THE DIVIDING LINE.
Deut. 30:15-20; Jos. 24:14,15; 1 Kgs. 18:21; 2 Cor. 6:17.
1. A dividing line is that which separates between two, or sets one thing apart from another.
2. From the very beginning of time, there has been a "dividing line" between righteousness and unrighteousness, God and Satan, Bondage and Freedom, Life and death, Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, Salvation and Being Eternally Lost.
3. The dividing line between life and death in the Garden of Eden was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
A. God told Adam that the day he ate of that tree that he would die.
B. Adam did eat, and therefore crossed the dividing line to the other side, where there is found death, disappointments, distresses, anguish, and eternal punishment. Rom. 5:12; 6:23; 1 Tim. 5:6.
4. Since the fall of man, God has provided ways of deliverance from the state into which man fell.
A. When he obeyed the Lord, and followed the way of deliverance provided by the Lord, he was always brought safely over on God's side of the dividing line, therefore escaping the curses that befell all those who were disobedient, and remained on Satan's side.
EXAMPLES OF PASSING FROM BONDAGE TO FREEDOM:
I. NOAH AND HIS FAMILY:
A. Gen. 5:30-9:29; Heb. 11;7. How were they saved? From What? What was it that separated them from their lost state adn the state of salvation?
B. The Bible tells us how they were saved. 1 Pet. 3:20.
C. How were they of the sinful world punished? 2 Pet. 2:5.
D. But did water alone save Noah and his family?
1. It did not. Noah believed God, and did just what God told him to do; therefore, God used water to separate him from a sinful and corrupt world and deposited him upon the clean and undefiled earth.
a. The same water upon which the ark was lifted destroyed the rest of the world.
A. Just as Moses was sent to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage, Christ was sent to deliver us from the bondage of sin. Exo. 14:30,31; Acts 3:22.
1. The blind, stupid egotism of Pharaoh destroyed his own people including his own first-born son. Exo. 5:2.
B. Paul says their deliverance was a baptism. 1 Cor. 10:1,2.
III. NAAMAN: 2 Kgs. 5.
A. Naaman had thoughts of his own as to how he was to be cleansed from his leprosy.
1. When he received instructions on how to cleanse himself of leprosy, it did not gel with what he had in his own mind and therefore it made him angry.
2. Naaman had to do what Elisha told him, in order to be cleansed of his leprosy, whether he liked it or not.
B. The trouble with most of the "big boys" of the day is: God's plan is too simple for them, they want to do things that are humanly great.
1. But the apostle Paul says that God doesn't look at it that way. 1 Cor. 1:20-29; 3:19.
IV. THE EUNUCH AND REJOICING. Acts 8:26-39.
A. Notice that "he preached unto him Jesus"
1. He did not preach "Dry Bones In The Valley," "The Eagle Stirred Her Nest", "It Aint Gonna Rain No More," nor "What Makes You Do Me Like You Do, Do,Do?"
a. No Gospel preacher ever resorted to such nonesense as the gospel butchers of our day do.
B. Do you know what Philip would have said to the eunuch if Philip had been a Baptist or a Methodist preacher?
1. He would have said to the eunuch, when he asked about being baptized, "Now, just wait a minute mister Eunuch. We will have to go back to Jerusalem and find out what is the pleasure of the church there.
2. Our creed requires us to take a vote of the congregation before we can baptize anyone. Even though the same creed says that baptism is not essential to one's salvation.
V. THE BLIND MAN AND HIS SIGHT. Jno. 9.
A. In Jno. 9, we have a case of Jesus healing a blind man.
1. He told him to go dip in the pool of Siloam. After he dipped as commanded, he came seeing.
2. The Pharisees didn't want to believe that Jesus had healed this blind man nor did they want any one else to believe it.
VI. SAUL OF TARSUS AND PARDON. Related in Acts 9,22,26.
A. Yes, Saul was once an enemy of the cross of Christ.
B. He met the Lord on the road to Damascus as he was travelling that way to bind Christians to bring them back to Jerusalem for trial before the Sanhedrin and possibly death.
C. Doesn't it seem a bit strange that Christ didn't speak peace and salvation to the penitent Saul right there on the road?
1. After all, he might have had a stroke and died on his way on down to Damascus.
2. Then, again, a stone might have dislodged and rolled down on him as he was going along.
D. God had a plan for all mankind and He is no respecter of persons. Acts 10;34,35.
VII. MAN AND CHRIST. Mk. 16:15,16; Acts 2:38,41,47.
A. Baptism is the dividing line between man and being in Christ.
B. Those that are baptized put on Christ. Gal. 3:27.
1. They receive the benefits of Christ's death. Rom. 6:3.
2. Receive new life. Rom. 6:4.
3. Become new creatures. 2 Cor. 5:17.
4. Have remission of past sins. Acts 2:38.
5. Have their sins washed away. Acts 22;16.
6. Are saved from past sins. Mk. 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21.
7. Can rejoice. Acts 8:39.
8. Are added to the church. Acts 2:41,47.
9. Are in the body of Christ which is the church. 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1: 18,24; Eph.4:4.
10. One is sanctified, cleansed and washed by the waters of baptism. Eph. 5:26.
11. By it we enter the kingdom of God. Jno. 3:5.
1. There are many other things that could be added to this list of things that are divided by the dividing line. But these will suffice for here and now.
2. Be not separated from God.
3. Have you passed over the dividing line from sin into the freedom and light of God's Word?
4. If not, why don't you do that even now while there is an opportunity to do so?
By Jim Sasser
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