SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 03/06

Salvation through Jesus Christ

Reading: 2 Corinthians 11

1. Trouble

Our world is awash with trouble. It comes in a seemingly endless stream. Peoples of all faiths, irrespective of colour, class and intelligence are experiencing trouble of one kind or an other. After all these years mankind is still incapable of eradicating trouble. Indeed our troubles appear to be on the increase. And so we have: wars, famines, disease, persecution, unemployment, violence, greed and a host of other problems too numerous to mention. The root problem of course is sin. Sin is an attitude of mind which manifests itself in rebellion against Yahweh's commandments.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:
for sin is the transgression of the law.

(1 John 3:4)

In the beginning mankind was offered a choice between life on the one hand and knowledge on the other (Genesis 2:16-17). Our first parents rejected the Tree of Life (which represented Jesus Christ) and chose Satan: the one who had the knowledge and personal experience of good and evil. Their decision plunged the whole world into troubles so great that they now threaten to engulf us. Our first parents wanted to know about good and evil - by personal experience. Mankind's present plight some 6000 years later is simply the result of their tragic decision to 'see for themselves.' Problems are the evil part; the part of which the whole human race now has full knowledge. Bear in mind that the root cause of all our problems is sin, the rejection of Yahweh's directions and the violation of His commands. The sin may be in ourselves, in others, in society at large or may even go back several generations to our ancestors. But you can be sure that at the root of every problem is sin. Somebody, somewhere along the line has transgressed the law of the Most High and human suffering is the result.

Is there any salvation from this sad state of affairs, this roundabout of rebellion, this treadmill of trouble? We are happy to say, there is.

2. Worst of Sinners

Many sinners suppose that they are worse than all others. This is an understandable reaction to strong conviction, but it is wrong in every case. In any event Jesus Christ came to save all sinners, irrespective of whether they think they are the worst or not - for "all have sinned" (Rom.3:23).
1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Therefore no matter what the problem is, and it may not be your fault, for its root cause may go back a hundred years or more, Christ Jesus can help you. He is 'God in human flesh' and he can save you from problems of every kind. As Abraham Lincoln once said to a friend in great trouble: "Go to Him and pray, for He alone can save you."

3. What must I do to be saved?

By far the most important piece of information ever to be transmitted to the sons and daughters of men is the answer to the question: What must I do to be saved? Saved, please note, not just from one's temporal problems which come to believer and unbeliever alike - but from the end result of sin - condemnation and everlasting death!
Acts 16:30 ... Sirs What must I do to be saved?
31: And they said: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
(Note: and thy house - household)
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

From these passages we can see that faith in Yeshua (the Saviour's Hebrew name) is the way to salvation. In short, the sinner, no matter how bad he may think he is, must have faith in Christ Jesus. He must believe what Yahweh has categorically promised. And he must rest assured that what the Almighty has promised - He will do. The whole universe would descend into absolute chaos if Yahweh failed to keep this single promise. So we can have absolute confidence in Him that He will not break His word. Trust Him. He will do what He says.

4. The Value of Trouble

Salvation from sin and its consequence is guaranteed to those who have faith in Jesus Christ. But what about the present problems (physical ills, persecution, poverty, starvation, homelessness, unemployment, loneliness etc) which are not automatically removed when a person believes? Let us consider some examples.

Righteous Job

Job 1:3 His enormous wealth: 10 children, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 she asses and many servants.
chapters 1-37 His terrible troubles: Job lost practically everything, wealth, possessions, family, health and friends. Few men or women have suffered as Job did.
His faith:
Job 13:15 ... Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him...
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

His End: Restoration, long life, fame and friendship.

Job's experience proves that even a godly person can have troubles. And they may not be speedily removed even after prayer. But faith can win through every trouble no matter how bad it may be. When you fell that your troubles are too much, think of Job. See Lesson 15 in the Stewarton Bible School Course.

The Apostles

All the Apostles suffered enormously; far more than is generally known. And in the end almost all suffered a martyr's death. They had troubles, no one will dispute that fact. But Yahweh allowed them to experience trouble for a very good reason. He was with them throughout their trials. He did not remove trials; but provided the strength to bear them. Note Paul's attitude in time of trial.
Romans 5:3 ... But we glory in tribulation: knowing that tribulation worketh patience,
4: and patience experience, and experience hope.
5: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

2 Corinthians 11:23 to 12:10 Read this incomparable passage to the audience.

From it we learn certain facts:

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet Dec.1995 ... Updated with KJV references July 1999