Sermon on April 17 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Romans 10:9-10
Life is made up of many decisions. At this baptismal service we have opportunity to ask: ‘Am I a Christian or an almost Christian? Are you like King Herod (Mark 6:20)? Or have you decided to fully and finally believe and follow Jesus?
To be in a saving relationship with God, you must:
1. SEE THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF SALVATION!‘…you will be saved’ (v9)
It is easy to see the global and national problems in the world, the greed, corruption and violence.
God does not save us from sin out there , but sin within! Often the barrier to believing is not in the first-place intellectual, but our own self-righteousness (Rom 10:3). None of us are righteous enough.
…I always felt like I wasn’t good enough, no matter how hard I tried… I quickly realized as a teen that there were so many standards I couldn’t meet. Because sin is in the fiber of my being. (Fatma Gozet – baptized today).
2. COMMIT YOURSELF TO THE ABSOLUTE CLARITY OF SALVATION!
If Jesus alone is the only righteousness that can help us, what does God demand from us?
- Wake up – and obey the internal conviction
When you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, you will believe all the rest about Him.
God does not call us to believe in ‘make-believe’. Faith in Jesus is not following your heart, it is not credulity or even positive thinking. It is accepting God’s own testimony about His Son Jesus (1 John 5:9)
- Stand up – and make the external confession
‘…if you declare with your mouth, “ Jesus is Lord”… (v9)
‘…it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved’. (v10)
It is not possible to remain a secret disciple. Do you confess Jesus with your mouth, in baptism and with your life?
Here we judge people by what they were most while they lived on earth.
(The gatekeeper of heaven in a dream to Jerome, church father).
3. REACT TO THE ABSOLUTE URGENCY OF SALVATION!
Are you tempted to make the same mistake Herod did? Almost Christians often believe that tomorrow they will decide.
Herod listened, he liked John and was even moved. When it was too late, his opportunity was gone.
Remember! .Now is the time to decide for Jesus. It was publicly that Jesus hung on the cross. It was publicly that people spat on His bleeding back. It was publicly that He cried out: ‘Father, forgive them…’ Why would anything less than public confession do for you? If you want hell and eternal separation from God, do nothing.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- What are some of the excuses that people make today for not trusting in Jesus? What does the Bible say our greatest barrier is? How in your own words would you define ‘sin’?
- Everyone, even the atheist believes in something. What according to the Bible is saving faith? What is it not? Someone at work asks you why Christians insist that Jesus alone is the way to God. Using the word ‘righteousness’, how would you respond? (See Romans 3:9-26)
- The passage we studied does not mention baptism. What is baptism? How would it fit in with the word ‘confess’ here? Does baptism save? If not, why is it important. Spend time praying for those who were baptized today and for your own walk with the Lord.
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Photo credit FreeImages.com/Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo