Faithlife Sermons

What Does God Give His People

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Last Time:

  • We defined God’s people as those who have faith in Him.
    • As a result, they have chosen to act differently.
  • And, we ended by saying that many ppl don’t feel the need to live differently and rely on God b/c:
    • They are content with their current lives, or
    • They don’t feel a need to be forgiven.
    • Our response: but there is so much more.

So, Today, We’re Going to Address:

  • What is that “something more?”
    • I know it’s out there.
  • What is it that many people on the outside fail to understand about what God wants to give them?
    • Let’s see what Paul has to say:
      • Rom 7.14-24
        • Sound familiar?
        • God knows and cares about this problem
          • So, what does He do about it?

He saves you

  • But, possibly, not in a way you totally expected.
    • What follows will be a biblical explanation of salvation…the gift God gives to all of His people.
      • We all need to know this and constantly review it.
        • Remember our [w3] objective –to show that God answers questions the same in both testaments.
        • “Gentleman, this is a football.”
  • To be saved implies that there is something from which we have to be rescued/saved.
    • What is it?
      • Hell?  Sin?  Yes.
        • Unresolved sin leads to hell.
        • But, it leads to something else as well.  Something that we often overlook.
          • And, in doing so, cheapen the gift God gives us.

A convicted criminal faces two dilemmas:


1.      Legal debt (jail time, fine, etc.)

2.      Moral debt (emotional implications)

a.       guilt, remorse, sorrow, shame

    • Obviously, the more crimes you commit, the less you notice this second problem.
      • You’ve become cauterized to sin (1 Tim 4.1-2).

Sinners have the same two problems:

1.      We legally owe God something (Rom 6.23)

o   God took care of this by sending His Son to die in our place and pay this debt…

o   In case you’re worrying, we’ll assume most people here understand how this works.

§  “Paid your debt to society.”

·         Jail/Prison/Fine…Judge now lets you go

o   [funny story about person in audience committing a crime]

§  So, we’ll throw a $5 word at it and then move on—justification. –[define.]

·         Remember this word.

·         Justified = “Just as if I’d…”

o   Later I’ll explain why I don’t totally like that illustration, but you can use it for now.

2.      We continue to suffer with the emotional leftovers.

 o   We feel guilty.  Down.  Depressed.  Upset.  Troubled…as a result of our sin.

§  Doesn’t God care about this?

o   What have we to offer our friends if/when they ask about emotions?

§  “Ok, great.  I’m going to Heaven in 100 yrs or 1000 yrs…20 min.  But, what about the fact that I feel like trash today?  What about the problems I have tomorrow?  Does your God care about those problems?...the emotional leftovers?”

·         Yes.  He does.

Sanctification – Another $5 Word.

  • Sanctification addresses this problem.
    • It works to consume the moral & emotional leftovers.
      • But not at the speed or in the same way that justification consumes our legal problem. * This is what Paul meant by “fear and trembling” (Phil 2.12)
  • It also molds us and shapes us into the people God wants us to be.
    • It is the power behind God’s “self-help book”
      • The difference—pop psychology books provide only suggestions and methods.
      • God gives us those.  And, he gives us the power to accomplish them.
  • Breakdown in the judge/criminal scenario being “Just as if I’d…”
    • The judge does not now declare that the crimes were never committed.
      • They’re still there.
      • But, the debt has been paid.
        • But, it’s not truly “Just as if I’d…”
          • b/c the memory & the emotional leftovers are still there
  • So, how does a convict rehabilitate himself?
    • How do we—as spiritually freed convicts—rehabilitate into happy, functional creatures?
      • Through sanctification.

Becoming Who You (and God) Wants You To Be

  • OT
    • Jer 29.11 (NLT)
      • Speaking to (God’s people) held captive by Babylon
    • Ps 40.1-3 (NLT)
    • Isa 41.10 (NIV)
    • Isa 40.29-31 (NLT)
  • NT
    • Eph 4.24 (NIV)   [butterfly: 2 Cor 5.17]
    • In Colossians 3, Paul instructs his readers to put on an entirely “new self”
      • In order to become more like God
      • Col 3.10 (NLT)
      • Notice “renewal” –meaning, back to the original intent
        • This is how God’s designed us to live
        • This is what He wants for His people
          • When we sin, we are doing “that which is unnatural” [Rom 1.26-27]


Sanctification & Justification Are Not Co-dependant.

  • They’re related, but only b/c they start at the same time.

Justification Regeneration / Sanctification
deals with our legal problem deals with our condition
solves the problem of law-breaking solves the problem of law-keeping
removes guilt removes corruption
God acts as Judge God acts as Physician
outward and objective inward and personal
declared righteous by decree made righteous by degrees
an act completed from the beginning a process continuing until we die
Christ died for us we die with Christ
imputed righteousness imparted righteousness
the sinner's great need the Christian's great need

---- [Show PowerPoint Diagram] ----

    • Justification gets the job done immediately.
    • Sanctification works on you, aids you, and assists you your whole life.
      • [faithful to complete it: Phil 1.6]
      • It requires effort on our part.
        • We have good days (weeks, months), and we have bad days (weeks, months).
    • But here is the good news: they’re not linked.
      • When we fail at sanctification, our justification remains intact.
        • That debt will never not be paid insofar as we maintain faith in Christ.
  • Together: Justification + Sanctification = Salvation

Why Bother Though?

  • If time spent on earth is but a small comparison to time spent in Heaven, why work at sanctification?
    • Well, hopefully we’ve answered this already:
      • Being sanctified makes life on earth easier and more enjoyable.
    • But, there’s something else at play as well.
      • We’ll cover that next time.
      • Hold on to your fork.
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