"NO WAY BUT JESUS"
by Missionary James H. Dearmore, B.S., Th.B., Th.D.
Preached At One Of Our Missions In Africa (ibc)
December 6, 1981 © James H. Dearmore
Tape Recorded And Transcribed By Stenographer
(Edited To Reduce Africa Illustrations)
We will be continuing our series of messages tonight on the prophecies about the last days, as clearly shown in the Scripture. As you who've heard this before know, we don't go for these wild teachings that some people make up about the last days, but we do believe just exactly what the Scripture says about the last days, and we teach it and preach it in our services from time to time. Scripture has a lot to say about the last days. And so, we'll be continuing with that series tonight. And as I started to say, we will be speaking again, two or three more times yet, on signs of the soon coming of Christ that we can see around us now. Signs that are told to us in the Scriptures as signs of His coming soon, when these things begin to come to pass.
One Life to Live — One Life to Give - In Service to Our Glorious COMING King!
But I want to spend this message tonight speaking to you about the promises that He definitely is coming. It doesn't matter if we study about the signs that He's coming soon or not, unless we first establish clearly that the Scriptures do teach that He is absolutely, positively, or as the young fellow said, "Posalutely," coming again to the earth.
This morning I want to speak to you now about Jesus. We might call the message this morning, "No way but Jesus" or "None but Jesus," if you want to call it that. John chapter 3, beginning with verse 16. John chapter 3, beginning with verse 16, and reading down through verse 18. The Gospel of John, chapter 3, beginning with verse 16, and reading down through verse 18. John 3:16 through 18. That'll be our text for this morning's message. And we might call this, as I said, "No Way But Jesus." "No Way But Jesus."
Our text says this, beginning with verse 16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." We'll continue in a moment, but when I read that verse and I think of the thousands of languages it's been translated into, and the millions of times that it's been preached from, it does something to me. Men, since the time of Adam, have needed a Savior. And since the time of Christ, they've had a Savior. And even before the time of Christ, they had a Savior in prospect to look forward to. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Now, as we begin to think about this in an introductory fashion, thinking about our text here, which is, of course, dealing with the way of salvation, it brings immediately to our mind that although the way of salvation is plainly stated in Scriptures, yet, perhaps more errors are uttered, more lies are told or preached about salvation than any other truth that there is. Now, you wouldn't think that would be true, when salvation is clearly explained and clearly stated in the Scripture and yet, you just think about it and you'll see that it's true to say that perhaps more lies or more falsehoods are taught about salvation than about any other one thing.
Man's eye is so dim and his understanding so marred by sin, that even the simplest truths of Scripture, he always manages to distort them and misrepresent them, unless he's saved and following the leadership of the Spirit and the clearly revealed Word of God. And today, I want to call your especial attention to a few thoughts about saving faith. These thoughts about saving faith will cover the main points which are widely misrepresented or misunderstood by men in the world today. And remember, that unless we clarify the subject of salvation, there's no point in talking about anything else, is there? Salvation is the first step in serving and worshipping the Lord properly. Without it, nothing else matters.
These five thoughts that I want to think about with you for just a few minutes today are as follows --- I'll name them for you now, and then we'll talk a little bit about each one as we go.
First, the object of faith. Remember we're thinking about saving faith. The first thing to think about is the object of faith or to what it looks. Now, you could have faith in every one of these big trees out here to save you, or you could look to these big trees out here to save you. They wouldn't ever save you, would it? You could sincerely believe that one of these trees out here was God, that He was your Savior and that He would save you. And it wouldn't change things at all, would it? So, the object of faith or to what it looks, is important.
The second thing that we'll be talking about for a few minutes is the reason of faith or whence it comes. Where does it come from? Where does faith come from? Saving faith, that is. The third thing we'll speak about a little bit later is the ground of faith or what it wears when it comes. When saving faith comes, what does it wear? And fourth, we will think for a few minutes about the warrant of faith or why it dares to come to Christ. On what basis, in other words, can saving faith dare to come to Christ? And then, fifthly and lastly, we will think for a few minutes about the result of faith or what happens when it does come to Christ.
First, now let's think for just a minute a together about the object of faith or to what faith looks. Remember we said that there's no way but Jesus. And as we begin to think of this, the object of faith or to what faith looks, we notice as we study in the Scripture, God's Word always tells us to believe, but what am I to believe? That's a good question, isn't it? It's clear that the Scripture says that we should believe, but in order to believe, we must know what we are to believe. God's Word says many places to look, but the question from that is, at what am I to look? And as begin to think of the answers to these two questions, there's one clear answer that comes, isn't it? The object of faith is Jesus Christ. The object of faith. That toward which we are to look, that which we are to believe, the object of our faith, is Jesus Christ.
We can only truly believe in the love of the Father, when we come to believe in the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Remember the Lord, Himself said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." In fact, if we go back and quote that whole passage to you, it's in John chapter 14, verse 6, and it says this, "I," it's Jesus speaking now, John 14:6, He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." So, the object of faith is Jesus. Jesus only. And there's no way to come to the Father, except through Jesus or by faith in Him.
The immediate object, in other words, of the sinner's faith is not the Father, not the Holy Spirit, but what? It's the Son, isn't it? The immediate object of the sinner's faith is not the Father, not the Holy Spirit but the Son. Sinner, if you have the eye of faith, the thing that do with that eye of faith is to look to Jesus as very God. And when you do, He'll say, "Look to Jesus as very God." If you would be saved, look to Him as God over all, the blessed one forever. First, believe on Him as very God and then, believe on Him as man. Believe the wondrous story of His incarnation. And, by the way, the Lord willing, next Sunday morning I plan to speak on the subject of the incarnation. We're getting near to Christmas now, and we'll spend a whole sermon next Sunday morning, the Lord willing, on the incarnation. But sinner, you must believe the wondrous story of His incarnation. Believe that He, who was the King of heaven, became a servant of servants, the son of man. Without believing this, it's impossible for you to be saved. If you cannot or do not or will not believe this, it's not possible for you to be saved. Take care as you begin to look to Jesus, as you begin to turn your faith toward Him, you need to view Him mainly as the dying lamb. The lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. You need to view Him as the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, realizing that He was a man of sorrows and that He was acquainted with grief because of His suffering in our stead.
Behold the Savior and—with your eye of faith. Sweating great drops of blood in Gethsemane. And then, turn your eye of faith and see Him on Calvary's tree. See Him there dying for you and for me. And for the sins of the whole world. This is the object of justifying faith. There alone, nothing else. Not in ourselves, not in yourself, not in anything else, but only in Jesus. That's the object of saving faith.
Now, let your faith go a little further and see Him rising from the dead. He died to pay the debt of our sin, but the Scripture says He rose for our justification. And that He now intercedes before the Father for us. You know, a lot of people when we tried to get them to exercise the eye of faith and believe, to fix their eye of faith on the proper object of faith, which is Jesus, they have a problem. They say, "Oh, but I don't feel so and so." But the question and the statement that needs to be made here is, "Don't wait for feelings or until I'm able to do it," because you'll never be able and you'll never have the feeling until you get saved. But when you truly get saved, then you'll have the feeling, you'll have the witness in your heart. You'll know that you are saved. But until then, you'll never have the feeling. So, don't wait for feelings or until I'm able to live it or any of those excuses like that, that so many people give and use to postpone or to refuse to fix their eye of faith on the proper object of faith, which is not feelings. It's not fixing your eye of faith on being able to live it. But the thing that counts is fixing the eye of faith on the object of faith, which is Jesus.
Faith is not believing that from something good within yourself, you may be saved. You know, a lot of people believe that. They think that from something good within themselves, they can be saved. But that's not faith, is it? That's no faith at all in that. That's not saving faith, that's not the proper object of faith, it has nothing to do with saving faith, does it?
The thing that really counts, what faith really is, is this. It is to believe that we are guilty before God and yet, to believe also that the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin. That's real faith, isn't it? Hebrews 7:25 speaks of this, when it says, "He is able to save to the uttermost, them that come unto God by him." Hebrews 7:25. The faith which shook down the walls of Jericho, stopped the mouths of lions, raised the dead, was nowhere near as great as the faith that saves. The faith that saves is much greater than any of those faiths that we mentioned.
The sinner must trust the blood and the righteousness of Jesus. He's the way, the only way. There's not any other way. The work of Jesus only must be seen as your only hope. There is no other hope, except in Jesus. And that's what faith is, is to come to understand this and accept it. In other words, the object of faith must be none but Jesus. Jesus, the only substitute for sinners.
And now as we go a little further, let's think for a few minutes about the reason of faith. We've been thinking about the object of faith, let's think for a minute about the reason of faith. "Why does any man believe," we might say, "and from whence does this faith come?" In Romans chapter 10, verse 17, it says this, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. Now, we're asking the question, remember, the reason of faith or why does any man believe? And from where or from whence does this faith come? And Romans 10:17 gives us a pretty good answer for it. It says that faith comes by hearing. And where does hearing come from? By the Word of God. So then, faith comes by hearing the Word of God, doesn't it?
When we come and hear --- you know, there's a problem about getting unsaved people to come to church, as you know. It's not all that hard to get them to come once. Sometimes it's not all that hard to get them to come twice. But if they come two or three times, the Word of God begins to get hold of them. It begins to convict them and then, it's very hard to get them to come back again, isn't it? Until they really get deep under conviction and realize that their only hope is to continue to hear the Word, until that faith blossoms in their heart and they come to know Christ. But in that interim, in the middle there, it's hard to get them to come.
Now, a question that I have. You might say, "But do not all men hear and yet, do not many men remain still unbelieving?" And we just read to you that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Romans 10:17. And therefore, this question. Do not all men hear and yet, do not many still remain unbelieving? And we would go ahead and explain this a little bit further by saying this, "Saving faith comes as a result of a sense of need." Now, you think about that for a minute. Saving faith comes as a result of a sense of need. In other words, a sinner must realize that he is lost before he wants to be saved. You can't get a man saved, as we say, until you get him lost. That is, unless you make him realize that he's lost, he doesn't see any need or any desire to be saved. That's only logical, as well as being taught in the Scriptures. But when he comes to see that he's lost, that he's hopeless and helpless and that Christ is his only hope, then perhaps, he may come to Christ in saving faith. But until that time, he won't. Or she won't.
First, he must realize that he cannot escape hell by good deeds. Or by the sufferings that he, himself, may endure. But he must realize rather, that he must perish, unless he lays hold on Christ. And when he comes to realize this, then there is a chance that he may come to know Christ as Savior and King.
Now, another question or several questions all dealing with the same thought. How does man get his sense of need? How is it that he, rather than others, felt his—or feels need of Christ? How does he really come to accept the fact that he's lost and ruined? And the answer to that is in one thing only, and that is, that this is the gift of God or the work of the Holy Spirit. That's how man—some men really come to realize their lost condition and to seek the Savior. And how others do not.
Ephesians 2:8 and 9 says, "For by grace," now, what is grace? Grace is the unmerited favor of God to fallen man. Ephesians 2:8 and 9 says this, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." John 6:44 also goes very well here where it says, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." Now, how does God draw men to Himself? We've just read that to you in Romans 10:17, haven't we? "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by," what? "Hearing by the word of God." So, the lost man, what he needs more than any other thing, until he comes to this saving faith, is to hear the Word of God preached.
Titus 2:11 also fits very well here where it says, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men." All these men and women who pretend that they just can't understand it, that they just can't figure it out—well, the Scripture doesn't anywhere teach that we've got to understand it or that we've got to figure it out. I can't understand why the King of Glory would leave the golden throne and come down to Earth, take upon Himself the form of man, and suffer and die on the cross to pay the penalty of my sin. But I know He did. And I believe it. And I'm thankful for it. But I don't understand it. It's incomprehensible to man to get men to admit that they're lost. That they're ruined and helpless and hopeless without the grace of God, is a difficult thing. Because it's repulsive to them. Totally repugnant to man to admit that he's completely helpless, hopeless and cannot possibly help himself. That's the hardest thing in the world for man to admit. Man is a proud creature and he just won't admit, doesn't wish to admit that he's completely helpless and hopeless and lost without God. And yet, that's the position to which a man must come. In order to be saved, men must realize that we are nothing at all. We must realize that there's no way but Jesus. None but Jesus, who can save us from our ruined condition.
Going on quickly now, the ground of the sinner's faith. Or on what ground he dares to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We've already said that no man will come to Jesus, unless he feels his need of Him. But remember that the reason we come to Jesus, now listen, this is an important statement right here. Remember that the reason we come to Jesus is not because we feel the need, but because we have the need. Now, there's a difference, isn't there? A lot of difference in those two statements. The reason we come to Jesus is not because we feel the need, but because we have a need of Him. That's the real reason we come to Jesus, isn't it? Man has a yearning down deep inside to come back into fellowship with God.
We can't come to the Savior as a sensible sinner, a cultured sinner, a refined sinner, that doesn't enter into at all, does it? That has nothing to do with it. But we must come as just a sinner. Just a sinner, nothing else. And when we stand at the foot of the cross, we bring nothing with us but sin. Nothing at all. We can't say, "Oh, Lord, now here I am. I'm a fine fellow. I'm a highly cultured fellow. I'm a very refined person. I'm a highly civilized person and therefore, save me." That doesn't do it, does it? That doesn't do it. But we must stand at the foot of the cross and realize when we do, that we bring nothing there but sin. Not our good looks, not any good works we may or may not have done. Nothing.
At the foot of the cross, I don't believe in Jesus because I have good feelings, but I believe in Him whether I have good feelings or not. You know, a lot of people today, they're looking for some bolt of lightning to strike them from heaven and knock them down and roll around on the floor awhile, and then they'll believe they've been saved. Well, a few times that we know in history, in biblical history, something similar to that did happen, didn't it? Paul on the road to Damascus. But hundreds and hundreds of other examples in Scripture don't show any such thing at all, do they? Men are taught the truth and believe the truth. They come to know Christ as Savior. That's the way men are saved.
We need to remember this old verse from an old song that we sometimes sing. Just as I am without one plea. But that Thy blood was shed for me. And that Thou bidst me come to Thee. Oh, Lamb of God, I come. That's the only thing that'll do the job, isn't it? To come that way. The gate of mercy, in other words, is open. And over the gate is written these words from I Timothy 1:15, "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." That's written in blood over the gate of mercy, isn't it?
Notice between the word "save" and "sinners" in the passage that I just quoted to you, there's not any adjective at all. Let me read that to you again. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Notice there between the word "save" and the word "sinners," there's not a single adjective is there? Not a single descriptive or modifying word of any description. In other words, the passage does not say that Christ Jesus came into the world to save penitent sinners. It does not say that Christ Jesus came into the world to save awakened sinners, to save sensible sinners, to save grieving sinners, to save alarmed sinners. But what does it say? It says, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
The only way to come to Jesus is on the basis of none but Jesus. You've got to just give up your dependence on anything else and be like the old song that we sometimes sing. The verse that says, "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling. Naked come to Thee for dress, helpless look to Thee for grace. Foul I to the fountain fly, wash me, Savior, or I die." That's the way we must come. So, we see that the ground on which we come to Jesus is not that we feel we are lost and ruined. But the ground on which we come to Jesus is that we are lost and ruined. There's a difference. A big difference between the ground of saying that we come to Jesus because we feel we are lost. That's not it, is it? The ground on which we come to Jesus is not that we feel we are lost and ruined but that we are lost and ruined.
Now, going on quickly another step, the warrant of faith or why a man dares to trust in Christ. I have some questions in connection with this thought. Is it not foolish for any man to trust Christ to save him when he has no good thing whatsoever himself? Is it not an arrogant presumption for any man to trust Christ? And the answer to that is, no it is not. When we think of this warrant of our faith or why a man dares to come to Christ, I looked up the definition of warrant in the Oxford dictionary and it said this, "Warrant: serve as a warrant or—or justified." Then, warranty in the Oxford dictionary says, "Authority or justification for doing or saying or supposing." So, again, what then is our warrant to trust Christ? And there are several things that we could say about this, all boiling down to the same thing.
First, because Christ tells us to. That's our warrant for trusting Him, isn't it? Christ's Word is the warrant for believing in Him. Not what we feel, not what we are, not what we are not. But rather, His Word is the warrant for believing in Him. Acts chapter 16, verse 31, a man asked Paul and Silas, "What must I do to be saved?" And their answer is recorded there in Acts 16:31. They said this, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." So, faith in Christ is a commanded duty, as well as a blessed privilege.
There's no question, even in human logic that could possibly be a question in anyone's mind that a man has a right to do his duty. You men who've been in service, and we have one with us this morning who is still in the military service. But you can understand this very clearly. There's not any question whatsoever, anytime, anywhere, ever, that a man always has a right to do his duty, doesn't he? He always has a right to do his duty. And since God commands us to believe, then any man, no matter who, has the right to believe, doesn't he? He certainly has the right to believe. (There are many references in Scripture teaching or commanding men to believe. A simple and plain one is found in Mark 1:15: "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.")
In fact, Ecclesiastes 12:13, (some of you may remember this quotation) says: "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Now, that fits in with what we're thinking about, doesn't it? Christ Himself commanded that the gospel be preached to every creature. And God commands all men everywhere to believe, as the Scripture tells us. Therefore, it cannot be wrong to obey the command of God. It's not possible to be wrong to obey the command of God. It must be right. So, sinner the thing that matters is this, you cannot possibly be lost by trusting Christ. Do it now.
And then, the last thought we want to give you, the result of faith. The result of faith. Remember our text says, "He that believeth is not condemned." "He that believeth is not condemned." We could think of an illustration that I read one time about a man who spent 50 years in sin. He spent 50 years in terrible debauchery and evil living and wickedness of every description. And just now, he's saved. And he can't hardly believe it. This wonderful verse that says he is not condemned, though he spent 50 years in sin and evil. When he comes to this saving faith in Christ, he is not condemned. Not that he won't be condemned in the future, not that someday in the future he'll be out of condemnation, but rather that he is not condemned now. He stands before God as though he had never sinned, though he spent 50 years in all manner of sin and vice before he came to know the Savior.
Notice that our text does not say, "Shall not be condemned." Let me read it to you again. "He that believeth on him is not condemned," that's verse 18, John chapter 3. "He that believeth on him is not condemned." It does not say, "Shall not be condemned." Rather, it says, "Is not condemned." That is, he is not now, and never can be when he comes in saving faith to Christ. You say, "Oh, but he still sins." Indeed he does. Indeed he does. He's not going to be perfect until he gets to heaven, but his sins are not laid to his charge, when he comes in saving faith to Christ. They've all been paid for by the blood of Jesus.
This fits in with the illustration that Brother Lynn mentioned this morning, of the scapegoat. This was a beautiful picture which I refer to from time to time in my messages. The picture of the way Christ carries away our sins, to be remembered against us no more forever, as the Scripture teaches. In the Old Testament, we have this beautiful picture of the scapegoat, this type of picture of Christ taking away our sins. The scapegoat, once each year, the man, the head of the family brought this—a goat, a scapegoat and he laid his hands on the head of this goat. And this goat then carried away his sins, was taken out into the wilderness and abandoned there to be destroyed by the wild animals, never to be seen again. And this is the picture that we have of Christ taking away our sins through His death on the cross.
The saved person, in other words, becomes before God as His son, accepted eternally. The righteousness of Christ becomes yours when you believe. He's already suffered the punishment of your sins. And now, you stand in Christ's stead when you believe. As He did, in your stead on the cross. But they who believe not are still under the curse of the law. There's no possible way that they can work their own righteousness out to obtain salvation. Salvation, in other words, as we've been saying right from the beginning today, is based entirely on nothing but Jesus. There's no other way. He's the only way. There's not many ways to heaven, there's one way and He's it. There's not any other way except in Him. He's the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Him.
So, you see, we've shown you from Scripture today the object of faith or to what faith looks. And then, we've shown you also from Scripture, the reason of faith or why does any man believe. Then, we showed you the ground of the sinner's faith or on what ground he dares to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And then, we came to the warrant of faith or why a man dares to trust in Christ. And then, lastly, we've spoken to you about the result of faith. The result of faith is that we become before God as His son eternally saved and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. And salvation is based entirely on none but Jesus because there's no other way.
If you're here today unsaved, wouldn't you exercise this saving faith now? Put your faith and your trust in Jesus and He'll save you. There's not any other way. Oh, you may think, "Well, I can do this way or that way or some other way," but I've already shown you today from God's Word that He's the only way of salvation. Do it now. Trust the Lord and He'll save you. You say, "Oh, but I don't understand it." You don't have to understand it, you just have to exercise faith in Him. Trust Him and accept Him as your Savior and He'll save you today. While we sing an invitation song, do it now. Don't put it off ‘til some other time. Some other time may not come. Now, right now today, is the day of salvation. Trust the Lord and He'll save you today.
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