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October 21, 2001 AM


Heb 11:6 - 1 Jno 5:1-5

INTRO: In a book I am reading I came across the expression, the demands of faith. Although I have used that expression myself, something about seeing it written in a book, the theme of which is worship, jolted me a bit. We are people of a culture which does not take kindly to demands. We prefer suggestions or nicely asked requests. But faith is demanding. Faith often (usually?) offers no options. Faith is narrow. This morning lets think through some of faiths demands.


A. Jno 8:24 No option ... believe in Jesus

1. there is no middle ground of Im not sure

2. here is a statement of Jesus without nice embellishment - without any softening

3. ... ye shall die in your sins - no ifs, no ands, no buts ... straight forward

4. Jno 6:29

B. Jno 14:6 Jesus - the only way to God

1. I hear people talk of the many ways to the one true God

2. but if the Bible is truth, there is no other way

3. its believe in Jesus ... or not ... and accept the consequence of the or not

4. its a black and white issue ... no middle ground (Mt 12:30)


A. Lk 13:1-5 No option ... repent of sins

1. sin is taken far too lightly

2. I wonder how many folks really believe that sin is so bad that it will cause the loss of souls

3. oh, maybe the big sins ... but not the normal sins

4. the people whom Jesus addressed had the big sin/little sin mentality

B. Sin is sin ... and faith demands repentance!

1. Acts 17:30 this is not a suggestion

2. recognition of sin; concern about sin; understanding that sin wounds God, seeing sin as serious

3. then, the change of course ... this is the demand

4. look at 2 Pet 3:9 ... what will happen to those who do not repent? perish!


A. Mk 16:15,16 Here are belief and baptism together

1. saved is the objective to be gained

2. belief and baptism - equals, yet in sequence - bring one into that objective

3. but people have been troubled by the absence of baptism in the latter part of this verse - no problem

4. it is absent because refusal to believe is a refusal of faiths demand ... refusing to believe is automatically refusal of all of faiths demands!

B. Or, note Acts 10:48 Believers commanded to be baptized

1. a command is not a suggestion; nor is it an option

2. if we note 1 Jno 5:1-5 we see clearly the relationship between believing and obeying the Lords commandments

3. to relegate baptism to a place/time other than a demand of faith (response of faith) is a tragic mistake

4. here is the narrowness of faith


A. 2 Tim 2:45 Striving lawfully

1. the only way to the crown is obedient living

2. the writer of Hebrews clearly understood this by giving examples of obedient living as the means of diligently seeking God (Heb 11:6)

B. Faith, true faith, cannot be manifested in disobedience

1. all of the emotion and emotional arguments in the world will not change this essential fact: faith demands obedience

2. Christian living is obedient living

CLOSE: Faith is very narrow. I believe we must look carefully at the demands of faith ... lest we fall at the judgment as did the unbelieving Israelites who fell short of the promised land!

Cecil A. Hutson

21 October 2001

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)