Summary: Man may try to work his way to heaven but he will never make it. We must understand that it is God’s way. Hell is not a pleasant place at all. Torment and separation from God is the only thing awaiting anyone apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ
Not By Any Other Name
Griffith Baptist Church – 10/22/06
Text: Acts 4:1-12
In WWII when the marines captured the island of Saipan, the Japanese ordered the inhabitants to kill themselves by jumping off a cliff. Hundreds of feet below were the rocks and waters of the beach. American translators yelled through bullhorns that if the inhabitants would come to the U. S. side, they would be spared. A few did. Most jumped. Many respond in the same way to the gospel today.
The Gospel is good news. That’s what it means.
Jesus came to give us good news
1. No other name:
i. Church membership
a. Denominations don’t save and never have.
b. Doing things for church never earned your way to heaven
a. A formal statement of religious belief; a confession of faith.
b. Stating what one believes does not make him/her a Christian.
c. It is our heart change that forms what we live by, not a cool philosophy that will change with the times.
d. 1st Corinthians 4:20 - For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
iii. Rules and regulations
a. Man made rules for religious life
b. Sometimes, the Bible is even used to make those rules
c. Without a life changed by Jesus Christ, all they are is rules.
d. Colossians 2:20-23 - 20If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21“Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
B. Works – Titus 3:5 - Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
i. The Ten Commandments – James 2:10 – For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
a. Adultery – Matthew 5:27-28 - 27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
b. We have all transgressed God’s law – Romans 3:10 - “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
ii. Baptism – 1st Corinthians 1:17 - For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
iii. Being Kind to others and doing enough of the right things.
iv. No works are good enough - Isaiah 64:6 – We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away. (NLT)
C. Satan is working overtime
i. Devours - 1st Peter 5:8 - Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
ii. Proverbs 12:12 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
D. There must be a way to have peace with God, you say:
i. John 14:6 - Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
ii. Romans 3:20 - because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
2. We must be saved:
A. Gift – Eternal Life
i. Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ii. Illustration – the gift of the Bible. If you have to work for it, it is no longer a gift.
iii. Ephesians 2:8 - 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
B. Recipient – Sinful Man
i. Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
ii. We are measured by God’s standard; perfection.
iii. Matthew 5:48 - “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
iv. Niagara Falls gorge. Could you jump across it.