We looked at the beginning of Romans 11:33. Oh …. it is an Oh! Paul has just spent 11 chapters outlining the redemptive work of Christ, justification by faith, and the grace and mercy of God. He then breaks forth in song with an “Oh!”.
Kent had us imagine having an Oh! gauge on us, like a car gauge. Something that we and others could read to see our satisfaction and delight in God’s greatness.
This really got me thinking of the importance of worship when it comes to sharing the gospel. How great would it be to minister to others out of delight in the Holy Trinity? Ministering out of duty, no matter how right you may feel, leads to worship of self, ministry, and others which is idolatry. John Piper reminds us that there is a huge fundamental difference of me saying I must love my wife (out of duty) and I must love my wife!! out of love. It’s a different kind of must. This would help others to see God in us, even when we are unable to clearly communicate everything about the gospel. When I say worship, I do not mean Sunday morning song time (although that is part of it), I mean acknowledging God’s greatness, delighting in Him, and breaking out with praise in our hearts and lives with words and actions. I was doomed to Hell …. but Jesus saved me! I am stupid … the Holy Spirit empowers me! I am powerless … He is strong. I was dead … in Christ I have been made alive! You are fatherless …. I’ll be your daddy! You are hungry … I will feed you. You are lost … I know the way. The greatness of God is deeper than our study and thoughts will ever take us, but no matter how shallow or deep we swim in knowing God purposefully, we will have a living doxology, a great song to sing with our lives.
The act of sharing the gospel is in itself an act of worship, but how often do we set out to share the gospel after worshiping God? Paul takes 11 chapters to think upon the works of the Trinity and 5 to tell us how to live. I think it is safe to say that we may need to spend a little more time contemplating Scriptures, praying, and spending time with God rather than spending most of our time doing ministry, at least I know I do. That does not mean that our “ministry time” should diminish, it may actually increase!! The five chapters on how to live are absolutely important, but Paul did not begin or dwell there for the majority of his letter. It is after this great exuberant outbreak from thinking on God that Paul tells us to be living sacrifices.
I must share the truths of the Gospel, but I must also be in love with the God of the Gospel! Oh!