Christianity is the BEST of both worlds!!

John 10:10

 

Compare the life of a follower of Christ and a non-follower of Christ

Generally good health because sin is avoided.

Health compromised because of indulgence in sin.

More money to spend because cigarettes and beer are not bought, and no gambling.  Tithes and offerings are given to God through His local church, but God always makes 90% go further than non-followers can get 100% to go.

Spending money on beer, cigarettes, and lotto tickets trying to get rich quick and enjoy this life leaves the non-follower with constant disappointment.  Following Satan's advice, "Get all the gusto you can, you only go through life once."

Family life is quiet and peaceable, full of enjoyment of wholesome friends and family.  There is fear for loved ones, but also assurance that God is able to handle any situation.

Life sometimes seems like or worse than a soap opera.  A constant fear of what children and spouse will do.

God is ever present to help in the good and bad times.  He is ever there to hear and answer our prayers.

There is no one to depend upon but oneself and hopefully those around you.

There is no need to try to control emotions, our family, or our current situation.  We believe that everything that happens will be for our good and God's glory.

There is a constant need to control your emotions and the situation around you because if you don't, nobody will.

The flesh has a fear of pain and death, but the soul has assurance of eternal life.

The flesh has a fear of pain and death.  The horror of the soul in facing eternity alone is indescribable.

 

The steps of becoming like Jesus.

 

Part I

Eternal Salvation

 

I.    The condition of every person without God.

A.  All are born into this world as hell deserving sinners.

B.   Romans 3:10 - All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

II.   Every person must admit their complete sinfulness and hopelessness before God.  There is no difference in anybody.

A.  The ground at the foot of the cross is completely level.

B.   There is no such thing as some being better than others, or some being worse than others.

1.   There is a difference in what people do, but what motivates them to do evil is the same in everybody.

2.   There are some who yield themselves to wickedness more than others, but the depravity of every person is exactly the same.

3.   There are some who are taught what evil is and how to stay away from it, while others aren't taught, but they are all wicked, hell deserving sinners.

 

Part II

Obedience through scriptural baptism

 

I.    Matt. 3:13-15 - Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to fulfill all righteousness.

A.  He wasn't baptized in order to be saved

B.   We aren't baptized in order to be saved, but because we already are saved.

C.   Baptism was important to Christ.

1.   He walked approximately 60 miles to be baptized.

2.   He went to John because John had the authority from God to baptize.

3.   God was satisfied with the baptism of Jesus Christ.  Is He satisfied with your baptism?

II.   Acts 2:37-40 - Peter told these people to be baptized after they were saved in order to receive the promise and to save themselves from this untoward generation.

A.  The promise is that in Israel shall all nations of the earth be blessed because the promised Saviour and redeemer of all sinners would come into the world through them.

B.   Acts 3:25 - Peter preaching to the Jews encouraging them to accept Christ, especially since they are the children of the prophets, and because Jesus is a Jew.

C.   Gen. 17:7 - God established the covenant with Abram when He changed his name to Abraham, giving him the fleshly, hidden sign of circumcision, which is a portrayal of the hidden salvation of the heart.

D.  Joel 2:28 - This is the promise given that was fulfilled in Acts 2.

III. Baptism is the outward sign of an inward belief in Christ.

A.  Romans 6:1-8 (verse 5) - Physical baptism in water is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ which shall also happen to us because Christ has redeemed us from our sinfulness.

 

Part III

Faithful service in one of the Lord's local churches

 

I.    Heb. 10:25 - Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is.

II.   John 20:24 - Thomas was not with the disciples when they saw Jesus because he missed Sunday night worship services.  He has been called "Doubting Thomas", but this leaves a bad thought about Thomas.  All he wanted was proof of the resurrection.  He wanted to see for himself.  There is nothing wrong with that.  We all should see for ourselves, and not take somebody else's word for it.  If we believed everything everybody told us, we would wind up believing nothing at all!

III. Need to be faithful to the Lord's church because this is being faithful to the body of Christ.

A.  Being faithful to your spouse is being faithful with your body to their body.

B.   It is as impossible to be faithful to your spouse without your body, as it is to be faithful to Christ without being faithful to His body, the local church organized by Him and left on this earth to be a witness to Him.

C.   The phrase "Body of Christ".  Used only four times in the entire Bible.

1.   Romans 7:4, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married (my emphasis) to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."- This passage refers to the literal fleshly body of Jesus Christ, in which He bore our sins on the cross.  It is quite apparent from this passage that we are new creatures in Christ in this sinful world, that having been saved, we no longer follow in the ways of the world, but follow God.

a)   This passage can be complicated, but the truth is that we are saved from the consequences of the law by the body of Christ.

b)   He has taken our sins upon His body, and paid the consequences of the law for us on the cross of Calvary.

c)   We are not longer forced to obey the law or to pay the penalties of the law.

d)   Christ paid all these for us.

e)   Phil. 2:5-8 - Christ took upon Himself the form of a sinful man, yet without sin: in order to take our sins upon Himself.  In order for us to take on the likeness of Christ, we must be (more) than a member (a part) of his body, which is the local church.

2.   Eph. 1:22,23, "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." - Paul says the church (assembly) is the body of Christ.

a)   Because Christ has paid for our sins, God has given Him authority over all, and has made him the head of the church, which is the body of Christ.

b)   This letter is not written to all the saved of all the ages, but to the "...saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 1:1) (the local church)

3.   Eph. 4:11-13, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" - This is the body of Christ in action.

a)   All of those people in verse 11 are in the first church.  (See Eph. 1:1 also)

b)   Remember, Paul is writing to the local church at Ephesus, not all the believers in general.

c)   When we read the Bible, we must keep in mind that most of the scriptures is not written to individuals, but to the local church in a certain area.

d)   Refer back to I Cor. 12:27 - Paul says the same thing to the Corinthian church as he says to the church at Ephesus.

4.   I Cor. 12:27, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." - Paul is writing to the local church at Corinth, not to all the saved people in the world.