Prov 4:10,11 and 20-22
INTRO: A young husband, and soon to be father, stopped me not long ago and said, I need to talk with you. I want to know how to be a good father. I rejoice in the fact that there are young fathers who want to be good fathers. Being a father is among the greatestof earthly joys.Seeing faithful Christian childrenaround my table is a sight more beautifulthan any natural or man made beauty. What can fathers teach their children?
I. THAT GOD IS REAL!
A. Their world will be a skeptical, godless place
1. God is derided, ignored, denied on all sides
2. belief in God is not intellectual, chic
B. Strong Christian fathers can offset culture
1. by your praying, by your reading, by your example, by your speech, by your defending truth
2. be unashamed of the great commandment: Mt 22:37
II. THAT BEING A RELIGIOUS PERSON IS GOOD
A. Certainly, I speak of committed discipleship
1. it is not easy - among peers - to be a living letter about Christ
(2 Cor 3:3)
2. we worry about losing our young people - but they too seldom see commitment in parents - fathers
B. Strong Christian fathers are powerful example
1. but children see strong Christian mothers and equate commitment with women
2. Eph 6:4 means more to me every passing day - where did God assign spiritual leadership?
III. THAT THE WORD OF GOD IS THE ANSWER
A. What will make the world better, safer?
1. more laws? more wars? fewer guns? more social programs?
2. no! that has all been tried ... and will always fail
B. Fathers, we must instill in our children a great love, appreciation for the Scriptures
1. Ps 19:7-11 is fact ... not just poetry!
2. the word of God working in peoples lives is what will make the world better and no where will this be more powerfully conveyed than in the lives of Godly fathers!
IV. THAT THE CHURCH IS VITALLY IMPORTANT
A. Our heads know this is true (or do they?)
1. Col 1:18 the body of Christ - Eph 3:21 the glory of God is in the church - Acts 2:47 the saved are in the church - Eph 3:10 the wisdom of God is made know in the church
2. I know of no entity of greater importance
B. Are we, though, demonstrating this belief?
1. by our attendance, our worship, our conversation, our giving, our positive interest?
2. do you, fathers, have a passion for the Lords church? or do we in fact just warm a pew?
CLOSE: Prov 1:1-4. A wise father will not leave instruction in matters grave and serious to others ... or to chance. The effectiveness of our teaching will depend so much on how committed we are to what we teach. So, fathers, it all begins with you and me.
Cecil A. Hutson
08 August 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)