• Born into a tight knit, successful and politically influential family: father George Romney was president of American Motors, Governor of Michigan and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
• Attended Stanford, BYU, Harvard Law and Business Schools
• Worked for Bain Consulting and Bain Investments
• Spearheaded the successful turn-around of the winter Olympics
• Governor of Massachusetts, led a turn-around of the economy and deficit
• Family, sons, wife credits Mitt’s love during crisis of MS and cancer
• Bishop and Ward President of LDS Church
• A successful, family-oriented, moral and religious man
• What does Jesus and the Word of God say to someone like this?
1. Every gift and blessing comes from God
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
• God is the one who blesses us with our family, talents and success
• Every good thing we have comes from Him and we are to be thankful, humble and grateful
2. Your best efforts fall short of God’s holy standard and on your own you are guilty before God
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
7 No one calls on God’s name
or strives to lay hold of the Lord;
for You have hidden your face from us
and have given us over to our sins.
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
…19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin…23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
• Every person is guilty before God because of their sin
• Even our best works, righteous actions and religious performance are affected by sin and inadequate to cover our sin and satisfy God’s righteous standard
3. You need to see God’s kindness in your life not as approval but as an opportunity to repent and be made right with God
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
• God is a righteous Judge who looks at both our actions and our hearts
• We can falsely trust in our actions and think we are righteous but our hearts condemn us
• God’s kindness in not punishing us now for our sin is not a statement of His approval but of His grace in giving us the opportunity to repent
• If we become self-righteous and do not repent then we are storing up wrath for ourselves on the Day of Judgment
4. The question is not are you religious but are you born-again?
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
• Nicodemus was a religious leader who practiced his religion and taught others to do the same
• Jesus did not commend him and say, “Because you are religious you are going to enter the Kingdom of heaven”
• Nicodemus needed to be born again
• He needed a spiritual birth that could only be produced by the Holy Spirit
• Jesus used an OT example and applied it to Himself…the snake in the wilderness: Numbers 21
• When those who were affected by the snake’s poison looked up and saw the serpent on the pole they were saved
• Salvation was provided by God, those who trusted in it were saved
• God provides salvation for all who believe in Jesus, God provides salvation in Jesus because He loves us
• We are born again by the Spirit when we believe in the Son of God as our only hope of salvation
5. You need to accept God’s offer of salvation which is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
• Salvation is all of grace
• God shows us His grace in Christ’s death for our sin and in His resurrection for our eternal life
• God’s grace in Christ is received by faith not by works
• The Bible promises that to as many as received Him, to them He gives the right to become children of God. I believe Jesus would ask Mitt Romney, “Will you receive me into your life and trust in Me as your Lord and Savior?”