Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen


Title: God’s Essential Musts





This lesson is a very important one. 


We are going to look at some of the things that God says “MUST.” 


And when God says MUST we need to listen and do what He says.


God’s Word is absolute truth, and as such it is undeniable. 


Folks, when God has spoken, we cease to speak.


Jesus told His disciples how He “MUST suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes,” and how “He MUST be KILLED.” 


Peter began immediately to scold the Lord for saying such a thing. 


He said: “Pity Thyself Lord, this shall not be to thee.” 


Immediately, Jesus said to Peter: “Get behind Me, satan, thou art an offence unto Me.”


There are seven MUSTS in today’s message, and every one of them is God’s decree, and they MUST be just as He said. 


Let’s believe what He will tell us today by His Word.






Jesus said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). 


When God says “must,” we certainly can’t afford to use a word that’s less insistent. 


There is nothing indefinite and nothing optional in “Ye must be born again.”


Everyone who wants to see heaven, and to enter into heaven, must be born again.


Salvation is not just patching up our old self, it is a new man created by God.


Salvation is not just cleaning up the outside of the platter, but instead, it is the cleansing of the inside of the platter. 


Jesus said, “Cleanse first the inside of the cup and the platter, that the outside may be clean also.”


Salvation is a new creation. 


That’s made clear in the Bible, where it says, “If any man be in Christ Jesus he is a new creature.” 


And it also says, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus.”


We should never speak of salvation as “a change of nature” or as a “change of heart.” 


Salvation is not a change, but it is a birth, a new birth; it is a second birth. 


“Ye must be born again.”


There is nothing about the old nature that God will accept, because it is corrupt. 


And He doesn’t have any plans to improve it or to change it.


The old nature is too weak to follow Jesus. 


Paul understood that and that’s why he said, “I want to do right, but I can’t.” 


Those who are controlled by the old nature cannot please God, and therefore they can’t serve Him either. 


Doesn’t it say in God’s Word, “Can a bitter spring give forth sweet water?” and “Can an evil tree bring forth good fruit?” 


We are given a description of the old man in the Bible, where it talks about those controlled by their old nature.


It says, “Their throat is an open sepulcher; their tongue has used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and bitterness are in their ways: there is no fear of God before their eyes.”


How are you going to reform or patch up or change such throats and tongs and lips and feet and eyes as these?” 


It is impossible!


Back of all these members there lies a nature which is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” 


“Ye must be born again.”


Churchianity, singing a pledge card, turning over a new leaf; none of these can be accepted as substitutes—“Ye must be born again.”


And the second essential must is—




The apostle John wrote, “As man lifted up the serpent, in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (John 3:14).


This “must”, that Christ must die, stood before Jesus just as unavoidably, as “Ye must be born again” stands before every sinner. 


Christ experienced the full force of this “must.” 


In the city of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus began to show His disciples, “How that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” 


There was an eternal must that faced Jesus every day of His life. 


In fact, He faced it even before the foundation of the world; it was the “must’ of the Cross.


But what was this compelling must that drove Jesus to Calvary?


Did Jesus say, “The Son of Man must be killed,” because He saw the multitudes turning away from Him? 


Once the common people were glad to hear what He had to say. 


They had eaten His bread and His fishes; they had applauded the power of His miracles; they had applauded when He taught them about the things of God; but now they were leaving Him.


The common people had left Him so swiftly and on such a large scale that Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “Will ye also leave Me?”


Did Jesus mean that He must be killed, because the population had turned against Him?


Did Jesus say, “The Son of Man must be killed” because the scribes and Pharisees were determined to slay Him?


These men had never loved Him. 


It was because they envied Him that they were going to give Him to the Romans to be executed. 


It was their power and their prestige that turned the people away. 


They sat in Moses’ seat, and they dominated the synagogues, and they wielded tremendous power throughout Israel.


Did Jesus mean that He must die, because He couldn’t withstand the constant pressure from the scribes and Pharisees?


Did Jesus mean, “The Son of Man must be killed,” because He knew that Pilate had a weak character.


Did He mean, “This Roman governor cares more for Caesar’s friendship than for Me, and this Roman governor is afraid of His very shadow.  He fears the mob, and he weakly washes his hands and says, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just person, see ye to it;’ and then he releases Barabbas and turns Me over to the fury of the mob.” 


Did Jesus mean the Son of Man must be killed because Pilate, the Roman ruler, was swayed by the populace and priests, who like ravenous and roaring lions were looking for any means to discredit and condemn Him to death.


Did Jesus mean the Son of Man must be killed because satan had marshaled all his troops to meet Him in one final conflict, and because He feared He could not stem the tide?


Satan possessed such tremendous power that he made the world tremble, and with great subtlety he swayed the hatred filled scribes and Pharisees, and then he inspired the maddened cries of the multitudes. 


Did Jesus mean that He must die because of satan’s overwhelming power?


Don’t give that idea a single thought.


Jesus didn’t die like a martyr dedicated to a holy cause, helpless and overwhelmed by His enemies. 


Jesus could have called twelve legions of angels, if He wanted their aid. 


Remember, Jesus, who merely by the words, “I am He” caused the mob in the Garden of Gethsemane to fall down like dead men. 


And He could have thrown back all the combined forces of the Jews and Romans, because He is God.


And yet, Jesus said, “The Son of Man must be lifted up,” He must be killed!” 


What then, was the “must” that drove Him to the Cross?


There is only one answer. 


It was the “must” made necessary by, “Ye must be born again.” 


The “must” that nailed Jesus to the Cross, was God’s answer to the question, “How can God be just and justify the ungodly?”  Jesus must die because there was no other way by which His burning love for sinners and His certified promises to saints could be fulfilled. 


Salvation is dependent on the Cross.


The Son of Man must be killed because apart from the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.


The third essential “must” is—




“There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  


These words from Acts 4:12 were written about Jesus.


The same “must” that drove Jesus to the Cross, drives the sinner to Jesus. 


If Jesus must be killed in order for a believer to be saved, then the believer must come to Jesus alone. 


Salvation is Jesus plus nothing and minus nothing. 


There are many other names and many other ways suggested for our salvation. 


Some would go so far as to suggest the name of Buda, or Confucius, or Mohammed. 


They may even think that they are equal with our Lord.


They may give this argument for their views: Jesus was the head of a great religion and so were they. 


Jesus taught wonderful ethics, and so did they.


Well, I would answer like this. 


Jesus was the Son of God, were they? 


Jesus was virgin born, were they? 


Jesus never sinned, did they? 


Jesus died a sacrificial death, did they? 


Jesus was raised from death on the third day, were they?


Jesus is exalted and seated at the right hand of the Father, are they?


Without a doubt, only faith in Jesus saves; without a doubt, there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. 


We must approach God through Jesus or else we will never see the Father’s face.


Jesus is the Bread of Life and there is no one else; He is the Light of the World and there is no one else. 


He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and there is no one else; He is the Resurrection and the Life, and there is no one else. 


He is the Door of the sheepfold, and there is no one else.


Peter, James, and John were great Christians and good men, but faith in Jesus is the only means to salvation, and heaven, and eternal life. 


And you can’t be saved by believing in Spurgeon, or Wesley, or Moody, or Billy Graham; it is Christ alone who saves. 


It is not Buda or Mohammed, it is Jesus. 


There is no other name whereby we must be saved. 


Salvation is in the precious name of Jesus.


The forth essential must is—




In Hebrews 11:6, we are told, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”


When Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can these things be?” the answer to His question was the must of rebirth. 


When the jailor asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” the answer was the must of belief. 


Only God can work out the first must, so that a man can be born again.


The second must, however, must be worked out by every man and woman, with God’s help, since He is the one who gives us faith. 


Faith is the essential must that links the believer to God.


The table is set, the dinner has been prepared, and the dinner bell has been rung, but you must eat or you will starve.


The car is full of gas, and the engine has been started, but it will just set in the street unless the transmission is engaged.


The plane is on the runway, and the great jet engines are running, but it will not be able to fly until the control tower says that it is ok to take-off. 


The Lord Jesus has died, and the essential must of the Cross has been fulfilled, yet you must believe or you will be eternally lost.


But who is it that we must believe in? 


It is Jesus. 


We must believe that Jesus died; this is essential to our justification. 


We must believe that Jesus rose again; this is essential to our sanctification. 


We must believe that Jesus is coming; this is essential to glorification.


We must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: believe in Him as Jesus; who died upon the Cross. 


We must believe in Him as the Lord; who is exalted to the right hand of God. 


We must believe in Him as Christ; who is the anointed of the Father. 


And we must believe He is the Messiah and the Coming King.


There is no use to quibble about it; salvation comes only to those who believe.


We are not saved by giving our hearts to God. 


What does God want with our vile and filthy hearts? 


We should be ashamed to even offer them to Him, before they have been washed in the blood. 


We are saved only when we believe.


We are not saved by cleaning up our life, and joining the church, and being baptized, and taking the Lord’s Supper. 


These are things that we do because we are Christians, but to be saved, we must believe.


We are not saved by some big experience, a wonderful dream or a startling voice, so don’t pay any attention to such things, they will take care of themselves. 


As far as we’re concerned, we must believe.


The sixth essential must is-




There are a series of four questions in Romans 10:14-15:


“How shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed?”


“And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard?”


“And how shall they hear without a preacher?”


“And how shall they preach except they be sent?”


If a sinner must believe to be saved, then he must hear, and if he must hear, then the Gospel must be preached.


There was a woman who lived in the Samaritan city of Sychar, who was a sinner.


However, she was evidentially seeking to know the truth, and she was ready to accept Jesus as her Savior if she got the opportunity. 


Jesus, who is God, knew about her and He wanted to give her the opportunity to accept Him, and so we are told in John 4:4: “And He must needs go through Samaria.”


Jesus said, “I must go to Samaria.”  


He walked sixty miles to tell this woman about the “Living Water.”


But, why did He have to go? 


Jews hated the Samaritans, because they were not full-blooded Jews. 


Earlier in their history, foreigners were brought into Samaria by conquering armies and they had intermarried with the Jews. 


And now the population of Samaria was people who were not of pure Jewish ancestry. 


Jews would go miles out of their way to avoid going through Samaria, so why did Jesus say, “I must go through?” 


The only answer can be found in the result of His trip. 


The Bible records that He was tired from the trip and He sat down beside a well outside Sychar.


The disciples went into the city to buy food, so He was alone. 


That’s when a woman came out through the city gate to fill her water pot at the well. 


Jesus immediately spoke to her, and soon He was telling her about the “Water of Life.” 


When the disciples returned and saw Jesus talking to a sinful, Samaritan woman, they wondered why he would do such an unusual thing. 


They tried to get Jesus to eat the food they bought at the city market, but Jesus refused, saying, “I have meet to eat that ye know not of.” 


The woman left, and went back to the city and told everyone she met about her meeting with Jesus at the well. 


Because of her testimony, many of the people came to Jesus and were saved. 


Therefore, He stayed with them two days and told them about the things of God.


It may be hard for someone to understand the must of that trip. 


But the reason can be found in God’s Word in Romans: “How can they believe in Him, of Whom they have not heard?”  And, “How can they hear without a preacher?” 


I have heard preachers say, “Let scripture interpret scripture.”


In Acts, there is the account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and it illustrates the meaning of these verses very well.


Philip was one of the first deacons, and he was also a good preacher of the Gospel. 


The Holy Spirit called Philip to leave the city of Samaria, and hurry down a desert road. 


But why? 


The answer lies in the result of that trip. 


He soon came across an Ethiopian man who was traveling home from a trip to Jerusalem. 


He was a very important person in his country, since he was a member of Queen Candace’s court and in charge of her treasury. 


The man was reading from the book of Isaiah, but he didn’t understand what he was reading.


The Holy Spirit put Philip in the chariot with him, where he asked the man: “Understandeth thou what thou readeth?” 


The answer is very revealing: “How can I except some man shall guide me?”


Folks, the Gospel must be preached. 


Sinners in this country and sinners in foreign lands cannot believe in Him of Whom they have not heard. 


Do you see how important it is for us to tell others about Jesus? 


Let’s take the Gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ, to those we meet. 


And let’s pray for them and for preachers and missionaries until everyone on earth has heard the saving message of God’s love. 


The Gospel must be preached, but there is another must, which is—




Paul was making a tour of the churches where he had preached. 


Many people in those churches had suffered hardships and persecution because of their faith in Jesus. 


Paul prayed for them and he had them on his mind when he wrote, “Exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). 


Paul loved them and he felt their pain, so he tried to encourage them. 


He told them that what they were going through was not uncommon, and that all believers would suffer in some way, and that, “we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.”


Satan is the god of this age, and he goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


The lost men and women of this world are the children of the devil, and they are rebels against Jesus Christ, and they will certainly oppose the servants of Christ.


Jesus said, “Marvel not if the world hate you.” 


And He also said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.”


It’s for sure; this world has not had a change of heart. 


When Jesus came into the world, the world knew Him not and his own received Him not. 


And the world has the same attitude toward the servants of Jesus.


Jesus said, “If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His own household?” 


The meaning is, “Those that hate Jesus and God will also hate us.”


It is true that persecution doesn’t always take the same form. 


It’s different in different places and at other times. 


People in America aren’t mistreated because of what they believe about God, but in some parts of the world people still suffer and die if they declare faith in Christ. 


There are so many things around today that will draw the interest of Christians away from church and a separated life.   


That’s why it’s so important for believers to be praying and studying the Bible and fellowshipping with Christian friends.


Paul said, “If any man live Godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution.” 


And then he said, “It is given you, in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake.”


When the Brooklyn Bridge was being built, the drillers were digging deep to get to bed rock. 


The giant buttresses must rest on bed rock to hold the weight of the gigantic bridge and all the traffic that would cross over it.


The following story relates an incident that took place at that time.


One of the men in charge of the drilling called the chief engineer and asked him to examine the drills that were grinding through to solid rock. 


He said to the engineer, “Have we reached bed rock?” 


As the engineer looked down and watched the big drills turn, he replied, “No, not yet, there is nothing but soap stone.” 


A short time later the engineer came by and said, “Stop your engines, you have hit bed rock.” 


“And how can you tell so quickly?” he was asked.   


The reply is worth remembering: “Can’t you see it shooting fire; when you get to bed rock it always shoots fire.”


And that’s the way it is with the Christian; when a Christian gets to bed rock in his service, testimony and life, he will find the sparks begin to fly.


As the end of the age nears, and Christ prepares to return, we may expect to suffer more and more for His Name. 


Before many moons have passed, the wrath of satan will increase again, and Christians will once again begin to face tribulation. 


But let’s stand firm in our faith. 


Think about all those wonderful things that await us. 


Think of all the promises of God that will be revealed to us. 


And think about the glory we will share with our Savior.


Only one must remains, and that is—




“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in the body,…whether it be good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).


There is a day coming when Jesus will call His own to Himself. 


The Lord is coming with a shout and with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. 


Then the dead and living, which are in Christ, will all be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.


When the rapture takes place, the sons and daughters of God will stand in the congregation of the righteous. 


They must stand before the Bema or the judgment seat of Christ.


Today, we are building upon Jesus, the solid Rock; and we are building with wood, hay and stubble or with gold, silver and precious stones. 


On that day, we will be judged for our works. 


We have been entrusted with a soul, and He will want to know what we have done with it. 


He will declare to us the result of our lives, and then we will receive either a reward or suffer loss.


There is no way to escape that hour of reckoning of Jesus with His saints. 


It is not a question of whether we are saved or lost, and it’s not a question of heaven or hell. 


The sin question was settled long, long ago on the Cross. 


And now, there is no judgment as far as sin goes, for those who are in Christ Jesus; but there is a judgment of rewards.


The Kingdom of Heaven is like a high government official who takes a journey to a far away country. 


He leaves each of his employees with a certain amount of money, and tells them to invest it so he will have even more when he returns. 


When the man returns, he calls his employees together to see how much they have increased his wealth, and to reward them accordingly.  


One who has done exceptionally well is given more authority, and another who pleased his boss was given slightly less authority. 


But, there was one employee who simply hid what he was given, and he loses his reward.


Surely, we would try harder in our daily life, and in our service for the Lord, if we remembered that God has revealed in His Word that we must stand and be judged for those things we have done in the body, whether good or bad.


Let’s be diligent in living for Jesus and in serving Him, because both will have some bearing on the Judgment Day. 




There are five crowns that the Lord Jesus will give out on the Judgment Day. 


He will give them to His saints who have been faithful in five distinctive ways.


These crowns cover more than service, they cover suffering, for example. 


Suffering, if need be, may be unto death. 


There is another crown for “feeding the flock of God.” 


It’s called the pastor’s crown, and it’s also available to us. 


There is another crown that you may receive; it’s given to those who have been faithful in their service to God and His Kingdom. 


And another crown will be given to those who have won souls for God. 


Let’s remember that the judgment of believers is not only a matter of service to the Lord, but it’s also a matter of suffering, and of keeping the faith, and of holy living as well.


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