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August 6, 2000 AM

PS 119:37

INTRO: Earlier in this chapter the psalmist had prayed, Open thou mine eyes .. Now he is asking, Turn away mine eyes ... On the one hand he wants to see the wondrous things in the law. On the other he wants Gods help to not see, and, possibly, desire, vain things. Could there be two more appropriate prayers for any one of us? The same eyes which can read and relish the grand things of Gods word can be the medium by which our minds are enticed away from the word of life.


A. 1 Jno 2:16 ...the lust of the eyes ...

1. sight is such a wonderful sense

2. to see natures beauties; to see ones spouse, ones children; to see the words on a page

3. but scripture refers to an evil eye - Mt 6:23 ... eyes that are not single, but roaming

4. so, our eyes can become a problem for us

B. Some notable illustrations ...

1. Gen 3:6 when Eve saw ... disaster!

2. 2 Sam 11:2 when David saw a... tragedy!

3. Eccl 2:10 when Solomon saw ... disobedience!

4. 2 Ki 16:10 when Ahaz saw ... apostacy!

C. Problem? eyes no longer single

1. context - where is our treasure? can we serve two masters?

2. eyes fixed upon God - not trying to hehold Him and the pretties of the world!

3. so, Heb 12:1,2 looking unto Jesus ... or Ps 25:15

4. what we see, what we appreciate, what we enjoy has great influence on our lives; who we are; what we become


A. Th vanity of money, material things

1. certainly, money is neither good nor bad of itself

2. but 1 Tim 6:9,10,17 point to the problem ... loving it - trusting in it - the temptations it can produce

3. Prov 23:5 not a reliable source of comfort

4. god, help me keep my eyes on the good which can be done with money ... help me use it rightly ... to your glory

B. Th vanity of entertaining impure considerations

1. Mt 5:28,29 adultery already committed by eyes beholding to lust!

2. pornography, lewd visual representations are part of this vanity (Eph 5:2 fornication - porneia)

3. purity is not a negotiable trait for child of God

4. we must refuse to behold, to savor that which is impure

C. The vanity of pleasurable pursuits

1. our eyes see a world devoted to pleasure

2. the god of pleasure is so subtle and finds its way into our lives without a harsh assault

3. Ps 27:20 an interesting observation!

4. 1 Tim 5:6 here is vanity

D. The vanity of trusting in time

1. the clock, the calendar ... I look and reflect, Ive got time for this, or that ...

2. but we so need to deal with this day wisely

3. Ps 90:12

4. are there sins needing forgiveness? habits needing to be changed? others you need to forgive? tasks needing completion? fact: the clock is ticking ... not standing still

CLOSE: Our eyes are windows to our hearts. How appropriate, then, that we pray for Gods help to keep our eyes away from vanities!

Cecil A. Hutson

06 August 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)