By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer firstname.lastname@example.org
I. THE NEED OF SALVATION
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
SIN: anything we do, think, don’t do, do for wrong reason
Anything not in character of God/Jesus
The negro boy down in my Southland years ago, wanted to join a church. So the deacons were examining him. They asked, “How did you get saved?” His answer was, “God did His part, and I did my part.” They thought there was something wrong with his doctrine, so they questioned further, “What was God’s part, and what was your part?” His explanation was a good one. He said, “God’s part was the saving, and my part was the sinning. I done run from Him as fast as my sinful heart and rebellious legs could take me. He done took out after me till He run me down.” My friend, that is the way I got saved also.
II. THE PROVISION OF SALVATION
A. ALL BY GOD Eph 2:8-9
Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.
Completely finished Heb 1:3 Jn 19:30
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
A blind man once stood on a corner at a busy intersection reading aloud Acts 4 from a portion of a Braille Bible. A gentleman on his way home stopped at the edge of the crowd that had gathered to listen. At that very moment, the sightless man lost his place. While trying to find it, he kept repeating the last three words he had just read: “No other name… No other name… No other name…” Many smiled, but the inquisitive bystander went away impressed. He had been searching for inner peace and therefore was ready to be influenced by a few words spoken “in season.” He had heard the verse before, but that one phrase haunted him. Before morning he surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s wooing and accepted the Savior. “I see it all now,” he cried. “I’ve been trying to be saved by my own works and prayers. But Jesus alone can help me. He is my mediator. There is no other name whereby I must be saved.” Thus a blind man’s witness, given in a stumbling manner, was used to lead a seeking soul to Christ.
Received by faith Rom 3:28 Jn 3:16
Rom 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The artist who painted “Jesus at the Door” is said to have purposely left off the knob from the door, for the door represents the human heart, and on that door, the bolt is on the inside. Jesus stands and knocks. But he will not come in unless we open the door.
B. PROVIDED FOR BY JESUS
Greek word Tetelestai, which in our version of the Scripture is translated, “It is finished.” Archaeologists have repeatedly found its Latin equivalent, consummatum est, scrawled across tax receipts used in those days, indicating it also meant “paid,” A renowned Presbyterian professor has conjectured that many standing near the cross probably interpreted the Savior’s words as having that connotation. With sin’s account settled, our debt of guilt was indeed wiped out!
Many European towns still bear the marks of having been surrounded by walls in the Middle Ages. Streets near these old walls are curved and sometimes come to dead ends. A man stopped a stranger and asked him the way to reach a certain address. The stranger directed him but the enquirer was still a little dubious. “Is that the best way?” he asked. The stranger quickly answered, “It is the only way. If you follow the other turning it will bring you back here.”
That is a great illustration of the way to God. So through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. “Is that the best way?” Someone might ask. The only answer to that is the truth: “It is the only way” (John 14:6). Any other turning will take you, not back to where you are, but off into outer darkness of separation from God.
1Thes 5:9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Tim 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
2 Tim 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Luther rose to his feet and strode to and fro in his cell. He looked through the window, and saw a pear tree which grew in the monastery garden. He remembered a conversation he had once had with Staupitz under that tree, during which he had poured out his heart. His old teacher had given him courage and had comforted him with the words, “Wait on God. He will help you.” But now, in his cell, Luther could bear it no longer. He looked round and saw the great folios of the Fathers of the church, the theologians; but they were of no avail. He cried out to all saints, but they gave no answer. Then he heard footsteps coming along the corridor. They halted at his door. It turned out to be one of his friends, who peered through the keyhole. Some weeks earlier, the door had to be broken open, because Luther was lying unconscious on the floor. Now, they gave him special attention, but even so they could render no aid.
After a time, Luther again sat down and read once more the text in its context. Suddenly, his vision cleared; he felt as if a veil had been taken away: he could see what Paul meant; the righteousness of which Paul spoke was not the righteousness of God seeking retribution, but that which was imputed to the believer; it was therefore a profound expression for the grace of God: Godpresents His own righteousness to the believer. By His grace, God regards him as if he were already righteous, even though he is not so. And grace itself is now, not something that we can earn by our merits, or that can be infused by the sacraments; rather, it will be given for Christ’s sake to anyone who believes on Him. The righteousness of Christ is something belonging to me: that is, a belief on which, by God’s grace, a sinner could live.
It was at that moment that Luther was delivered. He sprang up from his chair. “It seemed to me as if I had been born again and as if I had entered paradise through newly opened doors.”
C. IF NO SALVATIONunder wrath of God Jn 3:36
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
Some people develop a “loophole mentality” in their relationship to God. I’ve heard that when W. C. Fields was on his deathbed, a visitor found him reading the Bible. Asked what he was doing, he replied, “Looking for loopholes, my friend. Looking for loopholes.”
THE FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS
Have you heard of the four spiritual laws? Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws that govern relationships with God.
* LAW 1: God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life.
* God’s love: God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
* God’s plan: [Christ speaking] I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly (John 10:10).
* Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because…
* LAW 2: Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life.
* Man is sinful: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 2:23). Man was created to have fellowship with God, but because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
* Man is separated: The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).A great gulf separates the Holy God from sinful man. Man may try to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion – but he inevitably fails.
* LAW 3: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life.
* He died in our place: God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).
* He rose from the dead: Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred… (1 Cor. 15:3-6).
* He is the Only Way to God: Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6).God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place.
* LAW 4: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
* We must receive Christ: As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).
* We receive Christ through faith. By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).
* When we receive Christ, we experience a new birth: Read John 3:1-8.
* We receive Christ through personal invitation: Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him (Rev. 3:20).