ITS NEVER WRONG TO DO RIGHT
1 Pet 3:13-16
INTRO: An expression I hear often goes something like this: Youll do the right thing. Have you heard any form of it? Of course, I think I know what it means. But knowing our tendency to read between the lines or to interpret things from our own point of view, perhaps I dont know what it means. Well, tonight I am going to use this idea in a way that has right being the viewpoint of God. So, it is never wrong to do right.
I. EVERY DAY THERE ARE CHOICES
A. Yes, most of them are of little importance
1. and most are made without struggle
2. they involve no great issues - no regrets come if one choice is made over another
B. But moral or spiritual choices do come along
1. for many (most?) these choices are significant
2. whether or not they are made easily will depend on several things (of which more said later)
C. Question: How much agonizing do we do here?
1. I know we factor all sorts of things into this choice process - likes/dislikes; wants/wishes; whos there/ why; that important/or not?
2. are we committed to always coming down on the side that is without question right ... even if we dont feel like it?
D. Do we know what is right?
1. Gal 5:22,23 such things are never wrong
2. Eph 4:32 such things are never wrong
3. 1 Pet 3;11 such abstaining is never wrong
4. 2 Pet 1:5-8 such things are never wrong
5. oh, I know we confront some very specific questions, choices which we must resolve
6. but if we have some knowledge of the sorts of things explicitly stated as always right, we should have a fairly good idea of what is wrong, out of place ... questionable
7. questionable? never wrong to abstain, refrain!
II. SOME NEEDED POINTS FROM OUR TEXT
A. Doing right may not always result in pleasantness
1. note v. 14 - some have suffered for right
2. but temporal pleasantness - while nice - is not an at any cost end to achieve
3. we possibly choose to do a wrong/questionable thing because we fear immediate unpleasantness of doing right!
4. consider Mk 8:34-38
B. Doing right should be from conviction/faith
1. so, v.15 - its the enthroning of God in the heart!
2. I am, personally, always grateful when people do right for whatever reason
3. but righteousness should grow from our confident faith based in the word of righteousness (Heb 5;13)
4. without such conviction we will find ourselves wondering, vacillating
(1 Ki 18:21)
C. Doing right keeps our conscience good
1. note v.16 life is testimony of conviction
2. when conviction and conscience are in harmony, its a good feeling!
3. here agin, though, is consistency between the inner man and his conduct
4. the stresses which occur in a person whose behavior is out of harmony with his conscience can drive him into numerous personal situations which are dangerous, destructive, harmful
CLOSE: So, for many reasons, all good, it is never wrong to do right!
Cecil A. Hutson
07 March 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)