Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
November 25, 2001 AM
TIPS FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING (3)
2 Pet 1:1-8
INTRO: The apostle Peter appreciated knowledge of the word of God. And in just a few short verses of this second letter bearing his name he gives simple, uncluttered tips for Christian living. But he notes that these tips must be in you, and abound if they are to have real effect and benefit in our lives. All of the simple tips in the world are of no personal value or benefit until we use them ... and use them consistently. And maybe the consistency part is where we get into trouble ... too little follow through. So, let me continue with ...
- MORE TIPS FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING -
1. 2 Tim 1:13 Never compromise the truth
a. remember this: Jno 8:32
b. if truth is compromised, it is no longer truth
c. if truth is no longer truth, it cannot do what God intended
d. the world in which we live is not a world which appreciated/desires unadulterated truth
e. all sorts of games are played with words, history, emotions to effect a personal truth idea which satisfies
f. so, 2 Tim 1:14 keep truth safe!
2. Heb 2:1-3 Do not neglect your spiritual life
a. neglect is so easy ... we may have good intentions ... but we think we can put them off a day or so
b. neglect result is ruin ... but the process may be so slow that we dont even notice whats happening
c. neglect ruins just about anything it touches (marriage?)
d. so, this simple tip is one of profound importance
e. still, we put so many things ahead of spiritual life
f. notice: give the more earnest heed ... there are serious present and eternal consequences to neglect!
3. 1 Thes 5:15 Dont be caught up in getting even
a. human relationships are NOT easy
b. and when we get hurt in a relationship, one of our first responses is to strike back ... to get even
c. is there a winner here ... no ... everyone loses
d. admittedly, getting even is easier than finding a way to heal the hurt and keep the relationship
e. but the New Testament is filled with admonitions to heal
f. Rom 12:21 gives us the bottom line here .. we cannot be a get even person without ultimately harming ourselves
4. Eph 4:32 Practice kindness
a. kindness does not mean compromise of truth, values
b. but it has much to do with how we meet conflict, disagreement and such
c. and it has much to do with basic approach to life
d. kindness should be our mindset in every day
e. Col 3:12 put on ... - its part of the garment of the Christian character!
f. the fact that you are kind may well be the thing about you which others remember about you
5. 1 Cor 6:18 Flee from temptation
a. note: 1 Cor 10:14 - 1 Tim 6:11 - 2 Tim 2:22 flee
b. temptation - enticement to sin - is common to all
c. I suppose that there are folks who believe they are of sufficient strength to be constantly exposed without danger
d. experience shows, though, that resistance wears away over time!
e. there is no shame/cowardice in fleeing ... putting distance between you and temptation
f. reality? too many prefer to see how close they can get!
CLOSE: While there are things about the Bible which do require careful thought and study, tips are usually very straightforward and easy both to understand and practice! Remember tips are only helpful if we use them.
Cecil A. Hutson
25 November 2001
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)