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The Plan of Salvation (2 of 8)
INTRO: A teacher wrote on the sentence on her blackboard "I ain't had no fun all Summer". Then she faced her class and said "Class what can I do to correct this?" Jimmy raised his hand and said "Get a boyfriend?"
I want to draw your attention to certain parts of speech in today's sermon. Walter Scott caught the imagination of the Western Reserve in latter 1820's by explaining the plan of salvation with his famous "five-finger exercise": Faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins and eternal life. Under his preaching thousands were led to Christ and immersed into him.
However, not all of these "fingers" are related to salvation in the same way and the prepositions used in the Bible will help us to have an even clearer understanding of God's plan of salvation.
I. BY GRACE
A. THE BASIS OF OUR SALVATION
1) "By grace" indicates that grace is the basis of our salvation.
a. The gracious character of God and the gracious work of Christ on the cross.
2) "By grace" helps us to keep the spotlight where it belongs in this whole discussion of salvation. Though we will soon be talking about man's response in the plan of salvation we must never lose sight of it's gift nature.
3) Grace salvation means gift salvation. God has given it to us.
a. We were, after all, spiritually dead. READ VS.1-3
4) Sometimes spiritual outsiders do not realize their need for gift-salvation, and sometimes Christians do not appreciate their dependence upon gift-salvation, because we esteem ourselves too high. We're dangerously unaware of how hopeless we are.
ILLUS: I began playing racquetball about 12 years ago in college. I loved the game right away and I sort of had a knack for it. It wasn't long before I was winning against almost everyone I played. I had a membership at the YMCA there in Orlando for a time and I noticed one day that there was going to be a racquetball tournament. The tournament was to have three divisions: a, b and c. C division was for novices, B division was for intermediates and A division was for advanced. And I wondered to myself what division I should enter myself in this tournament. Should I play it safe and enter the B division where I was fairly confident I could capture the trophy? Or should I gamble by entering the A division where I knew the competition would be much stiffer but the opportunity for glory was greater if I won and scored a big upset...It never even occurred to me to enter the C division for novices because I knew I wasn't a novice.
While I was looking at the poster advertising the tournament a stranger walked up beside me and said "thinking about playing in the tournament?" I said "yes, I'm just wondering what division I should compete in." He said "I played last year." I said "Oh yeah? What division?" He said "C". I said "how did you do?" He said "Pretty good, a come in fourth." And I thought to m ...
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