Sunday, January 17, 2016

Holding Fast Our Profession

Temple Baptist Church - 1-17-2016
Hebrews 10:23

A.  I want to deal with one of the most important things in our lives this morning.  Our profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. 
1.  Over these past 39 years of being saved, I have seen so many people who started right, ran well for a while, then completely destroyed their testimony for Christ.  Good people who once loved and lived for the Lord.  Pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Sunday School teachers, soul winners, good fathers and mothers.  People who were once faithful to the Lord, their families, and the local church are no longer faithful and serving.  Pastors, evangelists, and missionaries who lose the qualification of blamelessness.  Though they can get right with the Lord, there is no humanistic “Band-Aid” that can be placed upon their sin that will ever again spiritually qualify them for the ministry.
2.  Once our testimony for Christ is either tarnished or lost, it is virtually impossible to regain to its previous state because people 1)  are always scrutinizing our lives to see if what we have is real   2) will always seem to forget all of the years that we lived for Christ and remember only our failures.  David with Bathsheba is a classic example.  Yes, there was forgiveness but the “sword” never left David’s house.  The consequences of his sin were a continual reality.
B.  This morning, I want to look at two things that should dictate how the child of God should live:  confession and profession.  In doing so, I want to compare three portions of Scripture.
Romans 10:9-11  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  (10)  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (11)  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
1 Timothy 1:15-16  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  (16)  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting(Paul’s salvation experience shows forth a pattern of what salvation is.)
Acts 9:4-6  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  (5)  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  (6)  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
1.  Confession!  The word “confession” has more than one meaning and the different meanings of the word give a vivid description of what takes in salvation. 
a.  The acknowledgment of a crime, fault or something to one's disadvantage; open declaration of guilt, failure, debt, accusation, &c.  The Repentance of the sinner.  “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks!”  The Lord confronted Paul with who he was.  Only sinners need to be saved.
1 John 1:8-10  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  (9)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (10)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
b.  The act of acknowledging; agreement. Paul said, “Who art thou, Lord?”  Which turned into “Lord!” 
Philippians 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
c.  An avowal, or covenant.  “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”  When a sinner comes to the Lord Scripturally, he bows to the Lordship of Christ!  This is not an act of doing something but it is a desire to live for Christ! A change of heart that changes the mind that changes the life! 
2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2. Profession!  The word “profession” means an open declaration; public avowal or acknowledgment of one's sentiments or belief.
a.  Profession is made in baptism as the child of God present himself/herself for believer’s Baptist.  Not baptized to be saved but an open profession of faith.  When I baptize a believer (emersion is the only form of baptism), I utter these words: “Upon your profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, I baptize you my brother/sister/son/daughter in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Buried in the likeness of His death and raised to walk in newness of life.” 
Acts 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 
b.  Profession is made in association as the child of God assembles with the local church. 
Acts 2:42-46  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  (43)  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  (44)  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  (45)  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  (46)  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
c.  Profession is made in public as the child of God consistently lives for Christ in this present evil world.
Acts 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Conclusion:  Let us hold fast our profession as we walk openly before the unsaved!  To lose our profession will turn the lose away from Christ instead of to Him!
2 Corinthians 3:1-2  Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?  (2)  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.

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