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July 14, 2002 AM

Acts 17:22-28

INTRO: All of us struggle with priorities. We try to list our priorities ... and may engage in that exercise frequently. We may, depending on our circumstances, reorder or change our priorities from time to time. And we try to live with and according to those priorities ... only to find that it is not easy. We can usually decide what the most important things are. But keeping them in sight is so difficult. This morning I want to suggest five life priorities for all of us.


A. Heb 11:6 ... them that diligently seek Him ...

1. why? what reasons for seeking Him?

2. to believe that He is .. in a busy life this may be lost in the activity, the demands

3. to receive the reward He offers ... true, to a great extent that reward is deferred ... perhaps thats why diligent seeking Him is not too popular

B. Acts 17:27 ... seek the Lord ...

1. is this one of the reasons for our existence?

2. here, it certainly seems to be - thus, to give priority to other emphases can never really satisfy

3. Ps 63:1 my soul thirsteth for thee


A. Acts 17:27 ... and find Him ...

1. the obvious reason for seeking is to find

2. Mt 7:7 ... seek, and ye shall find

3. Deut 4:29 - here is a great truth: He wants to be found

B. What finding God means?

1. obviously, the confidence of His being

2. further, Ps 70:4, the salvation He offers

3. then, praising Him, Let God be magnified ... the salvation He offers, when accepted on His terms, is reason for rejoicing and praising!


A. Ps 90:1 ... Thou has been our dwelling place ...

1. what can this mean?

2. surely, the psalmist refers to confidence, security

3. listen ... Ps 61:3 - a shelter, and a strong tower

(and Prov 18:10)

4. here is the issue of trust for all of life

B. But go a bit further ...

1. Ps 101:6 dwelling in Him, with Him requires a careful course of life - walking in a perfect way, serving Him

2. Ps 15:1-5 v.1 asks critical questions relative to our subject ... vv. 2-5 give answers - note v.2

3. living in Him does not permit such confident abiding on our terms - there are house rules!!

4. consider 1 Jno 2:3-6


A. Ps 37:7 Rest in the land ...

1. this verse beautifully explains this resting

2. there are so many reasons for fretting

3. certainly, one of them would be the apparent inequities around us - dwelling on these brings discontent

B. Jer 6:16 ... rest for your souls ...

1. rather than to fret we must commit to walking in the Lords way

2. walking there assures rest for our souls - now and in eternity

3. patient trusting, patient living, patient walking brings perfect resting! Ps 4:4 with 46:10

CLOSE: Die in Him! Listen: Rev 14:13. The great priorities climax here. If we live in Him, rest confidently in Him, we will die in Him! Question, though, are you in Him? Being in Him is what the seeking and finding are all about.

Cecil A. Hutson

14 July 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)