INTRO: What is the great quest in your life? Maybe the word quest is not one you would use of your life, but it does describe a campaign toward an objective. So, what is it, in your life, that is a well entrenched objective toward which you are devoting significant time, energy, thought, emotion? In our lesson text the Lord seems to reduce all of life to two quests. Our quest is either primarily material ... or it is primarily spiritual.
I. LOOKING AT THE TWO QUESTS ...
A. We can devote ourselves to material things
1. Jesus recognized there is need (6:32)
2. but the issue is one of emphasis, trust
3. the questions at 6:25 tells us that were dealing with life issues ... life emphasis
4. and rich people are not alone in this kind of emphasis
5. people everywhere work for a living ... not for a life
B. We can devote ourselves to spiritual things
1. this should be our #1 quest (6:33)
2. contentment can only be found with God, godliness
3. it can never be found in materialism - Prov 23:4,5
4. multitudes are those who have sought happiness and contentment in the material ... and they have found little!
5. why? Lk 12:15
II. WE NEED ...
A. Confidence in God
1. note 6:26,30 - does, Oh ye of little faith tell our story?
2. then, Ps 103:13,14 what a great word picture
3. Lam 3:23 great is thy faithfulness
4. the faithfulness of God is basic to our confidence ... He has over and again shown His faithfulness ... why is it so hard to have confidence in Him?
B. Knowledge of God
1.perhaps a lack of knowledge is the problem for us
2. Ps 78:1-7 ...that they might set their hope in God
3. note the progression ... from knowledge to setting hope
4. this knowledge comes from a devotion to the word ... and from the fact that history keeps confirming
C. Commitment to His kingdom
1. this commitment takes us away from this world and its offer (spurious though it may be) ... His kingdom
2. His kingdom requires thinking out of this world
3. this thinking brings our being here to pilgrimage - since Im only passing through, I think of equipping myself for my ultimate ... not bogging down here
4. Heb 11:13 ... and embraced them ...: - have we?
D. Dedication to his righteousness
1. what is right? what is not? who will decide this?
2. society, culture, tradition, emotion will have various answers ... diverse answers ... mostly wrong answers
3. Ps 119:172 - Rom 1:17 - Titus 2:12 with Isa 45:19
4. His definitions will always be right and will, if embraced, enable our quest for a satisfying spiritual life
E. Observation: from Mt 6:25-34 there are ...
1. at most five references to anxiety
2. the world and the quest for the material are always anxiety producers!
3. that does not mean the spiritual quest will never face a problem ... but there is a real hope, a real prospect, a real answer in this quest! contentment (Ps 37:7)
4. the issues here are so important, so urgent ... chooseyour quest carefully
CLOSE: Be very honest with yourself ... just doing some religious things may not mean your quest is spiritual. Are you genuinely seeking contentment in God, in His kingdom, in His righteousness?
Cecil A. Hutson
24 November 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)