2 JNO 1:9-11
INTRO: There is not doubt that the church in the first century had is problems and challenges. Then, as now, one of the challenges had to do with those who wanted to alter the gospel, the truth. Remember that in the letter to the Galatian churches the apostle Paul spoke of those who would pervert the gospel of Christ (Gal 1:7). These were church troublers! For their own personal gain (would guess for fame, power, ego building) they taught error under the guise of innocence and honesty ... under the umbrella of Christian. New Testament writers warned, in the strongest of ways, against these troublers. Our text is one such warning. But I want to use the text to emphasize the joy to be found in abiding in the doctrine of Christ.
I. THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST - THE PERSON
A. Our great high priest
1. Heb 7:25-27 - unlike other high priests, He had no sins for which He had to offer sacrifices daily ... He is not just another human descendent of Aaron
2. Heb 2:18 & 4:14-16 - this High Priest can be touched by our infirmities because, while He did no sin, was nevertheless tempted just as we are
3. further, He ever liveth to make intercession for you and me
B. Our promise of resurrection
1. Jno 11:25 - in the next verse is the question, Believest thou this?
2. 1 Cor 15:20-23 - afterward, they that are Christs at his coming
3. I find no great joy in physical death ... except in the hope, fact of resurrection
C. Our atoning sacrifice
1. 1 Jno 2:1,2 - Jesus, crucified, is the only sacrifice which can bring
2. 1 Pet 3:18 - just here I want to put the stress on the unjust - folks, without Jesus and His being our atoning sacrifice, there would be no heaven for us!
3. I know how frail I am ... and I recognize my daily need for this cleansing
D. Our way to God
1. Jno 14:6 - He came to make the way; to show the way; to be they way
2. without His having come we would be in total darkness - lost, stumbling
3. Lk 2:30,31 - only because He came can we see!
E. Putting such things together, I spell them J - O - Y
II. THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST - THE TEACHING
A. The authority of it
1. Who said? was a question I often heard as a boy - its a good question
2. Jno 12:49 - the Father gave the Son the commandments to say, to speak
3. Jno 14:25,26 - the Holy Spirit would guarantee remembrance to apostles
4. Mt 28:18-20 - the doctrine of Christ has unparalleled authority
5. the doctrine of Christ has/is a rock solid foundation - unshaken, unshakable
B. The simplicity of it
1. question: would a loving God give us instruction beyond understanding?
2. Ps 119:130 - it giveth understanding unto the simple
3. Eph 3:1-6 - ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ
4. still, the word must be ingested, be studied, be appreciated
5. the truth is, however, that we are too much influenced by the things we hear and do not have enough knowledge to refute that which is error!
C. The hope of it
1. listen: Col 1:21-23_- ...the hope of the gospel...
2. the doctrine of Christ reveals the hope of heaven; reveals the way to the attaining of that hope; gives assurances of that hope
3. take away the doctrine and we have no authoritative information
4. take away the doctrine and we cannot see beyond the horizon of this earth
5. there is great joy in reading over and again the wonderful words of life
CLOSE: So, let me recap what I see as the joy of abiding in the doctrine of Christ. There is the joy of having the reliable, dependable word from God. There is the joy of having a standard leading to a better life. There is the joy in having a way to know what pleases God.
Cecil A. Hutson
16 November 2003
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)