Summary: It is of vital importance for all of us to understand what being a christian is all about
BACK TO BASICS #1
“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN?”
January 8th, 2016
Solid Rock Baptist Church
Rev Dan Bauder
I’ve been preaching the Gospel since December 1999. One of the things I’ve noticed is the way we assume all those who have attended for a while understand the basics of the Christian faith. In fact, nothing can be farther from the truth. The longer I have been in ministry and listened to comments and questions from individuals and watched interactions, both good and bad, the more convinced I am there is a definite need for a return to the basics of what the Scriptures teach. (tell about the lady at Broadway who had been a member since childhood and asked why I never preached about Purgatory) Most of us here this morning has had the blessing of being raised in a Christian home, but that doesn’t guarantee we all have the same level of understanding. This morning we are going to begin a journey back to the basics. How long this journey will take only God knows? We are going to begin this morning by asking the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian?”
I. WE HAVE BEEN PREDESTINED BY GOD (see verse 5)
A. What does ‘predestined’ mean?
1. To foreordain or elect by Devine will
a. Some refer to it as Calvinism which gets it’s name from John Calvin who lived from 1509 to 1564 and was part of the protestant reformation a generation after Martin Luther
b. For decades there has been an ongoing debate within the SBC over the issue. Because of the debate it’s not uncommon for search committees to ask pastoral candidates, “Are you a Calvinist?” I believe the major cause is a misunderstanding of what Calvin really believed. While attending HLG I remember theology students believing Calvin didn’t see the need to evangelize. NOTHING IS FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!
c. This is what John Calvin had to say about evangelism. “ the gospel “does not fall from the clouds like rain,” but is “brought by the hands of men to where God has sent it.” God “uses our work and summons us to be his instruments in cultivating his field.” The power to save rests with God, but He reveals His salvation through the preaching of the gospel. God’s evangelism thus causes our evangelism.” We need to understand the same thing Calvin did……..
2. God chose us. We didn’t choose Him (Read John 6:44)
A. “4 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
B. Before we come to faith in Christ, we were in capable of seeking God. If God had never opened our eyes to the truth of our spiritual depravity we would still be lost in sin.
II. WE CAN NEVER BE LOST (John 10:27-29)
A. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand”
B. Those who believe you can loose your salvation will argue,”The passage says nothing about willingly walking away.” In response I would point to I John 2:19. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.