How Salvation Comes to Man
Text: Matthew 7:1-6
I. Matthew 7:6
A. We don’t often think about whom we talk to about the gospel, but not everyone will be receptive to the message.
B. Jesus is basically saying don’t waste your time. Not only will the message be rejected but the messenger will also be attacked.
C. But consider this: It requires judgement on our part – a judgement to know when to back off and realize further effort is not worth the time.
D. That is hard at times. The person we might think won’t give us the time of day turns out to be very interested and response to the Gospel’s call. The person we are certain would like to hear the message will not have anything to do with us.
E. The key is not to prejudge the situation, but to see the reaction for what it is.
II. Many people just assume all religious people are interested in the Bible and are going to heaven.
A. Yet Jesus plainly says otherwise - Matthew 7:21-23
B. Few will actually make it to heaven - Matthew 7:13-14
C. There are people who will acknowledge Jesus, claim to be Christians, but will not make it to heaven - Luke 6:46-49
III. Think how many have not obeyed the great commission - Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16
A. Most who claim Christ have accepted the Protestant idea that one is saved the moment he accepts Jesus as his personal Savior.
1. Billy Graham wrote, “Eternal life is yours the moment you believe.”
2. Hiscox, “The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches”, under “Justification” wrote, “We believe the Scriptures teach that the great blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any words of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in Christ; by means of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needed for time and eternity.”
3. What is interesting is this same writer in the same book writes, “Salvation of sinners is wholly of grace.”
4. “Solely of faith” and “wholly of grace” – I wonder which it should be?
B. Yet in another place in this manual, he writes, “We believe the Scriptures teach that in order to be saved, men must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life.”
1. Perhaps you didn’t catch what he said
a. Men are first regenerated
b. Then the evidence of regeneration is seen by repentance, faith, and a new life.
c. So one is reborn before one is saved by faith!
C. “Baptism is not necessary to salvation, but necessary to obedience.”
1. Therefore obedience is not necessary for salvation.
2. Hebrews 5:9 - Jesus saves those who obey him
3. Work and faith must go together - James 2:17-26
4. You cannot be saved without works - James 1:22-25
D. “Baptism is not necessary to salvation, but is to a public confession of Christ before the world.”
1. Therefore, confession is not necessary for salvation
2. Matthew 10:32-33 - Jesus will not confess those who do not confess him
3. Romans 10:8-10 - Confession results in salvation
E. “Baptism is not necessary to salvation, but is essential for membership in the church which is His body.”
1. Therefore, membership in the church is not necessary for salvation
2. Ephesians 5:25-27 - Christ dies for the church in order to cleanse it.
3. Act 20:28 - God purchased the church with his own blood.
4. Does this mean that Jesus’s sacrifice was not necessary for our salvation?
a. No, look at Colossians 1:13-14
5. Yet, it is the same sacrifice that purchased the church
IV. Salvation is in Christ
A. All spiritual blessings are in Christ - Ephesians 1:3
B. The idea of being in Christ and being in the Christ’s church are equivalent - Acts 2:47
1. How did this addition come? By baptism - Acts 2:40-41
2. Baptism puts us into Christ - Galatians 3:26-28
C. Baptism is the final act that pulls us out of the world and into Christ
1. John 3:3-5 - You cannot enter the kingdom without being born of water and Spirit
2. We are baptized into one body - I Corinthians 12:13
D. Baptism is the representation of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. - Romans 6:3-4
1. With Jesus we are made alive and forgiven - Colossians 2:9-13
2. Through Jesus we are regenerated - Titus 3:3-7
a. Notice that God’s grace and mercy is demonstrated though the washing of regeneration – through baptism!
V. Sadly many will appear before Christ, never obeying his teaching
A. Oh, they believe they are Christ’s. They accept him as their Savior
B. But, ... - Matthew 7:16-23
C. You need not face the rejection of Jesus. You can obey his word. Will you not do so this day?