GODS DESIRE TO REDEEM US TO HIMSELF
Ezek 18:31,32 and 2 Pet 3:9
INTRO: When God had completed His creating, scripture notes that He saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31). It was truly perfection. But Gen 3 begins a new and tragic situation ... sin defaces Gods perfect creation. By Gen 6 sin has become so pervasive that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. At Gen 6:7 we hear Gods great disappointment! But the great story of redemption is that Gods desire is to redeem us to Himself.
I. WE SEE SOMETHING OF GODS DESIRE ...
A. In Gen 6:7,8
1. He could have taken Noah and 7 as He did Enoch
2. and ended the human story! but He didnt
B. In Gen 18:23ff
1. at v. 32 He would spare the city for ten righteous
2. unfortunately, ten could not be found
C. In Ezek 18:31,32
1. Israel had certainly been rebellious ... not deserving of His grace, mercy
2. but He pleads for their repentance and notes thatHetakes no pleasure in punishing!
D. In 2 Pet 3:9
1. wonderful fact - God had not changed with time
2. He is still pleading! He desperately wants people to be redeemed to Him
II. WE SEE GODS PROVISION
A. 1 Pet 1:17-21
1. are there some things I do not understand about Gods providing the lamb before foundation of the world? Yes
2. but He did ... because He cares, He desires
B. Note Gen 22:7,8 God will provide ...
1. Rev 5:5,6
2. Jno 3:16 God provided marvelously
C. The lamb was the necessary offering
1. Heb 9:24-26 by the sacrifice of himself
2. if anything else could have sufficed, I know God would have done it! but Heb 10:4,10 - only this sacrifice satisfied the demands of Gods holiness
III. WE SEE GODS GRACE
A. Rom 5:8 Once again, I am without understanding!
1. vv. 6 and 7 note the facts which make this so incredible
2. who would choose to die for the ugly, the ungodly?
B. Gods grace is so beyond our human nature
1. 2 Pet 3:18 the just for the unjust
2. we just dont do things that way ... to give so grandly to the undeserving is not typical of humanity ... but is the way of Gods wonderful grace
IV. WE SEE GODS PUBLICATION
A. Gods desire to redeem is good news
1. Lk 2:10
2. this news is too good to be kept secret!
B. so, Mk 16:15 take the message to the world
1. God did everything possible to provide for a published message (Acts 8:4)
2. the message has been preserved in written, understandable form ... transmitted, unchanging, to each generation
V. WE SEE GODS ULTIMATE AIM
A. Jno 14:1-3 ...there ye may be also
1. at home with the Father
2. what a thrilling prospect - to be among those surrounding the throne praising God
B. yes, the prospect has its stipulations
1. we noted 2 Pet 3:9 and repentance
2. we note, too, Rom 6:3,4 and baptism into Jesus death - or, Acts 22:16 and cleansing of sin which occurs in baptism
CLOSE: Rev 22:17 - the invitation! There is no more exciting invitation than this. Will you accept it?
Cecil A. Hutson
10 September 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)