Summary: A talk on many of the great truths of salvation.
Text: Luke 19:1-10, Title: Salvation is Here, Date/Place: NRBC, 5/6/12, AM
Opening illustration: share my testimony
Background to passage: I was just reading my bible through this week, and God seemed to speak loudly through this passage. And the doctrine of salvation, and our experience of salvation should line up with scripture.
Main thought: some great truths about being saved
Seeking Jesus (v. 3)
After the whole “no rich people in heaven” teaching last chapter, we see that Jesus really meant that with God, anything is possible. Luke presents tax collectors in a really pleasantly surprising light five times in his gospel. But the culture probably didn’t see it that way. In fact they (the crowds) grumbled at Jesus for going to eat with the “sinner.” And a rich tax collector supervisor was probably as crooked as they come. He indicated that he had taken plenty unlawfully. But whatever they thought of him, he was seeking Jesus. He was desiring to see “who Jesus was.” He didn’t want a Jesus of his own design. He wanted the real deal, the fully monty, not the reality show, but the reality; he wanted all of Jesus’ demands and teaching. He was willing to be among the crowd, climb a tree amongst them.
Isa 55:6, 1 Chron 28:9, Ps 27:8, Jer 29:12-13,
Illustration: When he had finished they pleaded with the missionary to follow them up into the mountains. They said, “We have been waiting for you for centuries. We even have meeting houses built in some of our villages in readiness for your coming.”
God saves the most unholy, the most unlovable, the most sinful, and the least sinful! Don’t miss this, what Jesus do you seek? Do you truly seek Him? Do you desire Him? May God remove blinders from our eyes that hinder us from being able to see the beauty of Christ. If we could get one glimpse of His glory, we would be forever in love with that glory, and never cease to seek and pursue Him. He is glorious, beautiful, and all-satisfying. We are told in the bible OT/NT that there are none who seek God, so we know that God is working in his heart, creating desires for Christ. In fact, we know that Jesus said that they “must” eat with Zaccheus. So Jesus was seeking Zaccheus first. What are you willing to do to seek Him? Maybe a better question is what are you unwilling to do or give up to seek Him? Your pride, your status, your hobbies, your sleep?
Receiving Jesus (v. 6)
In verse 5 Jesus commanded him to hurry and come down and welcome Jesus into his home. And this text says that he did exactly that. It says that he “received him joyfully.” The reception that Zaccheus displayed was one of unquestioned obedience, but it was one of joy. He was receiving the One of whom he had heard so much about. Surely he was carrying about all kinds of guilt from past actions
Heb 12:2, John 1:12
Illustration: story of the coyote coming down the hollow, and it looking up and staring right at me from 75 yards out from a dead run, tell of Ben Macdonald coming to Christ, Darcie and her mom and husband, of the 40 year old mom in Maine, of Ronnie Owens, “believing in His name means that you put your faith and trust completely in the person, character, work of Christ as your only hope for salvation. You stake your eternity on Him.”
We must receive Jesus. We must each one individually trust in His atoning death for salvation. Some feel that going to church makes them or can make them a Christian. Wrong. Some think that they have just always been one because they believed in God. Wrong. Have you received Him as your Lord and Savior? Sometimes people “come to Jesus” out of fear of judgment because of conviction of their sin, but when forgiveness comes, joy reigns. Sometimes people come because others are pressuring them, or because their friends are making commitments, or simply to ease their conscience. Are you glad that you came to Jesus? Some of us need to notify our faces, our mouths, our wallets. Becoming a Christian, being born again, receiving Jesus, being saved is/will be the most awesome experience in your life.
Interesting how some people don’t like it when Jesus doesn’t do what they expect from a religious leader.
Fruit of Repentance (v. 8)
The final thing that comes about in this salvation experience (that causes Jesus to announce that genuine salvation has come) is that Zaccheus announces his intentions to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. This would have been a monumental undertaking for a rich man. He said that not just his money, but his goods as well. And think about how much a chief tax collector would have defrauded from people over the years. And he was gonig to give it back to them 4X. And that would come out of the remaining half of his wealth. Jesus didn’t have to demand that he sell all that he has, because it was clear that money was no longer an idol in his life.