Hello, friends! When you get a moment, here is a video recorded at my church this morning (Sunday).
My daughter, Katie, starts off the video, then I preach.
Hello, friends! When you get a moment, here is a video recorded at my church this morning (Sunday).
My daughter, Katie, starts off the video, then I preach.
The following is an outline for a sermon I have preached a few times. It starts off with some arguments against the “once-saved-always-saved” position. The next part lists six basic arguments in favor of the eternal security of the believer.
Please keep something in mind as you consider the outline: evidence is cumulative. In the legal world it is called the “preponderance of evidence.” In other words, one bit of evidence might not convict, but the collection of evidence pointing in that direction, when overwhelming, leaves little other choice.
Of course, this is only an outline, not the sermon. However, take what I am giving you and print it off, do your own study, and then let me know your thoughts.
Arguments Against “Once Saved, Always Saved”
Arguments FOR “Eternal Security”
If you are old enough to have any memory of 1993, and if you were living anywhere in the Southeast at the time, “Storm of the Century” means something to you.
Like when Kennedy was shot, when Elvis died, or when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Superstorm of 1993 was one that left people remembering where they were, who they were with, and how long they were cooped up.
For some of you, snow is no big deal. Heck, you’ve even got shoes to wear in it. But in the South, where an inch of snow can shut everything down, 19-21 inches of the white stuff practically cataclysmic! And that’s what we got when the “Storm of the Century” came through.
But wherever you get snow, especially if it’s just enough to cover everything with a blanket of white, for a little while everything is so pretty, isn’t it? Even the trashiest places in your neighborhood (like the guy’s yard with all the car parts strewn around the lawn, or the grimy streets of some major, liberal-run city) can momentarily appear sanitary and safe.
Unfortunately, what covers up something doesn’t necessarily make it better, fix the problems, or make it any safer than it was before.
Back in March of ’93, when the snow in my yard was 21 inches deep, we had a blast jumping and falling into it. We had no fear of falling backwards, forwards, or any direction because the snow was just so deep that we would never hit anything hard.
However, what we never considered was that as we did the same thing around the neighborhood the risk of injury was much greater. We never stopped to think that just under the surface of that soft blanket of white could lie a broken bottle, a board with a nail sticking through it, or a pitchfork.
In Psalm 52 we read King David’s sorrowful prayer of repentance following his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. Throughout the psalm we sense how dirty he felt, begging God to “wash,” “cleanse,” and “purge” him. Then, in verse seven David mentions snow.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Psalm 51:7
Notice, David was wanting his unrighteousness to be washed away so that he would be white AS snow, not covered with it.
The prophet Isaiah also mentioned snow in this context.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.Isaiah 1:18
Snow is the adjective, not the object. The desire is to be as clean and white as freshly fallen snow, not covered with it.
David knew the difference between works and grace. He knew there was nothing he could do to cleanse himself; only God could do that. Yet so many today simply try to cover up their sin with the snow of good deeds, appropriate associations, philanthropy, and religiosity. Sadly, all they really end up with are “whitewashed tombs” full of dead men’s bones.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers [tombs], which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.Jesus – Matthew 23:27 (KJV)
Have you ever asked yourself why it is that a snow-blanketed landscape is so beautiful? What about it appeals to us, especially when underneath the white are myriads of color, even if only multiple shades of brown and gray? Could it be that within humanity is desire to be clean? To be free from guilt? To be forgiven? To be “white as snow.”
Could it be that the beauty of fallen snow is more innate than perceived? Could it be that there’s more to it than simple aesthetic beauty, but a spiritual longing?
What is your desire? Don’t try hiding your mess with the snow! May snow itself lie and wish to be as white as the soul redeemed with the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
This past Sunday I preached a sermon on salvation. It wasn’t a sermon calling people to salvation, although that was certainly a part of it; it was a sermon explaining what salvation actually is.
To help the congregation, I provided my notes with the intent to keep things moving along and to give everyone something to take with them. That’s what I’m providing for you in this post.
More than 5
As I told my congregation, there’s a lot more to what salvation is than what I could cover in only five points. However, the five points I do share in this outline are pretty important and worth noting.
When you get to the comment section, feel free to add more things that salvation is. As we who are saved know, the depths are limitless.
Opening Text: Acts 16:30 – . . . and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
(Speak to the context of the Philippian jailor’s question)
But there are other questions people ask, like:
First, Let Us Ask: What Is Salvation?
1. It’s a Legal Transaction
We must understand that a crime was committed, and a verdict has been issued: Sin is breaking of God’s Law, and judgment for that is the DEATH PENALTY.
BUT! Romans 5:6 – For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
2. It’s an Appeasement of God’s Wrath: Propitiation
1 John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
Before we go any further, we need to understand something else: God is Love, but He’s also a God of wrath.
Of course, his anger is not an irrational lack of self-control as it so often is with humans. His anger [His wrath] is the … opposition of his holy nature to everything that is evil. To turn away the wrath, the anger of God, will take more than a wave of the hand or any amount of apologizing on our part. On the contrary, Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
(Propitiation: Turning away of anger by the offering of a gift.)
1 John 4:10 – … [He] loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
3. It Is Redemption
4. It Is a New Birth
5. It is a Limited Time Offer
So then, what is the answer to the original question?
What must I do to be saved?
Is it simply believing there is a God? Answer: No.
James 2:19 tells us: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.“
Is it doing good, or at least more good than bad? Answer: No.
Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; – Titus 3:5 KJV
All one needs to do is …
Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved …”
Romans 10:9, 13 – 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. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
John 10:28-30 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. I and [my] Father are one.
My Sunday-night sermon.
Someone whom you may know as Angel made a keen observation: I haven’t been posting much, lately.
Well, there is a reason why that observation is correct… It’s no more complicated than the fact that I’ve been busy, busy, busy.
And when I’m not busy, I’m usually just too dang tired to get my brain into writing gear. But I’m sure it’s just a phase.
But one thing that hasn’t slacked off is the time I have spent in front of an iPhone camera. Literally, the only time I am not recording and uploading preaching or teaching content is on Saturday. But it’s twice on Sunday, so…
Therefore, even though I’ve not been doing a lot of writing, I have been speaking. And that’s OK! I love it! So, when you have the time, I would encourage you to check out the following two videos. They are the latest that I have edited and uploaded to YouTube (and that’s work, too).
Oh, and I’ve been walking every day and doing my best to lose weight, especially for my daughter Katie’s wedding in October.
Love you guys!
Would you take a moment and consider something?
When God created man, He didn’t create another God.
You might think that’s nothing new, but it is a very, very important truth – one that is rarely unpacked when discussing issues of sin and suffering.
There are people who wonder why God, if He exists and is so powerful and wise, created a free agent who could sin (break God’s law).
Others question why Scripture would suggest that Jesus was slain before the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20).
The answer to these questions and many more is that God did not create another God, only man.
God has certain characteristics that Man could never have simply because he was created. The most obvious are that he is not eternal, omnipotent, immutable, or omniscient. The most important is that Man, no matter how perfect he was at the moment of creation, was not holy as God is Holy.
If God were to create another like unto Himself, then God would not be God. If Man could be created, he couldn’t be eternal.
No matter what God created, His creation could never be Himself, and therefore not God.
God is eternally immutable, unchanging, therefore He cannot sin. On the other hand, Man is not eternal, nor immutable, so even from the beginning of creation, he had the potential, however remote, to sin. Therefore, even though God did not create sin, nor did He cause Adam to sin, sin was inevitable simply because God created a creature that was not Himself.
Why was it part of God’s plan that Jesus would be crucified, even before Adam even sinned? Because simply creating Man brought with it the inevitable possibility, the inevitable reality, that he would need to be redeemed – because he is Man, not God.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:9-10 KJV
Simply put, the only way sin could have been avoided would have been for God to never create any being capable of freely communing with Him. If he had created a robot, a machine, then sin would not have been inevitable. But since Adam was given the freedom to choose, a will, and since he was not God, the inevitable required an Emmanuel.
Both broadcasts were uploaded to YouTube. The morning service was pre-recorded, uploaded to YouTube, scheduled as a premier, and shared to Facebook.
The evening Bible study in Acts 7 was first done live on Facebook, then saved, then uploaded to YouTube. Fortunately, the in-out focus that usually accompanies the live video (because of our area’s SLOW internet) was not there!
If you are blessed, encouraged, or convicted by either, I would love to hear from you!
Just this week I uploaded a daily devotional I do online to YouTube. Then, as I usually do, I posted it to our church’s Facebook page.
The subject of this video is that of accepting God’s forgiveness, even when we don’t feel forgivable.
I would love your feedback.
Sorry for the goofy-looking face 😉
When I am driving long distances, particularly when I’m alone (as far as I know), I sometimes sing aloud certain songs to keep me alert. Sometimes I sing songs I know well, and other times I make up lyrics to fill in the gaps for songs I know little of.
One particular song is “‘O Sole Mio,” or “It’s Now Or Never.” I will usually sing to myself and use the words interchangeably, adding in what I know of the chorus of “It’s Now Or Never,” then make up the rest from there. The whole idea is to sing loudly, operatically, in order to keep the blood and oxygen flowing, but sometimes my own lyrics crack me up, especially when I expand on the sexually predatory characteristics of Elvis’ version.
Actually, the older (1898) Neapolitan song has nothing to do with the English-language hit recorded by Elvis Presley in 1960. ‘O sole mio actually translates into “my sunshine,” while It’s now or never translates into: “I’m so turned on by your looks that we should have a one-night-stand…I’m outa here come daylight.”
So why am I telling you this? I’m glad you asked.
Sole is the Italian word for “sun.” Luce del sole is Italian for “sunlight.” So, by way of a totally unrelated personal story, I want to segue into something that should be important to us all… I want to shine some luce del sole on the Solas 🙂
“It’s now or never . . .” (Elvis)
Sola is the Latin word for “alone,” and for a practically 500 years non-Catholics (such as myself) have held five particular “solas” near and dear to our theological hearts.
1. Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone”
2. Sola fide: “faith alone”
3. Sola gratia: “grace alone”
4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone”
5. Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”
What do they mean? Well, nothing Elvis Presley was singing about, that’s for sure. The following can be found on a great website whose link is already on my sidebar, GotQuestions.org.
Sola scriptura emphasizes the Bible alone as the source of authority for Christians. By saying, “Scripture alone,” the Reformers rejected both the divine authority of the Roman Catholic Pope and confidence in sacred tradition. Only the Bible was “inspired by God” (2 Peter 1:20-21) and “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Anything taught by the Pope or in tradition that contradicted the Bible was to be rejected. Sola scriptura also fueled the translation of the Bible into German, French, English, and other languages, and prompted Bible teaching in the common languages of the day, rather than in Latin.
Sola fide emphasizes salvation as a free gift. The Roman Catholic Church of the time emphasized the use of indulgences (donating money) to buy status with God. Good works, including baptism, were seen as required for salvation. Sola fide stated that salvation is a free gift to all who accept it by faith (John 3:16). Salvation is not based on human effort or good deeds (Ephesians 2:9).
Sola gratia emphasizes grace as the reason for our salvation. In other words, salvation comes from what God has done rather than what we do. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Solo Christo (sometimes listed as Solus Christus, “through Christ alone”) emphasizes the role of Jesus in salvation. The Roman Catholic tradition had placed church leaders such as priests in the role of intercessor between the laity and God. Reformers emphasized Jesus’ role as our “high priest” who intercedes on our behalf before the Father. Hebrews 4:15 teaches, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus is the One who offers access to God, not a human spiritual leader.
Soli Deo gloria emphasizes the glory of God as the goal of life. Rather than striving to please church leaders, keep a list of rules, or guard our own interests, our goal is to glorify the Lord. The idea of soli Deo gloria is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
The five solas of the Protestant Reformation offered a strong corrective to the faulty practices and beliefs of the time, and they remain relevant today. We are called to focus on Scripture, accept salvation by grace through faith, magnify Christ, and live for God’s glory. © Copyright 2002-2017 Got Questions Ministries
Never heard of the five solas of the Protestant Reformation before today? Well, I hope this shed some sunlight – luce del sole – on them for you 😉