Summary: What exactly does God save us from and how can that effect how I share my faith with others?
OPEN: I read the true story of a teenager was out on his driveway one day playing basketball and he lost one of his contact lens. He was frustrated. He searched and searched and searched for it but couldn’t find it. Totally discouraged he finally went into house and told his mother that the lens was nowhere to be found.
The mother didn’t say much, she just went outside and in a few minutes came back with the lens in her hand. The boy was shocked: "Mom, I really looked hard for that. How'd you manage to find it?"
She replied "We weren't looking for the same thing. You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150."
(R.Digest 10/92 p. 66)
That mother was looking for something she regarded as extremely valuable. And because it was valuable, she didn’t give up till she found it.
Jesus came looking for something really valuable.
Scripture says that He came to seek and save the lost.
In fact – Jesus’ very name means “Savior”.
When the angel appeared to Joseph, he told Joseph that “(Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
The name “Jesus” means – “Savior”.
And that’s the whole theme of the New Testament: Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
The New Testament is all about salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Now this sermon series on Christianese – Christian words the world may not understand and today we’re going to focus on the word: SALVATION.
And in our text in Isaiah we find that salvation is extremely important to God.
When someone is saved – it’s a time of excitement and joy for God.
Notice what it says:
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those
who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim SALVATION,
who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy.
When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy …” Isaiah 52:7-9a
This is GOOD NEWS.
These are GOOD TIDINGS.
The watchmen of the city SHOUT FOR JOY.
And everyone BURSTS INTO SONGS OF JOY.
Our salvation is a big deal with God.
But now… WHAT are we being saved from?
ILLUS: When I prepare my sermons I’ll ask myself questions just like that. And spitball for a while throwing all kinds of thoughts in the mix trying to find the best answers I can think of. And I could think of all kinds of things that God saves me from…
But then I got to thinking – “I wonder what the Bible says?”
That’s a good idea, don’t you think?
I mean I AM a preacher and this is about God’s ideas rather than mine.
So… what does the Bible say we’re saved from?
Let’s hear again the words of that angel:
“(Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people FROM THEIR SINS.” Matthew 1:21
In John 1:29 we’re told that John the Baptist “saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who TAKES AWAY THE SIN of the world!”
THAT is what we are saved from… we’re saved from our sins.
Paul tells us that BEFORE we became Christians
“you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” Ephesians 2:1-3
What that is saying is this: anyone who is not a Christian is an object of wrath
Before we became Christians, our destination was hell.
Romans 3:23 drives this home when it says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
And Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.”
How many of you believe that?
How many of you believe that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God?
How many of you believe that anyone outside of Christ is going to go to hell?
Of course we do… it’s in the Bible.
But - when it comes to this issue… I have a problem.
I struggle with the idea that people are sinners.
I suffer from a spiritual disease known as “Pollyanna-ism”