Summary: What does it mean to be saved? How does this happen? Jesus speaks candidly about it in John 3 to a religious leader seeking truth.
Date Written: May 18, 2010
Date Preached: May 23, 2010
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Great Questions of Our Faith
Sermon Title: What is Salvation?
Sermon Text: John 3:14-17 [ESV]
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
To be saved… this is a phrase that carries with it many, many definitions. We think about our computers and the files and data we store on them. For us NOT to lose that data or file, it needs to be saved! I want you to think about the data you put on your computer… let’s say you are typing a paper!
You do all the research; you carefully craft the introduction and the body of the paper and skillfully wrap up your presentation with a clever conclusion that seals the deal for the reader.
You have created this paper on your computer… it is a great work… but your work is NOT finished. For this work to live on, you must save it to your hard disk or to some other destination.
The paper is saved by YOUR keystrokes and is stored and kept by your decision. My point is simply this… your paper was saved not by its merit or how good IT was, but IT was saved because of YOUR actions! Without your actions your paper would have been LOST… and not recovered!
Now as we look at the question today of ‘What is Salvation?’ I think about this illustration. We are God’s creation! He did all the research [as if He needed to do any] and then He carefully crafted the creation of this world and His ultimate creation, US!
It was His work that formed us, and it only stands to reason that it is only His WORK by His hand that can save us! Without God we would not exist, but more importantly without God we would have NO hope of salvation!
In Luke 19:9-10 Jesus tells us what His purpose in this life was…
9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
The purpose for Jesus here in this world was to save the lost creation of God! Jesus came to open a door that had been shut by sin and rebellion! And as Jesus speaks with a religious leader one evening, He reveals 3 things about why He had come, and what He was about to do for all of humanity!
This morning I want us to look at those 3 things and see how they apply to us today! The 1st thing Jesus speaks to is…
An Example of what was to come: v.14-15
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.
Here Jesus was referring to a time in history when the children of Israel were being very obstinate and rebellious toward Moses and God. We find this story in Numbers 21 we find the children of Israel were once again complaining against God and Moses’ leadership.
They hated the manna God had been providing and could only dream about going back to Egypt to eat meat and have what THEY wanted, even if it meant that they had to go back into slavery… it was a continuous cry of the people that God became angered against and so God decided to deal with their complaints by sending what the Scripture calls ‘fiery serpents’ into the camp.
Fiery serpents were poisonous snakes, and many people were bitten and many people began to die. Through their actions and the constant rebellion of their hearts against God, judgment was being brought against them.
The people saw how wrong they were and they that they had sinned against God by their rebellious attitudes and actions… they came to Moses and cried out in fear and desperation! They asked Moses to cry out to God to deliver them from these snakes. Moses prayed to God and God instructed Moses to fashion a serpent on his staff and raise it up in the midst of the camp and ALL who just looked upon it would live!