Summary: Religious people can be some of the hardest to reach with the gospel.
1. There is wonderful CONFIDENCE & SECURITY in Jesus Christ.
a. Our salvation isn’t based on the promises we have made to God but rather THE PROMISE He has made to us.
b. If you believe, you are saved, eternally.
NOTE: They came to Jesus one day and asked:
John 6:28-29 (NKJV) 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
• So what R they Jesus? What religious rituals do we need to do?
• What works will you lay out for us so that we can work for God?
• This is the essence of religion… here are the works, go work!
V29 - Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
• This is the bedrock of relationship… believe. Put your faith in the words & work of Jesus Christ… and you are saved!
NOTE: What’s at stake here is a FALSE SECURITY.
• A lot of people, when it comes to their relationship with God have a false sense of security. All is well. No problems here.
• But unless your relationship with God is by faith in His Son, there is NO security, but rather, condemnation.
John 3:16-18 (NKJV) 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
NOW I think the most popular thought that gives a false sense of spiritual security is the “If I’m good, I’m going to heaven.”
• “GOOD” is the standard. Helping others. Giving to good causes.
• “I DO GOOD” – I go to church. I read the Bible. I pray.
• “I AM GOOD” – See God, I do good, I try to do good, I AM Good.
• Look at 3:10 with me for a second…
• So if you want to go that way, you have to do it PERFECTLY.
• God wants us to realize we are spiritually bankrupt!
• If you want to be saved because you’re moral, then you have to be morally perfect.
• If you want to be saved because you’re religious, then you have to be religiously perfect.
• If you want to be saved because you’re good, then you have to be perfectly good…
• And we all conclude… I need, you need, we need Jesus!
I. (2:17-24) RELIGION WILL NOT SAVE YOU!
1. (17-20) The privilege of being a Jew.
a. Paul knew in the audience hearing this letter would be the extremely religious of the day: The Jews.
b. “Why would I need Jesus Christ?”, they would ask.
c. We are God’s chosen people.
NOTICE the 7 things they would rest upon & even boast about in their religious relationship with God:
#1 – v17 - They were CALLED Jews.
• The word Jews literally means, “Praise to Jehovah!”
• So proud of their names they used it as a surname!
#2 – v17 – They RESTED in the Law.
• They believed they were OK not because they followed the Law but simply because they had it.
#3 – v17 – They BOASTED in God.
• Their boasting wasn’t good. They thought they were superior.
#4 – v18 – They KNEW God’s Will.
• Their self-confidence was only more in understanding it.
#5 – v18 – They APPROVED the things that were excellent
• They went around saying what was good and bad. Good Judges.
#6 – v18 – They LEARNED from the Law.
• They were masters of taking it in, taking it in.
#7 – v19-20 – They were CONFIDENT SPIRITUAL Teachers.
• This bred a deep self-confident self-righteousness.
APP: OK… let’s bring that home for a minute…
• Here we are, believers in Jesus Christ, that love His Word.
• We agree with the Psalmist don’t we…
Psalm 119:97 (NKJV) 97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
NOTE: That’s where we need to be very, very careful.
• Flip over to 1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Romans 12:3 (NKJV) 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
• The Bible, this precious book, is a tool that God uses to draw a person to Himself for salvation & Hope.