Jesus is Lord
Manage episode 341562464 series 3038820
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Heavenly Father, we thank you for the space that you've given us to gather as your people to worship your holy name. And Lord, we're not just confessing words, and these aren't just rote, ritualistic phrases. No, when we come to you and we say that you are Lord, we're also getting on our knees in humility before your Lordship, before your reign and your rule. So Lord, we pray as you taught us to pray, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name", may your name be holy. "May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
So Lord Jesus, we start with that. We repent of any rebellion, any sin in our hearts, and we ask that you purify us now so that we can see you from your holy scriptures, by the power of your Holy Spirit. Give us a fresh vision of you. Give us a fresh vision of the gospel, and give us a fresh vision of our mission here on earth. And for as long as we're here as believers, you have given us this time to bear fruit for your holy name, and I pray that you give us fruitfulness as we study your word today, and we pray all this in Christ's name. Amen.
So we're continuing our sermon series through the Book of Romans, and we've thoroughly enjoyed it thus far. It's been an incredible text. Today when Romans 10: through 15, the title of the sermon is Jesus is Lord. In the last few weeks, we've been meditating on the glorious doctrine of election. And as we've been meditating on this, I've been meditating on this, swimming in the waters of election, soccer season has started by God's grace. And I say by God's grace, because in the whirlwind, that is life in the Vezikov household, we somehow this season forgot to sign up any of the girls. We just forgot. And then they show up to school and then their friends are like, "Hey, you weren't at practice." And they're like, "Practice? What practice?"
And then they came home and there was a meltdown. In particular, my third daughter, Ekaterina, who's seven and last season was her first season. And she is amazing, she's amazing at soccer, she was built for it. She scored three goals in the first game. So for her, she was crestfallen that she wasn't on the team. Chaos ensued, sack cloth and ashes at the pastor's household. So then my wife, Tanya, started emailing the coaches and she emailed Ekat's coach from last season, Coach Andy. And she's like, "You got to help me. You got to save us. You got to save us from the hell that is soccerlessness. You got to save us. Can you get us on the team?"
And Pastor Andy said, "She's on the team. She's on the team." Doesn't matter to Ekat, Ekaterina, if her name was on the list prior to my wife's email. No, she's pumped that she's on the team. Driving to the first game. She said, "Dad, God is real." I said, "How do you know?" She said, "I prayed to be on the soccer team and God made a miracle." I was like, "Praise God." And I noticed the difference in how she played, because this season it's all grace. It's all grace. She had a noon game yesterday. At 8:30 AM, she's in her pink cleats. She's got the shin guards on. She's ready to go. There's no pressure. It's all grace.
All election is, this is all what scripture says, just ask to be on the team, just ask to be in the family of God. And then once you're in the family of God, the holy scriptures say God put your name on the list before the foundation of the world, that God chose you. It deepens the message of grace. God chose us, now play like it, live like it. And part of what it means to live out our faith is to share the message that Jesus is Lord. That's the confession of our faith. That's the center of our faith. The Christian message is very simple. It's just, Jesus is Lord. We've rebelled against his reign and this rule in our lives, that's sin. And because of that sin, our own choice of sinning, we are in the kingdom of Satan. But because Jesus is a loving king, he enters the kingdom of Satan, breaks through. Takes on flesh and then he lives a perfect life of obedience to God, the Father, and then he's crucified.
And because of his crucifixion, death, resurrection, he's provided a way for us to break out of the kingdom of Satan and into the kingdom of God. And it happens, that door, Jesus is that doorway, that door is repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus as savior, which also means that you are now submitting to him as Lord. See, most people that you talk to around here, don't agree with the kingdom of Satan part. Ouch, harsh. I'm not that bad. I'm generally a good person. At least I try to be, and that's got to count for something, right? Well, most people today live with this confidence, and it's a confidence. It's a faith that everything will somehow turn out with them and God to be okay. That's the faith of most people around us. But the word of God calls that sentiment, self-righteousness, that you think you're good enough for God just because of who you are or just because you are.
Another way that we talk about self righteousness, scripture talks about it as legalism, which is inevitably dishonest. If you are self-righteous, it requires you to believe that you're a lot better than you really are. And you ignore the full extent of your moral and ethical failures. We just assume in our culture that just because we exist, we're on team God, and he should be happy to have us. And Christianity says, no. There's only one way into the kingdom of God and that's confessing with your mouth because you believe it with your heart, that Jesus Christ, the risen Christ is Lord over everything. And then once you get into the kingdom, you live faithfully to serve the king. And that faithful service works itself out with proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that's what the text is about today.
Would you look at Romans 10:1 through 15 with me. "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them." That's his Jewish kinsman. "Is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For being ignorant of the righteousness of God and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses rights about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, do not say in your heart, who will ascend into heaven", that is to bring Christ down, "or who will descend into the abyss?" That is to bring Christ up from the dead. "But what does it say? The word is near you in your mouth and in your heart." That is the word of faith that we proclaim.
"Because if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved. For the scripture says everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching and how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
This is the reading of God's holy, inerrant, infallible, authoritative word. May he write these eternal truths upon our hearts. I laugh at that last verse because I'm preaching the good news and scripture says I have beautiful feet. Praise God. Three points to frame up our time. Jesus is Lord. First of all, receive his righteousness. Second, Jesus is Lord, receive his riches. And third Jesus is Lord, so preach the good news. First, Jesus is Lord, receive his righteousness. Paul has been dealing with the question, why didn't more Jews of Jesus' day believe in Jesus Christ, the Messiah who came to the chosen people, the Jews? Well, the problem was most of the Jews of Jesus' day rejected him because they didn't have in their religious framework, a need for grace.
Why do you need grace if you can just accumulate more merits? If you sin, if you break some commandments, don't worry about it. Just go to the religious place and pay the religious guy and he'll do the religious thing and say this prayer a few times and then you should be good. There's this idea, this was an idea in Judaism. This is the idea in every single religion apart from true gospel-based Christianity, that somehow you can cover your sins with merits, with righteous living. And Paul here says no, no, no. That righteousness is based on the law, it's based on works. And here he contrasts two ways of righteousness. There's a righteousness based on faith. And there's a righteousness that is based on works.
Well, the people of Israel, they thought they could reach God, appease God ingratiate themselves to God with good works, just enough to cover the mountain of sin. If we plant enough trees on our mountain of sin, maybe God won't notice. But then Jesus Christ comes to these religious people, to the Pharisees, and he comes to them in Sadducees. They did the same thing. The Pharisees were the conservatives, the Sadducees were the liberals. He goes to both parties and he said, "No, you have rejected the word of God. In your attempt at being outwardly righteous, you lessened the word of God, but the word of God demands a righteousness that comes from the heart." And your righteousness, my righteousness. It's not enough because we are rotten to the core. Our hearts are rotten to the core.
Jesus, this is what he proclaimed to them. "You don't love God with your heart", he said. "If you did, you'd love your neighbor as yourself, which you clearly don't because you're not welcoming them into the kingdom of God." And this is what the problem with Judaism at the time of Jesus Christ, they didn't care about the Gentiles. They didn't want the Gentiles in their services. They thought the Gentiles were filthy. "What do you mean, welcome them into our family?" And Jesus Christ comes and he's like, "That is proof. The fact that you don't care about the lost, the fact that you don't care about their eternal souls is proof that you don't love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. And you don't love your neighbor as yourself."
And the worst part of this self-righteousness was it led to a tragic failure to understand their own scriptures. The Gentiles got it. They didn't even have the scriptures, but they knew that they were outcasts. They knew they didn't deserve a place in the household of God. They knew they weren't enough. They knew they weren't measuring up. And then they heard the message of the gospel, that there's a God who is Lord over everything. He's bigger than just Lord over one people group. He's bigger than just Lord of one empire. He is Lord higher than any Lord. That's Jesus Christ. And he's welcoming you in to his kingdom and all you have to do is ask for forgiveness. You're reconciled with the king. Now you're in his kingdom, serving him. And the Jewish people didn't understand this while the Gentiles were signing up in droves.
Just to get the context of Romans 9:30 through 33, he says, "What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is a righteousness that is by faith, but that Israel who pursued a law that could lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching the law. Why? Because they do not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written, behold, I am laying in Zion, a stumbling stone and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." Well, why is it that Israel didn't obtain the righteousness they saw? Well, the answer spelled out in verse 32, because they didn't pursue it by faith, they pursued it by works.
They thought that they could earn their right to be in a relationship with God or keep that relationship by keeping the law. And it was all external conformity to the commandments and the people of Israel just never realized the whole point of the law was to get them to a place of contrition before God, absolute humility. God, I can't do this. We can't fulfill the law. God, we need a righteousness that is not our own. Now, they didn't understand that what God demands of us under the law, He freely gives us in the gospel.
They were so close to the truth and that's why Paul's heart breaks for them. He says in verse one of Romans 10, "My heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For, I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." Well, they were very passionate about God. They they're very sincere. Our culture says, doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you're sincere in your faith about God. Well, scripture says, no, that's false. You can sincerely believe that God is one way and be sincerely wrong. What is that sincerity? What is it based on? What is it based on? It is just based on what the culture tells you. It's not based on knowledge. This is what he's saying. They have a zeal, but it's a zeal without knowledge.
And this is the very sad occasion. What this brings out is that you can be so close to the truth. You can go to church for years, you can hear some of the best expository sermons ever preached, and you can just miss it. You can miss it. The truth is right there. You can miss it. You can stumble over it. And then you just say it doesn't exist. So make sure that your knowledge lines up with a measure of truth. Well, what measure of truth are you using? What measure of truth do you have? There's no measure of truth other than the cornerstone that's Jesus Christ. That's why Jesus, and I sent this in the newsletter, Jesus goes from stumbling stone to cornerstone. When you understand that we need the grace of God. And once Jesus becomes your cornerstone of your life, you align everything in your life according to him, according to his truth.
Paul got this and he's begging the same for his brothers. Paul also stumbled over the stumbling stone that is Jesus Christ. Paul also had a zeal without knowledge. He's describing his own situation. He of all people knows that Jesus Christ is Lord over salvation. Paul, how did you get saved? Jesus literally blindside him with his glory and says, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And then all of a sudden, Paul is made a Christian. He begs God to do the same for more of his people. There's a heartfelt concern. And then he contrasts the two ways of righteousness, that which comes through faith and that with which comes through works.
I pray that his heart is given to each of us. Is your heart's desire for your neighbors to get saved? And by neighbors, I don't just mean literally physical neighbors because Boston's weird in that neighbors don't really talk to each other. So I mean neighbors like people that you interact with, that's your neighbors. So if you have a spouse, that is your closest neighbor. Love your neighbor as yourself. You apply that commandment to the people in your circles of influence and then the concentric circles. Do you have a desire for the people in your life who don't know Christ to be saved? Do you pray to God for God to save them? We, as Christians, we have the truth. Do we have zeal about this truth? Do we have a zeal that says, you know what, this is true. That souls do hang in the balance. And every day, people around us who die and they go to hell, which is eternal separation from the goodness of God for all of eternal. Do we believe that this is true?
And that there's only one way to salvation and that's faith in Jesus Christ, that God demands a righteousness that we do not have. We fall short of the righteousness of God. So we need an alien righteousness and that alien righteousness given to us when we just accept it as the gift it is. Romans 10:3, "For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they didn't submit the God's righteousness." That was the problem. Here's the nub of righteousness. That's their own. God, here's my accomplishments. God, here's why you should welcome me into heaven, into your family. And this is how Paul thought. He was raised in this theory of righteousness as well that you earn your way to God.
Philippians 3:3 through nine. He shares his testimony. "For we are the circumcision who worship by the spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. Though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Circumcised on the eighth day of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews as to the law of Pharisee, as to zeal, a persecutor of the church, as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything is lost because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ to be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith."
And here we see how the gospel transforms a religious person who has zeal, but doesn't have knowledge into one of the greatest missionaries that has ever lived. He got the gospel. He understood that in all of his efforts in trying to be righteous, that he never measured up. And then the gospel creates zeal with knowledge because you get the truth that there's nothing I can do to be in the presence of God. There's nothing I can do. He's holy and any sinful part of me is going to get destroyed in his presence. There's nothing I can do. But God cloths me in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, so now I can walk into the throne room of grace and get on my knees in the very presence of God. It sets your heart on fire with this truth. That's why the gospel, with its demand and provision of an alien righteousness, is the power of God onto salvation.
You're saved when you believe that you have no righteousness of your own and you are desperate for righteousness of Jesus. He gives it to you. And I don't have to theologize this. We know this deep inside, really honest with yourself. You know that there are parts of you that are just wrong, just wrong, if you're honest. Well, in the eyes of God, he sees it all. He sees it all. So yeah, we can be like, yeah, we're righteous in front of other people. Look at us, we're right. No, we're not. This guy actually tried. Paul actually tried to be a good legalist. He actually read the Bible and he is like, you know what, I'm going to try to do this thing.
We live in day and age where the bar for being a good person is so low. It's so low. It's basically, just don't kill anybody and you're okay. That's the bar for morality. And scripture goes so much deeper and says, no, you have to be perfect as God is perfect if you want to be in a relationship with a holy God. So we need a righteousness that is not our own, a righteousness that is given to us, a righteousness in which we're clothed. And in Romans 10:4, he continues. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." He's not saying that Christ is put an end to the authority of God's law over people. A lot of people misunderstand this, that we have grace, so we don't need the law whatsoever. That's not true because such an interpretation will fly in the face of Jesus' own words where he said, "I didn't come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it."
And Paul said earlier that the teaching of justification by faith in no way nullifies the law, but rather establishes it. So what he's saying, he's saying that Christ puts an end to acquiring righteousness before God through means of the law. The law points to Christ, that's to tell us he's the end. And Jesus Christ, through his life and obedience, his active obedience, he fulfilled the law. So we don't look to the law to earn our righteousness before God, we get righteousness by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And then the law becomes a rule of life. Not a way by which we earn salvation, but a way through which we work out our salvation. That's what he's getting at. That God justifies all who believe in Christ. That's what he ends, a righteousness to everyone who believes. So if you're not a Christian, receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ today. A righteousness that he gives us. It's a moral record. It's his perfect GPA of moral obedience. And he counts it to you, counts it to your name just because you ask for it. So receive his righteousness.
Second, Jesus is Lord, so receive his riches. And I get that phrase from verse 12, but he's explaining all the riches of what it means to be saved and how that process happens. And he starts by pointing to the fact that he didn't come up with these rules. Romans 10:5. He says, "Moses writes about the righteousness based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them." So Paul here quotes Moses. Leviticus 18:5 where Moses writes, "You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules. If a person does them, he shall live by them. I am the Lord." So Paul looks at Leviticus and he says, "What is God saying here?"
He's saying that God demands a perfect obedience from his people. If a person does them, he shall live by them. And if you don't do them, you shall die. That's what the law is saying. We either obey the whole law or we do not. If you break one commandment, James says, you've broken the whole of the law. And what Paul is saying is that the whole point of the law was given to the people of God, to all people, to place us in a position of humility, where we cast ourselves on the rock of God's law, plead for mercy. God, give me mercy. I've broken these laws. And then you find out that the rock is actually Christ. And Christ says, don't stumble over the grace. Receive the grace and may this grace be foundational for everything else you do in life. And that's the connection between Jesus is Lord. You receive the grace and Jesus is Lord, because you are building your life on the rock of the grace of Jesus Christ under his Lordship. That's the whole point of the law, to bring us to Christ.
Galatians 3:21. "Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law." And he said, Romans 3:19 through 20. "Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight since through the law comes knowledge of sin." So Paul teaches clearly the law never attended to be used as a means of acquiring merit before God. That's his approach in Galatians. If you want a righteousness under the law, you got to keep the whole thing. No one can keep the whole thing, so we need a righteousness that is not ours and that's that of Christ that we get by faith.
In verse six, he continues. "But the righteousness based on faith says, do not say in your heart who will ascend into heaven?" That is to bring Christ down. "Or who will descend into the abyss?" That is to bring Christ up from the dead. "But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart." That is the word of faith that we proclaim. Now, what Paul here is saying is you can't pull yourself up to heaven. You can't ascend into heaven. You want to make yourself righteous before God? You're a tiny little human being, you can't fly. You can't ascend to heaven. That's what he's saying. To even think that you can go into the place of God on your own is already pride. You can't go into the abyss. The only one who can do that is Christ.
So what he's saying is, we're helpless. We need someone from outside to come and save us. And this is the great news that he brings in. You don't have to earn your way to heaven. You can't do it. That's the message of God's law. You can't do it. You can't pull yourself up. What an exploit that would be. You can't bring yourself down. What an exploit that would be. What he's saying is Christ has done at all. He has come from heaven, returned to heaven. We have just but to trust in him. That's the message. And how do we apply it to our lives?
Verse nine, "Because if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart, that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified. And with the mouth, one confesses and is saved. For the scripture, says everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of Lord will be saved." Well, how do you know you have saving faith? Well, saving faith always manifest itself in a confession, a verbal confession, a confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. And Paul isn't saying, if you say X words and you believe Y, then you're saved. It's some magical formula. That's not what he's doing.
He's saying, no, if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, is now Lord, you are believing that he has risen from the dead, saving faith necessarily leads to a confession of Christ's lordship. And we confess that Jesus is Lord, we're confessing that he is God. And he's telling us, there is a necessity to believe that he did come back from the dead.
I was talking to a pastor who doesn't really believe in the Bible. And he said, "Jan, you know what your problem is?" That's what he said. He said, "You take this stuff literally." He said, "That's your problem." And my response to him was, "Yeah, if it's meant to be taken literally, then I take it literally." When we say that Jesus Christ literally died, we mean that he literally died. And when we say that Jesus literally, historically, bodily, physically, whatever, other really histo, veracity, whatever, [inaudible], I'm going to give you great word. Really, in reality, in reality, he was dead and on third day he came back from the dead. That's the confession. When we say that Jesus Christ is Lord, we're not saying that some spiritual resurrection happened or Jesus resurrected in my heart. We're saying no, no, no, everything hinges on the fact that this really happened, that there were eyewitnesses, hundreds of eyewitnesses, that all of world history was changed, that we changed the calendars based on all of this.
We count our birth date from his birth. Everything changed because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And you have to believe this, that this is a basic historical fact. And we must believe that he really, he, God raised Jesus from the dead. In Jesus Christ, there is life because he came back from the dead. And then he continues and he says, there's no difference, and the same phrase he uses for no difference in verse 12 is the same as he uses in Romans 3:23. He says, there's no difference. We're all sinners. We've all fallen short. And here he says, there's no difference, everyone has access to grace.
There are many ways into how a person experiences God's grace, how they become Christians. And there's lots of stories. For Paul, the realization was forced upon him. He couldn't not be a Christian. God just made him a Christian. Some of you have a story like that. That's my story in many ways. God just forces you. You're going to do this. You're going to preach it and you're going to love it. In other people, they hear the invitation of Jesus. Come on to me, all who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. And people come to Christ for relief or rest from just the burdens of life.
Other people come to the Lord because they know they're spiritually helpless, spiritually impotent. They can't be the men and women that God has created us to be. But however the truth of the gospel welcomes you into the family of God, however you're drawn to the Lord, feelings are not. And I say this because some people, they just wait for some kind of spiritual, emotional experience. I'm waiting for that magical moment when I become a Christian. And some people just don't get that. And a lot of people in Boston don't really get that emotional thing. Maybe it'll come after. But it starts with this just knowing this truth. Only in Jesus Christ can we find a righteousness to stand before God on his judgment. On judgment day, only the righteousness of Christ is what will keep us safe. And only in Christ can we find that righteousness that makes us go from enemy of God, to friend.
And that's why there's so much gratitude and joy and love in the Christian faith. Because you get that grace, you get that gift, you get that righteousness, you get the riches of the relationship with God and you understand it's all gifts. It's all undeserving and then you're filled with a zeal to tell others about it. You found the grace and you look at all the people around you and you're like ... Everyone with empty eyes, purposelessness, meaninglessness, people pursuing pleasure as the end of life and it never satisfies. And then we realize, you know what, that was us. We were living lost just for ourselves, very petty, small selfish lives. Then God saves us, we get grace. We're given a mission. We're given a purpose and we want to share that with other people.
This is point three, that Jesus is Lord, so preach the good news. Verse 14. "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent, as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news?"
Do you have beautiful feet? No men are allowed to answer that question. Beautiful feet take beautiful saints to people who don't know Jesus Christ. That's what he's saying. How are people to hear? Because this is how people get saved. They hear the gospel and they're like, oh my, yeah, you know what, I'm not righteous. I need a righteousness that's not my own, Jesus Christ. That's what saves a person. But people need to hear it, they need to hear it from real people. And this is why in the day of the internet, a lot of people are like, yeah, I just do evangelism online with my Facebook. I just make a post. And that's my evangelism for the day. That doesn't count. Do that, but that's not enough. We need real life preaching. When people see a real life person, I know you, I know your integrity. I know your character. I know your walk in life. And I know that you have a foundation that I do not. What is that? And you tell me, it's grace.
I am a sinner and God welcomes me into his family. I am a beloved son of the living God. I know, I can't believe it. It's all grace. And you share the gospel. How are people to hear without someone preaching? We need to preach. We need to vocalize. Yes, we need to preach the gospel with our lives, but we also need to preach the gospel with our words. So we need to know the gospel. We need to be able to articulate the gospel, what is the gospel and welcome people into that. And how are they to preach unless they are sent? How are they preach unless they're sent? Well, Christian, the very second you become a Christian, you're drafted by God into his army of preachers sent to proclaim the gospel.
What I do here on Sunday, what I do, this preaching, it's important, but this is only part of it. I think of worship ... Yes, this is theology, but I think of this like, this is halftime, you had it the first half that was last week. This is halftime. You're here. And I just give you the gospel, like, you guys crushed it this week. You were preaching the gospel. Yeah. God saw it, it was awesome. Let's worship him. Here's the gospel. And then go out the rest of the week and you're preaching the gospel. That's our job. We got to preach the gospel as the truth. We got to believe in that. Christ is the cornerstone and align our whole life around him. And the more your life is aligned with the message, the more compelling it is.
And we do have to compel, and this is where I do want to land. We have to compel people. We have to persuade people that this is important, that there's actually nothing more important than having a conversation about the state of your soul, the eternal state of your soul. So the compelling part is you really do have to believe it. You really do have to center your whole life around it. And then you have to use words to bring people in. And I'll close with a parable that brings all of this together, election and then preaching and the gospel. And I love how Paul in Romans 10, he closes off this conversation about election with a call to go preach the gospel. And we go and preach the gospel because we know that God will draw his elect through the preaching of it. So Luke 14:12 through 24, and then I'll close it with prayer.
"He said also to the man who had invited him, 'When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest stay also invite you in return and you be repaid. For when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you'll be blessed because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.' When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, 'Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God.' But he said to him, 'A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come for everything is now ready'. But they all alike began to make excuses.
The first said to him, 'I bought a field and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.' Another said, 'I bought five yoke of oxen and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.' And another said, 'I've married a wife and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to the servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' And the servant said, 'Sir, what you have commanded me has been done and still there is more room.' And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in that my house may be filled, for I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'"
If today, you're not sure that you are a Christian, we would like to help you be sure. We call you now to repent of sin and trust in Jesus Christ to truly believe that Jesus is Lord and submit to him. You can sit and do that in prayer and say, Lord, forgive me for my sins. I submit to you and I ask for grace to follow you all my days. If today you pray that prayer or you committed or recommitted your life to Christ, we'd love to pray with you after the service. Pastor Andy will be up here and he'd love to have a conversation with you and pray.
With that said, would you please pray with me in conclusion? Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gospel. What a message it is that we stand before you in our sinful rags with shame and guilt and you purify us through this message that all who come to you with humility and beg for mercy will receive it. All who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. I pray, Lord, that anyone hearing this message today who is far from you, is drawn to you by the power of the Holy Spirit, draw the elect to yourself and use us in the process. Give us a zeal. We know the truth and help us believe the truth and give us a zeal to proclaim the truth, to preach the truth. So many in this city who are so far from you, living lives of boredom and restlessness, I pray draw them to yourself, because our hearts are restless until they find our rest in you. And we pray all this in Jesus' beautiful name. Amen.