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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, June 22, 2003

"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalm 119:130).

Dr. Gill said, "As soon as…the word has an entrance into the heart…being opened by the Lord for that purpose, light arises in darkness." "It giveth understanding unto the simple, [that is, to those who are] meek and humble; and not above instruction, as proud and conceited persons are" (John Gill, D.D., Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume IV, p. 233).

That is the way I understood this verse when I first memorized it as a young person, back in about 1962. I knew I was far too "simple" to figure life out for myself. So, I figured I'd better just believe whatever the Bible said. If I disagreed with the Bible about a subject, I would change my opinion and follow the Bible rather than my own thinking. I have  tried  to  do  that  for  over  forty  years.   And  that  is  what  every  one  of  you  should  do  also.

Why do I tell you to believe the Bible uncritically? Simply because the Bible is the Word of God.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16).

This means that the Bible is not like any other book. The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures were "given by inspiration of God." The word "inspiration" is "theopneustos." It means "God breathed." God breathed out the Hebrew and Greek words into the minds of the prophets and Apostles, who then wrote down those Hebrew and Greek words as God gave them. I believe in the word-for-word inspiration of the Hebrew and Greek. The King James Version is the most accurate translation in English.

So, when you come to any topic, you must find out what God says about that subject in the Bible. The Bible alone is the source of all true doctrines.

Now we are approaching the subject of salvation tonight. How do we find the truth about salvation? The only way to discover the truth about salvation is to read what the Bible says about it. God's Word reveals the truth about it. So, we are going to go through God's Word to see what God Himself tells us about salvation.

I. First, the Bible teaches that man is a special creation,
has fallen by sin, and is now in a state of sin.

Man is a special creation. Today it is especially important to understand this, because the old Victorian hoax of evolution still grips the minds of most people in our culture. But God's Word plainly tells us that mankind did not come into existence by a process of evolution, over millions of years. The Bible refutes this hoax by plainly telling us that the first human beings came into existence as a special creation of God. Please turn to Genesis, chapter one, verse twenty-six,

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:26-27).

Then turn to Genesis two, verse seven,

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7).

These verses show us that the first human beings were created by a special act of God. Furthermore, Genesis 1:26-27 shows us that man was created perfect, and without sin, in the image and likeness of God. God created man with no sin, and the first human beings lived in perfect fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden.

But man fell by sin. The Fall of Man is also an extremely important doctrine of the Scriptures. You cannot understand Biblical salvation unless you believe what the Bible teaches about man's Fall. Please turn to Genesis two, verse sixteen,

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" 
      (Genesis 2:16-17).

Our first parents disobeyed God. They listened to the Devil and sinned. They ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The moment they committed this sin they died spiritually. The principle of death came into their bodies as well, and, as a result, they later died physically. This Bible doctrine is called "The Fall of Man." Turn to Genesis, chapter three, verse seventeen,

"And unto Adam he [God] said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17-19).

Thus, the Bible teaches that man fell from his original, perfect condition.

Next, the Bible teaches that all mankind is now in a state of sin as a result of the Fall. Again, this is a crucial Bible doctrine. We cannot understand salvation unless we know that the first man fell, and that all of his offspring were born in a fallen state. It is quite clear from the Book of Genesis itself that the offspring of Adam and Eve were fallen, sinful creatures. Turn to Genesis, chapter four, verse eight,

"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him" (Genesis 4:8).

Adam's first child was Cain, and he was a murderer. This shows us that Cain inherited a fallen, sinful nature from his father. Much of the Old Testament was given to show us the fallen nature of man. Books of the Bible like Judges and I and II Kings show the depths of man's depravity in a fallen state.

Now turn to Romans, chapter five, verse twelve,

"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" (Romans 5:12).

This shows us that mankind has inherited a sinful, fallen nature from Adam. Mankind is not simply ignorant of God. I think this is one of the mistakes evangelicals make today. They think that mankind is simply ignorant of the plan of salvation, and that if you explain the gospel carefully these people will gladly receive it. But that is not the case. A famous evangelist often says, "You have been searching for God." But that isn't true at all. Turn back to Romans, chapter three, verse eleven. This verse refutes the evangelist,

"There is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11).

Romans 3:9-20 gives a clear picture of mankind in its fallen state. Notice the second half of Romans three, verse nineteen,

"That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19).

This is mankind in its ruined, fallen state.

Furthermore, in this ruined and fallen state, human beings are in active rebellion against God. Turn to Romans, chapter eight, verse seven,

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).

We could translate this, "The carnal mind is hostile toward God." Although I disagree with John MacArthur on the Blood of Christ and Lordship salvation, his comment on this verse is true to the Bible,

The unbeliever's problem is much deeper than acts of disobedience, which are merely outward manifestations of inner fleshly compulsions. His basic inclinations and orientation toward gratifying himself - however outwardly religious or moral he may appear - are directly hostile to God. Even the good deeds unbelievers perform are not truly a fulfillment of God's law, because they are produced by the flesh, for selfish reasons, and from a heart that is in rebellion (MacArthur Study Bible, note on Romans 8:7).

"The carnal mind [the fleshly mind of the unconverted] is enmity against [hostile toward] God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).

This verse shows that mankind is in a state of sin, and the hearts of unconverted men and women are in rebellion against God.

The state of sin that mankind is in prevents people from being able to understand and receive  the  spiritual  message  of  the  Bible,  because  their  hearts  are  blind.   Turn to I Corinthians 2:14,

"But the natural man [the unconverted person] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God [the Bible, sermons from the Bible, etc.]: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" 
      (I Corinthians 2:14).

Man in a state of sin cannot understand the spiritual message of the Bible because he is "dead in sins" (Ephesians 2:5; cf. 2:1). So, an unconverted person is hostile in his heart against God and is unable to understand the things of God - because he is "dead in sins."

Thus, the Bible teaches that man is a special creation, and was made in the image and likeness of God. But the human race fell in Adam and is now in rebellion against God, in a ruined, spiritually dead condition.

II. Second, the Bible teaches that God sent Jesus Christ into the world
to save those who trust Him from this horrible state of sin.

Turn to Matthew 1:21,

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" 
      (Matthew 1:21).

The Hebrew name of Jesus (Yeshua) means "Jehovah is Salvation" or "Jehovah Saves." The very name of Jesus shows that He is the Saviour. He is the one that can save people from their state of sin, and the sins they commit as a result of their depraved nature.

Turn to John 1:29,

"The next day John [the Baptist] seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Jesus takes away the sin of mankind by doing two things. First, He died on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sin. Second, He arose from the dead to give us life. That is the gospel. The word "gospel" means "good news." It is indeed good news to learn that Jesus can save spiritually dead, ruined and depraved human beings! Turn to I Timothy 1:15,

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…" 
      (I Timothy 1:15).

He came to save sinners! He died on the Cross to pay the penalty for sin - to save sinners. He arose from the dead to give life to dead sinners - to save sinners. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."

Turn to I Corinthians 15:3,

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

That is the good news! That is the gospel. The word "gospel" means "good news." But depraved sinners are not ready to receive the good news until the Holy Spirit convinces them. And that takes me to the last point.

III. Third, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit takes the truths
of the gospel and convinces an unconverted person of them.

The Holy Spirit convinces the heart of a lost person that he needs Jesus Christ. Turn to John 16:8,

"And when he is come, he will reprove [convince] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).

Since the lost sinner is blind spiritually, and is hostile to God, no one but the Holy Spirit can convince him that he is wrong, that he is sinful, that he must have the righteousness  of  Christ,  that  he  faces  certain  judgment  if  he  is  not  "in  Christ  Jesus"  (I Corinthians 1:30).

Until you are convinced by the Holy Spirit of your sinful nature and your sinful acts of disobedience to God, you will not receive the salvation that Christ offers. You won't see any real need for Christ. Turn to Matthew 9:12,

"But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick" 
      (Matthew 9:12).

What did Jesus mean by this? He meant that those who think they are all right will not seek Jesus, the Great Physician of souls. Only those who have been convinced by the Holy Spirit that they are hopeless, lost sinners will value Jesus enough to seek Him.

There is only one thing you need to do to be saved - and that is given in Acts 16:30-31. Please turn to it.

"Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:30-31).

Have you become aware of the ruined, helpless state of mankind during this sermon? Have you become aware of your own desperate state of sin as I spoke? Have you been convinced by the Holy Spirit that your sinful mind and heart are truly offensive to God - and that you are doomed to judgment? Then will you, in simple faith, believe on Jesus?

Take your song sheet and look at the last hymn. I'm going to quote it to you.

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
    Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
        ("Jesus, I Come" by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

Does that song speak to you tonight? Let's stand and sing that first stanza.

Now think about what you just sang. Will you come to Jesus and be saved? Will you? The thought goes through your mind, "Nothing will happen." What do you mean by that? Do you mean that you won't have a correct feeling? Why, how could you have a correct feeling? Your heart is ruined. Don't depend on any "correct feeling" from a ruined heart like yours! Come to Jesus without any feeling at all and you will be saved! "But," you say, "I tried it before." To be sure, you tried "it" - but whatever "it" was, "it" wasn't what I mean, or what the Bible means. So, why not throw yourself on Jesus tonight and depend on Him? You have nothing to lose by throwing yourself on His mercy. You may very well be surprised to find that it was true after all, and that what you tried to do before wasn't really what I meant at all. You may find that you misunderstood me. Ayako Zabalaga misunderstood me many, many times - until a few weeks ago she threw herself on the mercy of Jesus, and is now hopefully saved. Maybe you got it all twisted up too. Maybe you didn't understand me when I said, "Come to Jesus." Could that be your case as well? If it might be true in your case, why not try as hard as you can to come to Jesus tonight? Will you at least try to come to Him - as hard as you can? You have nothing to lose by trying as hard as you can, do you? If you will do that I want to talk to you about it in my office. I want you to leave your chair and come and stand here in front of the pulpit, while we sing that first stanza again. Then we'll go up to my office. You come now, while we sing.


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: 

Psalm 119:97-104, 129-132.

Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Nobody Loves You Like Jesus Loves" (by George Beverly Shea, 1909 - ).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalm 119:130).

(II Timothy 3:16)

I.   The Bible teaches that man is a special creation, has fallen by sin,
and is now in a state of sin, Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7, 16-17;
Genesis 3:17-19; 4:8; Romans 5:12; 3:11, 19; 8:7;
I Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:5.

II.  The Bible teaches that God sent Jesus Christ into the world to
save those who trust Him from this horrible state of sin,
Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; I Timothy 1:15; I Corinthians 15:3-4.

III. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit takes the truths of the gospel
and convinces an unconverted person of them, John 16:8;
I Corinthians 1:30; Matthew 9:12; Acts 16:30-31.

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at Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."