November 9, 2009

"rethink: Salvation"

This is the outline of my sermon from Sunday (11/8) around salvation. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.


rethink: Salvation

A few weeks ago I gave a message challenging us to rethink a couple things, they were: sin, grace, church and evangelism. If you remember, the idea to "rethink" something is to either think about it again, as if maybe we haven’t thought about it in a while or to reconsider something in an entirely new way. I realized after having some conversations in the office over the past couple weeks that it's possible that not many of us ever think about salvation. We really don't use the word much, if at all and so I thought it might be good to rethink it.

I don't know where you are in your relationship with Christ but I would guess that you fit into one of these three generalized scenarios:

1. You would say that, for whatever reason, you do not have a relationship with Christ whatsoever. I'm also going to assume that you might be interested or at least open to the idea of what that might look like for you because you are sitting in a pew, in a church (or maybe reading my blog?).
2. You would say that you have a relationship with Christ but it is nominal at best. You could say that you are a Christian but that is about as far as it goes.
3. You would say that you have a relationship with Christ and that it is strong and growing as you attempt to be more and more like Him each day.

My hope is that regardless of whichever scenario you might consider yourself to be in, you will find some benefit from taking some time to think about salvation as I highlight these three points...

1. what Salvation saves us FROM
-Sin (Matthew 1:20-21; Romans 6:17-18)
*this is the power of sin over our lives
*we no longer have to be slaves to sin
*we can even be saved from the guilt of past sins
-Ourselves (1 John 1:8; Romans 3:23)
*in the first chapter of James he talks about a pattern of sin that starts with our own evil desires, which when full grown gives birth to....
-Death (Romans 6:23)
*notice the word "wage"...this is something we've earned
*this is a spiritual death that pervades every aspect of our lives: relationships, attitudes, and even our very soul

2. what Salvation saves us FOR
-Freedom (Galatians 5:1, 6; Matthew 11:28-30)
*each one of us clearly have things we need to be set free from
*Jesus is the only one that can truly set us free
-Now (2 Corinthians 6:1-2; Ephesians 2:1-10, 13; 3:17b-19)
*salvation is not some ticket to heaven that we simply hold onto while we sit in this "waiting room" we call life
*it saves us now to make an impact today
-Forever (Romans 6:22)
*it also saves us for eternity
*there is more to this than just the "here and now"
*salvation secures our eternity

3. what makes Salvation POSSIBLE
-Christ (Romans 3:22-24; John 3:17)
*the price that Jesus paid that day on the cross and His victory over death three days later
*the righteousness of Christ
-Faith (John 1:12; 3:16)
*not "good" works or being a "good" person because we'll never be good enough
*an act of faith that Christ really did pay the price for my sins
-Repentance (Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9; Romans 10:9-10)
*which involves confessing we need a savior
*the idea of repentance is to turn in the opposite direction, to do a 180
*John Wesley said, "Whatever your sins might be, "though red like crimson," though more than the hairs of your head, "return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on you, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
-Acceptance (Romans 6:23; Revelation 3:20)
*like any free gift, you have the option to accept or reject
*for some of you, Jesus may have been knocking on the door of your heart for some time
*the question you have to deal with is whether or not you will open the door and let Him in?