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Inglesia del Nazareno Communidad de la Esperanza

Sermon Notes


October 30, 2016 | Unfair and Uncomfortable


Dr.  Burnie R.  Burnside


Romans 8:6-8


Idea: Fairness isn’t an argument.




  • One of the criticisms of Christianity is that we believe we are right and everybody else is wrong.
  • Last week, we talked about the similarities . . .‘Eight Commandments’
  • The other thing we have in common is that all religions admit failure . . . no one does this very well.
  • And that’s where the roads diverge . . . what to do about the missteps, mistakes,  failures, sins. The gaps.
  • Bottom line: God has a standard for you to live by. But it’s everyone falls short.
  • Religion reminds us that there’s a gap. The rules of all religions  condemn us and are powerless to do anything else.
  • For what the law was powerless to do, God did by sending his own Son to be a sin  offering.
  • But Jesus’ claims are exclusive, unique, and narrow. That’s problematic for many.
  •  When you say, “This is the way,” you are also saying, “That is not the way.”
  • That is unfair and uncomfortable and so we assume it must be untrue.
  • The  uncomfortable, unfair, untrue way of thinking keeps people from the most important  question: Who is Jesus?


 Uncomfortable and unfair is not an argument for untrue:


The slums in Nairobi, Kigali, and Port-au-Prince, where  hundreds of children are born infected with AIDS. They will die by the time  they are two. Where prostitution is the only way for orphaned girls to survive.  It’s unfair, it’s uncomfortable, but what I’ve just described is true.


An orphanage in a country where handicapped children and girls are abandoned in hopes of having a healthy boy. Adoption is almost impossible.  The older  children will spend their lives there. Unfair.


Many things that are unfair, uncomfortable, and true.


That doesn’t make Christianity true. It removes an argument.


Our problem is we think  that if there is a perfect God, there would be a system that is absolutely fair by our  definition (comfortable to us and thus believable).


We severely underestimate the significance of our sin and the brokenness of our world:


  • Everybody we know falls short of the list.
  • So we really don’t think we are that bad. We say we aren’t perfect because we believe we are just a notch or two below perfect.
  • We don’t even call our sin, sin. We call it mistakes—affairs, stealing,  cheating—mistakes?
  • Then we read about some unimaginable crime and think, “What was that  about?” That is an extension of the selfishness/fear that resides in each of us.
  • What if all religions are right and the list is the standard?
  • What if that sense of right and wrong in your heart was put there by God  to follow and you haven’t?
  • What if breaking one of these condemns you?
  • What if you are guilty before God?
  • Then do you really want God to be fair? To give you what God thinks you deserve?
  • We don’t want fair. We want mercy. Forgiveness. There is no COMFORTABLE way to  address sin anymore than . . . addressing cancer. You don’t evaluate a doctor based on  how comfortable the procedure is, but how effective it is.
  • Jesus came and introduced the fairest, most comfortable approach in an unfair and  uncomfortable world.


 The truth is . . . God went way beyond fair.


Romans 5:6-8


6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless [leveraging law],  Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person [that’s for sure], though for a  good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


  • Is that fair? No. That’s grace. That’s mercy. That’s incredible. That’s amazing.
  • Christianity offers the most just system possible in an unjust world.
  • Everybody is welcome.
  • Everybody gets in the same way—Jesus.
  • Everyone can meet the requirement—Faith.




Fair? No. Comfortable? No. Does that mean untrue? No.


To this unfair, uncomfortable world, God sent his Son to go beyond fair and  comfortable and offer us exactly what we don’t deserve: grace, forgiveness, and  mercy to ALL who would receive it.


Everybody is welcome . . . everybody.


The issue I hope you will wrestle to the ground is not Is it comfortable or fair? but, Is  it true? And if so . . .


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