THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 1-1-06

LESSON TITLE: "THE BIBLE: THE EFFECT OF THE BIBLE ON MAN"

WELCOME

Today is January 1st, 2006, so let me say Happy New Year and welcome to our program on this glorious Lord's Day morning! As always, it is an honor to have you with us today as we give this time to God. I hope that everyone tuning in will take advantage of this time before God's throng, so that we all may give God the glory and grow according to His will. At this time, let's talk to our God in prayer!

(PRAYER)

Our first song of the morning reminds us that we are children of light. So, won't you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Stepping in the Light."

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Can you believe it, today we are starting another year, 2006? And how wonderful it is to be together again this morning as we focus on the things of God. What a blessed people we are as we strive to put God first and to do those things which are according to His Will.

But what about you, what will you do with this new year? How will 2006 turn out for you and your family? Is God first in your life and will He be at the end of this year?

When will man ever realize that if he will just turn to God and trust in Him, then nothing else really matters. We can do and accomplish anything in God and with His help, Philippians 4:13. I think our biggest problem as mankind is the false sense of security that comes from thinking we can do things alone. Or that we have accomplished the great things of the day, through our own abilities and greatness, without the help of anyone or anything else. This is not what the Bible teaches!

In 2 Samuel 22:31, we read, "As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him." Isn't all of this the truth? God is perfect and has been proven to be true for thousands of years - He has stood the test of time. His Word has been seen as that which could only come from a perfect being, as something which is as perfect as it's giver!

The last part of that verse also says a lot to us about why we should depend on God. Because He is our shield, and protector - to those who trust in Him. So what does this trust involve? Obviously, the ability to trust in God comes from our faith in Him, His Word and His promises. He protects us because He sees our faith in action, as we are obedient to Him through following His Will!

We also know that God not only protects, but He cares for us. In 1 Peter 5:7, we read, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." Jesus cares for us and protects us, just as He promises in His Word.

Finally, we can be confident that the Lord our God provides for us. Jesus himself said, "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith," Matthew 6:30? God will provide! Also, notice what Christ further stated in verse 33 of the same passage, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

As followers of God, if we put Him first and His kingdom, and if we strive to do His will as he has asked us to, then He has promised us His protection and care. Furthermore, as we have seen He will give us what we have need of, because He blesses those who follow what He says!

Are you receiving these blessings and promises from God? If not, I would ask you why not? Are you living as He asks you to, according to His will? Choose today to truly serve God and He will give you all these things we have discussed!

This morning we will be continuing our study on "The Bible." Our specific lesson of the day will talk about the "The Effect Of The Bible On Man." So, please stay with us and in just a few minutes I will be returning to lead this discussion from God's Word. So for now, won't you join in at this time as we sing our second hymn of the day, its name, "The Old Rugged Cross!"

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thank you so much for continuing with us today as we now go to God's Word and study a bit deeper about the Bible. We so far have several good weeks of study and understanding not only what the Bible is, but what it's all about, it's purpose and who it's from, and really just how much confidence we can place in it. Why? Because it is from God Himself. In fact, it is inspired of God and God has breathed His Words through those who wrote the Bible in order that we might know His full revelation. Certainly God has loved us enough to do that and now as we study today, we want to not only build on what we have looked at thus far that the Bible is God's Word, is from God and as well that the Bible is complete, perfect and in all respects exactly as it's author, that is God.

Today, we want to look at how does it affect us? In what way really does the Bible make us different? What should it do? What can it do? And so we want to look at from the Word of God itself as to really what its purpose is all about. Why was it that God would desire or feel the need to reveal to us His Word or His knowledge?

Well, it really begins there with the fact of the need to convict men, to convict men of something and that is sin. The reality is we have two opportunities in life. We can either serve God or we can reject God. But if we choose to serve God, there has to be a way that we know what He wants and thus, we have studied and are in the discussion about the Bible. We know that certainly from the beginning man sinned. In fact, the New Testament tells us that man today continues to sin because once sin was brought into the world by Adam and Eve. So today, we still fall prey to sin. We read verses like Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." But it didn't begin then. It began back with Adam and Eve. In fact, even in Isaiah's day probably one of the clearest verses that we have in connection with this is there in Isaiah chapter 59 and verse 2, the Bible says, "But your iniquities or your sins have separated you from God." I want you to notice there what type of separation this is and how far it goes in relationship to God. The verse goes on to say, "Your sins have hidden his face from you." What does sin do? Sin separates us from God. To what extent? So much so that God turns His face, that He turns His face away from us. What does that tell us? It tells us that sin and God don't mix, that sin is the opposite of God, as well as we have established in the past, that unrighteousness is sin, and all unrighteousness, those things that are contrary to His Will, lawlessness, and so therefore if we know the Will of God and we do not do it, it is sin whether we have become followers or not. When we don't obey God, we sin. And so therefore, all men are in sin and are sinners especially until they become followers or children of God. But even after becoming children of God, what does the Bible teach us? We can still fall. We can still sin. We can still transgress the laws and the covenants of God. And so sin is something is something we must be convinced of because it is that convincing of our hearts that we are in sin that makes us want to change.

If you'll notice there in Acts chapter 2 the day the church began, after Peter and the others were preaching with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Notice there in verse 36 what he said there in summation of all these strong words that he has just proclaimed. Verse 36 says, "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Savior." Here Jesus was made the Lord, the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior by the Father Himself. And what have they just done? They had crucified Him. They had killed the very Son of God and so they were besides themselves. They had just learned now that the one they had just murdered was Jesus. The Word of God and the things from God Himself through the Holy Spirit convinces them and convicts them we are in sin. And what then is their reaction? Verse 37, "They were cut to the heart, pricked to the core of their bodies and then they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" You see, the Word of God convicts man. Without the Word, we might sin and not have any problem with it, but the Word of God tells us it's unacceptable and we'll lose our souls and will not be blessed by our God. So it convicts men, and then it causes man, as we find in our illustration of Acts 2, to want to change. They are so moved with sorrow that they want to do something different.

I want you to turn over with me if you will to the book there of Corinthians. There Paul speaking to the church at Corinth helps these brethren to know through the letter, that is the Word of God, what they should do and what they should not do. And what was their reaction? There in verse 8 beginning in again 2 Corinthians, chapter 7 in the Bible says, "Forever or even if I made you sorry with my letter (which is God's Word) I do not regret it, though I did regret it for I perceived that the same epistle made you sorry though only for a little while." He says, "I sent you the epistle, the letter, the Word of God. It made you sorry and I'm only sorry because it made you sorry for a little while." Well why? Because it produced something initially. When they first got it what happened? Verse 9, "But I rejoiced not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance and it caused you to do..." Go down to verse 10. "For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation." Repentance leads to what? Salvation. But what leads us to repentance? Sorrow or godly sorrow. But if we're not sorry here, or if we have the sorrow of the world or not the sorrow of God that we are convicted of sin, then guess what. It says our sorrow is worthless. And so what we learn here is that they were made sorry in Acts 2 before and even thereafter, they were made so sorry that their godly sorrow moved them to say, "What shall we do?" They wanted to repent. They wanted to turn away. They wanted to change and get their lives right. Why? They were convicted by something. What was that something? Again, the letter, the epistle, the Word of the Law, that which was from God.

I want you also to see what the Hebrew writer said there in Hebrews 4 about the power of the Word of God. There in verse 12 beginning the Bible says, "The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even the division of the soul and the spirit and of the joints and the marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart." How powerful is the Word of God? The Word of God is living. It's active. It's something that is real, that is vibrant, that must be obeyed. It is powerful, powerful enough to do what? Romans 1:16 says, "To save us, to lead us unto salvation." It is the power of God that is the Word of God. And then he even talks about how sharp it is. Acts chapter 2 and verse 37, what did it do there on the Day of Pentecost? It cut them to the heart. It pricked them to the core until they said, "What shall we do to change? How can I repent? How can I turn away from that sin?"

And then we also see here that it discerns. It judges and knows our thoughts and intents. It tells me when my thoughts and intents are in alignment and are proper with God and when they are opposite. Again opposites being not with God and therefore sin. Why? Because again sin and opposites of God separate us from Him. So yes, the Word of God is powerful. The Word of God is mighty. The Word of God can change can make me different. And the Word of God can save my soul. How does it do it? It tells me the path. It shows me the way. It lays down the blueprint. It gives me the puzzle to put together in order that I might equal salvation. It helps me to know that I can be cleansed from sin through the mighty and powerful blood of Jesus Christ. Isn't that what we've already mentioned in several of our verses? Isn't that what was already said there in Romans 1 and 16 that "it is the power unto salvation." What is? The gospel. The Word of God. The message of God. The Word that is proclaimed, Acts 2 and there in verse 36. It is the Word that pricks to the heart, verse 37 of Acts 2 and changes man. And it is the Word that then says what I should do to be a Christian, what I must do to be saved and how I must follow Christ.

Wasn't it there in John 8 and verse 32 that Jesus Himself said that, "The truth will make us free."

"The truth," John 17:17, "which is the Word of God."

If we want freedom from sin, freedom from the world, freedom from eternal death and punishment in Hell, we must obey the precious saving book, the Bible, that which has been given to us and is powerful enough to tell us what we must do, to save us and to guide us in the direction to not only become a child of God, but as well to become one who is faithful thereafter.

Turn with me if you will also to Acts chapter 20. There in Acts chapter 20, we learn also that it builds and builds and builds not only to salvation, but to continue therein after we are saved. In chapter 20 and verse 32, notice what he states there. As Luke writes, "So now brethren, I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace that is able (to do what?) build you up and to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified." What can it do? It builds us up. It gives us an inheritance among who? All the saved. All those who are sanctified. All those who are in the kingdom of God. Isn't that what it's about? Being added by the Lord to His church. (Acts 2 and 47)

I want you also to notice with me there in Acts chapter 2 and verse 38 that after they had cried out, "Men and brethren, what must we do?" He said, "Repent and be baptized." Well we certainly we know that we must confess. We know that we must say that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We've talked about repentance. In fact, Jesus said, "Repent or perish," Luke 13:3.

But then also He said, "Be baptized." Why? There in Romans chapter 6, we clearly understand better that baptism is a way to buried as Jesus died and was buried. There in verse 3, he says, "And know ye not that as many of you were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death and therefore were buried with Him through baptism into His death and that just as Christ was buried and raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even so you should walk in newness of life. Verse 5 goes on to say, "Just as we're united in the likeness of His death, certainly then we also shall be united in the likeness of His (what?) resurrection." Then in verse 6 He says, "Therefore you have crucified the old man, the body of sin." Did you hear that again? We're convicted of sin by the Word. We are told that we have opportunity to purge and to get rid of it and then we are shown the plan of salvation if we'll obey. That's what baptism is all about. Dying to that old man. Washing away sins (Acts 22 and verse 16) just as Paul did as he was commanded by Ananias, in order that when he arose, he might be a new creature and be able to by the power of God and through the cleansing blood of Jesus there (Revelation chapter 1 and verse 5) to be washed in the blood, to be cleansed and made perfect, and added to the church, the kingdom of God so that we might be again among the saved, those who are called out.

Isn't it wonderful to know that the Word of God is so powerful and that it can change and affect us and convict us as sin and thereafter convince us to continue in the paths of righteousness. Isn't that why there in Revelation 2 and verse 10 that it says, "Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life." We have God's Word. We must study it. We must learn from it and grow and put it into our hearts so that we might learn every day what God wants and obey it and as we obey it, we know the crown of life is ours until we have that eternal reward in Heaven someday, when we'll live with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

(SONG # 3 - "The Way Of The Cross!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to worshiping God in His way!

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Thank God for the powerful message which is found through His Word. May we always study, obey and follow it that we might be pleasing in His sight!

(Program closing)