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Faith and Salvation (1 of 6)
Romans 3:22-24; Romans 4:5; Romans 10:9
INTRODUCTION: This evening, I want to begin a series of messages on faith. Faith is the essential element that connects us to God. We are saved by faith, we live by faith, and we receive the things necessary to life by our faith in God and His faithfulness to us. Matthew 21:22 says, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
QUOTE: Corrie Ten Boom said, "Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible."
Our first message this evening is entitled, A Saving Faith. I have three points:
I. Its Requirement
II. Its Simplicity
III. Its Consideration
I. ITS REQUIREMENT
A. God's Requirement
1. Hebrews 11:6 states, "But without faith it is impossible to please him." In the Old Testament God had one standard and requirement for having sins forgiven. It was a personal faith and complete trust in Him. The Bible says in Romans 4:3, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."
2. The Old Testament believers were required to keep the Ten Commandments. It was the Law. When they failed (and God knew they would), He provided a sinless, blood sacrifice, an animal without spot or blemish, a substitute. Remember, the purpose of the Law was to reveal that they could not measure up to God's perfect requirement: sinless perfection. Galatians 3:24 says, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." When the people failed, they were to confess their sins, placing their hands on an innocent animal. The sins were symbolically transferred to the animal; it became their substitute. This was God's plan of salvation. By faith in God's substitute, the Old Testament believers were saved. Of course, we understand that final payment came when Jesus died on the cross. He was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.
B. Jesus' Requirement
1. John 3:36 says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." In order for a man to be saved, he must confess his sins and place his faith in Christ. Jesus said in Luke 13:3, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." As the sins are confessed, the sinner then places his complete faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross. Jesus became the fulfillment of the Lamb in the Old Testament. John said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
ILLUS: We all remember the nursery rhyme, "Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go."
As the story goes, Mary was Mary Sawyer of Sterling, Mass. According to Ruth Hopfmann of the Sterling Historical Society, the story of Mary and her lamb dat ...
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