INTRO: As most of you know, I love history. I suppose that I am a true believer in the saying, If you dont learn from history, youre doomed to repeat its mistakes. So, in the course of my years of study, I have spent considerable time in the history of Gods ancient people. Over and again the New Testament sends us back to the Old Testament for its lessons. This morning I want to look for a while at what Ill call an important case history. Deut 4:1-4. The points?
I. LISTEN (HEARKEN)
A. Listen to what God says!
1. so much information is available on so many topics
2. some is useful, some is interesting, some is relevant
3. by contrast, all that God has said is important
B. But folks do not always listen to God
1. Mt 13:15
2. 2 Tim 4:3,4
3. are you listening? are you hearing?
II. LEARN (WHICH I TEACH YOU)
A. Learn what God says!
1. how much information really sticks? not much
2. the information here is statutes ... and judgments
3. now, note Deut 6:24 and 32:46,47 it is your life
B. Do we learn? Or do we just have exposure?
1. do we learn what we want, and dispose of the rest?
2. do we learn with reservation - complying until it is not convenient to do so?
3. were dealing with life issues here - Jno 6:63!
A. Do what God says!
1. well, here has always been the problem area
2. note Judg 2:13 not all that many years later!
3. is humanity just not given to following God on Gods terms?
B. Phil 4:9 The situation has not changed
1. what we hear, learn we must do
2. I do like to add Rom 6:17 ... from the heart
3. our doing must be from the heart - there is a heart connection which involves our passion for the Lord
IV. BLESSING (LIVE ... GO IN ... POSSESS THE LAND)
A. Gods blessing is always contingent on obedience!
1. here is one of the great truths of Bible history
2. and its a truth which seems difficult to convey
3. it seems so many want the blessing without the doing
B. Lets go back to Rom 6:17,18
1. when did the blessing (v.18) become theirs?
2. after they obeyed from the heart Gods will!
3. the promised blessings of Gods grace are inseparably connected to our response of faith in obedience
V. CAUTION (YE SHALL NOT ADD ... DIMINISH)
A. Do only what God says!
1. God has never given innovation permission when He gives direction
2. yes, there are many daily life things left to us
3. but when God reveals His pattern, dont deviate
B. What God says is very exclusive
1. here, again, is a Biblical truth not fully appreciated
2. we often hear, but He did not say not to ....
3. if He has given a specific direction, by its very nature the thou shalt nots are necessarily implied
A. Remember those who did not obey?
1. they were slain; their bodies impaled and left for all to see, etc.
2. Num 25:4 the fierce anger of the Lord
B. On the other hand, the obedient are alive ... this day
1. should we recall Heb 10:26-30
2. yes, this is an important case history with vital lessons to learn
CLOSE: Deut 4:9 ... Remember the lesson of history. Listen, learn and do diligently that which God has instructed. Its the only way to the blessing.
Cecil A. Hutson
26 May 2002
You Must Hear the Gospel
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
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
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
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)
You Must Be Baptized
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!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
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)