Summary: Assurance from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Safe in the Arms of God - Part 6
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - June 8, 2008
*I sent my first text message Friday. Did you know that text messaging is by far the most favorite way teens and 20’s like to communicate? Parents know.
*I never felt the need to text before -- I’d rather just call. But Friday I got a text message that said, “Hey this is Kamerin. Ivy just called and said you like me. Is it true?” Kamerin needed to know that I was not the object of her affection, and I surely didn’t want to call her -- so I sent a two word text: “wrong number.”
*There are a lot of things we need to know as believers. One important topic deals with our security as Christians. How safe is our salvation? Over the last few weeks we’ve looked at some rock-solid reasons why we believe that once you are saved -- You are forever safe in the arms of God. Today we will find assurance from the Holy Spirit of God. Christians, we are safe in the arms of God because the Holy Spirit is at work in our world today.
1. First, the Holy Spirit has given spiritual rebirth to us. Paul was talking about this new birth in vs. 4&5 and said, “When the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration.”
*Regeneration: That’s the new birth, the spiritual birth we talked about last week. In John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” Jesus also said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Or as the NIV says: “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” To expand on that: The Spirit (capital “S,” the Holy Spirit) gives birth to spirit (little “s,” the new spiritual life of believers.)
*Jesus focused on the role of the Holy Spirit, because He wants us to know that the Holy Spirit is just as much God as the Father and Son.
-No one has ever been saved without the working of the Holy Spirit in their heart.
-No one has ever been saved without receiving the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.
-No one has ever been born again without the Holy Spirit. He is the third person in the Godhead who gives us the birth of eternal life.
*How does the Holy Spirit give the new birth of eternal life? John 16 tells us that the Holy Spirit convinces us of our sin and the coming judgment. But He also points us to Jesus as our only hope of salvation. Then, when we believe and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are born again with everlasting life.
*John Phillips tells about a preacher who was trying to reach the heart of a dying doctor. The pastor had spoken to him about conversion, forgiveness, redemption. -- All the themes at the heart of the good news about Jesus. Nothing seemed to reach the dying man. Then the pastor spoke of the need to be born again, and that brought light to the doctor’s heart.
*Over the years that doctor had helped at countless births. “A new birth!” he exclaimed. “Why, that’s what I need. A baby has no past -- only a future. That’s what I need.” (1)
-That’s what we all need: A new birth. And it comes from the Holy Spirit of God.
2. Christians, we are safe because the Holy Spirit has given us that spiritual rebirth. -- And because He renews us.
*After the birth, the Holy Spirit gives us times of refreshing and spiritual renewal. Paul mentioned this renewing from the Holy Spirit in vs. 5. Christian: I guarantee that you will find yourself in need of spiritual renewal.
*Maxie Dunnam tells about a good kid -- a little boy, not known for being ugly or mean, but one day he got in trouble for pulling a little girl’s hair. His mom asked him, “Son, why did you do it? That’s just not like you.”
-He answered, “Mama -- I just got tired of being good all the time.” (2)
*Sometimes we tend to get tired in the Christian life. That’s why Paul warned us in Gal 6:9, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” God knows that we tend to grow tired -- the fire starts to grow cold.
-Maybe we are too busy with other things.
-Maybe we are neglecting the Word of God and prayer.