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June 27, 1999 PM


INTRO: It has been my pleasure to have learned how to do many things. It may be that learning how to do some new thing is the most pleasurable hobby I have. But among the many things I have learned to do, learning to read may have been the most important. Having learned to read, I am able to learn so much else! Yes, I read a lot. And I read the Bible a lot. In fact the wisdom of the scripture says (in so many words), read your Bible.


A. Deut 17:18-20 read ... learn ... keep ... do

B. Deut 31:24-26 in a book

C. 2 Ki 22:8-10 I have found the book ...

D. Nehemiah 8:1-3 bring the book ... and he read ...

E. Lk 4:16 stood up ... to read

F. Lk 10:26 how readest thou

G. Rom 15:4 written for our learning

H. Col 4:16 with 2 Pet 3:15,16

I. 2 Tim 3:15-17

J. 1 Tim 4:13 give attendance to reading

K. Written to be read!


A. What is it you are reading?

1. magazines, novels, technical manuals?

2. we are influenced, taught by what we read

3. when you read the Bible, what are you reading?

a. good literature - but nothing more?

b. interesting history - but nothing more?

c. Jewish fable and lore?

d. you are reading the word of God - 2 Tim 3:16 ... 1 Thes 2:13 ... Ex 31:18

e. I can take or leave literature, history, fables - but the Bible cannot be read with such casualness

B. Why are you reading it?

1. to be entertained? to pass the time? to learn?

2. I would hope you would read it for important reasons

3. Jno 5:39 to know more of Christ? to know more about eternal life?

a. it is the only information we have from God

b. it is the only place to which one can go to learn how to have eternal life

c. are you reading to learn these things? you should be

C. What do you do with what you read?

1. with most of what we read? nothing ... file it away

2. is that not what most would do with what they read in scripture?

3. what should you do with what you read?

a. receive it as Gods word - 1 Thes 2:13 & Gal 1:11,12

b. act on it as the word of life - Acts 5:20

c. meditate upon it - Ps 119:97

D. Where are you reading in the Bible?

1. remember, you and I live in new cavenant - so, what matters relating to salvation, the church, the Christian life are in the N.T.

2. Psalms: devotional, faith building - Proverbs: practical wisdom, goodness - Ezra through Esther: providence - Acts: how the church began and spread, etc.

3. do you read with any plan?

E. Read it! Learn it! Enjoy it!

1. Bible should become for you the most familiar of all written works

2. knowing about it is of little use - you must know it if you are to know Him Whose mind it is

CLOSE: A closing thought is suggested by 2 Tim 2:15. Can you handle properly the word of God?

Cecil A. Hutson

27 June 1999

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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

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)