INTRO: One of the great struggles which seems to go on in many lives involves yielding to another. We put so much emphasis on independence and personal preferences in our society. A song of some years back said, I did it my way. In a eulogy to Jacquelyn Kennedy Onnasis it was said, She did it her way. That sentiment places a great premium on having ones own way ... almost to the point that one loses his self respect if he must yield to another. Certainly, we want some degree of freedom, of independence. When that desire carries over into our relationship with God, however, it can put our souls in danger. When God has revealed His way, the options are reduced to only two ... do it His way, or do it my way. Rejecting His way is a tragic mistake.
I LETS LOOK AT SOME BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATIONS
A. Adam and Eve ... and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
1. Gen 2:16,17 - God clearly revealed His way
2. Gen 3:6 - Adam and Eve decide to do it their way
3. so what happened? vv 16-19 describe the unhappy consequences of their choosing their way over Gods way
4. Gen 3:22-24 - from paradise to problems, unhappiness, despair
5. all because they chose their way over Gods way
B. Noah ... and the building of the ark
1. Gen 6:13-16 - God clearly revealed His way
2. Gen 6:22 - Noah did everything Gods way
3. so what happened? Heb 11:7 tells us of the happy consequences of his choosing Gods way
4. Noah was certainly no spineless, whimpering man - yielding to Gods way was the only smart, sensible course ... and it committed him to years of work!
5. here is a very important point: Gods way was his way!
C. Abraham ... and the offering of Isaac
1. Gen 22:1,2 - God clearly revealed His way
2. Gen 22:9,10 - Abraham was poised to take his sons life (Heb 11:17-19)
3. so what happened? Gen 22:15-18 tells us of the happy consequences of his choosing to honor Gods way by his obedience
4. was his obeying God difficult for him? this was a testing of faith
5. but Abraham believed that doing things Gods way would result in good!
D. Moses ... and the need to provide water for Israel
1. Num 20:7,8 - God clearly reveal His way
2. Num 20:9-11 - Moses decided, for whatever reason, to do it his way
3. so what happened? Num 20:12 tells of the unhappy consequences of his failing to do this Gods way
4. was Moses sorry for his choice? Deut 3:23-26 ... no doubt, he was!
5. but there are some consequences of our choices which cannot be changed ... a very important lesson in choosing wisely!
E. David ... and transporting the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem
1. Num 4:15 & 7:9 with 1 Chron 15:15 - Gods way? shoulder borne
2. 1 Chron 13:7 - David and others decided on their own way
3. so what happened? 1 Chron 13:9,10 tells of the tragic consequences of their failing to do this Gods way
4. were their motives right? would this seem to be a small thing?
5. right motives simply do not change Gods revealed will - in matters of Gods revealed will there are no small things
II SO, WHAT DO WE LEARN ABOUT GOD AND HIS WAY?
A. Everything we know about God and His revealing His way...
1. tells us that God expects us to choose His way over any other
2. tells us that no servant is too great, important to be exempted
3. tells us that true devotion seeks to make His way ones own way
4. Ps 40:8 - prophetically, this refers to Christ (Heb 10:7-9)
B. In matters pertaining to the church of the Lord...
1. 1 Cor 11:1,2,23 - ...keep the ordinances...
2. 2 Thes 2:15 - ...hold the traditions which ye have been taught...
3. what has been revealed by the Holy Spirit must be kept
4. when God reveals His way, there are only two possible responses ... obey, or disobey
C. In matters pertaining to the Christian life...
1. 1 Thes 4:1,2,7 - ...ye know what commandments we gave you...
2. 1 Pet 4:1-3 - ...no longer should live the rest of his time ...to the will of men, but to the will of God...
3. the will of God does speak to the manner of the Christian life
4. are we careful to listen, to conform? do we delight in His way?
CLOSE: Some would regard this approach as much to narrow. But everything we know about God from His own word is that this is the approach which results in consequences we will not regret. Learn to do things Gods way.
Cecil A. Hutson
31 October 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)