Summary: Salvationn is the most important issue of your life. Salvation is the work of God, and salvation is by faith in Christ, not by works.
INTRO.: ILLUS.: A preacher titled his sermon, "Does a man have the right to believe what he wants, even if he is married?" His answer was "Yes, but his belief doesn’t change the facts. Believing something doesn’t make it so.
These are facts, not my opinion or guesses. We may not believe the facts, or like them, but they are still facts. Our beliefs and likes do not change them. Consider these facts on salvation and apply them to yourself.
I. Salvation is the most important issue of your life:
A. Notice Paul’s concern for his own people: 9:1-3 & 10:1
1. He is Apostle to the Gentiles, yet deeply concerned about Israel.
2. He is willing to be lost himself if it will save Israel.
3. He is a real patriot. He wants all his countrymen to know Jesus.
B. Christians need to lead others to Christ.
1. We should make this a top priority.
2. Chances are you were led to Christ by some individual. Few are saved through singing, preaching, radio or TV evangelists.
3. Salvation must be passed "mouth to mouth."
C. If you aren’t saved, you need to give the matter priority.
1. None of us is fit to stand in God’s Presence. Rom. 3:23
2. You may have relatives who, like Paul, yearn for your salvation with a broken heart.
3. Nothing else you do will affect you for eternity. That’s why it’s so important.
II. Salvation is God’s work: 16, 18
A. It has always been so: 7-15
1. Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, . God used only one. V.7. Gen. 16
2. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob, Only one was used to bring salvation. 10, 11. Gen. 25:21ff
3. God hardened Pharaoh to save Israel. 17-20
4. In the matter of salvation, as in all others, God is sovereign.
B. You can’t draw up your own plan.
1. Dr. Frankenstein tried that and ended up with a monster.
2. Abraham tried it and ended very badly.
III. Salvation is by faith in Christ, not by works: 31-33
A. The advantages Israel had: vv. 4, 5
1. Every possible blessing from God.
2. A crucial part in His plan.
4. What could they have lacked that God did not supply?
B. Even after all that, they made the mistake of thinking salvation comes through keeping the Law.
1. Pride was their downfall. Thought they could be worthy of salvation.
2. Thought they were the only people God cared about, children of Abraham.
3. Christ was, to them, a stumbling block rather than a stepping stone. Vv. 31-33
C. Although salvation is from God, we must make the choice to accept it.
1. And it must be done His way; surrender to the claims of Christ.
2. Israel made the wrong choice and lost her standing. 27, 28.
3. Rom. 10:9-11 God’s great promise
CONC.: Philippian jailor: Acts 16:23-33 (quickview) . He provides a good illustration of the way we surrender our lives to Jesus. Salvation suddenly became a priority to him and he made the choice to do something about it. He received Christ as his Savior, was baptized.