Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, July 15, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
THE SHOCKING, SWEET SPIRIT OF CHRIST ABOUT SALVATION
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: John 4:13-24
Text: John 4:22
John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Introduction: Today I’m bringing another message in a brief series about “The SHOCKING, Sweet Spirit of Christ.” Liberals would have you and me to believe that Jesus never offended or upset anyone. They want us to think that He never used sarcasm or insults. They want us to conclude that He never criticized anyone’s religion. As we have seen in previous messages, that simply is not true. On a number of occasions Jesus made people mad enough to try to kill Him.
Look at our text. Do you still think that Jesus was never offensive? He, a Jew, was talking to a woman of Samaria. He basically said, 1. “You Samaritans don’t even know who or what you worship.” 2. “We Jews DO know what we worship.” 3. “Salvation doesn’t come through the Gentiles or you Jewish half-breeds, but through the JEWS.”
If you compare this passage with such chapters as Matt. 23, you will find that Jesus was indeed much more gentle with this adulterous woman than He was with the religious leaders of the day. Nevertheless, He was still pretty blunt.
Before He identified Himself to her as the Messiah, the one who would bring salvation and the living water He had mentioned, He first told her that:
1. She was unsatisfied – 4:13-15
The Bible says that she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. This woman had drunk from the waters of the pleasures of physical life, but she was still thirsty. She had never drunk from the waters of eternal life.
2. She was ungodly – 4:16-18
Isn’t it amazing how that drunkards and whores have strong religious views? She asked Jesus for the water of life, but He wouldn’t give it to her without first dealing with the sin question. This is an illustration of the fact that people do NOT get saved by praying for salvation. Not directly, for certain. A person cannot be saved without first facing the issue of sin. After that He must understand who Jesus is and what He did for them on Calvary.
3. She was unqualified – 4:19-24
He basically accused her of being spiritually IGNORANT. He also implied that the religion of her culture was FALSE.
Now this woman could have bowed up like some people do and said, “You don’t have the sweet, spirit of Christ. You have no business telling me that my religion is wrong.” Instead, she accepted what Jesus said and ran all over town telling people about the Messiah.
I want us to think this morning about three simple truths that our sweet Savior proclaimed, which sounded SHOCKING at the time. Let’s consider “The Shocking, Sweet Spirit Of Christ About Salvation.”
One of the shocking statements that our sweet Savior made about salvation was that:
I. SALVATION IS NARROW
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
A. Multitudes are duped
|Jesus did not say that we are all working to get to the same place, just going by different roads. He said that their is only ONE road to heaven: HIM!
|Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
|MOST people who THINK they are going to heaven, are headed for hell!
|Most people that you know are lost.
|Most people who attend church are lost, especially when you consider ALL types of churches.
B. Money has deceived many
|Mark 10:23-25 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
|Notice that they were “astonished at his words.” Jesus SHOCKED people.
|Many people think that they if they are good to their fellow man, i.e., they give to charitable causes and don’t kill anybody, they will be all right.
|The Bible speaks of “the deceitfulness of riches” in Matt. 13:22.
C. Ministers have deluded the masses
|Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
|One preacher told a bereaved daughter, “You be a GOOD girl, and you will get to see your mother in heaven some day!”
|Many preachers in pulpits, on television and radio have told their listeners, “Just pray this simple prayer, and God will save you.” (Eternal life does not come through prayer, but through FAITH (Eph. 2:8-9).)
|The main reason that MOST liberals think we have a bad spirit and not “the sweet spirit of Christ” is that they have never been saved and do not KNOW Christ!
Another of the shocking statements that our sweet Savior made about salvation was that:
II. SALVATION IS NECESSARY
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jesus said that to a religious leader. He had religion, but he wasn’t saved. He probably was known as a good person in the community, but he wasn’t saved. He probably didn’t steal from anyone, but he wasn’t saved. Jesus didn’t say to him, “You PROBABLY should get born again.” He didn’t say, “It would be a good thing for you to be born again.” He said, “Ye MUST be born again.”
A. Because of the sins you have committed
|Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
|Matthew 19:16-17 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
|If you want to go to heaven by doing good, then Jesus said, “Keep the commandments.” However, there IS a CATCH.
|James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
|The only way justification by keeping the law could be accomplished would be if you kept ALL of the commandments. No one has ever done that, including you.
|Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
|You need to be saved because you are not a law-abiding citizen; you are a CRIMINAL against God. You are a law-BREAKER.
B. Because of the scrutiny you will face
|Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
|Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
|Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
C. Because of the sentence you will receive
|Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
|Mr. Liberal, believe it or not, there IS such a thing as everlasting fire (and that is the subject for another message).
One more of the shocking statements that our sweet Savior made about salvation was that:
III. SALVATION IS A NEW BIRTH
A religious leader named Nicodemus approached Jesus one night to talk to him. Nicodemus had studied the Old Testament, but he knew nothing of the new birth. When Jesus said that a man had to be born again to enter the kingdom of God …
John 3:4-7 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
A. The new birth is a stiff requirement
|Ye MUST be born again.
|Even if you have been baptized, ye MUST be born again.
|Even if you have joined the church, ye MUST be born again.
|Even if you have had prayers answered, ye MUST be born again.
|There is no getting around it!
B. The new birth is a supernatural resurrection
|Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
|To be saved, you would have to be able to bring life from the dead. Only GOD can do that.
|It is not REFORMATION that saves; it is REGENERATION.
|It is not turning over a new LEAF that saves; it is the receiving of a new LIFE.
C. The new birth is simply received
|John 3:14-18 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
|It is a recognition of one’s condition – snake bit and doomed.
|It is a realization of the work performed – a sacrifice for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
|It is a reception of the remedy offered – looking in faith.