INTRO: The church in Laodicea, from all we can learn of it, was a successful church. But Jesus knew better. He identified this church as lukewarm and good for nothing but to be spewed from His mouth (Rev 3:16). That is not a pretty picture. But it describes a church of people whose commitment to the Lord was gone. Churches and Christians can look good and be good for nothing! Concerns about commitment to the Lord rose early in the history of the church. My concerns, however, are for our commitment.
I. WHAT DOES COMMITMENT MEAN?
A. It means a decision has been made
1. decisions involve choices ... the Lord, or not?
2. Acts 2:41 decision based on the gospel - and informed decision
3. emotionally made decisions so often result in regrets, turning back
B. It means there are intentions of follow through
1. without intentions decisions are meaningless
2. Acts 2:42 and they continued ... - their intentions were to have Jesus be their Lord
3. Mt 13:5,6,20,21 intentions can give way in their heat
C. It means the goal is kept in mind and view
1. the goal kept in mind reinvigorates commitment
2. Phil 3:14 - 2 Tim 4:8 the goal was always in mind
3. lose sight of goal and distractions affect
D. It means resolve
1. no matter what comes I continue
2. Rev 6:9 which they held - they held to their commitment even to death
3. yet, some of us may be easily swayed by any inconvenience ... no resolve?
II. WHERE IS IT NEEDED?
A. With regard to the testimony of God
1. 1 Cor 2:1,2
2. our commitment to belief in Jesus, crucified and crowned, must not want
B. With regard to the word of God
1. Rev 1:9 and 6:9 there are attractive options
2. but not a single one of those options can guarantee what the word of God can
C. With regard to the Lords church
1. 1 cor 11:2 keep - 1 Tim 3:15 heres how ... keep it; practice it
2. yes, it does make a difference ... if we are to be the Lords church; if we are in the Lords church (1 Tim 4:16)
D. With regard to morality
1. 1 Thes 4:7
2. commitment to holy living ... it would seem to be a given ... yet, because of the lies of Satan it is never taken for granted
III. SO, WE DAY BY DAY MAKE CHOICES OF COMMITMENT
A. Choices which concern our speech
1. keeping profanity, vulgarity, gossip, murmuring out of our speech (our speech can tell so much about commitment)
2. Col 4:6
B. Choices which concern moral behavior
1. sexual purity, honesty, abstinence from any substances which dull our vigilance, companions
2. 1 Pet 5:8 ... Eph 5:3, etc.
C. Choices which concern the Lords church
1. from insisting on sound doctrine and practice, to attitude toward the body, to attending worship
2. Acts 20:28 with 1 Pet 2:17b
CLOSE: A great admonition is 1 Cor 15:58. The reason for the admonition to commitment is the great resurrection. Note 1 Cor 15:22,23 and the expression ... they that are Christs ...
Cecil A. Hutson
23 April 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)