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June 4, 2000 AM

Heb 11:4-8 and Heb 12:1

INTRO: The book of Genesis may be the best known book of the Bible ... and, simultaneously, the least appreciated for its significance. This great book of beginnings introduces us to so many things with which the human family will or dealing as time unfolds: marriage - sin - religion to name but three. I believe that crucial to understanding great segments of the New Testament is a thorough knowledge and appreciation of Genesis. Our Vacation Bible School will look at characters from the book of Genesis.


A. These were real people, real events

1. Some have said these of Jewish legends - not historical people, events

2. Jesus and New Testament writers recognized them as real!

3. real people, real lives carefully observed can teach us many things

4. and these real people are presented in Gods book

5. note Lk 17:32 Jesus calls attention to them often in His teaching

B. For example they provide to us

1. 6:22 examples of obedience

2. 4:3-5 the example of acceptable worship

3. 6:1-3 the example of unwholesome relationships

4. 5:24 the example of righteous living

5. 13:10,11 the example of bad decisions

6. 19:26 the example of disobedience

7. etc.

8. the best source of illustrations is the Bible!

C. For their significance

1. Lk 3:23 and 30-33 many were in Jesus lineage ... bringing us to Christ (Eph 3:11)

2. Gen 2:24 with Mt 19:5 the marriage law

3. Gen 2:17,18 with 1 Pet 3:21 the separation by baptism of the old man dead in sins from the new man cleansed by obedient faith

4. Gen 12:1-3 with Gal 3:10 the promised Messiah

5. Gen 14:18 with Heb 8:11,12 the end of Mosaic covenant

6. Ex 3:6 with Mk 12:26,27 the physically dead live beyond the grave ... the resurrection

7. etc.

8. the characters in Genesis have great significance


A. Too often we see these as interesting stories

1. but these stories have serious applications

2. and applications must be applied if they are to be useful to us

B. I want my children and grandchildren ...

1. not only to recognize the names, the stories

2. but to understand the significance of those names and stories ... as Gods chosen illustrations

3. and to see the lessons for their lives

4. to hear the name Seth and think of Jesus righteous lineage

5. to hear the name Noah and think of Gods hatred of sin and His grace toward mankind

6. to hear the name Abraham and thrill to the know the fact that God keeps his promises

7. to hear the names Jacob and Rachel and recall the devotion of love in marriage

8. to hear the name Joseph and rejoice in Gods providence

CLOSE: These are part of that great cloud of witnesses whose lives give me encouragement and hope for my own life ... and the anticipation of heaven.

Cecil A. Hutson

04 June 2000

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)