Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
November 14, 1999 AM
THE GREAT PLAN OF GOD
INTRO: As I continue to study the Bible my appreciation for what God has done continues to grow. Unfortunately, each of us actually lives for only a brief moment in history. So, we may have some difficulty with seeing a fuller historical picture. Yet, the Bible is exactly that ... a full historical picture which exposes to our view the great plan of God in all of its parts and phases. It is easy, though, to see the bible as rather disjointed if we do not spend adequate time with it. So, think about the great plan of God.
I. IT WAS SET IN MOTION BEFORE WORLD BEGAN
A. Gods wisdom foreknew human needs
1. 1 Cor 2:7,8
2. 2 Tim 1:9
3. Titus 1:2
1. He knew men would sin!
2. His love compelled provision for redeeming!
3. every person has a choice
C. So, 1 Pet 1:17-21
1. redeemed by the atoning death of His own Son
2. Col. 1:13,14
3. Rev 13:8 and 5:6 the greatest offering
D. Now remember, this goes beyond the beginning
II. IT WAS DECLARED EARLY IN HISTORY
A. Gen 3:15 Generally thought first statement of the plan set in motion before time began
B. Gen 12:1-3 with Gal 3:8
1. clearly, this is by New Testament definition the statement of Gods foreordained purpose
2. sin had come as God knew it would - His holiness, His justice had to be considered, satisfied
3. and through Abrahams seed this would be done
C. True, more information was needed; would come
1. Isa 53:1-7 (with Acts 8:34,35) more information
2. Acts 10:38 & 43 The Old Testament was setting the stage with more, broader information
3. the great plan of God was made known page by page
III. FINALLY, THE TIME CAME FOR ACTUALIZING
A. Gal 4:4,5 The fulness of time
1. this was the time predetermined by God
2. the plan, a vague mystery for so long, is now open to view
B. Mt 1:20-23 Two incredible facts
1. Jesus - His role as Savior
2. Emmanuel - His being God with us
C. Mt 26:1,2 with Acts 2:22-24
1. the great plan is accomplished
2. 2 Cor 5:20,21 the perfect sin offering
D. 1 Pet 2:24 & 3:18 What total graciousness!
1. the plan provided for Jesus to suffer the punishment for sin which was mine to bear
2. so, Col 2:12,13 in baptism a penitent believer receives the benefits of the Sin Offering
IV. SO, WHAT IS OUR MOVE?
A. First, to unify, identify with the sacrifice
1. this occurs when one is baptized
2. Rom 6:3 a simple statement of fact
3. no baptism, no benefits of His death
B. Second, to live a holy life
1. 2 Pet 3:11-14
2. the great plan of God is to redeem us from sin to live a holy life - the aim of which is to desire to please Him - Col 1:10
CLOSE: Have you received the blessings of the great plan of God? Do you need to claim the sacrifice in baptism? Do you need to rethink your life in view of pleasing God?
Cecil A. Hutson
14 November 1999
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)
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)