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Can God Series #2
John 3:16-17 CAN GOD REALLY SAVE YOUR SOUL?
Intro: In this passage detailing the conversation between the Lord Jesus and Nicodemus, the Lord says, very plainly, that He came into the world to provide salvation for all men. The matter of salvation is of vital importance to every person under the sound of my voice, and throughout the entire world, for that matter. You see, what you do about your salvation will determine where you spend your eternity.
Before we move deeper into this message, I want to offer up a definition. Too often, we Christians forget that we are like a little subculture. What I mean is that we have our own dialect and sometimes the things we say are simply confusing to those who don't know our lingo. One word that I want to define today is the word Jesus used in verse 17. Jesus tells us that He did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be "saved." It is that word saved that I want to consider for a moment.
We throw that word around in our sermons and in our testimonies, but those who are not saved may not understand what we mean when we use the word saved. So, to clear up any confusion, I want to tell you what that word means. The word "saved" comes from the Greek word "sozw", (pronounced - sode' zo). This word literally means, "to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.
a) to save one (from injury or peril)
1) to save a suffering one (from perishing), that is, one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
2) to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue
b) to save in the technical, Biblical sense; negatively:
1) to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
2) to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance.
If this word has that meaning, then why do we use it in regard to the soul? Because, man in his natural state, is a sinner, Rom. 3:23. When we come into this world, we arrive here already under a death sentence, Rom. 6:23. Unless a person is "saved" then they will die in their sins and they will spend eternity in Hell, forever separated from the presence and power of Almighty God. Now, no right thinking person wants that to happen to them! Therefore, we must know how we can be saved. That is something I will explain as this message unfolds.
Now, we know what it means to be saved, and I think we all want that for ourselves, we are about to find out how to be saved. All that remains is this one question, "Can God Really Saved Your Soul?" That is, if you do what the Bible says and receive His plan of salvation, can God really save you and keep you out of Hell? That is the question I would like to answer this morning. Can God Really Save Your Soul? I say, "Yes He can!" Allow me to give you three reasons why.
I. GOD'S PROMISE TO SAVE
Is An Old Promise - In the beginning, when God made man in His
image and man decided to sin against the Lord, God made a promise to Eve in the
Garden of Eden, Gen. 3:15. God's promise to provide a means of salvation is even
older than that. Rev. 13:8 tells us that Jesus is "the Lamb slain from
the foundation of the world." Peter takes it even farther, 1 Peter
1:20 says, "who verily was foreordained before the foundation of
the world." These verses tell us that even before there was a sinner
to save, before there was even a sin to cleanse, the Lord had already formulated
a plan to redeem sinners. His is a plan older than man, older sin, older than
Satan and older than Hell. God's promise to save is an old promise that shall
(Ill. Even in the Old Testament, there are glorious glimpses of the promise of God to save the sinner, Isa. 45:22; Isa. 43:11. God has always been and will always be a saving God. His promise to save is as old as God Himself, yet it is as new as the day when you call on Him in believing faith.
Is An Ongoing Promise - While God's promise is older than the world
and even older than mankind, it still has all the power of the Almighty behind
it. The promise is a valid today as it has ever been. Note: John 5:24; John
3:16; Acts 16:31. This promise has never and will never lose its great power.
God is a saving God and nothing will ever change that truth!
Is An Open Promise - God's promise of salvation is not limited to a
selected few, but it is a promise that is offered to all men. There are several
passages that bear out this truth. Rev. 22:17; John 6:37; Rom. 10:13. John 6:47,
just to name a few. It is clear from these verses that anyone who senses the
need for salvation can be saved by the grace of God, John 7:37. The only
requirement for participating in God's plan of salvation is that it is for
sinners only! If you are good you cannot be saved. If you are righteous, you
cannot be saved. Jesus came for the lost and for them alone - Mark. 2:17.
fact is, we are all sinners, Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22. Therefore, we all qualify
under the terms of salvation. The problem is, not everyone is willing to admit
his or her guilt. Yet, the Bible tells us that we are in sad shape apart from
God, Isa. 53:6. In fact, it tells us that the best we can produce out of our own
self-effort is a pile of putrid, filthy rags in the sight of Almighty God, Isa.
64:6. In simple terms, we need what God has to offer us in His plan of
I. God's Promise To Save
II. GOD'S POWER TO SAVE
(Now that we know that the Lord has promised to ave those who receive His plan of salvation, we need to know that He can do what He says He will do. Just how does God go about bringing men unto Himself? And, when a sinner does go to God for salvation, how does he or she know that God can do what He has promised? Perhaps spending a few minutes looking at God's Power To Save will clear up any areas of confusion.)
A. He Has The Power To Call The Sinner - No one can be saved when they feel like it! The Bible says that the sinner apart from God is dead, Eph. 2:1. That is, they possess no spiritual life and are unable to approach God on their own, Rom. 3:11. The only way the sinner can be saved is for him to be called by God - John 6:44; John 6:65. Salvation is a process that always originates with God in Heaven! It never begins with man! (Ill. Don't worry, I believe that God gives every man an opportunity - John 1:9)
(Ill. Never presume upon God! When He calls is the time for you to come to Him - 2 Cor. 6:2. God is never obligated to call again. Therefore don't bank on time - Pro. 27:1; James 4:14. By the way, don't run from the repeated calls of God - Pro. 29:1.)
Has The Power To Convert The Sinner - When a sinner places his or
her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, God does a work of grace so
powerful in their life that it cannot be explained in human terms. Things of
such a profound spiritual nature take place that it boggles the mind. Just a few
to help you understand what I am saying are:
1. All Sin Is Immediately And Completely Forgiven - Psa. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; Isa. 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; 1 John 1:7.
2. The Sinner Becomes A Child Of God - 1 John 3:1-2
3. The Sinner Is Delivered From Sin
a.) The Power Of Sin - Rom. 6:14
b.) The Penalty Of Sin - Rom. 5:9; Rom. 8:1; John 5:24 (saved!)
c.) The Presence Of Sin - Rev. 21:27
4. The Sinner Becomes A Joint Heir With Christ - Rom. 8:17
5. The Sinner Inherits A Heavenly Home - John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 2:9; Rev. 21:4.
6. The Sinner Becomes A Saint - (Ill. 1 Cor. 1:2 - Even the carnal Corinthians were called "saints.") When Jesus saves you, He changes you forever - 2 Cor. 5:17.
(Ill. Some He has changed by His power: Saul - Acts 9; Nicodemus - John 3, 7, 19; Bartimaeus - Mark 10; Zacchaeus - Luke 10, The Dying Thief - Luke 23; etc.)
(Ill. It may not prove anything to you, but I know what He has done for me, and that is all the proof I need.)
(Ill. There are many more references and blessings that could be named, but these are sufficient to prove that when God saves the sinner, He has the power to change them forever.)
Has The Power To Conserve The Saint - When God calls and the lost
person responds to that call and they receive Jesus into their life, is it
possible for that person to ever be lost again? Does the saved person ever have
to worry about somehow becoming "unsaved"? There are many
denominations and others who would say yes. However, the Bible says otherwise.
You see, not only does God have the power to call and convert sinners. He also
has the power to keep them saved forever! There are several verses that prove
this truth - 1 Pet. 1:5; John 3:16-17; John 10:28; John 6:37; John 6:47;
Rom. 8:38-39; Heb 6:1-4. Even the word "saved" loses all
power and meaning if the "saved" one is still in danger of being lost.
If I can lose my salvation before I get to Heaven, then I cannot be saved until
I get there first. If that be true, then there is no genuine salvation on this
side of eternity! I thank God that when salvation is given, it cannot and will
not be taken back again! 1 Thes. 5:23; 2 Tim. 1:12.
(Ill. Thank God, there is power in the Lamb to save the sinner!)
I. God's Promise To Save
II. God's Power To Save
III. GOD'S PROVISION TO SAVE
Provided A Precious Substitute - When man sinned in the garden, man
fell under the curse of God. For a man to be redeemed, a man had to die.
However, not just any man would do. The One who died would have to be a perfect
man. One without sin and without any wickedness. God, knowing our need and our
inability to do anything about it ourselves, provided a perfect substitute. He
gave us none other than His own darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, the
gift of God in Christ proves God's love for you and me - John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-8.
may not understand it this morning, but when Jesus dies on the cross, He was
literally taking your place. He was dying for you - Isa. 53:6; Matt. 20:28; John
1:29; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:1-2.)
Jesus was on the cross, God transferred your sins to Jesus and He dies to pay
your price on that cross - 2 Cor. 5:21.)
B. He Provided A Perfect Sacrifice - When Jesus was on that cross, His death and sacrifice were sufficient to provide for the saving needs of the entire world. He gave Himself, once for all, that we might be able to be free from the grip of Sin and that we might be able to experience God's perfect salvation, which is available on through the Lord Jesus Christ!
(Ill. Note: His was a perfect sacrifice. It will never have to be redone! - Heb. 9:24-28; Heb. 10:10-14, and it was a once for all sacrifice! Many in our day want to do away with the blood of Jesus. May I remind you that without His precious blood, there is no salvation possible for any man? Heb. 9:22; 1 Pet. 1:19-20; Rev. 1:5. Far too many think that a little religion is enough. Religion cannot save; neither can any ritual or practice. Nothing saves but faith in the shed blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ - Eph. 2:8-9.)
C. He Provided A Plan Of Salvation - Now, we come to the crucial question. If God promised to save man, if He has the power to save him and if He has provided the means to save him, how does one go about being saved? The answer is found in the verses we read this morning - John 3:16-17. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms exactly what a person must do to be saved from their sins. The answer is to believe on Him! This is explained to us in great detail in Rom. 10:9-10. These verses tell us that to be saved, we must acknowledge the claims of Christ and that we must transfer our faith from works, religions, self-effort, self-righteousness, whatever it may that we are trusting in and trust Jesus and Him alone for our soul's salvation. Salvation is simple - Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:13, but man wants to complicate it. The best thing we can do is to simply take God at His Word and accept salvation as what it is: The gift of God, Rom. 6:23.
Conc: Maybe there is someone here this morning and you have been plagued with doubts about salvation. Maybe there are those who know that they are not saved. But, today, the Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart and you are ready to come to the Lord. God is calling and you know what you need. You may be asking. "Can God really save my soul?" I invite you to find out for yourselves that God can! You know your heart and al I ask you to do today is to listen to the call of the Spirit of God in your soul. If you need something from the Lord this morning, I challenge you to come get it right now. Will you mind the Lord today?