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October 8, 2000 PM


Phil 4:8

INTRO: I recall as a boy that my Mother and Dad would say to me, If youll just put your mind to it, you can do it. I think that bit of advice would usually come after I had begun to complain that some task or project was too hard for me. But they knew that if I just set my mind to the task I could accomplish it. Of recent date we have seen large numbers of books written which emphasize positive thinking as the way to real peace and productivity of life. I suppose one of the best sellers of all time has been Peales The Power of Positive Thinking. The verse we have chosen as our text directs us to Six Noble Points of Concentration.


A. The mind will find something to think about

1. an idle mind is the devils workshop (comment)

2. I have an idea that there is not a waking moment that the mind is not thinking about something or someone

B. So, its vital to occupy the mind with right things

1. Ps 90:12 apply our hearts to wisdom

2. if we allow our minds to dwell on garbage we will very likely become trashy people! thus, 2 Cor 10:5

C. Yes, as we think, so will we be

1. because the mind -after a time - becomes so set that we cannot easily bring ourselves back from whatever course or habit which has long occupied our thoughts sow a thought, reap an action

2 Prov 23:7

D. A healthy mind is the way to a healthy life (Prov 4:20-22)

1. Prov 14:30 and 17:22 God long ago recognized the connection of the mind with ones health of body and life!

2. the peace of God (v 7) depends on the mind; its focus; its meditation; its relief; its resolutions


A. Things that are true (real, genuine)

1. there are many illusions in our culture - Eccl 2:11)

2. its vital in our lives as Christians that we recognize the illusions ... and discard them for the true

3. of course, Gods standards determine the true if we base true on some other standard, we are bound for trouble (Ps 119:160)

B. Things that are honest (honorable)

1. that which has the dignity of holiness upon it

2. thinking on things grave, serious and dignified as opposed to that which is flippant, gaudy, cheap some minds are constantly on having a good time ... good time is so often the pleasures of this present life and world, irresponsibility (Prov 21:17)

3. 1 Tim 4:13-16 ... fun, gaiety, merriment are not forbidden ... but we cannot live in these seriousness of purpose, life

C. Things that are just

1. there is in this word the overtones of duty

2. justness in relationship to God and others ... though we dont often think of it in such terms, what is my duty?

3. Mt 22:37-40 our duty springs from this point - duty is whatever correctly expresses and manifest that love

D. Things that are pure

1. that which is morally pure, undefiled, fit to be brought into Gods presence and used in His service

2. so much in this world is smutty, shabby, sordid and we see it, hear it, read it what happens to our minds in this process?

3. a Christians thoughts are so clean they can stand the scrutiny of God Ps 138:23,24

E. Things that are lovely (winsome)

1. qualities which call forth love, which win others

2. there are those whose minds are so set on vengeance and punishment that they call forth bitterness and fear in others set on criticism and rebuke that they call forth resentment in others

3. if we are mind set on love, kindness, sympathy, forgiveness we will be calling forth love from others (Mt 7:12)

F. Things that are of good report (high toned)

1. perhaps be careful what you hear

2. Christian thinking must major in/on things that are wholesome, noble, sweet, worth the time to talk about

3. how much gossip, smut, rumor, etc. would stop if wed refuse to hear it? (Jer 6:10 here is an expression which tells us how carefully we must guard our ears!)

CLOSE: Think on these things. It is these things set in our minds which will lead us to virtuous, praiseworthy lives.

Cecil A. Hutson

08 October 2000

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)