Bible, hearts, heads. Rom. 3, pencils, paper. Salvation. Imputation. Redemption, justification, propitiation. Atonement. Have not studies, just know few Scriptures, know more about what some other fellow wrote than about Bible. To our shame, study = superficial. Tragic, we not dig into profound truths of Bible. 3:21-end. Foundational.
Lesson--3 points. Bible foundations, principles. Begin with question: if by revelation knew JC was coming back at high noon tomorrow, where would we want to be? What want to be doing? What changes make? What = priority? What be able to guarantee, certify, lock down? Where/what is wish?
This is your religion, this is what you trust. Boil it down to LCD. What do you believe in ? Your own righteousness? A place? A deed? An activity? Do you believe in the righteousness of God which was carried out thru cross of Christ?
Must wrestle with this, may not like some of it, but go back and get heads in book, learn about great salvation in Christ based on Calvary 19 centuries ago.
I. SALVATION IS BY GRACE
This is obviously a major thrust of Bible. Key word in salvation. Word we know, sing about, but not desire. Not on quest for grace. Not find self into grace vocab, not impress us. Not appreciate because not understand. When use word, always attach explanation that protects works. Not understand distinction between works of grace/works of law. Must study. All works are not meritorious works. Must not destroy/diminish biblical works, but not deny grace.
Salvation/evangelism/preaching is good news that God acted. Tell what God did. This = grace. Rom. 3, salvation is totally by grace. God acted, initiated. He is primary. Man wishes to initiate, buy, earn, merit, deserve, acquire, attain, obtain. Hard for man to swallow-accept, wants to stay even, count visits. Hard to swallow pride/strength, say, "Have mercy on me a sinner." Cannot save self, cannot deserve salvation. Salvation = by grace.
Man grates at this. That = why grace = greatest message sinner ever heard, but turns us off. Wish to achieve-do-know-stand independently. Wishes business transaction w/ God. God, you now owe me. Eye for eye. Do this and God will be obligated. God must pay up. This is unbiblical, turns Christianity and gospel into business transaction. Sinner not have leg to stand on before God.
Nothing man can give to God. Not pay principal, not even pay interest on debt. Nothing man has that God needs. Heb. 10:4. Go to ch not take away sin, nor visit hosp, nor memorize Bible. Salvation begins and ends with God, is grace of God.
If not raise right question, not get right answer. Most come up with wrong answer because ask wrong question. What is most imp thing on earth? Most answer, be saved. Salvation. That is selfish, wrong. Most imp = to glorify God. Shows up our superficial, selfish concept. Not throw me out, not get upset. I am interested in salvation, but most imp thing in life is not me-ism that will save self from hell. That is a meager concept of sin/salvation. Glorify God. God made man to glorify God, and man in sin cannot glorify God. So man must be rescued from hell to glorify God. We are saved to be restored/reconciled, brought back to person relationship with God, to be what God desires. Man who says give me salvation, I don't want to go to hell turns God/Christianity into Xmas want list. When go knock on doors, invite others, encourage, teach, we must thrill them with more than religious selfishness. Bring concept that all are here to glorify God and cannot do that as sinner. Get focus right, get life right. Share that God paid it all. JC died 19 centuries before we were born, nothing we can do to add to the salvation he purchased. There before our concept, still be there when we are dead/forgotten. Remember that act/initiation was God's, not ours. God came-acted it out. Bible says for glory of God, Eph. 2:5. Tit. 2:11-13; Jn 3:16. Rom. 3 = salvation of mind, heart, carried out by hand of God. Therefore is not manpower-man pleasing-man praising. 1 Co. 3:5-8. God gives increase. Fellow who plants/waters is nothing.
Salvation = reality, not future. Not question of will God forgive. God forgave 19 centuries past. Will you respond? Accept? Money in bank, will you write a check on the acct? Not universalism, you are bankrupt, I put $million in bank, but until you write check, not useful to bless you. Mk. 16:15-16. Write check on blood of lamb, put on X in baptism. Not clothing self, be clothed upon. All JC is, we claim. This is humbling. I am totally dependent upon God and JC at cross.
Not 90c on $ from God, 10c from sinner. Sing better than teach. Jesus paid it all. Either did nor did not. He did. That = grace. Rom. 4:4-5. 11:6. Meritorious human works not save man's soul. God provided, man responds to that provision. Because it is a gift does not mean it is not conditional. That is where friends in religious world = confused. That is why univ is wrong. Our response to grace of God is not matter of merit works, but of faith works.
We either do or do not deserve salvation. If think deserve, take another look. If you do, not need grace. Rom. 1:16, good news = that man drowning in sin has savior/life boat. Those that trust him have life everlasting.
II. SALVATION IS BY CHRIST
Rom. 3, any circumcised Jew that is saved is saved by JC. Any gentile, likewise. If be saved as Moslem, eastern religion, own works, as Jew, JC = hoax, false, fraud, lie. Acts 4:11-12 is then not true.
Jn 14:6, Rom. 3, blood goes fr cross forward, and backward. Every man saved in judgment must stand on atoning blood of X. Only by X. None save self w/ good deeds. That = why Christianity is not merely philosophy or contemporary religion. One church is not as good as any other. All forgiven stand upon provision of X. Jn 15:4. 2 Cor. 5:19-21. 1 Pet. 2:24. 1 Cor. 15:1-4. Grace is free, but not cheap. Took life of X, takes your life.
A gift can be most costly thing you ever get. Obligated to grace that you not have any other way under sun. Obligated to parents, for their gift to me. When God provided for me at Golgotha with life of own son, holds an obligation on my life. This is majesty of undeserved/unmerited grace.
So man responds to God's completed act and nothing will ever be added to it. We not make it better. No sin on earth can deplete heaven's bank, God will not go broke, not even run down the account.
III. SALVATION IS BY FAITH
Tragic, talk of one thing, been right, but led us to lose sight of something equally precious. Get it all right. Illus: know that preacher is not pastor, and so we make that bad word. Even though elder is pastor, we not call him that.
Because salvation is not by faith only does not mean salvation is not by faith. Not really studied faith. When study, always equal and expressed. Bible talks of what God did at cross in terms of grace, and what man does to appropriate it in own life in terms of faith.
2 statements: parallel:
This gives glory to God. We = too reticent, shy about doing that. Big budget, DBR, big ch, attend, all wonderful, but in Rom 3, man = helpless, hopeless, hell bound, until God came and did what we could not do for self. We are to respond to that kind of grace, and that = total glory to God almighty.
Brings us back to where need to be. If live every minute under that, we eliminate fuss/feud, infight among us. No more wanting to be chief, recognized, this, that. Faith = most humbling thing on earth.
Rom. 10:6ff. This = favorite verse in one way, but like lot of favorite verses, just heard one thing, and may not have heard that right. He owns me, I am his, discipleship, this is what we must preach. Not idle confession, but reality of life. Since he died for me, I am his. In that Lordship, I claim all the benefits of his death. Not faith plus works, not faith without works, it is faith which works God's grace in my life, Gal. 5:6.
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