SALVATION: GOD’S WAY

Intro: Man has sought redemption from his guilt and sins since the beginning of time. There have been two approaches to achieving this redemption since the beginning of time: faith and works Cain and Abel, the first humans born into this world, appeared before God in Genesis 4 to offer sacrifices for their sins. Gen. 4:3, 5, says that Cain and his offering of his handiwork were rejected. According to Genesis 4:4, Abel and his offering of innocent blood were accepted. Cain made an effort to approach God based on his actions; Abel made a faith-based approach to God. Both of those men went to God because they felt a need in their own hearts and were motivated to do so.
This world is empty when humanity is born. The human heart has a void that it is constantly seeking to fill. Various activities are attempted to fill this void. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and other sexual activities are some people's attempts to fill it. Using religion, some attempt to fill this void. They feel better about themselves as a result of their efforts and self-imposed goodness, which satisfies a deep-seated longing in their souls. Religion and sin abound throughout human history. These are the efforts of people who are attempting to produce something to fill the void in their hearts. The issue with living a life of sin is that it always leads to death, eternal separation from God, and Hell. The issue with human religion and good deeds is that they always lead to hell, death, and an eternity apart from God. Every type of sinner you want to mention, including the drunk, drug addict, harlot, child molester, rapist, murderer, and thief, will spend eternity in Hell. However, the people who are ensnared in the world's bogus religions are the same. Those who rely solely on religion are doomed to Hell, regardless of how sincere their beliefs may be. If all they have is belief in their system, they are lost and headed for judgment, regardless of their religion—Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Animist, Humanist, Atheist, Agnostic, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Seventh-Day Adventist, Baptist, or any other religion, non-religion, or group. This is why the passage before us today is so significant. The Apostle Paul lays out God's way of salvation in clear, concise language. These few verses are among the Bible's most significant. They explain precisely how individuals can be saved. They teach us about salvation's wonder and the Way. These verses demonstrate to all people, across all generations, in all places, and in all religions, what they must know to avoid the fires of Hell and their sins. I want to demonstrate the truths that are laid out in these verses to you. When taken as a whole, these verses make it abundantly clear what salvation is and how it is obtained. As I preach on the idea, let's examine these facts together today: Salvation: God's Plan. These verses provide a summary of everything Paul has said about salvation up to this point in I. v. 8b-9 THE WAY OF SALVATION (Ill.). The Lord's final statement regarding the path to salvation can be seen in these verses. Both what will not save the soul and how to be saved are outlined in these verses. Paul discusses both the positive and negative aspects of the salvation path in these words. Let's look at the negative aspect of salvation first before discussing the positive aspects.) A. v. 9: "Not of works lest any man should boast" refers to the negative aspects of salvation. "that which one undertakes to do, an enterprise, an undertaking;" is the definition of the word "works." anything made by hand, whether it be a product, art, industry, or mind; a thing done, an act, or deed. This word refers to any effort made by humans with the intention of bringing salvation to the person making the effort. To put it another way, it means religious deeds and works. Paul is stating to us that no one will ever be saved by the works they do, no matter how holy they appear to be or how many they do. This contradicts human thought, effort, and religious practice for thousands of years. Man has always had the impression that he had to play a role in his salvation. As a result, man has developed thousands of competing religions that demand self-sacrifice, good works, or self-righteousness from followers in order to save them. That's why the Canaanites of old offered their offspring to Moloch. Because of this, the Phoenicians of the past offered their sexual purity as a sacrifice to the god Baal and the goddess Ashtoreth. Hindus revere cows, monkeys, and snakes for this reason. For that reason a mother in the wildernesses of Africa will give a child to a crocodile. Native Americans revered nature for this reason. Works are the common thread that unites all other man-made religions. Every religion that man has come up with requires him to work hard in order to follow it and be saved. It's possible that he must give it up to please his god. It could be a fleshly act like baptism, doing good deeds, or punishing himself in order to gain god's favor. Man believes that he must earn his salvation. According to Genesis 3:7, this is why Adam and Eve attempted to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. According to Genesis 3:21, when the Lord showed up and confronted them in their sins, He offered an innocent sacrifice as a way to cover them up. Their works were unacceptable to the Lord. They were not saved by their efforts. Grace alone covered their sin. (Ill.) A prominent manufacturer created a brand-new cake mix that only required water to be added. The cake mix was found to be of higher quality than the other mixes that were available after tests and surveys were conducted. It made a moist, tender cake, was simple to use, and had a pleasant flavor. After spending a lot of money on advertising, the company made the cake mix available to the general public. However, few individuals purchased the new cake mix. After that, the business spent additional funds on a survey to determine why the cake mix did not sell. The company recalled the cake mix, modified the recipe, and released the revised cake mix in response to the survey's findings. The new cake mix required the addition of an egg in addition to water. It became extremely popular and is now a market leader. See, the initial cake mix was simply too straightforward to be believable. It would not be accepted by people. Grace-based salvation is the same.) "Let no man boast," says Paul, "works are not included in the process of salvation." "to glory in a thing" is the meaning of the word "boast." Paul is telling us that a man would be able to take responsibility for his own salvation if he earned it. He would extol his accomplishments. He would worship himself and present himself as his own god. If someone made it to Heaven through their own efforts, they would spend the rest of their life boasting about how they got there. The salvation strategy of God is quite different. By grace, God works salvation in us. He does it in such a way that He alone receives all praise for each saved soul. Ladies and Gentlemen, your efforts will never get you to Heaven. You never have enough to do, no matter what you do. You will never be good enough, no matter how hard you try. (Ill.) A liberal preacher once compared salvation to falling into a large milk can. At first, the frog is unable to escape, so he continues to kick. That frog kicked for a while, turned the milk into butter, and then jumped out immediately. The implication is that by being sincere, working harder, and really trying to please God through our own goodness, we can guarantee our salvation if we put in enough effort. The fact of the matter is that we will never be able to save ourselves, no matter how hard we try.) (Ill. Picture a plane carrying a man who is an average swimmer, a man who is a champion swimmer, and another person who is completely unable to swim. 1000 miles from the coast, the location sinks into the ocean. "Stay with me, and I will get you out of this," the champion swimmer tells the others. They therefore enter the water and begin to swim. After just a few seconds, the man who couldn't swim falls into the water and drowns. The typical swimmer swims for about 30 minutes. The champion swimmer swims approximately 50 miles in 24 hours. However, he also fails and drowns in the end. That exemplifies our religious endeavors. We will never be able to save ourselves from our sins, no matter how hard we try. We are hopelessly doomed without God's grace and Jesus' blood.) You will never be able to get over your guilt and sin before God, no matter how much you change your life. Work is not the solution; Grace exists! Rom. Ill. 3:25-28; 1 Cor. 1:26-21) B. The Good Side of Salvation – "Through faith" – Where does salvation come from if it does not come from being religious, being a good person, or doing good things? It comes to us "through faith," according to Paul. What is "faith"? The concept of "a conviction of the truth of something" is referred to as "faith." belief.” Simply reaching the point of absolute conviction that everything the Bible says about Jesus is true is saving faith. That's all! There is nothing that can be done to save oneself; A lost sinner simply takes God's word as truth. That is the clear message conveyed by some of the Bible's greatest and most eloquent verses. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved,” according to Romans 10:9. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” according to John 3:16. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, as well as thy house,” reads Acts 16:31. In this regard, the Bible is crystal clear. Simply believing the Gospel and taking God at His word is the only way to salvation. The Gospel: What is it? According to 1 Corinthians 15:4-5, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures," And that the Scriptures say he was buried and rose again on the third day:" “Who was delivered for our transgressions, and was raised again for our justification,” says Romans 4:25. There will be those who argue that they cannot believe in Jesus. They cannot believe something they haven't seen and don't know to be true. In fact, every day of our lives is a series of faith-based decisions. We eat our food with the assurance that it is clean. We believe that water is safe to drink when we swallow it. We take the medication our doctor gives us on faith, without knowing all of the side effects or whether it will help us live or die. We put our money in the bank with faith that they would protect it and return it to us when we ask for it. We get into our car, insert the key into the switch, and rely on faith that it will turn on. The act of sitting down on a chair or pew is an act of faith in and of itself. A lost sinner is saved when they simply believe what the Bible says about Jesus Christ and take God at His word. God claims that He was born to a virgin. The Son of God claims to be without sin. God claims that He paid for the sins of the sinner by dying on a cross. God claims to have risen from the dead once more. God claims to have returned to Heaven. God declares that He will return to retrieve His people. A person who believes in Jesus will be saved for all time, according to God. That, in addition to not working, is what saves the soul! Faith holds that those who adhere to the teachings of the Bible regarding Jesus will be saved. Trust is also a part of faith. According to R. Kent Hughes, "A story from the last century makes this clear." A world-famous acrobat in the 1900s was Jean Francois Gravalet, better known by his stage name Blondin. Blondin, who was born in France in 1824, became well-known as a child. He gained fame throughout Europe and the United States as he got older due to his skill and charisma. He performed a somersault on stilts after playing the violin on a tightrope 170 feet above the ground while in London. The crossing of Niagara Falls on a tightrope 1,100 feet long and 160 feet above the water were his most impressive feats. He once climbed the tightrope with a stove and cooked an omelette above the roaring falls. Thank you! He also blindfoldedly pushed a wheelbarrow across on another occasion. He stood on his head on the unstable wire on another occasion. Because of this, Niagara and Blondin Avenues now exist in London. Blondin once carried a man across Niagara Falls on his back in an unusual feat of skill. He turned to the large crowd after putting his rider down and asked a nearby man, "Do you believe I could do that with you?" The man responded, "Of course, I just saw you do it." Blondin said, "Hop on, I'll carry you across." Not in the least!” The man followed up. Without trust, there can be no genuine faith. To tell you the truth, I would not have joined Blondin on his back either. In fact, there are three reasons why I wouldn't do it if the rope was higher than ten feet above the ground: The me factor exists. What if I "forgot" it? We would descend. The possibility exists. What if the rope snapped? The Blondin factor exists. What if we were the only time he ever made a mistake in his entire life? He might be able to accomplish it, but I wouldn't put my life in his hands! Jesus, on the other hand, is vastly superior to the tightrope walker! He can't leave me. I can't even get myself to stop. Additionally, there is no chance. Is Jesus the person he claims to be? Do we think that he gave his life for our sins? Do we think that he lived after his resurrection? Have we placed our faith in him to save us?”[i] This is the only way to enter the light of God's salvation from the darkness of sin. What can you rely on right now? Is God saving you? Ill Despite our efforts, we will never enter Heaven. Faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross is the only way into heaven. In Phil, Paul says it this way. 3:9 says, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness that is of God by faith." This verse refers to the righteousness that is of God. We receive His righteousness when we come to Jesus through faith: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might become in him the righteousness of God,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. I. The Second Way to Heaven. v. 8a THE WONDER OF SALVATION A. The Wonder of His Grace: Paul explains that our salvation is “by grace.” "The merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, and affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues" is the definition of the word "grace." "The unmerited favor of God for the undeserving" is the definition of grace. God's grace entails reaching out to those who do not deserve anything but His wrath and condemnation. God's grace entails that He favors those who deservingly deserve His wrath. It indicates that God descends to those who are unable to approach Him from above. It indicates that God visits those who refuse to worship Him. Lost sinners are dead, utterly depraved, deceived, and doomed in their sins, but God, by His amazing, abundant grace, reaches out to save them. Examples of this kind of grace abound in the Bible. For illustrative purposes of God's amazing grace, a couple is sufficient. Mephibosheth – 2 Samuel 9:1–13 – This individual belonged to a lost and destined family. Mephibosheth had no strength, was poor, and had no value. He owed nothing to David. David would have been entitled to carry it out. Nevertheless, David contacted Mephibosheth. He summoned his attendants, removed him from his previous residence, and brought him here. Mephibosheth was given to David as his own son and placed at the king's table. Even though he was still paralyzed, he belonged at David's table. His life was changed by Grace. Saul of Tarsus, mentioned in Acts 9:1-6, was a religious man. He was morally upright, but the foundation of his righteousness was his good deeds. Saul was a filthy, filthy sinner in God's eyes. He was a man who detested Jesus's name and the church. He was doomed to eternal punishment and hell from God. Nevertheless, the Lord cared for him and reached out to rescue him. His life was changed by Grace. The wonder of God's amazing, awesome grace is known by everyone who has been truly saved in this world. We are aware that we lack goodness. We are aware that we are deserving of hell. We are aware that God would judge us perfectly justly. Grace is amazing, we know! We have no explanation. We are like Augustine, who once said, "I don't know what grace is until you ask me." What the mouth cannot express, the soul comprehends. God saves sinners who are lost, dead, deceived, depraved, and doomed by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The wonder of His grace is that! B. The Exquisiteness of His Gift: "For by grace are ye saved through faith;" and that is not your fault: God has bestowed it upon us. We have been instructed regarding the path to salvation; "By faith" is how it works. We've heard about how amazing salvation is; It's "through grace." Then, we are informed that neither faith nor grace originated within us. The "gift of God" is the grace that sought us and the faith that saved us. Before Jesus Christ first came to us and gave us faith to believe in Him, we could not even believe in Him. The sinner has passed away, verse 1; He is incapable of believing. The sinner's transgressions deceive him, verse 2; He doesn't want to believe. The sinner is fallen, verse 3; He has no desire to be saved. Verse 3: The sinner is doomed; He has already been judged for his sins and condemned. In that lost state, a sinner cannot simply choose to seek God. John 6:44 says that God must act first, and he does. He approaches the sinner and invites them to come to Him. He demonstrates to them how their own situation actually is. He lets them see that the cross and the empty tombs are real. He lets them know that the Bible is true in everything it says about Jesus Christ. He empowers them to believe in the Gospel. The sinner uses his faith to turn those priceless possessions toward God. It is salvation that occurs when he does. We are responsible for the act of faith, but God gave us the faith to act on. "Faith is simply breathing the breath that God's grace supplies," says John MacArthur. "[ii] The wonder of salvation is that God saves sinners through faith in Jesus Christ through His grace. Do you recall the moment when you were allowed to see yourself as you were and Jesus Christ as your only hope when the scales fell off your eyes? Do you remember how wonderful it was to trust in Him for salvation? You are aware of the wonder of salvation if you do. I invite you to come to Jesus Christ right now, today, if you do not already know anything about that. According to John 14:6, you must be saved, and Jesus is the only way to do so! The Amazing Grace of God is the only way you will ever get to Him. John Newton's (1725–1807) awe-inspiring grace What a lovely sound that made when someone like me was saved! I was lost once, but I'm now found; used to be blind, but now I see. Grace dispelled my fears and taught my heart to be afraid; When I first believed, that grace seemed so priceless! I have already made it through numerous obstacles, dangers, and traps; Grace has kept me safe up to this point, and grace will take me home. My hope is safeguarded by the Lord's Word, for He has promised me favor; For as long as life lasts, he will be both my shield and portion. Yes, I will possess a life of joy and peace within the veil when this flesh and heart fail and mortal life ends. The sun will not shine, and the earth will soon melt like snow; But God, who brought me down here, will always be mine. We have as many days to praise God now as we did when we first arrived ten thousand years ago, bright as the sun. Conc: Salvation, my friends, is a gift. God offers us something that we cannot provide for ourselves. By means of the Lord Jesus Christ, he offers us salvation. We are delivered from our sins by this salvation. Our lives are changed by this salvation. Our eternity is altered by this salvation. We are adopted into God's family by this salvation. All who will come to Jesus Christ by faith will be eligible for this free salvation. Is God saving you? Are you putting your faith in Jesus alone to save your soul? Are you certain that you do not have faith in your own work? We are not saved by prayer; Being a better person and doing good deeds won't save us; We are not saved by attending church. Through faith alone in Christ alone, we are saved by grace alone. Is that testimony from you? It could be, if not! While He calls for you, come to Him! You are being offered pardon by God; Keep accepting Jesus' free offer of salvation. Ill. In 1829, a Philadelphian by the name of George Wilson robbed the United States mail and killed someone in the process. Wilson was taken into custody, tried, and sentenced to death by hanging. Friends fought on his behalf and were eventually successful in securing a pardon from President Andrew Jackson. However, George Wilson refused to accept the pardon when he learned of this! The sheriff was reluctant to institute the sentence — for how is it that he could hang an exonerated man? President Jackson was the target of an appeal. To resolve the matter, the perplexed President turned to the Supreme Court of the United States. According to Chief Justice Marshall's decision, a pardon is nothing more than a piece of paper whose value is determined by whether or not the offender accepts it. A person who has been sentenced to death would hardly refuse to accept a pardon, but if they do, it is not a pardon. George Wilson must be put to death. Despite the fact that the sheriff's desk held his pardon, George Wilson was executed. You are invited to accept love, forgiveness, and salvation from God. To be saved for all time, you must accept that offer and believe in Jesus Christ. When you leave this world, it's to Heaven. To turn down that chance at salvation is to perish and go to Hell. What plans do you have for Jesus?

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