The Five Questions of Membership (2)
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, receiving and resting upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel
Acts 16:31; Matthew 16:15-16; John 1:29; Acts 4:12
1. Church membership matters: Matthew 18:20; 1 Timothy 3:15-16
2. Last week, we looked at the first question of membership: (1) Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
3. In this question we acknowledge that we are (1) sinners, (2) justly condemned and (3) without hope (apart from Christ).
4. In our study of this question, and more importantly, the Scripture behind and under it, we said all true Christians acknowledge these three things: I. We are sinners (Romans 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, . . . Application: *Cheer up, things are worse than you think they are. *Dealing with sin by embracing/acknowledging it, not denial. *We go to the cross through our sin, not around it; II. We are rightly condemned (Romans 2:1-2) Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. ) Do you acknowledge yourselves to . . . justly deserve His displeasure, . . . Application: Problem is us, not them/problem is in us, not outside of us. Solution, thus, is not in us. No blameshifting; III. Our only hope is in God’s mercy (Romans 5:6, 8) For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly . . . God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Do you acknowledge yourselves to be . . . without hope save in His sovereign mercy? Application: The first step towards real hope is acknowledging that there is no hope anywhere but in God’s mercy. All other hopes are false.
5. Today, we come to the second question of membership: (2) Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and trust Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the gospel?
Christians have faith in Christ’s person and work, alone.
(1) Faith; (2) Person; (3) Work; (4) Alone
I. All true Christians have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31)
[What does it mean to have saving faith in Jesus?]
Acts 16:31 31 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
John 1:12-13 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Mark 9:37 37 "Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me."
2 Corinthians 1:9 9 . . . we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;
Galatians 1:6-8 6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
II. All true Christians embrace the Bible’s teaching about Christ’s person (Matthew 16:16)
[What does it mean to believe in Jesus, as Lord, Messiah and Divine?]
Matthew 16:15-16 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
John 20:31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30,31)
Romans 10:9 . . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
III. All true Christians embrace the Bible’s teaching about Christ’s saving work (John 1:29)
[What does it mean to believe in Jesus as Savior?]
John 1:29 (the words of John the Baptist)The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
IV. All true Christians recognize that Christ is the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12)
[What does it mean to have faith in Christ alone]
Acts 4:12 12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." WSC Q86