BT Basics – Week 4

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Romans 15:1-6 Christian Standard Bible

 1Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.

If you have been a part of BT for a while, you may remember that I was the Children’s Pastor for quite a while. On Sunday mornings, I would love to walk into our preschool class as they sang songs that I used to sing as a child. One of those songs was The B-I-B-L-E. The words of that song are so important for us to learn. The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me. I’ll stand upon the word of God, The B-I-B-L-E. 

Here at BT, we stand upon the Word of God. If you remember, in week one, we spoke of purpose and our BT mission statement states that Biblical Teaching is the first of our four pillars. It is first because the Bible teaches us to worship, it gives us a global concern, and it shows us what authentic community should look like. 

We believe the Bible is God’s revelation to us. We believe it is perfect without any error. We believe it is our authority. At BT we want to be a people that submits their lives to the Word, instead of the Word to their lives. 

The BIBLE reveals Jesus! The scriptures are about one central process, redemption, and are rooted in one central person, Jesus. You may have heard the Bible referred to as “God’s love letter to us”, you may have even said that yourself. However, if that statement were true, it would mean the Bible was ultimately about us. 

When you get a Valentine’s card, it is from someone who loves you. It’s an expression of love, but it’s about you. God does love you, and because He loves you, He made the Bible about JESUS. He did that so we would know Jesus. The more we know about Jesus, the more we know how to live life to the fullest. 

Instead of calling the Bible a love letter or a road map, let’s think of it as a set of blueprints. Although it has a picture of the home, and it gives the builder clear instructions, it really shows the vision or heart of the architect. 

Our passage for today is found in Romans 15:1-6.  In verses 1-3 we see AFFIRMATION. To affirm something is to provide encouragement or support. To affirm something is to recognize something is true. 

When we have a high view of scripture, we are able to affirm that life is truly found when it is given away. Life is truly lived to the fullest when it is lived selflessly. The scripture helps us not conform to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed. The scripture encourages us to look not to our own interests, but the interests of others. Paul says in verse 3 that Jesus himself did not please himself. 

Everyone is in the process of affirming something. Without a reliable authority, we will find ourselves affirming all the wrong things. History shows us several instances where people have tried to use scripture in an unfaithful way to affirm unbiblical issues like slavery and homosexuality.

In verse 4 we see ASPIRATION. Many times, we learn that we need to deny ourselves to live a life pleasing to God. However, we also many times end up trying to do so out of our own power because we do not rely on the scriptures to show us who Jesus is. So we try to deny ourselves and look out for the interests of others, but eventually we just get tired, or frustrated, and we begin to look inwards (focusing on ourselves) instead of outward (focusing on others). This happens because we stop looking upward (looking to God) as we do not practice the discipline of getting into God’s word. 

Whenever we prioritize getting into God’s word, we find ourselves having the right kind of aspirations. An aspiration is a strong desire to achieve something. Paul tells us in verse 4 “that which has been written is for our instruction”, and that through it we can have hope that builds endurance. When God’s Word has the appropriate place in our lives, we don’t find ourselves becoming exhausted, but rather inspired. We find just enough strength for today, and we go back to The Word for strength tomorrow. As we learn more and more about Jesus, we find ourselves aspiring- desiring strongly- towards the things God desires. 

Finally in verses 5-6 we see ACTIVATION. With a right view of scripture we are activated. In these two verses we see that when the application of scripture leads us to think like Jesus, then we can have an aspiration to be like Jesus. This ultimately leads to activation, literally putting to action a life lived like Jesus. When this happens we find ourselves pressing on, being encouraged by the scriptures and living in harmony with each other. It is unfortunate that so many people today know the church as anything but unified. The bottom line is, we may not always agree, but the reason why so many people in the church go through great division is because we are not letting the scriptures be our authority.

Sermon Points

  1. The BIBLE provides us with AFFIRMATION v. 1-3
  2. The BIBLE provides us with ASPIRATION v. 4
  3. The BIBLE provides us with ACTIVATION v. 5-6

Discussion

  1. Has scripture ever AFFIRMED a decision you have made? Explain.
  2. What is the Bible AFFIRMING in your life today?
  3. Has God’s Word ever caused you to change your ASPIRATIONS? Explain.
  4. What has God ACTIVATED you for? Explain.
  5. How will that ACTIVATION affect your family?

Announcements

Weekend to Remember

  • November 5-7, 2021 / Hilton Garden Inn, South Padre Island
  • Group Code: BTChurch
  • Register with Group Code to save $100 at www.weekendtoremember.com

I also want to remind you to start gathering candy for our upcoming Trunk or Treat on October 31st. God bless you and we will see you next week.

Note to Leaders

  1. We will be hosting Harvest Bash at the McAllen Campus on October 31st as well as hosting Trunk-O-Treat at all of our campuses. We are inviting each Community Group to have a car or cars decorated for that event, with the goal being to encourage people to join or start a Community Group.
  2. During our Harvest Bash / Trunk-O-Treat we will be inviting people to our Prayer Night held Wednesday, November 3rd at our McAllen and Alice campuses.

Pastor Isauro Medina / Isauro.medina@bt.church / (956) 984-9380