The Christian Life

Read: Romans 12

In Christianity the exhortations to the Christian lifestyle are motivated by grace. The exhortations come after forgiveness and after the grace of release from the slavery to sin. They are motivated by forgiveness already given. They are enabled by the renewing power already given. They are motivated by love and thanksgiving and not by fear.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

God Has Not Rejected Israel

Read: Romans 11

So if we take the long view of the history of God’s plan for the salvation of the world, we have a long period of time when the Jews are set apart in order to be a blessing to the rest of the world and we have a long period of time in which many of the Gentiles are saved to make the Jews jealous and this this will one day result in the Jews coming to salvation in Christ in a big way so that Paul can say, “And in this way all Israel will be saved….”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Genesis 15

And one of the promises that is most difficult to believe is that how God could ever forgive us for our sins and accept us as his people. Once the grace of God shows us even a little bit of how incredibly evil our sins really are, the thing that will seem to be most impossible of all is how God could ever do anything else but banish us from his presence forever. That God is willing to forgive us and embrace us as his beloved people is perhaps the most impossible thing of all once we understand even a little bit of what our sin must look like to God.
And then the covenant oath becomes very precious. And then our baptism becomes very precious because our baptism is the sign and seal of the covenant for those who have fled to Jesus for refuge.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Believing, Confessing, Preaching and Hearing

In the formality of setting aside preachers and in the formality of preaching by those officially set apart, the greatness and the power of the king are emphasized as well as the submissive attitude of the hearers. Behind the official preaching of the word is God himself and the message comes with his authority. The congregation is gathered before the king to receive his word. And that is the context in which faith is normally born and grows. Faith is not something that we discover. It is a response to a message from the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And it is a message of good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Christ the End of the Law

Read: Romans 10

But what Paul is emphasizing here is the fact that one of the key purposes of God’s law is to lead us to Christ and Paul expresses that here by saying that Christ is the end of the law. God’s law shows us how sinful we are so that we will see that we need Christ’s righteousness in order to be saved. And if we understand that clearly and we are trusting in Christ, we can sing, “It is well with my soul.” That is a wonderful practical result of understanding the different ways the law is intended to function in the lives of believers.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

God’s Sovereign Prerogative in Salvation and Damnation

Read: Romans 9

Our God is a surprising God. He does not conform to our ideas of how a God should act and pursue his purposes. And much of what he does is designed to humble us, to put us in our place and to prick the bubble of our pretentiousness and our pride. The way of salvation that God has designed is offensive to us in many ways. This is by design. The way of salvation through Jesus is designed to be a “stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Life in the Spirit, Future Glory and God’s Everlasting Love

Read: Romans 8

An unsaved person, who is ruled by his sinful nature, sets his mind on the things of the flesh. A saved person, because of the work of the Holy Spirit within him, sets his mind on the things of the Spirit. This is an important self-examination verse. Indeed, this is an important self-examination section because Paul is describing the difference between a person who is not saved – that is still in the flesh – and a person who is saved - who is being changed by the Holy Spirit.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Law and the Christian

Read: Romans 7

Our sinful nature is provoked to sin by the law because we are rebellious at heart. If we see a law, we want to trample it. But that is also the way that God brings us to see how sinful we are. Once we understand how the law provokes us to sin we come to see how profoundly sinful we are, and we realize that we are dead in sin and that we need to be made alive to God which of course is exactly what God does to us through our union with Christ when we believe.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

A Natural Question Profoundly Answered

Read: Romans 6

The good news is not only that we are forgiven and accepted as righteous by God through faith in Jesus Christ. The good news is just as much that the power of sin over us is broken. A huge part of what is good about the good news is that we are set free from the power of sin in our lives when we believe in Jesus. The problem with sin is not just that it makes us liable to God’s punishment. The problem with sin is also that sin is destructive and dehumanizing and devastating. Sin takes away from our joy and our happiness and our quality of life in the deepest sense. And so, it is a huge part of the good news that believers are released from the slavery to sin and to Satan.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra