Man Shall Not Live by Bread Alone

God’s word is spiritual sustenance. Have you ever gone for an extended period of time without eating? What about even a day? We can all relate to the power of our bodies appetite. When a person is really hungry they eat like it don’t they? They can’t seem t get the food in their mouths fast enough because they are driven by their appetite.       The Bible uses many illustrations of food because we can all relate to food can’t we.

Man shall not live by bread alone. Our lives consist of more than the physical alone.

(Deuteronomy 8:2-3 NLT) Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would really obey his commands. {3} Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the LORD.

As physical food gives life to our bodies, God’s written word gives life to our spirit man. Peter called this the hidden man of the heart.

(2 Corinthians 4:16 ICB)  So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day.

Just as a baby cries when they are hungry, we must hunger for the word of God.

(1 Peter 2:2-3 NLT)  You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk, {3} now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

(Matthew 5:6 NKJV)  Blessed are those who hunger and thirstfor righteousness, For they shall be filled.

God will fill us with His life to the direct proportion of our hunger for Him. We must determine to feed our spirit man every day by reading, and feeding upon God’s word.

Make Bible reading, and study a vital part of your daily life so that you can grow in your relationship with Christ. When people don’t have physical food for an extended period of time they first become malnourished. If they do not have any food for a longer period then starvation begins to set in. In like manner, many of God’s people who appear to be very healthy physically are actually weak and malnourished spiritually because they are not feeding their inner man. If we are to grow up into mature, strong examples of Jesus Christ, then we must learn to feed upon God’s word a daily basis.

Practical Guidelines for Reading Your Bible.

Start with a simple plan to become familiar with the stories and main points of the Bible. The Bible is really a compilation or collection of 66 different books that combined reveal God’s story of His creation and man’s rebellion and sin. God’s plan of saving and restoring man from the consequences of his sin, by providing Himself as man’s sin offering. Finally we see God’s plan to restore all of His creation to a glorious future without sin, or any of the consequences of sin, where God dwells with His creation in perfect harmony.As we become familiar with the characters of the Bible, and their story we will begin to see God’s hand in the lives of His people.

I recommend that you begin reading the book of Genesis because it is the seed plot of the Bible. Every major theme of the Bible is contained in seed form in the book of Genesis.

Jesus, the central figure of the Bible, and the author and finisher of our faith. In addition to reading a few chapters in Genesis each day, then read a chapter in the gospel according to John each day. The Gospel of John is called the gospel (good news) of belief. John emphasizes that Jesus is indeed God, and was in the beginning with the Father, and was and is the living word of God, who took upon Himself flesh and dwelt among His creation in order to reveal God, and save us from our sin.

The book of Proverbs for daily wisdom. The book of Proverbs is a great addition to your daily reading plan because it gives us God’s wisdom for every area of our lives. The book of Proverbs is divided into 31 chapters so you can read a chapter every day of the month, and then start over when a new month comes around.

Don’t sweat the details. As you begin to read through your Bible don’t get too hung up on pronouncing all the names. They will become more familiar as time goes along. Simply focus on becoming familiar with the main characters of the stories you are reading about.

Find a translation that is easy to read. The King James Bible is a very poetic translation, and very eloquent but the language is very archaic and can be difficult for you to understand. Remember God wants you to gain understanding of what you are reading.

Rely upon God. Ask Him to open your understanding of the Scriptures as you read them. Remember, the Bible is a spiritual book, and cannot be grasped by the natural mind of man.

(1 Corinthians 2:14 GWT)  A person who isn’t spiritual doesn’t accept the teachings of God’s Spirit. He thinks they’re nonsense. He can’t understand them because a person must be spiritual to evaluate them.

(Proverbs 3:5 NLT) Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

The Inspired Word of God

The Bible is God breathed.

As a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ, we must come to a firm understanding that the Bible is a book like no other. While in one aspect it is a physical book written on paper with ink, and bound in a collection, it is at the same time a supernatural book.

We could say that it is the book with God in it. The Bible is alive with the power and life of Almighty God. It is like an eternal well of life giving water that we can draw upon for refreshment, strength, protection, and peace.

The bible is given by inspiration of God. We could literally say that God breathes His life into the Holy Scriptures.

(2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…

(NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed…

Men wrote the words of the Bible as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21 NLT) Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves {21} or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.

When we read the Bible we see the personality of the human who was moved upon to pen the words.

The Bible cannot be approached as one of many truths, but must be accepted as the one sure word of God. The Bible stands alone, and all else must come to submit to what God declares trough the writings it reveals.

(Romans 3:4 NLT)…Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say, “He will be proved right in what he says, and he will win his case in court.”

(Numbers 23:19 ICB) God is not a man. He will not lie. God is not a human being. He does not change his mind. What he says he will do, he does. What he promises, he keeps.

When we question the integrity of God’s word (the Bible), then we are actually questioning the integrity of God Himself.

The devil has always tried to provoke people to question the integrity of God’s word. This was his foothold into deceiving Eve in the Garden of Eden. This has always been a deceptive tactic of the father of lies, (the devil).

(Genesis 3:1-7 NLT) Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made. “Really?” he asked the woman. “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?” {2} “Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. {3} “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die.” {4} “You won’t die!” the serpent hissed. {5} “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.” {6} The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too. {7} At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.

Whenever man imagines that the Bible can be used as he so chooses, he has committed idolatry. He has exalted his own human understanding, and opinion above that of God Himself.

(Romans 1:18-25 NLT) But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. {19} For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. {20} From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. {21} Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. {22} Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. {23} And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes….{25} Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen.

This sin of man as described in this passage, lies in the fact that he refuses to accept God’s word as the final authority. Instead sinful man twists the truth, and perverts what God has actually said, until God’s word is bent to liking of human beings.

The Divine Nature of God

We are born of God, born of His nature. When we are born again our spirit is recreated. We are born of God, and our nature is transformed from that of a child of unrighteousness, to that of a child of God, or a child of righteousness. We are not merely forgiven sinners. We are recreated, and adopted into God’s very own family as sons and daughters of God.

The Righteousness of God: We are not sinners saved by grace. We were sinners, who were saved by God’s grace, and transformed into saints of the living Almighty God!

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT)  What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! {18} All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. {19} For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. {20} We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” {21} For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

The believer is distinctly different from those apart from Christ.

(2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NKJV)  Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? {15} And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? {16} And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” {17} Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” {18} “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”

You will notice in the above passage that the Scriptures make a distinction between the believer, and the unbeliever that is very clear. The believer is called righteousness, while the unbeliever is called lawless. This is because the believer is willfully subject to the commandments of God, while the unbeliever’s very nature is in rebellion against God’s mandates.

The believer is called light, and the unbeliever is called darkness. The believer is called Christ, while the unbeliever is called Belial, or (the devil) because the unbeliever is a child of the devil. There is a vast difference between the nature of the born again child of God, and those who have not received the life of God.

(Galatians 3:26-27 NLT)  So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. {27} And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him.

The apostle Paul declared to the Christians in Galatia that they were children of God through their faith in Christ Jesus, and that they were now united with Christ. Does this sound like a sinner saved by grace to you? Can a sinner be united with Christ, or can a sinner be a child of God apart from the adoption that comes though Christ alone? No.

You see we are not merely sinners, saved by the grace of God. We are born of His Spirit, and united with Him through spiritual baptism into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Those who have not been united with Christ through the new birth are not joined to the Lord, because as we just read in 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, their nature is estranged from God because they are darkness, and God is light.

(1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJV)For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink intoone Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV)  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

The Nature of Sin: A sinner sins because their nature is sin. It is in their spiritual DNA to commit sin. Before I came to Christ, I loved the pleasures of sin. I was drawn to sin like a fly is drawn to manure. However when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit recreated my human spirit, and came to live inside of me. From that moment on my nature was changed, and I began to desire God, His purposes, and pursuits. This is because my nature was changed.

The nature of a sinner is sin. They sin because that is what their nature is. They are slaves to sin. They cannot help it. However the believer is no longer a slave to sin. We have the liberty through Jesus Christ to overcome the temptations of sin, and live according to our new nature, the nature of righteousness that is in our inner being.

The same life and nature of the vine flows through the branch.

(John 15:1-7 NKJV) “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. {2} “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. {3} “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. {4} “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. {5} “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. {6} “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. {7} “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

The same life that is in the vine is in the branch, just as the sap in the trunk of a tree flows to the branch. The fruit does not grow on the trunk, it grows of the branch. In like manner, we grow the fruit of the Spirit as a result of the life of God that is within our spirit. We do not produce the life that grows the fruit, but we are joined to Christ the vine, and as such we draw from the very life and nature of God.

We are no longer sinners, we have become sons, and daughters of God. We were sinners before we received the life of Christ. However, once we called upon the name of the Lord, we were born of God by His Spirit. (John 3) From that moment on our nature was transformed, and we became alive with God’s life, and nature. You could say that we were sinners. We were saved God’s grace, and now we have been made His righteousness through our union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

A New Creation

Our spirit is recreated with God’s nature. 

When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior the Spirit of God recreates our human spirit in the image of God Himself. We are literally born of God, and made partakers of His divine nature.

A New creation:

(2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

(The Children’s Living Bible) When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!

The term creation in Webster’s dictionary is defined as ‘a complete new species of being which never before existed.’ This is exactly what we become when we are born again, ‘a complete new species of being which never before existed.

Our identification with Jesus Christ is the most life changing truth the believer can ever come to realize and walk in. All that we will ever become or accomplish for the Kingdom of God is dependant upon our realization of our identity with Jesus Christ.

As a believer, we are not merely identified with Christ in that we are called Christians; we are identified with Him due to the fact that He is now our very life! When the scripture says that we are a new creation, it means exactly what it says. We are a brand new person inside. We didn’t join a club, or add something extra-curricular to our lives. We experienced a new creation transformation. Our spirit literally was recreated with the very life and nature of God Almighty. We became one with God, just as Christ and the Father are one.

This is one of the most miraculous works in the entire world! That God, through the power of His Spirit, can in a moment transform the very life and nature of a hell bound sinner into a heaven bound child of the living God. When we are born again of the Spirit of God, (the life of God) enters our human spirit, and His life changing power begins to work to transform our entire lives to reflect His very life and nature. The life of God enters our spirit through the new birth and begins to work throughout our entire life, until we are entirely transformed into Christ likeness. This is a life long process of God’s life and nature permeating our lives.

We are a spirit, who possesses a soul (mind, will and emotion) and lives in a body. (John 4:24 NKJV)  “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

God is a spiritual being, and therefore it only goes to reason that our relationship with him is first and foremost spiritual. This new creation experience that the apostle Paul was referring to is a recreation of our human spirit.               

Our bodies contact the physical material world. Our soul represents our personalities, or our emotions, intellect and will. Our spirit is that which animates or gives life to our body.  

(James 2:26 ICB) A person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead…

(Genesis 2:7 NKJV) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

It is our human spirit which gives life to the body. The human body cannot live apart from our spirit, anymore than our clothes can walk around without your wearing them. In fact physical death occurs when your spirit leaves your body.

When we attend a funeral, we may look at the person’s body in the casket, but their spirit is long gone. We could call the human body our earth suit. Our spirit simply cannot stay in this world once it leaves our body.

There are those who believe that the spirits of the deceased still roam the earth, inhabiting houses, old ships, or other such dwellings, but this is completely false. When we as Christians die physically, we depart to be with Christ. When a person who is not saved or born of God dies physically, their spirit departs and travels to hell to await the final judgment, where they will be cast into the lake of fire.

(2 Corinthians. 5:6-8 NIV) Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. {7} We live by faith, not by sight. {8} We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

(Philippians 1:21-26 NKJV) For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

The apostle Paul made it very clear that when the believer physically dies he or she departs to be with Christ. We don’t sleep in the ground, or wander around the earth. I will go into greater detail of this in a latter lesson.

You must be born again, or born from above. We cannot enter the physical material world without being born into it. In like manner, we can only enter the God’s Kingdom by being born from above by the Holy Spirit.

(John 3:1-8 NLT) After dark one evening, a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, {2} came to speak with Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are proof enough that God is with you.” {3} Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.” {4} “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” {5} Jesus replied, “The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. {6} Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. {7} So don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again. {8} Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

Jesus was simply stating the obvious to Nicodemus. Just as we cannot enter this physical world without being  physically born. In like manner we cannot enter the Kingdom of God without experiencing a spiritual birth through the power of the Holy Spirit. This new creation is a recreation of the human spirit. When we call upon the Lord, by placing our trust in the finished work of Christ, our spirit is recreated with the life and nature of God Himself. As Peter stated, “We are partakers of the divine nature of God.”

(2 Peter 1:1-4 NKJV)…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

A new nature: (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NKJV) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. {27} “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

God through the transforming power of the new birth recreates our human spirit, transforming the core of our being, places His life within us, and takes up residence in our spirit. From that moment forward we are no longer cut off from God’s presence, but we are welcomed as sons and daughters of God Himself.

Our spirit is recreated, and God’s comes to live on the inside of our born again human spirit. Think about the implications of the following Scriptures. God Almighty, the creator of the universe changes our spiritual DNA from that of a sinner, into a child of God. Then He come into our very being and takes up residence, where He begins to work His divine nature throughout our entire being, as we yield our will to His. We become the temple of the Living God on earth!

(Romans 8:14-16 NKJV) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. {15} For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” {16} The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God

(2 Corinthians 6:16 NLT)…As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

(1 John 4:4 NKJV)…greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Saved by Grace

We are saved by the mercy and grace of God alone, and not by our own efforts.

Every religion on earth other than Christianity is a religion that places man and his own efforts as the means of salvation, or betterment. All man centered religions rely upon human effort and achievement to obtain salvation, perfection, or betterment.

We are saved by Grace through faith alone. Our good works, and human efforts are to be the evidence of our salvation, not the means of our salvation. If we are relying upon our human goodness to save us, then we have replaced the Savior Jesus Christ with the imagined belief that we can save ourselves through our own efforts.

(Galatians 2:21 NKJV)  “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

The apostle Paul is simply telling us that if we are relying upon the commandments or law to save us then we have set aside the mercy and grace of God. In other words we make it of no effect in our lives. If righteousness (right standing with God) comes through any human goodness that we can somehow manufacture, then there was no need for Christ to die for our sins in the first place.

(Isaiah 64:6 NKJV)  But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Here the Scripture plainly states that any of our human efforts or goodness apart from the prescribed plan of God is as filthy rags in God’s sight. There are so many people who fall into this description, because they refuse to humble themselves, and receive the truth that is found through the sacrifice of Christ. They are attempting to use some form of self manufactured form of righteousness in order to obtain right standing with God, and this is a thing that is deplorable to God.

(Titus 3:5 NKJV)  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

The Tale of Two Sons: Once there were two fathers who each had a son. The first son was a model child, who always excelled in putting others before himself, and doing what was right and good. The second son was just the opposite. It seemed as though he was always in trouble, and was for the most part very self-serving.

While these sons were very opposite, they were still friends, whose fathers enjoyed doing many things together with their boys. One day while the fathers and their sons were swimming at the beach, the second son who was always in trouble began to drown. The first son who was the stronger swimmer came to his immediate rescue, and while he saved the second son from drowning, he was overcome by exhaustion and was drowned himself.

When the second son who was saved reached the shore his father was overjoyed that his son was alive, yet grieved at the loss of his friend’s son. After a few minutes the father of the second son who had been saved, reached in his billfold, pulled out a twenty dollar bill, and handing it to the father whose son had drowned exclaimed, “Please allow me to give you this money in payment for the sacrifice of your son!

You can imagine the indignation of the father whose boy who had been drowned. How could his friend imagine that the selfless sacrifice of his own son be so greatly trivialized as to offer him a meager sum of money as compensation?

Rather than the man’s offer of money bringing joy to the first father, it only added insult to injury. It made the priceless sacrifice of his own son seem cheap, and meaningless, which in turn infuriated the father who had just lost his son.

In like manner, when we attempt to offer our human goodness as a means of our salvation apart from the sacrificial offering of Christ on the cross, we are insulting God. We are like the father who offered the money saying, your Son’s sacrifice was not valuable to me. It was insufficient, and I refuse to receive what He has done in order to save me.

How do we receive the free gift of salvation? All have sinned and are deserving of God’s judgment.

We first of all need to recognize that we have violated God’s holy commandments, and as such are sinful. As sinful people we deserve the judgment of God upon our sins. The consequence for our sin is death, both spiritual and physical.

Physical death is the result of spiritual death. Spiritual death is the result of the nature of sin that entered our being when we sinned against God. If we had never sinned we would never die. Yet that fact remains that we have sinned, and because of our sin we will certainly die. Every person on earth is part of the ultimate statistic. Every single one of us is going to physically die, it’s just a matter of when and how.

(Romans 3:23 NKJV)  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

(Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

God who is rich in mercy sent Christ to take upon himself the punishment we deserved. (Romans 3:23-25 NLT)  For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. {24} Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. {25} For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us…

Because God is love, He does not want to have to judge us for our sin. He desires to show all people His great love and compassion. For this reason He sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our place in judgment, so that whosoever will receive his sacrifice as their own can receive the forgiveness of their sins, and the life of God.

This free gift is not earned by anything we do in our own strength, but is completely dependant upon the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

(Romans 6:23 NKJV)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV)  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, {5} even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Turn from our sin (repentance) and receive the gift of salvation found in Christ.

(Romans 10:13 NKJV) For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”(Romans 10:6-10 NLT)  But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don’t need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). {7} And it says, “You don’t need to go to the place of the dead” (to bring Christ back to life again). {8} Salvation that comes from trusting Christ–which is the message we preach–is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” {9} For 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. {10} For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Salvation is as close as calling upon Jesus Christ today for your salvation. It is not accomplished through some formula, but as the result of a repentant heart who is ready and willing to surrender to God, and give him complete control of one’s life.

Give God full control of your life. (Luke 9:57-62 NLT)  As they were walking along someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you no matter where you go.” {58} But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head.” {59} He said to another person, “Come, be my disciple.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” {60} Jesus replied, “Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God.” {61} Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” {62} But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

(Luke 14:26-35 NLT) “If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. {27} And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me. {28} “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills? {29} Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of funds. And then how everyone would laugh at you! {30} They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and ran out of money before it was finished!’ {31} “Or what king would ever dream of going to war without first sitting down with his counselors and discussing whether his army of ten thousand is strong enough to defeat the twenty thousand soldiers who are marching against him? {32} If he is not able, then while the enemy is still far away, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace. {33} So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me. {34} “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? {35} Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for fertilizer. It is thrown away. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!”




Everyone Needs a Savior

People will not seek a Savior until they come to realize their lost condition.

Until people recognize their lost condition they will not seek salvation that is available only through Jesus Christ.

Actually people need to be first awakened to just exactly why and what it is that they need to be saved from! Until they recognize that they have broken the law of God, and are guilty, and deserving of His judgment, they will not humble themselves and turn from their sin, and seek the mercy of God.

We Won’t Seek a Cure Until We Recognize the Disease.

We often make the mistake of trying to give people the cure before they realize that they have a disease

For Example: Imagine for a moment if you were to be approached by a complete stranger, who with a sense of urgency in their voice were to declare to you, that you had a terminal disease. Then imagine what you would think if they said, that a cure had been found that cost $300,000.00, and that they had sold their house to pay for the cure for you. First of all you would probably think that they were crazy, because you would not believe that you had anything wrong with you. Their offer of generosity in selling their house to buy a cure would seem completely ridiculous to you. Now let’s rewind, and imagine that the same stranger were to approach you and tell you that they had been watching you, and noticed that you had at least five clear symptoms of a terminal disease. After some explanation, they were able to show you their evidence, and awaken you to the danger that you faced. Then they told you that there was a cure that cost $300,000.00 dollars, and that they had sold their house to pay for your cure. You see once you were convinced that you actually had the disease, and the impending danger that you faced, their offer to pay for your cure would seem extremely kind, and generous. However, until you were awakened to your condition you would not seek a cure, and any attempt to offer you a cure for a disease you did not believe that you had would seem completely absurd.

The Disease is Sin, the Cure is Christ.

Until people recognize their sinful condition, they will refuse to turn from their sin, and call upon Christ alone who can save them.

Until the lost person is awakened to their sinful condition, and the danger that they face if they were to die in their sins they will not seek the only means of salvation found in Jesus Christ. As far as they are concerned there are plenty of people who are far worse than they are. As a result the message the sacrifice of Christ for their salvation will seem as foolishness.

People want to justify themselves. They are self righteous. Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV) Most men will proclaim each his own goodness…

When sin came into the human heart, pride came with it. Human pride wants to justify itself rather than taking responsibility for one’s actions. This is why the sinner will nearly always attempt to justify their behavior, no matter how perverse, or corrupt they may be.

Proverbs 30:12 (NKJV) There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness (sin).

Isaiah 64:6 (NLT) We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.

Until People are Awakened to their Sinful Condition, They Will Continue to Justify Themselves.

We are often trying to convince people of their need for a Savior, when as far as they are concerned there are far worse people than themselves. They don’t see their need for a Savior, and God’s forgiveness because they are oblivious to the fact that they have violated God’s commands, and as such are destined for His judgment apart from the sacrifice of Christ. Until they recognize the severity of their breaking of God’s law they will not seek His mercy and forgiveness. Until the lost person recognizes that they have been made aware of the terminal disease called sin, they won’t be motivated to find the cure found in Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:10-12 (NLT) “No one is righteous—not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. {12} All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”

Romans 3:23-26 (NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

The Law Was Given That Sin Might Appear Truly Sinful The commandments of God bring the knowledge of sin to the human heart.

Romans 7:7-14 (NLT) Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” 8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. 9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, 10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.13 But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes. 14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.

Romans 5: 20-21 (NLT) God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 7:9 (NLT) I felt fine when I did not understand what the law demanded. But when I learned the truth, I realized I had broken the law and was a sinner, doomed to die.

The Law Brings Us to Realize Our Need for Someone to Save Us Once we recognize our sinful condition, then we come to appreciate the cure for our sin, which is found in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins.

Romans 5: 18-20 (NLT) Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

Galatians 3:24 (NIV) So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

(New Life Version) The Law was used to lead us to Christ. It was our teacher, and so we were made right with God by putting our trust in Christ.

God Gave the Children of Israel 613 Commandments (laws or ordinances).

The 10 commandments are considered the moral laws or ordinances that represent the principle purpose of all the rest. Now read the list of 10 commandments and see how many you have actually kept.

(Exodus 20:1-17) 1. “You shall have no other gods before Me. 2. “You shall not make for yourself an idol of any sort. (1 Cor 10:14) 3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (1 John 2:2-6) 4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Heb 4:4-11) 5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land… (Eph 6:1-3) 6. “You shall not murder. (1 John 3:15) 7. “You shall not commit adultery. (Mat 5:28) 8. “You shall not steal. (Eph 4:28) 9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Lie) (Rev 21:8) 10. “You shall not covet. (James 4:1-4)

The Good News of Jesus Christ.

Once we recognize that we have broken God’s commandants and are deserving of His judgment, then the good news is truly good news.

When we look at just a few of the commandments, it is clearly evident that we have all broken these, and are incapable of completely obeying any of these. This is why the good news clearly is good news. While we were without strength, and incapable of saving ourselves, God sent His Son into the world to pay the debt for the broken law that we could never pay.

Romans 3:23-25 ( NLT) For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. {24} Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. {25} For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us…

John 3:16 (NKJV) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

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