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September 11, 2005 AM

ACTS 4:8-12

INTRO: When the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph to tell him of the son which would be born to Mary, he said, And thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins (Mt 1:21). To shepherds watching over their flocks and angel said, For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord (Lk 2:11). Few subjects, if any, could be more timely and significant than the subject of salvation. While I acknowledge that there are many subjects which press upon us daily, not a single one of them is as ultimately vital as this one. And it really does matter what you believe about salvation.


A. That there is no life after death...

1. so, the subject of eternal salvation would be a non issue

2. to believe this one must reject everything the Bible reveals ... and the great longing of human hearts

3. if they are right, I will have lost nothing - but if I am right to believe...!!!

B. That there is no hell...

1. so, the worst that happen is that I would cease to exist

2. Mt 5:29,30 - Jesus certainly believed in hell - and talked about it

3. or Rev 20:15 - I wonder what that lake of fire is?

C. That God will save everyone...

1. after all He is a loving God; how could he not save everyone?

2. Mk 16:15,16 - what are we to understand by ...shall be damned?

3. or, 2 Pet 3:9 - why should anyone come to repentance if all are saved?

D. That one is saved by faith alone...

1. all you have to do is believe and say the sinners prayer

2. belief in Jesus Christ is absolutely essential ... no doubt about that

3. Jas 2:24 - a clear explanation of justifying faith ... obedient faith (this helps us understand such passages as 1 Pet 3:21)


A. That Jesus sacrificial death provides the atonement for sin

1. Rom 3:24,25 - the blood of Jesus was shed at the cross of Calvary

2. 1 Jno 4:10 - the magnitude of Gods love is seen in the atonement

3. seeking salvation without the atonement is a vain search

4. Heb 10:26 - rejecting the atonement offered by Jesus death leaves one to face the judgment and fiery indignation ... a no hope situation

B. That cleansing of sin is made possible by Jesus blood

1. Heb 9:22 - here is a Biblical fact which is true because God declared it

2. but Heb 10:4 - the animal blood of old covenant was but a shadow

3. Rev 1:5b - here is the blood which can take away sins

4. some have objected to Christianity on the basis of its bloodiness - but what more valuable offering that ones blood ... Lev 17:11

C. That salvation requires active participation of one seeking it

1. seems to be a great fear that any action makes a works salvation

2. a distinction in scripture: works of righteousness (obedience), works of merit, works described as good works

3. listen carefully to Acts 10:34,35 - this to those seeking salvation - what can worketh righteousness mean?

4. Acts 10:48 - baptism is a work of righteousness - obedience

5. Acts 2:27,38,41 - this was simple obedience to Gods instruction

6. Rom 6:3 explains one of the vital happenings in baptism ... without baptism (active participation) one cannot be in touch with Jesus death

D. That salvation can be forfeited

1. once again, I know this idea is resisted in much of the religious world

2. but scripture is plain on this point - Jas 5:19,20

3. or, 2 Pet 2:20-22 - this of cleansed people who return to the pollutions

4. 2 Tim 4:7,8 - faithfulness throughout ones life to his death is the only way to the crown of righteousness

E. That whether or not you will be saved is a decision you make

1. God has done His part - the atonement has been provided

2. but God cannot and will not make the choice of your response for you

3. Acts 2:41 - about 3000 people made a choice on that day ... but all of the other people who heard the great sermon also made a choice! their choice was to reject the offer of the remission of sins and salvation

4. and you have that very same choice to make now

CLOSE: I rejoice over the 3000 who gladly received the word and were baptized. But I am saddened by the realization that there were many who did not happily receive the word. Lost for eternity. What will your choice be this morning?

Cecil A. Hutson

11 September 2005

God's Plan of Salvation

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 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 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 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)

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!

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)