Faithlife Sermons

Saved...Now What?

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Now What? This is a topic that has been weighing heavy on my heart for some time now because the now what is specifically related to the future results of the past action of salvation…how do we ensure that those who are saved grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Saved…. Now What? Philippians 2:12-13 This morning we have witnessed the public profession of faith through baptism. As I was praying and seeking God’s guidance on what to say the same thought kept running through my mind…. Now What? This is a topic that has been weighing heavy on my heart for some time now because the now what is specifically related to the future results of the past action of salvation…how do we ensure that those who are saved grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But before I dive into the meat of the message today, I want to address some preliminaries and clarify a few things so that we ensure we are all on the same page for the rest of the message…. I invite you to brace yourself, open your hearts and ears and listen as if this is the first time you have heard this information. The first thing we need to clarify is this event we call salvation. What is salvation? What does it mean? Salvation in one sense is a momentary event that occurs when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we then as a result with our hearts believe that Jesus is Lord (resulting in righteousness, his imputed to us) and that God raised Him from the dead for His glory alone. Because of that belief we are then compelled to confess Him with our mouths and as Romans 10:9-10 says the combination of these two actions produces salvation…. please understand, listen, look right at me, these are NOT your actions…this is the action of God working in and through you. I know what some of you are thinking, preacher that’s good and all but I thought to be saved you had to repent…. let me assure you of this, repentance is the result of, not the action leading to salvation. You do not repent in order to be saved, your repent because you are saved…if it was the other way around, salvation would depend on you, not Christ!! So, then this question and answer leads to another question, what does it mean to believe? This is what it means to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. First, we accept that He is the one true God, that He one of three parts of the triune God that is One God manifested in three persons. That He being the one true God emptied Himself into the form of a slave (us, mankind), then lived the perfect, blameless and holy life, that He was unjustly crucified (punished) for our sins (penal substitution) in other that He may justify those who believe in Him as Lord. Once crucified, He died a physical death, He was buried, His soul descended into Hell, which He subsequently defeated by physically rising triumphantly from the grave on the third day in order to reconcile us to Himself. The next thing that I want to clarify before we get into our main focus this morning is to also help you understand that while salvation is a momentary event, it is also a process….in fact there are three dimensions to salvation. The first is that which I described for you before, we like to use the word salvation but the correct theological term for what I described for you is justification…. This is the redeeming work of Christ on the cross. The action by which the punishment for our sins was completed, this is the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement. Christ death on the cross was our punishment for our sins paid by Him. The second dimension is sanctification. This is the Christian life whereby the spirit molds you through His will and His working in us and our responsibility in this is obedience. The third dimension is glorification, this is when the believer is removed from this life of flesh and enters the presence of God fully glorified to live and reign with Him eternally. John McArthur describes it this way, “believers, therefore, have been saved, are being saved and will be saved.” It is in this “are being saved that we want to camp out this morning. Read Philippians 2:12-13 This thought of “are being saved” should not be nor should it indicate that there is a danger of losing one’s salvation, in fact, as we walk through our scripture this morning it should solidify your understanding of the fact that once you are truly His you are His indeed. We will see in our text today a command that is given, a comfort that is offered and purpose of the perseverance in this idea that we as sinners saved by grace are to be obedient and responsive to the work of the Holy Spirit within us so that ultimately, we shine His glory in this dark world. The Command 1. So Then (Therefore) – is a transition that ties what is coming to that which was already said. V.1-11. you believe BECAUSE of what just happened. You have faith BECAUSE of Christ’s work on the cross. Paul says a. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14 (HCSB) 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. b. So, then we believe BECAUSE of what just happened 2. My dear friends – my brothers in Christ whom I love dearly, brotherly affection is important and I am sharing this information with you BECAUSE I love you 3. Just as you have obeyed…. – whether I am with you are not you are to obedient always, you should need to rely on the presence of another individual to live out the life of a believer, you are to constantly be obedient when someone is watching, even more when no one is watching, because someone is always watching a. A proof of a regenerated life is obedience REGARDLESS of circumstances, surroundings or audience 4. Work out…salvation – here we come to the thrust of the command, work out your salvation. This is NOT works based faith, he says work out, not work on, not work at, this statement does not call us to do anything to BE saved, this is given to one who is ALREADY saved. It calls us to be obedient to the will of God – DIRECTING US TO RESPOND…even when we are unsure, even when we seem to not know the way, we are to respond by following the example set before us, remember this is still tied to what came before a. V.5 attitude b. John 15:9-17 (HCSB) 9 “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11 “I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12 This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 17 This is what I command you: Love one another. c. Matthew 22:37-40 (HCSB) 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” d. John 13:34 (HCSB) 34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. e. We hear these words spoken to us, or read them for ourselves and we think, this sounds simple enough, that’s it, that’s all it calls for, us to love? It goes further, it calls you to love LIKE CHRIST LOVED…LOOK RIGHT AT ME…you and I ARE NOT capable of fulfilling this, we can love, but can we love like Christ let me give you an example i. Today, in a jail somewhere, sits Dylan roof. A man who by his own admission admits to brutal slaughtering 9 people who were doing nothing more than worshiping God. In his closing arguments to the jury Dylan said, “I have the right to ask you to give me a life’s sentence, but I’m not sure what good it would do anyway…I still feel like I had to do it.” A COMPLETELY unregenerate Roof awaits federal execution for his crimes…to love like Christ means that you would willingly walk in, allow yourself to be placed on and strapped down to the gurney, IV needles inserted into your arms and then receive the lethal injection meant for him…. a completely unregenerate person…after all “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us…” 5. So why then are we instructed in this manner, why are we called repeatedly in scripture to do something that we simply aren’t equipped to do…enter fear and trembling…our inability to complete the task/work helps serve as a reminder of the awesomeness of God. DO NOT MISS THIS, just because we ultimately cannot do this to the level that God requires does not mean that we stand still, in fact we should strive to work out our salvation by being as obedient as possible grinding in our faith obeying the command given in the text to keep on working to completion or fulfillment… 6. Application – in our lives we are called, as believers to live as much like Christ as possible, we are to rise up every day and live and love, our lives should be a statement, our mouths should proclaim the gospel, and we should continually lift Him up every day to the glory of God….our response is to stumble forward in wretched, broken obedience….you say preacher this is terrible news, this is not uplifting or encouraging or making me all ready to go out and live for him, but there’s more, here is the good news, YOU WILL NOT DO THIS ALONE The comfort 1. V.13 here is the most AMAZING part of this passage is that EVEN when we are working out our salvation, HE, GOD IS WORKING IN US!! In verse 12 Paul wants us to know and understand that WE have a responsibility, a role to play. But here Paul wants to reassure us that we aren’t doing this without a support system or structure 2. First, we need to KNOW that God is working in us. At the moment of salvation, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and immediately He begins to His work to change us from the inside out. It is He that teaches us, edifies us, encourages us, moves us and drives us to continue in the working out of our salvation. The indwelling of the spirit is what reminds us that we have a support structure beyond our own. He is what causes us to have the perfect peace of Christ, He is the very change that has been wrought in our lives. 3. Not only is he working in our lives to make a new, regenerated creation, He is also powering the work and provoking the work, giving us the activity and the desire to complete the activity. a. How many of you have a favorite hobby? Because we have a desire for that hobby and find enjoyment in that hobby, we will take action to do the hobby because the motivation for action is based in our desire to do the hobby and if we have the means necessary we will take action and do the hobby, desire and power are necessary for the hobby to be done. The Holy Spirit places the desire within us to do his work, to work out our own salvation. b. As a believer we have been given the desire to do the work of God, we should want and desire to proclaim the gospel, do missions work, care for the widows and the orphans, edify and encourage brothers and sisters in Christ, love like he loved BUT…. 4. He doesn’t just give us the desire, he also graciously grants us the power to be obedience…. having the desire is not enough, he grants us the power, his power, to complete the work that he has called us to, without which we would be powerless a. Sling blade illustration – aint got not gas in it 5. As funny as the thought of four grown men not realizing that a piece of equipment needs gas to power it, the reality is that we as believers often try working without the source of our power to do the work which he has given us the will to do….our response goes something like this, I believe that God has called me to do this mission or this program or teach this class I will do it to the best of my ability…..this passage says you do it to the best of HIS ability because Paul is teaching us here that the working that God is doing in our lives creates the want to do his work and the power with which to accomplish his work and that our responsibility in this picture is to move forward in obedience, not in perfection, just in obedience, this brings us to the purpose of this working within us The purpose 1. V.15 the purpose is simple and easy to understand, but VITALLY important…we are to shine like the stars. This shining that we are to do reflects the Glory of God working in us and through is. Christ tells us in Matthew 5:14 (HCSB) 14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. The amazing thing about this statement is that he didn’t see us as what we were/are but what we will be, he is making us and molding us into who we will be 2 Corinthians 3:18 (HCSB) 18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is working in us and though us to transform us 2. Romans 12:2 (HCSB) 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. 3. Ephesians 4:23 (HCSB) 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 4. Titus 3:5 (HCSB) 5 He saved us— not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 5. This transformation then is not of our own doing but of his, he is the one that renews our minds and regenerates and renews our life. SO…SAVED…NOW WHAT? – the what is the place where we have been this morning. This understanding out our role in the process of sanctification one dimension of salvation where we live out this faith in constant obedience to the work of Christ in our lives. That transforming work is the giving us the desire to perform the work of God and His kingdom but it also empowers us for that work for the purpose of His Glory. It is of utmost importance for each of us to understand this morning that salvation is far simpler yet vastly more complicated than we can ever understand. Simpler in the fact that salvation is through faith alone in Christ alone…nothing else is required to be saved but the process of salvation is ongoing through the remainder of our life of faith…so ultimately the question is this….DO YOU BELIEVE...understand before you answer, True belief in the atoning work of Christ on cross will produce action, because when we have true faith, God Himself will provoke and power our action, therefore it is simply NOT possible to believe without resulting action. My prayer for each of us today is this…. that the Holy Spirit will prick our hearts, convict us of our inaction and provoke us forward in obedience. Here is what I ask this morning…if God has provoked and pierced and pricked you in any way this morning, I want you to join me at the altar to pray for our church & our future!! It doesn’t matter this morning if this is your church are not, you are welcome to join us in submitting ourselves and our church to Christ’s guidance and our obedience
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