Summary: The 3rd Sermon in a series of sermons describing our basic beliefs in the Church of the Nazarene.. Free Agency.. our ability to choose God.
Turn in your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 10, we will be getting to this passage in just a moment… but first Let’s Pray….
Statement of Faith: VII Free Agency
We believe that the human race’s creation in Godlikeness included ability to choose between right and wrong, and that thus human beings were made morally responsible; that through the fall of Adam they became depraved so that they cannot now turn and prepare themselves by their own natural strength and works to faith and calling upon God. But we also believe that the grace of God through Jesus Christ is freely bestowed upon all people, enabling all who will to turn from sin to righteousness, believe on Jesus Christ for pardon and cleansing from sin, and follow good works pleasing and acceptable in His sight.
We believe that all persons, though in the possession of the experience of regeneration and entire sanctification, may fall from grace and apostatize and, unless they repent of their sins, be hopelessly and eternally lost. Manual pg.29
This morning we are going to see how much God loves us, we are going to look at God’s Word and find that His Love is so strong that He has given us a great gift…. And that gift is the gift of choice… a free will… the ability to choose Him…. Or the ability to choose not to serve him.
We exercise this ability of choice all the time… you have chosen to attend New Hope Church this morning….. And we are so happy that you did, but you could have chosen to do 100 other things this morning if you wanted. Most of you chose what clothes you put on this morning, you chose what you were going to eat this morning, or if you would eat anything at all… this list is endless… everyday we are faced with hundreds of choices. If you were not a free person… your choices would be severely cut down.
This is why our children have a hard time moving from summer time, when their choices are unlimited almost to school time, when all the sudden, their freedom to choose what they will do, what they will eat, where they will go are all pretty much removed from them… that’s why they refer to school as prison.. Many of their choices will be made for them.
The very first sentence in our statement of faith refers to this ability to choose, it says… We believe that the human race’s creation in Godlikeness included ability to choose between right and wrong, and that thus human beings were made morally responsible;
So from the beginning we were made responsible, sin came into the world and warped our minds and souls towards ourselves… instead of wanting to please our maker, God, we now are born with this bent towards pleasing ourselves… you have seen that play out in your life haven’t you? Even though we want to do what’s right, we can find ourselves doing the exact opposite, the Bible calls it “gratifying our sinful desires” or our selfish desires. So we have this problem called sin…. But God in His great love for us pours down from heaven this awesome gift called Prevenient grace…..and it’s this grace that gives us the ability to respond to God’s love… with out this grace we would never have the ability to know God or to be saved from our sins…. But the Good News is this, with this Grace, every man, woman, boy and girl can sense God’s love and God’s desire to have a relationship with them, and because of that, they can sense the Holy Spirit that comes and convicts us of our sins and invites us to turn to God.
Isn’t God Good? So we believe that God has given every man the choice of serving God or not.
I want to remind you this morning before I get into the differences between what we believe and what others believe why I am preaching this message. I believe that it is important that you know what you believe and why. I also believe that as many of you are new to New Hope Church of the Nazarene, it’s important that you understand what we believe as being taught in Scripture, and how it applies to our lives on a daily basis. I’m not here to argue with my Brothers in Christ who hold a different view, I believe they are apart of the World wide Body of Christ, and we serve the same Lord, we fight for the same cause….
Let me make the distinctions in the two views for you so that you can understand the differences, so that you can study this for yourself, and I am going to give you a lot of Biblical references that you can look up on your own if you want to write them down.