• Whatever Is Not from Faith Is Sin

    by Shawn Merithew on February 11, 2018
    Romans 14:20-23

    In this final sermon from Romans 14, Pastor Shawn summarizes the 10 principles that Paul has given to protect unity and foster love within the church when believers hold differing convictions on secondary matters. The nature of the conscience is discussed as well as how faith is to be the basis for all we do in the Christian life.

  • The Nature of the Kingdom

    by Shawn Merithew on February 4, 2018
    Romans 14:6-19

    What is the Kingdom of God about? Is it about eating and drinking and the observance of days? Is it about clashing over minor rules and wants and differences? Or is it more? Have we not belittled the Bride for which Christ died when we seek our own ends at the expense of our brethren? Paul’s words in this part of Romans 14 are given to help believers remember that we must value Christ and His kingdom more than our preferences and convictions on secondary matters.

  • Be Not a Stumbling Block

    by Shawn Merithew on January 21, 2018
    Romans 14:10-15

    If a believer sincerely thinks that partaking of something would be dishonoring to God, if his conscience — even in weakness or immaturity — is convinced that something is unclean or profane before God, then it is indeed unclean, and for him to partake of it is sin. You see, faith is trusting in the sufficiency of God, being content with all that He is for you and has for you. When you act against your own spirit-directed conscience, you are valuing something more than God. That is why being a stumbling block is such a serious sin.

  • We Are the Lord’s

    by Shawn Merithew on January 14, 2018
    Romans 14:5-9

    In these verses of Romans 14, we are told to be fully convinced of our own convictions, realizing that Christians can go to God’s Word seeking to love Him and glorify Him in obedience, and be personally led by God in secondary matters to do opposite things to the glory of God (vs 6). It is then important to understand the right foundations for Christian convictions, as well as the greater truths of Christ’s Lordship that help us to submit our convictions and priorities to His higher purposes.

  • Accept the Weaker Brother

    by Shawn Merithew on January 7, 2018
    Romans 14:1-4

    Alcohol consumption, tattoos, watching “R” rated movies, Courtship vs Dating, Sacred vs Secular Music, Public School vs Homeschool — How are we to live with one another when our convictions on these different matters can be so very different and so very strong? In this text, Paul frames his discussion of Christian liberty and being stumbling blocks by commanding us all to live in a spirit of love and deference when we find ourselves in disagreement about non-essential matters.

  • Put on the Lord Jesus Christ

    by Shawn Merithew on December 10, 2017
    Romans 13:11-14

    In these final verses of chapter 13, Paul stresses the urgency of our call to love by reminding us that the Day of Christ is near. In light of Christ’s coming, we are to live as children of the day, putting aside the deeds of darkness and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we array ourselves with Christ? By cultivating our relationship with Him. We seek Him, we read His Word, we pray, and as we draw near to Him and know Him, we become like Him — we manifest His character.

  • The Sum of the Law

    by Shawn Merithew on December 3, 2017
    Romans 1:8-10

    Every single Christian is deeply in debt. We owe a debt of love to God because of all that Christ has done to save us. But His salvation is of grace, and grace is not grace if we have to repay Him. Thus, though we are indebted to Christ for our salvation, grace means we never pay it back. Instead, we pay it forward. We fulfill that debt of love to Christ by loving others the same way He has loved us by directing the gushing torrent of Christ’s grace and love toward others in every interaction.

  • The Believer’s Response to True Authority

    by Shawn Merithew on November 26, 2017
    Romans 1:5-7

    In this third message explaining the biblical role of civil government, we consider the believer’s response to true authority. As Christians, we are called to subject ourselves to civil authority, not just because we fear the sword, but because we love Christ. We are also to support our governments through the paying of taxes, and by honoring those over us because they are servants of God put in place for the common good.

  • The Function of True Authority

    by Shawn Merithew on November 19, 2017
    Romans 3:3-4

    In these two verses of Romans 13, we find God’s design for civil authority. Our governing authorities exist to restrain evil, praise obedience to the law, and punish lawlessness. That is why government is given the power of the “sword.” When we understand the role of government, is fosters a renewed appreciation for God’s provision and care for His people.

  • The Nature of True Authority

    by Shawn Merithew on November 12, 2017
    Romans 1:1-2

    God rules and controls the universe without exception or limitation. As the King of all creation, He is the source of all authority, and therefore, He is the One who bestows authority upon men. This means that the authority and power that any person, group, government, or society possesses is divinely delegated, and either emboldened or restrained according to our Father’s perfect providence. Knowing that our citizenship is in heaven allows us to submit to imperfect earthly authorities.

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