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December 2, 2001 AM

1 Cor 16:13,14

INTRO: How do you read the Bible? For what sorts of things do you look as you read? Is it possible that you read just for the sake of saying, I read my Bible every day? Well, I read in the Bible just about every day. And I read for different purposes. But one of the things for which I am always searching is the practical advice for holy living. And, as we have been thinking for the past several weeks, I am especially interested in the brief, uncomplicated pieces of advice I am calling tips for Christian living.


1. 1 Pet 2:1 Be ready to change behavior that is wrong

a. Acts 26:20 yes, repentance is involved here

b. 2 Cor 7:9,10 godly sorrow - sorrow toward God

c. now, go back to Acts 26:20 and the word do - this word in Greek means to practice - perform repeatedly!

d. wrong behavior must be laid aside quickly

e. and the new behavior must be permanent

f. Rom 12:2 Be ye transformed

2. Phil 4:6 Pray fervently and frequently

a. we all recall 1 Thes 5:17

b. is praying something with which we are truly comfortable?

c. is our day punctuated with prayer?

d. praying confidently always brings to me a sense of calm - I have addressed myself to the Father Who cares (Mt 7:11)

e. read the Psalms for an appreciation of prayer!

f. a promise: Phil 4:7

3. 1 Thes 4:7 Concentrate on holiness of life

a. 2 Cor 7:1 ...perfecting holiness...

b. holiness is a subject which needs deep consideration

c. Peter reminded: 1 Pet 1:15,16

d. holiness is not perfection ... but it is separation

e. holiness is a new way of thinking about ourselves and the way we relate to people and things

f. note Rev 3:4 with Jas 1:27 here is holiness

4. Eph 4:32 Practice kindness

a. kindness does not mean compromise of truth, values

b. but it has much to do with how we meet conflict, disagreement and such

c. it has much to do with basic approach to life

d. kindness should be our mindset every day

e. Col 3:12 put on ... - its part of the garment of Christian character

f. the fact that you are kind may well be the thing about you which others will remember of you

5. 1 Cor 6:18 Flee from temptation

a. note 1 Cor 10:14 - 1 Tim 6:11 - 2 Tim 2:22 flee

b. temptation - enticement to sin - is common to all

c. and I suppose there are folks who believe they are of sufficient strength to be constantly exposed without danger, harm

d. experience, though, shows that resistance, conviction wear away over time

e. there is no shame, cowardice in fleeing - putting distance between you and temptation

f. but do you typically flee?

CLOSE: All of this is such good advice. Seize it. Use it. Benefit from it.

Cecil A. Hutson

02 December 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)