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2. Salvation

Jim Howard




  • June 19, 2017
    9:00 AM
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Father heaven thank you so much for this privilege we have to be it can't meeting we believe that wonderful things happen here when you Lord Jesus meet with your people and I pray that as we spend this time together it's a safe environment where we are all together like minded believers but we understand that we come to these mountaintop so that we can be prepared to go into the valley and to do the work that you have called us to do in more difficult circumstances and more trying situations and we pray Lord that you would destroy us during this time so that we prepared for those times now Lord abide with us teach us by your Spirit give us understanding make things clear for us today Lord and help us to have confidence in what we believe in in your word for we ask it in Jesus name Amen All right so you are able to get started this morning. In the doctrinal part of things with the topic of. Intro to prophecy I know that Pastor Mark was not able to. Get quite as much through Daniel too as we had hoped but we knew that there was a lot of preliminary stuff since this is a different session for us and we're doing the doctrinal boot camp the Bible study boot camp we don't have as much time to talk about just the methodology and the foundation and so we needed to take some time to do that this morning and we knew that there was a chance that that might cause time to be a little limited but hopefully in these next sessions will give you a little bit more of a clear picture of each topic of where we're headed and how to how to do a study I want to tell you that the topic that we're talking about today on the go ahead in writing on the board. Salvation. So I'm glad I was given a very narrow topic to talk to you about you know this is. This is a very important topic but I'm going to be honest with you when it comes to. An evangelist pick meeting or a Bible study often times and truth be told this is 1 that people kind of yawn and that you know what I mean by yawn Yeah. That's right seems a little boring like OK yeah I've heard that before it's not real controversy all it's not real cutting it's not real you know I mean the Saints aren't sitting at the edge of their seats of evangelistic meeting during this 1 wondering what's going to happen when something is disk this close like the anti-Christ or Saturday is really the Sabbath or the dead are not really in heaven or you know there's not those types of elements of dramatic difference and so we tend to kind of yawn out a little bit but what I want to tell you about this particular topic is that it is not merely a topic for 1 session of your Bible study series The reality is this is the topic that is permeating your entire Bible study series. So so what I'm going to be talking to you about I want to give you some basic things and. Lay out concepts for you that I hope become clear to you because if they do then you can you know share them throughout your series but I'm just wanting you to understand something when you're giving a Bible study to somebody you're going to see their Soul say that's what you're doing so you have to have an understanding of this topic not merely to present this topic but to know why you're even doing what you're doing OK which is why when we talk about the topic of salvation perhaps more than any other although lots of are like this the truth is salvation must be experienced before it is fully understood that you get that in other words if you yourself have not been born again it's going to be a very challenging study for you to give. The study of on salvation I mean. This is 1 of those things that helps me to understand why and I'm going to be a little transparent here for a moment why I who have nothing more than a glorified lay person. OK that's what I am a glorified lay person somebody who was just. The Lord reached down in you know rescued from where I was in my life and I talk about that a little bit a moment and then from there I started Bible studies and that went well and then I started preaching and then I started somebody said I should try passed during a church is OK I'll try it and then I that was part time and then getting calls you want to do this full time OK I'll do that full time and then you want to take this larger church OK I'll take that larger No you want to come we're going to converse I guess and I go we're going to Congress but basically I've never been to seminary I've never been to theological training in any of our institutions so for those of you who feel that that is the most essential thing you can we'll give you a moment to leave. But let me tell you something the reason that I believe that not only me but you do too can be just as effective as somebody who has been through that type of theological training is because salvation is something that you experience it is not something that you merely are taught it is not head knowledge in many ways I did not learn the head knowledge of salvation until after the Lord save my soul and over it I didn't understand how to explain it and articulate it until after I went through it. And oh OK you begin to understand a little better so you can repeat stuff by rote OK you can mechanically tell somebody steps or something like that but it will mean nothing if you have not experienced it it's your experience that enables you to be able to speak with conviction to be able to understand the nuances of somebodies personal individual situation to know how to help them through whatever it is they're going through it's your own experience salvation is something that must be experienced more than simply understood you talk about conversion and the idea of being saved or born again and. You're talking about something that ultimately I like to say comes by revelation you have of the time when Jesus asked. He asked his disciples who to men say that I am and they said well you know a prophet. Or whatever and they had all these different answers and Jesus said Well who do use say that I am and who answered Peter Peter he always had an answer and in this case he spoke immediately with conviction and confidence and he said that how art the Christ the Son of the Living God and Jesus said to Him Blessed are use Simon barge in honor or flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven what did he mean by I want to see him what in flesh and blood is not revealed how did Jesus know that somebody didn't just tell him or that he wasn't just listening to what was being told him because Jesus knew that for someone to speak with conviction about the fact that he was a Son of God the Messiah. The only way that someone can speak with that conviction is if they have received it from revelation from God through the Spirit of God There's something about salvation it's different than head knowledge you know in your heart it's something that happens in your life OK and that is the fundamental ingredient that makes someone able to be a sole winner the number 1 ingredient that makes someone able to be a sole winner is that they themselves have had their soul won by the Lord Himself and it comes by I like to say revelation now I'll talk in a moment about you know that happens in different ways for different people and different speeds and different times and all those types of things and I'll talk about how you can know but I just what you are saying in that that is something that comes from the Lord and that experience is the number 1 prerequisite to having success in so winning and especially in giving a study on the topic of salvation. You know I have to take a moment before getting into some of the details of sharing this topic to just give you a little bit of my own experience and before I do I'll just say this when you give a Bible study it is not a cold transference of facts when you give a Bible study what you're really doing is giving your testimony now you say I don't understand you know when I'm giving a Bible study I'm studying the doctrines in the Bible what do you mean you're giving your testimony we think of testimony as 1 thing in a bias that is another but the truth is that your sharing of those Bible truths you can only share them because you yourself have become persuaded by them so when you are sharing those Bible truths you're actually simply witnessing of your own convictions if you're not witnessing of your own convictions you won't do very well giving them Bibles. And you'll trip all over it because you don't really believe it you don't understand it you know you understand what I'm saying but if you are convicted of it then all you're doing is witnessing if you read the Bible when it talks about witnessing it says that that's when you share what you have seen and heard what you yourself have personally experienced Well it's not just talking about in some you know. Miraculous supernatural manifestation or something it means that when I have seen in the bible oh that's clear that makes so much sense when I see that then I'm able to share it with somebody else and that's what missing I'm sharing what I have seen and heard in the Bible so Bible studies are really the purest form of witnessing because where have you seen Jesus more clearly than in the Bible where have you heard his voice speaking to more clearly than in the Bible and if you haven't Might I suggest to you that you have not seen him as clearly as you could if all you've seen him is in nature and through Providence and through circumstances and I believe he speaks through those things but if that's the only place you've seen him then you have not seen him in the purest form because the Bible says that we are actually converted by the Bible it says in 1st Peter $123.00 that we are born again through the Word of God that lives in abides forever so it's through the word you read the words of Jesus and they just scream off the page you know why that is because the Bible in addition 6 says this The Word of God is the sword of the spirit. In other words you're holding it in your hand but in reality the Spirit of God when you open the Bible and begin to read it the Spirit of God is the 1 who's holding the word and he's going to use it to shape your thinking and your attitude and your heart so when you open the Bible it's really you're putting it in the hands of God to do something miraculous It's not like that with a history book right it's not like that with your you know encyclopedia It's not like that but when you open the Bible it's the Word of God That's why he says the Word of God is living powerful Jesus said John 663 the words that I speak to you their spirit and they are in the life is not like any other words you know what I'm saying it's got life to it it actually the Lord creates with his word that's exactly what he does you know that from the creation account right Genesis 1 let there be light he spoke it was done he commanded and it stood fast when God speaks he creates and so when you're reading the word something happens and that is exactly what happened to me I can tell you that Mark and I grew up an admin is Tom until I was almost I was 9 years old almost about to turn 10 years old when my parents moved to Missouri from Ohio and we had you know gone to church all those years my parents were not real committed Adventists but we went to church every week and that sort of thing but somewhere along the line and various factors involved in this but 1 of them was it my dad got caught up reading into Desmond Ford some of you may be familiar with him from years gone by 1980 ish he was a teacher who eventually left you haven't searched or was asked to leave. He had his credentials or mu. And he. No longer I mean he believed certain things anyway bottom line is he would not necessary of taught this but my dad took his of his teachings to their logical conclusion which was we don't really need to go to church we don't really need I'm saved you know I don't need that in order to be saved I have my own relationship with God cetera et cetera and so my parents not going to church when I was 10 and we didn't talk about God at all that I remember I do know that they threw away basically all of the books that we had so all the elem white books and the little red ones they're all gone and and my mother gradually started to become more and more like the world around her and and I remember she would speak occasionally kind of critically about the church and warmly about the new friends she was making and you know so there was a little bit of bitterness in the whole thing that I felt but we didn't really talk about God specifically or doctrine or beliefs or anything like that hardly at all and it went that way as I just went to high school partied with my friends a typical stuff and in college I was 22 years old and I had been in Missouri and my parents had moved back to Ohio I was going to college in Missouri and I had a bunch of stuff the Lord smote me to. Preparing to receive him but I had to nurture knee surgeries in a tonsilectomy and I couldn't work and I owed back rent and all this stuff happening in 1 semester and my mother was trying to get me to come back home and go to school in Ohio where she was and finally because of all that and then she like the thing that finally convinced me was when she told me I could transfer and all my credits would transfer of my G.P.A. would get start over. Better do that. So I did it when I went over to my from my junior year I transferred anyway. Then I was there for a couple years I didn't have any real friends and then I got out of the environment where I was where I had these close buddies I would go back and see him in Missouri sometimes they were like brothers to me these guys and I lived with hung out with for years but ultimately when I came back to Ohio I didn't really know anybody I hung out with not Mark but a different brothers friends and you know we go the sports bar and do whatever and. Somewhere along the line I decided that out of almost curiosity I should read a little bit of the by. And I think part of what sparked it was during my junior high school all that period time when I was in Missouri I had some friends some you know I had a couple that were Christians couple who were atheists and we would late at night you know when we were clearly thinking get into these conversations about whether or not there was a God and I was a resident Christian among us I still believe that there was a god and if anybody were ask me I would say I'm kind of like a Methodist I did because I did not want to say I was Adventist I had had too many negative things associated with that and they were they were Avon's were 2 different and I thought that Methodists were kind of your run of the mill average Christian I've never stepped foot in a method you know I had never seen a Methodist church or whatever on and you know exactly what they believe but I just said I'm kind of like a Methodist. And so we would talk about whether there was a God and I would argue for God in my argument like this there is there has to be a god because we're all. Essentially good people which I came to learn that wasn't true in the Bible but that's what I said and I believe now that the reason I said that and this is important for now for me as I get bible studies of people now understand the reason I said it was because you know how when you do something wrong you feel guilty but you do something right and you kind of feel you know that that was good you know and I kind of took that reality that inside of me there was this voice kind of you know you feel bad about doing something wrong and you feel just fine when you do something right as especially being me being a good person naturally what I didn't realize was that is the voice of God the voice of God labors with every person. And speaks to their heart and he is drawing I didn't realize that the Lord Jesus was drawing me my whole life you know it's incredible when you think about it but I kind of had that mentality but when I would get in these conversations my friends the 1 thing that I was always a little worried about is they would ask me anything specific because I knew nothing about the Bible like I don't remember a single text OK when I was up to 9 going to church there were only 3 things I remember 1 was Pat White playing the guitar around the campfire as we sang I remember that there were 2 I remembered my SAT was cool teacher having a seizure because that's hard to forget. And number 3 I remembered this Good News Bible I had that had these aviator seen the good news about has little sketches in it and I remembered the sketch in John 11 of Jesus calling Lazarus and saying Lazarus come forth in this little sketch mummy of Lazarus coming out that's all I remembered OK that's my religious. Foundation that I had and so I was a little worried of somebody to start asking me about it and I really was kind of talking like I knew why there was a God and I was a Christian or whatever and I knew nothing and if they knew anything about me back then it was that I was a people pleaser and if there's 1 thing I didn't want to be it was embarrassing I was like my greatest fear and I was kind of caught hanging out here and I thought at some point I need to read a little bit of the Bible just so that I got something to say and there's something important I'm so grateful to my parents even though they left the church and ya ya ya the truth is they put into my heart the reality that I believe the Bible was true I did I believed it was true I never read it I didn't know it was in it but I believed it was true. And I argued for the existence of God I just tell you this is a little bit of side note but even during that period maybe even before that I'm trying to measure what it was I'll never remember but I believe or became persuaded that there was a god for my own thinking and logic and I'm going to convince you not to I said to myself this before my conversion or anything I said to myself you know you ever have deep thoughts this is 1 of those days I said I exist the very fact that I exist is evidence that something always existed. For you. I mean it's true right I mean I live I'm alive to this is evidence that something always existed because if there was ever a time when absolutely nothing existed then nothing would ever exist you are saying so something had to always exist and then you're only really given a couple options that are out there right 1 is that the something that always existed is like you know helium Ghassan you know rocks and what have you and your kind of stuck with the question where did that come from nonsense like the rocks come from OK but let's just say that they were there from all eternity the rocks in the gas were always there well then I'm asking myself the question I'm so different from Iraq. Like. So anyway. I'm so different from Iraq and I. To give reasons why I'm different from Iraq I think and I feel I have. Warmth of affection I have anger I have all of these emotions how do you get emotion out of Iraq how do you get values how do you get intelligence how do you get that out of Iraq it's just not logical it's totally dumb I mean it is legally dumb it's really that I mean when you if you actually took time to think about it which I'm not asking you today because it might hurt but if you really thought about it you would say yourself that is so dumb now I'm glad to ask you brought that up that is really really dumb there's no possible possible way that Iraq could become a thinking loving feeling morally. Driven I mean how do you how we're good good in bad come from Iraq. Right or wrong I don't even a pet rock hey this is what I realize there is only 1 possibility and that is that there had to always be intelligence and believe me this was before the Lord ever revealed and so this before I ever got to a point where I was like I became a believer but I just from simple logic said to myself There is a God there is and that's why Romans 1 by the way says that we are without excuse there without excuse because what may be known of God is manifest in them in other words we can tell from our own personage. That god and intelligent being exists and so anyway that was a side note I told so here I was still like I need to be embarrassed if I don't know something about the Bible so at the age of 22 I decided to finally I kind of opened up the Bible just decided to read a little bit and I can tell you that for me I'm a list taker and I remember afterwards I found a little list that said like. You know. Your room study for such and such an exam your laundry read the Bible like this is like a casual thing that I was going to do you know right there after I do my laundry and before I you know whatever it was a something that I was going I just want to fit that in a little bit and 1 day I started to fit it in and open the Bible and I began to read you know where I started reading. I wish you could tell me because I don't remember. I was hoping 1 of you knew. Tell me double the dream and it's and every day is it. So I started reading in the Bible I believe is in the New Testament but I can't tell you for sure but I think it was and because I was always drawn to the red letters so I think I was reading in the Testament within 3 weeks my whole life was different I started reading the Bible in the basement our parents' house living downstairs in my parents' house and it was like for the 1st time ever eternal things were real. And oh no no no praying No whatever I did start reading my Bible I could not believe it in other words what I'm trying to explain to you is this. It wasn't just the words but God made it so clear to me that this was real I mean it made so much sense it was so powerful you know there are certain things about the Bible that are powerful like for instance it doesn't mince words you know and it it tends to speak about your own condition and about your own heart in ways that nobody else does I mean it's so honest it's it cuts right to who you are who you've even hidden and it speaks to you about yourself in ways that nobody could know I mean it's just incredible and Jesus was revealing Himself to me and I was overwhelmed I mean I remember going up and talking to my dad my dad had rheumatoid arthritis he's passed away for some years now but but he had a bit 2 beds in his room and he would be up all night in pain and everything so Mom had to sleep in a separate room for many years there at the end but I I would go into the bed across from him and I would go and talk to him I had a good relation with my dad and I are going up there and taking my Bible and saying if this is all true what are we all doing here like it seems so strange to me that all these years everybody's gone through whatever and did you know what this says I mean this is all temporary This is really sure there's Evan it's real there's a heaven to gain and a hell of a show and it's you know I mean I couldn't believe what I was reading and it changed everything my friends who I was so close to would call the house and I Dad started telling them a little what was happening with. That didn't go well. My best friend called Talk to my dad and then he I got on the phone with him and he says so I heard you found Jesus. And he didn't mean it in a nice kind way. And How awkward was it for him when I said yeah it's been credible really and I began to explain to him what was going on and then it's like whoa you really are weird this religion and then my friends all did this they all kind of ended up with the same final answer which is a if that makes you happy. Very happy but I knew that it would mean the end of me with all my I knew it would me it didn't really settle in until about 3 weeks after I had started reading and I had. I had gone to church once my dad took us a church and then my parents had left the church my dad still believe that Saturday was a Sabbath and when we talked to him about going in taking us to church he took us to the nearest administers it was marginally Adventist but that's a story for another day anyway so I come up to about 3 weeks after my conversion which was in November of 1903 and. I could I had a sketch something on my calendar I was supposed to be at a bachelor party of 1 of these buddies of my I played on the softball team and you know it bachelor parties are like I don't know you do but they're not good and so I started having these feelings I was down in my room and I was having these weird feelings like I shouldn't go to this and I couldn't quite make it out and I thought I might go up and talk to my dad about this this is really bother me and I went to my dad's room and I sat across from him and I said that is God really want me to stop drinking because if I do I'm going to lose everything all my friends and I'm going to lose everything this he really wanted me not hurting anybody and my dad looked at me he said I think you're asking the wrong person yes I said. I hate wise answers sometimes it is. And we were sitting there had a little chat going on and then I just was sitting there thinking and he happened to be starting to read his Bible too and that's a story for the day too but he had a T.V. tray that he kept next to his bed and the Bible was open on a T.V. tray and I took it and. Picked it up and just to see where he was reading and his by was open to Galatians chapter 5 and if anybody here know what's in Galatians chapter 5 for the spirit right it's not a warm. Fluffy verse I just love the fruit of the spirit love joy peace it's wonderful the problem is the problem is that right before it has what it calls the works of the flesh and this is out reads and I took it and this is exactly what I did I took it off astray and I began to read right here in Galatians 5 Verse 19 now the works of the flesh are evident which are adultery fornication uncleanness lewdness idolatry sorcery hatred contentions jealousies outbursts of Wrath selfish ambitions dissensions heresies envy murders drunkenness revelries and the like of which I tell you beforehand just as I also told you in time past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God and I thought to myself you know there's another passage on this by the way in Corinthians that that says drunkards but this 1 doesn't because I wouldn't have called myself a drunkard but this is drunkenness and revelry those who practice such things. So I don't have to be a drunkard but if I practice drunkenness and if I practice revelries order the Apostle Paul he had a habit of telling them that those who do such things will not inherit. So I put a Bible back down on the tray and you know what I did I went to the bachelor party. And I did all the things that I always did with my friends and I laughed and goofed off and sarcastic and was all the things that I always was except on the inside I couldn't convince myself to have fun. You know what I'm talking about like I couldn't. Different turn to drown out somethin that was going on inside trying to drown it out forget about it Nary time I'd take a pause it would come back and I'd try to drown it out and I had this battle going on the whole night I went home I was you know yeah not in good condition I went to sleep as a Friday night to boot but I wasn't really convict of the Sabbath strongly or anything like that I mean I it wasn't like that for me I didn't have a doctrinal series of studies or anything like that but I went to bed and I woke up with a hangover and I wanted to go to church. I mean I'm telling you in these 3 weeks everything was different I had found something I'd never found before I was so thrilled it was so different than anything that I could get from the world that I lived in and I didn't want to not go to church so I went to church with a hangover. And the church we went to was you know as we continue going there we come came to find out it was a like a mission church there in Ohio it was. Supposed to be to try to reach out to young adults and burned out Adventists we learned later that it was actually. You know the people who ran the church were themselves burn out Adventists but anyway that's something we learned later but the point is in order to reach these people you course you never want to say anything that's offensive in any way or talk about things that are distinctive or anything like that because it could really make people feel bad and so for a long time in that church we were there for 5 years you hardly ever had a Sabbath where you had a sermon that really you know stepped on your toes your arm saying but this Sabbath this Sabbath the just so happens at the preacher stood up and His topic was you cannot serve 2 masters. You can either serve Christ or the world but you cannot serve 2 masters and I sat in my chair they had chairs and pews there and I listened to that sermon and I'm telling you I knew that God gave that sermon for me I knew he was speaking directly to me. And I started to weep in my chair and I made up my mind right there as I was listening to the sermon as I was being overflowed with these emotions see the thing about a sermon like that here's the other thing even though it's a hard thing when you know God is speaking to you it's a blessing thing it's like a sacred thing. You know I can't believe I am I am connected to the infinite God he loves me he's trying to reach me he's stooping down right now to try to rescue me he still loves me he's still pursuing me I'm so awful Do you not know what I was doing last night what are you doing why are you still after me why do you still love me why are you doing this and I'm sitting there all these emotions are flooding my soul and I'm sorry to weep and I just say to myself you know what it's not worth it if doing anything is going to prevent the credible joy of this communion with God that I've had over the last 3 weeks then you can have I don't need it any more. And I learned in that moment that you cannot superficially give someone salvation you cannot superficially give someone peace and joy in their life they can only receive it through repentance I mean this only way but when you do it when you surrender and submit and repent I'm telling you peace like a river it's incredible now that was just the beginning but that was a little bit of my story and I would tell you that in just about every series of Bible studies that I give I will tell pieces and parts not all at once necessarily but I will almost every aspect of what I do share with you I will share as I'm giving Bible studies when you give a Bible Study the greatest power in your Bible study is your own experience with God and the evidence of your change who I as you are sharing with those individuals I mean we can talk all we want about make sure we have the facts straight but it's your experience is going to naval you to be able to relate to someone OK. So we're studying the topic of salvation you've got to ask yourself some questions. LORD What is my story what is my experience and you know what don't be worried if you don't have some dramatic experience you grew up in the church what have you I'll remind you that in John Chapter 3 The Bible says Jesus says this he says the spirit is like the wind it goes to and fro you don't know where it's coming from or where it's going OK and this is what being born of the spirit is like you can't necessarily know if someone has been fully converted or not and all those types of things because it's something that happens differently for different people in the spirit moves differently and in different ways but I can tell you how you can know that it has happened I can't tell you for sure how you can know you know where you are in the process or whatever but even if you don't have something dramatic you can know that there has been conversion that has happened in your life if you love God no 1 loves God without spirit God If you have an interest in the Bible if you have this desire to do what's right to serve Him etc You may have had that gradually come upon you as you grew up in life whatever it is it doesn't matter how it happened whether it was dramatic or whether it was gradual What matters is whether or not you have currently a love for God because here's the thing I could today start getting caught up in the world in my conversion would mean little at that moment. So the question is Where are my affections today you're saying I'm saying we are to be converted Paul said I die daily the salvation experience is 1 that is a continual growth experience so we need to understand today where we are that's why I'm going to encourage you to do something if you haven't I would read the book steps to Christ and if you've read it I would read it again and I would use this and I use it in just about every time I give a series of Bible studies there are several places that I quote from steps to Christ when you read the book steps to Christ if you have had an experience with God you will read things and say death exactly what I had you read things to say that in words that I could not put them in is describing what I experienced I mean I love when I read the passage in the chapter on faith and acceptance in my favorite passages in the whole book is where it says that Jesus loves to have us come to him just as we are sinful helpless dependent we can fall at his feet in penitentes and it is his glory to encircle us in the arms of his love to bind up our wounds to. Heal us from all and it could ever get exactly the phrase the last phrase but you get this picture of how Jesus not only is willing to receive us just as we are but what does this say Jesus loves to have us come to him just as we are sinful help less dependent. When you are working with someone and they're questioning whether or not you known they can pray or those things you pull out that passage you read listen I want you to know about something this is incredible but Jesus not only wants you to come do this not only is open to you come he's not only willing to receive you but He who loves to have us come to him just as we are incredible Now as you go through this book you will highlight different passages that speak directly to your heart and when you give a Bible study on salvation you're going to draw from it a promise you'll draw from it so I'm encouraging you to get the book steps to Christ and make your way with that all right. Let me let me talk for a moment about a couple of things I'm speaking in principle here and then I'm going to. You know for those of you who are who are really. Analytical I'm just going to put it in bullet point style OK But for right now I want to you know understand the principles let me say something about conversion I always found it interesting that Peter Jesus in the King James version it says Jesus said to Peter when you are converted strengthen your brother is an incredible statement it makes some people wonder Well that means that Peter was not converted before his denial he was incurred until after his denial I don't necessarily believe that that is true and I'm going to tell you why because when I look at Peter's life I see things in his life there's so much like my own conversion and I can tell you that when I was converted I wasn't fully converted you understand what I mean by that I mean everything changed but that's in the sense of me switching direction not in the sense of me changing all my attitude and lifestyle and habits and all those things they didn't happen immediately OK well. Peter are my 1 of my favorite stories when Peter is in the boat and he's gone fishing and you don't catch anything and then Jesus comes and he tells them to cast their net on the other side of course is daytime now in the fish can see the nets so they're thinking we're fisherman you're not we know how to do this we fished all night the fish didn't come in now it's daytime the fish see the nets it's really not a smart thing to do but nevertheless master at your word will do it anyway and they put it down and boom the fish fill the nets so much so that they couldn't even pull him up there to get people to come help him and Peter unaccomplished fisherman who knew that this was no ordinary occurrence forgot about the fish I mean he totally forgot about the fish that everybody else was like oh and there in that you've got to get 2 boats in trying to pull all the fish in and Peter stops and he falls down at Jesus' feet and he says Depart from Me Lord for I am a sinful man this is such an interesting thing to say what is he trying to say I mean all that happened there was that some fish were caught what is he's telling a white lie in the middle of this great catch a fish just Peter decide to tell Jesus that he sinful Why do you think what happened in that moment. OK. OK years you're doing something here OK like OK so he realized the divinity of Christ in other words he saw that he was in the presence of the all knowing all seeing God. All powerful god. And it made his sinfulness apparent OK 2 things are happening here 1 is Peter is recognizing his own doubt his own you know. Lack of faith and in connection with that just his own human. Sinful heart OK when when the Lord reveals your sinfulness It's not like he's revealing Tuesday you did this do you remember when you did that and that was bad but if it weren't for that Tuesday and then a couple of Wednesdays ago everything would be cool no you recognize that you're your whole life your whole heart is sick OK I remember when my wife had an experience with the Lord and she was trying to explain to me what it was like when the Lord pinpointed something in her life and she said it was like instead of like he was reading something that I had done it was like he was doing this. It was like overwhelming you have this sense OK Another example you remember the woman at the well in John chapter 4 And Jesus says Go call your husband and she says oh oh I don't have a husband he said well actually you had 5 husbands and the man they are currently with is not your husband and he spoke truly and she said can we change the subject and she moved on to something else she's allowed to change a subject but then when she went back and told her townspeople about what happened what did she say yes come see a man who told me all things that I ever did oh wait a minute. I told her was about the husband thing right. What was happening she was having this what I was trying to say earlier it's revelation it's bigger than just the words God when the Spirit of God speaks to your heart and he floods that light on your heart you see. In a broader scope than you ever did before it's like a different pair of glasses you know what I'm saying and he put those different air glasses on her and she recognized that this man knows every secret of my heart you know everything now here's the thing that happens when Peter fell down he said. You know Lord departure me from sinful man at the same time that he recognizes that now the gaze of this divine Christ is and every secret of his sin sick heart and he sees that the divinity of Christ at the very same time he is sensing and feeling with all his soul that this divine Christ still loves him that's the incredible part it's when you recognize and you're able to see just how sick you are more than you thought you were even and at the same time you're recognizing the love of God for your soul I mean I told you I was a people pleaser right I like to think of my life you know it's almost like I was all my young life I was trying to keep people liking me and I would be I would do what I need to do so that their people would like me and I kind of equate it to like being in a room with a door there and you know I have to work real hard and if somebody oh is not keeping up you know he said this or he wore this or he you know had this happen or he you know Alexis person or he said this and they want to leave and I got to go block the door and convince them to stay oh here's somebody else trying to leave and I go and try to block the door and keep him in the room and I'm to get care and keep people in the room of liking me I've got this thing going on my life and it's hard work if anybody ever live this way and you're trying to get all these people and finally you come to a point where it's so exhausting and you just give up so you're all free to go. And everybody leaves and when you know it you never saw him before. But Jesus is still in your room and he has no plans to leave. It's amazing you had no idea all that time he was in your life and you had no idea I believe that there's a juxtaposition that happens between the all knowing God and and our sinfulness that when you put them together brings conversion you have to see that God is divine and he knows every seeker your soul and that he is offering you salvation that he is pursuing you at the same time that you see your own sinfulness in all of its. Reality and when you see those 2 things together it melts the heart and it saves the soul is incredible Now some people say oh boy that sounds you know really. How do I want to say it sounds too grandiose and I can never experience it I mean I've tried I see people get up and they tell their testimonies and sounds wonderful but that's not me you know I just don't it's not my feeling is not that strong I don't have that same experience and the question things I remember questioning it myself through the years where I would study with somebody and they'd be seeming like they really wanted to follow God and they would pray and pray and pray but they had some addiction they couldn't break or they had some whatever and I wondered to myself sometimes God why don't you do it why don't you do it you know and I and I wondered to myself sometimes. Not outright but you kind of by your doubts or by your questions you begin to realize that what you're really saying is that God's not being totally fair to some of these people but then I realized and this is what we need to understand about salvation. Everyone can be converted every single person can be converted by their own volition you believe that. I mean. Let me read a couple things to you that I think are very valuable this is 1 of the most powerful passages in the book steps to Christ. That there is many are inquiring how am I to make the surrender of myself to God you desire to give yourself to him but you are weak and moral power in slavery to doubt and controlled by the habits of your life's in your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand you cannot control your thoughts your impulses your affections the knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you but you need not despair what you need to understand is the true force of the Will this is the governing power in the nature of man the power of decision or of choice everything depends on the right action of the will the power of choice God has given to men it is theirs to exercise and I remember reading that and thinking. I'm not satisfied with that like it says you know they 1st it's great you know OK that's me that's me that's me slavery to doubt I can't. You know no I lose confidence in my own sincerity I can't control my thoughts my impulses my affections and then what am I told you need to understand the need a stronger will need to choose you know and pull up your bootstraps and just decide right that's what that's what I was feeling when I 1st read this and that's what I was thinking but listen to this next part and I want you to hear this is incredible what a what a cruel promise it goes on to say this is on page 47 if you're wondering where this is in the book steps to Christ. You cannot change your heart what does that say you can't change your heart so you can't manufacture something that's not there that's comforting I want you to know that is actually comforting for us to know that God knows inspiration is telling us we can't change our own heart you cannot of yourself give to God it's affections you can't say oh OK I'm going to love God you have to say God I don't feel those affections you can't do it yourself you can't manufacture a list of this but you can choose to serve him. You can give him your will and He will then work in you to will and to do according to HIS good pleasure thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ your affections Now what do we just learn about your affections we learned you cannot of yourself give to God your heart's affections right but you can choose to serve him and then your whole nature we brought in the control the Spirit of Christ your affections will be centered upon him and your thoughts will be in harmony with him so what just happened let me try to explain to you you get up in the morning you don't want to have devotional time but you can do I choose to have to go show. That power lies with man you can choose to serve Him You don't want to go to prayer meeting but you can choose to go to prayer you don't want to go to church but you can choose to go to church you say I feel like I'm faking it no you're not you're living by faith and not by feelings. And as by faith you choose to do those things that you know are for your soul's best interest it is like Jacob who said Lord I will not let you go until you bless me and your choosing to do these things and as you do something begins to happen you know it is your heart's affections begin to change and you get to the point where now you don't need to manufacture because God is manufacturing it you are choosing to follow him and God is answering you and your faith by the reality he is creating in you a new heart this is the beauty of the salvation picture I now understand nobody can claim that they have. Tried not tried and I pray not praying God just wouldn't know I know for a fact that's not true if we choose to serve him and say I will not let you go I'm going to stick with you Lord my feelings may not bear witness right now but I'm trusting that they will and you choose to follow what you know to be right God will change your affections and before long the whole nature would be brought under the control the Spirit of Christ isn't that good I mean that means I don't have to feel this incredible love for God and affection or whatever and wait for some miracle I can simply say Lord I surrender my life to you and I'm going to get up in the morning I'm going to pray. And I mean really my Bible and if I don't get anything out of it today that's OK because maybe I will tomorrow and I'm going to go to church because I know it's the right thing to do in the devil is trying to take me out and I know if I stay away that he can take me out but I'm not going to let him do that I'm going to choose to follow you and as I do I'm going to experience the change that only you can give that is something that people need to know when you're studying with people on the topic of salvation many people wonder how can I be saved how can I And then they either think they're going to be faking it if they you know are doing these things which is not true or they think that they've got to you know have some miraculous. Conversion story or something you can help people just know that despite simply trusting in obeying God you can know you're in the center of his will and if it doesn't seem right now like you are every where you want to be in terms of your affections just by choosing to be consistently faithful God will bring that into your life and I'm so grateful for our We're going to take a 5 minute break and then I'm going to Lake walk through the study itself with you OK 5 minutes we're going to back at 435. Are let's go and just start again I'm going to offer another prayer if you would mind banging heads Father in heaven thank you so much for the time we've spent thus far and we pray that you would give us a good finish to our study on salvation in Jesus name him in OK I want to talk about 3 aspects of salvation and. This is. Set in different ways so I'm going to start by speaking about what I'll call. Our title to heaven we understand that. Someone like the thief on the cross can in 1 moment. What is faith in the Lord Jesus and be promised paradise right it's a moment in time where he received his title or he might say his ticket to heaven it's in theological terms sometimes referred to as justification OK then we have our fitness for having the angels don't want to punch a rascals up there so there's a process by which haven't. Saved us not merely in giving us a title to heaven but changes are very character and heart and that is a fitness for heaven and that is you know logically referred to as sanctification. That's true yeah anything you know either of these you're not going to have. Without that OK and the truth is you know we've spent a lot of time on this but we're justified by grace through faith and that what that means is that God actually gives us that desire because we wouldn't have it without the Spirit of God I'll talk about that in just a moment and then the 3rd 1 for lack of a better term imma call this the realization of heaven and that doesn't mean like I realize that there's a heaven that means we actually inhabit heaven OK OK And this happens at the time of glorification where we receive new bodies and we meet the Lord and we actually realize the promise of heaven now a few things about these. 3 categories on action I cover everything I was thinking. By the way. If you want to get into theological discussion this idea of justification which is kind of a moment in time when you receive the gift of salvation. Is also sometimes referred to as imputed righteousness'. It's imputed to you that means it's like it's credited to you so it's a gift you receive salvation you receive that title to heaven merely because the righteousness of Christ is credited to your count OK at the same time you have the sanctification happening which is not imputed But what we call imparted righteousness and that's where the Spirit of God is actually working out His will in your heart and life OK. So when somebody when you talk to people and they say you know I'm saved because you study with people now say I'm saved what are they generally referring to they're actually generally referring to right here they have a title to heaven OK they and they say I'm saved they're in essence saying I'm going to heaven I've got a ticket to heaven. But what 7th Day Adventists believe strongly in this is what separates us from many other Christians is that we believe that these cannot be separated but most pacifically when you're talking about the process of salvation I'm just going to talk about these 2 for moment OK justification and sanctification. So let me give you a cut and we try to boil this down a little bit for you so some people say you know I'm saved and so if I you know commit this and or that sin or whatever you know I've already received my salvation and nothing can change that and I'm in the palm of his hand and nothing plucked me out his hand and you know so many people believe in what we refer to as once saved always saved so you can't do anything to not be said but there are some people who are kind of close to that who might not claim once saved always saved but they in essence believe that because you know I believe in Jesus. You know that he's a son of God He's my savior that he died for my sins therefore I have a title to heaven I'm going to heaven and you know just because I have this little device or habit or whatever that's not necessarily unique keep me out of heaven and people with that mindset are often asking questions about certain things that are the will of God like this question so you teach something like how Christians Bible believing Christians should not put pepperoni on their pizza a Bible believing Christians should return a faithful tie a Bible believing Christians should you know dress in a certain way they should keep the Sabbath with respect according to the biblical picture of what keeping the Sabbath should be etc And you know of a just ask the question is that really a salvation issue what are they asking. Can I do that and still have my title to heaven right I mean that's basically what they're asking that very premise if you read the book steps to Christ a point this out but that very premise is a defeated premise it's almost a premise. That could cause me to question whether or not they have salvation and I'm not saying that people don't struggle and there couldn't be some of that happens with the wrestling that we all go through but there is to a great degree L. My says that true Christians do not ask how little must be done in order to enter the king God but aim at perfect conformity to the will of their Redeemer that's what she says and steps to Christ so they're not asking well you know all that doesn't seem like a really big issue is that really is what they're saying is can I not do that thing and still go to heaven because Or can I do that thing it's so good to have because I really want to do that. And so then they begin to say I don't think that's important to God that thing just seems so minor to God I think God is bigger than that and my God that I serve is bigger than that he's he's more loving he's more large hearted he's more accepting and he's not a micro-manager he's not a legal list he's not arbitrary and I just don't think that God would make a big deal out of that. You know to which I will sometimes have to point out well just a just a question why was it that what was it that happened that Adam and Eve brought death and misery upon the world. What was the awful thing I think there was a they killed 1 of the way and we think they all that's right they ate a piece of fruit now I'm told that we should eat fruit OK. So it seems a real odd thing to say that all those happen because they ate a piece of fruit could you I mean just think about this with me for a moment could you imagine that maybe they may have asked themselves the question he could have asked the question is there really a difference between this tree and all the other tree. It's can be a big deal and because she determined in her own mind what she thought was important instead of just trusting what God said was important that became. Sin but it became ultimately the death knell for all of us that's pretty critical isn't it and you look at the Bible that's not the only place where you have that kind of thing happen you have NATO having a BY WHO playing with the fire you have reaching out and trying to stand in the ark you have different examples where people did things that were clearly and boldly contrary to what God said but in their mind they may have rationalized that it wasn't a big deal so instead of trusting God to know whether it was a big deal they made up their mind as to whether it's a big deal you follow what I'm saying I always do that thing that Mark really does with the law of God to try to explain that to people you know the story of the 10 fields Mark really does anybody ever hear that our family doesn't preach Vangelis in series like he used his of many of you may not remember so I'll tell you a great story so this guy has 10 fields and he's got a son who's an agricultural school and the Son Once you know to. Basically follow the footsteps of his dad his dad says you know your mother and I we're going off on a vacation for the summer and we're getting ready to retire and if you will take care of the farm over the summer and do what we say. Then we will when we retire we'll give you the farm and sunset all fantastic You got it Dad I'm going to do it and so he takes him around he shows him what to do any takes of each of the 10 fields and says OK here in this field I want you to plant corn in this 1 green beans he goes all the way down he says in this last 1 I want you to plant tomatoes and he says you got to dig out of a do just as you say you mom go have a good time in everything we great when you come back so he had off and then the sun of course the sun's going to college smart kid so what he does is he takes goes the 1st field he takes a soil sample and he takes it back to allow to check out what that soil is best for and when you know it the soil was best for corn just like his dad said and so I planted corn there and the 2nd 1 he took up the soil sample he checked it out and it was perfect for green beans just like his dad's and right down the line it was just like his dad said he got to the last field it took a soil sample he said you know dad said tomatoes but it almost looks like the Tito's would grow better here and so plain potatoes so his dad comes home and son is there proud of all the crops that have been growing and he says What do you think oh everything looks fantastic Oh wait a minute where are the tomatoes we need in this field over here oh no worries I checked the soil and you know it looks like potatoes micro better there so what do you think of potatoes they're going all right Ana. I thought I made myself clear I'm sorry but you disobeyed and you're not we can't give you the farm. I know it's a sad story really says but that's not the point the point is to ask you this question. What percentage did the son obey the father. 0 Y. Let me ask you a question if the son thought that the soil in that 1st field might have been better for something other than corn would he have planted corn there no why did he plant corn there. Because it agreed with his own idea and his own judgment you follow this is why when we get down to it this is why the test of salvation in the end will be the Sabbath because ultimately the Sabbath is like that fruit in the Garden of Eden where you know how do you tell the difference when this tree and that tree you know it. From our standpoint you can't see the difference we don't know why that is different from that and we sometimes don't we know why you don't kill why you don't steal right what we can see morally why that is wrong but we can't quite figure out what the difference from 1 day at another is there's only 1 reason that we would keep the 7th day holy versus the 1st day 1 reason God said it is not on my judgment at all I can't lean on my judgment at all it's naked trust and faith in God and that's why it is a symbol of genuine salvation because salvation is ultimately comes down to simple naked trust in God. So when we talk about people who have this little question is a salvation issue the problem that they're having is they're starting to take in their own hands to determine what is important and what's not important to God we don't need to be the ones to try to figure out just simply is it the will of God or not and if it's plain in the Bible then it's important to God and we should obey and we should trust that these god good reasons for it because God will never ask us to lay aside something that's not for our best benefit the truth is salvation is simply a matter of whether or not we have trusted and believed in god belief will always obey so what you have here is a lot of people who want to cling to their title to heaven but often reject sanctification which is the change of of habits and life that prepare us and have a fit to have a fitness for him but you cannot separate justification sanctification you cannot separate the title from the fitness you can't say I want to serve urge to do this I accept Jesus as my savior but not accept him as my Lord you can't do that if you don't accept Him as your Lord guess what you don't have measure say and you know what the evidence of this is I'm going to give you evidence Bible evidence are you ready Romans 51 somebody turned their and just read to me what the Bible says about how we are justified so many tell me how are justified. Read. All right somebody else or the X. 26 I believe this verse 28 if it's not all now quickly but I read that 118 Thank you I wasn't sure it was 28 or 18. Acts 2618. They receive an inheritance among those who are sanctified by what OK so how are we justified how are we sanctified So let me ask you a question if you have genuine biblical funny then are you able to split these up no if you have genuine faith then you receive a title to heaven at this very same time you are being made fit for heaven your being sanctified and the moment that you start to distrust God and persistently refuse him and refuse the sanctification that he's wanting to do when you start to persistently refuse that that is in essence a faithless Act It's a it's doubt instead of faith and not only do you lose your sanctification but you also lose your justification these are 2 sides of the same coin you can't be made fit for heaven or I'm sorry refuse a fitness for heaven and still keep your title to heaven that's why it's so important that we not fall into the trap of the once saved always saved but we continue to recognize that you have to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and this is where many of our Christian friends do not put proper emphasis on what we refer to as sanctification or character development if you read the bible it does not just say that we in some places it says I have been saved in other places it says I am being say in another place it says that I am trying to remember the. Sex I'm not sure if it specifically says I will be but ultimately you have all 3 of these phases that are spoken of I have been sued in a sense that I have been given my title to heaven and I am in the school of Christ and I am being saved in a sense that I am being transformed and being brought into harmony with the will of God so that I made fit for heaven and as long as I am in that school of Christ where I'm allowing him to be the lord of my life then I maintain that title now you say but Pastor I'm not perfect so I get worried Emma or am I not going to heaven just tell me well I can't tell you but I've got a parable that I wrote that I'm going to tell you and it's not great but it's the only 1 I have it's the law more parable and here's how it goes there's a little boy he's. 9 years old and his it is. Sorry His Yes his mother's birthday I got a member there and the mother goes out to run an errand and he decides you know what I'm going to lawn mom's money so when the law know it's going on I'm a do this special for her birthday he's never mowed long before he's only 9 years old he didn't really know how to work the equipment but he talks his neighbor into starting a lawn mower for him and the neighbor starts it and he heads out with a lawn mower and he makes his way around and he you know misses big swathes of grass because he's not really very good at it he runs over a rock and breaks the blade he goes over part of the flower bed that didn't go so well but he thought he was doing great he goes the finishes job and he pushes the mower and he goes it stands on the porch and he waits. For his mother to come home and his chest is high and mom comes home comes up the front and says happy birthday. To which she says was you dumb kid so she said. Say. Ani that's a wonderful you thought I'm only like that all this going take me forever to fix it. But she embraces and now change the story and the boy is not 9 he's 14 it's his job to mow the lawn but he's gone 2 weeks is not mow the lawn his mother told him her last 3 days Maloney still has a mother lawn and he gets a sunny day instead of my own lawn he goes out to play basketball his friends as most says Get back here and you know alone. So he pulls them are out and he's in a hurry so he skips big swaths of grass and he's not paying attention showing off his friends and goes a rock and breaks the blade he you know is going to fasten he cuts off part of the flower bed if it is up the job he pushes the mower in and he runs off to play ball his friends and what does his mother say. You know what did I say is that when you say. Yes she says you get back here and she sells right is that what she does you people are crazy are you telling me that these 2 people did the exact same thing and you're treating them differently why. Understanding of a mature me he. Knew better wanted out of love motivation OK the 1st child how much of his heart did he give how much of the 2nd. We gave half of it. You see the righteousness of Christ will cover our defects if we are. Seeking to follow God and giving our best to the master but the righteousness of Christ will not cover a half hearted partial obedience that is actually where the heart is actually with something else in the world rather than with God It's not going to cover the person who is going through the motions and and he just has a form of religion without any real genuine power communion or connection with God and we have to understand this it's too similar results but that motivation makes all the difference and God is a fair righteous judge I can't tell you where you are in that spectrum. I can't but you can make sure that you make your calling election sure like going to God and saying oh lord try me know my heart see if there is any wicked way in me Lord and and don't let me cling to sin help me Lord this issue help me to know understand how to get out of it do whatever it takes to commit your life to Christ when you give him your heart you may stumble and make mistakes along the way and what have you but the Lord will ultimately say Well done good in faith sir so these aspects of salvation are port for you to understand because when you're talking to someone about being saved you're not always talking about the same thing sometimes you're talking about whether or not you're going to heaven sometimes you're talking about being made fit for heaven but understand that you are never going to go to heaven if you have no intention of being made 50 or have. You understand that OK good as your Bible study needs to to now if you have a. Set of studies that we gave you I want you to pull out number 4 will point out a few things in that study. Oh. Yeah that's right. That's right that's a good. Motivator Does anybody not have a set you just need to study guide now before I dive into. The study I'm going to show you the key I'm a show you a few different things here 1st of all. Pastor Mark shared this morning that when you're to give Obama said he really want to have 3 things that you're answering what's the reason for the study that you're giving 1 of the key points in the study that you want to communicate and what kind of what are you going to be asking them to do or appealing to them to do when you're done with the study so what's the reason for the study on salvation What's the ultimate outcome that you're wanting your 1 of them to surrender to Christ OK which has. It's a bit of a what's the word I'm looking for. They say thank you it's a bit of a cliche it's an accurate statement but for many people that understand what you mean surrender to Christ Well what you're talking about is is very specific things that a person does in their life like committing their ways to Christ and choosing to you know leave behind certain things in their life that are contrary to Christ and to make choices to begin following Christ to begin coming to church to begin having a devotional time and those types of things as that change that you're going to see where they give their life. To Christ. What I would suggest is that when you're thinking about a reason here and this is where you know it's a little nuance but when you study with the person you will find out where they are in the spectrum of their relationship to God and I know what the ultimate goal that I want is OK with them being fully committed to Christ and you know experiencing conversion in a transformation in their life but there's probably not that's probably not going to happen at the end of the salvation study so what I'm trying to find out is what are the barriers as I'm studying with them and what is the next thing that I feel like is most important for them to do and so you know you know your alternate goal is but don't feel like you have to accomplish it all at the end of this particular Bible study OK So ultimately we could say their own salvation or commitment to Christ and I don't mind that we're surrendered. OK keys I want to talk to you about the keys and I do this in 5 different. Income steps or whatever but it's kind of an easy way to remember and you can give Obama said your own salvation without having a Bible study guide OK so I'm going to show you this here and I can do this study using any study guide because I know that all these components are going to be in there sometimes their self a little bit but I can find I'm the 1st 1 starts with God the next 1 is man then gone then man and then it ends with God So begins with God and ends with God God's love. That's where it starts OK Now those of you who have read the book Sept Christ know that the 2nd chapter is a chapter called the sinners need of Christ Ellen why. It was revealed to her that she needed to before that I was going to the next chapter number 1 it was revealed to her that before that chapter she needed to put a chapter on God's love for man it's a very 1st chapter in the book sets crisis God's law for man it didn't start that way but that's how it is now and this is the ultimate foundation for salvation it is the ultimate starting point for salvation and for this I use the text. And you there are different texts you can use on these 2 by the way but I use the text John 316 I'll tell you why I use that text if you read. John 316 it says For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in the parish find everlasting life what you have in that is the love of God being shown as the starting point and this is important let me put it this way there are some people who and I you know had to really reason through this early on in my experience who aren't real sure about salvation and why Jesus had to die for our sins it's like why did he have to die if God loves me why did he require Jesus die and some people think Well that was because God has wrath and so in order for God's wrath to be changed so that he now has favor toward us again Jesus had to die and people kind of. Try reasoning this out and it just doesn't feel right it doesn't quite sound right you understand I'm saying and the truth is if you look at every heathen religion that's kind of what it looks like where. There's an appeasement being made by the sacrifice in order for the god to no longer look with anger but to have that anger appeased and now to be able to look with favor when I love about John 316 is it says for God. So loved the world that He gave His Son what that proves is that God loved the world even though the world was enemies with of his he loved the world and that's the very reason that he gave his son so there was NOT need of Jesus to die in order to produce in the father's heart a love for man that necessity was not there OK and I could take a while to talk about that issue but just suffice to say that that text really points out and by the way you know I really wrestled with the idea of the wrath of God for some time and just you know how does that fit with the love of God Let me give you a little illustration Well 1st let me tell you this in Romans chapter 1 if you read Romans 1 verses 18 and onward it says that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all the on righteousness and on godliness of men it does not say that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against ungodly men and unrighteous men. Did you just hear what I said if you can understand the difference it says the ungodly ness of men and the unrighteous ness of men at the wrath of God as revealed against not against the men themselves now if the men are claiming to ungodliness not righteousness then yes they're going to be recipients of the wrath of God but the wrath of God preeminently is on the sin itself why because the sin is destructive to the person that he loves put it this way this is the illustration so let's say you have a you know 10 year old and you move into a new neighborhood and you're hoping that your you know little boy will get involved with some of the neighborhood kids so that they feel happy that you moved in all that so you let him go out and hang out with some of the boys and you're beginning to get a little bit worried because he's staying out late as you know some disrespect and some of the neighborhood boys you're not sure about what have you and after a few weeks you're putting clothes away and you come to your boy's drawer close drawer and you pull it out and you start to move some things around and down there at the bottom is a needle in a bag with drugs. And you begin to put 2 and 2 together about some of the years you can see that or how do you feel about that when you see it tell me what your motion is you could have varied depending on who you are but I'd be pretty hot What are you going to want to do to that you know want to flush it you can destroy it you're going to do something right why has this is why do you care if you didn't love your child would you care would you be angry about it I want you to understand something the wrath of God is evidence of the love of God If God's wrath is in proportion to his love and if it were not for his love. You and I would not have this. Incredible You know you can talk about wrath in terms of the final destruction and all that I understand but this is in essence the passion of God in saving humanity I mean it's you can't separate the wrath of God from the love of God It's an expression in essence of the character of God and God is love so we've got to understand that God If we can't separate these things and try to Old Testament God New Testament God all these different things that we get confused about we have to understand that God is love all the time and God knows when the most merciful thing to do is to administer justice and he knows when the most just thing to do is administer mercy and there's a perfect blend between justice and mercy in the character of God and salvation is is revealed in that So God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son and if you look in a fetus Chapter 2 when it talks about the salvation story and says how man was dead trespasses and sins it then says but God who is rich in mercy because of his great love with which he loved us when we are still dead in trespasses He made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved cetera it comes in and talks about how God even when we were dead because of his great love he put in motion the salvation story same exact thing in Titus chapter 3 salvation story it talks about how man was all wicked never a thing else and then it says no when the kindness and love of God appeared cetera and then it talks about how he saved us of the washing of regeneration etc So the whole salvation story the engine that starts it is the love of God then comes man's me in the text and I use for that. Is Romans $323.00 what's wrong $323.00 tell us wages of sin is death that's right. Actually it's not right number 161 right it's where it tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God That's right but we're getting close because the next 1 is when I call God's offer and that 1 is Romans 623 because after you talk about how all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and therefore you know and these are connected because then I'm 63 you say that wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life crisis our Lord OK but this is the grace of God but you understand that man is not saved by grace period but if you read an officious chapter 2 verse 8 it says that we are saved by grace through faith and faith by the way is the handle by which we receive all the blessings of God That is the human agents. Role in salvation if it weren't for faith everyone would be saved but we would all be robots faith is is the simple except hints of the gift of God that happens when we believe in Christ enough to follow what he tells us and to go where he leads and this is ultimately man's acceptance of that offer and you know there's a lot of different aspects to man's acceptance and when you look in most Bible studies. What you're going to find is that most of the bible studies on salvation are on this point OK and I usually have on the boil it down to 1 thing I'm going to use 1st John 19 What's that say we confess our sins he's faithful and just to forgive and. To cleanse us from all unrighteousness OK what's included in if we confess our sins you know ultimately this is acknowledging our sinfulness and were told in the book steps to Christ that repentance precedes forgiveness so this verse is actually inclusive of repentance as well this is this is an honest and total acknowledgment of our sin that is is in essence turning it over to God and ready to go where God leads to trust him from there on now so this man's acceptance includes confession includes repentance and ultimately faith believing in God and now going where he leads and then the last part of course yes yeah that's good because it's it's it's important we recognize that there is a difference between. What I like said this way David said I acknowledge my transgressions but sometimes there's a difference between acknowledging my transgressions and acknowledging my transgressions to be transgressions what I mean it's possible for someone to say I know of what I'm doing you don't want me to do I confess that what I'm doing is something that you have asked me not to do that's not confession that's in essence saying I confess God that you don't agree with what I'm doing but honestly wrong. And some people do that I'm willing to confess to you God that all the things I'm doing are things that you told me not to do but it's different when you know in your heart and agree with God that it was wrong. Of knowledge of our transgressions is actually acknowledging that they are sinful destructive wrong and we need God to help us to see it clearly that way but that's when you're sorry for your sins that's when you have a as as Paul called repentance that need not be repented of a godly sorrow and that's what's involved in genuinely accepting the gift of salvation we've got to see and acknowledge our need for what it really is before we can really experience the last part which is what I call God's miracle in this I want to make sure that I don't have to. Think. Second Corinthians is what I like synchronous 517 tells us that if anyone is in Christ he is what. A new creature a new creation do you know that when salvation happens it's not merely you being modified but it's you dying in a totally new creation being made so you can't the carnal heart according to Romans chapter 8 it's impossible for it to be made subject to the law of God It's totally irredeemable and that's why the carnal heart has to die and we become a totally new creature behold. You know old things a pass away behold all things have become new right that's the Christian life it's a totally new life and I say miracle because it's a resurrection the Apostle Paul when he speaks of the flippy and he says we need I need to experience your resurrection power if by any means I'll attain to the resurrection from the dead oh what are you talking about. He's saying he wants to experience the resurrection before he experiences the resurrection what he's saying is that I've got to experience spiritual resurrection in my life if I'm ever going to be among those who are resurrected when Jesus comes and calls people who are great and we need it's every bit as much a miracle salvation is as someone being raised from the dead you understand that salvation is is a spiritual resurrection and when God reaches out I love the books of the Christ because it says that every right impulse comes from Christ DID YOU KNOW THAT EVERY right impulse that you have you think you're in any way I mean Paul says in I know that in my flesh nothing good wells nothing the heart is deceitful of a Jeremiah says above all things and desperately wicked that means that if there is any inclination in you to do right any desire to be selfless in an act or anything like that that right impulse comes from Christ and that is the Spirit he makes us to live by His grace and spiritual resurrection and it is a miracle that he makes us a new creature now those aspects are when I make sure that they understand in any salvation study I use so let's take this 1 let me just point out a few things to you. Yes. That's exactly right and this 1 does I was just going to show if you open this up the 1st question is how did sin enter the world so it tries to give a little of the great controversy back or then number 2 after he was evicted from heaven where did Satan carry forward his rebellion against God Now if you notice this 1 it points out and he said to the woman has God And what's the Who remembers what the Texas as God indeed said or has God really said You shall not eat of every tree of the garden what is he trying to do and he says as God really said that. Doubting what. Does his word something deeper than that. OK you know something that's much more important. Is love that's right this is quite he's causing her to doubt God's love for her God really say is God maybe not looking out for your best interest is God withholding something I mean you know it's a sort of like that teenager says Did your parents really say you had to be home by 10 when you put that word really in there what do you say yeah are they that you know and they're they're not that's unreasonable. That's irrational that's just selfish that's arbitrary that's whatever and they begin to make the person question whether that's good judgment and coming from a heart that actually cares about the person rather than a selfish are so she began to doubt whether or not God had her full interest in mind he he was causing her to doubt the love of God That's why the great controversy starts and you read actually the the 5 volume series on the great Contras the conflict ages series it starts with God's love in the beginning of patriarchs and prophets and it ends with God is love at the end of the great controversy because that's what the whole thing is this coming to this realisation that God is love he always loved us that was always a deception of the devil that he didn't at any point in time and so right here is where I would highlight number 1 and I would circle number Question number 2 and I would make sure that I made a point of that now you know what I would do a number 1 not much I'd read it I'd have to read it I'd read the thing and I'd move on to number 2 you can't spend 15 minutes on every question when you give someone a Bible study so that's why you need key points right so you've got you figure out what your key points are and then you find out where you're going to pause in the study to say those and often times when I get to a key point where I bring in some of my own testimony and share a little something to help bring it home OK so then you get to number 3 all. Right. That's right the great controversy study came right before this so that was reviewed to OK number 3 what was the result of Eve choosing to sin. Separation from God and I would just point out Sin separates from God It's not the God arbitrarily is doing this this is naturally what happens I mean it's sort of like your child if they all of a sudden are wanting to hang out with the family because they're going and doing other things that the family doesn't want to do is that you that separating from them know they're separating from you and we separate from God When we choose to go down a path he's not trying to separate from us so you know you point that out but I would spend a significant amount of time on number 4 How did sin affect Adam and Eve's descendants the wages of sin is death and then it goes on here it's used as a text that I use in Roman sex but it's the 2nd half of that text and I use for God's offer so right here is where I would talk about man's need Number 4 How did sin affect Adam and Eve's descendants and it begins to talk about. You know all of sinned and fall short of the glory of God puts that in the notes you'll notice Romans 323 our text for number 2 here is right in the notes of that particular 1 number a question of are 4 so I would take a little bit of time and talk about how we are all because of Adam and Eve sinned we're all bankrupt our heart is deceitful and all have sinned and we we have actually found ourselves out of harmony sin is in each 1 of our hearts and we have separated ourselves from God So where internal life is impossible for us unless there is someone to save us and then I come to number 5 how can a person escape the consequences of sin and there you have the 2nd half right 63 the way to sin is death to give God is eternal life and that's where I talk about God's offer and I talk about how Jesus died for our sins which is what it goes into a number 5 it continues in Number 6 how to receive are Eternal Life Number 7 how going to be so simple what what if I don't deserve it all of that is just expounding on the offer of salvation then comes number 8 what's Question Number 8. What is faith now we're entering into not the offer of salvation but what man's acceptance of salvation so we're going to start talking about faith and forgiveness and the next 1 and confession and the next 1 all those elements are things that you're wanting to draw out that the next thing after being offered salvation is what does it involve for us to receive salvation what do we do to accept salvation and so you talk about the steps of confession and repentance and believing in God and you know 1 thing that I do do here want to talk about faith is I will make a difference between believing like the demons believe in James Chapter 2 do you guys know what I'm talking about in James 2 it says that the demons believe and they tremble so in John 316 when it says whoever believes in him will receive eternal life apparently it's not like the demons bully right so I would never tell someone this I would never tell someone no we have to do more than believe I would never tell them that because that's because the Bible says. Believes in is baptized shall be saved it says believe you know that whoever believes in Me shall have eternal life right the point is not that you had to do something more than believe the point is what does believe mean believe itself contains the idea of trusting someone enough to give your life to them and obey them like if I told you don't touch the stove it's hot if you believe me what are you going to do not touch this so right so inherent in believing someone is corresponding obedience and I would explain to them that that's what Biblical faith biblical belief really is is trust in God not just as your savior but as your Lord and surrender your life to. Look at. Yeah that's right. Then you come to number. $11.12 or are are more of that and you notice number 12 it goes over 4 simple steps to salvation. You can cover those are all part of man's acceptance and you know I don't feel the need to really express deeply on that I think the most important thing is that they understand what you're talking about not that they memorize what these steps are your son I mean you know they need to understand what's involved for them to accept Christ into their life and oftentimes that has to do with confession and repentance and there may be specific things that are involved in that and the number 13 having received a good return alive how can I now live a life that is pleasing on the side of God and it talks about how I've been crucified and now the life I live is by faith in the Son of God Now I talk about God's miracle I'm dead but at the same time I've been given a new heart and I made a new creature and I would probably insert 2nd premise 517 into the study and read it so they understand that a Christian is not a modification of who I used to be but I become a new person all things pass away all things become new and then of course number 14 is a good question will there be challenges yes there will be challenges yes there are going to be battles that we have to fight as the flesh never goes away but we can keep it subdued if we keep our eyes on Jesus and then you come to the end of the study and as a question to see the question in the tan section never skip that question never skip that question just read it Jesus offers you the free gift of salvation will you invite Jesus into your life today except Him as your Savior and allow him to live his life in you that your desired. And you know if you're starting with someone and you read that question I would give him a chance to respond. And sometimes you know they're like oh you really want me to respond or how would you answer that give me a chance to respond that's the idea of somebody applying what they learned to their life and having to come face to face with the Lord Jesus and ask themselves and and I ready to do something with what I just learned and so embrace the silence as they think about it and then but don't skip over that question but so you can see how if you are understand a topic and in this case we're talking about salvation you can take an amazing facts a Bible study guide or a you know the Bible doctrines guides that Mark has or any other study guide this study got and you can highlight the key points in like 5 of the questions or whatever and make those your focus if you understand a topic you can use any study guide to study it you understand what I'm saying it's important for you to understand the topic or yourself from the Bible and so study it there is no. Substitution for you studying it out for yourself I know we say all the time this like we did today and we believe it that you know more than 99 percent of people out there you're ready to give Obama said I believe that with all my heart you go out right now and give I'm saying no question in my mind but if you want to be more and more her fish and and speak with conviction and be able to address the needs that exist Nick come up in a Bible study then you gotta study a little and get more and more comfortable with the topic and as you do you can use any study guide and you'll be able to use it to give a clearer picture of what you turned. All right so their salvation to you off you will get about that you feel like you could do that. A min. I knew that you did. The truth is that if you yourself have experienced the salvation of God in your own life then you can give a study on salvation just by talking to somebody about it because you understand it if you've experienced it. Praise the Lord for that all right we've come to our close and thank you for a few extra minutes tomorrow Mark we start at what time Pastor Mark 9 o'clock all right we will see you then a spare has for prayer Father in heaven thank you so much for this time we've had to study the topic of salvation we pray that above all else you would help us to know this topic in our own life may it be that we have that connection with you Lord that enables us to be able to discern the needs that exists and others that we might minister to them in a way that would be for the salvation of their souls please bless us Lord as we continue throughout this can't meeting to gain insights from you and to draw closer to heaven in Jesus name we pray a myth. This media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W. Or.


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