Salvation Luke 9:23 Tells us

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Because in verse 23 Jesus says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me -” And then, at that point, we could stop and say, “That’s essential to His mission. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to call people to Himself.” And He says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, here’s what he must do -“

Here, then, are conditions established for the most important message ever given on this planet and that is the message of following Jesus

What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?

What does it mean to come after Him?

What does it mean to become a Christian?

What does it mean to be saved?

That’s at the heart of the message.

And what Jesus says here directly speaks to that issue.
So you want to follow Christ, do you?

You want to come after Christ?

You want to be His disciple?

You want to be a “little Christ,” which is what Christian means?

You want to follow Him into His kingdom, the kingdom of God? You want His forgiveness, the forgiveness that He gives?

You want the eternal life that He promises?

Well, if you want that, He says, “You must deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Me.”

This statement by Jesus is repeated a number of times in the New Testament gospel record. I’m sure He stated this many, many times, hundreds of times in His preaching ministry because this is at the heart of the issue of discipleship and salvation.

Now we’ve already looked at the three elements:

Denying yourself,

taking up your cross, and

following.

But I want to go back and visit them, not in part but as a whole, and try to give you maybe a summary understanding of what He is really saying here. And it’s important to do this because what Jesus is saying is fundamentally opposite what preachers are preaching today.

In fact, the fundamental call to salvation, the words of our Lord are utterly opposite how people think in our culture

We live in a culture of self love, to put it simply, a culture that is consumed with self love, ego building, self esteem, feeling good about yourself, thinking you’re important, thinking you’re valuable, thinking you’re a hero, thinking you’ve achieved something, thinking you’re worthy of honor.

We’re drowning in awards for everything imaginable and unimaginable.

Parents are consumed with boosting the egos of their children with every imaginable means, as well as boosting their own sense of self value.

This is the generation of self lovers.

In 2 Timothy chapter 3 the apostle Paul classified “love of self” as a sin – in fact, a dominating sin.

In one of his familiar lists of iniquities – there are numbers of them in his letters – he begins the list of iniquities in 2 Timothy chapter 3 with “lovers of self,” and then “lovers of money,” and then goes through the rest of his list. This describes deceivers, unbelievers, those outside the kingdom of God, those who do not know the truth. Self love is at the top of the list in terms of normal human attitude. Sinners are consumed with pride. They’re consumed with themselves. We have made that into the prominent, dominant virtue in our society.

So here we are with the gospel, going to a generation of people

who are not only proud, but they’ve turned pride into the virtue of all virtues,

are in love with themselves, and

who seek to fulfill every whim, and every desire, and every ambition, and every dream, and every hope;

who seek to be everything that they can be,

who seek to set value on all that they are, and all that they say, and all that they do.

And we confront that culture with the gospel, and at the heart of the gospel is this opening.

“So you want to follow Jesus, do you?

You want to enter the Kingdom of God?

You want your sins forgiven?

You want eternal heaven?

Then deny yourself and

take up your cross and

fully submit to Him.”

You can’t even get to the submitting part unless you can get past the cross part, and you can’t get there if you can’t get past the part about denying yourself.

To give you a term that you likely won’t forget, I’ll borrow from Martin Luther.

Martin Luther, as you know, launched the Protestant Reformation. He was a Roman Catholic priest who came to understand the truth of salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, apart from works, and ceremonies, and all the rest;

and so he determined that he would confront the Roman Catholic system, the great monolithic system of error and deception, and he selected 95 different statements, 95 different protests – that’s why we’re called “Protestants” – 95 different assertions that ran contrary to Catholicism.

He wrote them down and he nailed them on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

The fourth of his protests, the fourth of his 95 assertions was that a penitent heart, a heart that comes to God and receives salvation is characterized by – here’s his term, “self hate.” Self hate. Quoting from Luther’s fourth statement. “And so penance remains while self hate remains.” He said that self hate was the true interior penitence. “This,” said Luther, “is essential to the gospel.”

Whereas the Roman system, like every system of self righteousness, and earning salvation by ceremonies and good deeds, is awash in self love; Luther confronted it and said, “Until the sinner comes to hate himself, he does not enter the Kingdom of God.” You have in the very birth of Protestantism, the very birth of the gospel, as it were, out from under its rock where it was hidden for 1,000 years in Catholicism, at its very launch the gospel is defined as being founded upon the sinner’s self hatred.

Hating oneself because one comes to see that there is in the flesh no good thing, that there is nothing of value, nothing of worth.

That we are, as Jeremiah said, “deceitful above all things, desperately wicked.”

Every part of us is sick -” as Isaiah put it “- from the head to the toe.”

There is no good thing anywhere.

There’s nothing about us that has value.

There’s nothing about us that has worth.

There’s nothing about us that is deserving of honor or accolade.

It is to come to the Beatitude attitude again, of understanding spiritual poverty, of understanding bankruptcy, of understanding your utter nothingness, of looking at everything that’s done in your life, whether it’s religious, or whether it’s educational, or whether it’s moral, or whatever it is, and like the apostle Paul saying, “It’s all dung. It’s all manure.” This just does not sell in the cult of self love.

But frankly it’s absolutely absurd to suggest that a person could encounter holy God, the righteous God, and enter into His kingdom

without wanting to be delivered from sin, and without wanting to be delivered from understanding sin as sin really has to be understood, that is that it is pervasive and dominant.

Those who meet God on God’s terms, those who come to God and enter in to His kingdom, invariably have an overwhelming sense of their own sinfulness.

Job who was the best of men, according to the 1:42 said this, “I had heard of God with my ears, but now I’ve seen Him.” And he said this, “I hate myself.” In the Hebrew, “I loathe myself. I despise myself, everything that I am. All that I am apart from God, all that I am in my humanness, anything and everything about me is so stained and tainted with fallenness and corruption and sin, I hate everything about myself.”

.

We live in a culture of self love, to put it simply, a culture that is consumed with self love, ego building, self esteem, feeling good about yourself, thinking you’re important, thinking you’re valuable, thinking you’re a hero, thinking you’ve achieved something, thinking you’re worthy of honor.

We’re drowning in awards for everything imaginable and unimaginable.

Parents are consumed with boosting the egos of their children with every imaginable means, as well as boosting their own sense of self value.

This is the generation of self lovers.

In 2 Timothy chapter 3 the apostle Paul classified “love of self” as a sin – in fact, a dominating sin.

In one of his familiar lists of iniquities – there are numbers of them in his letters – he begins the list of iniquities in 2 Timothy chapter 3 with “lovers of self,” and then “lovers of money,” and then goes through the rest of his list. This describes deceivers, unbelievers, those outside the kingdom of God, those who do not know the truth. Self love is at the top of the list in terms of normal human attitude. Sinners are consumed with pride. They’re consumed with themselves. We have made that into the prominent, dominant virtue in our society.

So here we are with the

 

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Knowing, Suffering, Accomplished

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KNOWING THAT THE SAME EXPERIENCES OF SUFFERING ARE BEING ACCOMPLISHED BY YOUR BRETHREN WHO ARE IN THE WORLD:

What I like is word study of the text.  We have been in First Peter 5:9-14 for some time in our series in First Peter.

Having an understanding of the meaning of the words make for understanding the meaning of the text:

Peter now adds a strong incentive to stand firm in their faith. Satan wants believers to believe their trial is unique and they are alone in their struggle. Don’t believe his lie says Peter.

Knowing (1492) (eido) is the verb that describes absolute, positive, beyond a chance of a doubt type of knowing something.

Beyond a chance of a doubt

The perfect tense speaks of the permanence of their knowing. Thus their knowledge of the truth which follows (“same experiences of suffering… “) is permanently settled in their soul and can be called into use “in the nick of time” or as physicians say “PRN” (as needed for relief”).

So be encouraged to endure your trials because you know beyond a shadow of doubt that your fellow-Christians are suffering the same things around the world. Suffering is the common lot for believers – you are not alone (cf Heb 13:4-5). Others have survived, therefore so can you (read Hebrews 11)

Why and how should Peter’s readers have known beyond a shadow of a doubt? Peter has been writing about suffering for the preceding four chapters. In chapter 1 Peter said “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.” (1 Peter 1:6)

In chapter 2 he said “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.” ( 1 Peter 2:21).

In chapter 3 he wrote that “even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled.” (1 Peter 3:14).

In chapter 4 he warned the saints not to “be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes

you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.” (See note 1 Peter 4:12; 4:13)

Paul warned Timothy that “indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (See note 2 Timothy 3:12)

Faithful believers must expect persecution and suffering at the hands of the Christ-rejecting world and if you know this truth beyond a shadow of a doubt you won’t be surprised when you suffer for the sake of the gospel.

“And after (Paul and Barnabas) had preached the gospel to that city (Derbe) and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must (it is necessary, inevitable and not optional) enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)

All believers need to be reminded to expect hardships and persecution so that they will not be dismayed and overwhelmed by them. Perseverance in the Christian life is a ceaseless warfare against the forces of evil.

Paul reminded the Corinthians that “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” ()

Calvin writes that It is another consolation, that we have a contest in common with all the children of God; for Satan dangerously tries us, when he separates us from the body of Christ.”

Can A Person On His Own Be Saved?

This was the notes that I used in our Bible Study Series  . And of courses there was a lot of research and study.  Only the Holy Spirit can open your heart to accept these verses and statement. 

Charles e. Whisnant-

Is man basically good or basically evil?

 

Ecclesiastes 7:29 – “See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”

Romans 5:7-8 – For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:12,19 – sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned… by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners

 

c.f. Job 15:14-16, 25:4-6; Ecclesiastes 9:3

All men? Are there any exceptions?

 

Psalm 143:2 – Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.

Romans 11:32 – For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. (c.f. Galatians 3:22)

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

2 Chronicles 6:36 – “there is no one who does not sin”

Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way

Micah 7:2-4 – The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge.

Romans 3:9-12 – What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (c.f. Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3)

1 John 1:8,10 – If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and his word is not in us.

Mark 10:18/Luke 18:19 – And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

 

c.f. 1 Kings 8:46; 116:11, 130:3, 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Jeremiah 2:29; Micah 7:2-4, Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19; Romans 5:12-14; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; James 3:2; etc., etc.

Are people good deep down?

 

Mark 7:21-23 – “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (c.f. Matthew 15:19)

Psalm 5:9 – For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.

 

Are men totally depraved? Is every faculty of the person corrupted?

Heart/Mind (Deceitful)

 

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Titus 1:15-16 – to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 – Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Romans 1:28-31 – And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were… foolish

Ephesians 4:17-18 – you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

Jeremiah 10:7-8,14 – among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. They are both stupid and foolish… Every man is stupid and without knowledge

Matthew 15:19 – “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (c.f. Mark 7:21-23)

Genesis 6:5 & 8:21 – The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually… from his youth.

Proverbs 10:20 – the heart of the wicked is of little worth.

Proverbs 28:26 – Whoever trusts in his own [heart] is a fool

 

c.f. Deuteronomy 29:2-4; Psalm 10:4, 36:1-2, 58:4-5, 94:11; Proverbs 10:20; Ecclesiastes 8:11; Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26; Matthew 13:14; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 4:17-18, 23

Will/Choosing (Enslaved)

 

John 8:34 – Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”

2 Peter 2:19 – They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.

Titus 3:3 – For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Galatians 4:8-9 – Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Romans 6:6,16,17,19,20 – We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey…? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed… For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Romans 7:14 – For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 – God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

 

c.f. Isaiah 42:6-7; Psalm 51:12; John 8:31-32,36; 2 Corinthians 3:17

Affections/Desires (Perverted)

 

Romans 1:24-27 – Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Ephesians 2:3 – we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Proverbs 21:10 – The soul of the wicked desires evil

John 3:19 – And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

John 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.”

 

c.f. Genesis 3:16; Psalm 4:2, 52:3-4 140:8; Proverbs 10:23; 2 Timothy 3:2-4; 2 Peter 2:13

et al (Utter Ruin)

 

Titus 1:15-16 – to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

Romans 7:18 – For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.

Isaiah 1:5-6 – The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.

 

Can men change themselves or still do good when they want to?

 

Jeremiah 13:23 – Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.

1 Samuel 24:13 – “As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’”

Matthew 7:18 – “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” (c.f. Luke 6:43)

Matthew 12:34-35 – “How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.”

Romans 8:7 – For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Genesis 6:5 & 8:21 – The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually… from youth.Titus 1:15-16 – to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

c.f. Job 14:4; Matthew 12:34; John 15:5; Romans 14:23; Philippians 1:11; 1 John 5:18-19

Are men at least born pure? What about the “tabula rasa”?

 

Psalm 51:5 – Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Genesis 8:21 – the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”

Psalm 58:3 – The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

John 3:6 – “That which is born of the flesh is flesh”

 

c.f. Proverbs 22:15

What is the natural disposition of man toward God?

 

John 3:20 – “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”

Romans 8:7-8 – For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God

Colossians 1:21 – And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds

 

c.f. Romans 1:28-30; James 4:4

What is man’s relationship to God?

 

Psalm 58:3 – The wicked are estranged from the womb;

Ephesians 2:12-13 – remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:3 – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

 

c.f. Isaiah 59:2

Can man then do anything to please God?

 

Proverbs 15:9 – The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord

Proverbs 15:8 – The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord (c.f. Proverbs 21:27)

Proverbs 28:9 – If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

Isaiah 64:6 – We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please [God]

Romans 8:7-8 – Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

c.f. Psalm 50:16; Proverbs 21:4; Isaiah 1:10-15; Amos 5:21-24

Are men at least seeking God?

 

Psalm 10:4 – In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

John 3:20 – “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”

Isaiah 65:1 – “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.

Isaiah 64:7 – There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

Romans 3:10-12 – “no one seeks for God.”

 

c.f. Romans 10:20

Can the natural man comprehend the gospel or come to saving knowledge of God on his own?

 

1 Corinthians 2:14 – The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – our gospel is veiled… to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18,21-24 – For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles

Deuteronomy 29:2-4 – And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.”

Matthew 11:27 – “no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

 

c.f. Psalm 119:18; Proverbs 4:19; Isaiah 42:6-7; Hosea 14:9; Matthew 16:17; John 8:43; Acts 22:14, 26:18; Ephesians 4:17-19; 2 Corinthians 2:15-16; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 John 5:20

Can men of themselves accept God’s gift of salvation? Do men choose God or come to Him on their own?

 

John 3:27 – John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.”

John 14:16-17 – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.”

John 1:12-13 – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 6:44,65 – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Romans 9:16 – So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

Romans 11:35-36 – “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things.

1 Corinthians 1:30 – And because of him you are in Christ Jesus

Philippians 2:13 – for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

 

c.f. Jonah 2:9; Zephaniah 3:9; John 15:16; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 1:6; James 1:18

Who supplies faith/belief/repentance?

 

Acts 16:14 – One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

1 Corinthians 3:6 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

Acts 5:31 – “God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”

Acts 11:18 – When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Philippians 1:29 – For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should… believe in him

Acts 18:27 – When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 – And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, [etc.]… God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth

1 Corinthians 12:3 – no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

Romans 11:36 – For from him and through him and to him are all things.

1 Corinthians 4:7 – For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

John 3:6, 6:63 – “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.”

 

c.f. 1 Chronicles 29:14; John 5:44; Acts 3:16; Romans 1:8, 12:3; Ephesians 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:2

Can men do anything to help themselves?

 

Colossians 2:13 – And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses

Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5 – And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved

 

c.f. Psalm 49:7-9; Jeremiah 2:22; Ezekiel 16:6, 37:1-3; Romans 5:6

Then what becomes of our boasting?

 

Romans 3:27 – It is excluded.

 

Leadership In Ministry

I recall back in Dr. George Norris class on Saturday had us to do this exact thing.

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Whenever you look for people who are going to extend your ministry and expand your ministry and multiply your ministry,

You start with those who come to faith,

You start with those who have been faithful followers.

You start with those who have been called to be preachers.

And then you put them through a process of training

You then you send them out on short-term internships and

You do instruction as they come back off those experiences.

And finally, you can loose them and let them go. That’s pretty much a model that can follow in any realm of human endeavor.

So here we find them at the point of their initial internship, their first field experience. This will be their first try at sermons and signs.

They were the commonest of men. And that’s what’s so important and remarkable to me. They were just so common. They’re just like us.

And when the Lord goes out to find somebody to multiply His ministry through, it is absolutely true, Paul was right when he said, “There are not many noble, and there are not many mighty, they are the common and the base.” They’re just plain, ordinary people

In fact, in some ways you might think them sub-ordinary and yet chosen by their Creator who knows them perfectly.

And they are exactly the kind of people He chooses to use. It is already half way through His ministry before they’re even sent out,

before their formal training even begins.

They’ve just been listening.

They’ve just been hearing the explanation of parables.

They’ve been getting their theological training and their biblical training.

They’ve been listening to Him exposit Old Testament passages and give the meaning.

They’ve been listening to Him compare the truth of God with the apostasy of Judaism.

They’ve been sorting out their theology,

But now it’s time for formal training to be messengers. And there’s only eighteen months left before Jesus will be gone and they will be on their own. That’s a short amount of time. That’s half a seminary education.

And if you wonder whether that alone was adequate, just remind yourself that when Jesus was taken prisoner to be crucified, all of them forsook Him and fled. And you might have concluded by that that the whole eighteen months was a waste of time.

But, you can only conclude that apart from the Holy Spirit because when the Holy Spirit came, everything changed. In fact, when they saw the resurrected Christ, everything changed, and they were re-gathered and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

With only eighteen months to go, it’s time for them to really begin their training.

So, these twelve, mundane backgrounds, worked with their hands, not their brains, earthly vocations. And yet they’re given the most important task in the history of the world.

There is no second string. There are no backup players. There is no Plan B. And that would be a problem for men. That would be a problem on a human level. It’s not a problem on a divine level because God always accomplishes what He sets out to do. Twelve ordinary men with the most extraordinary responsibility.

The twelve are absolutely unique. Later Matthias replaced Judas, who was a traitor. And later on another man is called an apostle, he doesn’t belong in the twelve, another one, his name is Paul. He was a unique messenger coming after the twelve. These twelve were unique.

They took positions of authority in the early church.

They and their associates wrote the New Testament.

Their teaching became the rule in the church. In Acts when the church was born in Acts 2:42 it says they met together and they studied the apostles’ doctrine.

They were used by God to reveal the doctrine. God revealed sound doctrine through them and eventually that doctrine was written down.

When the Lord chose them, He chose twelve of them. And Why not twenty-four, eighteen, six, seven, three? Why twelve?

And the answer is, in the choosing of twelve there was a link to the twelve tribes of Israel. Israel is constituted of twelve tribes, twelve tribes.

And when the Lord picked twelve apostles this was essentially a judgment on Israel, solidifying, hardening unbelief and rejection of their Messiah.

These twelve, in a sense, constituted the new spiritual heads of the tribes of Israel. They were symbolic heads of the tribes of Israel.

That’s why you don’t find one rabbi among the twelve. You don’t find one scribe. You don’t find a priest. You don’t find a Pharisee. You don’t find a Sadducee, you just find these hoi-polloi, these ordinary guys.

It is a judgment on the apostasy of Israel that the Lord couldn’t find one person in the religious establishment to pick as an apostle. The choosing of the twelve ordinary men then becomes a judgment on apostate Israel.

It is an open renunciation of all the religious men and the structures in which they existed, which was utterly corrupt. The religious leaders of Judaism constituted the core of those who were apostate. They were the core of those who hated Jesus, who hated the gospel, who hated to be indicted for their sin and who sought and achieved His death.

So Jesus picks twelve new leaders for Israel.

Forget the religious establishment. And with the number twelve symbolically pronounces a judgment on the apostasy of that nation.

These twelve apostles literally became the twelve true spiritual leaders of Israel.

They were the true heads of the twelve tribes.

They were the Israel of God.

They are the true penitent believing Israelites.

They also, by the way, became the foundation stones of the church, didn’t they? Ephesians 2:20, the church is built upon the foundation of the apostles, Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone.

Exclusivity of Jesus

Ordo-Saludis chart 2

Exclusivity of Jesus

Saving faith is something more than believing certain things which are true. The problem is as you flow down in this text you do a little bit of pathological study of a non-saving faith. They have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. it doesn’t do anybody any good to have a zeal for God if it’s not correct, if it is not precise.

“Well, my faith is a very private thing.” Let me tell you something, it’s not the Christian faith, and it’s not a saving faith. Jesus said, “If you confess Me before men, I’ll confess you before My Father who is in heaven.

The right answer to the questions: “What does your Christianity mean to you?” is “It means to me that jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord. He is my Lord and my Savior, and there is no other lord, and there is no other savior.” That’s the right answer.

There is this comfortable ambiguity that has now captivated supposed Christianity today, where you basically don’t have to commit to anything because you might be intruding on someone’s sensibilities because they might disagree with you

They had a zeal for God and they were the chosen people, but it was not in accordance with knowledge. And what was wrong with their knowledge Verse 3 “Not knowing about God’s righteousness.

They didn’t understanding how righteous God was. So they went to seek their own righteousness. In other words, they thought God was less righteous than He was, and therefore they were able to be righteous enough to please God. So they didn’t understand their own sin and inability. They didn’t, therefore, subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

They didn’t really come under the threat of divine righteousness in a beatitude attitude, the attitude of publican of Luke 18. They thought they were so good that God was low enough to accept that goodness.

They had a warped view of salvation. You understand that? A warped view of God’s righteousness essential to understanding salvation, a warpred view of their own unrighteousness, thinking that they could attain to salvation by their own effort.

They had a misunderstanding of the cross of Christ. They got their theology wrong, and they got their theology wrong, their soteriology wrong, , they go their hamartiology wrong, they got their Christology wrong.

  1. 4 To everyone who “believe, that is not by words, its’ by faith.

Romans 10:13 in other words, you can’t be saved unless you believe. you can’t believe the right thing unless you’ve heard it. You can’t hear it if somebody doesn’t tell it to you. And that is why those who preach are so beautiful: “How beautiful are the feet of those bring glad tidings of good things”, because you can’t be saved until the message arrives that you must believe.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.”

The Gospel is outside of us, it is not intuitive to us. It is something we have to hear, and somebody has to be the spokesman for that hearing.

This kind of ambiguous evangelism is a salt on the integrity and the sacrifice of believers through the ages who were willing to die for the precision of the truth.

Today there is such a indifference toward precision and clarity in proclaiming the gospel and it has basically kind of come out of some theo9logical views, or it’s defended by some.

Nature theology: That is man has innately, intuitively inside of him the natural reasoning power to come to God and be saved without the Scripture and without the gospel. Advocates say that man can discover the existence and the nature and the attributes of God in Romans 1, and that is true and human reason will lead you back to God, because human reason functions on a cause and effect structure and cause and effect eventually leads you back to the primary cause.

You can know a lot about God, You can know something about His power by looking at the world in its macro and its micro sense.

It is true, and so they go further and say “man thus becomes capable of knowing enough of truth of God to satisfy God without the necessity of divine revelation.”

He sort of finds his way to God. It’s nice if he has the Bible, it’s nice if he has the gospel; its not necessary.

Here is what the Vatica said about salvation : “All who live a just life will be saved, even if they do not believe in Jesus Christ in the Roman Catholic Church.” So if those in a false religion which is a barrier to salvation, but people apart from the Bible and the gospel can be saved if they can work their way around the barrier.

The heretical Thomas Aquinas who adopted Aristotelian kind of philosophy. Officially adoped as the position of the Romans Catholic Church in Vatican I: present, of course, in the new Catholic catechism: T

The biblical teaching that salvation only comes in response to faith in Christ is rejected as unreasonable and cruel. People are saved if they live good lives and are sincere in their beliefs whatever they are. Well, so much for the Catholics.

Billy Graham Talks with Robert Schuller on How to Get to Heaven. Schuller: Tell me. What do you think is the future of Christianity? Graham: Well, Christianity and being a true believer, you know I think there is the body of Christ, which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups, I think everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ whether they are conscious of it or not they are members of the body of Christ. And I don´t think that we are going to see a great sweeping revival that is going to turn the world to Christ at anytime. I think the apostle James answered that in the first council of Jerusalem when he said that God´s purpose of this age is to call out a people for His name. And that´s what God is doing today; He´s calling the world for His name. Whether they come from the Muslim world or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their heart that they need something that they don´t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I believe that they are saved, and that they are going to be with us in Heaven. Schuller: What I hear you saying is that it´s possible for Jesus Christ to come into a human heart and soul and life, even if they´ve been born in darkness and have never had an exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what your saying? Graham: Yes it is. Because I believe that. I´ve met people in various parts of the world, in Tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible, or never heard a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they believed in their heart that there was a God and they tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived

The Gospel

The Sufficiency of the Gospel

1-peter-1-2-give-attention-to-reading

  1. The Gospel saves one for eternity: John 6:39; Ephesians 1:3-14
  2.  The Gospel completely changes someone into a new creation: 2 Corinthians 5:17
  3.  The Gospel translates us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light: Colossians 1:10-14 and 1 Peter 2:9
  4.  The Gospel forgives sin and cleanses us thoroughly from our sin: 2 Corinthians 5:21 Ephesians 1:7
  5.  The Gospel grants us eternal life: John 3:16
  6.  The Gospel secures heaven as our home forever: John 14:1-6
  7.  The Gospel overcomes death for it is eternally built upon the foundation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from their dead. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
  8.  The Gospel defeats sin and brings us into intimacy and peace with God forever: Romans 5:1
  9.  The Gospel is rich in grace and mercy: Ephesians 2:1-10, without which we would all before forever lost with no hope: Galatians 5:2-6
  10.  The Gospel is completely efficacious for the believer in Christ, past, present and future: Romans 8:20-30
  11.  With the Gospel we are saved: Ephesians 2:8-9
  12.  With the Gospel w e are kept: John 17:12 and Jude 1
  13.  With the Gospel we will be presented one glorious day: Jude 24
  14.  With the Gospel we are justified, sanctified, and glorified: Romans 8:29-30. Through the gospel of our risen Lord and Savior
  15. Is it in wonder the Apostle Paul boldly proclaimed: Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 1:16.
  16.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is all sufficient and accomplished all saving grace.

Salvation Is of God

charles-09-01-2014-rojbcIn a Bible conference several years ago, a well-known speaker brought a message on salvation. He argued that to tell unsaved people they must surrender to Christ is the same as preaching salvation by works. He defined salvation as the “unconditional gift of everlasting life given to people who believe the facts about Christ, whether or not they choose to obey Him.” And one of his main points was that salvation may or may not alter a person’s behavior. “Transformed character,” he said, “is desirable, but even if no change in lifestyle occurs, the one who has believed the facts of the gospel and received Christ can rest in the certainty of forgiveness and heaven.” That’s pervasive in our society, preaching today; multitudes approach Christ on those very terms. They think there’s no real price to pay. They respond eagerly when offered forgiveness. They respond eagerly when offered the prospect of heaven, victory over death. They have no sense of the severity of their guilt before God. They have no desire to be freed, particularly from sin’s bondage, and they certainly have no overwhelming desire to obey Christ. And I’m convinced that such people are deceived by a corrupt gospel. The faith they are receiving and the faith they are relying on is only intellectual acquiescence, or maybe emotional grasping of something or someone to solve their problems, and it will not save. Yet this is the most common form of evangelism. And many are preaching this kind of weak deceptive message.

Put On An Apron of Humility

First Peter 5:5  “Put On The Apron of Humility”

First Peter 5 5 humility

AND ALL OF YOU CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH HUMILITY TOWARD ONE ANOTHER:

Several good translations of the verse:

Amplified: Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—[giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.

KJV: Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

NLT: You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.”

Phillips: You younger members must also submit to the elders. Indeed all of you should defer to one another and wear the “overall” of humility in serving each other. ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.

Wuest: Likewise, younger ones, be in subjection to the elders. Moreover, all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes himself to those who set themselves above others, but gives grace to those who are lowly.

Young’s Literal: In like manner, ye younger, be subject to elders, and all to one another subjecting yourselves; with humble-mindedness clothe yourselves, because God the proud doth resist, but to the humble He doth give grace;

AND ALL OF YOU CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH HUMILITY TOWARD ONE ANOTHER:

  1. (1Peter 4:1,5;  Therefore, since Christ has 1suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
  2. Romans 12:10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
  3. Ephesians 5:21;  and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
  4. Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
  5. 1Peter 3:3,4; Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
  6. 2Chr 6:41; 41 “Now therefore arise, O Lord God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your might; let Your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation and let Your godly ones rejoice in what is good.
  7. Job 29:14; “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.
  8. Psalms 132:9,16; Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your godly ones sing for joy.
  9. Isaiah 61:10; I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
  10. Ro mans13:14; But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
  11. Col 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience

Clothe yourself (1463)

  an apron a servant wears while working  gather or tie in a knot, hence to fasten a garment, to clothe) (found only here in the NT) literally means to tie something on oneself with a knot or a bow and was a term often used to describe a slave putting an apron over his clothes in order to keep his clothes clean.

This verb also refers to the white scarf or apron of slaves, which was fastened to the belt of the vest and distinguished slaves from freemen, hence the idea is “gird yourselves with humility as your servile garb”.

Peter uses the aorist imperative which signifies a command calling for “soldier like” obedience.  Calls for a specific, definite, decisive choice.  “Do this now, at once “

This is a vitally important command that dare not be dismissed without significant consequences (e.g., pride blunts the Spirit fed stream of God’s amazing grace  as in James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 

And  which is necessary not just for salvation the first time as in Ephesians 2:8-9, but is also necessary for “salvation” daily = sanctification, present tense salvation

In addition them its in the middle voice:  which  indicates we are to initiate the action and participate in the results or effect of this action.

This phrase can be translated “Put on the apron of humility”  which is an appropriated paraphrase picturing the scarf or apron as the badge of a servant. 

How easily the world’s competitive spirit filters into the hearts of Christians and Christian workers who become envious of one another’s success. How seldom we think of ourselves as servants for Christ’s sake

Its a problem in the local church that far too many Christians do not have this attitude of humility toward one another.

The Christian believer is as one put it “tie yourself up in humility”  gathering it around us like a coat to shut out the blighting winds of pride.”   What this phrase is saying:  “it is performing selflessly an task God assigns, and bringing forth spiritual fruit.”

Vincent’s Word Study puts it this way: “Put on and wrap yourselves about with humility, so that the covering of humility cannot possibly be stripped from you.”

 Remember as Jesus laid aside His outer garments and put on a towel to become a servant, so each of us should have a servant’s attitude and minister to each other.

Humility is not demeaning ourselves and thinking poorly of ourselves. It is simply not thinking of ourselves at all!

The idea is putting on as it were a coat of humility, and showing a yielding to another, in that you show support for the other person in their work for the Lord in the church.

Too many Christians want to think of themselves higher than others,  but here Peter is saying just lie low,  be humble.  We are to think of ourselves in an attitude of humility, it is the quality of unpretentious behavior, a modest estimation of one’s abilities, without arrogance,  even in our own mind we think modesty. 

Here is the right attitude:  Humility:

Inasmuch as we are small compared to God, this is the correct estimate of ourselves. The word indicates the esteeming one’s self as small or recognizing one’s insufficiency but at the same time recognizing the powerful sufficiency of God!

  1. Acts 20:19; serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me 1through the plots of the Jews;
  2. Eph 4:2; with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another  in love,
  3. Phil 2:3; Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
  4. Col 2:18, 23; Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Vine’s (which I have used back in First Baptist Church, Altoona, Kansas) says:

that Humility” indicates, not a merely moral quality, but the subjection of self under the authority of, and in response to, the love of the Lord Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit to conform the believer to the character of Christ. In contrast to the world’s idea of being “poor-spirited” the Lord commends “the poor in spirit” Matthew 5:3

Humility was not thought of very highly in the ancient world (pun intended) and in fact was even considered to be a vice by the pagan moralists. Christ and Christianity elevated humility to the supreme virtue – the antidote for the self-love that poisons relationships.

Humility is not thinking poorly of oneself. Rather, it is having the proper estimate of oneself in the will of God. The person with humility thinks of others first and not of himself.

Humility, when it becomes self-conscious, ceases to have any value.

Jesus modeled the essence of humility which is being able to put others’ needs and desires ahead of one’s own Philippians 2:3-4).