Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
August 14, 2005 AM
IT DOES REALLY MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE
2 PET 3:15,16
INTRO: When I travel in Mexico, I often take with me a little pocket New Testament. When I worship with churches there and take out my little New Testament, I am often asked, Where is your Bible? I then have to explain that I consider the New Testament to be Bible ... and that I occasionally do not bring my whole Bible because I am trying to travel light. The reason for my mentioning this little situation is to illustrate that some folks might not appreciate the New Testament for what it is ... the word of God. Yes, I might make frequent references to the Old Testament (as does the New Testament), but the New Testament is the underpinning of instruction in and about the new covenant. So, yes, it does really matter what you believe about the New Testament. For example:
I. THE NEW TESTAMENT...
A. Is scripture
1. 2 Pet 3:16 - the apostle Peter made this claim for apostolic writings
2. 1 Cor 14:37 - the things he wrote are the Lords commandments
3. some actually minimize New Testament writings - deciding what is important and what is not - that apostolic writings not weighty as Jesus words
B. Is the word of God
1. Acts 2:42 with Jno 14:26 - apostles taught & wrote the word of God
2. 1 Thes 2:13 - either what they taught & wrote is the word of God ... or they lied!
3. but listen: Heb 2:3,4 and Mk 16:20 - their word was confirmed by miracles from God ... we can depend on it
C. Does supercede the Old Testament
1. Heb 7:18,19 - disannulling is critical here - setting aside, cancellation
2. indeed, one of the great messages of Hebrews is if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second (Heb 8:7)
3. Gal 6:2 - you and I are under the conditions of the law of Christ
II. FURTHER, THE NEW TESTAMENT INSTRUCTS...
A. In the life and work of Jesus Christ
1. from birth to ministry to death to resurrection ... it is all there
2. Jno 12:48 - of that which He taught (His word will judge us)
3. Heb 9:28 - of the purpose of His death (atonement)
4. Rom 1:4 - of the significance of His resurrection (Son of God)
B. In the way of salvation
1. Heb 10:1-4 - is not to be found in the Mosaic system
2. Heb 5:9 - is to be found in obedience to Christ
3. that obedience requires faith, repentance, confession, baptism ... all of which things are explicitly revealed, explained in the New Testament
4. nothing about this subject is left to the imagination
C. In the way of godly living
1. Titus 2:11-14 - ...teaching us... (2 Pet 1:3,4)
2. 2 Cor 7:1 - cleansed ... perfecting holiness
3. the question of the lifestyle of a disciple of Christ is answered in N.T.
4. we worship; we serve; we live morally pure lives; we anticipate heaven
D. In the nature and constitution of the church/kingdom
1. Mt 16:18,19 - Jesus promised to build His church, His kingdom
2.Acts 2:47 - the saved are added to the church
3. Col 1:18 with Phil 1:1 - its government is described in careful detail
4. Acts 20:7 - the day and elements of its assembly for worship are revealed (singing, praying, giving, teaching are all described as part of the pattern of the Lords day assemblies of the church)
III. THE NEW TESTAMENT IS GODS FINAL AND COMPLETE REVELATION
A. I keep in mind that God is no respecter of persons
1. Acts 10:34 - what was right for Jews was right for Gentiles
2. further, what was right for the 1st century is right for 21st century
3. it all revolves about a great fact clearly stated at Acts 4:10-12 - the means of our salvation and the way of our salvation rest in Jesus
B. Jude 3 - ...the common salvation...
1. and of the salvation, universal and common to all, Jude wrote: ...earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints
2. the word once (in the original) means a single time or once, for all time
3. there will be no further word from God - the New Testament must be our final rule of faith and practice
CLOSE: You and I live in the age of the new covenant ... the terms of which are revealed in the New Testament. Your way to salvation and, ultimately, to heaven is charted in the New Testament.
Cecil A. Hutson
14 August 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)