THIS IS MY STORY, AND I’M STICKING TO IT!
The following scriptures constitute the story that I constantly endeavor to tell in my preaching. Different audiences and different needs determine the particular emphasis, but the overall story remains the same.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
“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).
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
“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)
“And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
“Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
“. . . and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).
“And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household’ ” (Acts 16:31).
“. . . 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 to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
“And these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’ ” (Mark 16:15-16).
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’ ” (Acts 2:38).
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash your sins away, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
“. . . for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:41-42).
“. . . praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body by the cross, by it having put to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:14-16).
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling” (Ephesians 4:4).
“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
“. . . but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (II Peter 3:18)
“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10b).
While there are many other related matters (many of them mentioned in my “News and Views” essay of two weeks ago), the above lies at the heart of my story, and I’m not changing it! It is all the pure word of God. I hope you will believe it and act on it.
June 7, 2016