Summary: Salvation has conditions but they are easy to meet if we will just do it God’s way.
Conditions of Salvation
By Pastor Jim May
Numbers 21:4-9, "And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
I have read this incident in the journey of Israel through the desert to set the stage for the message that God has given for me to pass on to you this morning. I want you to know that Israel failed God miserably, but this wasn’t anything new. What happened to Israel here was the result of the sin of rebellion against God and it was just a carbon copy of the Sin of Adam in the Garden.
All sin, no matter what its appearance is from the outside, is the result of one single fact: the heart of man is absolutely rebellious and is ever seeking to be equal with God by whatever means necessary to defy the laws of God so that man can have his own way and not feel like he has to answer to anyone for his actions. Rebellion against God can take on any form.
1 John 2:16 summarizes all sin into three categories, all stemming from the same root called rebellion against the power, authority and knowledge of God, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
What can be listed under the “Lust of the Flesh”?
This is the desire that plagues mankind to want those things that God considers unclean. These include all unchaste and unholy desires of the physical body such as sensual thoughts or words that produce a sensual picture in the mind and heart. The lust of the flesh produces actions that are nothing more than the things that people do to fulfill the desires brought about by their own words and pictures in their own minds such as fornication (the sexual promiscuity between unmarried people), adultery (consensual sex between married people to someone other than their husband or wife), rape (forced sex acts that are perpetrated upon innocent people beyond their will), incest (sexual contact within the family or close kinship), sodomy (homosexual relationships), bestiality (sex with animals) and all unnatural physical desires. But it doesn’t stop there either. Sins that are produced as a result of lust of the flesh also include gluttony, drunkenness, surfeiting (overindulgence of any kind), rioting, and reveling (merrymaking or noisy festivity with dancing, masking, etc., such as is found at the Mardi Gras and other party atmospheres).
The lust of the flesh also tells us that the flesh has power to control our thoughts and actions if we allow it to. The body can give us cravings that we can’t control. Since this body of flesh is made of the dust of the earth, it is composed of many chemicals, all in a perfect state of balance that will support the life that God has breathed into each of us.
When those chemicals get out of balance is when sickness, disease, additions, cravings and all manner of trouble begins. Sometimes the balance is tipped by our environment or things that we can’t control. That’s what medicines do. They are man’s attempt to restore the right balance so that health can return. But sometimes the balance is tipped by the things we put into our bodies willfully, often not understanding that they will become a destructive force that we can’t control anymore. This is what we can an addiction. It can be the result of drug abuse or alcoholism, but it could also be the result of eating or drinking something that we have a reaction to.