We are seeking the guidance of the Lord regarding those things we should start, stop or continue.
Let’s make two categories for our conversation; temporary or eternal.
With no one being perfect, everyone has behaviors, beliefs and attitudes they should start, stop or continue in the things that are temporary.
With no one being perfect, everyone has behaviors, beliefs and attitudes they should start, stop or continue in the things that are eternal.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 carries this sense of the temporary and the eternal.
Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
Bodily training is of value but only for this present life.
Training in godliness is of value both for the present life and also for the life to come.
Please take action on at least one temporary thing in your life to start, stop or continue. Temporary things have some value.
Today’s message is designed to help us take action on starting, stopping or continuing things impacting our eternity.
As I understand it, there are three primary views (with millions of variations) of salvation, each with different perspectives of what impacts one’s eternity.
|God gives everyone faith that can be placed in Jesus for salvation.||God gives faith to some people who are guaranteed salvation.||God gives everyone faith that can be placed in Jesus for salvation.|
|This faith is placed in Jesus for salvation through any number of actions. Often, Water baptismHoly CommunionPenance||It is predetermined by God that only a select group will be given faith and placing that faith in Christ alone is a response to the salvation God predetermined. Faith alone in Christ alone all done by God with no human action.||This faith is placed in Jesus for salvation by trusting in Christ alone. Faith alone, in Christ alone accomplished by God and requiring placing trust in Jesus.|
|Faith in Jesus must be continual with repentance of sin leading to the sacraments.||Faith in Jesus is a one-time act. Since you are saved by God’s action, repentance does not lead to salvation but is a response to salvation.||Faith in Jesus must be continual with repentance of sin as the evidence of that faith.|
|Unconfessed sin separates me from the sacraments which separates me from faith which separates me from salvation.||Because you are saved by God’s action alone, unconfessed sin isn’t related to salvation. It is related to a reward system in heaven.||Continuation in unconfessed sin is evidence you are no longer living in faith alone, in Christ alone.|
|What I start, stop and continue evidences if I am continuing in faith and has significant impact upon eternity.||What I start, stop and continue has little or no impact upon eternity.||What I start, stop and continue evidences if I am continuing in faith and has significant impact upon eternity.|
|Kent – I can’t live with the idea that salvation is not by faith alone, in Christ alone.||Kent – I can’t live with the idea that God intentionally created people he doesn’t love, predestined them to live a life separated from God, and then punishes them in eternal hell. I also can’t live with the notion that unconfessed sin in the non-elect sends them to hell. Unconfessed sin in the elect is forgiven by God before it happened, while it was happening and after it happened.||Kent – I can live with faith alone, in Christ alone as evidenced by confessing sin and walking in righteousness. A danger is drifting into viewing repentance as a work of the person rather than repentance flowing from God’s gracious gift of faith.|
Although controversial to some, there are tremendous Christians in each of the three primary perspectives of salvation.
Unfortunately, there are also many people who are eternally at risk in each of the three primary perspectives.
Because my beliefs, behaviors and attitudes impact my eternity, I will:
START – I will practice the confession of my sins to Jesus
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
STOP – I will practice repentance
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19
CONTINUE – I will supplement my faith
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In these ways I will train myself in godliness, which is of value in every way, both in the present life and in the life to come.