THE SINNER AND SALVATION
People curse and sware, they are angry and out of control, they lie and deceive, their hands are filled with the blood of others. People are guilty of sin. (Romans 3:23) Sin is a violation of God and His nature. It is an offense against our Creator. When you sin, you offend the very nature of God because it is His law that you have broken. (1 John 3:4) God's Laws are not arbitrary. They are based on His holiness and His character. Our sin causes a separation between us and our Maker. (Isaiah 59:1-2) Sin is so horrible and hideous that Jesus had to come to this earth to take our place and die for our sins. Peter wrote, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24) Sin makes it impossible for God to hear our prayers. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalm 66:18) There is the great need for salvation, but what is it that saves us from our sins? If a man is in the water, almost at the point of drowning, and someone throws a rope and he catches hold of the rope and is pulled to safety, what saved him? One might answer "the man" who threw the rope and pulled him to safety saved him. Another might say "the rope" saved him. Still another might say "he saved himself" by taking hold of the rope and clinging to it. Which answer is correct? Obviously, all the answers are correct! It was a combination of all these things which prevented the man from drowning. When a person is lost in sin what saves that person? Grace? Faith? God? Himself? Or, is it like the man and the rope, a combination of many things?
The sinner is saved by God. "For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:10)
The sinner is saved by Jesus. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)
The sinner is saved by grace. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The sinner is saved by God’s mercy. "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:4-5)
The sinner is saved by the gospel. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
The sinner is saved by the name of Jesus. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
The sinner is saved by the blood of Jesus. "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28)
The sinner is saved by the Holy Spirit of God. "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
The sinner is saved by the love of God. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) A lost person is saved by the mercy and grace of God. God loved mankind and allowed His Son to die for sinners. Through Jesus' shed blood and precious name man is saved. But, there are other things by which salvation comes.
The sinner is saved by faith. "And made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:9)
The sinner is saved by repentance. "Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:46-47)
The sinner is saved by confessing faith in Jesus. "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
The sinner is saved by baptism. "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." (1 Peter 3:21)
The sinner is saved by obedience. "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:8-9)
The sinner is saved by works. "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:24)
The sinner is saved by hope. "For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?" (Romans 8:24)
The sinner is saved by calling on the name of the Lord. "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)
The sinner is saved by personal effort. "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation." (Acts 2:39-40)
The sinner is saved by enduring to the end. "But he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:13)
Accountable human beings are saved by God, by grace, by the life and death of Jesus, by Jesus' resurrection and by the gospel. But no one is saved until and unless he meets God's conditions of pardon. Christ saves the obedient. To become a child of God you must hear the gospel (John 6:44-45), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism, you must endure to the end. Are you saved?
---- Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: LeRoy Boutwell, Dannie Box, Mary Ann Bozeman, Brenda Burkett, Terry Claunch, Camren Coleman, Tim Croley, John Curry, Syble Farmer, Marietta Faulkenberry, Tommy Green (brother-in-law of Charles Box), Betty Harrell, Devin Hawkins, Lois Hopper, Sonny Johnson, Patricia Kennemore, Peggy Lassiter, Arthur Little, Jeff Lowery, Sherry Lucky, Alison Martin, Kathy Mathis, Annie McKee, Jeff Miller, Karen Miller, Bobby Moore, Dot Mosley, Robert Mosley, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Dawson Parker, Elizabeth Perdue, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Lydia Ann Raybon, Billy Rodgers, Dianne Salter, Caleb Sam, Ron Seal, Rodney Shepard, Nathan Simmons, Liz Singleton, Martha Skipper, Kenneth Smith, Sarah Stidham, Robbie Taylor, John Tindoll, Leroy Waller, Lue Ella Webb, Barbara Woods, and Tom Young. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Betty Findley, Davis Hester, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders and Annie Ruth Tetter. Georgiana Nursing Home: Woodrow and Edwina Butts.
2. Bridal Shower/Dinner: There will be a bridal shower/dinner for Dustin Harrell and Randi Burkett on May 19th after the evening service. The Meat Committee has clean up duties following the shower.
3. Anniversary: Celebrating an Anniversary this week: May 19th Reese and Lydia Ann Raybon.
4. Birthdays: Celebrating a Birthday this week: May 21st Nell Daughtry, Kindal Harrell, Becky Reynolds, and Jeff Thomas, May 22nd Logan Lassiter, and May 25th Agnes Hammonds.
5. High School Graduation Announcement: (a) Josh Till and Ryan Taylor - The Board of Directors, Faculty and Senior Class of Fort Dale Academy announce Commencement Exercises, for Friday, May 24th at 7:00 p.m. Southside Baptist Church. (b) Rebecca Nicole Burnett – Class of 2013 -- Please come and celebrate with Juanita Baugh & Frank Burnett as our daughter graduates from Greenville High School on Friday, May 24th at 7:00 p.m. at the Greenville High School Stadium.
6. High School Graduates Honored: There will be a graduation party to honor our high school graduates on Sunday, May 26th after the evening worship service. Graduates to be honored are Josh Till, Rebecca Burnett and Ryan Taylor. Everyone is asked to bring finger foods. The Vegetable Committee has clean up duties.
7. Bridal Shower/Dinner: There will be a bridal shower/dinner for Brittany Till and Blake Bagents on June 2nd after evening service. Brittany is register at McFerrin’s Jewelry, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. The Salad Committee has clean up duties.
8. Wedding Announcement: Mr. and Mrs. William Harvey Burkett request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Randi to Dustin Harrell on Saturday, June 24th, at 2:00 p.m., First Baptist Church, 212 Fort Dale Road, Greenville.
9. Vacation Bible School: June 23rd – 27th – Walnut Street Church of Christ -- Work hard to make our VBS the best ever! See Darrell Powell and find out what you can do to help.
10. Thank You Note: Your kindness was an answer to my prayers. A special thank you to Charles and Janice Box for the visit and prayers while I was at the hospital. May God bless you all for the prayers. Lue Ella Webb
11. Carl Sessions Camp Fund: Please contribute! Make checks to Walnut Street Church of Christ and mark them “Carl Sessions Camp Fund.”
12. Area Events: (a) May 19th – Homecoming – College Street church of Christ – Speaker Floyd Rogers – Time 2:20 pm Singing and 3:00 pm Worship Service, (b) June 2nd–6th – Homecoming & Gospel Meeting – Sasser church of Christ – Speaker Jason Hilburn – Time Sunday 1:30 pm Singing, 2:00 pm Worship Service, and weeknights 7:30, and (c) July 7th–12th – Backwoods Christian Camp – Counselors and Campers are needed. Contact Darrell Powell or Charles Box at 334-382-3001.
What is so special about Backwoods Christian Camp? Isn’t it rough and rugged and without many of the modern conveniences that make life so easy? No internet, no TV, and no CELL PHONES!?! Why would anyone want to go there? Here are a few reasons why I not only go, but I love BCC:
It is almost an everyday occurrence for a simple glance at the beautiful river, mountains, or starlit sky to spark a meaningful conversation about our awesome Creator. When I am at Backwoods, looking in any direction makes me want to say out loud: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalms 19:1).
People who would normally have been playing video games, watching TV, or surfing the internet, etc. if they had been at home find themselves wanting to spend the evening in life-changing Bible studies. At BCC you can always find someone to study or pray with. Many souls have been saved because of the spiritual atmosphere that you will find there. Maybe you are in need of new friends who genuinely care about you.
I guess a simple way of putting it is that a week at Backwoods Christian Camp is what I wish life in the “real world” were like. It is filled with worship of the almighty God, fellowship with Christians and others who are seeking the truth, and so much joy. Christians there seem to forget the fears they had about sharing Christ with those around them. Everybody truly is somebody when they are there. You are invited to spend a week at BCC with the Walnut Street Church Of Christ July 7-12, 2012. Call 334-382-3001 or 334-368-0147 for details.
There are many ways that you can support the work done through Backwoods Christian Camp. Today I’ll just tell you about one and hope you’ll do what you can. My children, Eli and Eden, are raising funds for the annual BCC Walk-A-Thon. As far as a distance…well…I’ll just say they’ll be walking J. If you’d like to support them, please contact me at one of the above numbers
- - - - Darrell Powell