GOS-06 070715PM Today we remember Christ’s death upon the cross. Most communion tables in most churches used to have the words from the New Testament engraved upon themsay, “This do in remembrance of Me.” The climactic end of Christ’s redemption as the Lamb of God was captured by John as he stood at the […]
GOS-05 070218PM Join me for the greatest theme in all the Bible—the redemption of lost sinners by the God who so loved the world that he gave His Son to die on a cross and shed His blood to pay the price of sin! And where better to see that theme than the way […]
GOS-04 070204AM As we open to Revelation 5 we are seeing ourselves in the future; and what is it we are doing when God let’s us see ourselves? Singing praises to our Redeemer! There are few times that God’s Word allows us to actually see what we will be doing in Heaven and they always involves […]
GOS-03 070107PM We are continuing to look at our connection to Christ in salvation, the only gift everyone really needs. We have seen that the gift of salvation has seven key elements; and have examined forgiveness and justification. We have come to regeneration. Regeneration is a word that is much wider than the Bible or […]
GOS-02 061224AM Jesus is the greatest person who has ever lived; each year we celebrate His Birth as the coming of our salvation. Salvation is the greatest gift of all. Salvation is the only gift that everyone really needs. Salvation is presented to us as the ultimate Christmas gift in what is perhaps the best […]
GOS-01 061210AM Christmas is all about gifts; gift giving, gift buying, and gift receiving make up so much of these weeks of the year. Many are looking for the most “wanted” gifts; so much so that often these gifts are sold out and become even more sought after. As we open to the last […]
What will happen to anyone who ignores or rejects the Gift of Salvation?
As we open to Luke 16 this morning, we open to Christ’s clearest and most compelling words about what happens at the moment of death, to every human that will ever live. We find more details in less space than anywhere else in the Bible. This is Christ’s guide to the afterlife and is one of the most priceless insights anyone could get on what our endless future will be life.
In just under 300 words in the NKJV, Jesus outlines more than a dozen absolutes of our eternal existence that each of us will possess at the moment we pass through the door of death and out of daily life on Earth.
As we come to the element of salvation that we are un-wrapping in this Christmas series, we see again that Jesus is the gift of salvation.
In Mathew 1 we saw Jesus as the One who forgives our sins; and Jesus is God with us.
Now in Luke 1 we see that Jesus is the key to unlocking all the wonders of salvation. The essence of what we will see in Luke 1 that what salvation is all about is:
Inviting Jesus to Do What ONLY Jesus Can Do
Only Jesus can save. Only Jesus can transform us. Only Jesus can keep us.
“The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You.” Those are the words of a simple chorus from the 1980’s. But they reflect the third and greatest of all the gifts that God has offered to mankind.
The birth of Jesus Christ as God in human flesh, as the incarnation of the invisible God, has become the doorway to knowing God. We have been looking at and un-wrapping the gifts God gave at Christmas, and have already seen:
The First Two Gifts
First, in Matthew 1:21, we un-wrapped the truth attached to “the One who will save His people from their sins”. At the moment of our salvation, all our sins were forgiven, instantly, by the gracious work of Christ on the cross.
It is hard to say which element of the Gift of salvation that God gave us in Christ, is the BEST.
I think we will just have to each decide which element means most to us as we continue unwrapping our gifts this week.
Last week as we unwrapped Matthew 1:21’s promise of forgiveness we saw Christ’s amazing, complete and final forgiveness. That is our first gift we are unwrapping this Christmas.
We have started a year-long look at the wonders of the gift of salvation. Today we ponder the gift of justification as we open to Romans 5
Salvation is of the Lord: initiated and designed by the Lord—and thus it is almost beyond human comprehension. But what we do know, revealed by God through His Word is incredible.
500 years ago an agonized Augustinian monk was starving himself to death, sleeping on a cold stone floor, hoping to please God.
Probably the one benefit of the salvation that more people cite as a motivator for their salvation than any other is this one: Hell. God wants to take Hell out of your future. The removal of the horror of future eternal damnation in Hell removed, is no more clearly seen than in the element of the gift of salvation called Reconciliation.
Why? Because reconciliation saves us from an eternal suffering to pay for our sins because we died as strangers, at war against, and alienated from, God.
This involves the one event that God promised would happen, warned everyone to prepare for—and yet it takes almost everyone off guard and by surprise.
Christmas and gift giving are forever tied.
Since God so loved the world, that He GAVE (Jn. 3:16).
Every human is a sinner earned the wages of death, but the free gift of God is eternal life (Rom. 6:23).
By grace, we sinners God loved are saved, not by works, because it is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9).
The Gift of Salvation is Jesus
That is the Gift of Salvation; and the Gift of Salvation is most associated with Christmas, because that is where it all began.
As we open to Colossians 3 we begin with four verses that declare the wonder of our salvation. Baptism is a look back at what Christ did to us, Communion is a look back at what Christ did for us on the Cross.
Follow along as we read the first four verses:
Colossians 3:1-4 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
As we open to Colossians 3 we begin with four verses that declare the wonder of our salvation.
Baptism is a look back at what Christ did to us.
Communion is a look back at what Christ did for us on the Cross.
Follow along as we read the first four verses:
Colossians 3:1-4 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
As we open to First Thessalonians 5:23 we are going to read the plan God gave to Paul to start a recovery program is a rough, tough, vice-filled, seaport city named Thessalonica.
In AD 50 or 51, the Gospel had arrived in this thriving commercial transportation hub where intercontinental caravans met at the docks of a huge seaport. In less than three weeks, a group of drunkards, sex-addicts, greedy and dishonest business people, as well as normal well-adjusted lost pagans and Jews had come to Christ.
Titus 3 this morning is God wonderful good news to all of us. God wants to abundantly pour out His mercy and saving grace upon anyone who will come to Christ. Please open there with me.
As a new pastor fresh out of seminary and starting into my very first pastorate, life sure was full of surprises 20 years ago. I was sitting behind the desk of a historic congregation, as the 25th man to lead that 175-year-old church. As I sat, studied and prayed for God to show me how to reach New England with the Gospel, I never knew how powerfully and directly He would answer my prayer.
There is no heart God can’t change. There is no life, no past, no sin, no stain, no failure, and no habit that God can’t change if you will let Him. Are you letting the Lord change you? Are you responding? Is Jesus Christ controlling you more each day?
The Power of Christ’s Regenerating Work
Twenty-six hundred years ago God explained regeneration in Ezekiel. Turn there with me and see what He says in Ezekiel 36:26-27:
Tonight in Luke 22:24 we go back to THE Lord’s Supper, by that I mean the first, the original, and the model for us from Jesus Christ Himself to us His Church.
On this night of the first Lord’s Supper, Jesus models an attitude what we must choose to have each time we come to His Table.
The Problem They Faced
If you were called upon to go and share a message about Jesus Christ and explain how to be saved, born-again, and live the life of a believer, what would you share?
Let me add that you will be facing, as your audience, 2,000 antagonistic, gang members who:
All have killed in cold-blooded murder, with their own hands, at least one person (and then went on to eat the dead body, I might add);
All are presently, actively involved in some form of deep, black witchcraft;
All have both a heavy drinking and drug addiction history; and
All are addicted to living in some form of sexual perversion: either incest, adultery, or fornication.
As we open to Titus 3, we are looking at the miracle of our salvation called spiritual regeneration.
The gift of salvation has seven key elements, and we have examined forgiveness and justification. We now come to regeneration. Regeneration is a word that is much wider than the Bible, or theology, it is a part of the everyday world around us.
re·gen·er·a·tion (rĭ-jĕn’ə-rā’shən) n.
The act or process of regenerating or the state of being regenerated.
Biology. Regrowth of lost or destroyed parts or organs.
Theology. Spiritual or moral revival or rebirth.
Salvation is amazing. Through seven divine works of God, guilty sinners are made ready for dwelling in the Presence of God forever, and their bodies formerly slaves to sin instantly become the very dwelling place, and temple of God. How does God do all that? He does it through the seven elements that make up the Gift of Salvation. As we open again to Romans 5, remember again what God does in each of us who believe:
In FORGIVENESS: God removes my debts. Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
In JUSTIFICATION: God changes my State. Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we open to Psalm 32, we are listening to David’s testimony in song that came to his heart when David received complete forgiveness.
David experienced what the Scriptures often declare—God is a God who offers His children complete forgiveness. Trace with me again those life giving words in your hearts as I read them to you. You may even want to just close your eyes so that nothing distracts you from hearing these ten verses:
“… as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”. (Psalm 103:12)
Forgiveness: One moment before your last breath, one thing will matter more than anything else—whether you are dying forgiven or unforgiven.
Forgiven: Nothing matters more to any who have sinned—and God says all have sinned.
The peace you can have one moment before you die, is available on a daily basis, if you understand what God has done in Christ and if you choose to respond by faith to Him.