analogy of Heaven.
- Visualize a rich man, with a beautiful mansion, sitting on a busy street in a busy city, and the rich man standing at the door.
- He tells the beggars and homeless as they wonder by that they are welcome to come in and live in this beautiful mansion,
- free, no rent, no utilities to pay, food provided, and you can stay forever, all you have to do, is take a shower before you come in, to wash off the dirt and grime of the world, and there will be a few light chores to help maintain the house.
- The alternative if you choose is to not enter, and he explains that as well…
- The logical choice would to be to accept the invitation immediately without question,
- however some would say, not if I have to take a shower, I like my dirt and grime,
- and others, would say: well not if there are chores to do,
- and yet others would say, what mansion? I don’t see one, and I don’t believe there is one….
We are going to spend some time examining the path to eternal life,
To examine the truth in salvation, the truth of scripture
- I have been teaching, or monitoring a class called the Truth Project in the Prison System, and will soon be teaching a class titled in “Search of Truth”.
- I have discovered the truth is found in one place only… The Holy Bible.
- So the outline of today’s sermon….
- There are false doctrines, contrived by Men
- There is only one True gospel
- There are false teachers
- There is one path to salvation
- Focus on Baptism
We might ask why we must search for the truth
- “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:2
- But the search is difficult, but once the source of truth is found… it is easy to acquire, but Satan will continue to stand in the way.
Truth of Interpretation
Ephesians 4:5-6 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Mark 7:9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
What amazes me are all the different interpretations
(Purpose of this section: to teach about bible interpretations)
2 Peter 1:19-21
“We also have a more sure word of prophecy…knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
- So clearly Scripture tells us that there is no private interpretation of the Bible.
- All this talk of “well you have your own interpretations” and “you worship the Bible” is simply not biblical.
- Reading the Bible and taking God for His word IS biblical, and clearly, it’s what God tells us to do.
- The Bible did not come about by man’s words.
- The Bible is inspired by God. Furthermore, it is not open to interpretation or reinterpretation.
- It says what it says.
- God says what He says, whether we like it or not.
Mt 15:9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’
1Co 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
Ga 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Ro 11:22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
2Pe 3:16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Section 2 False Teachers
(Purpose of this section: explain false teachers)
- There are religions that do not even care about the Word of God. There are cults that pretend to care but do not hold to even the basic things taught there.
- There are also those, such as talked about by Peter, who distort the Word and pretend to be Christians but are really wolves in sheep’s clothing.
2Co 11:3-4 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
Mt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Ac 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
These wolves are here today they have denied one or more of the basic doctrines of Christianity.
Section Three: THE FIVE BASIC DOCTRINES
(Purpose of this section: subsection giving guidelines to scripture
- The Trinity: God is one “What” and three “Whos” with each “Who” possessing all the attributes of Deity and personality.
- The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity.
- The Second Coming: Jesus Christ is coming bodily to earth to rule and judge.
- Salvation: It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. However, there is work to be done
- The Scripture: It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life.
- There is only one Word, One God, One Church, and ONLY ONE WAY TO SALVATION….
- But also there are men believing false doctrines being taught by false teachers
- That the purpose of our study today, If you in truth, want to find the way to eternal life, start out with putting on blinders… read only the scripture, do not look to the left or the right… any other path, is the path to destruction….
- There is only one path to eternal life.
SECTION 4: God’s word vs. Men’s word
(Purpose of this section: what does the bible say)
Let’s begin with the path to salvation, and only what the scripture says abandoning all of men’s doctrines.
Truth in salvation…
(Purpose of this section:… the true path to salvation
- I am well aware I am preaching to the choir as the old saying goes, but we need refreshing at times.
- It’s like the old preacher from the 1800s, D.L. Moody when asked if he was full of the Holy Spirit, he answered yes, but I leak.
- So we must continue to reveal old knowledge with new eyes,
- it’s also like the little boy who told his dad that he didn’t really need a bath, he had one yesterday, and too many baths could be bad for a person’s health,
- and his dad told him well let’s go ahead and risk it… so let’s risk it and go ahead and revisit the path to salvation
- However, we all know the first step is recognizing and confessing that we are sinners, repenting those sins, confessing Christ, and then being baptized.
Considering baptism is the most controversial part of the path to salvation,
I going to start there, even though it is about the 4th step in the process
SECTION 5: What does the bible say about Relationship?
Purpose of this section: start Stating our relationship with God, Christ
Our relationship with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit
a. Let’s Listen To Jesus Speaking To His Disciples Knowing He Is About To Die
John 14:19-20 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
b. What an incredible statement
c. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
d. It is called the Unio Mystica…. The Mystical Union!
GOD AND MAN
(Purpose of this section: explaining the relationship of God and man)
e. It’s a great mystery…. Jody and I love mysteries, I am not sure they even make good mysteries as they have in the past… but this is the greatest mystery of all time…. The union… the mystical union of God and man.
f. Even in the very first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet…. Even that word (alphabet)…. Alpha the first letter in the Greek, and Aleph the first letter in the Hebrew… bet the 2nd letter in the Hebrew…
g. The aleph… made up of two other Hebrew letters two yods and a vau… simply put this first letter of the Hebrew alphabet tells us God is in His place in Heaven, and yet at the same time, connected to His creation for their spiritual growth, and that connection takes place in the 2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet…
h. he “Bet” which means house… and what house is that? God’s house, His temple… and what is God’s temple… our bodies are the temple of God aren’t they?
- Yes… it is a great mystery, about to unfold before your very eyes….. maybe.
FOUNDATION FOR THE RELATIONSHIP
(Purpose of this section: explain what this relationship is built upon)
Another great mystery
Ephesians 5:31-32 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
- I’ve heard this explained in several ways… one is that when you are married, and have children, those children represent the one flesh, for they are of both parents.
- Some say it is a spiritual thing
- I like Jody’s understanding, that as God separated Eve from Adam in the beginning, when we enter into heaven, we are joined together again…. I think I like that one…..
But still a great mystery.
- And this refers to Christ and the Church
- And this is where we will enter into the Mystery of Unio Mystica
- We could spend literally forever talking about this mystery,
- and someday we won’t have to talk about it at all, we will live it, and are living it now….
- Today… but we don’t have that perfect understanding as we will in the day to come.
- Let’s look at a few more passages concerning this great mystery, that even Paul calls a great mystery
Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
- And, again Jesus speaking just prior to what He knew was going to be His death
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
- Jesus is calling us to this relationship,
- By telling us that we must abide in Him
- And He abides in us,
- and apart from Him we are nothing but a dried stick upon the ground.
SECTON 6: Why is it necessary to create this new relationship?
In the Parable of the Tares, we are told the evil one planted the tares, among the wheat, and they will be separated on Judgment day, but for now, they will grow together.
From these verses we can see that we have been infected with the desease of sin, like a cancer.
- If a person has cancer, and is healed, and is healthy again, he / she may still have the evidence of that cancer….
- And, once the relationship has been created, I compare this to salvation, The spirit of God is the healthy life, yet the ravages of Sin, is that crippled or scarred body.
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
(Apparently they forgot their time in Egypt, whom Moses led them out)
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s
37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.
- I do not believe Jesus is saying to kill Him physically, but remember, Jesus came as a witness to the truth… they are not ready to accept the truth, they are believers, but still caught up and loyal to Moses Law.
- They are not yet in a true relationship with Christ, so without understanding
- Now here is a great truth… if you abide in my word…. In other words, if you live in my word… doing my word… following my commands, and you shall know the truth… and, the truth will set you free….
Free from what? DEATH
- Look at Jesus in verse 32… whoever commits sin… we all do.
(1 John 1:8 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.)
- But the sin will not abide with us forever; however the truth will, IF WE HAVE IT! and sets us free for eternal life.
In Romans 7 Tells us the law makes us aware of the sin, it is like a spotlight showing us where we fail.
Romans 7:15 – 20 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
- What happened here? He is no longer responsible for the sin, for it is the sin of the flesh, and he has received the gift of the Holy Spirit, which now through faith, and obedience is now his driving force….
- But he, as we, still live in the flesh. We walk in the world, but we are no longer part of the world, yet the fleshy part of us still commits the occasional sin,
- but as we allow God grow in us… that becomes less and less.
Remember in John 1:12 for those who received him to them were given the right to become sons of God…. Our basic nature is no longer in the flesh, but now our basic nature is as a child of God,
DRIVEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
- So you see, once we have given our lives to Jesus, it is no longer us who commit the sin, because now the true “US” is the child of God, but not the sin who dwells in us.
- Now, I will freely admit, those verses are somewhat confusing and deserve a deeper study, but in short, the sin is in us, it dictates to us, we do at times what it dictates, and we learn more and more to reject that, and accept Christ…. That is our mission should we accept it…
SECTION 7: How is this relationship created?
(Purpose of this section: in depth explanation of the relationship.)
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
- We are a new Creation through Him…. On the reverse, just the same old sinning man as before…..
We are a new Creation
How do we become that new creation
John 3: 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus says you must be born again… you are dead; dead in your trespasses; dead in your sins
And it is the power of God that makes alive again…
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Unio Mystica…. WHAT IS THIS?
And this is where we are relieved of the sin…. Cleansed that we might enter into the that mansion:
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- But we have been forgiven, we do have an advocate
Romans 5: 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
Now that we are children of God, His grace is the stronger force within us.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The bible is simple, read it, and understand it, don’t confuse it.
The path to salvation is simple, and part of that is baptism
So let’s close with this verse, and then the lesson is yours, and if any are in need of prayer, please come forward during the closing song.
1 Peter 3:20-21 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Now that is pretty simple isn’t it?