Jno 3:1,2 and Acts 7:1
INTRO: In the region of the world where Jesus lived, His reputation was known even in palaces. He did not come to His public ministry in secret. He went from place to place, community to community teaching. There were those occasions when Jesus would say, Ye have heard that it was said ... but I say unto you. And what He would say would seem almost radical by establishment standards. While those things were far from radical, they were nevertheless upsetting to some. Jesus was truly a teacher!
I. HE TAUGHT ...
A. Against hypocrisy in religion
1. Mt 6:2,5,16
2. nothing wrong with alms giving, praying, fasting ... but not for the show of it
3. so, motives must be pure and right
4. two things: Rom 6:17 - from the heart and Jno 14:15 keep my commandments
B. That initiatives of goodness were right
1. Mt 7:12
2. this goes beyond family and friends ... where goodness would be expected
3. Mt 5:43-46 here is goodness changing things
4. without this how would relationships survive? how would people be inspired to be better?
C. Honor Gods word above tradition
1. Mt 15:9
2. traditions which became law, traditions which set aside Gods word are hurtful, wrong
3. problem: tradition can become divisive, exclusive, etc. - moves center from God to men
4. reaction to tradition can be problematic, too - Gods word may suffer as much (more?) in reactions as in the traditions ... so, honor the word first, foremost
D. There is more to life than material things
1. Lk 12:13-15
2. I think we may give lip service to this - but I wonder if we practice (from the heart) this truth?
3. Jesus did not teach that poverty was a virtue!
4. but do material things get too much attention - keep us from genuine devotion? Mt 19:22
E. That marriage is for life
1. Mt 19:3-9 what therefore God hath joined ...
2. marriage had fallen on hard times ... breaking the covenant was such an easy thing ... Mal 2:14
3. Jesus stated clearly Gods demand ... and, yes, note the one exception at v.9 ... I have an idea this was not well received
4. are we not in much the same situation? divorce for every cause is the contemporary practice ... sweet friends, we need to listen to what Jesus said (Rom 7:2,3)
F. That civil law should be obeyed
1. Mt 22:17-22 Render ... unto Caesar ...
2. here were people who hated Rome - who wanted to do whatever necessary to show contempt, etc. ... Jews
3. but Jesus clearly declined to sanction civil disobedience ... saw civil law as generally applicable under God
4. yes, where civil law and Gods law are clearly in conflict we must submit to God ... but good citizenship is compatible with discipleship!
CLOSE: Mt 7:28,29 ... Jesus did have teaching authority from God. Ours is a time which has largely abandoned the specifics of what He taught in favor of feeling good at all costs. That is not loving Jesus ... but this is: Jno 14:15.
Cecil A. Hutson
10 December 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)