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December 7, 2003 AM


ROM 14:19-23

INTRO: In the New Testament there is a little prepositional phrase which is often repeated. It is this: of faith, As I read through the New Testament, I see this little phrase as it is connected to a variety of things. The first thing I want to mention this morning is that the phrase describes the incredible role of faith in the Christian life. As a gospel preacher, I am not sure that I have been as careful as I should have been over the years to emphasize the need and role of faith in Christian lives. Oh, we all know and understand that faith (belief) is essential in Gods plan for redeeming humanity ... the scheme of redemption. But it is also in the Christian life that faith is so necessary and associates with so many things. For example:

1. The hearing of faith - Gal 3:1,2

a. question? How did the Galatian people hear about and obey Christ?

b. obviously, it was through the hearing of faith

c. Gal 3:8 - the hearing of faith requires the preaching of the gospel

d. Rom 10:17 - toward salvation, the hearing of faith cannot be overlooked

2. The obedience of faith - Rom 16:26 (also Rom 1:5)

a. here is a point which so many apparently overlook as they think of salvation

b. consider the to all nations here in conjunction with Mk 16:15,16

c. are we far afield to say that baptism is the obedience of faith? No

d. there may be very sincere folks who have been confident in salvation by faith alone ... who simply have not see this connection - should you act on this truth?

3. The household of faith - Gal 6:10

a. what is the household of faith? Does Eph 2:18-22 help us?

b. the simple answer is this: it is the church (Eph 3:21)

c. when one is baptized in obedience to the faith, he becomes a family member

d. Acts 2:47 - the Lord adds that person to His family

4. Joy of faith - Phil 1:25

a. from the obedience to the faith this joy should come so naturally - Acts 8:39

b. one baptized in obedience to the faith is forgiven his sins - Acts 2:38

c. what a great blessing ... what a great cause for rejoicing

d. and Pauls letter to the Philippians contends that Joy should be a characteristic of the Christian life - Phil 3:1a

5. Words of faith - 1 Tim 4:6

a. earlier we noted that faith come by hearing the word of God

b. but one who is obedient to the faith is not finished with the word of faith!

c. Jas 1:21 - the implanted word continues as a necessity for Christian living

d. Jas 1:25 - blessings in the Christian life come as we continue to study, to grow and to keep Gods faithful word in our lives

6. Work of faith - 1 Thes 1:3

a. Gal 5:6 - may help us to understand a bit better work of faith

b. faith in the Christian life must be expressed in good works

c. so, obedience to the word of faith is a continuing necessity - but so are good works

d. Titus 2:14 - zealous of good works

7. Fight of faith - 1 Tim 6:12

a. this connection of fight to of faith suggests discipleship is not always easy

b. indeed, Christian people are engaged in a struggle in which Satan is actively warring against saints

c. Eph 6:13 refers us to the whole armor of God - thence, Eph 6:16

d. our faith must be growing and active if it is to protect us from Satan - we must be engaged with the word, with prayer, with worship, with service

8. Assurance of faith - Heb 10:22

a. in the context, assurance of our forgiveness; the remission of sins

b. further, the assurance which says to us that living the Christian life is so worth the price

c. the assurance that the Lord stands with us in the struggle - Heb 13:5,6

d. I suggest that one reason for our needing to read, read, read the scriptures is for this assurance we so desperately need

CLOSE: Where is your faith taking you? Is it taking you to the obedience of baptism? Wonderful! Is it taking you day by day in the security of your walk with the Master? Rejoice! To close I suggest a reminder from Acts 11:24. Are we full of faith?

Cecil A. Hutson

07 December 2003

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)