Summary: Lent 1(C) - God’s word is near you! God’s word works faith in our hearts. God’s word works trust for our lives.
“THE WORD IS NEAR YOU” (Outline)
March 1, 2009 --
LENT 1 --
INTRO: Paul writes: “The word is near you”. The closeness of God’s word reminds every believer of the closeness of God himself. John wrote in his gospel, chapter 1 that the word became flesh and lived among us. We have seen his glory. This is the Christ, our Savior, who lived on earth. Jesus was the very word of God in the flesh. We are dependent completely on the word of God. What a blessing to know we have such a close relationship with Christ because of the word of God. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing"(JOHN 15:5). As branches we are completely and utterly dependent on the vine. We praise God that he is that vine!
“THE WORD IS NEAR YOU”.
I. God’s word works faith in our hearts.
II. God’s word works trust for our lives.
I. GOD’S WORD WORKS FAITH IN OUR HEARTS
A. There were great challenges in the early Christian church. Worship was changing from law to gospel.
1. The gospel message fulfilled all of God’s law. Jews were accustomed to offering sacrifices.
2. Now Christ’ perfect sacrifice removed the need for believers offering sacrifices.
3. Some in the early church wanted everyone to return to sacrificing and doing.
B. Paul’s overwhelming emphasis in the book of Romans was the power of God’s free gospel.
1. Verse 8. God’s word was near. It was in the hearts of believers.
2. Christ had paid the price. Salvation was paid for -- forever. Faith was theirs by grace.
C. The message of salvation was very, very simple, verse 9. God raised his Son from the dead.
1. This was the simple gospel message of God’s word that worked faith in their hearts.
2. Verse 10. As they believe so they would confess. By grace they believed in the Christ.
D. It is the power of God’s word and God’s word alone that works faith in the heart of anyone and everyone who believes in Christ as Savior. We did not choose God, God chose us. Eternal salvation is too important to entrust to our own will or decision. Consider Adam and Eve who lived in a perfect world. They walked and talked with God. They knew God’s will. There was only one choice they could make that would be wrong. They made that wrong choice. Today we are far removed from a perfect world. Dare we think we would make the right choice? Rejoice that it is God who saves. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (EZEKIEL 36:26,27). A stone cannot be changed. It merely breaks or crumbles into smaller hard pieces. We are born with a heart of stone. God changes stony hearts into flesh where he plants his word.
E. Our God is able to do the impossible. Our God is the Lord God Almighty who created the heavens and the earth. "For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 CORINTHIANS 4:6). Note the power of God to bring light into the world. Now this very same God makes his light shine in our hearts. Again, it is God’s will and desire that all men would be saved. Paul is another example. Paul was traveling to Damascus to persecute Christians. On his way the Lord God chose Paul to proclaim Christ rather than persecute followers of Christ. Paul did not decide. The Creator of all things changed Paul.
F. Our God is powerful. Our God can and does do all things. It is that same power of God that is near to each and everyone of us. Our Christian faith is a miracle of God’s great power that is alive and well in each of us. "Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God"(1 JOHN 5:4,5). Notice that simple kernel of Christianity that saves: “Jesus is the Son of God”.
“THE WORD IS NEAR YOU”.
God’s powerful word works faith in our hearts. All of this is by grace.
II. GOD’S WORD WORKS TRUST FOR OUR LIVES