INTRO: My conviction is that we have, generally speaking, evolved in our thinking about God to the detriment of an awe of Him. So much of how we think and what we do is man centered ... or meet my needs. Lost in the shuffle of this life is our understanding of the littleness of man and the bigness of Him Who, with a word, spoke the worlds into being (Ps 33:9). So, this morning my hope is to help us glorify God ... in our salvation.
I. IN THE WONDER OF HIS CHOICE
A. Eph 1:5-9 ...according to His good pleasure ...
1. He hath chosen us ... - v.4
2. we note that subject is redemption, forgiveness
3. it pleased God to make our salvation possible
B. There was no logical reason for Him to choose this course
1. Eph 2:1-3 why make such a choice?
2. Rom 5:6 compared with 5:12
3. why He chose to give life to people so unworthy .... dead in sins ... is a wonder to me!
II. IN THE ENORMITY OF HIS OFFERING
A. Heb 10:10-12 ... through the offering of ...
1. not just another lamb, ox, dove
2. yes, those sacrifices did foreshadow the one perfect offering ... and we required by law
3. but they were not very personal ... just another animal from the herd of flock ... compare Jno 3:16
B. And nothing else would do!
1. we could not atone for our sins
2. that fact alone tells us something of the heinousness of sin - something which may be lost on a permissive society
3. Heb 10:19 the only way to God is through the blood of Jesus
III. IN THE THOUGHTFULNESS OF HIS GRACIOUS WORD
A. Acts 20:24,32 ... the word of His grace ...
1. God wants us to know about His desire
2. and that desire is stated well at 2 Pet 3:9
3. it pleases God not only to make salvation possible, but also to make it known to all
B. So, the message is to be publicized
1. 1 Cor 1:21 ... it pleased God ...
2. revealed, preserved, the N.T. is truly the word of His grace
3. Acts 17:30 a message of grace for all men every where
IV. IN THE ABSOLUTENESS OF HIS FORGIVENESS
A. Heb 8;12 their sins ... will I remember no more
1. yes, there must be desire for and willingness to accept the great offer
2. Acts 22:16 the offer made ... but the decision to accept was Sauls
3. Acts 9:18 tells us he was baptized - and 1 Tim 1:14-16 expressed the wonder of it all
B. For God there is no more remembrance of my sins
1. oh, I may remember ... or you may remember
2. but with God forgiveness is absolute!
3. yes, conditions of His gift (revealed in His gracious word) must be met ... as Saul learned ... but when God forgives, He truly forgives
V. IN THE BESTOWAL OF THE INHERITANCE
A. Rom 8:16,17 ...joint-heirs with Christ ...
1. note that: sharing the inheritance with Christ!
2. note children of lesser importance ... of lesser position in the will
B. Is this not reason to glorify God?!!
CLOSE: Truly, our God is an awesome God. Give Him the glory due His name because of your salvation. (Ps 29:2).
Cecil A. Hutson
14 February 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
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
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
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)
You Must Be Baptized
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!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
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)