Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

An Almighty Confession

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An Almighty Confession

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An Almighty Confession

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The fall Holy Day season having ended, which helps us look forward with hope to the destiny of mankind, besides the salvation of the saints, let us review the foundational requirement we must fulfill to enter God's kingdom.

Sermon Notes

We have just finished the fall festival season, which offers for us a hopeful vision of the future of mankind plus a remembrance of the promise of salvation, eternal life in God’s kingdom. Today, I would like to try and refresh us on the most basic concept of that salvation, that of believing in Jesus Christ.

John 6:29 John 6:29Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent.
American King James Version×
 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
John 6:47 John 6:47Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me has everlasting life.
American King James Version×
 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

Let’s take a quick look at the lives and general philosophies of two of our founding fathers. My intention is not to persuade you to admire these individuals, necessarily as much as I do, but to explore briefly their life philosophies...

Thomas Jefferson was an architect, inventor, a collector, and could read at least five different languages.

Besides this, he was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and became the 3rdpresident of the United States.

Ben Franklin, as America’s Story website reports, was a very talented and involved statesman, printer, writer, scientist, inventor, civic leader, and diplomat.

Franklin also was the only person to sign the three documents that established the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the peace treaty with Britain that ended the Revolutionary War, and the Constitution.

These two men, I believe, share something in common related to their life philosophy. They believed in an America that is established on biblical principles that define human rights and individual freedom.
I live in awe of their accomplishments and contributions. I could only wish to communicate and influence a fraction as well as these men with the intention of benefiting others. Yet, we need to look further into their philosophies to MAKE SURE we don’t place them on too high a pedestal.

Concerning Thomas Jefferson, from Wikipedia...

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, commonly referred to as the Jefferson Bible, was completed in 1820 by cutting and pasting with a razor and glue numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson's condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels that contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages that portray Jesus as divine.

Historian Edwin Scott Gaustad explains, "If a moral lesson was embedded in a miracle, the lesson survived in Jeffersonian scripture, but the miracle did not. Even when this took some rather careful cutting with scissors or razor, Jefferson managed to maintain Jesus' role as a great moral teacher, not as a shaman or faith healer."

Therefore, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth begins with an account of Jesus' birth without references to angels (at that time), genealogy, or prophecy. Miracles, references to the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, and Jesus' resurrection are also absent from his collection.

Encyclopedia Virginia states, “An empiricist, he believed that a rational and benevolent God was evident in the beauty and order of the universe. He professed "Christianism," a belief in the morals taught by Jesus of Nazareth, but he rejected Jesus's divinity, resurrection, the atonement, and biblical miracles.”

Our second example, Ben Franklin, just weeks before he passed away, wrote a letter to Ezra Stiles, where we read...

You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavor in a few words to gratify it. 

Here is my creed.

  • I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. 
  • That he governs by his providence. 
  • That he ought to be worshipped. 
  • That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children.
  • That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. 
  • These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire,

  • I think his system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes,
  • and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; 

These statesmen shared a common trait. They expressed a belief there is one God and that His moral law is good. But both also shared unbelief or doubt in Jesus Christ as divine.

In my mind, they offer multi-faceted superior examples on how to think, behave, and effectively share their views with others, yet, in light of the scriptures I read at the beginning, I must put their contributions in perspective, because the line they drew concerning Christ disqualifies them from a present salvation.

Returning to the scriptures I previously shared, we are reminded of this...

John 6:29 John 6:29Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent.
American King James Version×
 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
John 6:47 John 6:47Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me has everlasting life.
American King James Version×
 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

No matter how wise, noble, or powerful an individual may prove to be, and no matter how convinced they are that the word of God is for our good, without giving their lives to the Lord, Jesus Christ, they cannot reach their greatest human potential.

We are reminded of this...

1 Corinthians 1:26 1 Corinthians 1:26For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
American King James Version×
 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, "HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD."

I have selected from scripture three confessions we must make to be saved, because loving the law is actually not enough, even nothing, if we do not understand our duty to accept Jesus Christ.

Three Confessions we need to be making in our lives...

  1. Romans 10:8 Romans 10:8But what said it? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
    American King James Version×
     But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 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. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME."
  2. Acts 24:14 Acts 24:14But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
    American King James Version×
      But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers,believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15  I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
  3. 1 John 1:9 1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    American King James Version×
     If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    James 5:16 James 5:16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
    American King James Version×
     Confess your trespasses to one another,and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

These three confessions, first, that Jesus is Lord, second, that we must worship God, believing all God’s word, and third, the confession of our sins both to God and each other for cleansing and healing, are imperative to our entering the kingdom of God. 

The result of this mindset and communication will then lead Jesus Christ to make a confession of His own one day, and we will end this instruction with it...

Revelation 3:5 Revelation 3:5He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
American King James Version×
 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.