ABOUT KNOWING BOUNDARIES (1)
Deut 27:17 & Prov 22:28 & 2 Tim 4:3-4
INTRO: If you have ever bought real estate, you know how important boundaries are. Usually, each time property is transferred from one owner to another, a new survey is required in order to reconfirm boundaries. All sorts of bad things have occurred when boundaries have been ignored. Robert Frost said fences make good neighbors .. boundaries identified, respected. In Christ there are, (for lack of better term) boundaries of fellowship. To ignore those boundaries will result in harm to individuals and congregations of Gods people.
I. CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING TEXTS
A. 2 Cor 6:14-17a ... be ye separate ...
1. clearly, there is mandated a boundary
2. in this text it is noted that there is no agreement, no fellowship, between believers and unbelievers, the righteous and unrighteous
3. the church is the house of God (1 Tim 3:15) - it is the separate people who are the children of God (2 Cor 6:18)
4. according to 2 Cor 6:16 the church is the temple of God - and the church is the separate people among whom God dwells
5. God has defined a separation between people who are His and people who are not - He has that prerogative, and I must honor both His prerogative and the boundaries He has established
B. Gal 3:26-29 ... into Christ ... one in Christ
1. in Christ is a distinctive position - limited
2. Gal 6:15 notes that people "in Christ" are new creatures - a new creation wrought by the power and grace of God
3. out of Christ one remains the old creature disfigured by sin
4. note, then, there is a clearly defined way one enters that position described at "in Christ" ... he is baptized into Christ
5. Eph 1:3 all spiritual blessings are in Christ - thus, spiritual fellowship out of Christ is not an option (Eph 2:13)
C. Eph 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead..." (cf. v. 5)
1. two spiritual conditions are clearly noted here: dead and alive
2. this is a distinction, a boundary which God has defined
3. according to Col 2:12,13, in baptism one is made alive "by the faith of the operation of God" - he is no longer "dead"
4. in the physical realm we can have no physical fellowship with dead people!
5. in the spiritual realm we can have no spiritual fellowship with spiritually dead people
D. Rom 10:1-3 "...that they might be saved"
1. with 2 Cor 4:3 "...to them that are lost..."
2. two distinctions which God makes: lost and saved
3. here are two terms the meaning of which may have been blurred over years of disuse or distastefulness to "sensitive ears"
4. yet, the terms with their unmistakable meanings are in scripture and put there by the Holy Spirit
5. one is saved, or he is lost ... boundaries!
II. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SUCH BOUNDARIES ARE IGNORED?
A. There may be union without Biblical considerations
1. fellowship without faithfulness
2. the ecumenical climate is so strong that sound doctrine is often ignored, overlooked in favor of union ... permissive "love"
3. a sentiment such as When I see a person call God Father, I see a brother, is a broad statement which does not bother with the word, with doctrine
B. A false message is conveyed
1. that all are saved, all are in Christ even if there was not conformity with scripture
2. that repentance is not necessary
3. that God really didnt mean what was revealed
C. Our own faith begins to drift from the word
1. when we begin to think this or that really doesnt matter, where does it stop?
2. the standard of the word is soon swept aside in favor of what feels good, looks good
3. the identity of the church of the New Testament is blurred, lost
4. what of 1 Tim 4:13,16? continue in them!
CLOSE: It is very much in view of Mt 7:21-23 that I express my concerns. My heart's desire is for people to be saved eternally. And the hope of that salvation rests in the word of truth and our response to it ... so, Eph 1:13.
Cecil A. Hutson
19 March 2000
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)