HMS Richards, Senior
Founder of the Voice of Prophecy
This study is taken from the book, 25 Sermons: After 25 Years on the Air, VOP, 1955. Unfortunately it is out of print.
Summary: When the Israelites were bitten by fiery serpents, all who were willing to just look at the brazen serpent raised up on a pole were healed. So if the sinner will just look in faith to Christ as crucified for him, he too will be healed from the disease of sin. It is wonderfully simple and simply wonderful—just look and live!
Introduction. They replied, ?Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household? (Ac 16:31). This reply to the question of the jailer, ?What must I do to be saved?? (verse 30) is clear and right to the point. And the answer ought to be clear when the question is of such supreme importance. Everything depends upon it. Thousands—yes, millions are staking their hopes of eternal life upon it.
? Ask the group to define and discuss the meaning of the word, ?gospel.?
The word gospel means ?good speaking, good words, or good news.? It answers that one tremendously important question, ?How can a man or woman be saved?? How can we be delivered from the death penalty of sin and be restored to divine favor as though we had never fallen?
I have only one doctrine. It is said that when one of America’s greatest preachers lay dying, a loved one asked, ?What doctrines do you believe now??
His reply? ?When I first became a minister, I had 100 doctrines. When I was 30 years old, I had 50 doctrines. When I was 50, I had ten doctrines, but now, at the end of my life, I have but one!? When eager lips urged him to name it, he said, ?Now, at the valley of the shadow, my one doctrine is—I am a great sinner and Jesus is a great Savior!?
? Compare this one doctrine and Acts 16:31. Ask the question, ?Can we save ourselves?? In light of this question, discuss Jeremiah 13:23; Romans 8:7.
We may have a desire for the better way, but we do not have the power to live it. We admit that God’s way is best, but we do the very opposite. This mental and spiritual conflict is pictured in Romans 7:14, 15, 18, and 24. Read these texts together.
The cry of Romans 7:24 is the cry of millions: ?What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?? The answer to verse 24 is found in verse 25: ?Thanks be to God—through Jesus our Lord!?
Look, and live. There is help in Jesus. We are to look away from our failures ? and sins, and look to Him for help. We are invited to ?behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world? (Jn 1:29).
? Read and discuss the following passages or verses: Numbers 21:5-9 and John 3:3, 9, and 14-18.
When the Israelites were bitten by fiery serpents, all who were willing to look—just look—at the brazen serpent raised up on a pole (or cross), were healed. So if the sinner will just look in faith to Christ as crucified for him, he too will be healed from the disease of sin. It is wonderfully simple and simply wonderful—just look and live! It is written in Isaiah 45:22: ?Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.?
Repeat the best text of all the 31,000 verses in the whole Bible—John 3:16. Repeat it over and over to yourself.
Notice carefully what this text includes:
God—an almighty authority
So loved the world—the mightiest motive
That He gave His only begotten Son—the greatest gift
That whosoever—the widest welcome
Believeth in Him—the easiest escape
Should not perish—a divine deliverance
But have everlasting life—a priceless possession
Our salvation depends upon the love of God. ?How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!? (1J 3:1).
?But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life? (Ro 5:10, 11)!