The Master’s Class, Summit Church
WHO DO YOU TRUST FOR YOUR SALVATION?  (Romans 4:16-25)

WHO DO YOU TRUST FOR YOUR SALVATION? (Romans 4:16-25)

October 22, 2014
Have you ever looked at the work that you asked somebody to do for you, or even hired them to do it, and ultimately said, If you want a job done right, then do it yourself.

Finding people to do quality work is difficult in a society where excellent craftsmanship is so expensive, that we have learned to settle for less.  Contractors, plumbers, service technicians, arrive late, or not at all.  The work that many of them do is poorly done, or mediocre at best, with little pride in what they have accomplished.  My father had another saying that he instilled in me, if you are going to do a job, do it right, or don’t do it all.  

Our schools teach our children that competing to win at sports, on the playground, in academics, or even at life, is degrading to those that lose.  A grading system that rewards the hard work, or natural ability, of some, discourages those who do not get those grades, so they do away with the grades.  They teach kids that not excelling is ok, when they ought to be telling our kids, that success in our society is obtained by hard work, excelling at what you do, having desire, passion, and intelligence about what to work hard on.  

When faced with the failure of so many in our lives to do the things that we ask them to do, we often stop trusting in others.  We decide that when something is really important, then we can only trust ourselves to get it done right.  This is probably a true statement when our faith is in the things of this world, or man.  

But what about our eternal lives?  Who do you trust with your acceptance by God?

Do you trust your preacher with your eternal destiny?  Can you trust your friends or family to make sure you get into heaven?  Your parents have always worked hard at the church, so you must be ok, right?

Or, do you say, If I want a job done right, or if I want to be sure I am going to heaven, then I better do it myself?  

Well, this is the question that Paul has been answering over the last several weeks of lessons.  Are you going to believe in salvation by trying, or doing it yourself, or salvation by trusting?

Paul has said that no matter how hard we try, we cannot be good enough to meet the perfect standards of righteousness that a Holy God demands.  That salvation by trying is not even possible, no matter how hard you try.  Therefore, the only reasonable alternative is to depend on salvation by trusting, or salvation by faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ towards our salvation.  

Listen to this podcast as we discover who the Bible says you should trust with your eternal life.
ARE YOU TOO BAD TO BE SAVED?  (Romans 4:6-15)

ARE YOU TOO BAD TO BE SAVED? (Romans 4:6-15)

October 17, 2014
Many of us have lived lives where we have done things that we regret today.  Things that have had terrible consequences to our own life, and the lives of those around us.  Prison, a ruined marriage, a lost career, and personal finances that were wasted.  The question that comes to mind when you are confronted with religion, salvation, eternal life, heaven, or hell, is have I been too bad to be accepted by God?

Are there things that a person could do that would be just too bad, too ugly, or too horrific, that would make them unacceptable for God’s plan of salvation?  

What about a murderer?  Is murder the unpardonable sin?  Can a person who has committed a vicious act of murder ever hope to be saved?  

What about suicide?  Can a Christian commit suicide and still go to heaven? 

How about someone who commits adultery?  A man and a woman have been married for years and the man decides to look for a younger woman.  Can he be saved?

Can a drunk, or a thief, or name the worst sin that you can think of, can they be accepted by God?

Many of the people that I converse with on my web-pages argue that justification by faith makes no sense at all if it allows really bad people to be saved.  Are they right?

The Bible tells me that a career thief who hung on cross next to Jesus was able to join Jesus in heaven.  The Bible also tells me that there is no act of murder which is too great.  There is no act of adultery which is too awful.  There is no unpardonable act of sin, not even suicide.  

The key to your salvation is not what type of sin, or how much sin you have committed.  The key to your salvation is what you do with Jesus Christ.  If you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, then you can be saved.  I am not going to say that people whose hearts have been so seared by evil can do this easily, or would even want to do this, but God says that by the power of the Holy Spirit, it can be done.

God’s plan of salvation says that we must have faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God in order to be saved.  It requires that we accept the fact that we are hopelessly guilty of sin against God.  It requires that we repent of those sins by agreeing with God that it was wrong and then choosing to change our lives, to never do those things again, and then make Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives.

If we do this, if a person who has committed murder can actually do this, then I believe that the Bible is clear when it says that Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  The Bible does not say Whosoever has not done evil, or Whosoever has done more good than bad, it says Whosoever, meaning anyone who accepts God’s plan of salvation by calling upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that the only unpardonable sin that a man can commit is to reject the completed work of Christ for your salvation and to reject Jesus as the Son of God.   
IS GOD’S PLAN REASONABLE? (Romans 3:27 to 4:5)

IS GOD’S PLAN REASONABLE? (Romans 3:27 to 4:5)

October 11, 2014
Is God’s plan of salvation reasonable?  That is an interesting question, for if we are to consider whether or not God’s plan of salvation is reasonable, then we have to ask is God reasonable?

I have to admit that I have never thought of the word reasonable in relation to God.  God is divine, therefore, He doesn't have to be reasonable.  God is gracious, God is loving, God is our judge, He is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, but is God reasonable?

Is God reasonable as He judges our works?  What are His standards?  Are they reasonable?

The word reasonable is defined as rational, in accord with common sense, not expecting more than what is possible, not exorbitant, and fairly good.  So with these words in mind, if you believe that you will be accepted by God based on your works, or how much good versus how much bad you have done, then will God be reasonable in His judgment of your works?

To answer this we have to ask what is the standard that God will use to judge us by? And the Bible tells us that our works must meet the standard of God’s own perfect righteousness and holiness.  Is it rational for God to expect perfection?  Is it in accord with common sense, and is it not expecting too much? 

Most people would answer that God knows that we cannot be perfect so it would be expecting too much for Him to demand perfection.  My response is that God created Adam and Eve in perfect bodies and placed them in a perfect environment called the Garden of Eden.  God expected Adam and Eve to keep that perfection.  It was man who willfully chose to sin and corrupt the perfection that God had created.  So it is certainly reasonable for God to expect man to be as perfect as He created him.

If this is true, then that leaves those who believe in salvation by works with a problem.  How can they meet the standards demanded by God when man is no longer capable of perfection?  

Does God have to change His standards?  The Bible says there is no changing in God.  What God demanded in the past, God demands today.  What God expected from Adam in the past, God expects from us today.  The bottom line is that I would not trust the best five minutes of my life to meet the perfect standards of God.  So if man’s plan is not possible, what is God’s plan?

God’s plan is salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.  In man’s plan of salvation by works, everything depends on the sinner.  In God’s plan of salvation by faith, everything depends on the perfect work of salvation performed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that if you want to plead not guilty and demand a fair trial, then God will give you one, a trial where your works must meet His standards of perfection.  The more reasonable approach is to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, plead guilty, and depend on God’s mercy and grace that He is able to grant us through the perfect work of Christ.


HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

October 2, 2014
For the believer who has Christ as his Savior, words like justified, freely, grace, redemption, propitiation, faith, and blood all have very specific meanings to their faith.  Yet how many Christians can define these words in a way that allows others to understand how God’s plan of salvation has changed their lives?  

For example, as you relate God’s plan of salvation to someone you know, can you tell them how it meets their need of being seen as righteous before God because of the redemptive price that was paid by Jesus on the cross.  How it grants them redemption?  How it serves as propitiation, and how the means of this salvation is our faith in Christ?  How the redemptive price for this salvation was so high, that it cost the shed blood of the Son of God?

The wonderful good news about God’s plan of salvation is that a holy and perfectly righteous God devised a plan of salvation that reaches down into the depths of sin and darkness that man has fallen to, and yet does not compromise God’s own inherent holiness, justice, and righteousness.  Listen to this podcast to learn what these words mean to your salvation, and to the salvation of those who want eternal life with Jesus in heaven.