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SALVATION PLAIN AND SIMPLE
Intro: I love words! I read somewhere this week that the average person has around 20,000 words in his or her vocabulary. Of course, most folks only use around 2,000 different words in normal conversation. I also discovered that there are around 200,000 English words in common usage today. According to some estimates, the total number of English words is over 3 million, which includes words used exclusively in the medical and technological, and scientific fields! That is a lot of words!
I enjoy words! They are my business! I use words when I preach, when I pray, when I witness, when I fellowship, when I write, etc. I use words in every area of my life. But, it seems to me that of all the words that I use and encounter on a daily basis; the words of the Bible are the most important of all.
If the Holy Spirit inspired this book, and I believe that He did, then I must also believe that He chose the precise words that He wanted used. Therefore, when I read and study the Bible, it is imperative that I find out what the words in the text mean. To do this, I use dictionaries, Hebrew and Greek lexicons, and other reference materials. I try to see what the word meant in that society and what it means to us today. Then, I take the product of my study and bring it to the church and share it with you. But, it is here, in the church, where the problem of understanding what the Bible says begins.
You see, every person in this room is at a different place in your spiritual journey. Some of you are saved and have been for years. The Bible is an open and blessed book to you. Others are new believers. You are still learning the language of the church and you are still trying to figure out how to understand the Bible. Still others here today have never been saved, and some of the things we say; and some of the things the Bible says make no sense at all to you. In fact, one of the words I have already used a couple of times is a good example. I am referring to the word “saved.” One form of that word is even used in our text this morning.
You hear that word a lot around the church. We talk about being saved. We sing about being saved. We preach about being saved. We testify about being saved. We shout about being saved. And, it is fitting that we do this, for salvation is a wonderful thing, if you have it. But, if you don’t have it, you might find yourself a little bit confused from time to time when you hear saved people talk about being saved. Well, by the help of the Lord, I want to try and take some of the mystery out of the word “saved today.
Let me begin with a simple definition. The word “save means, to rescue somebody or something: to rescue somebody or something from harm or danger. We use that word often and might speak of “saving someone from drowning; saving a person from a burning building; saving a someone from certain death; etc. The English word has the idea of “delivering another person from impending doom.”
The Greek word, which is translated “save in verse 25, is the word “sozo.” It means, “to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to make well, heal, restore to health. In other words, nothing at all is lost in the translation. When we speak of “getting saved; being saved; etc in the church, we are referring to Gods ability to rescue us from death and Hell; and of His power to keep us in that safe and sound condition forever.
With that little bit of information in mind, I want to take a look at this wonderful verse that we have before us today. I want to park on a few of the precious words contained in this verse and preach on the subject: Salvation Plain And Simple. We have been honored to have some unsaved people in our services; and I am sure that there are some here today. I want to be sure that you have the opportunity to hear the simple truths of salvation clearly and stated in plain English. So, let’s park on verse 25 for a few minutes today as we think on the thought Salvation Plain And Simple.
I. SALVATION IS ABOUT A PERSON - HE
A. The “He in this verse is identified in verse 22. His name is “Jesus.” The Bible says in verse 25 that “He is able.” That means that Jesus alone has the ability to provide salvation.
B. That is the clear massage of the New Testament – Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Acts 16:31; 1 John 5:12; John 10:9. It may seem narrow and sound narrow to our modern minds, but salvation will ONLY be found in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!
C. Why? Because Jesus did what no other man has ever done or will ever do. He lived a sinless life, and then He went to an old rugged cross and died there in agony and shame. When He did, He shed His precious, sinless blood for the sins of all who will come to Him for salvation, 1 Pet. 2:24!
D. The church is not the answer. The preacher is not the answer. Only Jesus can rescue you from the danger that threatens your soul. Only Jesus can save!
II. SALVATION IS ABOUT A POSSIBILITY - IS
A. The little verb “is is a present tense word. It speaks of something that is possible right now. When we speak of salvation, we are not talking about something that was or of something that will be later. We are speaking of something that can happen right now.
B. The Bible says that “He is able to save.” Jesus did not just operate in power during Bible times, but He is still saving souls today. You who wonder and worry about what will happen to you in eternity need wonder or worry no more. Come to Jesus and understand that He is able and willing to save your soul today. That is His call, 2 Cor. 6:2. That is His promise, John 6:37. You do not have to live in your sins for one more minute! You can be free; you can be saved; you can be assured of Heaven today, if you will only come to Jesus!
C. While salvation is available right now, I am afraid that it will not always be! There will come a day when the Lord will speak to your heart no more, Gen. 6:3. My advice to you is this: if the Lord is speaking to you about coming to Him, then you need to come and wait no longer. He is able today, and if He is calling, He intends for you to come to Him today. Here the advice of Isaiah, Isa. 55:6.
III. SALVATION IS ABOUT A POWER – ABLE
A. We are told that “He is able… That word means, “to have the power to do something. Jesus has the power to do something about your lost condition. He has the power, the ability to save your soul! He is able to do just that!
B. The word “able comes from the same word from which we get the English word dynamite and dynamic.” It has the idea of explosive power. Jesus Christ has the power to invade your life and break the chains that hold you bound in your sins. He has the power to affect your eternal freedom here and now. He is able to set you free, John 8:36.
C. That word also has the idea of “competence.” In other words, it refers to someone “who knows what he is doing.” If my car is acting up and I need a mechanic, I want to take it to someone who is competent to get it fixed. If I have a problem with my body, I want to take it to someone who is competent to get the help I need. I want a surgeon who made an A in surgery; not someone who made a D! But, when it comes to my soul, I want Someone Who is competent, don’t you? You see, your soul is far more valuable than your car or even your body. Your soul is the most important and valuable possession you have, Mark 8:36-37.
Well, I am glad that I can tell you today that Jesus is more than able;
He is more than competent when it comes to saving souls. He can save anybody, anywhere, any time, from
any sin, John 6:37. He has the power to save because He paid the
price to save. He has this power because
He lived a sinless life, died on the cross for sins and rose again from the
dead. Jesus can and will save all who come
to Him by faith,
IV. SALVATION IS ABOUT A PERFECTION - UTTERMOST
A. Not only does Jesus possess the power to provide salvation, but the Bible says here that He is able to save to the “uttermost.” This is a precious word! It means, “Completely, perfectly, and utterly. When God saves a soul from sin, He does it right; He does it perfectly; He does it completely; and He does it utterly.
B. What does this mean for you? I am glad you asked! If you are saved to the uttermost, here is a little of what that means for you.
1. You are saved completely from your sins. All your sins, every single one, have been washed away through the precious blood of Jesus – Psa. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; Isa. 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; 1 John 1:7.
2. You are saved from the power of your sins.
3. You are saved forever from your sins. Some people read this verse and think that the word “uttermost means that Jesus can save anyone. Well, He can; but that is not the emphasis of that word. It has the idea that Jesus has the ability “to save us to the end. In other words, when Jesus saves a soul, He does it completely and He does it forever – John 10:28; John 6:37-40; John 6:47; 1 Pet. 1:5. Salvation is a complete, perfect, and forever work!
C. Yes, Jesus is able to save your soul, and when He does, He is able to keep you saved! That encourages me! I mess up a lot in life, but even I cannot mess up salvation! It is complete in Jesus and it is mine forever! Salvation will not wear out and it will not wear off. Those who are saved today will be save forever! Does that group include you? It can!
V. SALVATION IS ABOUT A POTENTIAL - THEM
A. Here is the bittersweet part of this verse. We are told that this perfect, complete and utter salvation can become a reality, but only for “them … that come unto God by Him. You see, salvation is not for everyone. There are some people who cannot and who will not be saved! That may surprise you, but it is true! Salvation is only for those who will come to Jesus and call on Him by faith.
B. Jesus died on the cross to make a way of salvation possible for all who will come to Him by faith, 1 John 2:2. He has issued an invitation for all people to come to Him, Rev. 22:17; Matt. 11:28; John 3:16. He has made a promise that all who call on Him in faith will be saved, Rom. 10:9; 13.
C. That is a tremendous blessing! But it is also the crux of a great problem! You see, there are many who hear the message of the cross, the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the message of the Gospel of grace and believe it. These people are immediately, completely, perfectly, utterly and forever saved from their sins.
However, there are many, many more that hear this same message and turn a deaf ear to it. They harden their hearts to the call of Jesus and walk away from Him and His promises. These people will never be saved, unless they “come unto God by Him. I remind you that Jesus is the only way to God, John 14:6; Acts 4:12. He is the only hope of salvation you have. If you reject Him, you have no other alternatives. You have nothing to look forward to but an eternity in Hell. To reject Jesus is to walk away from the only One Who can save your soul, John 8:24; John 3:18, 36.
D. Are you one of “them? Have you come to Jesus for salvation? Are you trusting Jesus and Jesus alone to save you from your sins; to rescue you from Hell and to take you to Heaven? If you are, praise the Lord! You are in good shape spiritually. If you have not trusted Jesus, let me encourage you to do that today! Come to Him right now and call on Him. He will save you and He will do it right!
VI. SALVATION IS ABOUT A PROMISE - LIVETH
A. One of the primary reasons that Jesus is able to save so completely, perfectly, and utterly is because He is alive, in Heaven today. As we know from the Bible, Jesus died on the cross, but He also rose from the dead, Matt. 28:1-6. After that, Jesus ascended back to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. He is present in Heaven today and He is there to make “intercession for us.
B. He is our High Priest. This first part of chapter 7 is about the superiority of Jesus to earthly high priests. All other priests die and their ministry ends forever. Jesus died and His ministry began! He rose from the dead and now He prays for us in the very presence of God. When we fail as believers, and we often do, He is there to plead our case and say, “Put that on my account,” 1 John 2:1. His presence in Heaven is our guarantee of eternal life! Jesus is there as the proof that sin had been conquered and that way has been opened into God’s presence. He is the Door, John 10:9; and all who enter through Him have His presence in Heaven as their promise, as their hope, as their anchor.
C. Name any other religious figure that can make that claim. Every other founder of every other major religion has a grave where their followers can go to mourn their deaths. Only Christians have an empty tomb! Our Leader, the Author and Finisher of our faith, rose from the dead, ascended back to Heaven, and is there today as our representative and the guarantee that we will be there one day as well, John 14:1-3! What a promise! What a guarantee!
Conc: Saved! What a glorious, wonderful word! The more I learn about that word and what it promises, the more I love it! I am glad that I can say, without reservation, “I am saved! I praise the Lord that I know what salvation is all about. I praise the Lord that Jesus is my Savior!
What about you? Can you say, “I know for sure that I am saved,” today? Have you ever come to Jesus Christ by faith and called on Him for salvation? If you have, then all that I have talked about today, and more, is yours through Him! But, if you haven’t, I challenge you to delay no longer. If the Lord Jesus has shown you that you are not saved today and you know that He is calling you to come to Him; then I beg you to leave your seat, bow before Him and look to Him for your soul’s salvation.