• Romans 1:1-17 Are You a Saint! (Donovan)

    Paul starts his letter to the Romans by identifying himself. "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ," he says. Paul clearly wants us to know who the boss is. Jesus is in charge. Paul is only a servant—a person under orders—someone who does what he is told. But then he gives us the other side.

  • Romans 3 John 8:31-36 Reformation: Major Transition (Robb)

    On this Reformation Sunday, as we review our heritage let us renew ourselves in that Spirit of transition, that miracle of ‘forgiveness' in Jesus Christ that set fire to the Church once again at the time of the Reformation.

  • Romans 3:19-28 Reformation Day (Klingensmith)

    Like Paul and Martin Luther we are challenged to tell other people about God’s love and gift of grace. People won’t know there’s hope unless we share the good news with them. Talking about our faith can be very difficult; even embarrassing. But we have the words found right here in this book to help us explain our faith.

  • Romans 3:19-28 God of Refuge, God of Strength (Schoonover)

    Few of us like to live with uncertainty, but that’s the condition in which we find ourselves right now. Given that, there’s something very appealing and life-giving about God being our refuge and strength. But what might this mean for us today?

  • Romans 3:21-28 Fallen Short (Donovan)

    Grace is undeserved kindness. It is this undeserved kindness that saves us. Paul tells us that God has sent Jesus Christ to give us what we weren't capable of winning on our own. It matters not whether God must forgive a little or a lot. He gives us the same gift–– the gift of forgiveness––the gift of life.

  • Romans 3:23 The Roman Road (Molin)

    Romans 8:38 says, "Nothing can separate us from the love of God." Do you know what that means? You and I didn’t do anything to earn God’s love, and we can’t do anything to lose it. That’s the bottom line of grace; that God’s love is rock solid and can never be taken from us.

  • Romans 3:23-24 Fragile Grace (Gerhardy)

    I have entitled today’s sermon "Fragile Grace" because it is the focus on what "I" need to do to improve my relationship with God that puts grace in danger. Grace is a very fragile thing, because it is can be easily overwhelmed by our human need to do something to get into God's good books.

  • Romans 4:13-25 Genesis 12:1-9 The Land to Which God Leads Us (Donovan)

    The old poem says: "And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year // "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." // And he replied, "Go into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. // That shall be to you better than light, and safer than the known way."

  • Romans 4:13-25 Genesis 17:1-8 When God’s Mind Is Made Up (Hyde)

    Abram gladly became a nomad because that is what his God demanded of him. But surely there was another reason. It had to do with the promise. If Abram followed God's demand, perhaps he could finally fulfill his name. He would truly become Abram, "exalted father."

  • Romans 5:1-5 God’s Gift of Love (Wagner)

    When we are willing to “wait” as people of faith, extraordinary things can happen. God’s gift of love can come at any time. Remember, it is free, not something we have to earn. It may, however take time. Meanwhile, we live with hope.

  • Romans 5:1-5 Bragging on God (Hyde)

    Paul never woke up in the morning saying, “Think I’ll write some holy scripture today.” No. He woke up thinking, “I’ve got to write that church in Corinth and straighten them out! Those churches in Galatia are in a mess. They need to hear from me!” He just couldn’t leave the churches alone.

  • Romans 5:1-5 What Is This Trinity? (Brettell)

    The Greek word for spirit is pneuma--meaning breath or spirit. Jesus gave up his breath or his spirit. The fully human Jesus died and gave up the fully divine Spirit. He released the Holy Spirit into the world when he died on the cross. Fifty days later, on Pentecost, that Spirit of God—that breath of God—descended upon the Apostles.

  • Romans 5:1-8 Roadmap to Character (Molin)

    I have a question for you to consider this morning. I don’t want you to answer it; just ponder it for the next 15 minutes, and perhaps as you leave this place today. The question is this: What would you be willing to do for a million dollars? For one million in cold cash, what deed would you be willing to do?

  • Romans 5:1-8 Getting It Right (Strayhorn)

    In C. S. Lewis' book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the children ask about Aslan the lion--the Christ figure in Lewis' stories. The children look at Aslan and ask, "Is he safe?" And the reply from the other characters is, "Of course he's not safe. But he's good." The same thing could probably be said about Christ.

  • Romans 5:8-10 Saved by the Cross (Gerhardy)

    We might think that some of the nicest good news is hearing of the birth of a baby, coming into a lot of money, or being cured of a disease, but the best news of all is that even though we are sinners who don’t deserve it, Christ has died for us.

  • Romans 5:1-11 Justified by Faith (Anders)

    Paul Tillich once preached a famous sermon in which he insisted that we have to accept the fact that we are accepted. Perhaps the deepest need that every one of us has is that of being accepted. The search for acceptance can be seen in all kinds of behavior.

  • Romans 5:1-11 I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Bedingfield)

    Paul says, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” When Paul talks about peace, he is not talking about a dreamy-eyed, mellowness that we think of when we remember 1960’s hippies. Rather, Paul is talking about the calm that comes to our very souls as a result of our knowledge of the love of God and the power that love has in our lives.

  • Romans 5:6-11 The Cross as Clue (Bowen)

    Yes, I have seen the movie. I think my reaction is best summed by the cartoon in which a couple are just leaving the theater after having seen Mel Gibson’s Passion. The man turns to his wife and says, “I think I liked the book better.”

  • Romans 5:12-19 The Cure for Sin (Anders)

    "Sin is a relationship to God focused in self-centeredness, which shows itself in unloving attitudes and acts toward our fellow men. It is when we seek our own wills instead of God's will and regulate our lives by such self-seeking that sin corrupts our nature." (Georgia Harkness)

  • Romans 5:12-19 Christ and Adam (McLarty)

    A fan behind home plate held up a poster that read: JOHN 3:16--as if to say "This is what's important." I began to think of what best sums up the Gospel. I decided that 1 Corinthians 15:22 would be my poster. "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." This is the heart of the Gospel.

  • Romans 5:18-19 Yes or No? (Gerhardy)

    May God grant that we might say "yes" and "no" to the right things and at the right times. "No" to Satan and his seemingly innocent yet destructive ways and "Yes" to Jesus and the new life and the hope he offers us. To Jesus may our response always be a resounding "yes"!

  • Romans 6:1-11 The Repentant Life (Strayhorn)

    The Apostle Paul used cross training language to encourage the early Christians when he talked about, "running the race; going for the goal; reaching for the prize." In a very real sense, we are in training. As we train for the Cross and the Kingdom there are some attitudes and lifestyles which we should adopt.

  • Romans 6:1-4 Lazarus Laughed (Bowen)

    The goal of religion is not to “perfect ourselves,” or to “get in touch with ourselves,” but to get beyond ourselves, in an effort to find something far greater than our own egos. Robert Stevenson understood this. He said, “In every corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be a gainer, to forget oneself is to be happy.”

  • Romans 7:15-25a Wretched Man That I Am (Hyde)

    If we didn’t know any better, we might think Paul had an identity problem – a complex, even. At the least there seems to be an inner conflict going on. “For I do not do what I want,” he confesses, “but I do the very thing I hate.” By the way, I heard of a preacher who once put that on his golf bag.

  • Romans 7:15-25a CONUNDRUM: (n) A Puzzling Question or Problem (Molin)

    Paul is describing the conundrum that is his life: that there is a constant tension within himself when it comes to doing the right thing. He knows what the right choices are; he can wish to do them, he can tell them to his friends. But when it comes to doing the right thing, more often than not, he fails.

  • Romans 8:1-11 No Condemnation (Stevenson)

    Give your life to Christ. Admit that you are a sinner who needs forgiveness and ask Jesus to pardon you. Maybe you have been a Christian all your life and don't know if you have ever given your life to Christ. Then do it today and be sure. Then you can declare with joy "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!"

  • Romans 8:12-17 Life as Suffering (Bowen)

    The Stoics of antiquity said: Be calm. Disengage yourself. Neither laugh nor weep. Jesus says: "Be open to the wounds of the world. Mourn humanity’s mourning, weep over humanity’s wounds, be in agony over humanity’s agony. But do so in the good cheer that a day of peace is coming."

  • Romans 8:14-17 Led by the Spirit (Gerhardy)

    The question could well be asked of ourselves – what kind of a spirit do we have? What follows the "of" in our lives? Do we have a spirit of fear, or a spirit of faith? A spirit of hate or a spirit of love? A spirit of greed or a spirit of generosity? You can see how important what word follows that little word "of".

  • Romans 8:12-25 The Gospel According to Annie (Stevenson)

    Annie's life is turned around when she is adopted by "Daddy Warbucks." Overnight she goes from being an indigent orphan to being the adopted daughter of the richest man in the world. That seems to be what Paul is talking about happening to us on a spiritual level.

  • Romans 8:22-27 When We Don’t Know How to Pray (Anders)

    Our poverty in prayer is all about us, but the Scripture offers us good news! "The Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can't be uttered" (Romans 8:26). Precisely in our weakness we may discover help from the Spirit.

  • Romans 8:24-25 Hope versus Despair (Bowen)

    In this year, what are you looking forward to? What out there in the future really excites you, grabs you, makes you want to get up and get going in the morning? What are you living toward that fills your days with meaning, your months with promise, your years with hope?

  • Romans 8:18-39 Just Hoping (Donovan)

    Some people would say, "Of course, I have no hope. Just look at the crazy world in which I live." But if we lived in a perfect world, we would have no need for hope. As Paul says in our scripture: "Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for that which he sees?"

  • Romans 8:26-39 Too Deep for Words (Hyde)

    There are at least two areas of our lives that we want to keep hidden from view: our finances and our prayers. Those are strictly our business and ours alone. If we’re going to share this information with anyone else at all – besides the IRS, of course – we’re going to share it solely with God.

  • Romans 10:5-15 Taking Grace for Granted (Stevenson)

    How can they be told if no one goes to them to tell them? Don't take for granted that someone else will tell them. Every single one of us has that responsibility. Don't take the Joy of salvation for granted. Share it with a world that has never heard of these things that you know by faith!

  • Romans 10:14 How Can They Hear? (Gerhardy)

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "The bearers of Jesus’ word … are now Christ’s fellow workers. … They are to meet those to whom they are sent as if they were Christ himself. They are bearers of his presence. They bring with them the most precious gift in the world, the gift of Jesus Christ." (Cost of Discipleship).

  • Romans 12:1-2 Dividing the Will of God (Bowen)

    Only as we place ourselves at the disposal of a higher will do we enjoy freedom from the pressures of culture and crowd--do we truly become our own person. Life by the will of God is not surrender of our own mind and will. It is in fact liberation of both. Says the old hymn “Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.”

  • Romans 12:1-2 Becoming an Individual (Bowen)

    The problem comes when our very person begins to be shaped by the fads and fancies of the time, by the pressures and prejudices of the crowd, when our most fundamental attitudes are dictated by the press and our values by the polls. “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mold.”

  • Romans 12:1-8 Spiritual Gifts (Anders)

    Where do you fit? What is your spiritual gift? God is calling you to be a good steward of the gift you have been given. God wants you to "present (yourselves) as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."

  • Romans 12:1-8 Rearranged…Or Changed? (Molin)

    As ludicrous as it sounds, I want to spend our time this morning making the distinction between the things in this life that are truly changed, and those that are merely rearranged. Specifically, I want to consider whether God has called us to be radically different people in this world, or if rearranged is good enough.

  • Romans 12:1-8 Living Sacrifices (Bedingfield)

    Our time and talent figure in to sacrificial giving just as does our treasure. Think about how you give of your time and how you use your God-given talent. God blesses your work every day, not just on Sundays. How you use the time God has given you is, in Paul’s words, a part of your spiritual worship.

  • Romans 12:9-16 What Is Evil? (McLarty)

    What evils do you deplore? My own list includes soap operas, credit card debt, the Texas Lottery, talk radio, Howard Stern, rap music and plastic flowers, to name a few. See what I mean? These are personal prejudices, not necessarily evils …

  • Romans 12:9-21 Seen the Doctor Lately? (Strayhorn)

    Our scripture is the prescription on how to live a holy life. If we were talking about cooking, this would be the recipe. If we were talking about building, this would be the blueprints. But since we're talking about the Great Physician, it's our prescription for Holiness; our prescription for living a life "holy and acceptable to God."

  • Romans 12:9-21 The Work of the Christian (Molin)

    In just nine verses, Paul tells us how to walk Christianly. There’s nothing in Paul’s list that is new for Christians; nothing there that Jesus didn’t already say. And yet we tend to gloss over it because it is too simple, too obvious for us to concern ourselves with. And what’s on Paul’s list? ....

  • Romans 12:9-21 The Morality that Transforms (Hoffacker)

    While it's true that churches provide a moral compass and teach right from wrong, this is not their sole function or even their most important one. "The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love."

  • Romans 13:8-10 Love One Another (McLarty)

    To love one another in the best sense of the word is not humanly possible; it can only come as a gift of God. First, we must be filled with God's love; and, as we are, God's love will overflow to all those we come in contact with – loved ones, friends, acquaintances, strangers, even our enemies.

  • Romans 13:8-14 A Community Learning to Love (Hoffacker)

    Owe no one anything, except to love one another. Promote charity—Christian love—for that is the chief grace of our faith. Here we have what it's all about. If we succeed with this, we have done everything. If we fail with this, then we have done nothing. The charity, this Christian love, does not originate with us. It starts with God.

  • Romans 13:8-14 The Golden Years (Wagner)

    That story gets to the heart of what Paul is trying to teach us. Our love is genuine when we learn that those we help are also loved by God. We truly capture the meaning of loving our neighbors when we accept the fact that the people we help are just as worthy and capable of loving others as we are.

  • Romans 13:11-14 Good Christian Rock (Anders)

    How do you wake up in the morning? Someone once asked my wife if she woke up grumpy in the morning. She replied, "No, I usually just let him sleep." Paul says, "The night is far gone, and the day is near."

  • Romans 13:11-14 The Sin of Sloth (Bowen)

    Dorothy Sayers, the English mystery writer says, “In the world it is called tolerance, but in hell it is called despair. It is the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing. There is not a trumpet in our lives to call us to our feet.”

  • Romans 14:1-12 Where do You Live? (Strayhorn)

    We love jumping to conclusions. Sometimes that's ALL the exercise some of us get. That's what normal people do, right? But don't forget, we're not normal people. We're abnormal people. We've given our lives to Christ. And through Christ, we're called to live by different standards.

  • Romans 14:7-12 The Hand of God (Hyde)

    It is hard to go to through life without holding a grudge of some kind? Even for the most kindhearted of us, down deep in the recesses of our souls, there’s a grievance somewhere, a score to settle against somebody. Some of us milk it for all we’re worth.