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Sermon #117 — Romans Series

 

Title:                           CONFESSING CHRIST

 

Text:                            Romans 10:10

Subject:                     Confessing Christ

Date:                          Sunday Morning — May 7, 2017

Reading:       Isaiah 7:1-25[i]

Introduction:

 

My subject this morning is CONFESSING CHRIST. My text is Romans 10:10. Our text says, “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” True faith is a heart work. It is more than simply agreeing with and accepting certain facts and doctrines about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowledge is necessary for faith; but knowledge alone is not faith. Faith in Christ is produced in the heart by the power and grace of God the Holy Ghost. It arises from a heart knowledge of Christ, a revelation of Christ in the heart. Ture, saving faith is a heart confidence in Christ. It sees the fulness of Christ, the glory of Christ, the suitableness of Christ, and the ability of Christ as a Savior and Lord. In order for a person to be saved, he must believe with all his heart in the Lord Jesus Christ as he is revealed in Holy Scripture. Faith, and faith alone, brings all the blessings of Christ, salvation, and eternal life to the soul.

 

Yet, the Apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear that where there is true faith in the heart there will also be a proper confession of Christ with the mouth. — “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

 

This matter of confessing Christ is important. It is something we all should be interested in. That which a man knows, experiences, and believes in his heart, he confesses with his mouth. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34).

 

My Witnesses

 

The Lord God says of s people, “Ye are witnesses” (Isaiah 43:12; 44:8). I hear men and women say things like this all the time…

Š      “I know that I am saved; but I cannot explain it.”

Š      “I know that I am saved; but I cannot tell anyone how God saves sinners.”

Š      “I know what I have experienced; but I cannot put it into words.”

Š      “I know what I believe; but I cannot explain it to anyone else.”

Wait a minute. That which a man knows, he can explain. That which a man believes, he can tell. That which a man has experienced, he can put into words. All of God’s people are God’s witnesses; and witnesses are people who tell what they know.

Š      Ask a farmer how to raise tobacco.

Š      Ask a mechanic how to do a valve job.

Š      Ask a carpenter how to build a house.

Š      Ask a woman how to bake a cake.

 

If you cannot tell anyone what you believe and why you believe, I fear you do not really believe. There are multitudes who say, “I believe in Jesus Christ.” I do not know anyone who does not believe in Jesus. The devils of hell believe in Jesus Christ, and so do most men upon the earth. But there are very few people in the church or out of the church who can honestly tell you anything at all about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Š      Who is he?

Š      Where did he come from?

Š      Why did he come?

Š      What did he do?

Š      Why did he do it?

Š      Where is he now?

Š      What is he doing there?

 

There is a reason for man’s ignorance in these matters. If a person cannot answer these basic, elementary questions about Christ, he simply does not know him. You cannot tell what you do not know, any more than you can come back from where you have never been. If you know Christ, you can and will confess Christ.

 

Proposition: That which a person has experienced in his heart he can and will confess with him mouth.

 

A faith that I cannot explain is not faith at all (1 Peter 3:15). — “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

Š      A hope that I cannot explain is no hope at all.

Š      A salvation that I cannot explain, according to the Word of God, is no salvation at all.

 

I do not say that a person must have great learning and knowledge in order to be saved. I do not say that a man must be a good speaker in order to be saved. But I do say that a person who has a good hope of salvation must be able to tell what his hope is. Where in the New Testament do you ever find that people were called Christians who knew nothing about Christianity?

 

Our confession of Christ must be according to the Word of God. David said, “I hope in thy Word.” — “Remember the Word unto they servant upon which thou hast caused me to hope” (Psalm 119:81, 49). Paul said, “Whatsoever things were written afore time were written for out learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).

 

I have no reason to believe that I am a child of God unless I can open the Bible and show you why, upon what basis I have such a hope. This is what I am saying. —

Š      If you are a child of God, you can tell us how you came to be a child of God (1 John 3:1-3).

Š      If you are redeemed, you can tell us how you were redeemed (Galatians 3:13).

Š      If you are justified, you can tell us how God can be just and yet justify the ungodly (Romans 3:24-26).

Š      If you are regenerated, you can tell us how God gives life to dead sinners (John 3:8).

Š      If you have faith in Christ, you can tell us what faith in Christ is (John 3:14-15).

Š      If you have experienced the grace of God in salvation, you can tell us how God saves sinners (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Divisions: I am going to make a public confession of my faith in Christ. I am going to tell you three things that I believe, and why I believe them. I am going to tell you what I know by personal experience through the Word of God.

1.    I believe that we were all ruined by the fall.

2.    I believe in redemption by the blood.

3.    I believe in regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

 

Ruin by the Fall

 

1st — I believe, according to the Word of God, that all men, you and me included, were ruined by the fall of our father Adam.

 

What happened in the garden? Answer this question correctly and you will not greatly err in any other area of gospel truth. But if you fail to understand the sin and fall of our father Adam, you cannot understand any other part of divine Revelation. What happened in the garden? Paul tells us that all the human race was ruined by the fall of Adam (Romans 5:12).

 

(Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

 

Adam was the federal head and representative of our race before God. According to God’s arrangement, by his purpose and decree, Adam represented all his seed. He was created perfectly, in righteousness and uprightness of heart, without any bias or tendency toward sin.

Š      If Adam had obeyed God, we would all have been without sin.

Š      When Adam disobeyed God, we all became sinners.

 

Š      Adam’s sin was imputed to us all because we all sinned in Adam.

Š      Adam’s nature is inherited by us all.

 

All men since the fall of Adam are born sinners (Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5 58:3; Romans 3:9-23).

Š      Man’s heart by nature is evil and full of sin (Matthew 15:19).

Š      All men have a natural tendency toward sin.

Š      All that man is capable of is sin.

Š      We sin from our youth up.

Š      We sin willfully.

Š      We sin continually.

Š      We sin even when we are doing “good”.

Š      Even those who are born of God sin continually. — “Behold I am vile.”

 

Because we are all sinners, we are all spiritually dead, hopelessly and helplessly condemned (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Š      We deserve eternal damnation.

Š      We cannot do anything that God will accept.

Š      We cannot satisfy God’s law.

Š      We cannot change our own nature.

Š      We cannot even come to Christ and have life in him by our own strength and ability (John 6:44).

Š      We have no ability to do good — (The Amalekite who Tried to Deceive David — “Thy mouth hath testified against thee.” [2 Samuel 1:1-16]).

 

By confessing my sin and ruin by the fall, I am confessing my need of Christ.

Š      I need the righteousness of Christ.

Š      I need the blood of Christ.

Š      I need the grace of Christ.

Š      I need the power of Christ.

 

This is the matter of first concern. Until you see your utter, total ruin as a sinner, you will never trust the Lord Jesus Christ. If you ever get lost, God will save you. Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost.

 

Redemption by the Blood

 

2nd — I believe, according to the Scriptures, in redemption by the blood of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived in this world as a man, establishing righteousness for me, as my Representative. After 33 years of obedience to his Father, Christ voluntarily laid down his life at Calvary as my Substitute, as a satisfactory payment to the justice of God for my sins. By his blood, the Lord Jesus Christ obtained the eternal redemption of his people (Isaiah 53:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

(Isaiah 53:1-12) “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (2) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (3) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

 

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

Who is our Redeemer? — Our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, is God incarnate, God in human flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

Š      Because he is man, one of our own nature, he is able to suffer the penalty of the law for us.

Š      Because he is man without sin, he is able to suffer for another.

Š      Because he is God, his sufferings are of infinite value to satisfy the wrath and justice of God for those people he represented.

 

How can I be sure that the blood of Christ is a sufficient price for my redemption? — God himself has accepted the price of his blood. The fact that he arose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God assures me that his blood is sufficient (Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 10:11-14).

 

Why was it necessary for this great price to be paid? — Why did the Lord Jesus Christ have to die? Why must his blood be poured out in the violent, shameful, ignominious, tormenting death of crucifixion?

Š      The law had to be honored.

Š      Sin had to be punished.

Š      Justice had to be satisfied.

Š      “Without shedding of blood is not remission” (Hebrews 9:22).

Š      “He saved others, himself he cannot save.”

 

How was redemption accomplished by the blood of Christ?

1.    Transfer — He was made sin. We were made righteous.

2.    Punishment — He was punished in our place.

3.    Satisfaction — He satisfied the Old Testament types and prophecy. He satisfied the demands of the law. He satisfied the wrath of God — Propitiation. He satisfies the conscience.

 

When the Lord Jesus Christ cried, “It is finished,” redemption was accomplished, righteousness was established, sin was put away, and the people of God were justified. God will never punish me for sin again. God will never punish any of those for whom Christ died for their sins. Justice will not allow it.

 

Complete atonement Thou hast made,

And to the utmost farthing paid,

Whate’er Thy people owed.

Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,

And then again at mine.

 

For whom did Christ accomplish this great redemption by his blood?

Š      His Sheep

Š      His Church

Š      His Elect

Š      All Who Believe

Š      All Who are Saved by Him.

 

How does a sinner experience this redemption by the blood of Christ?

Š      He sees his need of it.

Š      He sees the glory of God in it.

Š      He trusts it.

Š      He is sprinkled with it.

 

This is my confession of Christ. — I believe in redemption by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

I once was lost, but now am found,

And now my soul is heaven bound.

My only hope, my only plea

That when Christ died, he died for me.

 

Š      What happened in the garden? Man was ruined by the fall.

Š      How can God be just and yet justify sinners? Only through the redemption by the blood of Christ.

Š      How does God save sinners? Through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit in regeneration.

 

Regeneration by the Spirt

 

3rd — I believe in regeneration by God the Holy Ghost (John 3:3-8).

 

(John 3:1-8) “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

 

I cannot tell you how to be born again; but I can tell you how men are born again. The new birth, regeneration, is accomplished by the sovereign power and irresistible grace of God the Holy Spirit. “Salvation is of the Lord(Ephesians 2:1-10).

Š      Regeneration is a work of God alone. Man is passive in regeneration.

Š      Regeneration is an irresistible work of God.

Š      Regeneration is an instantaneous work of God.

Š      Regeneration is an irreversible work of God.

 

Illustrations: Lazarus (John 11:44)

Ezekiel’s Aborted Infant (Ezekiel 16:6-8)

Ezekiel’s Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-11)

 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

 

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile.

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar;” then, “Two! Only two?

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

 

Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;

Going for three—” But no,

From the room, far back, a gray-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loosened strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

 

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once, three thousand twice,

And going, and gone,” said he.

 

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand

What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:

“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

 

Ruined and running from God he goes,

In madness, to hell, headlong!

He is “going” once, and “going” twice,

He’s “going” and almost “gone.”

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought

By the touch of the Master’s hand.

 

Application

 

This is my confession of faith in Christ. These are the things I know. These are the things God has taught me from his Word. There are the things I have experienced.

Š      Ruin by the Fall.

Š      Redemption by the Blood.

Š      Regeneration by the Holy Ghost.

 

Have you experienced the grace of God? Do you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you saved? Then tell us about it. Confess Christ. — “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Š      Confess Chris in believer’s baptism.

Š      Confess Christ before the church.

Š      Confess Christ before the world.

Š      Confess Christ to sinners.

 

All who know Christ can and will confess Christ.

 

(Matthew 10:32-33) “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

 

Amen.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[i] Isaiah 7:1-25

(1) And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.

(2) And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

(3) Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field;

(4) And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.

(5) Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,

(6) Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:

(7) Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

(8) For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

(9) And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

(10) Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,

(11) Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

(12) But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

(13) And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

(14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

(15) Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

(16) For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

(17) The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.

(18) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.

(19) And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.

(20) In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.

(21) And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;

(22) And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.

(23) And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.

(24) With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.

(25) And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.