The grove of the giants

Posted by Scott Lowther on

Romans 6:1-3 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”

Dear CBC Family,

G. K. Chesterton once said: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” Boy, that sure sums it up! Why don’t people practice what they preach? Why is it that so many people who name the name of Christ live exactly like the world? Is this simply a sanctification issue or is there something much deeper going on. I firmly believe it is the second.

Join us this weekend as we get back into Romans in a tremendously important sermon entitled” Satan’s Identity Theft”! This sermon will set people free so bring someone who is struggling in their walk as I am certain Jesus will remove their “grave clothes” and allow them to finally walk in freedom. I do not believe in exaggeration but am deeply moved by the Spirit of God knowing that He will be doing a deep and real work this weekend.

Our text will be Romans 6:1-3 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” Why does Paul mention baptism here? In this tremendous book of justification why bring up water baptism? There is much to learn my friend. Let’s gather together and grow in our understanding of who we really are.

Hear John Piper on this great text “We Americans are pragmatists to the max. We want results. And we want them yesterday. We want them simply. We want them without too much pondering and too much pain. And in the church, we have developed all kinds of Christ-coated remedies that are shallow and short-lived. We are not, by and large, the deeply grounded saints that some of our forefathers were.

J. I. Packer compares the old English Puritans who lived and suffered from 1550 to 1700 with the Redwoods of California. They were giants whose roots were incredibly deep in the Bible, and whose branches reached to the heavens, and whose trunks were so strong and durable they could endure forest fires that scar them but don't kill them. But then Packer looks out over the pragmatic American landscape of our quick fixes for life's problems and our impatience with depth and complexity and pain, and says, "Affluence seems for the past generation to have been making dwarfs and deadheads of us all."

Here's the difference between the pragmatists and the Puritans: pragmatists do not have the patience to sink the roots of hospitality and brotherly kindness and authentic love in the deep rock of Romans 6-8. We want to jump straight from justification to the practical application of chapter 12. Just give us a list. Tell us what to do. Fix the problem at the immediate surface level, so it goes away. But the Puritans were different. They looked at the book of Romans and saw that life is built another way. Being a sage, being a Redwood, being unshakable in storm and useful in times of indescribable suffering – that does not come quickly or easily. Romans is not two chapters long. It is 16 chapters long. It does not skip from chapter 5 to 12. It leads us down deep into the roots of godliness, so that when we come up, we are not people with lists, but people with unshakable life and strength and holiness and wisdom and love.”

Saints, come with me into Romans 6 and see if God might make redwoods out of all of us.

Blessings,

Pastor Scott

 

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