In Acts chapter 16, the desperate Philippian jailer asked the most important question a person could ever ask, “What must I do to be saved?”
The jailer's question raises a series of other questions that need answers: What does a person have to believe to be saved? What is saving faith?
The answers are found in Romans 10:9-10.
The main questions that are answered in Romans chapters 9-10 are: Is Israel really God’s chosen people, and if so, what went wrong? It seems that God is done with them, so why should that matter to us today? Why should we care about an ancient people in Bible times? And why should we care about Israel and the Jews today? Listen to the message to hear the answers to these kinds of questions.
Every false religion and cult seeks to establish their own righteousness and they go about it with their own particular set of rules. But they all have in one thing in common: they try to reach God—or please Him, or be saved, or become righteous—by their own good works and good deeds. It’s all about keeping certain rituals, or doing the right things, or trying to be a better person.
Sadly, like the Christians in the Apostle Paul’s day, many professing Christians can get caught up in this legalistic way to try to obtain righteous. It broke the Apostle Paul’s heart and it should break ours today as well .
At the end of this sermon, Pastor Bill gives some helpful pointers on how to share your faith with those caught up in these kinds of false religious systems.
1 Peter 2:6-8
For this is contained in Scripture:
"BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE,
A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL
NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
This precious value, then, is for you who believe;
but for those who disbelieve,
"THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,"
"A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE";
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word,
and to this doom they were also appointed.
It was unthinkable to the Jewish mind of the apostle Paul’s day that Gentiles, who were considered unclean and who were pagan idolaters, would be called “Sons of the Living God.” Yet, in Romans 9:25-29, the Apostle Paul gives us the scriptural basis, prophesied in ages past, for why Gentiles can cry out to God, “Abba, Father”—how Gentiles have been adopted into God’s family and are God’s children.