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February 17, 2008 AM



ROM 5:12

INTRO: At 1 Cor 1:18the apostle Paul refers to "the preaching of the cross". At Gal 6:14 he speaks of the only reason he could boast is "in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ". The writers of the New Testament never lost sight of the cross and/or the crucifixion of Jesus. Admittedly, our preaching over the years has gone in many directions and has often become "application oriented". And that is not all bad. But is it possible that we have also neglected the preaching of the cross and the great truths surrounding that event? Is it possible that the underpinning of application has been forgotten such that application becomes very subjective and, thus, adaptable to environment and situations? I want us to spend some time this year preaching the cross of Jesus. And I being this morning with "The Problem Of Sin".

    1. First, we need a definition
      1. 1 Jno 3:4 provides as simple and clear definition that I know
      2. sin is a violation of the law of God - missing the mark
    2. Sin enters human experience with Adam and Eve
      1. Gen 2:17 - here was God's instruction/law
      2. Gen 3:6 - here was the transgression, the sin
    3. Sin in Cain's murder of his brother
      1. Gen 4:9-12 - cf. 1 Jno 3:12 - sin and its consequences
      2. where is the law, the instruction of God? noteRom 5:12-14 ... v. 13a clearly tells us sin was in the world before the law of Moses ... if there was sin, there was law (but Paul observes one is not responsible where there is no law ... so, before the law of circumcision, one was not guilty of breaking that law)
    4. Sin in Noah's time
      1. Gen 6:5,6 - Peter refers to these people as "the ungodly" (2 Pet 2:5)
      2. mankind's sin very nearly resulted in the end of the human race!
    5. Question - did not God know that men would sin?
      1. I do not understand the omniscience (all knowingness) of God
      2. however, as we will see in just a bit, it is clear that God did know that humanity would sin - the free will of mankind led to sin at the beginning
    1. Isa 59:1,2 - This accusation by God through Isaiah was not a new thing
      1. it could well have been a commentary on history to that point and beyond
      2. but it does show us the effect of sin in man's relationship with God
    2. Rom 3:23 - This is the judgment of God upon all of responsible age
      1. at some point sin enters a person's life by his choosing
      2. if there was no law, there would be no sin ... but there is law, and ignorance of the law does not excuse
    3. Eph 2:1-3 - The tragic effect of sin ... "dead in trespasses and sins"
      1. physical death passed humanity because we were deprived of tree of life
      2. but spiritual death comes to each because of his own sin (Rom 5:12) - and spiritual death, unresolved, will lead to eternal death (Rom 6:23a)
    1. 1 Jno 1:8,9 - Acknowledgment that the problem continues
      1. I've said before and do again, this is written to Christian people like us
      2. and it's written to people making every effort to walk as they should
      3. (what of Christians who know better, but who are not making a real effort to remain "in the light"? I can't say for certain ... but Ps 19:13 & Num 15:30,31
    2. Do we take the problem seriously?
      1. are we casual ... even flippant about sin in our lives?
      2. do we tend to do wrong things without even a second thought?
      3. do we not realize that neglecting this problem could result in an eternal disaster for us?
    1. 1 Pet 1:20 - A perfect atoning sacrifice was planned before time began!
      1. God did foreknow that humanity would sin
      2. and with that foreknowledge He made His plan and set it in motion
    2. Rev 13:8 - His plan was so unalterable as to be "accomplished" before it was actually accomplished
      1. and His plan involved the cross, the crucifixion - Acts 2:23
      2. no wonder the writers of the NT emphasized the cross

CLOSE: May I lovingly urge that today you can obtain for yourself the benefits of the plan of God to deal with your sin problem. By His grace God has provided the means and the instruction. He awaits, however, your obedient faith in the waters of baptism.

Cecil A. Hutson

17 February 2008

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)