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Saving Faith, Part 1 (Romans Sermon 75 of 120)

Saving Faith, Part 1 (Romans Sermon 75 of 120)

August 14, 2005 | Andrew Davis
Faith

Introduction: Earned Never Given vs Given Never Earned

We're looking this morning at Romans 10:9-10, two of the greatest verses and the clearest verses on the issue of saving faith. When we were on vacation, my family and I had the joy and delight of being in Arlington National Cemetery and seeing the Marine Color Guard, their precision drill team do their silent drill. And really was a remarkable thing to watch these Marines in their dress uniforms, doing all of these drills without any commands, the result of literally countless hours of practice, they're imbued with the spirit of dignity, knowing that they were in a legacy of one drill team after another, and that they were carrying the banner for the Marine Corps. And so they were standing in a line and they would do these things up and down the line and the timing was just perfect, precise, and you'd hear the kind of clattering. It was almost like a domino effect up and down the line, and we were all truly impressed while being truly hot too. It was very hot in DC over there, but we really enjoyed watching this.

After it was over, the Marines got on the specially designed bus which had a huge recruiting ad on the side for the Marines. And what it was, was a huge Marine sword, a shiny sword, held by a white glove, a hand with a white glove and the beautiful sleeve of a Marine dress uniform. You didn't see the man, but you saw this sleeve and the white glove and the shiny sword. And above it where the words, huge words, simple message, "Earned, never given." Earned, never given. And I went up to a Marine after is over, who had one of those swords that was earned and never given, and I asked, "What does that slogan mean? Earned, never given?" He said, "Well, this sword is given to non-commission officers after they go through certain training, and they go through intense trials and all kinds of different things, and once they reach that level, then the sword is awarded. It's never given to anybody who hasn't gone through those tests and those trials. That's what it means, earned, never given."

And I found myself grateful for men that are willing to go through those trials and we're defended by Marines who are willing to be that precise, and to go through that kind of training. But it got me thinking about the Gospel, and I was delighted, and am delighted to be able to preach to you a Gospel that is given, never earned. That God in His wisdom is willing to give us eternal life. Actually, we must not seek to earn it, it's a Gospel that is most definitely given, and never earned. It says in Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death." That's what we earn. If we want what we earn, what we earn is death. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." Isn't that wonderful? Given, and never earned. And you know why? Because God wants it guaranteed, and if it's earned, we will not get it.

It says in another place in Romans very plainly. "What does the scripture say? 'Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.' Now, when a man works, his wages are not credited him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work, but trusts God, his faith is credited to him as righteousness." And so it's just a simple gift from a God who justifies the wicked, the scripture says. And then in our passage, it says very plainly, Romans 10:8-10. "What does it say?" Namely the Word of faith. "What does it say? 'The word is near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart.' That is the Word of faith that we are proclaiming. That if you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with the mouth that you confess and are saved."

The beautiful simplicity of saving faith. Saved from what? Well, saved from what we truly deserve, saved from what we have earned, saved from the wages of sin, which is eternal death, condemnation, Hell. We will be saved from that simply by believing in Christ.

Now the context here of Romans 10:9-10, Paul is dealing in Romans nine through 11, with the issue of why it is that the Jews, God's chosen people, His special people, were it seems so universally rejecting saving message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why were they rejecting? Romans 9, we saw, is the answer from the top down, the heavenly perspective, they were rejecting because of the sovereignty of God, the sovereign plan of God. And we saw all of that in all of its deep mysteries. But as we go on to Romans 10, we see it more from the human point of view. The Apostle Paul says that the Jews were too zealous to establish their own righteousness rather than to take God's free gift of righteousness. They wanted a salvation that was earned, never given. They wanted to be able to say, "I achieved this through my own efforts."

Look at verse 3 of the same chapter here, Romans 10:3. It says, "Since they, the Jews, did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." Do you see that? And so, they were zealous to establish their own righteousness, and therefore they were in no market to receive the free gift of righteousness through faith in Christ. Now, for two weeks, we're going to look at Romans 10:9-10. Basically it's a three point sermon in two weeks, so that gets a little complicated, I know. And it's even worse because all three of them begin with C, and you think you'd preach them all in one morning. But it's a three part sermon, a three point sermon in two weeks.

II. The Content of Saving Faith

This week, we're going to see the content of saving faith. The content, the mental aspect, what it is we must believe. Next week we're going to see the character of saving faith, that it is a heart matter, a matter of the heart. And we're going to see the confirmation of saving faith, namely what flows out into your life because of this saving faith. So the content, the character, confirmation of saving faith.

Let's look first at this issue, the content of saving faith. And just that thought itself is radical in this day and age, at least to many. Faith must have a content. There are some things we are believing, and by believing those things we are saved. Faith must have a content. And what that means is that faith alone itself is not enough to save your soul. Just having faith does not save anybody. Friends, there are a few American Christians that can match the faith and fanatical devotion of extremist Muslims who are willing both to kill and be killed for their faith. Few of us can match that level of commitment. Few American Christians can match the faith of a Buddhist monk who sits motionless for hours conquering all of his internal drive, so that he can achieve some kind of enlightenment through meditation. Few of us can achieve that level of belief and commitment.

Faith itself doesn't save anybody. Faith is the human capacity to trust, to venture forth on unseen realities, and put your whole life on the line for those realities. We have that capacity to trust. But saving faith itself is a gift from God, He gives it directly to the soul. And faith itself must have an object. I was reading some time ago, I love reading about history, and William L. Shirer, who wrote one of the authoritative histories of the Third Reich, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, was talking about... He was a CBS correspondent in Nazi Germany, in the years that lead up 1930s, that led up to World War II. And he was there at the Nuremberg Rally, the Nazi rally, in September of 1934. And he was astonished by the rabid fanaticism he saw among the German populace for this man Adolf Hitler. And this is what he wrote that night, the night of September in 1934. He says,

"About 10 o'clock tonight, I got caught in a mob of 10,000 hysterics who jammed the moat in front of Hitler's hotel shouting, 'We want our Führer.' I was a little shocked at the faces, especially those of the women, when Hitler finally appeared on the balcony for a moment. They reminded me of the crazed expressions I saw once in the back country of Louisiana, on the faces of some holy rollers who were about to hit the trail. They looked up at him as if he were a Messiah. Their face is transformed in something positively inhuman. If he had remained in sight for more than a few moments, I think that many of the women would have swooned from excitement."

My friends, faith itself doesn't save. No, it is faith in Christ that saves. It's faith that Jesus is Lord, that God raised Him from the dead that we're talking about this morning, that's what we're discussing. There is a faith that justifies, and God has revealed what that is. Now, behind this is a concept, like I said, that is surprising to some, or at least rejected or opposed by some. And that is that there is such a thing as absolute truth. Even in the religious and spiritual realm, there is such a thing as truth, there is such a thing as content.

The Insanity of Post-Modern Relativistic Truth  

Now, post-modern man is relativistic. We tend to deny, or post-modern man denies this concept that there are absolute truths. We teach that... We are taught that truth is subjective, that there actually can be something, get this, that's ultimately true for me, but not ultimately true for you.

How can that be? Doesn't that cause you want to scratch your head? How can it be that God raised Jesus from the dead for me, but He didn't raise Him from the dead for you? And I don't mean in sense that the person doesn't believe it, but I'm saying that it happened at all. But that's the way it is, we're in this relativistic kind of postmodern phase now, where we question all of these truths.

Ravi Zacharias was writing about this, and he talked about it in a kind of a homely sort of way, talking about an umpire calling balls and strikes. He said a pre-modern umpire would have said something like this, "I call them what they are." A modern umpire would say, "I call them as I see them." A post-modern umpire says, "Ain't nothing 'till I call them."  In other words, that truth and reality is in here, and I kind of created by what I claim and what I say I believe.

Do you see how self-centered that is? Do you see how weird it is? I think what we need is some of the earlier Disney where they said, I think, in Lady and the Tramp where the Siamese cats are saying, "We are Siamese if you please, we are Siamese, what, if you don't please." Amen. Okay. I don't know how far that's going to get you in life, but think about it, alright? We are Siamese if you please, we're Siamese if you don't please. We just are Siamese. And if you don't please, it's your problem, okay, because it is what I am. And now we're living in a post-modern era, in which we deny this idea of content and absolute truth. I don't really know how you can live that way, I don't think you can, I just think it's a mental fad. I don't think it's going to last long.

The Absolute Truth of the Gospel

Romans 10:9-10 shows that there are absolute truths, that truths like this are not relative. Now, our culture is going to call us arrogant, as though we're preaching ourselves as saviors. Our culture is going to call us narrow minded because we refuse to celebrate other people's version of spiritual truth. Our culture will cause bigoted because we reject out of hand anything that opposes these truths as having come from the devil. Christians these days seem intimidated by these things, that we're going to be seen to be arrogant and narrow minded and bigoted. And they are intimidating. And so we tend to be humble about these truths. GK Chesterton saw this a while ago, saying that humility is becoming misplaced. It no longer pertains to self opinion, where it ought to be, rather it now pertains to truth, where it ought not to be. A Christian should not apologize that the Grand Canyon is magnificent. Neither should they be embarrassed to declare that that is a beautiful sunset. And why then should we be embarrassed to declare that Jesus is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead? That is the truth, and it's a truth that saves. And if we believe these things, we will have eternal life.

This says another thing to me, and that is that truth precedes and rules over religious experience. I was taught when I was in a college fellowship, I was being trained in evangelism, and very grateful for the evangelistic training that I received in college, I loved it and grateful for it, but one of the things they told me at the time, they said, "You need to focus on your personal testimony." Why is that? "Well, because your personal testimony can't be argued against, it can't be refuted." Well, that may be true, but it could also be called irrelevant. It might be called irrelevant. For example, a Buddhist could say that their meditation, the Zen meditation, has brought them to new heights of self-understanding, and a new sense of peace has flooded into their souls, and so much order and meaning has come to their lives now because of Zen Buddhism.

Tom Cruise and others will tell you what's, gladly tell you what Scientology is doing for them. What a weird cult that is, but he's glad to tell you of his experiences with Scientology. Hindus in India, some of them say they have reached experiences, levels of experience where they feel that they are out of the body. But what is the truth behind all of these things? And how would we respond to secular psychologists who have put them all in one bag, and even do studies that put electrodes on the head and find out what's happening in your brain waves when you're having these religious experiences, and dismiss it all biochemically and psychologically? Behind all of this, there needs to be some objective truth. And the difference between the Judeo-Christian tradition, and our Christian faith and the others, is it's based on historical events, realities, and facts, that God raised Christ from the dead.

God the Father Raised Jesus Christ From the Dead

In 1 Corinthians 15:17 it says, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins." In other words, that historical fact did not happen, your faith is worthless. That's not a post-modern thought, friends. That says there is something that's absolutely true, and that is that the tomb is empty. Now, what is the content that Paul says we must believe? Well, look again at verse nine and 10. It says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." The content, friends, focuses squarely and totally on the person of Jesus Christ, that's our content, He is our content. We're believing things about Jesus. Christianity is so totally identified with this person, Jesus of Nazareth, whom we call Jesus Christ, more so than any other religion that there has ever been.

Buddhism probably could continue without if there had never been a Gautama, the original enlightened one. He laid down some spiritual principles that would still stand, and I think the same is true of Mohammed in Islam. But Christianity disappears if there's no Jesus of Nazareth, it's totally focused on Him, who He was, what He said and did.

The Doctrine of the Incarnation and Full Deity of Christ

And what specific doctrines do we have in mind? Well, first the doctrine of the incarnation, the full deity of Christ. 'Jesus is Lord' is a statement in which we are declaring that Jesus, this man was actually God in the flesh, we're believing that He was God, we're worshipping Him as our Lord and our God. Now, Jesus of Nazareth was a real man, He was really born, He really lived, He really died, He had a body, He had a face, hands, feet, He ate, He slept, He walked, He spoke, and prayed. He breathed, and wept, and He bled, just like any man.

Now, Jesus of Nazareth is the politically correct term to use to refer to that individual. If you read Time magazine or News Week and they're referring, they're going to generally try to refer to Jesus of Nazareth, not to Jesus Christ, because Christ is the title Messiah, and they don't believe that. So we'll just say, "This man, Jesus of Nazareth." I'm saying, "Okay fine, Jesus of Nazareth, He's Lord, He is God, He took on a human body, He walked on this Earth, and He died for my sins." That's what we're claiming, we're claiming that this man, Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, is God.

Now, this title 'Lord', it meant deity, it meant God, no question about it. In the Old Testament, the central name for God is a name that we strive to pronounce perhaps as Yahweh. Perhaps others use the phrase or the word Jehovah. It's four letters, and it appears over 6,000 times in the Hebrew Bible, JHVH, or YHVH, something like that. And we pronounce it Yahweh or perhaps Jehovah. Now, because of the Ten Commandment's clear prohibition against taking the name of the Lord in vain, what the Jewish scribes did is, they wrote the vowels for the Hebrew word Adonai, which means Lord, a lower title, and whenever they would come to the four letter word for 'Lord', which is usually in all caps, all capital letters in your English Bibles, whenever they would come to that, they would pronounce 'Adonai', My Lord, that's what they're saying. When the Greek Jews wanted to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek, Septuagint, they used the word that Paul uses here, 'Kyrios', Lord, every time, 6,156 times.

This word is used to refer to God, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and therefore, to a Greek speaking Jew. The word kyrios meant God, Lord, He is the Lord. What we are saying is that Jesus of Nazareth this man is God, that's what 'Jesus is Lord' means. It's a confession. It is the central confession, of the Christian religion. In my opinion John Chapter 20 is the utter pinnacle of John's magnificent gospel. John 20:26-31.

Jesus is presenting himself after his crucifixion presenting himself alive in the body to his apostles. Of course, you know that Thomas wasn't there the first time and said, I don't believe it, as a matter of fact, if I don't see him with my own eyes, if I don't get a chance to put my finger in his wounds and touch the mark on his side, I'll never believe it. And so Jesus appears a week later, and here's how the account goes. "A week later, His disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you and then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here see my hands reach out your hand and put it into my side stop doubting. And believe, Thomas said to him, [the central confession of Christianity] 'My Lord and My God.'"

That's what we're saying here in Romans 10:9. We are making Thomas's confession that Jesus is 'my Lord and my God.' Remember what Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are they, who have not seen, and yet, have believed." And then John goes on to finish that chapter. "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples which are not recorded in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His name." This is what you must believe to have your sins forgiven. "My Lord and my God," applied to Jesus of Nazareth.

John also put it at the very beginning of his gospel, in John 1:1 and 14 "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God." "And the word became flesh and made His dwelling among us…" He was fully man, and fully God, God in the flesh, come down to Earth. He is the one that we worship he is no mere man and this doctrine is taught, again and again, you had read earlier for you Colossians chapter one, verse 15, following this is what it says, "For by Him, all things were created, things in heaven and earth, visible, and invisible whether thrones or powers, or rulers, or authorities, all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything, he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him." That's what we're saying all the fullness of God dwells in this man, Jesus, Jesus is Lord.

Or it says in Hebrews 1:3, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word, and after He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven." This is the one that we worship now when we say 'Jesus is Lord,' we're also giving a statement of absolute sovereignty. He is the Lord, He rules over heaven and earth, He is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty Jesus said it this way, in Matthew 28:18. "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me" for Christian that's good news, isn't it? All authority in heaven and earth is Christs. He rules on a throne. Or it says in Ephesians 1:21-23, "far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and the every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come and God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the Church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

That is the absolute exalted sovereignty of Jesus, that's who we worship, or again in Philippians 2:9 through 11, after Jesus willingly died on the cross, it says that "God exalted him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that 'Jesus Christ is Lord' to the glory of God the Father." this is the central confession of the Christian faith Jesus is Lord. But let me make it very personal for you, if you're a believer in Christ, what you are saying is Jesus is My Lord. He is my sovereign, He is my God, he's My savior, my ruler.

You're making Thomas's confession 'My Lord and my God,' that's why it's the pinnacle of John's gospel, 'My Lord and my God.' I don't understand, what happened some time ago, when Somebody told us that we could separate Jesus as Savior from Jesus as Lord. Where do you get that? I mean, isn't Jesus is Lord kind of right here in Romans 10:9, I would think you would need to believe that Jesus is Lord in order to be saved because it says so and they say, "Oh that's Lordship of salvation no it's just salvation in the name of the Lord." There's no difference between Jesus as savior and Jesus as Lord. You can't have Him as Savior and not as your Lord. And so what's going to happen is the true Christian is saying Jesus is my Lord in every area of my life. I think it's what Jesus was commanding us to do inviting us to do when He said, "Come to me. All you who are weary and burdened 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 receive rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

What is his yoke? It's His kingly authority, the Gospel of Matthew is all about the kingdom of Christ and what it's about, is that you are going to take that stiff neck of yours and I'm going to take that stiff neck of mine, and I'm going to put it under a yoke of authority, and I'm going to find freedom at last from the yoke of sin that I'd been laboring under all that time because his yoke is easier than sins yoke and his burden is lighter than the burden of eternal condemnation.

And so that's what I'm saying, when I say Jesus is Lord, what I think it means is, I'm going to say Jesus is Lord of my private thought life, Jesus is Lord of my dreams, my aspirations and my ambitions, Jesus is Lord of my time, my minutes and my hours and my years, he is Lord of my money. What I save what I spend on myself, what I spent on others. What I spend on my family what I give away for the Lord's service, he is Lord of all of my money. He's Lord of my sex life, He's Lord of my marriage, he's Lord of my parenting, He's Lord of the books I choose to read and those I refuse to rea.  He's lord of the movies I watch, and those are refused to watch. He's Lord of all of that area of my life, He's Lord of everything He is Lord, so therefore, His commandments, rule my life when He commands me to do something I must obey when he says You should go as a missionary, I must go when he says, "Take this Job or not that one." He is Lord. He rules over everything in my life, he is my King, my ruler, my sovereign, He is my God and a Christian is delighted about that a Christian is joyful about that. Glad to have a wise and powerful sovereign to tell him or her what to do.

The Bodily Resurrection of Christ

And we are glad to submit because he's the king, he is the Lord. That's one thing you must believe, You must also believe that God physically raised Him from the dead, you must believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Doctrinal content is essential Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. That's what we believe and friends, not merely that the spirit of Jesus imbues us all And we all just kind of enjoy the spirit of the resurrection. Kind of like the spirit of Christmas What is that?

What is the spirit of Christmas? It just kind of kicks in right around the day after Thanksgiving, when all the sales begin and then the spirit of Christmas and we just breathe it in. That is not what we're saying. We're saying that there was a time in history when we could have stood after Jesus had been crucified and touched and heard him say to us flesh or a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see. I have... That's what we're saying. He was physically bodily raised from the dead. You know what that means. Death holds no ultimate fear for me anymore. Only thing that I fear is the process like you. But the ultimate results, I do not fear and the fear of the process reduces as I go on and grow in my Christian faith.

The tomb is empty. We've already sung about it this morning. Isn't that glorious? We're not waiting for death, we're waiting for glory, Christ is risen from the dead, and so therefore we have to believe these things. We confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord, and we believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead. And if so, we will be saved. What does that mean? It means the full record of all of our transgressions and sins, all of them for our whole life will be washed away through the blood of Christ, we will fear no condemnation we will not spend eternity getting what we deserve we'll spend eternity receiving what we did not deserve by grace. That's what it means, we will be saved. So what does that mean? It means that content is essential to evangelism. If you're going to do evangelism, you need to... You need to preach this content, you need to communicate it, content therefore is essential to save in faith.

Now, Paul is going to say it openly Look down at verses 13-15.  We'll say it more fully God willing, if we get to preach on that as we plan to. But look at verses 13-15 it says there "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then can they call on the one they have not believed in, and listen to this. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?" You know what that means? You've got to have content in order to have faith, content precedes faith, You see what I'm saying?

How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard, and how can they hear without someone preaching to them, communicating that content and how can they preach, unless they are sent as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Friends? We must bring good news to people who haven't heard it. We must bring good news, and that good news has content. We must tell them that there is a God who created Heaven and earth, that, that God who created heaven and Earth has laws by which He expects us to live and he has the right to give us those laws and that we have sinned and have broken those laws, the Ten Commandments, the two great commandments, we've broken them. And that we deserve eternal condemnation for having broken those laws.

But that God in his grace and mercy, sent His only begotten Son Jesus into this world to take on a human body, to live a genuine human life. He did miracles, signs, and wonders, he walked on water, He fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish, he raised the dead, and then he was arrested falsely accused of blasphemy, he was nailed to the cross, his blood was shed as an atoning sacrifice for my sin and for yours, and he died, he literally died and on the third day, God raised Him from the dead, He ascended to Heaven, and at present sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. That's what we have to tell them. We have to tell them that content or they cannot be saved and as they listen to that content, what's going to happen is Romans 10:17, "Consequently faith comes from hearing the message of Christ."

And so as they're listening to the message what happens inside their heart faith and God justifies they hear this content, and they say, "I believe that. I believe it." And God sees what's in their heart with their heart, they believe, and they are justified, Through faith.

Now, there are two direct consequences of all this first. If our faith has content, the content must be proclaimed. Are you active and involved in proclaiming this content? Have you shared these truths with anybody in the last six months?

Well, speaking positively and encouragingly. Why don't you begin why don't you start, why don't you begin sharing this week, why don't you ask God to give you an opportunity to talk to somebody about this content? I'm not saying don't share your testimony, go ahead if it gets you into talking about the content, but talk about this content of saving faith with somebody this week. This content must be proclaimed.

Secondly, friends, this content must be protected. It is under attack and it will be ever increasingly. So in our interesting country, our pluralistic country in which we live, they will attack this content they already have. When I was living in Massachusetts I drove by almost every day, during one phase of my life, past Lexington and Concord where the Revolutionary War began, in April 19th, 1775 after the Minute Men the local militia, had been forewarned, not by Paul Revere sadly, for all the great poetry that was written, he never made it, but other folks did make it out and say The British are coming.

And so they were ready, at dawn for 1000 British regulars who were coming. Now just a handful of militia, they were standing there. And Captain John Parker, who was commanding Lexington militia said this, "Stand your ground If they mean to have a war let it begin here." Now, let me say to you that if the rights of colonials under the British Empire are worth standing and fighting for and protecting how much more these Gospel truths.

Now don't misunderstand me. We don't fight with a musket in our hands or with any weapon physically our weaponry is spiritual. It says in 2nd Corinthians 10:3-5. We defend it spiritually, we defend arguments, we challenge thoughts. So I worked for 10 years as an engineer and I know the kind of discussions that happen and people are more and more drinking in this relativistic way of thinking, challenge it.

Think of interesting and clever things to say that get them to say, "Can I really live like that?" I don't live like that. There must be some truths that we all believe and work with It challenge them. This content must be proclaimed but it must also be protected, and so we need to defend these truths from attack.

II. Applications

Now, what applications can we take from this? Obviously, those two proclaim... Proclaim it and protect it. Let me just speak to you, as folks that I don't know all of you, I don't know everything that's going on in your heart. Can I urge you to test yourself and see if you're in the faith.

Are you saved? Have you been saved according to my text? Do you believe that Jesus is Lord, Can you confess it, can you say Jesus is my Lord in truth do you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, do you believe? Have you felt the weight of your sin, do you know that you need a Savior, and if you... Are you willing to come to Christ and find in Him all the salvation, all the favor, you need. So I'm speaking to those that perhaps have never testified that Jesus is your Lord, Are You saved?

Have you trusted in Christ? And for those of you that have here in, in the simple text, find your assurance it's not complicated, it really just comes down to this, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." But we're gonna talk next week about how your confession, needs to line up with reality. You're going to be confessing not just with your lips but with your life, and I'll end with this Challenging word from Christ, in which Jesus said in Luke 6:46 "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say." Close with me in prayer.

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