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March 24, 2002 PM

1 Pet 5:12

INTRO: There are in the New Testament some names of saints whose activities and exploits are noted only briefly ... but they are noted. Perhaps we overlook those names; because they are written in the shadow of a John, a Paul or a Peter. The truth is, though, that more of us can identify with those rather ordinary saints than with the giants whose steps made indelible impressions on time and history. It is just such an ordinary saint (if indeed there is such) whose name is written and preserved in history here in 1 Peter. He is simply Silvanus, a faithful brother.


A. Silvanus .. Silas (Latin and Greek forms of same name?)

1. truly a man in the shadow of others .. but note:

2. Acts 15:22 a trusted, highly esteemed saint in Jerusalem

3. Acts 15:32-34 a part of a great team in Antioch

4. Acts 15:40 companion of Paul

5. Acts 16:25,31,32 they said .. they spake

6. Acts 17:10,14 an establisher of saints, churches

7. 2 Cor 1:19 an integral role in Corinthian church

8. 1 Thes 1:1 a deep concern, love for churches

9. an exemplary Christian, a devoted teacher, a loving man ... widely known and respected

B. A significant note: served with both Paul and Peter

1. thus, he spanned the work between Jew and Gentile

2. He is a living proof of unity between Paul and Peterin doctrine, in faith, in practice

C. Now, we see him as a letter carrier

1. Peter knows him to be a faithful brother

2. can be trusted to deliver the letter, to comment on its contents ... because he is first faithful to the Lord

3. thus, 2 Tim 2:2

D. Does not the church need more Silases?

1. there are so few giants perhaps, though, too many of us see ourselves as giants

2. the true need is for those faithful men and women upon whom the Lord can depend to daily hold to and teach the faith ... content to be second

3. our names may well be forgotten in history! so what!


A. An exhorting and testifying

1. earnest persuasion to be faithful to their calling

2. a strong confirmation of the validity of their faith - 2 Pet 1:12,16

3. no matter how settled we may be today, tomorrow may bring faith shaking events ... there is, then, always a need for such a message

4. and we need to be sensitive to others to see when they are in such circumstances so that we can rush to aid!

B. An unfolding of the message of grace

1. as I look at 1 Peter, I see: our salvation through Christ; our charge to grow as Gods people; our challenge to live the different life of saints; our final inheritance

2. all of this - and more - is the true grace of God

3. message of grace must not stop short of what Paul calls all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27)

4. I believe the church needs such teaching today if we are to survive satans efforts to overthrow us

C. An urging to stand

1. the stand had to be in the true grace of God

2. 1 Cor 15:1,2 by which ... saved, if ...

3. false teachers, harsh circumstances both would lead people out of the true grace but what a loss!

4. there is only one place to stand to be saved ... in the teaching and life of the New Testament

CLOSE: For troubled saints who needed encouragement and strengthening of conviction there was no better messenger than Silas ... the faithful brother. He had stood ... and so could they ... and so must we.

Cecil A. Hutson

24 March 2002

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)