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October 1, 2000 AM


Acts 7:1 with Lk 1:26-34

INTRO: The question the Jewish high priest asked of Stephen, the evangelist, was concerned with two specific points. But this same question could well be asked of a number of things foundational to faith. For example, the Bible asserts that Jesus was born of a virgin! Many, many, however, dismiss such an assertion as ridiculous. After all, where, in human experience, has such a thing ever happened? Are these things so ... that Jesus as born of a virgin?


A. Isa 7:14 The prophecy

1. specifically noted to be a sign from God

2. a normal birth involving two human parents, while so incredible, would not be such a sign identified with Gods purpose

B. Mt 1:18-23 The announcement to Joseph

1. assumption? the inspiration of scripture ... significance? revealed truth

2. v. 18,20 refer to conception of the Holy Spirit ... v.18 notes this all happened before they came together; before marriage consummated

3. v.23 is a very direct reference to Isa 7:14

C. Lk 1:26-35 The announcement to Mary

1. v.27 affirms again that Mary was a virgin

2. v.34 Mary asks the natural, logical question

3. v.35 conception of the Holy Spirit - by the awesome power of God

4. note, too, Lk 3:23 and Lukes expression

D. Jno 3:16 fact: the only begotten Son of God

1. the claim of Scripture is that Jesus is the Son of God by fact of His birth

2. the conception involved Mary and God!

3. Rom 1:1-3 through Mary his lineage is traced to David (so, Isa 11:1)

4. Jno 1:1-3,14 how? by physical, but miraculous, birth to Mary


A. There are those who say, No!

1. usually, they do not accept the supernatural (or miraculous) element of the Bible

2. this, of course, strikes at the very heart of Biblical faith ... reduces Christianity to one good religion among many

3. if it isnt so, credibility of Bible is doubtful

B. Is there good reason to believe this is so?

1. certainly! the factual dependability of Bible

2. and the historical fulfillment of prophecy

3. if the Bible is utterly dependable in these things, why should we doubt this point?

4. it is interesting, too, that New Testament writers never defended this point ... it was not argued ... it was believed

C. Yes, it is by faith we finally settle belief

1. note Heb 11:1-3 and through faith

2. but faith is not without evidence and good reason here!

3. on the other hand, if we cannot come to belief here, of what use can we comfortably make of scripture?

4. the virgin birth of Christ is one of those things Luke said was most surely believed among us (Lk 1:1)

CLOSE: One of the great foundation stones of faith is this one ... Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. It is so! We are always left to decide, though, what will we do - in our own lives - about the significance of Jesus?

Cecil A. Hutson

01 October 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)