140406 Romans 8:11-19

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 April 2014 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Romans 8:11-19

Sermon Theme: The Christian's IRA
1. We are God's Children
2. We are Heirs of Glory

IRA = Individual Redemption Account

Are you ready to retire? I think many of us, if we had the choice wouldn't mind it if we could retire early. If we did we would have more time to do the things we enjoying doing: camping, fishing, or traveling. One question which we want to ask ourselves before we make the decision to retire is: "Do I have enough money tucked away, so that I will be able to live out the rest of my life once the paychecks stop coming in?" With the uncertain future of our nation's social security system, many people have turned to different areas to invest and save their money. Many will invest in the stock market, or open special accounts to put away some money to be used only during retirement. One of these special accounts is called an IRA: An Individual Retirement Account. People are able to set aside money into this account, and every so often they receive an update on how much was placed into the account and what the total amount of funds are in that particular account. Today I would like all of us to review our IRA's. You see, we all have one. It is our Individual Redemption Account. This morning we will review THE CHRISTIAN'S IRA. We will see from God's Word, that because we have this IRA in our name WE ARE GOD'S CHILDREN and WE ARE HEIRS OF GLORY.

In Romans chapter 8 before us we read, "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry 'Abba', Father." Just as an adoption agency will help couples who would like to adopt a child, so we, as children of our Father in heaven, think of the Holy Spirit as our "adoption agency." As we read from God's Word, "those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." At the time of our Baptism, the Holy Spirit placed us in God's family. Through the power of the Word of God connected with the water applied at our Baptism we are now the adopted children of God. By the grace of God, we are able to call the one and only true God our loving Father.

We hear report after report of children who are kidnapped off the streets. Sometimes it is one of the parents who takes the child, but most often it is strangers. I remember seeing a news story once about groups of people who kidnapped or stole the babies of other people, and then turned around and sold that baby to another family. While this is clearly against the law, it is a perfect example of what the Holy Spirit has done for each one of us. You and I were members of the devil's family. Before we were brought to faith by God the Holy Spirit, we lived our lives to please our evil father, Satan. Even as little babies, we were children of the devil. As our Savior said in John 3:6, "Flesh gives birth to flesh. . ." From our sinful parents, we inherited our sinful nature. However, out of undeserved love and mercy, God took us from our "natural" father. God the Holy Spirit worked faith in our hearts. By doing so, he took us from the family of Satan, and made us God's children. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:19: "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household." Through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, you and I are God's dearly loved children.

At some point during their lifetime, parents will most likely draw up a will. The purpose of the will, of course, is to divide up the possessions of the person who has just died among the children. A will assures the parents that their children or grandchildren will carry out their wishes after the parents or grandparents have died. You and I, as God's children, have a part in his will. As his children, it is written in God's will that we will be heirs of his glory in heaven.

How can you and I be so sure? How can we be sure that when we die we will go to be with our Father in heaven? If it relied on us or what we could do, we would always have doubts. But God the Holy Spirit comes to through his Word to assure us of our place in heaven. We read, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." The Good News of the Gospel is that because of Jesus Christ, and his victory over the grave, you and I are able to be sure of our place in heaven. You and I have comfort knowing that on the great Last Day we will inherit heaven. As we read, "[I]f the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit, who lives in you." Because of what our Savior did for you and me, on the Last Day our "Brother", Jesus Christ, will come to us and say: "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world."

In the final two verses of this portion of God's Word, Paul writes that all the heirs of God's glory will be revealed on the Last Day. "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed." For the Christians in Rome during the days of Paul, there was uncertainty about what would happen in the immediate future. For these Christians, things went from bad to worse very quickly. For us today, there is some uncertainty about what the immediate future holds for us. "What will the doctor say at my next visit?" "Will I have a job next week, or will I be laid off?" "Will I be able to find a job, once I graduate this spring?" "Will I be able to handle college courses or high school classes next fall?" Despite all these uncertainties in our lives, there are some things which are 100% certain. We, as heirs of God's glory, can be certain that no matter how bad things get here on earth, our loving Savior is always here for us. But even more wonderful than this, is the certainty of the promise of eternal glory awaiting us in heaven. Paul tells us that all creation is waiting for the children of God to be revealed on the Last Day. All of God's creation is waiting for Christ's return and what the Savior talked about in Luke, chapter 21, "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

A person may save all their life to retire. Money may be set aside to make it possible to live after the weekly paycheck stops coming in. However, we are unable to see what the immedi¬ate future holds for us. Will I have enough money, so that I can live out the remaining years of my life? Will I be able to afford to do some of the things I look forward to doing later in life? While the savings accounts, stocks and IRA's we invest in can be less than what we will need, there is one IRA which will never run out: THE CHRISTIAN'S IRA. The Christian's Individual Redemption Account will never be short. Our Father in heaven has made us the promise, that because of what Jesus did for you and me WE ARE GOD'S CHILDREN and WE ARE HEIRS OF GLORY. Amen.

 

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