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December 7, 2008 AM


REV 4:8-11

INTRO: In our text we are given a glimpse into heaven. And there we see magnificent things. Among them, we see twenty-four elders seated on twenty-four thrones, and we are privileged to hear them saying, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power..."  Heaven is a place where God is honored constantly! But what sort of place is earth? Can we say it is a place where God is honored? Is it really a place where God's name may be found on the currency of our Nation but in which Satan is the "prime mover"? When I think of the scriptures one thing which comes to my mind is the way in which scripture reveals our God is to be honored. Honoring God is one of the great privileges we have as His creatures!

    1. Ex 20:7 - "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"
      1. likely a reference to any casual, light, frivolous, profane use of His name
      2. names mean something to those who wear them ... and we rightly resent someone's "besmirching" our name in any way
      3. God's name represents all of His attributes - to profane His name brings question to His existence!
    2. Ps 111:9,10 - "holy and reverend is his name"
      1. this has always been a passage of great significance to me
      2. people ask me why I do not want to be called "Reverend Hutson" - why?
      3. Ps 66:1,2 - would "awe" be fitting at the mere mention of His name?
    1. Isa 58:13,14 - "..And shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways.."
      1. clearly, the prophet speaks of obedience as the honoring of God!
      2. and one dishonors Him by "doing his own thing, his own ways"
      3. Mk 12:32,33 - this scribe knew what honoring God meant! He knew it was more than just ritually going through the motions
    2. 1 Jno 3:22 - "..and do those things that are pleasing in his sight"
      1. it does not take a genius I.Q. to understand that this honors God
      2. listen to Eph 6:1-3 - inspiration clearly places obeying with honoring
      3. it is, however, very much up to us to find in scripture that which we must obey ... so,2 Tim 2:15
    1. Deut 26:10,11,16- "..set it before the Lord..and worship before the Lord.."
      1. I most certainly understand that I am constantly a worshiper of God
      2. but there are those "acts" which God prescribes as "worship"
      3. for example, Gen 22:5 - "..will go yonder and worship.."
      4. in worshiping as God prescribes He is honored!
    2. But how is the worship of the Lord's people now to be done?
      1. remembering that the scriptures are sufficient, we search them
      2. we are new covenant people - thus, our search is in the N.T. - what did the Christians of the N.T. do in their assemblies on the Lord's day?
      3. we know they assembled (Heb 10:25); we know they observed the Lord's supper (Acts 20:7); we know they contributed (1 Cor 16:1,2); we know they sang and prayed (1 Cor 14:15); we know they studied the scriptures (1 Cor 14:19)
      4. if we follow that pattern, we honor God in doing so!
    1. Ps 19:14 - "Let the words of my acceptable in thy sight.."
      1. Ps 116:10 & 2 Cor 4:13 - belief cannot help but speak
      2. belief must speak to others in praise of God and our Lord Jesus
      3. in Rev 4:10,11 & 5:12-14 the voice of praise & honor is heard
    2. Heb 13:15 - "..the sacrifice of praise to God"
      1. but do we give thought to how our words might dishonor him?
      2. crude, coarse, thoughtless words do dishonor God - does Jas 3:9,10 speak to typical human speech? perhaps our own words?
      3. notice in Ps 19:14 the close connection between ones words and what is in his heart!

CLOSE: Yes, He is worthy to be praised. He is worthy to be honored. Scripture clearly defines the how of our honoring Him. Is the way you are living today, this very day, honoring God?

Cecil A. Hutson

07 December 2008

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)