DOCTRINE OF CHRIST – III
We come now to the conclusion of our three-part look at who are Christ’s disciples. Born again Christians, what saves them and how.
Let’s just briefly review the message Christ gave would be followers… Remember the first four last week? Christ said those who partook of eternal life would:
1. “Deny themselves” – that is, to renounce myself as the authority and focus of my life. Self-denial, Mark 8:34. 2. “Take up cross” – that is, living a life of separation to the cross of Christ. Separation and self-denial, note Gal. 2:20; 6:14. 3. “Follow me” – Christ demanded unquestioning allegiance to Jesus Christ’s word and way = servanthood, Mt. 16:24-27. Servanthood – separation – self-denial, next stewardship. Back to Mk. 8:34-37. 4. “Lose life for my sake” – recognizing true owner of my time, money, possessions and abilities is Jesus Christ = stewardship. What else is present in the life of a genuine Christian? 5. Devotion – look at Jn. 8:31/1 Pet. 2:2 “Abide in My word”, “as newborn babes…”. Devotion is hungering in a relationship of supreme and incomcparable love for Jesus Christ.
Wait, you say — that’s a long term process? Yes, but it starts the instant of salvation (as do the rest) and affirms, confirms, demonstrates the salvation. Christ said — if you abide!
So Christ said (Mk. 8:34-37). Let’s put this together:
Now, we saw last week in Mk. 10 an enthusiastic seeker who heard and rejected. Let’s look at another enthusiastic seeker who heard and accepted, Acts 9.
In Acts 9, we meet Saul of Tarsus (coastal city of Turkey today) at the height of his anti-Christian career.
What happens is the turning point of church history.
He’s converted, saved, born again…
And Christianity moves from being a division or sect of Judaism to an unstoppable, global movement.
How did it occur? Join me and Let’s listen to Paul’s testimony 20 years later in Romans 3:10. We’ll start:
Paul’s Testimony of Conversion Two Parts: Reception and Result
The Reception of Salvation
3:10 Universal extent of sin > 3 pairs 3:22-23 Terminal condition sinners ————————————————————————————– 5:12-16 Universal offer of salvation 5:8-9 Divine source of salvation
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6:23 Absolute simplicity of eternal life 10:9-10 Personal reception of eternal life
So that’s the reception of salvation. What is the result? What does one look like who “deny self — take up cross — follow Christ — lose life for His sake — abide in word”? Acts 26:18 to close, give the result of salvation. A disciple, a born again Christian has:
1. Opened eyes — livened from death 2. Turned from dark to light — lightened from darkness 3. From power of Satan to God — liberated from doom 4. Has received forgiveness of sin — loosed by Christ’s blood shed 5. And an inheritance — loaded with eternal blessing 6. Among the sanctified (saints) — led by Holy Spirit 7. By faith in Christ — lifted by His grace
Wow, if that’s you, you know it. If not you can!