Summary: This is the 3rd of a 5 part series on basic bible doctrines for our new congregation. (New Church Plant as of 4-6-03)
BASIC TRAINING #3 - JESUS IS SAVIOR
(Note: Drama "Another Day at the Bus Stop" can be purchased from www.willowdrama.com. Movie clips are used by permission through CVLI)
INTRODUCTION: (Master & Commander clip: Chap: 15 Start: 0:49:47 End: 0:53:20 -3:43 )
What a heart-retching decision by that Commander. If he doesn’t cut the ropes to the wreckage it will become a “sea anchor” killing everyone on board. If he does cut the ropes he sacrifices one of his men, Mr. Warley. But the truth was that it was necessary for Warely to die in order to save the ship and its crew. How hard would that be to watch that man swept out to sea, to send him to his certain death?
Last week we learned that we live in a world that is a churning sea of sin. We learned whether you struggle with pride or gossip or abuse or adultery.. we all have a sinful nature. And much like the clip we just saw, in order to save us from our plight someone had to be sacrificed. But instead of dying in an accident, incredibly, Jesus Christ chose, chose mind you, to sacrifice Himself so that we might live.
Last week was the bad news, we talked about the guilt of our sin. This week comes the great news: there is a Savior and He wants everyone to live - forever with Him. The purpose of this message will really depend upon where you are on your spiritual journey. If you have known Jesus Christ as your personal Savior for a while then I pray that this message will deepen your faith in Him. Maybe you are just beginning your faith walk. Maybe it wasn’t that long ago that you received Jesus as Savior and Lord and responded to Him as we talked last week with repentance, confession and baptism. Well, my prayer is that this sermon will help you see that continuing to walk with and learn about Him is the best thing you can do. Maybe some of you are here seeking. Just “checking out this God or church thing.” Well, my prayer for you is that this message will plant some seeds that will lead you to study and investigate more, that will motivate you to ask questions about this man Jesus. So, wherever you are in your spiritual journey I pray that this will be a moment of confrontation with the One who gave His life for you.
Several years ago in the Boston marathon there was a woman named Rosie Ruiz who competed.. and cheated, by riding a bus, winning the prestigious race. The problem with Rosie is that she completed the marathon faster than anyone had ever done it before. When she finished people stared at her in disbelief. A perceptive TV reporter stuck a microphone in her face and said, "Maam, you are either the fastest woman alive, or you are a fraud." The same applies to Jesus Christ. If Jesus is really who He says He is than He is history’s greatest hinge.. upon which all else opens or closes. But if He is not who He says He is, He is history’s greatest hoax. He is an imposter. So that makes this matter the most important issue you will ever deal with. So this morning let’s go through a natural progression. First, to the O.T., seeing the promise of a Savior, then to the N.T. seeing the fulfillment of that Savior, and finally, recognizing our need for a Savior.
I. THE PROMISE OF A SAVIOR:
From the very beginning sin erected a barrier between man and God. Where there had been a perfect relationship, because both man and God were perfect, there was, and still is a gulf of separation that was created because of man’s sin. You see, as it did for Adam and Eve, so it does for us.. our sin has alienated us from a sinless & perfect God. So, God knew, from the beginning that something, in this case, Someone, would have to bridge that gulf. Now, incredibly the Bible teaches us that God, unfolded His promise of a Savior before creation. Rev. 13:8- "..the lamb who was killed before the world was made."(NLT) God knew even before the sacrifice was needed that Jesus would be the One to bridge the gulf between sinful man and sinless God. Isn’t that amazing? That means that God made us, knowing He would have to save us. Knowing that it would cost Him His Son. Let me ask you - would you have made you knowing it would cost your Son’s life? God did. What unbelievable love!
All through the O.T. God’s plan to reconcile man to Himself is revealed. The earliest referral to this is in the first book of the Bible in Gen. 3:15. There we are told that although satan would bruise Jesus’ heel at the cross, Jesus would crush satan’s power when He resurrected from the grave. And then God rose up prophets to serve as His mouth pieces to tell people of the coming Savior. Through these prophecies people learned all kinds of details concerning this coming Savior. The O.T. is filled with promise after promise that a Redeemer was coming to buy man back from sin.