In this sermon, Pastor Babij teaches on how all people need Jesus to negate the deadly effect of sin and to enter into new life with Jesus. Using several Scripture passages, Pastor Babij explains how we are all born spiritually dead and enemies of God. We therefore all need divine intervention to bring us new life and new hope, and God provided this intervention through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. However, Pastor Babij clarifies that believing certain facts about Jesus is not enough. To be saved, a person must have genuine faith and trust in Christ. Such true faith always produces the fruit of a changed life.
As I am between messages, heading to 2 Peter in preaching through 2 Peter, I thought I would do a message this morning on simply that people need the Lord. We’re going to be looking at several passages of scripture today. I’m heading to Romans chapter 3, but before we look at that passage, I want you to turn the Matthew chapter 9. And then we’ll be looking at other passages.
This morning, I want to look at the gospel today. Let’s pray. Lord this morning, as I look at the Word of God, impress upon our own hearts, not only what the gospel is, but what it’s not. Lord, I pray that You would use the gospel in the way You desire: to bring those who don’t know You the faith, to establish those who do know You in the faith. And I pray Lord as we see this, that You would by Your Spirit do what You must to bring glory to Your name. I pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.
If someone said to you: why do you need Jesus? That’s an emphatic statement. It expresses something strongly. If I were to say to you: you need a doctor badly. The one listening may respond to that statement with: why do I need a doctor badly? What’s wrong? In the same respect, the statement you need Jesus badly may bring the response: why, what’s wrong? I don’t think anything’s wrong. Sometimes when an individual has something wrong with them, they may say: doctor, I feel alright. But the doctor looks at them straight in the face and says: you have something seriously wrong which needs immediate medical attention. But doctor I feel fine. I don’t think I need any attention at all. The doctor, because of his training and knowledge, assesses that there is some life-threatening illness, again says: you need immediate medical attention badly. If the person does not acknowledge his experience, they are usually considered foolish.
The reason why you need Jesus is because Jesus says you have something very seriously wrong and need immediate spiritual attention. The only one who could provide the cure is Jesus Himself. The gospel of Matthew chapter 9, it relates a narrative in which Jesus points out that He has come to call the spiritually sick to salvation. Look at what it says there in Matthew 9:9:
As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees (that was the religious leaders of the day) saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your teacher eating with tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Now, the spiritually sick are the sinners. Those who think they are righteous are in fact sinners who needs a physician, and the physician is Jesus Christ. Why do people need the Lord? Because all people have a huge problem and that problem is sin. Sin has separated you and God, and the condition will be fatal, eternally fatal if the cure is not applied. This is the worst effect of sin there could be, separation from God who created us. Scripture expresses the effects of sin upon us like this: sin is missing the mark or goal that God has appointed and fallen short of the glory of God, which we were created actually to enjoy. Sin means to deviate from the right path and find ourselves under the verdict of guilty in the presence of an eternal Judge. Sin means to rebel against a rightful and loving King. Sin is a traitor to the goodness of God.
So sin has left mankind wandering, lost, spiritually dead, and without understanding about what to do about it. That’s a sad condition in which people find themselves. Sin has left mankind under the dominion of sin and death, where it says in Romans:
for the wages of sin is death.
It declares guilty sinners before God and under the sentence of condemnation where again, it says in Romans chapter 3:19-20:
Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
So if anyone remains in that condition apart from Christ, the wrath of God will remain on them forever. As the gospel of John tells us:
He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
So this is precisely why the Creator became man, to provide the way back to God. Listen to what this passage tells us in 1 Timothy 1:15:
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
The apostle said that about himself, that I am the foremost of sinners. He persecuted the church, and so he understood he was in that category. Matter of fact, sin has left man in such a dead and spiritual condition that the very mind of man and the will of man are affected.
There’s a passage of Scripture in Romans 3:10-12 that shows the terrible condition human beings are really in. This is how the Great Physician looks at all mankind. For it tells us in Romans 3:10-12 there are actually six things every person is born into this world guilty of, or they are without these things. And what are they? Notice what it says in Romans 3:9:
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, there is not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
“Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
That’s why all human beings are in that condition as soon as they’re born. So let me just look quickly at the six things. I’m going to give you three and then give you a bundle in the last one, and then looking at what the gospel is and is not.
The first thing human beings are born without, if you notice in verse 10, is righteousness. As it is written: there is none righteous, not even one. So this means that people are not upright. They’re not honest. They’re not of good behavior. They’re not law-abiding. They do not rightly relate to God. They are born rebels at the core of their being in their heart. For it says in 1 John 3:4:
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Sin is saying: listen, I’m going to live the way I want. I’m going to live not according to anybody’s rules except my own, specially not God’s. They are lawless and they are unrighteous.
A second thing that human beings are born without in verse 11 is there is none who understands. The apostle Paul is here using actually the Old Testament scriptures to describe the state of all people. Now as you keep your hand there in Romans, turn back to the book of Psalms. I want you to see something because this condition of man has always been there from the beginning, from the fall of man. Psalm 14:1-3, this is actually where Paul is quoting from. He’s quoting from the book of Psalms. And he says in psalm 14:1-3, notice what he tells there and communicates there to us and then picks it up in the book of Romans and sticks it right there. And it says this:
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good. The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.
That’s how God diagnoses our condition. Nobody can say: I’ve done good. Nobody can claim that they have something to offer God. In fact, if you turned over to Psalm chapter 53, you find that he picks up several passages of Scripture and he includes them in Romans chapter 3. Psalm 53:1-3, notice what it tells us there. It says:
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; there is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understands, who seek after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
See, the Physician is telling human beings from everywhere, from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all color skins, that no one in all of humanity is righteous. No one in all of humanity understands their condition. God has to tell them what their condition is. In fact, it says in 1 Corinthians 2:14 people have no understanding of the things of God. It says in this passage:
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
So people’s minds are warped and twisted when it comes to eternal and spiritual issues. For example, there’s a mindset prevalent in our day, which says it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. This philosophy would not be tolerated for one moment in the calculation of mathematics. Imagine a math teacher or someone working on an engineering project for the space shuttle say: it doesn’t matter how you calculate your answer or even if your answers correct, as long as you’re sincere, that’s it. Nobody wants to go to space based on that, right? They’re not going to make it because the calculations are wrong. Now that sounds like it borders on the ridiculous, yet this is how most people treat a much more important issue. They calculate their eternal destiny in the same manner. They say: it doesn’t matter what you believe about your eternal destiny, as long as you’re sincere. If you have been a good person, you should not have a problem with the man upstairs. That’s what they usually conclude. See, people wrongly calculate their relationship with God and their eternal destiny because they don’t have any understanding of God. They don’t understand God’s holiness. They don’t understand their own sin. They don’t understand heaven or hell, which lie ahead of them. They don’t understand that, but God has to bring that understanding to them, and that’s what he does. That’s the message of the gospel.
We are back in Romans chapter 3:11. There’s a third thing that human beings are without or are guilty of. That’s responsiveness to the true and living God. It says in verse 11:
There is none who seeks for God;
Now, they seek but they’re guided by their own lustful passions and desires as they seek. None, however, are determined to seek after the true and living God. People seek all kinds of things. They even seek all kinds of spiritual things in religion. Some have ready-made religion. Some have ready-made religious convictions. Some shop around for a religion that suits them. Others were born into religion. And still others make their own religion. The deceptive thing about religion is that most feel comfortable in each one of them. They say: I have my church. I have my religion. I have my beliefs. But what if they’re not right? What if they’re wrong? Well, the destiny you think you’re going, you’re not going to make it, there because only God can assess our spiritual health and condition. Only He can give us the understanding.
So all the different kinds of religion in the world just to show how much man is seeking. There’s so many kinds. There’s new ones coming up every single day. We’re like wandering sheep trying to find our way home. And Satan is the mastermind behind all religious systems that are available to humanity. He has his fingerprints all over them. The apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians about their way of worshipping God, listen to what he says to them. He says this:
No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become shares in demons.
In other words, the lost sinner, who is religious and sincere, they think they’re offering to God, but in reality they’re offering to demons. Demons deceive people and convince them that they are right when they are wrong. The only one who could tell them they’re wrong is God Himself.
So Jesus says we are lost, needing to be saved from our own way. People are liken to lost sheep. A sheep is an animal which is not smart or swift or strong, has no power or inclination when wandering to seek out a shepherd when they’re lost. The human kind is so unresponsive to God that all the initiative and salvation has to be on God’s side. In fact, Jesus’ view of man’s inability toward God is so hopeless that unless God steps in, man will never find the way of salvation. For this is what Jesus said in the gospel of John:
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
He also says in John 6:
And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him from the Father.
A four thing is human beings, and I’m bundling this one, are without and are guilty of they have turned aside. They together have become useless. There is none who does good, not even one. In other words, man does not do good towards God. God says they have only become worthless and unprofitable. They go from bad to being sour, like spoiling milk.
So this is the diagnosis from the great physician Jesus Christ. He says there is something spiritually wrong. You need immediate spiritual attention because you are lost, blind, dead in your sins. And He says: come to me and I will give you rest. Come receive Me, because people need the Lord. They need the gospel. They need the good news of salvation.
But what is the gospel? I’ll tell you what the gospel is not. The gospel is not man accepting Jesus as his Savior. The gospel is not giving his heart or her heart and life to Jesus. The gospel is not receiving Jesus into your heart. The gospel is not Christ enthroned on the human heart. That is not the gospel. See the problem with all these statements is the subjective emphasis is on what man can do. The gospel never starts with man. It never could. It never will. And if it does, it’s wrong.
What is the gospel? The gospel is God the Father accepting the Lord Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for sin and only Savior. The gospel is that Christ gave His life, His whole being, as a substitute in the place of sinners. The gospel is God receiving the Lord Jesus into heaven after He rose from the dead, defeating Satan and death, as a mediator of sinners. The gospel is that God enthroned the Lord Jesus at His right hand in heaven. See, the difference with these statements from the ones just mentioned is that the objective emphasis is what God through Jesus Christ has already done. The biblical gospel always start with what God has done.
So what is the gospel? It starts with God. You see, if people understood even some of the revelation the Bible gives about the character of God, it would be the very truth that they would need in order to have a clear view of God and what He actually demands. That is what the Spirit of God convicts us of. He convicts us of something. He convicts us of who God is. Just a few things: God’s a holy Creator. The Bible tells us that we were created by a personal God to love, to serve, and to enjoy endless fellowship with Him. This means that He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship. But because Adam, the first man, disobeyed and rebelled against God and fell into sin, since then the whole human race is born with a sin nature and will sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 5:12:
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all have sinned;
You want to know one big proof that you are a sinner? You die. That’s why. When sin came in, death came in. Christians also die because the curse of sin is still upon this creation, right? But we are promised resurrected bodies someday.
Second thing about God is God is holy and righteous. He’s a holy and righteous Judge. That means that God is morally perfect and pure, set apart from all other things. The prophet Habakkuk 1:13 says:
Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and you can not look on wickedness with favor.
Because God is holy, He hates all sin. God loves everything which is in conformity or agreement with His laws. He hates everything that goes against or is contrary to His laws. God hates sin with an absolute hatred. Therefore, He must punish all sin. Every sin constitutes open rebellion against God’s authority, and therefore is an abomination to Him. In fact, Scripture says that God is angry against all unrighteousness, where it tells us in Psalm 5:5-6:
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
See, God hates all who commits iniquity, who do wickedness. This word is often used of words of thoughts, and words of deeds, and words of action. God hates sin in the inner core of a person’s heart. So sinners frequently think God is flexible, so He will by no means punish wonderful men. But if they conclude this without the rest of the information, they would be believing a lie. They come up with things about God according to their way of thinking, and they don’t check the revelation that the Lord gave concerning Himself.
So when people say to God: I’m going to turn over a new leaf. From this day forward, I’m going to do better, but not realizing that God judges all sin. Yes, all past sins and all sins forgotten. He has not forgotten. But imagine this philosophy applied to the businessman by one of his debtors. Suppose a man owed $7,000 and you received the letter that said the following: dear sir, I realize that I owe you $7,000, but today I’ve turned over a new leaf in my ledger. I intend from now on to pay my debts and live up to the highest standards of business integrity. Any obligation incurred from now on will be met in full. I’m ignoring the past. Sincerely yours. That wouldn’t fly, would it? Well it doesn’t fly spiritually. It doesn’t fly on the human level. It just doesn’t fly because it is not the truth. It’s not what is honorable.
See, the gospel starts with God and who He is, and then secondly the gospel includes man and who he is and what he actually needs. Only God can tell a man, a sinner, what they need. It does say that all are sinners and according to the Bible, from birth we reject God and disobey Him. Everyone is guilty of sin. This is because the standard is not human; it is divine.
Now this obviously does not mean that we are incapable of performing acts of kindness. We are. Compared to others, we may be kind. But compared to someone who is perfectly kind all the time, our kindness falls short of the mark. For the Scripture says:
for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
We have all sinned in Adam, who’s our representative head. We have all sinned in our own individual actions, thoughts, words. Sin is anything that doesn’t please God, anything that breaks God’s law. God examines the heart, sins of thought, sins of words, sins of deeds. We therefore deserve death. That’s what we deserve, separation from God in hell. For it says: the wages of sin is death. Ephesians 2:3 tells us:
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
We also deserve spiritual death because of our present sins. See, we were dead in our trespasses and sins. We were helpless to save ourselves. We could have never, we would never save ourselves. And as it says in Romans 5:6:
For a while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
So due to our failure to live up to the standard of God’s holiness, we are currently under His wrath, and upon death will be justly condemned to an eternity in hell. This is what it means to be lost. I mean, the pathway you thought led to heaven is the pathway that doesn’t lead to heaven. The path you thought of trying to keep the Ten Commandments, of trying to follow the golden rule, of trying to do the best you can didn’t lead to heaven at all. You see, when you come to the end of these things, you find out that the way that you were hoping led you to the other side. It actually lead you to a sign that reads: the bridge is out. You can’t make it there. You see, you thought you knew the way to heaven, but you really didn’t. And my friends, if one does not know how to get to his destination, the definition of that person is that they’re lost. They have no information on how to get there. But the Bible teaches that we were totally helpless in sin, unable to do anything to gain favor with God.
So what has to happen to man? Not only he has to know that he’s a sinner, but he has to also know that he needs God to impart spiritual life to him. No matter what, we could never do it on our own. We need to be born again, in other words. That word in John chapter 3. You cannot be a Christian without being born again. Being born again is what defines a Christian. John chapter 3 says:
Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus a ruler of the Jews), “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
“Truly truly I say to you” – when this phrase is used, it is intended to confirm and to emphasize what follows. That means we ought to pay careful attention to what Jesus says. The other important phrase in the verse is “unless one is born again.” He cannot see the kingdom of God without being born again. Everyone is unable to enter the kingdom of God. So what is the kingdom of God? It is God’s saving and transforming reign, established by Jesus and synonymous with the phrase eternal life. What Jesus is saying then is that unless you are born again, you are unable to have eternal life with God.
Someone may say: I don’t want to live forever. My life has been hard enough. I don’t want it to be prolonged. What’s the alternative to eternal life? The alternative to eternal life is not temporary life. It is eternal damnation. That’s the alternative, for the wages of sin is death. So then what Jesus is saying is that unless you are born again, you will face an eternity separated from God in a place the Bible calls hell. Without being born again, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.
So what does Jesus mean by the phrase born again? Jesus is making entrance into the kingdom comparable to physical birth. He is saying that unless we experience spiritual birth, we don’t have a chance of having eternal life. Please understand this morning the impossibility of what Jesus is requiring. Yes, impossibility. Just think for a moment about your physical birth. You did not decide to be born. You didn’t decide when to be born. You didn’t decide where to be born, what race you would be, what sex you would be, what your eye color would be. You didn’t decide anything with regard to your physical birth. You played no part in it, except that you experienced it and you’re here. Your birth happened to you. In other words, just as you had nothing to do with being born, so you have nothing to do with being born again, unless God causes you to be born again. The gospel is about God. It’s about what He has done in Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 1:3 says this:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
See, it is what God has done. It’s not anything we could do. We cannot add to it. We cannot help God with it. We can do nothing except submit to it. And that’s where salvation come. See, God in His mercy needs to cause you to be born again. If you are going to be born again at any time, it is because God has granted it to you. Just as God cause you to be physically born, so God must cause you to be born spiritually. Just as you could not determine your physical birth, so you cannot determine your spiritual birth. Only God can do that.
You know what this does? It makes God God and man man. It just clearly shows: listen, I’m helpless. There’s nothing I can do to save myself. Nothing. I can go to church every day, spent hours in it for my whole life. That will do nothing. I can try to be good in everything I know to do in my life. That’s not going to help. It’s good to do those things, but not going to help save your soul. This is what the gospel is. If we do not look at the gospel this way, we cannot understand what God is saying and what Jesus has done on the cross on behalf of sinners.
So in other words, you need Jesus. So what is the gospel? It includes man and what he is and what he needs. And what does he need? He needs Jesus Christ. And why Jesus, you may ask? Well, because He is fully God and fully man. Because He lived a sinless life as no other man could do that. He died a death we deserve by dying on the cross in the place of sinners. He rose from the dead to defeat Satan and death. And three days later, He conquered death and thus possesses all authority to give eternal life to anyone who comes to Him. He has the authority to give eternal life to forgive sins, to cleanse someone clean, to take their sin, nailed to the cross, and to take His righteousness and put it on their account. See, only God could do that. God raised Him up for our justification, proving that He was the Son of God by His resurrection.
You may ask: where does the love of God come in? Well, as soon as you communicate the true nature of God, leading to the message of the cross. That’s where it comes in. Romans 5:8 says:
but God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
He died where we should have died. He paid the price and satisfy the justice of the Father that we could never have paid. That’s what He did. That’s what’s so great about the gospel. That’s how much God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
That’s what we are truly safe from. We are saved from the wrath of God upon sin, because Christ removes the sin. He removes it. He cleans up your account. That’s why it’s a legal transaction. He imputes to you legally, puts it on your account. This person who’s come to Me to believe in Me, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, I have died in their place. Therefore, I put on their account My righteousness, not their righteousness. And when the Father looks down, He doesn’t see your sin. He doesn’t see guilt. He doesn’t see condemnation. He sees Christ’s righteousness. That’s the gospel. And when that saves you, nobody can take it away from you. That’s the gospel. And there is no other gospel but this gospel. That’s why there’s only one way to the Father, and that’s through Jesus Christ the Son.
But if a sinner does not see that they are lost, under God’s wrath, in trouble with God, they will see very little need of the cross to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They will settle on a righteousness of their own. I’m happy with what I’m doing. I’m happy with my goodness. I’m happy with my religion. I don’t need anything else. And they will think themselves not so bad that God should be angry with them enough to send them to a place called hell. And they would be wrong. They would be eternally wrong. See, that’s the devastating part of all this. We’re talking about eternal salvation.
So if we would have the penalty of our sin accounted to Christ, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
And it says He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. If we would have Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to us, a legal transaction that was done by God, where it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
We become the righteousness of God. That is a transaction that happens instantaneously when someone comes to Christ.
So then what is the gospel? The gospel also expresses how a person is to respond to this message. It doesn’t just leave us there with the facts. It says: okay, once you hear this, what are you going to do about it? you can’t stay where you’re at. You know why? You’re not guaranteed tomorrow. I don’t know if you going to wake up tomorrow. So with that thought in our mind, we have to say: I must do something. See, we don’t do anything to get our salvation. It’s all done already. We have to believe it. We receive it. So what does man have to do? He has to repent of his sins. That’s what the Bible says. Jesus preached repent. The apostle John preached repent. Apostle Peter and Paul preached repent. In fact, the gospel of Mark says:
Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.”
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew term for repent is “shub”, which means to return or the heart of repentance returning to God. In the New Testament, it’s the word “metanoia”, which really has its root in the word mind, thinking, which means to change one’s mind. The mind is changed by God when a person looks to Christ and say wow, I was all wrong about Christ and about how you get right with God and where you go when you die and all those things. Now I see it’s Christ Jesus who is the solution, who is the remedy to my problem. And so what I do is that I changed direction. Repentance is a conscious recognition that you are a sinner and you are turning to a Savior who can forgive your sins, make you right with God, and reconcile you to Himself. It believes God’s remedy to cure your spiritual terminal illness. And wipe away your sin. But it also means this: I need to believe it. Believe in Jesus alone for your salvation.
It says in Acts 16:31 repentance towards God (that’s the Father) and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But you know a simple way of thinking about faith? In the Old Testament, just look when the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness and they were bitten by the serpent. God says if you just look at the serpent lifted up, you’ll be healed. It’s the same thing He told Nicodemus. Just look. Nicodemus got it. Just faith is looking to Christ. That’s what it is. That’s what faith is, looking to Christ. He’s the answer. It doesn’t mean you have all your questions answered. It doesn’t mean you solved all the issues of life. And the gospel is never: come to Jesus and He’ll heal your marriage, or He’ll make you well, or He’ll do what you want. That’s not the gospel. That never comes into the gospel. He may do those things, but He may not. You may come to Christ and your whole life will fall apart as you know it. But your soul is intact.
This little journey we have on this planet is short-lived and we just think about it. It’s just a short period of time we’re here. Our life is just but a vapor. It’s like you cut grass. You mow the grass and it all fades away and it all rots away, right? That’s our life. It’s that quick. I mean, one day when you were 20 years old, you think I have a long life ahead of me, right? And then all of a sudden you get to be 30 years old and say: hey I still have a long life. And 40 and 50. And you get to a certain age and you say: wow, I’m that age? When I was a kid, I thought that was old. Man, life is short. Kids are grown. Grandkids all over the place. And you say: man, life is short. But I tell you what, doesn’t matter how long you live if you know you’re saved. It doesn’t matter. God’s taken care of that. The Lord Jesus Christ has taken care of that.
See, that’s the great thing about the gospel. It gives me a security. It gives me an encouragement, a boldness to live whatever time I have left for Him, knowing that at any moment according to His will and His plan, He’ll take me out of here. And it’ll be the right time. It’ll be the right time. So see the Bible tells us to repent and believe. Repent toward God. Father, I’m turning to You because You supply the remedy for my sin, and I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the remedy. He’s the one.
So true faith is always accomplished by repentance from sin. Repentance includes agreeing with God that you are sinful, a sinner confessing your sin to Him, that sin of unbelief and all the other sins that you can remember, and make a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue Christ in loving obedience to Him. It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Jesus. Even Satan and his demons believe God is true. It says in James that very thing. True saving faith always responds with obedience.
So I don’t know where you’re at today. You just need to receive the free gift. It’s a free gift. God has done everything. He’s offering it to you. He’s not going to make you take it. Saving faith means coming to an end of ourselves. It means coming to an end of whatever we relied upon for security, especially eternal security. It’s coming to an end of our self-righteousness. We realize we don’t have any righteousness that we could offer to God. It’s coming to an end of all those things and trusting absolutely and completely in Christ for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life.
So when’s the time to do that? The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:2:
now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation.
Will it be the day of salvation for you? If you had any doubts about it. If you were not sure that you were or are saved, don’t make a mistake on this one because the great physician has diagnosed you today. And if you walk away saying: I have my own thing; I got my own way. That may be the last time the Spirit of God speaks to you. And that will be a sad day when you die. Today is the day of salvation. Today, when the Spirit of God is moving, when the Word of God has been preached, and when you are hearing it, respond. Listen, and come to the Lord Jesus. Jesus says this:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
And then once you come and believe and receive and turn from your sin and trust in Christ alone, looking by faith to Him alone, you dumped all the other stuff away. Throw your religion overboard. Throw all your good works overboard. It doesn’t matter. None of that helps. And just trust Christ. He’s done it all. That’s the gospel. And you can rest assured that, that God does not lie. He cannot lie to us. He will not. He’s a God of truth.
Brethren, can you give an enthusiastic yes to the fact that you came to believe in Jesus Christ and that the blessed effects of your salvation continues to be evident in your present life? It wasn’t that you just made a profession of faith. You have evidence to convict you in a court of law that you’re a Christian, because you’re different and the Spirit of God made you different. See that has to be there too. It’s not just I believe and go on your merry way and live the way you want. No, the Spirit of God’s given to us because He changes us. In other words, you have a full certainty of your salvation. If you were to die today, do you know for sure, for certain that you’re going to be in the presence of God? Don’t walk out of here without knowing that.
But the only way you can know that is if you come to Christ, and you believe in Him and you follow Him. If you have not, then come today and come and receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord and turn to Jesus to be saved. If you have already been saved, praise God, but continue to press on with endurance in this Christian race, because the race will be over soon. Amen.
Let’s pray. Lord, thank You this morning for the awesomeness of the gospel. Lord, man could have never come up with this. They would have never conceived it. And so thank You Lord, that no man messed around with it or could have messed around with it. Lord, when we hear the gospel in its truth, in its clarity, Lord Holy Spirit, please use it to bring conviction to the hearts of people. Bring them to the place that they may come and confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that God raised you from the dead. And I pray the Lord that it’s only by them looking to You and believing in You can their sins be forgiven and washed away, can your righteousness be placed upon their account, and can they be promised eternal life to live with You, not in a place separated from you but in a place that we are in Your presence because of what You’ve done. I pray that they today would come.
If those who believe in you are here, then I pray You would give them the strength of heart and mind to continue on, to serve You no matter what comes. I pray Lord, that You would give them the peace of God and the joy of God that will be their strength to take another step, to take another breath, to live another day for the glory of God. And I pray in your name. Amen.