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February 25, 2001 AM


Gen 2:21-24

INTRO: That divorce is one of the great social problems of our time is not arguable. Try as we might, we cannot escape the fact that divorce negatively touches lives, people, circumstances in an alarming number. Whats wrong? It may sound simplistic, but I believe the problem is a growing indifference to Biblical teaching about marriage ... even morality. With indifference there comes growing ignorance! With ignorance there comes conflict and confusion. We sometimes wish God had said more - but it may be that we need to accept that He did not!


A. A problem among the Jews - divorce

1. yes, Mosaic covenant had permitted divorce - Deut 24:1-4

2. but that permission had been grossly abused

3. Jesus refers to Gen 2:24 and the beginning - not to Mosaic permission

4. He then states Gods position - 19:6

B. But why did Moses ... (they continued to debate)

1. and Jesus goes back to the beginning again

2. the beginning is where the marriage law is found ... and to the beginning Jesus refers - 19:8b

3. for me (and, I hope, for you) this simple fact is critically significant

4. for the kingdom of God the beginning of the marriage law is Gods design

C. Yet, Gods graciousness permits a single exception

1. that exception does not require divorce - and may not, in fact, be far off from the Mosaic permission

2. the exception passage has given rise to speculation which is used almost as the for every cause of v.3!

3. Mal 2:16 is the general attitude of God

4. so, forgiveness and going forward is a wise, viable, healthy alternative


A. Prevention begins early

1. certainly, it begins in a childs family

2. and it carries through in early years of marriage

3. using Biblical teaching, counsel from day one

B. Mt 7:12 is a simple, wise rule

1. yes, it is of all relationships

2. but is it not critical in the close relationship

3. this rule in marriage will greatly enhance and strengthen the relationship

C. Mt 22:39 is, again, such a simple rule

1. neighbor is anyone ... not just the neighborhood

2. does not ones spouse count in this love?

3. absolutely, yes - but do others receive more care and consideration than ones spouse? it often appears so

D. Gal 5:13,14 the manifestation of love?

1. minister, serve one another selflessly

2. does this teaching belong everywhere but in marriage? certainly, it belongs in marriage

3. when husbands and wife selflessly serve one another, the marriage is growing, is strengthening, is safe!

E. 1 Pet 3:5-7 mutual respect, honor

1. if the first three things weve noted are growing in practice in the marriage, this mutual honoring will grow, too

2. such respect is manifested in thoughtful, kind words, actions

3. an aside here? cannot be in a wrong relationship with spouse and a right relationship with God!

CLOSE: Fathers and mothers, the marriages of your children are very much in your hands. Husband and wives, divorce proof your marriages with positive Biblical prevention.

25 February 2001

Cecil A. Hutson

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)