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 Jon Middendorf is the pastor at Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene.

This sermon series comes from Pastor Middendorf’s church site. Sandy Simpson comments after reading the series.We have provided for you the site below, please check it out.

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August 9

“Tongue Twister”

Romans 7:14-25

As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:

– Paul, formerly Saul and formerly a legalistic religious fanatic, once persecuted Christians until confronted by Christ Himself.  BTW, Paul was baptized and changed, completely.
– In Paul’s original work, there were no chapter and verse numbers. Thoughts are divided that weren’t originally divided.
– For Paul, the ultimate goal or hope of Christianity included an individual’s eternal destination, but it never stopped there.  Paul understood Christianity to be the means whereby a person (or a group of people) could recover the “image of God” -marred or confused or covered up by sin, and as a result recover his/her (their) divinely assigned role(s) or vocation(s) as God’s partner(s) in mission and ministry.

Nothing in Romans about “recovering the image of God”.  God does not need His image recovered.  We do have the weight of glory in us, as referenced in 2 Cor. but that is about our responsibility to obey the Lord and preach the Gospel.  Our image is not “marred or confused or covered up by sin” it is utterly wicked until we are convicted by the Holy Spirit and believe in Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins (Jer. 17:9).  This sounds like a form of Pelegianism.  We cannot recover what we never had.  God has to change us from sinners destined for judgment.  When we are born again that is when God shows us what His will is for our lives.  This is a faulty if not dangerous way to present what human nature is all about.

Pelagianism is a theological theory named after Pelagius (AD 354 – AD 420/440). It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special Divine aid. Thus, Adams sin was “to set a bad example” for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin. (Wikipedia)

Key Words and Phrases:

The Law – (the Torah) given as a gift of God’s grace for the purpose of sketching out the dream of God for all of Life (including my own life). The Law then measures our attempts and efforts to live out His dream.

 The Law was not given “for the purpose of sketching out the dream of God for all of life.”  Three fallacies in this statement.  (1) The Law was given to show that we are sinners without any hope of being justified with God based on our works.

 Ro 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. Ro 5:20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

 (2) God does not sleep therefore God does not dream. (Ps. 121:4) If he is talking about God’s plans that would be one thing, but God need not dream about anything as what He wills He does.

(3) God’s salvation is open to all but few will accept it. (Mt. 7:14

“I” – Paul uses this term to refer not only to himself, but also to his people, the Jews.Sanctification – the provision, given by God in Christ, for rescue and recovery.

 


August 2“Splish Splash”Romans 6:1-14
As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:– Paul, formerly Saul and formerly a legalistic religious fanatic, once persecuted Christians until confronted by Christ Himself.- In Paul’s original work, there were no chapter and verse numbers. Thoughts are divided that weren’t originally divided.- Paul wrote Romans more for the gathered believers in Rome than for the individual believers.- For Paul, the ultimate goal or hope of Christianity included an individual’s eternal destination, but it never stopped there.  Paul understood Christianity to be the means whereby a person (or a group of people) could recover the “image of God” -marred or confused or covered up by sin, and as a result recover his/her (their) divinely assigned role(s) or vocation(s) as God’s partner(s) in mission and ministry.  (Repeat of the above.  Running out of material?) Sin – Choosing against the dream of God for all of Life (including my own life), opting instead for an alternative dream or Kingdom.Sin is not just a choice, it is what we are born into (Rom. 5:12, 8:3).  Satan’s kingdom is no dream.  It is a stark reality.  God’s Kingdom, today in the hearts of men, ultimately in the Millennium, is not a dream.  It will be reality because God spoke it through the prophets and Jesus Christ.  This is completely misleading as to the nature of God and His Word.
 

Baptism – sacred moment at which everything changes about you: your allegiance, your status, your condition, your identity and your place of belonging

The point where everything changes is repentance and belief, when a person is born again.  Baptism is a picture of the baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion, but he is talking about water baptism.  Water baptism is a sign of what has already happened in the spiritual and is a confession of Faith before the Church and world.
 

Old Self – your pre-baptized self, with its old allegiance, old status, old identity.

Old sin.

 Instruments – literally “weapons” because of Paul’s understanding of the current battle
Grace – God’s total commitment of Himself and His inexhaustible resources to fallen humanity in Christ.

More than that it is the outworking of His mercy, unmerited favor, through His Son Jesus Christ to us.

 Key Words and Phrases:


  Same again.  Apparently he thinks these statements are so remarkable they have to be repeated again and again, a diaprax technique. Key Words and Phrases:Grace – God’s unmerited favor, i.e., a gift.Death –  an unwelcome intrusion into the dream of God.  It Includes physical death, but speaks of a “deathliness” that reaches beyond.

What is that?  There is only the first death and the second death (Rev. 21:80) if you an unbeliever.

Dominion – supreme authority

Trying to inject stuff about the Church taking dominion into this chapter where that word is not used.  BTW the word “dominion” in the New Testament always refers to Satan’s kingdom (1 Cor. 15:24. Eph. 21, Col. 1:13).  Satan has to take dominion.  God will reclaim what was always His.  The Church is not to take control of things.  Jesus Christ will do that in His Theocracy to come in the Millennial Kingdom.

July 26“Adam and Jesus”Romans 5:12-21
As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:– For Paul the ultimate goal or hope of Christianity included an individual’s eternal destination, but it never stopped there. Paul understood Christianity to be the means whereby a person (or group of people) could recover the “image of God” – marred or confused or covered up by sin, and as a result recover his, her (their) divinely assigned role(s) or vocation(s) as God’s partner(s) in mission and ministry.- Paul, formerly Saul and formerly a legalistic religious fanatic, once persecuted Christians until confronted by Christ Himself.


July 19“Peace, Patience and HOPE!”Romans 5:1-11
As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:– What you are hearing from me in this series is not new, but it is Wesleyan
– In Paul’s original work, there were no chapter and verse numbers. Thoughts are divided that weren’t originally divided.
– Paul’s desire was to unify Gentile and Jewish Christians for life and missionKey Words and Phrases:Justification – God’s activity and my response that results in my being seen by God as being in “good standing” or in a saving relationship with Him.

This is confusing justification with sanctification.

Peace with God – Not subjective feelings, but an objective reality: We are no longer God’s enemies, but His friends.

Hope – “faith oriented to the future” (Rudolf Bultmann)

Reconciliation – peace with God, accomplished by Christ’s ultimate display of love and covenant- the cross.


July 12“Reckoned as Righteousness”Romans 4:16-25
As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:– Paul, formerly Saul and formerly a legalistic religious fanatic, once persecuted Christians until confronted by Christ Himself.- Paul writes in the manner of someone unfolding a map stage by stage so that each new piece offers both a fresh vision and a sense of having been contained within what had gone before.- Paul’s desire was to unify Gentile and Jewish Christians for life and mission.Key Words and Phrases:The Promise- God’s commitment that he would bring about salvation (Salvation – to be saved, salvaged or rescued from one kingdom or trajectory to another.)Faith – the capacity to see (or at least the willingness to see) the dream of God for all of Life (including my own life).  This is not the definition of faith.  Faith is belief and commitment to Jesus Christ.  It is not committing to a dream but to the object of our faith, the Lord.
 

 

The Law – (the Torah) given as a gift of God’s grace for the purpose of sketching out the dream of God for all of Life (including my own life). The Law then measures our attempts and efforts to live out His dream.

 

Again, the law shows us we are hopeless sinners, the Spirit gives life and the law of Christ, which is love.Ga 3:19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.Ga 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” {Deut. 21:23}
 

 

Justification – God’s activity and my response that results in my being seen by God as being in “good standing” or in a saving relationship with Him.

 


July 5Guest Speaker: Rev. Jim Williams
  June 28“Constancy and Newness”Romans 3:21-26
As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:– “Romans is neither a systematic theology nor a summary of Paul’s lifework, but it is by common consent his masterpiece” (N.T. Wright).- Romans can be likened to a symphonic composition: “Themes are stated and developed (often in counterpoint with each other), recapitulated in different keys, anticipated in previous movements and echoed in subsequent ones” (N.T. Wright).- Be careful in relying too heavily on the headings in your Bible. These are later editorial additions. In Romans Paul does not write in way that lends itself to such easy compartmentalization. Rather, he was far more likely, in individual sentences, paragraphs and sections, to state a point in a condensed fashion and then steadily to unpack it, in the manner of someone unfolding a map stage by stage so that each new piece offers both a fresh vision and a sense of having been contained within what had gone before. (N.T. Wright).Key Words and Phrases:Faith – yet another aspect of faith in Paul is as a response to proclamation, i.e., a response to the Gospel message. One summative way of expressing faith is trust. To trust is to commit oneself and to reconfigure oneself in relationship. It also implies confession or deliberate avowal. “Calling Christians ‘believers’ is really shorthand, for they are not persons who major in believing. Rather, they are persons who believe what the gospel says and whom it proclaims, and who entrust themselves to it deliberately” (Leander E. Keck).
 (Christians are defined by believing in Jesus Christ. They don’t just believe what the Gospel says, they believe in the person who the Gospel is about.) Grace – God’s unmerited favor, i.e., a gift.

Atonement – in this context the expiation or removal of sin, having in view the Jewish sacrificial system. But the implication of the removal is being one with God, quite literally “at-one-ment.”

 

Redemption – redeemed, bought at a price, brought back into relationship.



June 21“No Excuses”Romans 2:1-16
As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:– In Paul’s original work, there were no chapter and verse numbers. Thoughts are divided that weren’t originally divided.- Paul’s desire was to unify Gentile and Jewish Christians for life and Mission.- Paul, formerly Saul and formerly a legalistic religious fanatic, once persecuted Christians until confronted by Christ Himself.Key Words and Phrases:Faith – the capacity to see (or at least the willingness to see) the dream of God for all of Life (including my own life).

God does not dream.

Sin – Choosing against the dream of God for all of Life (including my own life), opting instead for an alternative dream or Kingdom.

There is no dream of God, only the reality of Who God is.

The Law – (the Torah) given as a gift of God’s grace for the purpose of sketching out the dream of God for all of Life (including my own life). The Law then measures our attempts and efforts to live out His dream.

Justification – God’s activity and my response that results in my being seen by God as being in “good standing” or in a saving relationship with Him.

June 14“Righteousness of God Revealed”Romans 1:16-25
As you read Romans, keep these things in mind:– Paul didn’t start the church in Rome, nor did he visit it.- Paul wrote Romans more for the gathered believers in Rome than for the individual believers.- Paul’s hope was to unify the church in Rome.Key Words and Phrases:Salvation – to be saved, salvaged or rescued from one kingdom (or trajectory) to another.
Gospel – The Story of Hope and Redemption God is telling through Christ and now us!
Righteousness of God – God’s faithfulness to His promise of RELATIONSHIP with us!
(Faithfulness is but one aspect of God’s righteousness.  There are many other attributes that make God holy.)

 

“First for the Jews…” – This is not a statement of priority; it is a statement of chronology.  God, in his passion to reach the world for redemption and renewal, first chose Israel to embody that passion.
Gentiles – non-Jews

 

 

God Bless


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