Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
September 3, 2000 PM
DEAREST FRIENDS, STAND FAST!
INTRO:One of the characters in the wonderful musical Fiddler On the Roof had a line which he spoke more than once .. it was a line which was marvelous in its understatement .. yet, it explained in his simple, unpolitical way the turmoil of the Russia in which he lived. The Constable would say, Theres trouble in the world. That trouble finally caught up with the little village of Anatevka. And I think that line is really what Paul is saying in this letter... theres trouble in the world. And that trouble - taking several forms - was threatening the peace and future of these people whom he loved. So he writes: Phil 4:1. Listen to:
I THE DEPTH OF HIS EMOTION
A. My brethren
1. his apostolic authority is not cited or claimed
2. for these people his is a feeling of total equality... as friend among friends
B. Dearly beloved
1. perhaps others of his letters and his work paint us the mental picture of a very austere man perhaps even harsh
2. yet, what more endearing, tender language than this?
C. And longed for
1. there arent many people from whom you could be separated and for whom youd long! Oh, youd enjoy seeing them if an opportunity arose
2. that which is longed for is a deep attachment has likely some control influence in life occupies your thoughts more than a little
3. such was the depth of Pauls emotion for his friends who were facing trouble in the world
II THE SPIRIT OF HIS EMOTION ... ENTHUSIASTIC
A. These people were his joy
1. they were fruit of his labor he had taught them
2. temporal experiences were not source of Pauls joy ... people were ... people in whom he had a decided personal interest
3. I Thes 2:19, 20
B. These people were his crown
1. with pride he could say, Look at those wonderful Philippian Christians ... my children in the Lord
2. in truth, Paul knew the joy of a soul winner
3. Prov 11:30 with Ps 126:6 bringing his sheaves with him the ornamentation of his life was the numbers of precious souls hed helped save by Gods grace and gospel
III THE CONCERN OF HIS EMOTION .. STAND FAST
A. There was something worth standing for
1. 2 Cor 4:13-16 & 2 Tim 1:8-12a for the which cause
2. the cause of Christ and the gospel ... a cause which gives meaning to life because it gives life and hope to people in desperate need ... a cause which takes one out of himself
3. the cause which offers present and future satisfaction
B. But there was the danger of wavering
1. trouble in the world would bring strong pressures
2. 2 Cor 11:28 troubles without and within!
3. the devil will not quit working even in strong, mature churches like Philippi ... pressures to quit ... enticements to forsake
C. So, the need for strong roots
1. strong root system enables standing in great storms
2. Eph 3:17-19 roots in the love of Christ in both the knowledge and appreciation of His constant care and help
3. Col 2:6,7 roots in the truth of Christ (as opposed to the traditions, philosophies of men) total confidence in Gods word as both offense and defense in lifes struggles (Eph 6:17)
D. And a strong determination
1. there are times when - in this cause - one must simply clinch his teeth to say, I shall not be moved!
2. often it is simply a lack of will which devastates a discipline... I think this is one of Satans most effective devices he works - not to make us unbelievers - but to cause us to feel it makes no difference; its not worth it; etc.
3. when folks all around are wavering, its hard to summon the inner strength of determination ... especially when you know the immediate outcome might bring pain
CLOSE:I Thes 3:8. Paul would not have thought life worth living if hed have heard these disciples were not standing fast in the Lord. Perhaps he died just a bit each time he heard of some brother or sister who had gone back to the world. Beloved friends, I entreat you ... stand fast in the Lord!
Cecil A. Hutson
03 September 2000
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)