Summary: 1- The disciples believed it 2- The people were amazed by it 3- The officials were disturbed by it
INTRO. – Have you been saved? Obviously, this depends on what a person is talking about.
ILL.- When I was a freshman in high school my older brother Larry was a senior. Larry and I did not always get along well, as is with some brothers but one day it was different.
During gym class the teacher/coach had us play the game called dodge ball. At least, that’s what we called it. I don’t even know if they still play that game. But the teacher would divide up the class into two teams. One team would be on one side of the gym and the other team on the other side. He would then place three balls (like a volley ball) in the middle of the gym floor and then blow his whistle. The object of the game was to run as fast as you could and grab one of those balls and start throwing it at the opposing team players. And they would try to “dodge” the ball.
All I know is sometimes two guys would get into a fight when they tried to grab the ball. And that happened to me one day. The coach blew his whistle and I ran to grab a ball and a guy from the other team got there at the same time. I didn’t like him (rich kid) and apparently he didn’t like me. So we started slugging it out with one another. I was hitting him in the face just as fast as I could and the other boys cheered me on, “Get ‘em, Shep.”
The coach blew his whistle, stopped the fight and made us both sit in the bleachers. This other kid was two years older than me and I guess he didn’t like the idea of me hitting him. So after school he got one of his friends and cornered me in front of the school. We were out near the street and I certainly didn’t know what was going to happen.
Suddenly I looked up and there was my older brother Larry in his old 1951 Chevy. He said a few choice words to that other guy and his friend and then said to me, “Get in the car!”
Ah ha! Older brother to the rescue! That was the first and only time that my older brother saved me! And he was…my savior in a sense.
It’s highly possible that many of you have been “saved” from a possible disastrous situation: a car wreck, terrible weather (tornado, etc.), perhaps an accident of some sort that could have hurt you or even hospitalized you, etc. We understand the meaning of being saved in the physical sense and thank God for that salvation. But what about being saved in the spiritual sense? Do we truly understand the meaning?
ILL.- I have heard a TV evangelist say time and time again, “Just say this prayer to receive Jesus.” Then he’ll say, “If you said that simple little prayer we believe that you got saved.”
Huh? I have thought, “Now wait a minute!” There is more to being saved spiritually than saying a little prayer.
On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 that’s not what Peter said to the multitude of people when they became convicted of sin and were cut to the heart. They said, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter said in Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Being saved spiritually sounds a lot different from what that TV evangelist said. He called for a prayer. Peter called for action, surrender and submission. Peter called for repentance and baptism in order to be saved from sin and the penalty of sin.
WE NEED TO GET PEOPLE SAVED IN JESUS! Salvation is found in Him alone! There is no other name!
PROP.- In our text, we see faith in Christ that saves people, but we also see something else. Three thoughts:
1- The disciples believed it
2- The people were amazed by it
3- The officials were disturbed by it
I. THE DISCIPLES BELIEVED IT
What do you believe in? Well, someone might say, “I believe in Chevrolet, apple pie and baseball.” And that’s all well and good. What else do you believe in?
ILL.- Recently, I took a short trip to Iberia, MO, to visit an elder whom I have known for 33 years. His name is Ralph Riemensnider and he is now 81 years old, has macular degeneration, lost his wife about a year and a ago, lives alone, BUT HE IS STILL THE WONDERFUL MAN OF GOD I HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN HIM TO BE.
I was amazed at how well he took the passing of his wife, Imogene, after nearly 60 years of marriage. He is a sweet-spirited man and always was. I BELIEVE IN RALPH. He was always faithful, always kind, always helpful, etc.