INTRO: Tonight, we continue our study of the living lessons from the book of Proverbs with a second lesson concerned with advice to the young. The Bible is not just a book for older/old people! It is very much a book addressing the young, too. Some of the most exciting Bible stories (as we often call them) are about the exploits of the young. We meet many of the heroes of the Bible when they are very young. I cannot help but note that the author of the book of Proverbs has a great concern for the young. There is so often the sound of a fathers giving wise advice to his child/children. So, I want to use one more study opportunity to note more of that wise advice.
I PROV 3:1-8 - WONDERFUL CONSEQUENCES OF GODS LAW KEPT
A. Forget not my law... (v. 1)
1. it is very easy to forget the law of God
2. why? well, distractions, desires, dilemmas arrest our attention
3. and the law, which we have known, is forgotten ... if only momentarily
4. young people, you must keep his commandments from your heart!
B. Trust in the Lord... (vv. 5,6)
1. trust is the key here ... not just know; not just believe ... trust
2. do not trust your own judgment - your judgment may be clouded by pressures, by lack of knowledge, by desires ... Gods wisdom is very objective and doable
3. being wise in thine own eyes is often a youth problem
4. listen to the voice of God in all thy ways!
C. Now, note what consequences may come from remembering, keeping
1. the write notes length of days...long life - Gods laws promote good habits of health and such ... which certainly contribute to a long life
2. he notes peace - Gods laws promote good relationships and peace
3. favor and understanding in the sight of God and man ... a general truth is that a godly life does contribute to good reputation (Lk 2:52)
4. notice 3:21-24 - consequences of trusting His wisdom - safety & sleep
II PROV 5:1-5 - AVOID SEXUAL IMMORALITY
A. The father speaks frankly of sexual immorality!
1. he acknowledges, I think, the power of sexual appetites
2. indeed, the Bible everywhere acknowledges this fact about us
3. but sexual immorality has unpleasant consequences
B. How this father speaks of the consequences?
1. the end is bitter as wormwood - a moment of pleasure ... a life of guilt
2. v. 11 - physical consequences ... and these can be tragic
3. vv. 12,13 - regret in knowing it could have been very different!
C. Prov 2:17 - Here is what sexual immorality is!
1. it is tragic forsaking and forgetting ... forgetting the covenant of God
2. a helpful word picture relative to sexual immorality - Prov 6:27,28
3. are sexual appetites normal? yes - but the proper place for the expression or fulfillment of them is in marriage! (1 Cor 7:1,2)
III PROV 4:23-27 - THINK BEFORE YOU ACT
A. The general rule of behavior is out of the heart are the issues of life
1. so, the son is urged to guard his heart with all diligence
2. question: what are you thinking? on what does your mind dwell?
3. are you entertaining thoughts which are impure? selfish? foolish?
B. Do not let your eyes wander from Godly living and objectives
1. our eyes are the windows through which so much comes
2. if we permit our eyes to wander to the glitter, the impurity of the world, we will stray from a Godly course
3. is it too preacherish for me to suggest Heb 12:1,2?
C. Think carefully about the consequences of your actions
1. ponder ... let all thy ways be established
2. the word ponder suggests deep thoughtfulness - consideration
3. while impetuosity may be a characteristic of youth, the father here cautions against acting according to the whim of the moment
CLOSE: Let me close this bit of inspired advice to the young by reading Prov 6:20-23. You will never go wrong, young people, by carefully listening to the word and way of God.
Cecil A. Hutson
20 June 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)