Paradox Bible Church

Salvation and Witness


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Paradox Bible Church

Pastor Pen Cook

Seattle, Washington

Description: Audio content from Paradox Bible Church.

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Salvation and Witness

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The following are sermon notes from Romans Soli Deo Gloria. This is a study of the book of Romans. To read more about this series, including the introduction, download the study guide, resources and listen to audio content click here.

The Bible is incredibly personable. The entire Bible is full of personal pleas from it’s writers to their audiences; and their audiences include you and me. Therefore, when you read Jesus’ words, “truly, truly, I say to you…” or when Paul says, “Brothers, my heart’s desire…” pay attention.

When you see these words in Scripture, pause. Consider what you’re about to read and know that it is a personal plea from the writer and the Inspiration to you. Pay attention.

Paul the Evangelist

You get a sense of Paul’s love and desire for the Jewish people he is related to as you read the beginning of Romans 10. Paul earnestly wants his friends and presumably family to worship Jesus. What is important to note from Paul’s lament and personal plea is this: evangelism is motivated in the believer by both theological and emotional conviction. Paul understands he must tell them about Jesus, but he also feels he must do so.

What about you? Are you motivated to be an evangelist like Paul? Is your motivation fueled by both a theological and emotional conviction?

How to Save Yourself

Man has tried to invent many ways of receiving salvation. Paul deals with the top two ways people try to save themselves:

“For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (Romans 10:3).

1) Saved by good deeds. Romans 10:3-4. Man has always invented deeds or works through which man can be saved. In Seattle, this would look like: living with little to no carbon footprint (e.i. biking everywhere), recycling, and only drinking fair-trade coffee.

Generally, this is typically understand by a general sense of morality. People suppose that, if there is a God, He would be happy as long as we are morally acceptable people. Therefore, if you’ve never murdered or raped someone and are generally a nice person, God shouldn’t take offense and allow you passage into heaven. You just have to be good enough.

2) Saved by supernatural deeds. Romans 10:5-7. Believe it or not, this is still a common way people try to be saved. Whether you’re like Tom Cruise and you want to pay lots of money so that your religion’s supernatural power can save you or you’re like Madonna and you think that your little red bracelet can bless you physically and spiritually. These are ways that people try to perform supernatural deeds to save themselves.

How to be Saved

Paul teaches something entirely different. It’s not that Paul teaches that these things can’t bring salvation, in actuality they can, what Paul teaches is that you can’t perform these actions perfectly. Therefore, you need someone to do them for you and His name is Jesus.

Can you be perfectly moral for your entire life? No. Jesus was, He lived without sin while on this earth, morally perfect.

Can you perform any kind of supernatural action to bring God down to you or to wake Him from death? No. Christ did this under His own power. He came down to earth, lived a perfect life and dead the death we should have died and was raised from the dead on the third day and is alive today seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

Therefore, it is God who saves, not man.

The evidence of a saved person is:

“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

This action could have not been performed unless God had, in Paul’s words, “…I will have mercy on whom I have mercy…” (Romans 9:15), or, “For those whom He foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son…” (Romans 8:29). So we must remember that Paul just told us that God is the one who saves, and He chooses those whom He will save “before the foundations of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).

Many have wrongly taken this one verse from Scripture and thought is the way people are saved. This not true when one takes a look at what the whole Bible says about our salvation. The way people are saved are by God’s sovereign choice. Therefore, Romans 10:9 is telling us what someone does as evidence of their salvation, yet this can often happen simultaneously when they are saved thus “you will be saved”.

You the Evangelist

Is it your desire like Paul’s to see people saved by Jesus? What evidence in your life supports this desire? What are you doing to actually share the gospel and love of Jesus with people?

Paul tells us that, though it’s God who saves, He has chosen to make us the vehicle through which He spreads the gospel. He puts it like this:

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15)

The Gospel must be preached! Someone must go and tell others! That person is YOU! “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). So go and share it! Evangelism is not about your Spiritual gifting, it is about your obedience to the word of God. Therefore, to not share the gospel is to be disobedient. Repent of your sin and obey by telling people about the unending, immeasurable love of Jesus Christ!

For more information about this series click here.

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