Category Archives: salvation

Got Faith?

 

This is a simple outline based on Rom 9:30-10:13

  1. Salvation is not by my EFFORT.
  2. Salvation is by Faith in GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.
  3. Salvation comes when by Faith we “Call on the Name of the Lord.”

I preached this outline this past Sunday at Central. Here is the audio:

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What Will You Become?

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Image via: stockimages –  freedigitalphotos.net

The great promise of the United States continues to be that you can become anything you want to be, if you put in the effort.

 

Is your desire to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, to be wealthy, famous, a star athlete, or president (you would likely be a better choice than those currently vying for the office)? With intrinsic motivation and availing yourself to opportunities you can become what you want to become. In many ways you are the only thing holding you back.

I recall the Army recruiting slogan of years gone by, “Be all that you can be.”

Yet, as wonderful as excelling in the armed forces, in athletics, in business, law, or education might be, there is something greater you can become.

John records, “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12). You can become a child of God.

God gives you the right through faith in His Son to become a child of God. We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8). Grace appears to bring salvation (Titus 2:11). Not availing yourself to salvation offered by God through Christ is like living next to an artesian well and dying of thirst. Do you believe?

Faith (belief) gives us the RIGHT to become children of God. But faith that is inactive is not faith, faith that is dead is not faith. Faith to be faith is active, vibrant, and obedient. Do you believe? Do you have faith? Have you obeyed the gospel? Are living obedient to Christ? Are you a child of God? The apostle says, “for in Christ Jesus you are all (children) of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:26-27).

I love the words of John in 1John 3:1-2 and I leave you with them, “See what kind of love the Father has given to (KJV – bestowed upon) us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did now know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children now . . .”

I would love the opportunity to talk with you and help you be sure that you are a child of God.

-Scott

(note: I adapted this from “The Living Word: Sermons from Jerry A. Jenkins” that Jeff and Dale Jenkins compiled and edited. You can order the book from thejenkinsinstitute.com.)

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My Apology

Starting in January, I began a refocus. A key verse thought I want to guide my life is “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. Accordingly, I decided to take inventory of my life and make needed changes.  Not just physical changes, but also mental and spiritual changes. This included changing the influences I allow in my life – music, movies, television, computer, and books. I am Work in progresslistening to Bible influenced music and radio, I try to watch sports and positive shows on TV, and not get pulled into a worldly-focus, materialistic mental state. I start each day with prayer and promise God that this day is for Him and ask His help in staying focused. I wish I could say I my consistency is paying off, but that would require consistency. I sometimes rush through the morning and not take time to really talk with God so consequently, I fall back into old habits and let negative influences sneak in. I am still a work in progress, getting better, but there is still work to do.

This inconsistency on my part is why when I preach, my toes are curled back in my shoes – I am stepping on mine too! We are in this together. These are the sentiments of the apostles in Acts 15:11, “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” GRACE! Without the grace of God we are all condemned. With the grace of God we all have hope in Christ. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.”  1 Peter 3:18. (BTW folks in the Tuscaloosa area – this Sunday we will spend the day exploring this wonderful, amazing grace.)

This is my apology – my justification, my defense for my faith in Christ for salvation.

This is my apology – my admission of weakness and plea for forgiveness when I fail you and when I fail God.

  • Scott

 

 

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Found in the Files: Sharing Christ

Looking for an illustration in the “Hard Copy Files” I ran across this poem that I forgot I held onto.  It reminded me of who we are and what we are to be about as citizens of God’s kingdom.

Sharing Christ

By Serena Voss

“Lead me to some soul . . . “ we sang

And all week long that message rang.

Inside my head and heart, I prayed

“Lord, who could I reach for You today?”

Just at that moment my neighbor walked by

and I said to myself, “Okay, I’ll try.

But first I need time to study and rehearse

To make sure I know book, chapter, and verse.”

 

Then armed with my proof texts and Bible outlines,

I approached her to study and she said, “That’s fine.”

The verses poured out in a steady stream

Doctrinal purity was my theme.

Besides, many claim to follow Christ

But they do it man’s way, thinking that will suffice.

 

Well, after the session was nearly through,

I said, “Have questions?” She said, “Just a few.”

“It’s obvious you know your Bible quite well;

You’ve talked about heaven and touched on Hell.

You’ve even shown that the Bible is true.

But you haven’t yet told me what Christ means to you.

How is your life different? How do you cope?

Is there any real joy or any real hope?”

 

I stared at my outlines, then put them away,

And I changed and shared gently the man called the Way

As that simple old story began to shine through

My friend came to know Jesus, not the WHAT, but the WHO.

My we lead people to know Jesus by our words and by our walk of faith.

  • Scott

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Our Refuge

This year as our young people participate in SELTC (South Eastern Leadership Training for Christ) they will focus their projects and lessons on the theme of Refuge.

Yesterday afternoon I began mentoring one of the young participants who is building a PowerPoint / Keynote / Prezi style presentation.  She is planning to build a presentation that includes songs and slides for a sermon.  She does not have to write the sermon, but build a presentation for it.  I did some research in my files, on my computer, and online to find a simple lesson for her to build a presentation for.  During that research I found a list demonstrating the Cities of Refuge as the type to Christ as the antitype. That find occupies my thoughts this morning, so I want to share it with you.

  • The Cities of Refuge were easy to find. Christ is easy to find, His story is the focus of the Bible.
  • The Cities of Refuge were always open. Christ is always available to the one searching for Him.
  • The Cities of Refuge were in high places (lifted high). Christ was lifted high on the cross for all to see. He is exalted high by the Father.
  • The Cities of Refuge provided protection for those who left all behind. Followers of Christ are to deny themselves, to leave their old life to be a disciple.
  • The Cities of Refuge only protected (sheltered) those who remained in them. Christ forgives and shelters those who remain in Him.
  • The Cities of Refuge were the manslayer’ s only place of safety. There is no other name under heaven other than Christ for salvation.
  • The Cities of Refuge were open to all. Christ is for all mankind.
  • The Cities of Refuge provided life’s necessities. In Christ we have life now and eternally.

What would you add?

  • Scott

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At Hand

1901, the Pan-American Exposition was in Buffalo, New York. Exhibitions and visitors came from all over. One visitor was Bill. Unfortunately for Bill, he became the victim of a shooting.  Fortunately for this man the first aid station at the Pan-American Exposition was large, it was the equivalent of an emergency hospital. There was even a fully functional operating room – the very room Bill needed! He had taken two bullets at close range. At 4:30 in the afternoon, Bill, conscious but in severe shock, was taken inside and hoisted on the operating table and undressed.  It looked bad for Bill.

Knowing there was no time to waste, the doctors quickly began to operate. As the anesthesia was administered, Bill did not count backward from one hindered, Instead he quoted, “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name . . .” In moments he was under. An incision was made, the abdomen opened. One bullet had grazed a rib and exited obviously deflected.  The other slashed through the front and rear walls of his stomach but there was no exit wound. Where was the bullet? Lodged somewhere in the muscles of the back? It seemed to the doctors that the projectile had simply vanished. They wanted to find the missing bullet, yet the patient might not survive prolonged probing. They closed him up, hoping for the best.  Sadly, a week later Bill was dead.

Bill had a few things going against him. He was overweight, nearly sixty. Mainly it was the result of the shooting. The wound was insufficiently cleansed and the one bullet was left untraced Bill died as a result of gangrene. “If” is a big question here. What if the doctors had been able to locate and remove the missing bullet? Bill might have lived.

“And now the rest of the story” Remember Bill was shot at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  On exhibition at the exposition not far from the scene of the shooting, was a new invention.  A revolutionary device that could have helped.  You know this device as a portable X-ray machine. The machine – so near yet so far – was operable and would most certainly have located the fatal bullet. Instead, Bill (President William McKinley) died with an assassin’s bullet still lodged inside. (adapted from Paul Harvey, The Rest of the Story)

Help for President McKinley was at hand, near by, but few knew.  And some that did know were leery of using it. Sometimes that is the way it is with our loves.  God, His power, His promise, His purpose is at hand. Yet we live our own way and take things into our own hands.  We try to handle our marital problems, disease, disaster, or death on our own or with the tools of society in hand so we fail and we give up.  But we are not on our own in this world.  We do not have to rely on our own or simple human resources.  God is at hand! “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). – Mat 1:23. And “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6). And “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zep 3:17).

Will you take advantage of the resources God offers? “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phi 4:19).

  • Scott

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Be With Me Lord

Be With Me Lord

Thomas O. Chisholm & Lloyd O. Sanderson,

1935 Gospel Advocate Co.

Be With Me Lord is a prayer in the form of a song. This lyrical prayer expresses well the desire of a Christian to dwell in the presence of God.

Be with me, Lord- I cannot live without Thee,
I dare not try to take one step alone,
I cannot bear the loads of life unaided,
I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.

Be with me, Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trials burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap everywhere about me,
They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.

Be with me, Lord! No other gift of blessing,
Thou couldst bestow could with this one compare-
A constant sense of Thy abiding presence,
Where-e’er I am, to feel that Thou art near.

Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o’ertakes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure,”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.

The Lord is truly with us. This is the promise of Christ.  Matthew 1:23, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). There are great blessings knowing that the Lord is with me.

  1. There is Salvation in the Lord (in Christ). This salvation is available to all who by faith are in Christ (Gal 3:26-28).
  2. There is Justification in Christ. Justification is God declaring us sinless by Christ’s atoning blood.
  3. This provides an Escape for us from God’s vengeful wrath. (2 Thes 1:7-9).
  4. In Christ we have a special Intimacy with God (Heb 10:19-22).
  5. We have a Life of Victory with the Lord. Rom 8:35-39, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died —more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” With the Lord we then have this victory over Sin – 2 Cor 5:21, Death – 1 Cor 15:57, Temptation – 1 Cor 10:33, Trials – Jas 1:2-4, and Eternal Life – Jn 17:3.

Be With Me Lord! The truth is the Lord is never far away. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) Draw near to Him!

– Scott

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