Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
January 21, 2001 PM
PRAISE GOD ... A NEW START
(1 Pet 1:3)
INTRO: Although the two letters of Peter are not very long, every verse seems filled to overflowing with great truths. Only a little thought will produce volumes of ideas and thought direction from each verse. In verse 3 of chapter 1 we might paraphrase Praise God ... a new start in life. Certainly the subject of the new birth was important to Peter, and it is mentioned again later. Before we talk about that new start, though, there are two things to mention.
I. FIRSTLY, PRAISE TO GOD WHO MAKES IT ALL POSSIBLE
A. His word of praise includes important word Father
1. typical Jewish prayer - Blessed are Thou, O God
2. for them, God seemed somewhat aloof
3. but Peter notes the Fatherhood of God
B. The abundant mercy of the Father
1. Peter knew that God dealt mercifully
2. he knew that neither he, nor we, would want from God what we deserve (comment on Peters denial of Christ)
3. Eph 2:4,5 who is rich in mercy (2 Cor 1:3)
II. SECONDLY, CERTAINTY OF NEW BIRTH DECLARED BY JESUS RESURRECTION
A. New Testament writers are emphatic about Jesus resurrection
1. is one great miracle mentioned throughout
2. and it is cited as the certification of all that is taught and believed
3. 1 Cor 15:17 here is how important it was/is!
B. Some say they can be Christians without resurrection
1. but such is just not the case
2. without Jesus resurrection Christianity is worthless (powerless)
3. but believing/knowing the resurrection is a fact make all of Christianity vital and relevant ... it is the basis for the lively hope of anticipation
III. WHAT THIS NEW START MEANS, THEN?
A. It certainly means that God cares
1. in these latter years Peter was sure of this
2. 1 Pet 5:7b for he careth for you
B. It means a new start - a fresh page
1. how we should desire such a fresh beginning!
2. to be able to write upon a fresh page of life
3. 2 Cor 5:17 and Rom 6:4 new creature and newness of life
C. It means a new kind of life new qualities
1. a life considering Gods word and Jesus pattern
2. Eph 5:1,2a qualities of selflessness, concern, love
3. Heb 13:20,21 to do his will
D. It means a new family
1. note again the term Father with Rom 8:15
2. Eph 2:19c of the household of God
3. a new father, new brothers, new sisters!
E. It means a new hope
1. unto a lively hope our text says
2. one writer points out this is not like I hope I get a good grade on the test ... it is rather the hope of certain anticipation I know its coming but in Gods own time
3. Heb 6:18,19 hope in God not in perishing, worldly things which really have no lasting power
F. It means a new home
1. This world is not my home, Im just a passing through
2. note 1 Pet 2:11 strangers and pilgrims
3. Jno 14:1-3 with Phil 3:20,21
CLOSE: Everyone should want a new start in life. Well, its possible; its available. Jesus talked about it in Jno 3:5. And the new start can be yours this very night!
Cecil A. Hutson
21 January 2001
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)