Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
March 27, 2005 PM
PROVERBS: FOUR GENERATIONS
PROV 30 :11-14
INTRO: In the 30th chapter of Proverbs inspiration brings our attention to a series of comparisons. Each series includes four specific illustrations to emphasize the comparisons. In one of these groups of four illustrations the writer draws our attention to four generations. He uses the word generation in a somewhat different way from the way in which we typically use it. Yes, he thinks in terms of passing these unflattering things from one generation to another, but his primary emphasis is on four large masses of people who characterize every age or generation. One thing is certain here ... we do not want to be found numbered among the people in any one of the four groups!
I. THE GENERATION WHICH MISTREATS PARENTS - 30:11
A. Parents do have a responsibility in the upbringing of their children
1. Eph 6:4 - it involves teaching, training in the way of the Lord
2. Prov 3:11,12 - it involves chastening and correction
3. Prov 4:3 - it involves love and security
4. are parents perfect? no - are all parents responsible parents? no - but, in the main, Christian parents want to do a good job of parenting
B. And children, too, have a responsibility to their parents
1. Eph 6:1-3 - obey and honor
2. yes, the obey part would give way to independence in adulthood
3. however, the honor part should never give way - parents should be honored, respected and assisted throughout their lives!
4. (integral to honoring is keeping their instruction through adulthood)
C. What kind of mistreatment of parents does Proverbscontemplate?
1. cursing ones father & failing to bless ones mother
2. does Mt 15:3-8 demonstrate this very thing?
3. to speak or act toward parents disrespectfully - to ignore authority
4. notice 2 Tim 3:2 and the close connection of blaspheming to/with disobedient to parents!
II. THE GENERATION WHICH IS PURE IN ITS OWN EYES - 30:12
A. How do we see ourselves?
1. the tendency of humanity is look favorably upon self - to approve self
2. Prov 21:2 - right in our own eyes ... but what about in the eyes of God?
3. notice the Lords words to Pharisees: Mt 23:25-28
4. a vivid comparison: Lk 18:9-14 - ...which trusted in themselves...
B. Can we see ourselves accurately? inwardly?
1. 1 Cor 11:28 - But let a man examine himself...
2. Lam 3:40 - the challenge of Jeremiah to a self righteous people!
3. before there can be change, improvement, we must know our hearts
4. it is not enough to look righteous (Pharisees) - we must be righteous
C. Our being righteous requires our having been washed
1. consider Rev 1:5 - here is the only washing which makes us righteous
2. Acts 22:16 - the specific washing necessary occurs in baptism
3. and the efficacy of baptism depends on true penitence - Acts 2:38
4. remember, there is a vast difference between ones being pure in his own eyes and his being pure in the eyes of God!!!
III. THE GENERATION WHICH IS PROUD AND ARROGANT - 30:13
A. This generation is so very close to the one we have just mentioned
1. inspiration apparently refers to spiritual pride and arrogance here
2. it refers to those who look with disdain on others who are beneath them
3. Isa 65:1-5 - ...for I am holier than thou...
4. or, Jas 2:1-3 - youre only good enough to be my foot rest!
B. Rom 12:3 - ...not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think...
1. there are few things more distasteful than spiritual snobbery
2. so often in scripture one finds meekness, humility commended
3. recall that Jesus said of the meek they shall inherit the earth
4. Col 3:12 - Put on...humbleness of mind, meekness...
IV. THE GENERATION WHICH INJURES THE HELPLESS - 30:14
A. The word picture describing this group is not a pretty one
1. they find the hapless, the helpless and take advantage of them
2. they do not care for their needs; they covet what they can get from them
B. But there is also a spiritual implication here
1. Gal 4:17 - the teachers who seek only a following, a reputation without regard for those whom they teach
2. among preachers/teachers within the contemporary body of Christ are such people - making a name for themselves at the spiritual expense of good, honest, sincere people who are easily beguiled! Rom 16:18
CLOSE: I return to what I said at the beginning. We do not want to be found among any of these generations. The ultimate fate of all of them is self evident! In each case it is the opposite of them which the Lord commends.
Cecil A. Hutson
March 27, 2005
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)