewish believers in the Roman church who thought they were inherently better than the non-Hebrews. A simple way to view Paul's argument is:
ROMANS 1 - Gentiles are SINNERS
ROMANS 2 - Jews are SINNERS
ROMANS 3 - ALL are SINNERS
Ok, don’t miss this! Taken out of context, the verses about humanity’s shortcomings could be leveraged to heap guilt and judgment and anger on people.
“Their throat is an empty grave… No one does good, not even one… Venom is on their lips…”
However, this very section is ACTUALLY used by Paul to correct half of his church from treating people just like this! The truth is:
SCRIPTURE SHOWS US THE BAD NEWS
TO HIGHLIGHT THE BEST NEWS
So What does that mean for us?
In Romans Chapter 2, Paul gives these instructions to the church members:
4 Or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
It is the KINDNESS of God that leads us to Repentance. To REPENT simple means to CHANGE YOUR MIND.
This is so important! Until we recognize who God actually is - a loving, merciful Father - we will not fully trust Him with the broken pieces of our life. It is God's KINDNESS that leads us to Change our Mind!
HERE IS THIS WEEK'S APPLICATION QUESTION:
What is ONE THING God may be calling you to change your mind about today?
If you are not a believer in Jesus, that requires Changing Your Mind about what your faith is in. If you believe in the angry God you grew up hearing about, change your mind and experience His kindness. If you have become a judgmental Christian, change your mind about how you are treating others. Finally, if you are keeping the broken pieces of yourself hidden, change your mind and trust God with them!
Spend time thanking God for his love and mercy. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you may need to Change Your Mind to line up to God's desires for your life.