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The Simple Gospel (Dan Winkler)

 

I want to ask you to think back with me 32 say 33 years ago sometime in that timeframe 32 33 years ago can some of you remember that far back raise your hand if you can remember back to 32 33 years ago good I think a see there was a great earthquake in San Francisco Bay devastating the area remember that 30 to 33 years ago there was the Challenger that lifted off in space and seconds later exploded remember that some 30 to 33 years ago Beijing China Tiananmen Square the rebellion a young man standing in front of a tank remember that some 30 to 33 years ago Michael Dukakis George H Bush running against each other for president some 30 to 33 years ago okay let’s just make it more relevant raise your hand if you know the name Taylor Smith anybody know the name Taylor Smith surely we have somebody that knows the name Taylor Smith the singer she was born 30 years ago now hey she was and many love her music she is an artist to be sure I want you to take the concept of 30 to 33 years take that in your mind and set it aside for a few minutes we will come back to that and it will have a great deal of import on the thoughts of our study tonight I have been asked to think about the simple gospel of Jesus Christ and the question what must I do to be saved is that a question that interests you it’s actually a question that well we’re not the first ones to ask it many many years ago the Apostles were wondering with Jesus who then can be saved that was just their way of saying what does a person have to do to be to be saved I remember reading in the book of Acts there were individuals that said what must we do there was another individual that came and said what must I do to be saved we are not the first to ponder that question so what must we do to be saved here’s the answer it depends on who you ask doesn’t it I have been told that well there’s just nothing you can do because you are either born to be saved or born to be lost predestined in that condition I’ve been told that I wonder if that’s the case there’s nothing that you need to do because if you have been born to be saved sooner or later the Holy Spirit would correctly operate upon your heart and you will come to believe and Jesus will be your savior and salvation will be yours as you were predestined for it to be that’s what I’ve been told by some I have been told that you’re being saved depends on something you say you must confess your sins I have been told that the answer to the question what must I do to be saved depends on something that you pray I believe some individuals actually call it the sinner’s prayer where you pray and confess your sins in this prayer and invite Jesus to come into your heart as Lord and based upon that prayer in your faith you are saved that’s what I’ve been told by some of my friends I have been told that all you have to do to be saved is just believe in Jesus and you will be saved because of your faith in Jesus I have been told to been told by some that to be saved no it’s more than just believing in Jesus you have to actually work your way to salvation and even though those who tell me that I have to work my way to salvation tell me they don’t believe that by their emphases that’s exactly what they’re saying to me so you either have nothing to do or you have something to say or something to pray or you have to believe in Jesus or you have to work your way to heaven what must I do to be saved it all depends on who you ask and so I’m tired of it all I want to ask somebody that I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt knows the answer if you have your Bibles by means of introduction turn with me to Hebrews chapter two in Hebrews chapter two we again with verse 1 therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we’ve heard lest we drift away from it for since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression of disobedience received a just retribution how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation note I just started reading about salvation how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation now watch this it was declared at first by the Lord and it was attested to us by those who heard this great salvation that is possible for man was first declared by the Lord Jesus Christ and so tonight when I think about the question what must I do to be saved ladies and gentlemen I’m interested only in what my Lord Jesus Christ has to say an answer to that salvation yes or no do you think he knows the answer to that question yes or no of course he does and so what I would like to do is to turn in our New Testaments to various passages where I find the words of Jesus and Jesus in his own words will tell us what we must do to be saved in point of fact we’re going to turn to the very words of Jesus if you have a Bible with red letters in it we will be turning to various passages that will be red letters they will indicate the words of Jesus himself and we will be looking for the times in his ministry when Jesus used the words eternal life everlasting life saved salvation or the Converse perish and we’re going to see what Jesus himself tells us mankind must do you and I must do if we want to enjoy eternal life if we don’t want to perish if we want to be saved I have found in the words of Jesus six steps to salvation so in your New Testaments let’s turn to those particular passages turn with me first of all to the New Testament book of Matthew let’s go to Matthew chapter 19 Matthew chapter 19 and let’s look at verse 29 and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for my sake will receive a hundredfold and here are our operative words and will inherit eternal life now there Jesus is telling us something we must do to inherit eternal life paraphrased something we must do to be saved we must be willing to leave our lives to leave that which is important to us in life if we want to receive eternal life there has to be major shifts in our priorities and in our loyalties there has to be a leaving of our past priorities a leaving of our past loyalties if we want to Seve eternal life everyone who has left you see the leaving everyone who has left houses brothers sister father mother children lands for my sake will receive there must be the leave before there can be the receive there has to be a change in priorities and in loyalties if you please if you are not willing to change what is important in your life salvation will never be yours unless what is important in your life more than anything anyone else is Jesus the Christ I’m reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians chapter 3 verses 1 and 2 if you then are raised with Christ seek things that are above why where Christ is that’s why you seek things that above that’s because that’s where Christ is set your mind on things that are above why that’s where Christ is he’s the most important one in all of life to you so set your mind on things that are above and not on things that are on earth there must be a leaving of our past priorities and loyalties if salvation is to be ours step number one now turn with me to John chapter five for step number two read with me John chapter five verse 24 John 5 verse 24 truly truly I say to you whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has here our our operative words eternal life he does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life Jesus tells me that if I want eternal life I must hear the Word of God and believe the Word of God in fact if we were to turn a few pages over to John chapter 12 verses 48 to 50 we would find Jesus saying something very similar John 12 verse 48 the one who rejects me and does not receive my words as a judge the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day well where did you get that word Jesus I have not spoken on my own authority but the father who sent me has himself given me a commandment what I should say and what to speak and I know that his commandment is eternal life what I say therefore I say as the father has told me there must be a hearing of God’s Word and matters pertaining to salvation of course a hearing of God’s Word and a belief in such for eternal life to the hours I don’t wait around for something to I feel I don’t wait around for some kind of a nudge from the Holy Spirit I must hear the word of God and come to believe the word of God for eternal life to be mine so I’m willing to leave my past priorities I’m willing to leave my past royalties I listened to the Word of God and I believe the Word of God and I’m on my way down the path of inheriting or possessing the hope of eternal life that leads us to step number three in the words of our Lord Jesus for salvation to be ours in the third place we must believe in and obey Jesus Christ as the Son of God if you’ll back up a few pages to John chapter 3 verse 16 we will have what some have called the gospel in a nutshell John chapter 3:16 for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him the only begotten Son whosoever believeth in him shall have everlasting eternal life to have everlasting eternal life I must believe in Jesus as the only begotten Son of God but wait a minute what do we mean or rather what did Jesus mean when he said whosoever believes in Him I have wonderful and I mean to tell you this I have wonderful good friends that tell me that to believe in Jesus means you give an intellectual nod to the fact that he is God’s Son and when you give an intellectual nod to the fact you believe that Jesus is God’s Son that’s the point in which you were saved is that what Jesus actually meant when he said whosoever believeth in him shall be saved look if you would in the same chapter to John chapter 3 verse 36 whoever believes in the son has eternal life whoever does not watch this obey the son shall not see life but the wrath of God remains on him hold up brother Dan that’s not what my Bible says my Bible said whoever believes and whoever does not believe and that’s because there’s an inaccurate translation just to be frank about it because the word that is translated actually means to obey Jesus equates believing in him with obeying him it is the faith that yields to Jesus that is the faith that results in salvation the word that is translated faith pestis or the verb believe test UO carries with it three basic tenets of thought it carries the idea of accepting what God says second trusting in what God says third acting on what God says obey accept trust act that’s the concept involved in the very word belief we must believe with a faith that accepts what God says about Jesus trusts in what God says about Jesus and acts on what God says about Jesus accepts what Jesus says about himself trusts in what Jesus says and acts on what Jesus says and so if I want to be one of those whosoever believes in shall have everlasting life my believing on him must be a faith that yields obediently to him thus that little adage that rhymes the faith that saves is the faith that obeys it reminds me of what I find in Romans chapter five verse one from the hand of the Apostle Paul in Romans 5 verse 1 Paul says being justified just if I’d never sinned by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ tonight I can be just if I’d never sinned that’s a synonym for forgiving it’s a synonym for saved I can be just as if I’d never sinned with salvation in my future salvation from the sins of my past salvation in heaven in my future justified but that’s my faith now hold on in my Bible the first word in Romans five verse one is the word therefore a grammatical bridge which tells me if I’m going to understand what is meant by justified by faith I have to keep in mind what was just before those words and as I look at the verses just before Romans 5 verse 1 I’m reading about a man that I find in the Old Testament a man named Abraham and I’m alerted to Abraham’s faith go back to Roman’s 4 read with me verse 19 referencing Abraham if you look at the contextual flow back in the early verses of the chapter he Abraham did not weaken in faith I’m reading about Abraham’s faith when he considered his own body which was as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb no unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God his faith was not weakened he did not waver in unbelief he believed but he grew strong in his faith strong faith as he gave glory to God fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised and all of this references the promise that God made to Abraham and Sarah when one was 99 years old and the other 89 years old this time next year you’re going to have a baby boy Abraham didn’t waver in unbelief with that promise he wasn’t weakened in his faith in reference to that promise he had a strong faith now where do babies come from hold up I don’t want you to tell me you know where babies come from don’t you now what gave Abraham and Sarah despite their age the strength to engage in matters that result in where babies come from despite their age they engaged in such matters that exist among husbands and wife being strong in faith not wavering and unbelief not weakening in faith and it was their faith in God that moved them to act as husband and wife resulting in God’s promise being fulfilled in the next year if you please they accepted what God said promised they trusted in what God said promised and they acted on what God said promised or else that would have been a miraculous conception they acted on it they had a faith that accepted trusted and acted or obeyed verse 1 of chapter 5 with that in mind says therefore we have been justified never sinned by faith the faith that saves us justifies us is the same kind of faith and concept that just that that Abraham and Sarah had a faith that accepts what God says trust in what God says and acts on what God says of faith that obeys and that’s what Jesus tells us in John three verses thirteen or verse 16 and 36 I must be willing to change from my past priorities and loyalties to something new Jesus I must hear God’s Word and believe it in believing what God says I must believe what God says about Jesus and with a faith that tax on what God tells me to do relative to Jesus have a faith that obeys that leads us to step number four if you’ll turn with me to Luke chapter 13 verses three and five I find this in the red letters of our Bibles Jesus said unless you repent you likewise will the opposite of salvation perish he says it again in verse five unless you repent you likewise will perish now his word repent is very intriguing I was often told growing up that repent means changed the way you live and that’s just not the meaning of the word methanol at O and that mo means to think meta in the midst to think of the midst the word that is translated repent carries the emphasis of change the way you think Jesus says if you are not willing to change the way you think you will perish salvation will not be yours now help me here back in the Old Testament book of Proverbs I read those words as a man thinks in his heart what so is he so if I change the way I think I will change the way I act and so the fruit of repentance the fruit of changing the way I think is I do change the way I live and that’s what John the Baptizer had in mind when he said to others bring forth fruit worthy of repentance prove that you’ve changed the way you think by the way you act Jesus tells me if I’m not willing to change the way I think I will perish salvation can’t be mine and so when I read through the New Testament especially the book of Acts I find it interesting that so many different people came to a faith in Jesus came to be saved by Jesus and in so doing it meant they changed their life are you listening to this it meant they were even willing to change their religion they were willing to change the way they think even to the point they were willing to change their religion they were willing to repent of their past that reminds me of what Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians 7 verse 10 godly grief produces changing the way you think repentance which leads to salvation godly grief produces the word translated literally means work down

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