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February 18, 2001 PM

1 Pet 1:8,9

INTRO: The apostle Peter had a privilege we do not have. He actually saw Jesus. He saw Him performing astounding miracles, talking with Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration, dying on the Roman cross, living again as the risen Lord and ascending to heaven and His throne! Have you ever wished you could have been there, too? I have. But Jesus said something we need to remember

Jno 20:29b. Perhaps it is with that very thought in mind that Peter comments on the nature of believing...without seeing.


A. Adage: Seeing is believing

1. our empirically oriented world requires seeing

2. yet, we still do not have a physical image of Jesus

3. and we are challenged to believe in Him how?

B. As then, through testimony of eyewitnesses

1. there were so many who did witness these things

2. 1 Cor 15:3-8 could so many be so wrong?

3. and there is no account of anyones retracting!

C. As then, through the written accounts

1. they had the Old Testament Jno 5:39; Heb 10:7

2. and we have the New Testament as well Jno 20:30,31

3. to read, to meditate, to appreciate, to enjoy...and to do it again! faith in Jesus grows in proportion to our depth and frequency of delving into written account (as a love letter is read again and again - not because it is not understood - but because it comes from someone we love)

D. As then, through testimony of Godly lives

1. note connection of Gal 2:20 with 1 Cor 11:1

2. we need to see belief at work in others who have lived experienced and endured ... and who still believe

3. Heb 13:7 why follow? they are believers

E. As then, through experiencing

1. Christianity can be tested oh, not in a laboratory

2. yet, we can believe and apply Jesus teachings to our lives and see how workable, profitable they are

3. Heb 6:5 have tasted the good word


A. That faith produces love for Jesus 1 Pet 1:8a

1. a love of awe, or respect, of appreciation

2. a love which commits entirely to His way and His keeping...

1 Jno 2:5,6

3. a love which directs toward others... 1 Jno 4:20

B. That faith produces daily joy 1 Pet 1:8c

1. a joy which enjoys being a Christian

2. a joy which may not make much sense to empirical world

3. a joy coming not from I think, but from I know


A. What is being a believer all about?

1. does it just have to do with being different?

2. does it pertain just to a way of life for now?

3. does it endure suffering for the strange sake of just suffering?

4. certainly, none of the above

B. ...the end of your faith...

1. the word for end does not mean its over

2. rather, it is the word for goal or objective

3. the objective of the believers life is the salvation of his soulthats what believing is all about

4. how important is this objective in your priorities?

CLOSE: Believers who have never physically seen Jesus have to do incredible things for their Lord and their belief...and so can we!

Cecil A. Hutson

18 February 2001

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)