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December 9, 2001 AM

Ps 139:17

INTRO: I hope that for you the thoughts of God are truly precious. Over years of time, I have come to realize just how precious to my everyday life His thoughts are. I think I have always known that with my head. But it has taken a while for my heart to get in tune with my head. So, as years have gone by, certain Bible verses have become favorites for their simple practical message or instruction. It is such passages as these I like to call tips for Christian living.


1. Phil 4:13 Believe in I can

a. the context refers to Christian endurance, endeavor

b. when we are faced with problems, choices resulting from our being disciples, we can!

c. we have the promised resources of the Lord

d. Christians are not a defeated people - we are a can do people living victoriously!

e. listen to Eph 3:20,21 - do we limit that power?

f. your Christian potential is great ... believe it!

2. Jas 5:8 Learn to be patient

a. Lk 21:19 one of my favorite tips

b. no doubt about it - this is a problem for most folks

c. impatience causes so much anxiety and damage

d. patience doesnt make on e a door mat - but it does lead into calm, peaceful living

e. Isa 26:3 the issue, in most cases, is trust

f. 2 Pet 3:8 an important lesson to learn if we are to be patient people

3 Rom 8:28 Look for silver linings

a. catastrophe, tragedy strike ... what then?

b. so often we spiral downward into real despair

c. you can hear that in the Psalms from time to time

d. we cannot always avoid hurts, troubles, griefs ... but for faithful Christian people there is sunshine behind the cloud

e. but we have to lift our eyes to see the silver lining

f. this goes back to trust - confidence ... and to a mind which has always been attuned to Gods will

4. Rom 6:12 Remember that sin can be mastered

a. we can find so many excuses for our sin failures

b. I just couldnt help myself, is a common one

c. Jas 4:7b - 1 Pet 5:8,9 resist!

d. the assurance of scripture is that sin does not have to have dominion over us ... that it has no place

e. Rom 6:11 part of this is how we think of ourselves ... keep 2 Tim 1:7 in mind here

f. surely repentance is part of the mastering of sin ... if there is no godly sorrow, no resolve, then, sin has dominion over us

5. 1 Cor 10:12 Be careful of pride

a. and Rom 12:3 reminds us of the problem

b. pride is a sin of selfishness, of self-deceit

c. pride keeps us from seeing reality ... cause us to see ourselves as we want to see ourselves

d. pride deceives us into believing we are really something extra special, extra strong, extra exceptional

e. being quietly confident and assured is not pride ... I have no thought of suggesting spinelessness or indecisive insecurity as the manner of the Christian life

f. our lives in Christ are dependent - so, 1 Cor 6:20

6. Col 3:14 Be a loving, considerate person

a. so much of life is in relationships

b. being loving, considerate brings so many good things our way ... but these must be part of us, or our only motivation may be to receive good things

CLOSE: Remember, though, tips such as these are only beneficial if we put them to use!

Cecil A. Hutson

09 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)