What is Salvation?, Pt. 5

Scripture: Jude 1:24, 1 Corinthians 15:57, Matthew 7:7-11
This is the last of five talks on the assurance of salvation. This broadcast looks at the victory over sin we may have by faith through Jesus Christ. God is able to keep us from falling into sin. The Lord does not want us to struggle in sin. Four steps are shared on finding power to live for Christ.
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Announcer: It's time now for "Bible Talk". Join our host Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry, as they now open the Bible and discuss things that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: My friends and welcome again to "Bible Talk". Where we talk about what the Bible has to say to us today. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Gary Gibbs. Hi there, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi John. I'd like to welcome our listeners too, because today we're going to cover what I believe is a very practical topic.

John: We've been talking in the last few discussions here on "Bible Talk" about how a person when they come to Jesus and that person is saved, is going to experience a change in one's life. They won't just carry on the same way as they were before, but they will manifest and demonstrate the fruits of Christianity in their life. Right?

Gary: We have and we've talked about this tension that you find in the word of God that you can have assurance of salvation while you know that God is working on your life to bring you closer to his likeness and his will.

John: Now let's say that I'm one of these people who've come to Jesus and I've given him my heart, at least I think I have, but I'm struggling with something. Let's say its nicotine and I can't give it up or I'm addicted to alcohol or some other sin. I am wanting this transformation. I've been struggling for it for so long, I don't even know if it's possible.

Gary: It is possible, John. In fact, I have a friend, Joanne. Joanne came to me she's a member of my church. She came to me and said, "Pastor I need you to take my name off the church books." I said...

John: She wanted to bail out?

Gary: She wanted to bail out. I said, "What's the matter?" I said, "Do you still believe in Christ. Do you still believe in what we teach?" She said, "Oh yea, I believe in it."

But she said, "I've got a problem."

I said, "What's your problem?"

She said, "I'm a smoker." And she said, "I know that's not in harmony because with the Gospel because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I am defiling it. I'm convicted. I need to overcome that. I've tried and I've tried and I just can't overcome it. I'm lost. Take my name off the church books."

This poor lady John, I wasn't to tell her she was lost. She didn't have a heart of a lost person.

John: So you were going to help her through this problem. I'm sure that's what you're going to say next.

Gary: She didn't know how to have victory. That's right. She didn't know how to take hold of the power that is in Christ. So her desires were right. She wanted to do what was right, but she didn't know how to find the possibility that was in Christ for her problem.

John: OK, so walk me through that. Let's say I'm this person struggling. I am wanting to give up alcohol, nicotine, whatever the sin is and I don't know how. I'm struggling and I'm trying and I've been defeated a thousand times. Yet, I believe I am saved. I love Jesus. Why isn't it working for me? How can I make it work? Can I make it work or should I just say "Forget it" and just bumble on.

Gary: Number one, no you don't say just "forget it keep on bumbling on" because living that life, where you are constantly falling into sin, that doesn't glorify God at all.

John: Right, that's true.

Gary: People look at you and say, "They call themselves a Christian? Look at them. They've got the same bad temper I do. They have the same vices I do. They're no different than me." It diminishes the power of Christ.

John: At the same time, many Christians in that mode can't really be happy. Jesus came to set us free. So let's say I'm looking for that freedom. I'm not happy while I'm struggling away failing. I want to have the same thing that Joanne had.

Gary: Well first thing you have to do, is you have to be humble like Joanne. You have to be convicted that its sin. Secondly, you have to know where you find the power. You have to go to Christ. One of my favorite verses, John, is in Jude 24. I hope our listeners just mark this. Jude 24. There's only one chapter in Jude and it comes right before Revelation. It says, "Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling."

John: Amen.

Gary: It's talking about Jesus. He is able to keep us from falling and "to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."

John: So you're saying that God can do it. So why then in this scenario am I not experiencing that? How do I lay hold on that? You're telling me Jesus can, but I'm not having it.

Gary: It's like the power plant. The power plant creates all this electricity and this power. You have to get it into your house. I live in the great state of California. A little while back we had some major power problems.

John: Yea, sure.

Gary: It wasn't always or necessarily that the power plants were not producing enough electricity it was really the lines getting it to the users. It would bottleneck in certain places and they couldn't get the power out to the people who were using it.

John: So you're saying then to the struggling sinner, I've got to get somehow connected to the power source. I've got to be connected to Jesus.

Gary: That's right. Because we just read in Jude 24, he is able and here we are not able.

John: So why is this happening? There have got to be Christians in churches all over this world, who believe they're connected to Jesus or want to be connected. They sing in the choir, maybe they're deacons or elders in the church, teach the little children their bible study classes, but they're wallowing around in sin like pigs in the mud. They're not able to rise up out of that. Help us to connect to that.

Gary: Oh I think that's an excellent thing. John it goes right back to what we've been discussing here on "Bible Talk" for the last several programs. If you're believing "once saved, always saved", it really doesn't matter what you do, as long as you did go up to the altar one time. You're not really concerned about your walk. Let me careful with that because I know I have a lot of friends out there who say, "Wrong, Gary." We should be concerned about our walk with God. But John, really when you make it non-issue in the eternal realm of salvation, then people really blow it off. They don't worry about having victory over things, at least a lot of people.

John: Well I met a fellow, I was with another minister this time and my minister friend was talking to this guy. The guy was saying, "Well I accepted Jesus. I got saved. I answered an altar call, so I've done that. Now it doesn't matter." My friend said, "So you're telling me you could go next door and commit adultery with the neighbor's wife and that would be OK."

With his own wife sitting in the living room with him, he said, "That'd be just fine."

Gary: What did his wife say?

John: She didn't say much. But I'm sure she was hoping that he got a new theology sometime pretty quick.

Gary: It's not like you need one. That's the danger that theology, where it can lead. So I think that's why people still wallow in the mud. There are many good people who want out of it. So here we are. Christ has the power. We don't have the power. We have to get connected. So let's talk about how you get connected.

John: All right, let's do that now. If anyone is struggling along and countless people listening right now are, and in their heart they want their deliverance from Christ, through Christ. Walk me through that now.

Gary: John what I'm going to share here in our time is four or five steps that I've found people getting victory over whatever besetting sin or bad habit they've had. I've had story after story, experience after experience of people getting victory just by applying what we're getting ready to share. A fireman who smoked 30 years, two packs a day. Instantaneous victory over tobacco.

John: That's wonderful.

Gary: So there's power in the word of God. That's why we call this "Bible Talk".

John: OK.

Gary: So let's look at the first one. 1 Corinthians 15:57 tell us, "Thanks be to God which give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

John: Now what victory is this?

Gary: It's talking about victory over the power of sin and death.

John: Well how then does God, if you tell me thanks be to God who gives me, pardon me for putting it this way, gives me a Christmas gift. Well I can see the Christmas gift, I can hold the Christmas gift, I can shake it and feel it, so therefore, I know I have it. But how in the world do I know I have something as intangible as what you're calling victory?

Gary: First thing you have to know, John, is that victory over whatever the problem comes as a gift. It's not of works. We don't work ourselves up into some frenzied state where all of a sudden we've got victory over tobacco, alcohol, our bad temper, and lust, whatever it is. We have to be humble about this. You have to go to God and say, "God I can't do this on my own. Only you can accomplish this in my life." And here your word, it says you will give me the victory, give it to me as a gift, Lord because there's nothing I can do.

John: How do I know when he's given it to me?

Gary: Well that's that second point here. You have to ask. Matthew 7, Verse seven says, "Ask and it shall be given you." Now like verse 11 because it puts it in context. "If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children..." Aw I've got a little baby girl.

John: Yea.

Gary: I love to give her gifts. Your baby boy.

John: Oh sure.

Gary: You love to give him gifts.

John: Absolutely.

Gary: So if we love to give good gifts to our children, "how much more", Jesus says, "Shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him."

John: If I know I've got this [inaudible 09:39] smoking problem, a temper problem how do I know that God will give me the victory?

Gary: First you ask. First you ask. That's the first thing you have to go to Him. You have to say He wants me to have victory, He tells me it's a gift. I don't have to earn it. And then I ask and then the answer to your question.

John: Yea but wait. I may ask, he may not give it.

Gary: No, you're assured that He will give it because He's that Father in heaven that we just read about. He's a God of love. He doesn't want any of us to be slaves to sin. Romans 6:16 says, "To whom ye yield yourself servants to obey, His servants you are whether sin unto death or obedience unto righteousness and life.

John: So you're saying then, when it's a sin problem. That's God will that we get delivered from that so he will give us the victory.

Gary: All the time.

John: OK.

Gary: You can be assured of that.

John: So it's a victory number one. Secondly we ask. Thirdly, now.

Gary: Thirdly. We have to believe. We have to believe that God gives it to us. I love this text in one John Chapter five Verse 13 or Verse 14. "And this is the confidence that we have." Do you know what the next two words say?

John: In Him.

Gary: That if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

John: Right.

Gary: Now where did you say the confidence was?

John: The confidence is in Him.

Gary: You know a lot of times, John, our confidence we don't place in Him like the Bible says. We look at ourselves and say, "Man I've quit smoking a million times. I've been on diets a thousand times. I've tried to quit this a million times." And we're looking at ourselves too much. We need to look at God and our confidence in Him. That if we ask anything according to His will, is it His will that I get victory over evil thoughts?

John: Always isn't it. It's always God's will.

Gary: Is it His will that I stop yelling at my kids or my wife?

John: Absolutely now.

Gary: So anything that we know that is His will, and we ask Him, He hears us. It says in Verse 15 "and we know that if He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."

John: OK. So we got to go to the Lord and know that it's a victory. And we ask for it. And then we believe that He gives it to us. Now what do I do next? Because already I'm feeling like there's a light at the end of this tunnel now, if I'm that struggling sinner.

Gary: And when you believe that you have it, then you have to reckon it so. And that brings us to Romans 6:11.

John: Now Gary, is this just mind over matter? Is this just the power of positive thinking?

Gary: No.

John: If I just believe it hard enough...

Gary: No.

John: ...then it is. That I could do this to get...

Gary: Not, not at all.

John: ...rich?

Gary: It is supernatural power. It's God's power. Romans 6:11 "Likewise reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin", but notice "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof." What Jesus did on the cross, John, is for every one of us. Not only does it pay for the past penalty of sin, but it gives us present power over temptation and sin in our lives. So that when I come to Christ and I say, "Lord I need the victory" over whatever it may be, I put that old man of sin that use to want to do these things on the cross. I identify it with Jesus and in Christ it is crucified. I am crucified with Christ.

John: Nevertheless, I live, yet not I. But...

Gary: Christ liveth in me.

John: This is good news, isn't it?

Gary: So it certainly is. So now I am no longer depending upon myself. I am depending upon God. In depending upon God I can have the victory. Because, I no longer struggle against the sin myself. At the point of temptation I say, "Lord, it's your struggle, not mine." And the victory comes at that point.

John: Thanks Gary. It's always good news on "Bible Talk". Thank you friend for being with us this time. Join us again next time for more on "Bible Talk." [music]

John: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the text we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free, informative bible study guide, simply call, write or email and ask for BT103 It's Still There.

The toll free number is 866-BIBLESAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678. Or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org.

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