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December 29, 2002 AM

Mt 27:29-37

INTRO: One of the hymns I remember so well from my youth says:

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross

The emblem of suffering and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain.

That event was a long time ago in a far away land. There is no disputing that. But, friends, its still the cross!


A. Distance from and passing time do not matter

1. there is still sin

2. and there remains the need for remedy

3. further, the remedy is not available through human ingenuity or philosophy

4. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, New Age philosophies do not offer any remedy ... if they acknowledge sin

5. folks, its still the cross that is the answer

B. So, Heb 12:2

1. endured the physical pain ... bad enough

2. but despised the shame ... note Gal 3:13 with Mt 27:46 ... the shame of being cut off from God

3. 1 Cor 1:18 the preaching of the cross

4. and, yes, there are many intelligent, powerful people who continue to belittle the cross


A. What an exciting age in which we live!

1. space age? information age? technology age? etc.

2, what I read as fiction as a boy has become fact ... and beyond imagination we take things for granted

3. some things, though, have not changed

4. humankinds basic needs have not changed nor its basic nature

5. so, as already mentioned sin does its damage! - 1 Jno 5:19b

B. So, Rev 1:5

1. washed us ... in His own blood

2. or, 1 Jno 1:7

3. modern advancements have not changed the need or the remedy

4. I think, then, of Acts 22:16 ... why in baptism? it is the one place of identification with/into His atoning sacrifice (Rom 6:3)

5. for the stain (and tragedy) of sin, Jesus blood is the only hope


A. There have been many great names in 2000 years

1. national political figures - artists - medical names

2. technological names - scientific names - philosophical names

3. those names burn brightly in memory for a time

4. and some of the significance lasts (do we remember the names of developers of scientific breakthroughs - probably not ... but we still enjoy their developments)

5. and there will be more great names

B. But Jesus name ... none other is like it

1. Acts 2:38 in the name of ... - upon His authority

2. Acts 4:10-12 there is none other name

3. His name represents all thats involved in salvation

4. yes, other religious names have come along

5. but not a single one of them has the qualification of Acts 4:10 (resurrection) or Acts 4:11 (prophecy)

6. Jno 1:12 believe on His name

7. Eph 1:19-23 Jesus ... the name above every name

CLOSE: I have no idea what marvelous name or event will burst upon our future. But I know this. Where our eternal salvation is concerned, its still the cross; its still the blood; its still the name of Jesus that has power on earth to save.

Cecil A. Hutson

29 December 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)