Listen | Watch | John 12:9-13
Many people of the Jews…came John 12:9
They did not come just because of Jesus only, because our text is quick to point out, “They came…that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.” Many of you are here today, not just because of Jesus, but many are here because of another Christian (member), one of whom Jesus has raised from the dead, not physically but spiritually. The Bible is very plain, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ,” (Ephesians 2:5). Not a physical death, but a spiritual death. That part of us that relates to God prior to conversion is dead. So today, we cry “Hosanna!” “Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord”.
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. John 3:16
And since the Lord was gracious in sending His son, I am going to be bold in asking you for your commitment…
- A commitment to be saved (to give your life to Christ) – some of you have never done that.
- A commitment to be baptized – some of you have not had a Scriptural baptism.
- A commitment to church membership – you’ve changed your address, but not your church membership.
- A commitment to believe God for your assurance of salvation – I will a lot more to say about this next week.
- A commitment to grow toward spiritual maturity – there have been other times in your life whereby you were closer to God than you are right now.
- A commitment to vocational ministry – God has called you, but for whatever reason you keep putting it off to make it public.
I want to begin with two questions:
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, 1 John 5:13
1. Have you ever come to a place in your life that you know for certain you have eternal life and will go to heaven when you die?
The invitation was given, and a young man came down the isle of the church, and said, “Preacher, I want to be saved.” The preacher said, “Okay, let’s read Romans 10:13,” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Preacher then said, “Let’s call on the name of the Lord.” And they prayed. Preacher, when finished with the prayer, said, “Now son, are you saved?” He said, “I don’t know, I’m really not sure.” He read Romans 10:13 again, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Preacher said, “Let’s call upon the name of the Lord.” And they prayed. Preacher inquired of the young man, “Are you saved?” The young man again replying, “I don’t know, I’m not sure.” Pastor this time responded, “Young man, please take your seat, and come back when you are willing to believe God.” Suddenly the light came on in the mind of this salvation candidate, and he said, “Oh, I get it! I am to believe God when He says, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pastor said, “You got it.”
Do you get it? Notice the Word of the Lord, “Shall be”, not “might be.”
I’ve talked to so many people about the Lord, and here are some of the responses that I get when I ask them if they are certain…
- “I’m doing the best I can.”
- “I sure hope I am saved.”
- “I’ve never really done anything that bad.”
Listen church: Ours is not a HOPE SO salvation; Ours is a KNOW SO salvation!
2. What if you were standing before God right now and He asked you, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” What would you say?” Would it be…
- Baptism – your answer would be wrong.
- I am a good person – your answer would be wrong.
- I am a Baptist – your answer would be wrong.
- I grew up in a Christian home – your answer would be wrong.
I love the things we have used on the mission field. Do you remember the chicken one?
- I’ve got bird legs
- I’ve got fowl breath
- I’m henpecked
Just because you have bird legs, fowl-breath, and are henpecked doesn’t make you a Chicken. It doesn’t make you a chicken anymore than being baptized, being a good
person, being a Baptist, or growing up in a Christian home makes you a Christian!
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12
You must believe in the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to save your soul. You put your faith and trust in Jesus, and you receive Him into your heart and your life. He gives you eternal everlasting life.
To be saved pray this prayer with me, “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe you are the son of God and that you died to forgive me of my sins. I know I have sinned. I ask you to forgive me. I turn from my sins, and I receive you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me. I want to live for you the rest of my life. Amen.”
In the King James version of the Bible, the word baptism is a transliterated word. If the word had been translated it would mean, “fully wet”, or “immerse.” Immersion is the proper mode (Acts 8:36). A Christian is the proper candidate (Acts 8:37). One commissioned by the church represents the proper administrator (Matthew 28:19).
Read (Romans 6:1-4). We are not baptized to BE saved. We are baptized because we ARE saved. Baptized in the spirit I am identified with Him. Baptized in water I am identified with His church.
Regina, Angie, and I were all three baptized together as Christians. We were not baptized to become Christians, God saved us by His Spirit. We were baptized to become Baptist, because like the other believers in the congregation we gave testimony that we too believed that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
We want to identify with Jesus in baptism. We also want to identify with the local congregation, that we believe and accept what you believe and accept. Some of you have not had a Scriptural baptism. Sprinkling is not a Scriptural baptism.
And when they were come up out of the water, Acts 8:39
You can’t “come up out” of a Dixie cup!
Some of you need a Scriptural baptism. You were saved after you were baptized. You need to be baptized on the right side of the cross. Some of you have prayed for God to save you, and He has. However, you have not been willing to identify with Him publicly, baptism does that. By the way, He was baptized to identify with you. He walked 60 miles down a dusty road just so He could identify with you. Surely we can walk a few feet down the isle of the church and tell the preacher I want to identify with Jesus in baptism.
Some would say, “Church membership is not in the NT.” Listen to Romans 12:5 and tell me what you think it means, “So we, being many, are members one of another.” If you belong to a local church, you are a member of that body. And you need to be a member.
The deacons of your church read their role as deacons monthly, they read as follows;
Based on the biblical model in Acts 6, deacons are to be servant-leaders, preservers of unity and heralds of the gospel. They are set apart to assist the pastor in carrying out the ministry of the church so as to free him for Bible study and prayer.
First Baptist church deacons meet monthly in order to discuss their duties of evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship. All team ministry updates will be given at the monthly deacon’s meeting. You have the same duties as the deacons. You will be responsible at the bema seat. How are you going to carry this out without the church?
God gifted you at conversion. Why did God gift you?
For the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:12
The “body” of Christ is the church. Build up numerically, you could begin that by joining today. Build up spiritually, you could do that through your faithfulness. We need your presence in the house of the Lord.
If you are not a member please pray this prayer with me, “Dear Lord, thank you for the church, and particularly for this local church. Help me to be a faithful church member and support my church family. Amen.”
I will deal with this in more detail next week, but let me point out this morning doubt is the opposite of faith. If you doubt, claim 2 Timothy 1:12, “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day.”
If you doubt, your prayer today should be, “Father, I place my complete faith in you; I confess to you my sin; I commit myself to the Lordship of Jesus; I claim Your promise of assurance of my salvation. Amen.”
REDEDICATION TO GROW TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY
If there has ever been a time that you, as a Christian, were closer to the Lord than you are right now, you need to rededicate your life. Your verse is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Confess by recommitting yourself to the Lordship of Christ. Thomas recommitted his life by crying out, “My Lord and my God.”
If you need to recommit your life to Christ today your prayer should be, “Heavenly father, I want to be like Jesus. I commit myself to you and ask you to work in my life to develop the fruit of the spirit so I may become continually more mature in my faith. Amen.”
COMMITMENT TO VOCATIONAL CHRISTIAN MINISTRY
To announce a call means I am willing to start the preparation process. Remembering, “What God has called me to do He has gifted me to do, and what He has gifted me to do He has called me to do.”
The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:2
A call to ministry is a call to prepare for ministry. Dr. Oliver B. Green
The one who prays but does not go into the harvest is a hypocrite. The one who goes into the harvest without prayer is a fool. It is the one who prays and goes that can be a laborer in the harvest of the Lord.
The writer of Hebrews says, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;” (Hebrews 2:3). It is a great salvation because it is a whosoever salvation. Anyone can come today and be saved. It is a great salvation because it is a whatsoever salvation. No matter what you have done, you may come and be saved. It is a great salvation because it is a forever salvation. It is called eternal life. But there’s a warning, it is not when-so-ever. The Bible says, “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Neglect God’s salvation, and you shall not escape!