Romans # 15
Mystery of Salvation
Read chapter 10
It is not far away
Being zealous isn't enough - some people are sincerely WRONG
They are zealous not because they know God but because they think they can make their own way
You can't raise yourself up to bring down Christ or to lift yourself up until you are close enough to God
- confess / admit / own up / surrender
- pride keeps us from believing what we can't understand
- pride keeps us from admitting our need for God
Proverbs 21:4 says that Pride is “lamp of the wicked”
Pride lights our way, the only problem is that it gives a false image, a distorted image, an inaccurate picture of the truth
- we must humble ourselves before God and admit our need
- the Words are right there in your mouth, the ability to believe is right there in your head
- it's not dependant on who you are or are not
- it's simply dependent on your ability to call out in faith and receive what God has provided for you
?Hebrews 11:6? “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
How do we know?
How Can Blood Cleanse Sin?
A preacher was speaking from the text, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Suddenly he was interrupted by an atheist who asked, “How can blood cleanse sin?”
For a moment the preacher was silent; then he countered, “How can water quench thirst?”
“I do not know,” replied the infidel, “but I know that it does.”
“Neither do I know how the blood of Jesus cleanses sin,” answered the preacher, “but I know that it does.”
Many of you have been here for weeks, you've heard the truth, you've heard countless explanations of the theology of the gospel, why we are separated, how God has made provision to pay your sin debt, Christ has done everything needed to make you holy, victorious, righteous, justified,
the truth is there.
You are so close, you have the information, you understand the need, you understand the process …
The ball is in YOUR COURT - I guess a better statement is that I'm bouncing the ball in your court, will you catch it or keep dodging it?
Perhaps the last thing you are holding out on to is a fear that this isn't available to you because the process is long or you're not the right kind of person or race of person or whatever person so in comes verse 13 -
“whoever calls on the name of the Lord, WILL BE SAVED”
there you go, there's the ball, catch it, embrace it, confess, believe, receive
What are you going to do?
That's the whole sermon for some of you today. You know who you are, you are making one excuse after another, week after week, day after day.
Well verse 8 here is quoting from Dt. 30 and it also says “I place before the choice of life and blessing or death and destruction. I tell you to choose life so that you may live.”
well I'm going to let you sit with that and get ready to make a decision.
Mystery 2 is that the Gospel of God is …
2. Passed on in Earthen Vessels
Sharing our faith can be a frightening thing
Being identified as a follower of Jesus Christ can be something we dread, are hesitant about,
The followers of Christ were never more uncertain about being identified as followers of Christ than immediately following his death. The huddled in the upper room. They were afraid of what might happen to them as followers of Christ now buried after crucifixion.
Until one stood in their presence and said “Peace be with you”
Well this was a common greeting in that day. People used it countless times a day. It was the greek equivalent to “shalom”.
This was significant because the words are spoken by none other than the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, standing in their midst.
Others said “Peace be with you” as a wish for good fortune
But Jesus said “peace be with you” and he meant it, “PEACE” “ME” I AM peace and I'm here because I've brought you peace with God.
“That's what God sent me to do, to bring peace to you.”
As he continues, Jesus says in John 20:21 ““Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
How was Jesus Sent ?
Christ's Purpose was to bring us peace
we have a purpose to worship him and to proclaim him to others that they might fulfill their purpose to worship him
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ Jesus because it is the Power of God until salvation for all who believe
Ephesians 2:6 - raised us up and seated us with him in heavenly places
2 Peter 1:3 - his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness
We want everyone to call on name of the Lord
But how will the call if they don't hear - by hearing we mean hearing in a way that they understand and know how to respond, why to call, how to call
But how will they hear unless someone preaches
How is someone going to preach unless we send them
-- the word “sent” here is the verb form of the word apostle - literally - how will they preach unless they are “apostled” - apostle - means one who is a sent or commissioned messenger - in Judaism an apostle was one who had the complete authority of their sender to the extent that they accurately represented the senders message.
Embrace the call to share
- we are all expected to share
- some have a divine mandate for presenting the gospel
- you can share in that as you …
Encourage / Energize those who bear the Gospel
Equip them with provisions to Teach and Preach the Gospel
Did you have an opportunity to share your faith and knowledge of Christ this week?
What would be the greatest way to win North County for Christ?
Would it be to have the greatest Evangelists as Pastors in our churches?
15 years - 1,030
But if You lead 1
Have Someone in the Middle Stand
256 - 8 years
1024 - 10 years
15 years - 32,768
20 years - 1,048,576
Part of the Mystery of Salvation is that
GOD USES PEOPLE in the PROCESS
1 Peter 4:10 says we are “good stewards of the grace of God”
God has placed Salvation in our hands and told us to GO!
Speaking To Wooden Indian
A woman in a mid-Western town some years ago took an unusual method of testifying to her faith in Christ. Her friends for the most part were lukewarm and indifferent. Surface Christians one might call them. One day she knew they would be passing by, she stood before a wooden Indian in front of a cigar store and spoke to the Indian about Christ. When her friends ridiculed her for creating such a scene, she gave this defense: “I would rather be real Christian and share Jesus to a wooden Indian, than be a wooden Christian who never share Christ with anyone.”
D. James Kennedy tells a story of story of Sir Harry Lauder telling of a man in the last century, lighting the street lamps for the night. He said as the men went down the street, you lost sight of him. You couldn't see the lamplighter any longer, but you could tell where he'd been by the lamps he had lit.
The final mystery that we see today is that
3. Results in God's Hand
Everyone whom you share with will not come to faith in Christ. But don't be discouraged or stop sharing.
God longed for Israel to come and held his hands out all day and yet they still turned their backs
You can't get yourself wrapped in fear, frustration, concern over “success”
Success for you and I is wrapped up in obedience to share
Each of us will be different in the way we share.
Some have the gift of Evangelism and some don't
Some have theological training and some don't
But we all have a story. We've all been redeemed by the blood of Christ and need to share our story, pass the faith along
Patrick Henry's Will
“I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them and that is faith in Jesus Christ. If they had that and I had not given them one shilling, they would have been rich: and if they had not that, and I had given them all the world, they would be poor indeed.”
Jesus' earthly ministry began when he told the disciples “follow me and I will make you fishers of men
Jesus ministry ended saying, “you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the utter most parts of the world”