To begin the new year we are starting our Friday messages with Experiencing the Great Salvation of God” this series will enlarge or concepts of what God has provided for us in and through Jesus.
He came to do something more than just give us a ticket to heaven.
This week we are talking about.
The church and Our Salvation.
1 Peter 2:4-5 (ESV)
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:1-10 (ESV)
The Salvation that God offers through Jesus Christ is truely a great salvation.
There are no disappointments for those who sincerely respond to God’s offer of full redemption from the penalty of sin, the practise of sin, and ultimately, the very presence of sin.
Salvation in the past tense, the new birth, or justification by God, is wonderful.
Blessed indeed is the person who can look back and say, “I have been saved. I have committed my life to Jesus as Lord and Saviour and experienced the joy of forgiveness and the privilege of becoming a member of God’s family.”
Salvation in the future tense, which includes the promise of victory over death and the grave and the privilege of fellowship with the father and the saints for eternity, is certainly a great salvation that brings joy to each believer.
The New Testament calls this glorification.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee to each believer of the final redemption from the consequences of sin.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV) says
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit’s presence within the hearts of believers is divine assurance that they will be raised from the dead.
Romans 8:11 (ESV)
11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Salvation in the present tense, called sanctification in the New Testament, is also part of God’s plan for His children.
It is not God’s will that His children live under the dominion of evil in the present.
Jesus Christ came to save us from the power and practice of sin as soon as we experience the new birth, this protection continues until either death, or Jesus’ glorious return.
To fully experience our great salvation in the present, we must be on guard against neglecting to work with God as He unfolds His complete plan for us.
Hebrews 2:1-4 (ESV)
Warning Against Neglecting Salvation
2 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution,
3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,
4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
God has provided at least four ways to stimulate the growth of those who have experienced the new birth.
If we postpone making a proper response to God’s Word, we face the danger of spiritual illiteracy and an aimless, self destructive life, we are told this in Psalms 119:9-11, 105 and as we have already said in Hebrews 2:1 (ESV)
2 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
1 Peter 2:2 tells us that any believer who ignores the Bible will suffer from spiritual malnutrition.
2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
When we neglect the privilege of prayer, we impoverish our spiritual lives and deprive ourselves of God’s loving counsel.
James 4:2 (ESV) says
2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
Through prayer God communicates to us His love and guidance.
To neglect the Holy Spirit is to experience the agony and frustration of living only in the power of the flesh. ( Romans 7:24)
When we make a proper response to the Holy Spirit, we can live victorious lives that are pleasing to the Father and that bring joy to our hearts.
The fourth great way to experience spiritual growth in the present and the one that is most neglected is to be involved with church.
- Each believer is indebted to the church.
Had it not been for the church, we would not know about God’s love and the great salvation offered to us through Jesus.
We owe much gratitude to the church for their role in helping us to know Jesus.
A. The church has been commanded to be an evangelising force in all nations until the end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Believers have a responsibility to communicate the message of God’s grace revealed in the life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus.
B. The church has been commanded to baptise new believers.
Baptism was to be a distinctive act of public identification with those who believed that Jesus has died for their sins, conquered death, and risen from the dead.
If believers in the past had refused to become members of local congregations, the church would have died.
C. The church has been commanded to be a school of Christian discipleship.
New believers should be instructed and led toward spiritual maturity.
It is God’s will that all believers enrol in this school of Christian discipleship and become learners for their entire lives.
D. The churches been commanded to serve as witnesses.
Jesus wants the church to be communicators of God’s wonderful works revealed through Jesus Christ and experienced in their own lives.
2. The church has never been flawless.
One of the devil’s strategies against unbelievers is to call attention to the imperfections of the church.
The church has never been perfect, nor will it ever be perfect this side of heaven.
- The church has always been composed of imperfect disciples.
Look at 1 Peter 2:1 (ESV)
A Living Stone and a Holy People
2 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
The words of this verse are addressed to those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
These believers still have many traits of there old life that must be put aside if they are to fully manifest their new relationship as we are told in 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
B. The church will always include immature disciples. ( 1Peter 2:2)
There are many things that only growth, self discipline, and time can solve in human families.
The same is true in God’s family
We must move out of childhood into maturity.
C. The church has always been and always will be under satanic attack.
The fact that Jesus called us to be God’s children does not immunise us against evil or build a wall over which satan cannot come to tempt us.
3. you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 (ESV)
Each believer has the privilege and responsibility to make a positive response to the presence of the church in the world today.
- Jesus saw the church as a spiritual temple with each believer as a living stone.
The Holy Spirit seeks to help each of us be a beautiful and precious stone in the temple that Jesus is building in the world today.
B. The church is the bride of Christ, as such, it is the object of His sacrificial love.
To neglect the church is to diminish your spiritual progress, vitality, and worth, and it is to disappoint Him to whom the church is very precious.
C. The church is the body of Christ through who He continues to work in the world today.
1 Corinthians 12:27 (ESV)
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Romans 12:4-8 (ESV)
4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,
5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;
8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
The church was created by God, and through the church He is carrying on His work today.
If you neglect the church, you hinder your chance of fully experiencing God’s great salvation.
In fact, you will fail in your Christian life if you dismiss the spiritual growth that comes from being in fellowship with other believers.
By giving yourself to the Lord in loving service through His church, you will enrich your life and be a blessing to others.
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org
When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.
So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us
2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY
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