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Biblical Salvation: Would Jesus that say I'm Saved?

Romans   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Main Point: ONLY TRUE SALVATION TRULY SAVES!

Romans 2:25–29 ESV
For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
vs. 25 =
Brief Outline of the Passage:
Paul addresses the present confusion over circumcision
(v. 25) Paul addresses a supposed challenge from the Jews—”YOU’VE NEGATED THE COVENANT GOD MADE WITH US!”
(v. 25) Paul claims the Jews have negated the covenant God made with them--”YOU BREAK THE LAW!”
(v. 26-29) Paul provides a logical argument rendering physical circumcision useless in securing salvation
(v. 26) When a physically uncircumcised man obeys the word of God he is accepted by God!
(v. 27) The one who obeys God’s word will condemn the one who appears godly but is not!
(v. 28) Bodily modification does not make one a Jew or acceptable to God!
(v. 29) Rather, a true Jew is one who has experienced God’s work of regeneration in the heart!
(v. 29) Thus, when God changes a persons heart, this proves their acceptance by God!
Three Incredibly Massive Lines of Thought Emerge from this Passage:
God does not overlook or fail to account to us our rejection of His word!
External change neither proves our salvation or makes us acceptable to God!
God does not overlook or fail to account to us our rejection of His word!
A Heart that yearns for God to the point that it seeks the Lord is proof that it has been changed by God!

God does not overlook or fail to account to us our rejection of His word!

Though the Jews possessed and guarded the Law that was handed down to them—even to the point that they participated in physical circumcision to show their special position—THEY DID NOT OBEY THE LAW!
In turn, Paul states that by consistently and hard-heartedly breaking the Law, they violated the covenant and made their physical circumcision useless!
Thus we see that God will not look pass those who violate His word and, in turn, do their “own thing” under the ruse that they are doing “God’s thing”—THIS IS THE HYPOCRISY PAUL HAS PREVIOUSLY ADDRESSED!

External change neither proves our salvation or makes us acceptable to God!

The Jews wrongly assumed that what God wanted from them was physical conformity to His standards regardless of whether their heart was for Him or not.
Today, we call this approach “DEAD ORTHODOXY”
Orthodoxy essentially mean “straight practice” or “straight creed”
“Dead Orthodoxy” means that we say and do the right thing without love, passion, or spiritual empowerment!
The Bible is packed with examples of God wanting our heart over and above our “dead works”
= Your heart is with what you treasure
= David asks God to give him a new and steadfast heart
= We are to set our hearts on where Christ is at
= Jesus warns the church that they have abandoned their love for Him

A Heart that yearns for God to the point that it seeks the Lord is proof that it has been changed by God!

Paul’s presents his point in a not so subtle way,
he basically says the Jews do not want God—thus, they are lost
meanwhile, the Gentiles who respond to God from heart are counted as circumcised
The point: The heart that obeys God belongs to God!
Salvation is proved through spiritual yearning for God and a diligent pursuit of God
External things do not prove our salvation (such as):
Church membership
Tithe record
Number of Mission trips you’ve gone on
Water Baptism
Participation in church activities
THESE ARE MORE OR LESS REQUIRED OF CHRISTIANS, BUT THEY DO NO MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN—EVEN LOST PEOPLE CAN DO EVERYTHING WE JUST MENTIONED!
This brings us to the MOST MAJOR OF ALL QUESTIONS:

WHAT IS BIBLICAL SALVATION AND HOW DO I GET IT?

First, we must understand that the Gospel is actually an INVITATION:

At a surface level understanding: “The Gospel is a proclamation of good news.”
A more genuine understanding: “The Gospel is an invitation to experience the grace, mercy, and intimate love of God”
The elements of the Gospel are this:
Man is a helpless sinner that consistently rejects God and, thus, has the full wrath of God coming for him!
However, God’s love for us—in perfect harmony with His righteousness—planned, determined, and enacted a way to show mercy to His creation and redeem them from their sins into a right-standing relationship with Him.
The means of God’s work of reconciling us to Himself was His complete embrace of the fullness of wrath destined for us—JESUS SACRIFICIALLY DIED IN OUR PLACE!
With the ransom for sin satisfied, our God extended an invitation for us to approach Him to find forgiveness of sin through Him.
In our approach, the Lord—through the work of the Holy Spirit—transforms our hearts and causes us to be born again. That is, God gives us a new life in Him.
The reason for this life is our empowerment and enablement to interact with Him through a deep, God-glorifying, and soul-satisfying relationship.
But the Gospel does not end here, God announces that we, now, belong to a new family that further enables us to worship, glorify, serve, enjoy, and be transformed by God.
Lastly, and best of all, THE GOSPLE PROMISES OUR ETERNAL PLACE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD—JESUS IS COMING TO GET US!!!

Second, we must understand that the Gospel INVITATION is into a unique LOVE-RELATIONSHIP!

True salvation belongs to those that are truly in THE proper relationship with God!
We have numerous relationships within this life, but we can place these relationships within two categories:
Functionally Necessary:
Governmental
Contractual
Communal
Soul Satisfying:
Friendships
Family
Marital/Romantic
The reason we need to understand the difference between these two types of relationships, is due to the fact that ...
We are prone to a FUNCTIONALLY NECESSARY relationship with God instead of a SOUL SATISFYING relationship with God!
We are prone to a FUNCTIONALLY NECESSARY relationship with God instead of a SOUL SATISFYING relationship with God!
Let’s attempt to figure out why we engage in the following practices, why do we…
Read the Bible?
Pray?
Come to Corporate Worship?
Serve within the Church?
Give our Tithes and Offerings?
Fight against sin?
Attempt to restrain our desires?
FOR MOST OF US, WE THINK THAT IF WE DO AND DON’T DO CERTAIN THINGS, THEN GOD WILL ACCEPT US AND GIVE US A PLACE IN HEAVEN!
Such underlying motivations betray us and revel our operant thinking in regards to Christianity
Instead of seeking the presence of God because God is truly enjoyable, we tend to PERFORM EXTERNALLY so that God owes us, repays us, or rewards us according to our efforts—this is the same problem the Jews had!
That is, we think we are:
In a contractual relationship with God—I do my part and God does His!
In a governmental relationship with God—just don’t step out of line and I’m good to go!
In a governmental relationship with God—just don’t step out of line and I’m good to go!
In a communal relationship with God—distant cordiality, pleasantness, and participation is all God demands from us!
In a communal relationship with God—distant cordiality, pleasantness, and participation is all God demands from us!
However...
The Gospel invites us into a covenant—not a contract! (We have nothing to bargain with!)
The Gospel invites us into a family—not a government (God is King whether we honor Him or not!)
The Gospel invites us into a marriage—not a neighborly relationship (we can abide in His house, not next to His house!)
So.. why all the confusion?
Why are we so prone to a misguided Christianity?
We are prone to a broken Christianity for several reasons:
We’ve redefined the meaning of belief
We’ve changed the requirements of salvation
We’ve changed the requirements of salvation
We’ve made Christianity confessional instead of relational
We are more concerned with modification rather than transformation
We’ve changed the requirements of salvation from:
Hear the word of God
Accept the word of God
Trust the word of God
Respond to the word of God by repenting to God (literally return to God)
Persistently and Fervently seek the presence of God
Yes… there are requirements expected of us for Salvation!
Salvation is free, but it is not indiscriminately given—we must choose to believe in and engage God
While we do not earn, pay for, or secure the means of our salvation, we must choose to enter into a relationship with God!
Because Christianity is first and foremost a restored proper relationship with God, we must understand the mutual aspect within all relationships—God does not force us to engage Him or love Him, we choose to do so.
In short, universalism is the belief that God saves everyone irregardless of their choices, passions, and will—THIS IS NOT A BIBLICAL VIEW OF SALVATION OR, EVEN, A GOOD MORAL OPTION.
Scriptural Support for what We’ve Just Covered:
Instead of Christianity being—FIRST AND FOREMOST—a relationship with a LIVING GOD, we have made it a rhetoric of doctrinal confessions!
There is ONLY ONE AVENUE for Salvation
Acts 4:12 ESV
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts
That is, we’ve watered down the Gospel to simply...
The word and our response to it is critical to our salvation:
John 5:24 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
There is an Active Verbal Element in Salvation:
Acts 2:21 ESV
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Know this...
Acts 2:
Say this...
Romans 10:10 ESV
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Act like this...
There is an Active Turning from Sin and to Jesus in Salvation:
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Don’t do this...
There is an Intense Element of Love and Joy for Christ:
1 Peter 1:8–9 ESV
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
WE’VE SYSTEMIZED CHRISTIANITY INSTEAD OF DYNAMICALLY ENGAGING GOD!
There is an Intense Desire to See Jesus:
Hebrews 9:28 ESV
so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews
Now… let’s take a few moments to tie this all together to see how salvation comes to us from a practical standpoint:
We move from ignorance to awareness of God
We move from ignorance to awareness of God
We move from awareness of to familiarity about God
We move from familiarity about to a distant friendly relationship with God
We move from a distant friendly relationship into a deeper relationship with God
We move from a deeper relationship into an intimate covenant relationship with God
In human relationships, this process can take years; however, very often, God moves us through this process in an instant!
Here is what the salvation process looks like, when we view it as a marriage between two people:
A boy sees a girl that he finds pretty… so he decides to approach her
That boy initiates a conversation with the pretty girl and they talk about themselves at a surface level
However, that conversation leads to a dinner invitation—they talk more deeply about themselves
That dinner invitation leads to further dates, times, and venues for interaction—now they reveal even more of each other.
As that boy learns more about that girl, he stops being interested in other girls—the depth that he now knows her isolates his affections for her!
As he spends further time with this girl, he, now, cannot imagine life without her and proposes to her—he invites her into a lifelong, life-changing, life-giving intimate relationship.
The two make a permanent and mutual commitment to exclusively love and enjoy each other until their respective deaths.
Now, in our own marriage process, some people married after knowing each other days, weeks, months, years, and even decades!

Therefore, the salvific process does not have time in view, rather; knowledge of and interaction with God are at the forefront.

Knowledge of God =
It is impossible to be in a relationship with God without a constant evolution of our knowledge of God
Interaction with God =
It is impossible to be in a relationship with God without faithful and consistent engagement of God
Again, at the risk of being redundant, I’m going to repeat our role in our salvation:

Our responsibility within our salvation is the pursuit of a more intimate knowledge of God and, then, engaging God!

If we do not care to know more about God, then we do not love God
If we do not care about engaging God, then we do not love God
If we do not love God, then we do not believe what God has said about Himself
If we do not believe what God has said about Himself, then we are not saved.
Listen very carefully...
We cannot make God interact with us
We cannot pay the penalty for our sins
We cannot make God forgive us
We cannot change our hearts
We cannot force ourselves to love God

BUT… WE CAN CHOOSE TO ACCEPT WHAT GOD HAS SAID TO US AND, IN FAITH, RESPOND TO HIS WORD!

When we hear the word of God, accept the word of God, and strive to respond to His Word, it is God that:
Gives us a new life in Him ()
Gives us the ability to avoid indulging in evil desires ()
Gives us the ability to understand and know the truth ()
Gives us the holiness of God—the fruit of the Spirit ()
Gives us the ability to pray ()
Gives us the ability to witness to others ()
Every good and great thing we experience in within Christianity comes through DEPENDENT FELLOWSHIP with God!
However, if in the course of learning who God is we decide that we do not like what we see and abstain from engaging Him, then this is actually rejection of God!
(Illustration) Think of it like this...
As we progressively learn about God, we discover more about Him, and each discovery demands that we faithfully embrace it—but a failure to do so is categorized as UNBELIEF
The Jews believe in God as the perceive Him—not the God revealed through their Bible!
The Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a Jesus, but not Jesus that is God and One with God.
If at any point in our familiarization with God we do not like what we learn, then we actually REJECT GOD either passive-aggressively or outright.
The Muslims believe Jesus spoke for God as a prophet, but not as God.
The Hindus believe Jesus is one God among many.
THE POINT IS THAT EACH OF THESE GROUPS CHANGED WHAT THEY DID NOT LIKE ABOUT JESUS—THE RESULT IS THEIR CONDEMNATION!
True salvation does not change Jesus, but goes to Jesus to be changed by His Holy Spirit!
Dwell on this and be encouraged by it…
BECAUSE GOD KNOWS ALL THINGS FULLY (including us), HE IS NEVER SURPRISED BY WHO WE ARE!
That boy initiates a conversation with the pretty girl and they talk about themselves at a surface level
In fact, God has PLANNED and presently WORKS TO CHANGE US!
However, that conversation leads to a dinner invitation—they talk more deeply about themselves
That dinner invitation leads to further dates, times, and venues for interaction—now they reveal even more of each other.
BECAUSE GOD KNOWS ALL THINGS FULLY (including us), HE IS NEVER SURPRISED BY WHO WE ARE.
As that boy learns more about that girl, he stops being interested in other girls—the depth that he now knows her isolates his affections for her!
As he spends further time with this girl, he, now, cannot imagine life without her and proposes to her—he invites her into a lifelong, life-changing, life-giving intimate relationship.
The two make a permanent and mutual commitment to exclusively love and enjoy each other until their respective deaths.
BECAUSE GOD KNOWS ALL THINGS FULLY (including us), HE IS NEVER SURPRISED BY WHO WE ARE.
We have security in God because nothing about us will lead God to reject us if we enter into the relationship He invites us into.
(just as the boy ask the girl to marry Him, God asks us to do the same—but with better knowledge!)
Thus, God chose to extend the invitation knowing full-well we are broken and wicked people—and still he works to change us post-salvation!
Romans 5:6–9 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
)
With all this in mind, let’s assimilate all of this into a few brief concluding thoughts:
On the other hand, we are completely ignorant of who God is until we learn about Him through His Word.
This means, the potential exist for us to come across an attribute of God we despise/dislike/cannot accept.
To reject what God reveals about Himself is to reject God!
When we reject what God shows us about Himself (through Scripture), we exclude ourselves from salvation.
True Salvation results from God’s self-disclosure to us through His word.
True Salvation results from Jesus offering Himself for punishment in our place!
True Salvation results from God’s self-disclosure to us through His word.
True Salvation results from knowing and engaging God and continually seeks to do so!
However, as we learn about God, it is logical to expect that we interact and engage God.
True Salvation results from the life-changing work of the Holy Spirit within us!
That boy initiates a conversation with that girl
True Salvation is a life-long (eternal) relationship with Jesus Christ!
That conversation leads to a dinner invitation
That dinner invitation leads to further dates, times, and venues for interaction
My question for us today: “Is our salvation authentic?”
As that boy learns more about that girl, he stops being interested in other girls
As he further excludes himself from other relationships to spend time with this girl, he proposes to her and asks her to do the same.
After some time, the two make a permanent/everlasting commitment to exclusively love and enjoy each other until their respective deaths. That is, the COVENANT in a marriage together.
GOD CALLS US TO THIS TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP—AND WE ARE SAVED WHEN HE IGNUAGARATES THE COVENANT BY GIVING US HIS HOLY SPIRIT!
Is our salvation authentic?
Are we in a relationship with God, or caught up in a system of works?
Are we enjoying God, or do we enjoy ourselves?
Are we enamored with God, or are we enamored with ourselves?
Are we pursing God, or are we pursuing our own ends?
Will you respond to God?
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