THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 12-18-11

LESSON TITLE: “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED: CONFESSION”

WELCOME

Happy Holidays and welcome to the Living Word Program! What a wonderful Lord’s Day it is, as we again gather together before the throne of God to Worship our Maker! We are so happy that you have chosen to be with us today and to give this time to the Lord. In fact, it is our privilege to be with you every Sunday morning, as we consider together, God’s Living Word.

It is my hope and prayer today that we are all uplifted in our fellowship together. Furthermore, I pray that we will glorify and praise our Creator in these acts of Worship which we participate in collectively as those who love God.

As we begin our homage to God on this day, will you bow with me in prayer!

(PRAYER)

I hope everyone is ready to worship God in song at this time! This morning we will begin by singing a beautiful hymn that reminds us that God is truly a Living God! So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “He Lives?”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

I can not believe that we are only a week away from what is generally called Christmas Day. I’m sure Santa Clause is ready for his big world wide journey? And I hope everyone has completed their plans and gotten everything ready for the holiday, but I doubt we have. I just can’t believe how quickly these holidays come around and how fast life goes by. This fact is even more evident as we watch our kids grow up, get bigger and move toward maturity. How joyful it is to see our children becoming their own persons, and maturing into beautiful adults. However, at the same time how sad, as we loose our little boys and girls. Oh, how we often take life for granted and the precious little time we have to enjoy many of these blessings of God.

All of these ideas make me think of what James said in chapter 4:14 of his book. There we read the familiar verse, “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” No truer words have ever been spoken; life is short like a vapor. So what lesson can we learn from all of this. I think the greatest thing we can learn from all this is how we all need to take a deep breath, slow down a little and focus on those things which are really important. Most of us don’t even take time to look at the roses any more, let alone actually stopping and smelling them.

I am afraid that most of us are going to wake up one day and realize that all the work, overtime, money, and things really were not worth it. Why? Because we missed out on the most important and precious parts of life. Like simply enjoying what God has given us and blessed us with. How about just loving God, putting Him first and accomplishing His Will. We also have husbands, wives, children, and family. All these things are wondrous blessing and privileges from God. Gifts that we often squander and take for granted at the time. But some day, oh the regrets that may come to our mind. I know we all live in the fast lane and the crazy pace of life will put most of us in our graves before our time. However, let me just encourage us all again this day, to reevaluate what life is all about. Take a second look at who God is and what He has blessed us with. And finally, get our priorities straight, in order that we might accomplish the good will of God. How about it, are you willing to reconsider your choices in this life, are you ready to reorganize and enjoy all that God has blessed you with?

Well, it’s almost time to begin our main study of the day. I hope you will continue with us as we again consider another lesson from our study which is entitled, “What Must I Do To Be Saved.” As far as our specific message of the day, we will deal with, “Confession!” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together I will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day.

But before our lesson, let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “A Wonderful Savior.”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

We’re so glad you’ve continued with us this morning as we now go to God’s Word and consider another very important lesson in relationship to our present series that deals with a question that was asked in Acts chapter 16 by the Philippian jailor. You might remember again the story there as certainly Paul and Silas had been put in prison and as they were there it says there was a great earthquake and the prison bars were opened and the jailor thought everyone had fled the prison and so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul told him not to kill himself or harm himself because no one had left. Everyone was accounted for. Then the question he asked in Acts 16 verse 30 was, “Men, what shall we do to be saved?”

You see, here there is a great question, a great question that all men at one time or another should be asking of God or of those servants of God to know what it is that really we are required to do in order to be saved. So far together we’ve been able to find some very important Biblical concepts and teachings that are required as we might say, “unto salvation.” For example, we saw that there was an essential need to hear in order to believe or to have faith.

We learned that in Romans chapter 10 verse 17, “For faith comes by hearing.” We can’t believe or have faith in something unless we have heard of that. And so just like we have examples in the Bible of those that were taught, we must be taught or we must read or we must study or learn something in order to believe. Then we saw the great need of repentance. Repentance is also a great requirement of God for He said in Luke 13:3, “Repent or perish.” Why? Because sin has entered all of our lives and sin separates us from God and it is the ability to acknowledge and recognize sin and then turn away from sin doing the works of repentance that we might again work towards salvation.

In these things we’ve looked at so far, however, certainly hearing alone will not save. Certainly the fact that I believe will not save me because we know that simple belief was even done by the demons, James said in James chapter 2 verses 18 and 19, and yet are they saved? Certainly not! So the belief requires action. What type of action? Well we’ve seen the need to repent, acknowledge sin and turn away from sin that we might focus on Christ and that we might leave the old man of sin dead and live to what? The new man in Christ.

Then today, we also find something else required unto salvation. Something that was done by every soul in the New Testament that became a child of God. And we find this concept there in the book of Romans 10 once again. Read with me if you will beginning in verse 9. He says that, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” We see here there is an idea that if we do something with our mouth what? If we really believe from the heart and say with our mouth that we believe, believe what? Here he says in the Christ and in the fact that Jesus did die, that He was buried and that He was brought up out of the grave. But then notice verse 10. “From the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” So what is a part of salvation? Here it says confession! Here it says that we do something with our mouth to clarify our belief, not only our understanding or our newfound knowledge but our willingness to act upon that belief or knowledge which is faith. Faith is that concept as we learn in Hebrews 11 that is required by God if we are acceptable but is seen in obedience to His Will. Therefore if God says I need to believe, what should I do? Believe! If God says I need to repent, what should I do? I should repent! And if God says I need to confess with my mouth, what should I do? I should confess with my mouth. And so here it is that beautiful idea of confession with the mouth, not thinking with the mind or feeling from the heart, although we need to have it there as well, but literally confessing with the mouth. What? That Jesus is the Christ.

Now you might know why it is that when someone wants to be saved, they are required to make the great confession and sometimes they themselves will state, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And sometimes, they will be asked, “Do you believe with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?” And they will say, “I do” or “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Isn’t this the pattern we find in the New Testament? Isn’t this what God again commands us not only here unto salvation, not in of itself saving us but working us toward salvation if we do all of these things God has required. We find a clear example of it throughout the New Testament especially in the book of Acts. In every conversion in the book of Acts we find a clear acknowledgment of Jesus Christ being the Son of God and in many cases we hear the confession itself made by the mouth of the individual exactly as commanded. Now what does that tell us? It tells us it is required!

Look there in Acts chapter 8 with me. Do you remember the story of the Eunuch? When the Eunuch was there with Philip at the water and he had said, “See here is water, what hinders me to be baptized?” You might recall there is something that he was asked. Verse 37 of chapter 8, “And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all of your heart…” Do you remember the confession earlier from the heart? “If you believe with all of your heart, you may.” And he answered and said this, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Upon that confession, what happens? The next few verses tell us that they stop the chariot. They go down into the water. He baptizes him and then they come up out of the water and the Eunuch is rejoicing. Why? Because he had believed and acted upon that belief having heard the truth of Jesus that Philip had taught him, he believed unto action and therefore was willing to make the great confession. Did he repent? Certainly he repented! Because Jesus said, “If you don’t repent, you must perish.” So Philip had to have told him that you’ve got to leave sin, you’ve got to repent of sin, you’ve got to turn from sin because repentance is required unto salvation as well. So we see clearly that he believed what he had heard. He repented of his sins and realized I no longer want to be like the old man. I want to live to the new, pure, holy, righteous man and I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Next week, we’re going to focus on the importance of baptism also found here in Acts chapter 8. But all of these are equally important not accomplishing what we think or what we feel or what we want or what makes me feel better, but in accomplishing what God has asked of one who says, “What must I do to be saved?” If I want to be saved, do you think I need to do it my way or another man’s way or the way a denomination tells me or should I follow the way of Christ? Well it’s good enough for me there in Acts 2:38 when Peter told them, “Repent and be baptized.” Do you know what they had just done? “We’re guilty! We’ve just killed the Son of God.” They in their hearts knew, they believed in Jesus as the Messiah and then he said, “Repent (Repent or perish!) and let every one of you be baptized if you want (what?) forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.” And so here we find again the great essential aspects that lead us unto salvation.

Now with that in mind, why is confession so important? It proves one’s belief, but I think there is something even clearer than that in the statement that Jesus made in Matthew chapter 10. If you’ll look with me there in Matthew chapter 10 beginning in verse 32 notice what our Lord said. “Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men; I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven.” Do you see why it’s important to make the great confession? Because people have to see our belief.

Brethren and friends, on this program all the time we try to emphasize and show you what the truth is proving to you through the Word that it’s not enough to think or feel that you believe Jesus. Once again here Christ says, “If you’re ashamed to confess Me before men, if you won’t tell your fellow man, if you won’t say before others that I am the Christ then you are not worthy of me.” How do I know that? Read on to the next verse, 33. “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in Heaven.”

Confession is a requirement unto salvation for with the mouth one confesses because they want to prove to God their belief unto faith and as well they want to prove to the world that their God is the one and only true God in Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ who as well was God in the flesh Himself. No wonder the Eunuch was so anxious to make that confession. No wonder we read here that Jesus was so eager to tell His followers that you must confess. If you want Me to represent you before My Father, you must represent Me on earth and confess Me before men.

Is that not really what we continue to see as we look throughout the scriptures time and time again seeing a willingness to confess Jesus?

I love the story there in Matthew 16 when Jesus was talking to His disciples and the discussion was concerning, “Who do men say that I am?” Later we also know that he says later in that text, “I will build My church.” In other words, the kingdom was at hand and I will build My church, the church that was established by the way in Acts chapter 2 on the Day of Pentecost. But do you remember what it was that Peter said when Jesus asked His disciples this question: But who do you say that I am? I don’t necessarily care what everyone else says, but who do you say that I am? Do you remember what Simon Peter, the apostle, said? Verse 16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. This confession of Jesus was something even before salvation was offered through His blood, but once He died and shed His blood and was buried in the grave and rose again according to the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15), it was even more paramount that one understand that they needed to be willing to confess that Jesus was the Christ. Why? Because now not only did He come, not only did He live, not only did He die, but He died for me and rose again. He shed His blood and suffered for me. Was He ashamed of me? God’s not ashamed of me. God’s not ashamed of the faithful. In fact, Hebrews chapter 11 tells us, “He’s not ashamed of those who are faithful.” But you notice the key? The believers who are faithful. God’s not ashamed of us as we should not be ashamed of Him and He knows it by whether we are willing to stand and prove ourselves worthy before Him.

Are we willing, as we might say, to give Him our very best? Are we willing to stay committed to what it is that He has commanded us to make sure that we strive to confess His name before men?

In the remaining few minutes I would like to remind you of another confession. Sometimes we have the idea that confession is just a one idea concept in scripture and certainly we have within salvation the confession with the mouth unto salvation, but sometimes someone will come and say, “I want to obey Christ,” and they will say, “I confess my sins.” Well that’s not really the idea that is unto salvation of confession. That confession is the one of Jesus that we have studied. But there is another use in the English of this word “confession” even as Christians that we must be engaged in. There it is found in James chapter 5 verse 16 when it tells us that we should be willing to confess our sins one to another. Why? That we might pray for each other. Because “the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man (guess what) avails much.”

So we also do confess our sins and the concept of confession in English is a Biblical concept even after becoming a Christian because we always have to have the characteristic and the mindset of being a confessing people of our sins, leaving the old dead sins behind and living to the new. However, let me reiterate today that in relationship to the question: What must I do to be saved? The concept of confession is clear here as stated by Jesus, as we’ve read today as stated by Peter, as stated by Philip, as made by the Eunuch, as declared throughout the examples of the New Testament that those who believed unto faith and were willing to repent of their sins, confess the name of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. You see they understood that if I want God’s acceptance, if I want to be right with God, I have to do it God’s way.

But I can’t leave this morning again without reemphasizing that the same God who spoke of a need to repent, the same God who spoke of a need to have proper belief in faith and action, is the same God who spoke of a need to be baptized. And so next week, we will talk about in detail, in depth, baptism and try to understand what it is that God said and why it is so essential. Is baptism just to join the church? Or is baptism really to put on Christ and to be added by God to His church? In all things, won’t you give God your best? Won’t you follow Him in your way that you might have Heaven some day?

(SONG # 3 - “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!

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Have you made the great confessions with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God! If not, why not confess Him today and do all those things which are required unto salvation, according to Perfect Will!

(Program closing)