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SermonJesus Saves True Believers
An all-creatures Bible Message

Jesus Saves True Believers
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
12 January 2014
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Isaiah 42:1Ė9
Matthew 7:21-23
Mark 1:21-28
Luke 6:46
Acts 10:34-43
James 2:18-19

Jesus saves true believers can be very comforting to true believers and followers of Jesus Christ, but others may be troubled by the phrase ďtrue believers,Ē and rightly so, for not all believers are true believers.
 
True believers are those who live by faith in the heavenly will of God, and consistently show the world around them their beliefs through their lifestyle.
 
Note what we are told in James 2:18-19.

18. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
 
19. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that Ė and shudder.
NIV

James is telling us about the difference between true believers who live their beliefs in their everyday lives, and those who just say they believe.
 
If we truly believe that Jesus is Lord, then we will naturally seek to do everything that Jesus desires us to do.
 
We are given an example of this in Mark 1:21-28.

21. And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He [Jesus] entered the synagogue and began to teach.

Jesus is teaching about Godís heavenly will for our lives.

22. And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

We have noticed this happening in our ministry, too, and it will happen in every true believerís life, but not everyone is like this.

23. And just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

Note specifically that the demon possessed man was in the synagogue, which is the same as our church.
 
So, just because someone is in church, does not mean that they are either a godly person or true believer.
 
Note what he says:

24. saying, "What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are ó the Holy One of God!"

This is just an example of simple belief with no faith.

25. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 
 
26. And throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice, and came out of him.

And what was the result?

27. And they were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him."
 
28. And immediately the news about Him went out everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.
NASB

This is what happens with true believers. Others know who they are, and that they are ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and they seek to learn from them.
 
In Acts 10:34-43, following the vision of the sheet descending from heaven, Peter speaks about how this vision woke him up from the Hebrew tradition to do all that the Lord wanted him to do.

34. And opening his mouth, Peter said:
"I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
 
35. but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him.

Jewish tradition held that Jews were not to associate with Gentiles, and were not allowed to even enter their homes.
 
And now, Peter understands that he is being sent to preach the truth about Jesus Christ in the home of Cornelius, a Roman military commander.

36. "The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all) ó 
 
37. you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.
 
38. "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.

And God will be with us if we follow Jesus.

39. "And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.
 
40. "God raised Him up on the third day, and granted that He should become visible,
 
41. not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
 
42. "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.
 
43. "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
NASB

This is one of the verses that people often take out of context, so they just say that they are saved because they believe, and then continue to live in their worldly ways. This is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to as ďcheap grace.Ē
 
God is not fooled by people like this; there is no such thing as cheap grace.
 
Godís grace in never cheap; it is always valuable, so those who promote compromising Godís requirements are presenting a false teaching.
 
Such people are not true believers
 
This is exactly what we are told in Matthew 7:21-23.

21. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
 
This is a confirmation of what we have been talking about.
 
22. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
 
23. Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
NIV

This should be a confirmation to true believers that Jesus will save them, and a strong warning (hopefully troublesome) to those who are not.
 
Luke tells us the same thing in Luke 6:46

46. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?
NIV

True believers do the will of our Father who is in heaven, and they do as He desires here on earth in everything they do and, best of all, it seems to come naturally.
 
Now letís take a journey back in time about 700 years before Jesusí time upon the earth.
 
In Isaiah 42:1-9, we hear the prophet speak about the character of the Messiah, who we know as Jesus Christ.

1. "Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.

This is exactly what Jesus offered the people of His day, but most of them rejected it, and itís the reason it didnít come to pass, and why we have so much violence, suffering, and death in the world today.
 
Jesus came as a peacemaker, and calls us to be the same.

2. "He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
 
3. "A bruised reed He will not break,
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
 
4. "He will not be disheartened or crushed,
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."

Are we willing to be like this, and help establish justice for the whole of creation?
 
True believers are willing and they do their best to end the corruption of all creation.

5. Thus says God the LORD,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk in it,

Again the Lord is speaking about true believers; for they are the only ones who walk in Godís heavenly will without compromise.

6. "I am the LORD,
I have called you in righteousness,
I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you,
And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
 
7. To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon,
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.

Do we see the light?
 
Do we seek to free our fellow human beings, and all the other animals who have been held captive by the demonic forces that rule this world, and cause so much pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death?
 
We pray so, because that is what true believers do.

8. "I am the LORD, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.

The Lord will not give any portion of His glory to the devil, though the devil is constantly trying to steal it and trick most of the people into following him instead of the Lord our God.
 
Donít let the devil trick us into doing anything that harms any part of Godís creation, because that would be against Godís heavenly will, and this compassion helps us discern the things of the devil from the things of God.

9. "Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you."

This is the promise for us all; are we willing to help bring it to pass as true believers?
 
Every one of us can end most of the corrupt ways of this world in our own lives, such as not eating any animal products, or wearing clothing made from their bodies.
 
As true believers we can help free creation from its present corruption.
 
And above all, we can be comforted in the fact that Jesus saves true believers.
 
Amen.

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