THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 4-17-05
LESSON TITLE: "JESUS IS THE WAY OF SALVATION"
We are truly excited to have you with us today as we together break the Living Word of God. We are certainly glad that you have chosen this day, to give this time to our Creator - so that together we may Worship and Praise His Holy name!
As we come together this day, it is my hope and prayer that we will each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before God. As a collective offering of those who love God, and who are willing to submit their own sacrifices before His throne.
So, At this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:
Many of the promises of God are so encouraging and comforting to us as His followers. Our first song of the morning reminds us of the preparation which God is making for those who are found "faithful unto death." So, won't you join in and participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Mansion Over The Hilltop!"
(SONG # 1)
Throughout the history of the Old Testament we see that man needed to be lead in the right direction. Ultimately, man must be lead by God, according to His Perfect Will, however we see that God always used leaders or representatives to accomplish His purpose.
I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs 11:14, that says, "Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Here we learn that there is a need for people to be taught and lead, that they may know and follow the right things. This writer says there is safety in numbers, when we consider those who lead in the proper ways.
On the other hand, when people are not lead and thus they do not grow and go the proper direction, there is always disaster. For example, consider the period of the Judges. In this book it is said that, "everyone did what was right in his own eyes." We all know that this period of the judges was one of great disobedience for the most part. Israel continued to turn against their God to do their own thing and God condemned them for it.
In Hosea 4:6, we read, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge." Here again we find that a lack of counsel and leadership unto knowledge leads to destruction.
Now go over into the New Testament with me. I am reminded of a great statement made by the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8! The Holy Spirit had sent Phillip to meet him and teach him the truth. So when Phillip found him and came near to him, he heard him reading the scriptures. Next, notice what Phillip asked the Eunuch, "Do you understand what you are reading?" Now hear the answer of the man from Ethiopia, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" Brethren, the reality is we do need to be taught, we do need leaders and we do need counsel. We as well need to be guided to understand the precious truths of God, and when we learn them their is surely safety in the things of God. Are you willing to look for counsel to grow in the things of Christ?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study today will deal with the way of Salvation which is found through Jesus Christ, the specific title is, "Jesus is the way of Salvation."
As far as our speaker of the day, we are happy to again have brother Kevin Patterson with us. Brother Patterson is the minister for the South Bolivar Church of Christ. So please stay with us for this study from God's Word, and at the appropriate time brother Kevin will be leading our main thoughts from God's Precious Word. Now let's join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "My Hope Is built On Nothing Less."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Kevin Patterson
Good morning and thank you for staying with us. Periodically on this program, we like to address the subject of how to get to Heaven. How to become of child of God, and how to live as a faithful Christian servant is paramount if we ultimately want to live forever with our Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ. So this morning, we're going to talk about the topic, "Jesus Is the Way of Salvation." We've been addressing a number of topics over the last few weeks of the importance of Christ and certainly none would diminish His importance as being the way of salvation. He Himself said that "I am the way, the truth and the light. No man comes to the Father but by Me."
This morning, I want us to start with a passage from the book of Romans that Paul writes to the church at Rome in chapter 10 and verse 13 where he makes this statement, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Now the calling that Paul mentions here is not the idea that some would suggest today that if you simply turn your head toward the heavens and cry out the name of Jesus that you will somehow be saved. That is not at all what the Bible teaches, quite the contrary in fact. Jesus Himself said in Matthew chapter 7 and verse 21, "Not everyone who says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the Will of My Father who is in Heaven." So what does this phrase mean? The term "calling on the name of the Lord" is a term in the New Testament that is very much equivalent to the word "obey." In other words, if you will obey the words of Christ, if you will obey the Will of the Father, you will be saved.
But Paul goes on to say something else in verse 14. He says, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?" In other words, how are you going to obey someone that you don't even believe? And He further asks this question. "And how shall they believe in Him in whom they have not heard?" Certainly we would not suggest someone would believe in anything that they've never heard before.
So when we talk about how to be saved and we talk about Jesus being our way of salvation, we've got to understand a few fundamental points. We first have to hear something in order to believe it and once we believe it, we've got to make the decision as to whether we're going to follow it. Hear, believe, obey. This, I believe, is the Biblical way of salvation. We're going to examine this with a number of scriptures this morning.
I hope you have your Bibles with you and I want us to start by talking about Matthew chapter 13 and verse 23 which sums up this point. Jesus, when He told the parable of the sower, mentioned concerning the good soil, the type of soil that we want to be, these characteristics, He said, "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces, some a hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty." Let's start with this concept, this most fundamental concept of hearing.
Matthew chapter 13 and verse 9 earlier on in the parable of the sower, Jesus makes this simple statement. "He who has hears, let him hear." Now that might seem almost a bit humorous the way that that is worded because men are created with ears and the purpose of our ears is for us to hear things with them. But the idea that Jesus was saying is there is information here that is going to be given to you and I want to encourage you to listen carefully to what's being given to you so that you then can make a choice, so that you then can make a decision.
Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 13, "In Him you also trusted after you heard the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation." Before they could trust in Jesus, before they could have faith in Jesus, before they could believe in Him, they had to first hear the Word of Truth which Paul describes as "the gospel for the message, the good news of their salvation."
So we see the importance of hearing, but what is it that we are to hear? Well we always emphasize that we are to hear the Word of God. Whether it is out of the mouth of a preacher or a Bible teacher who is using the Bible to proclaim a message or teach a lesson, it is imperative that that person teach only God's Word and it's important for us as listeners or for those of us who would study God's Word in the privacy of our own home or in some type of a devotional setting that we emphasize that it is God who is speaking to us. So we have ears, we need to listen.
Is hearing the Word of God necessary for salvation? Absolutely. But is hearing the Word of God alone enough to save us? Not at all. There's more to it. Let's take a look at another step along this line. It is this concept that we really already addressed before. Paul addressed it to a church at Rome. In an earlier passage, Paul also addressed it to the church at Ephesus. The idea that once we hear this Word, once we have been exposed to the Will of God, then we have a choice to make. We are free moral agents, which means we have the ability to choose the path that we would like to follow in life whether toward God or whether towards Satan. If we listen to the Word of God very closely and take in what it is that He's trying to teach us as to how to live in this life, then we have a decision to make. Are we going to choose to believe it or not?
Romans 10:17 teaches us that "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." So the only true faith that God is pleased with us having is the type of faith that comes directly out of the Bible.
Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 1 describes faith as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It is our belief that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
In Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 6 that is the lesson that the Hebrews writer teaches us. He writes, "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
Is faith necessary for salvation? Absolutely. But is faith alone enough to save us? I want to remind you of what James writes in James chapter 2 and verse 14. He asks a similar question. He asks, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead. But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works, show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works." Listen to this next verse. "You believe that there is a God, you do well, even the demons believe and tremble." So there's something more to this. There is the idea that we need to take what we have heard and believe it, but then we need to believe what we have heard and act upon it.
That brings us to the subject of repentance. In Luke chapter 13 and verse 3, Jesus made this statement, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." This was evidently such an important point that just two verses later in verse 5, he said the exact same thing, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
Well, what is repentance? Peter said in Acts chapter 3 and verse 19, "Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out." Repentance is a change. It's a change of mind. It's a change of life. It's a change of direction. We're no longer going to follow self and sin, but we're going to follow God and righteousness.
2 Corinthians chapter 7 and verse 10 teaches us that "godly sorrow produces repentance leading unto salvation." Is repentance necessary for salvation? Absolutely. But is repentance alone enough to save us? Not at all. There is more to the equation. Consider the subject of confession. A principle that Jesus taught in Matthew chapter 10 and verses 32 and 33, and it's a principle that's not just to happen one time in our lives, but it's a principle that happens throughout our lives if we're going to follow Christ. But He teaches this concept, "Whoever confesses Me before men, him I also will confess before My Father who is in Heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in Heaven."
Romans chapter 10 and verses 9 and 10 teaches us how this is accomplished, this confession. Paul teaches us 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, for with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Peter used his mouth in Matthew chapter 16 and verse 16 to confess to our Lord what he believed in his heart by making the statement, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
And we see a similar circumstance in Acts chapter 8 and verses 36 and 37 where Philip was teaching the Ethiopian Eunuch how he needed to be saved, teaching him how he could become a child of God and look forward to that home eternally in Heaven. In verse 36, "As they were going down the road, they came to some water and the Eunuch said, 'See here is water. What hinders me (or what prevents me, what's keeping me) from being baptized?' Philip said, 'If you believe with all of your heart, you may.' And the Eunuch answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'"
Is confession necessary for salvation? Absolutely. Is confession alone enough to save? No it's not. There's more to it. In fact, if we will consider the example of the Ethiopian Eunuch, they were driving along and they saw water and the Eunuch asked, "What's preventing me from being baptized?" Only confession at that point. He had fulfilled all of the other things that were necessary for him to reach that point. After he confessed, what happened? Verse 38, "He commanded the chariot to stand still and both Philip and the Eunuch went down into the water and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water (verse 39), the Spirit of the Lord called Philip away so that the Eunuch saw him no more and he went on his way rejoicing."
"This immersion process, this baptism in water," Matthew 28:18 through 20 teaches us that "it is to be done in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Why is it important? All of the things that we've talked about thus far this morning, most people in the religious world do not disagree about. They don't disagree that we should hear the Word of God. They certainly don't disagree that we should believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. They certainly wouldn't even argue that you need to, through repentance, turn your life around and start following in the footsteps of Christ. They would not even argue that you are to confess with your mouth what you believe in your heart. But when it comes to baptism, for some reason, the rules seem to change. This is one of those things that some people teach is a nice concept but is not necessary for salvation.
I want you to consider for instance what Jesus said concerning this in Mark 16:16. "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved." Peter later repeated this sentiment on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 and verse 38 when he told a crowd of people who were wanting to know how they could be saved, how they could undo the wrongs that they had perpetrated in life. Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins."
Does baptism have something to do with our salvation? Yes, it does, because its purpose is to wash away our sins. Not that there is anything significant in the water. Peter addressed that in 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 21 when he said, "There is also an anti-type which also saves us, baptism, not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Its not anything that is special in the water. It is simply the fulfillment of a command of God that if we will follow His steps to salvation and if we will be immersed for the forgiveness of sins, our sins can indeed be washed away because we have fulfilled God's Will in this matter.
The great persecutor of the church, Saul, was told this very thing in Acts 22 and verse 16. When Ananias said to Saul, "And now what are you waiting for? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord." There's that phrase again. Because when we are baptized into Christ, when we put on Christ in baptism, when we are added to the family of God, that's not where it ends. In fact, that's actually just where it begins because we are now to live our lives faithfully in service to God.
Revelation chapter 2 and verse 10 is a passage of scripture that teaches us we need to be faithful even if it costs us our lives. "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life."
Is living a faithful Christian life necessary for salvation? Just like all of the other points that we have mentioned, all of the other pieces to the puzzle of salvation. Is it necessary for salvation? Absolutely. Why? Because the Bible tells us so.
I would encourage any of you to ever run into my little 6-year old daughter and ask her to tell you how to get to Heaven. She will sing for you a song to the tune of "Pop Goes The Weasel," but it says, "Hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized in the water, rise up again to follow Christ and live like you ought to." Jesus is the way of salvation because if we want to be saved, we're going to have to do it Jesus' way.
(SONG # 3 - "O To Be Like Thee!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Thanks be to God for His Word and it's full revelation as to what a man must do to be saved! May we all read it, study it and obey this precious book, so that we can truly be saved as God commands.