INTRO: There is, beyond the azure blue, a God concealed from human sight. He tinted skies with heavenly hue and framed the worlds with His great might. With these words begins a hymn whose emphasis is God. I wonder if, in our busy lives, we have given much thought to God? Oh, Gods name is used often as an expletive ... in vain. His name appears on our currency and coins ... even on public buildings. But do we meditate upon Him? Are we awed by our contemplations. Consider the following thoughts:
1. Ps 46:10 Be Still and Know ...
a. we must take time to think about God
b. the pace of life reduces faith to sound bites ... to brief slogans
c. my concern is that we do not exalt Him ... for we hardly know Him
2. Ex 3:14 God of the Present Tense!
a. we are programed to think: birth, life, death
b. we think of past, present, future
c. but God does not fit into our limitations
d. I Am: without beginning or end ... present
e. 1 Tim 1:17 here is a majestic statement
3. Ex 3:6 God of the Great Covenant
a. one of the ways He identifies Himself
b. note Ex 2:24
c. recall Gen 22:15-18 repeated to Isaac/Jacob
d. this covenant brought Jesus to this world
e. Gal 3:8 brings the covenant to fruition
f. an aside: God keeps promises
4. Lev 19:1,2 God of Absolute Authority
a. undergirding these precepts? I am the Lord ...
b. no legislation - no election .... Mt 6:13b!!
c. God speaks ... ant thats all thats required
d. this 19th chapter of Leviticus is awesome in its nature
e. indeed, it could be a bit frightening ... its truly, Because I said so!
f. Isa 45:19
5. Isa 43:25 God of Forgiveness
1. for mine own sake - not merited - by grace!
b. from v.22-v.24 are listed Gods charges against Israel ... worthy of death
c. but His forgiving nature is suddenly noted
d. oh, God does not forgive the impenitent - Ezek 18:30
e. just so, the New Testament makes this clear - Acts 17:30
f. but God chooses to forgive the penitent
6. Isa 44:24 God of Creation
a. one of the most amazing statements: Ps 33:6-9
b. maybe we havent really given it much thought
c. but all God had to do was say the word
d. so, Gen 1:3 And God said ...
e. I cannot truly fathom the awesome power of God
f. but His power begs for our attention (note Rom 1:16)
7. Isa 48:17 God Who Leads His People
a. notice, too, v. 18 ... the option to follow is ours
b. failing to follow withholds His blessings!
c. but the great thing is that He providesguidance
d. Jno 6:63 ... Jno 17:17 ... 2 Tim 1:10
e. scripture is the means of His guidance ... the inspired word; the revealed word
f. so, Ps 23:3b ... He leadeth me...
CLOSE: Mal 3:6 ... God Who changes not. With all of the change around us, He is our Constant! The anchors slip away ... but never the anchor.
Cecil A. Hutson
31 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)