Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Rome

June 20, 2022 Mark Roberts Season 2 Episode 25
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Rome
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for Monday, June the 20th. I am mark and I am glad to welcome you to the podcast this morning. This is the podcast that's all about starting the week with a look back at yesterday's sermon, plus a forward look to our Bible reading for the week to come so that we can get some of that spiritual momentum of yesterday and shove it into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we can carry it through for the whole week. I'm doing all of that. Of course, while I am holding an amazing cup of coffee, I hope you have coffee or whatever you start your week with to get you going. I hope you have your Bible. I hope maybe you have a few notes that you took about yesterday's sermon. I hope you're ready to get going. Let's get started. Yesterday was father's day and I did preach some material that I think is helpful to dads as they lead their family in the 9:00 AM. As we finished up in first Samuel, what a great book on leadership first , Samuel turns out to be in the 10 40. Then we resumed the preaching theme for the year we went to Rome. I am so enjoying the opportunity to travel and visit with our imagination. I guess I should say , uh , the opportunity to travel and visit these ancient cities and these ancient congregations no more so than to go to Rome. What a city that must have been the fact that there are still ruins today that you can see, and they're not just a kind of pile of rubble. You can't really make out what that was. If some archeologist didn't sketch it in for you. No , you can see all the things that Rome was about and the glory and splendor of Rome pretty clearly and pretty easily. And I think about Paul visiting that city, even Paul must have been a little impressed by the palaces, by the circus Maximus by all that was going on there. And I'm sure Paul was impressed because a million people live there. Paul always chooses the most important city in an area and says, I wanna preach there because he knows if you can establish a good, there that'll be a base of operations and the gospel will just go everywhere from that place. There already is a church in Rome or church is we're not entirely sure about that. Maybe more than one. And so Paul goes there because he is going to move his base of operations there, as he thinks about preaching the gospel further west, even as far west, as Spain, I really am impressed with the city of Rome, despite maybe its wickedness and some of the things that were just terribly wrong about Rome. As I said, it's splendor and magnificence must have been just something to see. I'm not as impressed with the congregation there. As we turn our attention to the book of Romans, which we will begin reading next week at the end of next week, we'll finish Galatians and we'll be reading in Romans. I, I struggle with this congregation in Roman because they are divided. That's probably the most important key element that we need to keep in mind when we're reading in the book of Romans, this church is facing division and it's struggling with racial tensions between Jews and Gentiles. I filled in some of the blanks with that yesterday in acts chapter 18, we read about the emperor and how he sent all the Jews out of Rome. That must have had a devastating effect upon the churches because the Jewish brethren would provide so much leadership, but now four or five, six years have gone by the edict of Claudius has been relaxed. And those brethren are returning. They would find the churches to be very different and Gentiles would have Gentile. Believers would have a very different attitude about having to knuckle under to Jewish brethren. So brethren who had been dominant in important positions of influence and leadership would find now a Gentile in that. And there is just some friction here. That's a little hard for me to work with. I don't like churches to be dividing. That's so discouraging, but Paul does a masterful job dealing with this, particularly because he has never even been there. And this is not a church that he has founded. So we wanna watch for a little bit different tone as we're reading in Romans starting next week. And maybe I'll give you a couple of more thoughts to think about that church in Rome. First of all, that church is going to experience big time persecution in 80 64 , a great fire burned a whole bunch of Rome down the cause of that blaze is disputed by historians, but there are a couple things that are absolutely certain. First of all, Nero took that opportunity to build Rome into a more beautiful city and to make things that were run down and ghetto E and all the things that go with that to renovate all of that, to bulldoze over that and to start something new, he in fact made a beautiful golden house for himself. The other thing that is not up for debate is that he blamed the fire on Christians. TASS tells us about all of that. In fact, that may be a factor in Paul being re imprisoned and executed something that is beyond acts chapter 28. But I would urge us as we're thinking about the book of Romans, and we're thinking about the church in Rome to be mindful of what Paul has to say in that letter that would prepare a church for serious persecution. The time to dig a well is before're thirsty. And this church is going to be rocked by terrible persecution. Lots of Christians were burned alive in Nero's 80, 64 persecution. What is that like? And what is Paul saying in Romans that would help that church get ready for that? In the meantime, it should be noted that the church at Rome was powerful and influential. Maybe I'm a little, I don't know, you're dividing that kind of bums me out, but in the new Testament world, this church was looked to by many other congregations as a source of strength and a , and a source of encouragement. There's actually a letter that was written from the church in Rome to the church at Corinth may be written around 70 ad or later. And the author there talks about some Calamus events, maybe that's that persecution I just discussed. But church in Corinth seems to have requested advice in council from the church in Rome, which would say something about that church being influential. Maybe what we ought to remember about the church in Rome is that it stands as a witness that the church can grow and develop without having an apostle in their midst. And without even being founded by an apostle, this becomes a local church of Christ. We're in some ways, I think a little afraid to ever say anything about the church of Rome. If we say anything about it, somehow that makes us into Roman Catholics. And of course that's ridiculous and totally not true. It's a marvelous church. There's a lot of good things going on. There. There's some things that they need to improve on, and that's why Paul wrote, but they are going to help Paul. He believes in his missionary endeavors to the west, he has a lot of confidence in them. Maybe I need to have a little bit more confidence in Rome as well. What a city and what a church, what a letter that Paul writes to them. As I said, we'll pick that letter up starting next week. Once we're done with Galatians, speaking of Galatians, we ought to think about that right now. Let's talk about daily Bible reading. It is Monday, and we are reading today in Galatians chapter four versus one to eight. And this well, it's not a terrible chapter division, but maybe especially since we haven't read since Friday, and there is a big number four there separating it from the material in chapter three, we may lose our place. Paul is discussing you re may remember in chapter three, the idea of inheriting being an heir to the promises of Abraham in Jesus Christ. And now chapter four, verse one, today's reading. I mean, then that the heir , as long as he's a child is no different from a slave. So he is resuming the idea of being an heir. And again, he's bringing up this idea of this special slave who took care of the young master and made sure that he went to school. This guardian, we were under this guardian, where is Paul going with that? Paul is wanting to say, we don't want to go back to the law. That's back into slavery. That's back in the time when we were a child and we had to be looked after. So Galatians, you're letting people bind things on you. Add the law of Moses to your Christianity. That's going backwards. That's a regression. Don't let that happen. We are not under a slave. We're not under guardians and managers. Verse two, when we were in children, we were enslaved with the elementary principles of the world . The idea there is literally things in a row like a , B C 1, 2, 3, 4 . The elementary stages may be of religious experience. That's common to all people here. This is a close idea to Hebrews five and verse 12. Maybe he means the principles of the world, natural law and how things are run. But Paul is saying, don't go back and be a child again, because God has sent his son for four at the right time to redeem us so that we can be sons, not slaves. This idea of chapter four verse four of the fullness of time has to do with the pox . Roman, the Romans had subjugated the world. And while there may be some downsides to that, I'm certain, there were some really good things about that that allowed the gospel to spread and increase like crazy. The world was at peace. They had a tremendous road system. They had a postal system. Travel was easy and comparatively safe. There was a common language throughout the new Testament world. People spoke, Greek Jewish synagogues were everywhere. Lots of great places to go and start a church. So this was exactly the right time for God to send his son. And he came verse five to redeem us so that we can receive adoption his son so that we can be in God's family because your sons, then God has sent forth his spirit verse six to cry Abba father, the acid test of being a Christian for Paul is can you call God? Father Abba is an Aramaic word. It is in some ways, roughly equivalent to our word, daddy. So it emphasizes a close relationship. I don't think Paul means if anybody can say I'm a father that makes them a Christian, what he means is do you have that relationship, that close relationship with God? And we should be mindful that Jewish people did not talk about God, the father in that kind of way Jesus did. And Jesus invited his followers to do that. But that was, that was a little bit scandalous. That was a little bit on edge, but by Paul's time, that teaching is being solidified. Christians are saying that that's a part that's who we are. That's central to who we are. And the spirit guides us leads us to that kind of deep relationship with the father. This is of course about Jews so that we might receive adoption as sons. But then at the end of our reading in verse eight, Paul turns to the Gentiles when he says, when you did not know God, so now he's gonna talk about everybody. Jews knew some things about God. Now Gentiles turned away from idols and they are able to know God like those Jews were able, they were able to have a deep relationship. Is that based on, is that based on law or is that based on something else? Tomorrow's reading Galatians chapter four versus nine to 20 is where Paul will talk further about how the Gentiles got, where they are. Spoiler alert. It's not through the law of Moses. See you tomorrow. Welcome to Tuesday's daily Bible reading. We're reading in Galatians chapter four today it's verse nine to 20. Be a little bit of a change in tone here. Maybe what I've said about question one, a, how is Paul feeling? What's his emotional state? What's the temperature. Maybe, maybe when I said Paul is writing angrily. And that the answer to that question is always going to be, he is furious. That may change just a little bit today, but in verse nine, let's pick it up here. Now that you've come to know God or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world? Who slaves you want to be once more? Paul's just amazed because if you go back to the law, you're, you're , you're going back and you'll just be as bad as you once were as a pagan, because this is going back to what you left. This is turning away from reality to nothingness. The law has no power now and he can't believe they're doing that after they know God, you have known God in a way that the law of Moses could never introduce you or develop a relationship between you and the Lord. And now you're gonna go back to something that is weak and, and worthless. That, that there's no way that can work. You observe times and seasons. That may be Sabba. That may be Jewish holidays of some sort. But Paul is certain that if his converts fall into legalism, this gospel plus idea, then everything that he did is just wasted. It will all come to nothing in verse 13, then begins a little parenthesis, a little tangent here where things get very, very tender of verse 12. I'm sorry, is where that's gonna begin brothers. I treat you become as I am. I treat you, this is not as angry a section. He's very emotional. Paul came to Galatia and when he got there, he got sick. And he talks about that in verses 13 and 14. And no , we don't know what that was. Maybe it was malaria. That area is known for that may have had something to do with his eyes. There's just speculation about that. And there will always be speculation about that because he says you would've gouged out your eyes. Verse 15. For me, we don't know what happened, but they cared for Paul and Paul cared for them. They cared for him physically. He cared for them spiritually. And now here comes these fake false teachers for 17. And they're so zealous to get converts because they want someone to praise them . Zeal is great. As long as the purpose is good, but this idea of, I, I just, I just gotta get my party. I've gotta get my group around me. That's repugnant to Paul. And so he is so concerned about my little children, verse 19. I'm the one that brought you spiritually into this world. I'm your spiritual father. And now it's like, I'm having to reconvert you all over again. He is so verse 20, so upset and concerned, but that's not about ego. It is about his deep seated interest in their spiritual wellbeing. That's what's going on here. Don't go backwards. Don't be enslaved in the law of Moses. You've been set free from that. And all that goes with that. Don't let somebody tell you your second class citizens in God's kingdom, and that you have to have this gospel plus gospel plus circumcision gospel. Plus the law of Moses. You can't do that. And I, Paul says, I , I , I, I don't know what to say that somehow. Now, when I tell you the truth, you're angry at me. Do I become your enemy? Verse 16 for telling you the truth. There's a lot of application here. We need to watch for teachers that seek to isolate themselves a little group. That's a huge red flag. And we just need to ask ourselves, am I able to hear a rebuke? Am I able to listen when somebody says, I think you're off course here, let's study the Bible. This passage has something to say about this. What about this? Can I hear that? Do I act on that? Do I receive that? Have I become your interations by telling you the truth? That's a pointed question from today's Bible reading. I will see you tomorrow. When something happens in the new Testament, that doesn't happen anywhere else. See you on Wednesday. Welcome to Wednesday. We're reading in Galatians chapter four, we're reading Galatians 4 21 to 31. And there is a sharp shift here from little children, verse 19. Now verse 21. Don't you know, the Bible, Paul is amping it up again and he makes use of something. We don't find anywhere else. In the new Testament he makes use of an allegory. An allegory is different from a parable in an allegory, the characters are made to stand for something. And Paul is making Hagar and Sarah here stand for something. And that is essential to his argument in a parable, a parable teaches a lesson, but the characters don't necessarily stand for something. There can be some correspondence in a parable. Sometimes we beat the parable down by making everything mean something. We need to be careful about that parables aren't allegories. That's not how they function. A parable is a story that teaches an allegory has characters that stand for something to teach essential truths. And this is, this is very much to Paul's liking because in an allegory using this allegory, he can make a final appeal to Abraham and the law. He can use a method that apparently some of these juing teachers were using, and he can use this method with some emotional power and force behind it. I think anytime you teach doctrine as somebody who has opportunity and obligation to do that from time to time, you're a little worried. It's gonna be dry. If you can put some punch behind it, by using some historical figures like this , uh , here, he's talking about Sarah Hager. You're glad to do that. It helps the story. It helps the point come alive. What really impresses us about this allegory is the twist the way Paul surprisingly makes application of it. So let's look at our reading today. Here's Hager and Ishmail , if you're not familiar with that story, you'll want to go back and refresh that in your mind. You'll find those recorded in Genesis 16 and especially in Genesis chapter 21, Paul then uses this, the son of the slave born, according to the flesh verse 23, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. So Isaac is the child of promise. He had a supernatural birth Hager and Ishmail , that was entirely natural. There wasn't anything unusual about that at all. So then Paul says, this may be interpreted some symbolically verse 24 or allegorically it's the only time Paul uses that word. One translation says figuratively. It is the word for allegory. And it should be noted here that Paul's allegory is simple and logical, but many have abused that and they have run all over everywhere, making everything compared to everything. We need to be careful about that. When the Bible says something is symbolic or for shadowing, or it can be interpreted allegorical than it is. And if the Bible doesn't say that, then we shouldn't be doing that. I have seen all kinds of allegorical interpretations, for example, of the tabernacle, where everything in the tabernacle stands for something. The two rods, the two polls holding the arc of the covenant stand for the old Testament and the new Testament. Well, that's great, but where does the Bible say that? So we wanna be careful, but here Paul does say verse 24, these women are two covenants. One from Sinai bearing children for slavery. She is Hager. Hager is Mount Sinai in Arabia. Wow. That's where things take a sharp turn. I'm certain the Jewish Christians that heard that read in their assembly gasp out loud. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm child of Hager. I'm the child of Sarah . I am a child of Abraham through his wife. What is this Hager business? That would make me an AAB that would make me outside of the family of Abraham. What are you saying? But that is the force of the allegory here. Jerusalem above verse 26 is free. And she is our mother. Christians are the children of Isaac. We are born supernaturally, just like Isaac was born supernaturally. There's a quote in verse 27 from Isaiah F 54 to show that this is how that situation works, that this is typical of that situation. He applies the allegory specifically in verse 28. You brothers like Isaac are the children of promise. Christians are like Isaac. We are in the family of Abraham. And so verse 30, we need to get read of these juing teachers just as Hager was cast out this gospel plus bunch, cast them out, no room for that. Can't have that get rid of them. This is a very different kind of argumentation. We don't do a lot of allegorical sorts of things today. Maybe I need to preach an allegorical sermon sometime, but this was used heavily in the new Testament world. And Paul employs it here to say to Gentiles, you are in as a Christian, you're a child of Abraham. You're like Isaac, don't go to the old law that puts you out like Hager and ISME were out. That's our Bible reading for today. Before we put away our Bibles, let's give a thought to our services this evening. As we resume our summer series, the deadly dozen, the tools that Satan uses to destroy our faith speaking for us tonight is my good friend, Danny Simmons from the Austin Texas area. And he will be talking about a devastating tool that the devil seems to be employing more ruthlessly than ever. And with more success than ever, Danny will be talking about lost . Here is Danny Simmons to give you a preview of tonight's lesson.

Speaker 3:

Hi, I'm Danny Simmons. And if the Lord wills I'll be preaching for you tonight as the west side , congregation continues its summer series on the dirty dozen, where we look at Satan's favorite tools for destroying our faith . One of those powerful tools that the devil uses against us is lust. And that will be our topic tonight. So many people today are enslaved to their own lust, and yet they're hard and they're fleshly. Appetite can never be satisfied. It wants more and more and more. This is not God's will for our lives in Romans chapter one. The apostle Paul tells us that there are those who refuse to know God, and they are ungrateful in verse 24. He says, therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lust of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves. We will look at this important topic tonight and we'll arm ourselves with a panoply of God. I sure hope you can make it. And I look forward to being with you all.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, Danny. Looking forward to hearing you preach God's word this evening. That'll close us for Bible reading today. See you tomorrow. We'll start Galatians chapter five. It is Thursday. And today we start the fifth chapter of Galatians. On Thursday, we read Galatians chapter five versus one to nine for freedom verse one Christ has set us free stand firm , therefore, and do not submit again to Aoke of slavery. It's extremely important that we understand what Paul means by freedom here and what the Liberty is that he is calling us to. It is certainly not a Liberty that would lead us to evil or to sin or to do what is wrong. What he means here is that we are free to serve God in righteousness and holiness. As we walk in the spirit and that emphasis would be for Gentiles. They are free to do this. They could not do this before. A Gentile could not do that under the old covenant, but now Christ has set us free to serve the Lord. We use freedom to mean no restraint, no governance, no laws. The ability to do whatever you want. Paul doesn't think anybody is free like that in further development in Romans chapter six, he will talk about everybody serves somebody. Nobody is completely free. If you think about it, you will realize Paul is absolutely correct about that. He is talking here in contrast to a favorite Jewish expression. The yolk of the law Jews talked about taking on the yolk of the law as if that was a good thing. But for Paul, Paul says, that's just slavery. Be free of the yolk of the law. That's where he's going with this. If you take the yoke of the law again, you have fallen from grace, Galatians five in verse four. Instead we need to work and walk through the spirit as we work righteousness, and we have faith, six working through love . This is not a difficult section, just nine verses that we are reading today. As long as we have freedom in the right place, this has been badly misconstrued. And anytime someone tries to say something about the moral obligations of Christianity, there'll be someone who will jump up and talk about how we are free. We are certainly not free from obeying the Lord. We are to obey the truth. Look at verse seven, who hindered you from obeying the truth? That's what Paul is talking about. He certainly isn't telling the Galatians that they can just run wild and do all kinds of wicked and evil things, but they are not subject to the law of Moses. That's where this is going. And he will develop more of that tomorrow. We've almost reached the end of the week. I'll see you on Friday. We'll keep reading in Galatians five. You made it. It is Friday end of the week and all the things that go with that. Now we set that down and get ready for the weekend. Get ready for worship, get ready for some other kinds of activities. But first some Bible reading from Galatians chapter five, let's read verses 10 to 18 today. Some pretty tough language today. I think we get more of that exclamation point, Paul, that we've talked about a good bit. That one, a question. How does Paul feel? Not much doubt about that today because he says in verse 12, I wish those who would unsettle you would emasculate themselves. That is pretty tough language. It is paraphrase by a number of translations to try to water it down a little bit, but it is literally castrate themselves. That would mean for a Jew by the way, that you could not go to the temple. And there were pagans that practice castration. So this would put the juing teachers on the level of the pagans. One of my favorite writers, John stat remarks, if we were as concerned for God's church and God's word as Paul was, we too might wish that false teachers would cease from the land. That's where thinking about if you're going to be offended about verse 12, I think Paul is just speaking in big exaggerated language. You wanna cut? You think cutting and surgery is so great. Well, let's get with it. Let's just have a big surgery. If surgery is the way to get right with God, but, and here's a good summary from one scholar's pen. Circumcision stands for the religion of human achievement of what man can do by his own good works. Christ stands for the religion of divine achievement of what God has done through Jesus. Circumcision is law and works and Christ is grace and faith and freedom. Every man must choose. That's what Paul is trying to get the Galatians to see here. I do think as we transition a little bit in verse 13 to , uh , some new ideas that he's working with, that idea that the Gentiles are just gonna go hog wild. If there's no law, they're just gonna go crazy. And Paul says, no freedom does not set us free to just do all kinds of evil things. Freedom is serving your brother versus 13 to 15. Freedom is walking in the spirit versus 16, 17, and 18 freedom is doing what is right and that honors God not doing what is wrong versus 19 to 26. So he says here in verse 13, this is not an opportunity for the flesh. For the, for Paul flesh is a person without Christ or God doesn't mean that you're born depraved or that you have some defective sinful nature. The NIV translation here is very, very weak for Paul people without Christ choose to sin , they satisfy their fleshly appetites. They do what they want to do. The fleshly person is the man without God, the man who doesn't care about God. Instead we do care about God because we are walking in the spirit. That's verse 16. And so what do we do versus 14 and 15? What we do is we fulfill the law. This is Paul's characteristic , uh , summary of the law it's found in all of the gospels. Jesus uses it to from Leviticus 1918. You love your neighbor as yourself. You think about others, you care about others. And then as I said, verse 16, you walk in the spirit. That just means to have relationship with God. That means to do what God wants you to do to walk with God, to be led by God, to be concerned about God's will to do what God wants you to do. This should not be seen or interpreted as something mysterious or better felt than told or spooky in any way. God has not led in the past. In any time . There's not any place in scripture where God is leading people by hunches and intuition or by feelings, God leads by his word. And we should look to the word to be led by the spirit who after all gave us the word, the holy spirit is the inspirer of the, is that a word inspirer of the word? And so we look to the tool of the spirit so that we can walk in the spirit. Paul loves that idea of walking that gets used about 30 times in his other epistles. He pushes from there to the idea of a battle. And we get more of that in Roman seven, more of that in Ephesians chapter six, there's a desire for the flesh wrong things. There's a desire for the spirit, right things. And we want to do right things . So life in the spirit verse 18 is not about legalism, the gospel. Plus it's not about lifeness license to do all kinds of wickedness. No, it's not either of those. And it's not down the middle. It's above it's above. It's better than those as we walk in a way that glorifies God, if you have specific questions about how that works, try Monday. When Paul spells out very specifically what it looks like to walk in the spirit, bearing the fruit of the spirit and very specifically what it is like to not keep in step with the spirit, by doing the works of the flesh . And we'll read that on Monday Until then. I certainly do appreciate you listening to this podcast. It's of great encouragement to me and to all of us at west side , the number of people who are downloading and who are using this podcast as a tool to connect with God through his word. If you like what you're hearing, please follow, subscribe, and rate and give a review that helps other people find the podcast. Tell somebody about it, recommend it to somebody, email them a link for the podcast. So until next time, may your coffee be delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful. And I hope the Lord is with you today. All day. I'll be with you again on Monday morning with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.is that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday,

Sermon Notes
Monday Gal 4:1-8
Tuesday Gal 4:9-20
Wednesday Gal 4:21-31
Wed Night Summer Series-Danny Simmons-Lust
Thursday Gal 5:1-9
Friday Gal 5:10-18