Monthly Archives: August 2012
Counting the Cost
Intro.1. Jesus was not a crowd-pleaser, Lk. 14:25-27. 2. He was most interested in telling people what they needed to hear so they could count the cost of discipleship and then, fully aware of its demands and challenges, could freely pay the price of following Him: a. Lk. 14:15-20, 24: Invited would not benefit because they made excuses instead of value the kingdom above all else. b. Lk. 14:33: Cannot be Christ’s disciple without forsaking all. 3. Have you counted the cost? Will you pay the price? I. THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS, Lk. 14:28-32. A. The Call: Prefer Christ Above All, 14:26-27 (16:13). 1. Hate: Not sinful hatred; to love Jesus more than everyone else, Matt. 10:37 (Gen. 29:30-31). 2. “If”: Cannot follow Jesus with a divided heart (Jno. 12:42-43). 3. Two points of preference: a. Relationships (family, brethren, life itself), 14:26. b. Responsibilities (bear your cross), 14:27; Gal. 6:5. B. The Consideration: What will it Cost to Succeed? 14:28-32 1. Families plan ahead (weekly, monthly, annually) to meet goals (groceries, bills, vacation, education, etc.). a. Successful businessmen plan ahead, analyzing many factors to set goals, strategies, costs, investments, work force, earnings… b. Same is true of a successful life; plans, goals, strategies, cost… 2. Intentions do not make one successful, 14:28. 3. “Sit down first and consider”, 14:31; cf. 1 Cor. 10:12. C. The Cost: Self-Denial, Sacrifice and Obedient Service, 14:33; 9:23 1. Jesus set this example, Matt. 26:38-44 (sacrifice, submission, steadfastness). 2. This is not a onetime payment; it is a lifelong obligation (Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:36-39 (Rev. 14:12). II. HAVE YOU COUNTED THE COST OF BEING A CHRISTIAN? Lk. 14:33 A. The Cost of being Saved from Your Sins. 1. Obedient faith (Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 17:30). 2. Renounce your past sins, Acts 2:37-38, 41 (19:18-20). a. Humble yourself before God and men (Jas. 4:10). b. “Means I’m condemning my parents/children, etc.” No, sin condemns (Lk. 16:28-30). c. Means I will lose friends, business, etc. (Acts 19:24-27) 3. A different way of life, Rom. 12:1-2 (1 Jno. 2:15-16). B. The Cost of Standing for the Truth, 1 Cor. 16:13-14. 1. Loss of friends and even some brethren, 2 Tim. 4:16. 2. Loss of reputation (among false brethren), 3 Jno. 9-12. 3. Cost Jesus his life! Cost apostles much (1 Cor. 4:9-13). Does it cost you anything? (2 Tim. 3:12) C. The Cost of being Faithful unto Death, Rev. 2:10. 1. Context: Persecution and remaining faithful to the point of death. 2. Conquer the fear of men, cf. Matt. 10:28 (Heb. 13:5-6). 3. Be watchful against the sins of self-righteousness, apathy and neglect, worldliness, carnality, lack of growth, willful sin, etc. (1 Pet. 5:8-9; Heb. 5:12; 6:9-12) III. HAVE YOU COUNTED THE COST OF BEING LOST? Matt. 16:26 A. You Will Pay the Price of Never-ending Separation from God and His Good Blessings, Rom. 6:23; Matt. 7:23; 25:30. B. You Will Pay the Price of Never-ending Torment, Lk. 16:24; Mk. 9:43-44; 2 Ths. 1:8-9. No rest forever, Rev. 14:11-13. C. You Will Pay the Price of Never-ending Regret, Lk. 16:25; 12:15-21.
Conclusion1. The price of sin is too high for anyone to truly want to pay it. 2. Sin will always take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay and cost you more than you wanted to pay! 3. So, we deceive ourselves that the cost of sin is not real; we comfort ourselves that we are not as bad as other people, and we convince ourselves that death is far away so we can change later. 4. Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:1-2). 5. Count the cost and pay the price to be saved and to follow Jesus to heaven, not hell!
I PETER 4:18; “IF THE RIGHTEOUS ONE IS SCARCELY SAVED, WHERE WILL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?” (NKJV)
“A WORLD OF SINNERS”
Intro.1. Question: “Did the early Native Americans such as the Aztecs Incas Mayas…have any knowledge of the word of God? If not, what happened to their souls?” Let me also ask a question to clarify the issue: a. “Did the ancient barbarian or Scythian have any knowledge of the word of God? If not, what happened to their souls?” (Col. 3:11) b. “Does your next door neighbor have any knowledge of the word of God? If not, what happens to his or her soul?” 2. The answer to each one lies in understanding the nature of sin, the progression of sin in this world, and salvation from sin by the gospel. I. THERE IS A UNIVERSAL NEED FOR THE GOSPEL BECAUSE ALL ARE SINNERS – Rom. 3:9 (10-18), 19, 23; 5:12. A. The Gospel is God’s Power to Save Sinners – Rom. 1:16-17 (Reveals the righteousness of God – God’s plan for man to be righteous, Rom. 3:22). 1. The gospel will save all sinners who believe – Rom. 1:16-17. 2. Reveals God’s mercy and grace to give sinners: A Savior (1 Tim. 4:10); a sacrifice for sins (Heb. 9:22; 10:12); a message of truth which warns of sin and calls sinners to salvation (Acts 20:24). B. Therefore, the Gospel is to be Preached to All the World – Mk. 16:15-16; Matt. 28:19-20 (Rom. 6:23; 5:12). 1. To save the lost – Whether they already know their sin or not. 2. Because the lost are sinners under penalty of death. II. THE PROGRESSION OF SIN IN THE WORLD – Rom. 1:18-32 (a picture of the Gentile world under sin). A. The Ungodliness and Unrighteousness of Men Hinders the Truth of God – 1:18 (Gen. 6:1-5). (Two terms express whole volume of human sins.) 1. Ungodliness: Lack of reverence for God; a disregard for God (“irreligiousness”, Meyer). 2. Unrighteousness: Immorality, evil conduct, lack of right conduct toward men, injustice toward men. 3. Hinder the truth: Suppresses, holds down the truth; Sin blinds men to truth! (2 Cor. 4:3-4) 4. Wrath of God is against all sinners! (Answers part of above question.) B. Historically, Men Have Rejected God and His Revealed Truth Because of Their Sin – 1:18-23. 1. God’s truth was and is revealed from God to man – 1:19 (Gen. 2:16-17 – God commanded man … Heb. 1:1-2). 2. God’s presence and nature (power and divinity) testified by creation – 1:20. 3. Men refused revealed truth and nature’s testimony – Are without excuse before God – 1:20-21. C. When Men Reject God and His Truth, They Plunge Deeper and Deeper into Sin – Rom. 1:21-32. (progression of sin) 1. Failure to honor God – 1:21 (cf. Isa. 24:5-6). 2. Ingratitude toward God – 1:21. (Devaluing of the true God.) 3. Elevation of man (self) and human wisdom – 1:22 (cf. Eph. 4:17-18). 4. Idolatry (false gods) – 1:23. a. Truth is exchanged for a lie – 1:25. b. False religions developed (cf. Egypt, Phoenicia, Canaan, Euro-Asia and Americas; cf. pagan superstitions, Greek and Eastern philosophies, etc. 5. Moral chaos – 1:24-32 (idolatry feeds on and breeds fleshly lust, 1:24-27) D. God “Gave Them Up” To Their Sins – Rom. 1:24, 26, 28. 1. Handed them over to their own devices…because they gave themselves over to sin! – Eph. 4:19 (“He let them go because they were set on going.” -R. L. Whiteside) 2. God permitted man to follow his sinful cravings and conduct with all that sin caused (pain, suffering, toil and death) – cf. 1:27. 3. God, throughout history, has revealed His wrath against sin – 1:18, 32. 4. The wages for their sin is death – Rom. 6:23. Illus. …Departure from God…. 1) Adam…Cain…Lamech…days of Noah (Gen. 2-6; 6:5). 2) Noah (Gen. 9:1)…Sons of Noah (Gen. 9:19)…Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) E. Over Time, When Man Rejects God and His Truth, Whole Societies and Cultures Forget God and His Truth (will for them) – Rom. 1:25, 28. 1. Did native Americans “have any knowledge of the word of God?” -Not likely, since their ancestors had long since rejected God and His revelations of truth! (Col. 1:23; but remember 2 Ths. 2:9-12) 2. Ignorance of God does not make the sinner free of his sin. a. Magnifies their sin and alienation from God – Rom. 3:9-19. b. Magnifies and proves their need for the gospel – Rom. 11:32; Mk. 16:15 (Rom. 1:16). c. Magnifies the grace and love of God to give a gospel which call sinners out of the darkness of sin into the glory of salvation! – Rom. 5:6-9
Conclusion1. Those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel will die because of their own sins – 2 Thess 1:8-9. 2. We must not distress ourselves over ancient peoples long since gone and their standing before God – God will be just with them (Rom. 2:2). 3. Instead, we need to learn to get right with God now! – Rom. 2:3-6 4. Faithful Christians must share the gospel with the lost! (Jno. 4:35)
The Blood of Christ (#2) Intro. 1. Part 1: Blood is an essential part of God’s plan to save sinners. 2. The death of the Son of God gives life to sinners, Jno. 14:6; Col. 3:4. 3. We have spiritual life only because of His death (Jno. 3:16-17): a. Love of God, Rom. 5:8. b. Grace of God, Heb. 2:9. 4. Christians (above all others) must appreciate what the blood (death) of Christ accomplishes, for we are the recipients of its great blessings. I. HOW SINNERS OBTAIN THE BLESSINGS OF CHRIST’S BLOOD. A. Christ’s Blood (His sacrificial death) must be Applied to Our Sins for us to Receive the Benefits of His Death. 1 Tim. 2:6 -God will apply the blood of Christ to the sins of those who have faith in Jesus, Rom. 3:26. (Through humble, obedient faith) 1. Baptized into (the benefits of) His death, Rom. 6:3. 2. By this action of faith the sinner obtains the benefits of Christ’s death (blood), Acts 22:16. B. The Blood of Christ Cleanses the Sins of Christians when we Obey God’s Conditions (confess sins, repent), 1 Jno. 1:7-9; Acts 8:22. II. WHAT CHRIST’S BLOOD (DEATH) ACCOMPLISHES. A. Takes Away Sins, Jno. 1:29. (Remission, Heb. 9:22; 10:17-18) B. Dedicated His New Covenant, Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:15-17. 1. Initiated the authority and blessings of the new covenant. 2. Announced on Pentecost (Acts 2). 3. Lord’s Supper memorializes and proclaims the death by which we obtain covenant blessings, 1 Cor. 11:26. C. Reconciliation with God is through His Death, Col. 1:19-22. 1. “The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation.” (Easton’s Dictionary) 2. Atonement (reconciliation) is the effect of the offering of Christ’s life (shedding of blood) – We have now received – New relationship with God, Rom. 5:10-11 (Eph. 2:16). D. Redemption through His Blood, Eph. 1:7. (Forgiveness of sins) 1. “A releasing effected by payment of ransom…deliverance…liberation procured by the payment of a ransom” Rev. 5:9. 2. Jesus gave His life as the ransom price for sinners, Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 1:18-19. E. Justification by His Blood, Rom. 5:9; 3:24. 1. Declared just, rendered righteous; innocent, faultless. 2. Faultless: Freed from the guilt of sin and from its just penalty. F. Propitiation by His Death, Rom. 3:25 (1 Jno. 4:10). 1. To appease wrath and thus, obtain mercy. 2. As High Priest, Christ secures mercy for sinners with His blood, Heb. 9:11-12 (cf. Lev. 16:15-16). 3. We enter God’s presence because of His blood, Heb. 10:19-22. G. Sanctification with His Own Blood, Heb. 13:12. -“To separate from profane things and dedicate to God.” 1. Cleansing from dead works of sin, Heb. 9:14. 2. Perfected forever, Heb. 10:14. 3. Washing (purifying) away, Rev. 1:5. H. Purchased His Church with His Own Blood, Acts 20:28. 1. Promise of salvation is to His body (church), Eph. 5:23. 2. Church is cleansed/sanctified by His blood, Eph. 5:25-26. 3. Must be in His church to be saved by His blood. 4. Entrance into His blood-bought body, Acts 2:36-41, 47. (Faith, confess faith, repentance and baptism) Conclusion 1. Without the blood of Christ applied to your sins you are forever lost. 2. Because of it, we “receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15). 3. Be saved by the blood of Christ on His terms: By grace, through faith.
“WITHOUT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS” Intro. 1. Blood is the vehicle of life (~1.5 gal.; transportation system for oxygen, antigens to fight disease, regulates body temperature, etc.); we die without blood! 2. Without blood of Christ, we die spiritually and eternally, Heb. 9:22. 3. Want to understand the place and importance of blood in God’s plan for our redemption; what Christ’s blood accomplishes (why it was shed) and how sinners obtain its benefits. I. BLOOD IN GOD’S PLAN FOR HUMAN REDEMPTION. A. Blood Represents Life, Gen. 9:4; Deut. 12:23; Lev. 17:10-12. 1. Metonymy: “Metonymy is a figure by which one name or noun is used instead of another, to which it stands in a certain relation” (Bullinger, Figures of Speech used in the Bible, 544). 2. Blood atoned because of the life given in the sacrifice. B. Throughout the OT, God Taught Men that “without the shedding of blood” (giving of life) there is no Remission of Sins, Heb. 9:22. 1. Patriarchal age: a. Abel’s sacrifice, Gen. 4:3-4 (God accepted sacrifice that consisted of blood – an offering of life, Heb. 11:4). b. Noah, Gen. 8:20-21 (pleased God). c. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob: Altars for animal sacrifices (Gen. 12:7). 2. Mosaic age: a. Deliverance, Exo. 12:5-7, 13. (Token of safety and security) b. Covenant dedicated and sustained with blood, Heb. 9:18-22. C. But, Animal Blood (life) cannot take Away Sins, Heb. 10:1-4. 1. Then, what were the purposes of the animal (blood) sacrifices? a. Shadow of Christ’s sacrifice, 10:1. b. Consciousness of sins maintained, 10:2-3. c. Showed the faith of the worshiper, 10:3. d. Kept in God’s favor and forbearance, Rom. 3:25. D. Christ’s Blood (life) takes Away Sins, Heb. 10:10-12. 1. Christ’s blood was shed for everyone, Heb. 2:9. 2. Shedding blood = Giving of life (death): Heb. 9:12. Christ’s own blood…offered Himself (9:14)…by means of death (9:15)…blood of the covenant (9:20)…shedding of blood (9:22). II. ONLY ONE BLOOD (LIFE) CAN REMOVE THE SINNER’S SIN. A. Animal Blood (life) Cannot Remove our Sin, Heb. 10:4. -Micah felt the futility of repeated animal sacrifices, Micah 6:6-7. B. The Blood (life) of a Sinner Cannot Remove Sin, Ezek. 18:20. 1. Death is the just punishment for our sins, not our means of atonement, Rom. 6:23; cf. Acts 25:11. 2. The error of the Mormon doctrine of blood atonement. C. The Blood (life) of the Unblemished Lamb of God Takes Away Sin, Jno. 1:29. 1. Provided by God, Gen. 22:8, 13-14. (Grace, Tit. 2:11) 2. His Son, Gal. 4:4-5. 3. Christ willingly died, Heb. 10:5-10. (Humble servant, Jno. 10:18; Phil. 2:5-8). Conclusion 1. You must be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb to be saved from your sins, Acts 22:16. 2. Part 2: Examine what Christ’s death accomplishes and how it is applied to sins.