EVANG-04 - Sin and Salvation
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In Acts 16:30-31 the greatest question that's ever been asked comes,
“Sirs what must I do to be saved?”
Today we're going to discuss the most solemn and important
question ever asked. We hope you'll get your Bible as we're going to study
“What must I do to be saved?” together. That question, “What must I do to
be saved?” is a question that each person who wants to live with God must
answer according to the Bible.
We want to begin by asking you- Are you saved? Have you done
what God says to be a Christian? If you answer yes to the question, how
were you saved? What did you do by which you knew you were saved?
Maybe you were at a revival, maybe you were at a youth camp, maybe you
were seeing something or heard something on the radio, or saw it on TV.
How were you saved? Then more specifically, at what point in your
conversion experience were you saved? Did somebody tell you to say the
Lord's Prayer? You knew you were saved. Did somebody tell you to lay
your hand on the TV or the radio it or say the sinner's prayer and you'd be
saved? Have you been baptized? Why were you baptized? Were you
baptized for a specific reason? Did you have water sprinkled on you? Was
a little poured on you or were you immersed? All we're asking you from the
outset of this lesson is to think about your own conversion experience.
Make it clear in your mind exactly where you were, how old you are, what
you did when you obeyed the gospel. We're going to ask is would you
compare that what you did with what the Scripture says? If the two match
up, then friend that's wonderful! But if they don't, we would encourage you
today to make changes where necessary.
Let's begin by talking about the need for salvation. Salvation is so
important because of man's condition in sin. Isaiah 59:1-2 the Bible says,
“The Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save. His ear's not heavy
that He cannot hear, but your sins and your iniquities have separated you
from your God and your sins have hidden His face from you that He will not
hear.” According to that verse, what is it that separates man from God?
Your sins, my sins have separated me from my God. Sin is the great divide
between God and man.
Now we know what sin is for 1 John 3:4 says sin is a transgression of
God's law. The Bible teaches us in James 1:14-15 that sin comes from our
own desires and lust. It's not as though I'm born with it. Rather sins springs
up within us when we have desires and lust and passion that we give in to.
James says in James 4:17, “To him that knows to do good and does it not
to him it is a sin.” Sin's unrighteousness or transgression of the law sin is a
failure to do what we know we ought to do when we give in to our passion
Let's ask this question, how many have sinned? How many need to
obey the gospel? Romans answers that question in two verses. In Romans
chapter 3 in Romans 3:10 the word of God says, “For there is none
righteous no not one.” How many are righteous? None. Not even one!
Romans 3:23 comments further on that idea. When the word of God says
the Bible says very clearly ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of
God.’ How many have sinned? All. Does that include you and does that
include me? If all have sinned, then I have sinned. ‘None righteous all have
Do you see why there's such a great need to answer this question
according to the Bible? To illustrate that further we might show just how
terrible the consequences for sin are. For example in the sixth chapter of
the book of Romans verse number 23, the Bible says “The wages of sin is
death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What's the wages of sin? Spiritual death, being separated from God
forever. Now how many sins do you have to commit to be separated from
God eternally? One sin. ‘God's of pure eyes and don't behold evil. He
cannot look upon wickedness.’ Sin separates man from God. Its wages is
eternal death. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 the Bible says, “Do you not know that
the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Neither fornicators,
idolaters, sodomites, homosexuals, covetous they will not inherit the
kingdom of God.”
Will people living in sin go to heaven? Sadly, they will not go to
heaven. In fact Matthew 13:40-42 there is a great separation and at the end
of the world, sinners will be cast into the lake of fire and torment. The
consequences are spiritual death. The consequences are, they will not be a
part of God's kingdom, and they will suffer eternally because of what
they've done and how they've lived that's according to the plan not
according to the plan of Almighty God.
Based on that fact everybody's sinned that sin leads to a horrible
tragedy and eternity with the devil, let's turn our attention to that great
question. “What must a person do to be saved?”
As we think about this question, we're going to let the Bible give us
the answer. As we mentioned these steps in the plan of salvation, we want
you to see it from the Bible. Each one of these verses is going to tell us this
is a command we must do.
And so, what's God's condition for salvation? First you must believe
Jesus is God's Son. Here's the condition. John 3:16 the Bible says “God so
loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in
him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The condition stated in that
verse is believe. Must a person believe in Jesus Christ to be saved?
Absolutely! There is no denying that's the case. Now can you be saved
without believing? Not according to Jesus. In John 8:24 Jesus said, “Unless
you believe that I'm He you'll surely die in your sins.” If you don't believe in
Jesus, Jesus said ‘unless’- there's no way you can be saved unless you
believe in me. No denying that a person must believe Jesus is the Son of
God. Does salvation end at the point of belief?
Is there anything else the Bible says a person must do to be saved?
There absolutely is! In fact in Acts chapter 17:30 the Bible says, “Truly,”
Paul speaking to the idolaters of Mars Hill says, “Truly these times
ignorance God once winked at or overlooked but now commands all men
everywhere to repent what's the condition stated in Acts 17:30? God now
commands all men everywhere to repent.” Now when we talk about
repentance, sometimes that's confusing to people and sometimes people
equate repentance with crying or tears and while that may be involved
that's not all there is to repentance. In fact 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 says,
“Godly sorrow produces repentance.” Now is merely being sorry for your
sins true repentance? No. Godly sorrow produces repentance. When I'm
sorry that leads one to repent, and thus repent repentance demands that
the sinner turn from his ways. Now is it essential that I repent to be saved?
Listen to Jesus words in Luke 13:3. Certain people had come to Jesus and
they said, ‘Lord what about these people who had their blood mingled with
their sacrifice? What about these 18 people who were walking down the
road and a tower falls on them and kills them? Were they worse sinners
than everybody else?’ Luke 13:3-5 Jesus said, “I tell you no.” But here's
that word again, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Unless you
believe that I'm He, you'll not be saved.” John 8:24, “Unless you repent,
you will all likewise perish.” Must a person repent to be saved? Can you be
saved without repenting? Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you will all
Now a third step in God's plan of salvation once I believe and once
I'm willing to repent, I must confess Jesus as the Son of God. In Romans
10:10 the Bible says, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” What's the
condition stated in Romans 10:10? “With the mouth confession is made
unto salvation.” I've got to do like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:36-38.
When Philip asked him, “Do you believe Jesus Christ?” ‘I believe with all
my heart Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. Here's water. What
hinders me?’ “If you believe.” ‘I believe Jesus.’ He confessed Jesus as the
Son of God. Now like with these other two steps in the plan of salvation,
let's ask is that essential? Do I really have to do that to be saved? Listen to
Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:32-33. Jesus said, “If you won't confess me
before men, neither will I confess you before my Father who is in heaven.
But if you will confess me before men, I'll also confess you before my
Father who is in heaven.” Friend did Jesus say you can be saved if you do
not confess him? “If you won't confess me,” Jesus said, “neither will I
confess you before the Father who is in heaven.” We believe in Jesus as
the Son of God-that's essential. We repent-that's essential. We confess
Christ. Jesus said without it there's no confessing you before the Father.
It's essential also.
Then friend, the Bible also teaches that a person must be baptized to
be saved. I know a lot of people have trouble with the idea of baptism, but
all we want to do is show you this is a command of God and that Jesus
said you cannot be saved without being baptized first. Now, let's look to the
Bible. Here's what we're asking you, just look to the Bible with us and see if
this isn't what the word of God says.
I direct your attention to 1 Peter chapter 3, and I'd like for you to look
with me in verse number 21. Look in your own copy the Bible or on the
screen with us in 1 Peter chapter 3. I want you to notice what God's word
says in verse number 21. The Bible says, “There is also an antitype which
now saves us baptism, not the removal of the filth of the flesh but the
answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus
Christ.” What's the condition stated in 1 Peter 3:21? Peter said, “Baptism
does now also save us.” The condition stated is baptism and friend don't
miss those words. If the Bible says, “Baptism now saves us,” why would
anyone dare say baptism is not essential to salvation?
Now let's talk about the essentiality. With every other point, we've
shown you can't be saved. Jesus said, “If you don't do these things...”
What about baptism? Did Jesus say you can't be saved without being
baptized? Notice John 3:5. Jesus said, “Verily, verily most assuredly I say
to you unless,” there's that word again, “unless one is born of water and the
spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Did Jesus say you will be saved
if you're not baptized? Jesus said, ‘Unless one is born of water and the
spirit, he can't get into the kingdom of God.’ Again we realize there are a lot
of people who teach things that are contrary to this. All we’re asking you to
do is trust your Bible. Look to the Bible. If that's what it says, then simply
believe it and do what God's word says.
Now let me show you some other passages that clearly teach
baptism is essential to salvation. Turn your Bible to Mark 16:16 Jesus here
said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved. He that does not
believe shall be condemned.” Now there are two conditions, and I want you
to notice what those are with me. Jesus said we must be we must believe
and be baptized to be saved. Did Jesus say your believe do you believe
and are baptized then you're saved? You bet He did. Did Jesus say both
conditions are necessary to be saved? He absolutely did! Why would
anyone deny the clarity with which Jesus spoke here? “He that believes
and,” the conjoining word, “and is baptized will be saved.” Those are
conditions Jesus set for salvation. Now again those are not the only
passages. There is a host of other passages. Let me illustrate.
If you're following along in your Bible, notice Acts 2:38. Here Peter is
preaching the very first gospel sermon. The men and women in Jerusalem
realized they'd killed their own Messiah. They now want to know, “Men and
brethren, what shall we do, what can we do to get over to be saved from
the sin of killing our own Savior?” Peter respond by saying, “Repent and be
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.” Don't miss this,
“For the remission of sins.” The inspired preacher Peter told these believers
to ‘repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.’
Now going all the way back to the beginning of our lesson, remember
it's sin that separates us from God. Right? Isaiah 59:1-2. Whenever sin is
removed that's when a man's back in a relationship with God. “Repent and
be baptized for the remission of sins.” Think about it maybe this way with
me. In Ephesians 1:3 the Bible says, “All spiritual blessings are ours, the
Christians, in Christ Jesus.” Now do Christians have every spiritual blessing
in Christ? Absolutely do! If it's the case that all spiritual blessings are in
Christ, are there any outside of Christ? Well no, they're all in Christ. 2
Timothy 2:10, salvation is in Christ. Is it the case that to be saved I've got to
be in Christ? Well that's clearly what the Bible says. Must one be in Christ
to be saved? Absolutely!
Here's the question we've got to ask then, imagine that we have a
circle here that represents being in Christ inside that circle are all spiritual
blessings. Inside that circle is salvation and man is outside of it. How does
one get in Christ where salvation and all spiritual blessings are? Let's
notice from the word of God the passage is Galatians 3:27. The word of
God reads, “For as many of us as were baptized into Christ have clothed
ourselves with Christ,” remember all spiritual blessings are in Christ and
salvation's in Christ. How does the Bible say you get in Christ? “As many of
us as were baptized into Christ,” the only way the Bible says you get into
Christ is be by being baptized. Ephesians 4:5 makes it emphatic that there
is only one baptism. The Bible says there's “One body, one spirit, one faith,
one baptism, one Lord, one hope, one God, and Father of you all.” Is there
more than just one valid baptism in God's will today? No, just one baptism.
Friend it since it's the case that God only accepts one baptism, must we be
careful that we're baptized the way God tells us to? Absolutely!
The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized in water, Acts 8:36-38. Both
Philip and the eunuch got down out of the chariot. They both went down in
the water. He baptized him, and they came up out of the water. Did Philip
baptize the eunuch in water? You bet he did! Did both Philip and the
eunuch both go down into the water? Absolutely! Would it have been
necessary, now think about this, would it have been necessary for both
Philip and the eunuch to go down, get out of the chariot, go in the water
and baptize him if sprinkling or pouring were acceptable? Would it have
been necessary for both to get in the water? Of course not!
Think about these passages in John 3:23. John was baptizing in
Aenon near Salim because there was much water there. How much water
does it take to sprinkle a baby or pour little water on a baby? Not much.
How much water does it take to immerse an individual? Much water. Think
about this example Mark 1:9-11 at Jesus baptism the Bible says, “And
coming up out of the water, the spirit descended upon Him like a dove.” To
come up out of water, Jesus had to first go down into it. Jesus was
The clearest picture of all is that of Romans 6:3-5. I want you to listen
to these words with me as Paul speaks about both the importance and
illustrates the mode of baptism. This is one of the clearest passages to help
us understand that. Listen to Romans 6. We'll begin reading about verse
number 3. Paul says, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were
baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we
were buried with Him through baptism into death that just as Christ was
raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should
walk in newness of life. For if we've been united together in the likeness of
His death, certainly also we shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”
Now friend, does the Bible here describe baptism as a burial in water? It
absolutely does! Where do we get when do we contact the benefits of the
death of Christ? When we are buried with Him? In baptism. Friend if you're
baptized the way the Bible says could you be wrong? How could you if the
Bible says that? If you're not baptized the way the Bible says, could you be
wrong? Well absolutely! If one's been sprinkled or had water poured on
them and you don't find that in the Bible, could that be wrong? Absolutely! It
is it really something you want to take a chance on missing heaven over?
We ask you to consider, do you believe really believe Jesus is the
Son of God? As we've seen, Jesus commands repentance. Are you willing
to start making changes in your life that Jesus commands and to live for
God every day? Would you be willing to confess the name of Jesus before
men? Have you been immersed in water for the remission of your sins? If
you were taught, you had remission of sins before baptism; could you really
have been baptized for the remission of your sins? Listen carefully friend, a
lot of people are taught baptism is not essential. A lot of people are taught
that you're saved and baptized two weeks later. Could you have been
taught wrong and somehow baptized right? Remember you've got to know
the truth first, and then the truth makes you free. If you are taught on error
on baptism, how could you be baptized correctly and been set free from
your sins? Those two ideas are diametrically opposed. In fact if you are
taught you’re saved before baptism, could you really have been saved and
baptized the correct way? Since God describes one baptism as a burial in
water, could you have been scripturally baptized if you are sprinkled or if
you had a little water poured on you?
Clearly one can see from the Scriptures that these things are indeed
essential and that I must understand those to be right in the sight of God.
We offer today some motivations hopefully to encourage one to really obey
the simple plan of salvation and just become a New Testament Christian.
Here's the first motivation, do you really love Jesus? In John 14:15
Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” If we really love
Jesus, will we want to obey Him? You absolutely will! Do you love Jesus?
Are you willing to obey Him? Since Jesus wants you to obey the gospel
and be baptized and you understand the importance of being baptized,
wouldn't it please Jesus for you be baptized and obey the gospel? Do you
wear the name of Christ only? That's what the Bible commands-Christians
and Christians only. Does the church you attend worship the way that
we've seen in the Bible today? Is the church you attend organized
according to the pattern of elders and deacons and all Christians standing
on level ground at the foot of the cross? Does the church you attend teach
the simple plan of salvation?
In Ephesians 5:23 the Bible says that Jesus is the Savior of the body.
What is Jesus going to save? The body. He's going to save the body which
is the church. Friend if I'm not in His church, if I'm not a member the church
we read about in the Bible the church that Jesus died for, is Jesus on the
final day going to save that church? We need to make sure that we're part
of the church that the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died for and that we’re
right in His sight.
In Revelation 20:15 the Bible says that ‘God opened up books and
one of those books is the book of life. Christians have their name written in
the Book of Life, the Lambs Book of Life, anyone's name not found written
in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of eternal fire in torment.’
Friend it's essential that our name be written in the book of life.
Today we're asking, is your name written in God's book of life? Do
you want God to write your name in His book? If so, you've got to obey the
gospel plan of salvation. What do you have to do to get your name in God's
book of life? You've got to obey the gospel and become a Christian. If you
recognize and have heard the word of God as the final authority, would you
not believe in Jesus so that you can be saved? Would you not be willing to
repent of your sins and turn from sin and turn to God? Would you confess
the name of Jesus as the Savior of the world? Would you do what the Bible
says when Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved”? It’s
essential to salvation.
We're begging you today, just simply become a Christian- nothing
more, nothing less. Obey God's plan of salvation, and then you can know
that you're right with God, your name's written in His book, and ultimately
one day you can live with God in heaven for all eternity.
We hope and pray that you will do that without delay.
Study Questions for: “Evangelism Series: Lesson 4”
1. What question is asked in Acts 16:30-31?
2. What separates us from God according to Isaiah 59:1-2?
3. According to 1 John 3:4, what is sin?
4. According to James 1:14-15, where does sin come from?
5. What does James 4:17 say about sin?
6. According to Romans 3:23, who has sinned?
7. What are the wages of sin according to Romans 6:23?
8. According to John 8:24, what must we do?
9. What does Acts 17:30 tell us we must all do?
10. What saves us according to 1 Peter 3:21?