INTRO: I have been asked to preach a series of sermons based on the wisdom of the book of Proverbs. While I am not sure that this series will be an each Sunday evening series, I want to honor that request because of the practical nature of this book. I will try to find and develop important themes from this book and to give practical, real life applications. Since the writer of this book focuses so much attention on my son, I will begin our series with a lesson or two on Advice To The Young. Now, some of this advice is applicable to those of us who are older, too. Lets see where the book of Proverbs takes us in giving advice to the young.
I LISTEN TO YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER - PROV 1:8,9
A. Are your father and mother infallible? The answer is no!
1. but they have many life experiences upon which they draw
2. and they love you as no one else does - they care about you
3. notice Prov 4:3 - in the main, this will be true for each of you
B. Their wisdom put into practice will ornament your life
1. I think of the manners my parents insisted of me - table manners; manners of respect for others; manners relating to dress
2. I think of the instilling of respect for the Lord, His word, His church
3. their wisdom has made a great difference in my life and relationships
C. Listen: Prov 15:5 - This is Gods assessment ... be wise and listen
1. did I always agree with my parents? no ... but they were my parents
2. and my respect for that fact kept me from so many mistakes in life
3. Prov 1:4b - Dad & Mom provided a solid basis for these things
II DO NOT BE PERSUADED TO DO WRONG THINGS - PROV 1:10
A. Right and Wrong are serious issues for the young
1. so, there must be a dedication to learning the standard
2. and Christian parents should be very helpful here - Eph 6:4
3. Phil 1:9,10 - here is our hope for our children
B. But you will be exposed to verbal, social persuasion to do wrong things
1. sinners will entice you - and make things they propose look great
2. social pressures will be felt by you - and make it more than a little difficult to make right decisions about right and wrong
3. consent thou not - just say no! - you must make a definite decision
C. And Prov 1:15 - associations with people of different values is dangerous
1. our choice of friends and associates is critical to our behavior
2. listen to Ps 1:1,2 - true happiness is not found in wrong places with the wrong people
3. some of you may already be weakened by your associations!
III LEARN TO FEAR THE LORD - PROV 2:1-5
A. Prov 1:7 - Respect and awe are proper, right as we consider God
1. if you have no respect for God, your life will very likely be a shambles
2. and this respect must grow from your youth
3. Eccl 12:1 - your life will have real meaning if you respect, honor God
B. But you must really desire the wisdom of God
1. notice 2:4 - I wonder how many young people have this thirst?
2. are church things just a compartment in your life - not touching other compartments?
3. I know youre young - but are your really serious about your faith?
C. Notice then, Prov 2:10,11 - The result of Godly fear and His wisdom!
1. its important, though, to note and knowledge is pleasant to thy soul
2. further, to vv. 12 & 16 - to deliver thee...
3. fearing God and applying His wisdom & knowledge will keep you from a host of wrong things; from consequences which bring sadness, regret, tragedy; from burdens you will not find joy in carrying!
CLOSE: The expression my son appears twenty-three times in the book of Proverbs. The father was very, very concerned about the direction his childs life would take. And to our young people I would say, Just so, I am very concerned about the direction your life will take. Listen to the wisdom of God in this useful and practical book of the Bible.
Cecil A. Hutson
30 May 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)