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Summary: Past Guilt, Present Grace, & Future Glory. Answers questions--Who Saves? When? Why? How? and Where does that leave us? Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Presentation.

Salvation: Plain and Simple ["But God..."]

Eph. 2:1-7

v. 1-3 Past Guilt

4-6 Present Grace

7 Future Glory

H.A. Ironside followed R.A. Torrey as pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago. One day he rode a passenger train/gypsy woman sat down beside him, and said, sir, if you cross my palm w/ some silver, I’ll tell you your future!/he said, before you do that, let me show you what God says about my future…opened Bible/she said, that’s ok, I’ve had quite enough/he grabbed her arm: no, I want you to see this/past guilt/quite enough/present grace/quite enough/future glory/quite enough!!…ran down the train crying out, I picked the wrong man!

You can call Madame Zonga, Dionne Warwitch and the Psychotic Friends Network if you want to, but when it comes to my future, I prefer the Word of God!

Salvation exists in the past, present, and future.

(penalty/power and pollution/presence)

Being “saved” is not a Baptist thing/Pentecostal…not a term we’ve made up…it’s a Bible term!

No other Name given under heaven among men whereby we must be _________ (saved!)

Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be _______

Have you been saved? How do you know? Put it into words…what’s the answer (predominantly I or God?)

Salvation is of the Lord…too many people are trying to save themselves/trying to earn it/be good enough/save themselves! It’s not about us…it’s about God!

2 of the most precious words in scripture, v. 4: “but God”

Ps 49:15 -

But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

Mr 2:7 - … who can forgive sins but God only?

Lu 16:15 -

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Ro 5:8 -

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

1Co 3:6 -

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Eph 2:4 -

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us…

It doesn’t say “but you”, it says, “but God!”

Ill.—garden of Eden/adam and eve sinned…lost innocency, realized they were naked/tried to cover it w/ fig leaves (a picture of man trying to cover his own sinfulness)/but God came along and shed the blood of an innocent animal and clothed them w/ the skin of it (first demonstration of blood being shed for sin/innocent dying for guilty)

Are you trying to cover yourself? You cannot do it. Our righteousness is as filthy rags.

Are you wearing fig leaves?

Baptism/confirmation/church attendance/offerings/good works/keeping 10 commandments/mommy told me I’m saved/asked Him in my heart??

“but I’m a good person”… “no, but God”

Not but baptism (etc.)

Salvation is of the Lord…you cannot save yourself

(may as well try to blow back a hurricane w/ an electric fan/dam up Niagara falls w/ toothpicks)

1. Who Saves? God alone!

2. Why does God save us?

v. 4 love and mercy!

Hard to understand the depths of His love!

(easy to love someone who’s lovable/loving/lovely…but God loved us while we were yet sinners!)

May not understand it, but let’s thank God for it!

Ill.—P.P. Bliss wrote many hymns including “O How I Love Jesus”… “because He first loved me”

(this he wrote at a young age, later in life he wrote:

I am so glad that my Father in Heaven tells of His love in the book He has given…(etc.)…now he’s impressed w/ God’s love!)

Ill.—great theologian teaching at a seminary/students came to him and said, we’d like to know the most profound truth that’s ever occupied your mind? (expecting some deep doctrine)/he said, it was on my mother’s knee as she sang: Jesus loves me this I know…!

Why does God save us? Because of Love!

Why does God love us? I don’t know!

Also because of His mercy (v. 4)

Mercy is not receiving the punishment you rightfully deserve!

Ill.—Kimberly getting out of a ticket in PB

Joke—lady went to photographer/do me justice!/you need mercy!

Mercy is not receiving the punishment you rightfully deserve!

What is it that we rightfully deserve?

Death and hell!…if you only committed 1 sin, God could not allow you into heaven! We’re all painfully aware of what sinners we are! Some don’t believe they CAN be saved from all they’ve done:

Ill.—poor woman from slums of London/taken on holiday by friends to the ocean/arrived…just gazed out…started crying/they wondered why on such a nice day/she said, “it’s the first thing I’ve ever seen that there’s enough of!”

There’s enough mercy in God’s little finger to wipe away every sin you’ve ever committed!

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