Romans 14:1-12 / Proper 19A / 14 September 2014

Today is the last installment in our series from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Romans goes on for one more chapter in which Paul gets down to the business of asking them for missionary money to go to Spain. And then there’s an appended letter of commendation for a woman named Phoebe who is carrying the letter to the Roman congregation along with a bunch of greetings to various people. Sufficient unto today is Romans chapter 12 and the matter of things that don’t really matter.
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Romans 13:1-10 / Proper 18A / 7 September 2008

This sermon from 2008 inserted here to complete the lectio continua through Romans 6 to 14.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God. (Romans 13:1)

We are talking about “life as liturgy”, today from Romans chapter 13. Your life is a priestly liturgy as you, a baptized priest to God offer your own body as a living sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God, a holy and acceptable sacrifice to God by His mercies in Christ Jesus. This “life as liturgy” begins in the congregation, where your Baptism is located, where the Lord’s table of His Body and Blood are, where the Word is preached into your ears. It extends out from the congregation in love – sincere love that hates what is evil, that honors the other over one’s self, that never lacks in zeal, that is joyful in hope, patient in suffering, faithful in prayer, generous in hospitality.
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Romans 12:9-21 / Proper 17A / 31 August 2014

Christians are priests in a priesthood. You are all priests, baptized into the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ. Your old self has been crucified and buried with Christ. Your new self has been raised and glorified with Christ. You have lost your life to Christ, and so you have gained your life forever. You no longer live, but Christ lives in you. You have the mind and the will of Christ. And even though your old self, the “old Adam,” what the apostle Paul calls your “flesh,” resists and struggles against it, your identity is not with the Flesh but with the Spirit, not as sinner but as saint. You may call yourself a poor, miserable, sinner, and rightly so. But God in Christ declares you to be a saint, holy and blameless, covered in the righteousness of Christ. You’re priests – born, anointed, washed, consecrated, holy.
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Romans 12 /Proper 16A / 24 August 2014

What does the Christian life look like? What does it mean to be baptized, to be forensically dead to Sin but alive to God in Christ? What does this life of being at once sinner and saint look like in day to day life in what we call the “real world?” In a word: priesthood. That’s what the life of a Christian is. A priesthood. And you are priests, priests in the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ, born and anointed in Baptism to offer your bodies as living, spiritual sacrifices.
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Romans 11 / Proper 15A / 17 August 2014

On to chapter 11 in Romans and running along with it, a Canaanite woman who seeks the Lord’s mercy and gets treated like a dog.

The question on the rhetorical table for Paul is, “Has God rejected His people?” namely the Israelites, the blood descendants of Abraham by way of Isaac. And the answer is a resounding “No!” First of all, Paul himself is an Israelite, a card-carrying descendant of Abraham of the tribe of Benjamin. He’s an insider who became, by the grace of God, the apostle to the outsiders, the Gentiles.
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Romans 10 / Proper 14A / 10 August 2014

There are two kinds of righteousness. The righteousness that you do and the righteousness that God does. The righteousness of works and the righteousness of faith. The righteousness of the Law and the righteousness of the Gospel.

The righteousness of the Law works this way: Do it and you will live. It’s that simple. Do it, do the Law, keep the commandments, and you will live. The righteousness of the Gospel works this way: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Law says “do and live,” the Gospel says, “Believe and live.”
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Romans 9 / Proper 13A / 3 August 2013

Our text this morning is Romans chapter 9, and not just the first few verses. Our reading this morning is a bit like reading a menu but never getting the meal. Or reading the introduction, but never getting to the book. I don’t know what goes on in the beady little minds of the people who put together lectionaries, but you would think they’d at least read the chapter before they hacked it into pieces. So we’re just going to take in the whole of chapter 9, of which you heard the opening verses read earlier.

This is about Israel. Not really the “Israel” we hear about on the news that is bombing Gaza and being pestered by Hamas. That Israel is a 20th century invention. The Israel that Paul is talking about are the blood descendants of Abraham, the descendants of that group of people who came out of slavery in Egypt, whom God Himself made into a people through water and wilderness, to whom God made covenant promises, gave the Torah, swore on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom He sent the prophets, and from whom, in the fulness of time, came the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Abraham, son of David, son of Israel.
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Romans 8:28-39 / Proper 12A / 27 July 2014

Romans 8:28-39 / 11 Pentecost (Proper 10A) / 27 July 2014 / Holy Trinity – Hacienda Heights, CA

In Nomine Iesu

We know that everything works for good for those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28).

Nothing and everything. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that’s in Christ Jesus. Not tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword. Nothing. Not even death. Especially not death. Nothing. Everything for good for God’s baptized believers. Everything: the good, the bad, even the ugly. Everything works for good for those who love God. And nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing and everything.
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Romans 8:18-27 / Proper 11A / 20 July 2014

To live in the Spirit is to live by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself up for you. To live in the flesh is to live by your works, enslaved to Sin, Death, and the Law. To live in the concrete reality of being baptized, of having the gift of baptismal faith, is to live in a tension between sin and grace, Law and Gospel, now and not yet. Now we are the children of God, born of God by water and Spirit, declared dead to Sin but alive to God in Christ. And yet we are not yet risen from the dead. We live in this body of death. We are heirs who have not yet received the inheritance. We know it’s ours. The promise of God is sure. We have the down payment of the Holy Spirit, the “earnest money” of our inheritance. And yet it’s still “not yet.”
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Romans 8:12-17 / Proper 10A / 13 July 2014

We continue our romp through Romans today, now into chapter 8. Unfortunately, the bright bulbs in charge of the lectionary were a bit dim here, and decided to skip to verse 12, which is a real tragedy since there is all sorts of good stuff in verses 1-11. And, in fact, the good stuff is Gospel good stuff which you need to hear before you get to verse 12, which is something the Holy Spirit and St. Paul knew but the lectionary people seemed to forget. Whenever you see a reading beginning at verse 12, you ought always to ask what was in verses 1-11. Let me tell you.
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