Summary: This gives us a good understanding of Paul’s teaching about salvation
* One of the saddest and greatest tragedies in history is recorded in April of 1912. The much heralded and unsinkable Titanic sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. The lost of life was tremendous. In the aftermath of this tragedy, I am told that a list was published which showed the names of the passengers in one of two categories; lost or saved. Those lost were those who died at sea. Some bodies would be recovered and some would never be seen again. Those saved lived to relay the story.
* When I read the tenth chapter of Romans and think of those lost or saved on the Titanic, I am reminded that in heaven there is a similar list showing those who are “lost” or “saved.” The Bible clearly teaches us that there are only two roads, two gates, two ways, and two types of people. Those who are on the road to hell or those who have been saved from hell by the blood of Jesus, found salvation in Him, and are on their way to Heaven. This is what scripture teaches.
* Yet, we are told that people resent the term ‘lost’. This should not come as a surprise because it is embarrassing to be lost. That is why men resist asking for directions. It is awkward to admit that we don’t know where we are. But maybe we should focus on showing the way to salvation.
* Suppose you are home this afternoon and a car pulls hurriedly into your driveway and the driver says, “Where is the hospital, I am unfamiliar with this area and need to get to an emergency room.” What would be your response? Would you focus on the fact that there is no hospital close by, that he is lost, or would you go overboard to give him directions that are so crystal clear that he cannot miss it? In fact, if the situation were urgent enough, some in this room would get in your own car and simply say, “FOLLOW ME!” I submit, a person’s eternal destination is more urgent than a hospital visit. Let’s understand 4 truths about salvation.
1. The Attitude about Salvation
a. It is sad to say, but over the years I have watched parent’s be obsessed with teaching their children to love and even excel in some sport or event and yet those same parents seemed to have little or no passion about their children making the most important decision in life. That is, coming to Christ for salvation. They response is, “Well, I’m going to let them decide for themselves.” Candidly, every person does have to make their own decision, but why do we spend so much time teaching our children about loving SEC football, Cheerleading, or dance, and so little time influencing them to give their life to Christ?
b. Truthfully, many times by our actions, what we profess to believe about salvation is countered by the lack of attention we give it. The real question is this; do we passionately believe that the only way to miss hell and make heaven is found in Christ? Do our lives demonstrate that the way to abundant and full life is only found in Jesus? Or has our attitude become kind of “blasé?” Paul says, “MY Heart’s desire” or My PASSION is that my countrymen be saved.
c. If you walk down the street today and ask people, “Do you want to go to heaven when you die”, I read that about 90% will say, “Yes”, which affirms the conclusion that people to believe in the afterlife. However, the rub comes if you ask this, “What do you think it take to get to heaven?” The average person (even many church members) will give some kind of “works” answer. (I.E. if I good enough, treat people right, pay my bills, love my family, etc) This should not surprise because Paul speaks to this very issue right here in our text. Look at the attitude of the Lost;
I. In verse 2, we see that the lost are misinformed. They have a desire to know God (that is a desire placed in us at creation), but they try to know God according to their ignorance and the knowledge of His word. In other words, the man outside of Christ will attempt to make his own way to know God.
II. In verse 3, the lost misunderstand. We are masters at over rating our own goodness while underrating God’s holiness. This person is the one who “thinks” he can be good enough for God.
III. At the end of verse 3, we are told that the lost person is misguided.
The lost person refuses to submit because our nature is that we can do it on our own by doing good works and keeping the law. But verse 4 tells the lost person, particularly the Jew, that in Christ Jesus you live by grace instead of the law. And the best part of this entire equation is that in Jesus, “salvation” is FREE! Nothing you can do will earn it, nothing you can pay will buy it, and no amount of good living will make you worthy of it, it is all of Him.