INTRO: This morning I am going to ask you to consider God ... and you. I am going to ask you to think about the incomprehensible power and majesty of God and to wonder why God has bothered with finite, weak, inglorious mankind. I am going to ask you to appreciate that which may be beyond our ability to fathom and to recognize a correct human response to that which truly is beyond the limits of human understanding. I am going to hope that each of us will humble himself before majesty of God ... and in that humility bow reverently before the great I Am!
I GOD ... THE LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH (ACTS 17:24)
A. Ps 8:3 - When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers...
1. when is the last time, away from city lights, that you looked up to see?
2. Ps 19:1 - an innumerable host of twinkling lights punctuating darkness
3. yet, Ps 147:4 - He knows their number ... and calls them by name!
4. it is He Who set the stars in their courses - Judg 5:20
5. how can one look into the heavens without being awed?
6. and all of this declares the glory and majesty of God
B. Isa 45:18 - God himself that formed the earth and made it...
1. and what of the wonders of the earth? its beauty; its mysteries; its order
2. Ps 33:6-9 - For he spake, and it was done (Ps 148:5)
3. Gen 1:3 - And God said... - words repeated several times in Gen 1
4. can you even begin to imagine the power inherent in His being able to speak into existence the universe ... and our wonderful earth?
5. consider the amazement in the words of Rom 11:33-36
6. its all too wonderful for words!
C. Isa 45:12,18 - ...he formed it to be inhabited...
1. the earth is apparently unique in all of Gods creation
2. Isa 42:5 - it was created to be inhabited ... to be inhabited by man
3. I am told that the natural circumstances of earth are delicately balanced to sustain life as we know it ... to the best of our knowledge there is no other place like it in the universe
4. Gen 1:29-31 - God made all of the necessary provisions for life
5. could all of this have just happened - a great cosmic accident bringing all necessary things together simultaneously to sustain life?
6. the earth is without a doubt wonderfully designed - magnificent
II MAN ... THE RECIPIENT OF GODS FAVOR
A. Ps 8:4-8 - What is man, that thou are mindful of him?
1. keep in mind the psalmist has just mentioned his considering of the works of the fingers of God - the heavens, the moon, the stars
2. and he turns from that consideration to think of man
3. how and why would the majestic, awesome, powerful God be concerned with, bother with man ... why? why? why?
4. we are, after all, so very insignificant
B. But, Jno 3:16 - For God so loved the world...
1. for many of us this may still be the mystery of mysteries
2. it seems to have been very much the psalmists wondering
3. what we begin to see is that God Who is the Creator is also the God Who loves!
4. 1 Jno 4:8b - ...for God is love
C. So, 1 Jno 4:9,10 - In this was manifested the love of God toward us...
1. I dont have to understand the why - I simply accept the fact
2. the same God Who created chose to offer redemption to the rebellious creatures Whom He created with such hope and love
3. love so amazing gave His only begotten Son as an atoning sacrifice
4. what is man? he is the object of the love of God ... that makes man significant, important
D. Ps 50:23 - What God expects from us?
1. praise to Him & ordering our lives aright
2. to such will He show His salvation!
3. what must you do? where are you in this scenario? have you responded to the offer the majestic God has made?
4. Jno 3:5 - in baptism you are born into the kingdom and family of God
5. how can we not take up the offer of God ... Who wants to be our Father
CLOSE: Ps 29:2 - We glorify God in simple, trusting obedience. I wonder ... have you given Him the glory due to His name?
Cecil A. Hutson
11 April 2004
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)