Sermon – Grace and Truth

In this sermon Tim unpacks how Jesus perfectly balances grace and truth in his relationship with us and how we can rely on the Holy Spirit to guide as we relate to each other with grace and truth!

Sermon preached by Tim Giovanelli on Sunday November 20, 2022.

27/11/22 – 2022 End Of Year Sermon – by Tim Giovanelli Manly Life Church Podcast

In this sermon Tim recaps an amazing year at Manly Life and calls us to remember what we have been taught and put it into action, do we look any different as a church or as individuals since the beginning of the year – have we grown in our faith? Let's end the year well and join with what God is doing! SERMON NOTES click here: https://manlylife.org/2022/11/29/2022-end-of-year-sermon/ For more information about Manly Life check out our website: http://www.manlylife.org You can also find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ManlyLifeChurch
  1. 27/11/22 – 2022 End Of Year Sermon – by Tim Giovanelli
  2. 20/11/22 – Romans 2 Grace and Truth – by Tim Giovanelli
  3. 13/11/22 – Exodus 20:8 Sabbath and Rest – by Victoria Giovanelli
  4. 05/11/22 – Mustard Seed – by Tim Giovanelli – 10th B'day Celebrations
  5. 30/10/22 – Romans 1:1-17 Not Ashamed Of The Gospel – by Tim Giovanelli – Glorious Gospel Series

SERMON NOTES:

Romans 2 All in the Same Boat

Introduce myself… 

I want to talk today about our posture towards the world, as Christians

And as I observe… often a bit from the side lines it is often a debate between grace and truth…

So as we approach difficult ethical and pastoral issues, particularly where our culture has moved so rapidly in one direction…

And we stumbling… but hopefully faithfully, do our best to be a church that is defined by grace and truth

I want to Read from Romans 3 in the Message version… 

Verse 9: So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it:

There’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys. No one’s living right; I can’t find a single one. Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mudslides. Every word they speak is tinged with poison. They open their mouths and pollute the air. They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year, litter the land with heartbreak and ruin. Don’t know the first thing about living with others. They never give God the time of day.

Verse 21; But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Romans is a remarkable letter that Paul writes to the first believers in Rome.

In the ancient world we don’t find the word Gospel very often. The main time it was used was when a new Emperor came to power. 

And he is Lord because although he was crucified, he is now risen from the dead!

And the reason was simple. Jesus Christ is Lord was not just something to learn about, but something to experience…

And the good news of Jesus being Lord was an invitation to become a child of God. 

Romans 2:4 says; (don’t you know that) God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 

So in order to receive this radical life change of following Jesus as Lord… what are we called to turn from? What is it we are being rescued from?

So I would say there are broadly 3 things that Paul goes after in order to get to the good news…

Well Paul starts with idolatry.

So then Paul goes after two more. And he wants us to see that we are all in the same boat when it comes to needing rescue. So lets look at them…

The next is a judgemental mentality, whereby you think that because you know the truth about God you are better than everyone else.

A couple of  years ago you may have remembered hearing about a website called Ashley Madison where married people can organise to have an affair… 

OK, so after addressing the judgemental mentality Paul then goes after the third thing:  that really no one is without excuse because doing the right thing should be obvious but no one can really do it…

Romans 3:9-12 

“Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.

Now this is not a popular thing to conclude, particularly in the market place of ideas…

So where does that lead us… I would suggest in the same situation… all needing rescue…

When I was in Africa I remember a friend telling a story about them as children swimming in the local river.  

Often we find ourselves in that same place, trying desperately to rescue ourselves only to eventually falling into the arms of God… 

And remember that it is God’s kindness that can then be revealed leading to our repentance…

  • Those of us who have put our faith and hope for security in idols…
  • The self righteous who think they are better than everyone else.
  • The rest of us who really should know better… but still stuff up.

As I mentioned, I think the best example of truth and grace in Jesus is found in John 8 in the story of the woman caught in adultery… and she is dragged before Jesus… 

  • Imagine the deep feeling of fear and shame that would have swept over her… probably felt similar to a number of users of Ashley Madison. Caught!
  • But picture the scene, Jesus the wandering teacher and healer… the condemning crowds… the fearful woman… the baffled disciples… 
  • For those who know the story, wouldn’t you give anything to know what Jesus wrote in the dust…
  • And yet in calling those without sin to cast the first stone… and then saying to the woman, “neither do I condemn you, now go and leave you life of sin”…
  • Not only did the lives of those there get changed, but I believe the world changed.
  • Grace and truth took on flesh and dwelt amongst us.. 
  • And all of us discovered that really we all live in the same boat… needing and ready to be rescued. 

Romans 3:22-24 Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

Tim, why are you a Christian…

  • The answer is Jesus.
  • Why do you believe in grace… the answer is Jesus…
  • Why do you cling to sound doctrine and truth… the answer is Jesus…
  • Tim, why do you hang out with sinners… the answer is Jesus
  • Tim, why don’t you just move with the times… the answer is Jesus. 
  • Tim you are leaning too far into grace without truth… or Tim you are leaning too far into truth without grace… the answer is… well I’m not Jesus… I don’t always get it right…
  • But I’m trying to listen to his Spirit that lives in me… the Spirit of truth and grace.

One final implication for all of us… Can I suggest that the people of God should look and smell and sound like something…

  • We don’t hear in the gospels about the condemning men or the adulterous woman again.  
  • But I have some guesses about their lives… at least the ones whom the gospel got a hold of their lives…
  • The men: I imagine they became a little more humble… and slower to condemn others
  • The woman: I imagine she was very grateful… that someone had rescued her at this greatest moment of shame… and I imagine she started a whole new life as a disciple of Jesus. 

And doesn’t all of this then change our posture towards the world?

  • The idolaters, the judgemental, the serial sinners… actually just all in the same boat.
  • And so shaped by the one who came in grace and truth…
  • We too try and posture our hearts and lives, and attitudes and words to be like this!
  • That is who we are as a church, as the people of God… 
  • We don’t always get it right… but I hope we try… 
  • Ultimately to be like Jesus, knowing… hoping that extravagant grace… and unchanging truth…
  • That, that will lead to the radical life change that only the gospel can bring!

Amen?

Published by timgiovanelli

My wife Victoria and I are planting a new church in Manly, NSW

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