Welcome to church today and to the opportunity to worship the Lord together. Today we are doing a couple of things. Let me introduce them to you.
Firstly we are continuing our series Loved by God, Called to be Holy from the book of Romans. Frequently the thought of being loved by God and called to be holy is an individual thing i.e. what it is saying about me. While this is true our main focus is not on me but on us, us as a group.
There were many groups in Rome in the first century. There were religious groups. There were sporting groups. They were even funeral groups. But to one group it was said that they were beloved of God and be-holied of God (I made that word up). Why? How come? Why them and not others? Where do I fit into that? In the passage today we deal with some of the preliminary issues to answering those questions.
Secondly I am going to touch on 2 controversial topics. They are the wrath of God and homosexual practice. I am not going to completely answer either question but what I am hoping you will hear is (i) that wrath is not an attribute of God (i.e. you can’t say God is wrath) but rather his rightful response to wrong and (ii) that homosexuality is an example of God giving people/society over to the desires of their own heart. You of course may disagree on both. My hope is to explain the Scriptures and what God says.
The third thing we are going to do today is hear about the work of Moore College. In case you don’t know Moore College is a theological college which traditionally has trained men and women for Anglican ministry. I went there, Mark and Andy went there as well. Today is Moore College Sunday and they are asking us to partner with them in prayer. Their request is that we pray for gospel ministry throughout the world. We will do that. If you would like to be included in their mail list a flyer is inserted with your bulletin.
One of the indictments of today’s passage is that people naturally do not honour God or give thanks to him. Given choice we would rather serve creation rather than the Creator. I hope that by the Sprit of God and through knowing the death of Jesus we can join together in worshipping the Lord our God with our hearts and souls and voices.