Program Air Date - 1-11-09



Welcome to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord's Day. What a privilege it is to have you with us today, as we together give this time to God. I know that we will all be encouraged and uplifted by our time together this morning. So, let's give our best to God so that He may be pleased with our offering. Furthermore, let's do all things according to His will - so that our worship will be received by Him in a good and perfect way. Now, let's approach His throne in prayer!


One of the great promises and blessings we have from our God is the great peace and rest that He offers to the faithful in His fold. This morning we want to begin by singing a song about a place of rest that will last eternally, when this life is ore. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together the song, "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be!"?

(SONG # 1)


As Christians in this life God surely wants us to be confident in His promises and in what we believe. However we must be careful not to allow our confidence and security in God to become something that God really doesn't want at all.

You see the problems we can often get into with over confidence are pride and the spirit of being puff up! We might seem to others as those who stick our chest out as if we are something or as if we are the icing on the cake, when really we have started to forget that all we are in Christianity is about God and Christ - not us.

Another fear with over confidence is that we often feel we are invincible! We might think, I love God so much and am such a good Christian, Satan doesn't have a chance with me. You know I think this is exactly the attitude Satan is hoping for from us. Because one He can get us to be self absorbed and puffed up, he has already won part of the battle.

I am reminded of a verse in Matthew 24:24, where Jesus Himself said, "For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Did you catch that? False teachers would come to deceive all of those of this earth. However, notice that among those who would be deceived are included the elect, of God. So even the most faithful before God, who are consider good and righteous in His sight - even they can be tempted and fall away.

There is another good verse which deals with this found in Galatians 6:1. There Paul said, "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." Notice how Paul addresses these brethren. He talked about the "spiritual," brethren and those who are less spiritual. Obviously here he is talking about the more mature in Christ and the less mature in Christ. Now listen to Paul's final comment in the same verse, "consider yourself lest you also be tempted." He says, you spiritual, help the weaker, but be careful because you also can fall.

Brethren the thing that we must be aware of is that none of us are perfect and no one is invincible. We need to be confident in the things of God, but not so much so that we drop our guard, or begin to think we can never fall. Because there is nothing that Satan would like to see more than us turning towards him in our words, attitudes and actions.

Today, it's great to have Jerry Sullins with us once again as our guest speaker. Brother Sullins is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. I might encourage you to keep this great work of God in your prayers. So, in just a few minutes brother Sullins will return and lead our lesson thoughts of the day, as we consider the next lesson in our series entitled, "Take Heed To Yourselves." Our specific lesson of the day will challenge us all to, "Keep Ourselves From Sin?" So, please stay with us for this important study from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our second song of the morning. Won't you join in with the congregation as we sing the hymn, "Home Of The Soul."

(SONG # 2)


BY Jerry Sullins

We are very thankful to have you here today on The Living Word program visiting us and we are hoping that what is said today may bring you to a closer relationship with God. I appreciate the opportunity to be here this morning and to present to you some truths from God's Word that will help us to understand what God's Will is for us.

We've been in a series dealing with keeping ourselves in the ways that God would want us to be. So this morning, I am going to be discussing the subject of "Keeping Ourselves Pure" that is Keeping Ourselves From Sin."

There is a directive by the apostle Paul to the young preacher, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 5 verse 22 when he was discussing actually and requesting Timothy that he not partake in the sins of other people, but to keep himself pure from sin. And so this morning, it is going to be the design of this lesson to describe to you what sin is and what God has done to bring us the ability, or to give us the ability to take care of our sins.

Now some people might say, "Well sin, I know what sin is." Well we need to know what the Bible says about this subject. By the way, having lived over twenty years in Africa in several different countries, there were many people who did not have any idea whatsoever what sin was. So we took them to the scripture to explain to them what sin actually is.

In 1 John chapter 3 verse 4, John said that "Those who commit lawlessness, that is those who commit sin commit lawlessness," and then he went on to say that "Sin is lawlessness." In other words, sin is not keeping the law. In reference to this, it is the law of God.

We might note also in the book of 1 John chapter 5 verse 17. It says, "All unrighteousness is sin." Now some people might say,

"Well could you describe for me what sin is?" Well there is a dictionary definition of it which we get from Greek dictionaries. What it basically means is to "miss the mark, wandering from something, and actually a violation of God's Law." Now many people do not want to recognize the fact today that God has a law that must be kept, and when that law is not kept the Bible says that is sin.

Some people might ask you and they have ask me before in Africa and other places, "Well, are there words that express to us exactly what sins are?" I call your attention to the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 and I want to read to you what the apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth beginning with verse 9 through verse 10. It says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God and such were some of you but you were washed but you were sanctified and you were justified by the name of the Lord." So there the apostle Paul gives a listing of actually laws that God has placed into effect and those who violate those laws are transgressing His Will.

If you have time, you might want to note down Galatians 5:19-21 where it gives another listing of sin. There are several listings of those things that we would call items that would cause us to violate God's Law. And so when we do those things, we are committing sins of commission, that is we are actually doing things that God has said, "Do not do. Do not participate in." If you do these things, then you are what? You are following after unrighteousness, those things that are not right in the sight of God.

We might also note that in James chapter 4 verse 17, James said, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So there are sins of what we call omission. If we know that God wants us to do certain things and we fail to do those things, then we are omitting from our responsibilities and from our lives those things that God desires us to do. Now some might be, as the Bible commands us to love, if we are omitting love from our lives then we are committing the sin of omission. Any command that God has given or any way that God has instructed us through His apostles on how we need to follow His Will, if we violate that then we are certainly committing that sin of omission.

Now another aspect of sin that we need to understand is that it is possible for someone to become a slave of sin. Now no doubt as you look around yourself today and most people who watch this program profess that they are children of God and they have families and they look around their families and they see what is going on in the world today and they see that some people seem to be enslaved to sin. They seem to not be able to help themselves. Well the Bible speaks of this.

I call your attention to Romans chapter 6 where this discussion actually takes place. We first of all are going to read from verse 6 where it says, "Knowing this that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves of sin. You may have experienced this in your own life, and many are experiencing this today. They can not just stop from committing adultery. They cannot stop themselves from drinking alcohol. They cannot stop themselves from lying or it seems like they cannot stop themselves because they continue to do all of these things and many more things. These are people who have given themselves to be slaves of sin.

Then Paul went on to say in verse 12 of Romans chapter 6, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in its lust."

Well John mentioned that in 1 John chapter 2 verse 15-17 where he said that, "We are to not love the world and neither the things that are in the world. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life is not of the Father but of the world." Of course it goes on to say that those who do such things are not going to live a very delightful life for the rest of their existence throughout all eternity. In fact, they will suffer because they have given themselves to be slaves to sin.

Then verses 16 and 17 of Romans chapter 6, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slave whom you obey whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness, but God be thanked that though you are slaves of sin yet you obeyed from your heart or from the heart, that form of doctrine to which you were delivered." Now the apostle Paul is saying to these brethren in Rome that at one time they were slaves of sin. This gives us great hope. They were slaves of sin, but they have obeyed from their heart that form of doctrine, and that is found in verses 3 and 4 of Romans chapter 6. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, they have been baptized into Christ. They have obeyed from their heart that form of doctrine. They have been delivered from sin and from the guilt of sin and they are now servants of righteousness. This is something that gives us great hope because we can be emancipated through Jesus Christ our Lord. We have basically been bought with a price. The scripture points this out so clearly.

I call your attention to the book of 1 Peter. He gives a very good explanation of what takes place when we do what we need to do to serve God and do away with our sin. That's 1 Peter chapter 1 verses 18-19. He says, "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spite. So we were redeemed by the blood of Christ. We were able to release ourselves from slavery to sin. We were able to be born again free from the gift of sin that is in our lives.

Some people have likened sin to a disease, and very well we might could look at it in that way. It's a spiritual disease, and something that must be dealt with.

Jesus said when He came to this earth in Luke 5 verse 31, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners unto repentance." So Christ was trying to do something by giving His life on the cross to relieve us of our sinful condition, to rid us of the disease of sin because sin is something that will not only corrupt us but it will cause us to lose our souls. We know as is stated in Romans chapter 3 verses 23, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." In other words, all have committed lawlessness. Not any of us are those who can escape that fact.

But then again in Romans 6 verse 23, it says, "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." Indeed "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." Perish from what? Perish from sin for it is sin that destroys our relationship with God. Have you ever noticed those who are involved in sin how in many cased it destroys their intellect, their ability to think and function. It destroys the effections of a man because now he is no longer loving those that whom he should love and not even loving him or herself. It has a tendency to destroy the will because sin overtakes the will of a person and they no longer will to serve God but they will to serve their own lust and their own flesh. But Jesus is the one who can rid us of that sin.

In Ephesians chapter 2 verse 1, the scripture says, "And you He made alive who were dead in your trespasses and sin." Jesus can make you alive. He can rid you of that sin. Some have given different plans of salvation from sin. But I want to this morning take these few closing minutes to express to you just exactly we can rid ourselves of sin, the Bible way, what Jesus has said.

We note in Revelation 1 verse 5 that Jesus has washed us from our sins in His own blood. Now how did Jesus do that? Well Jesus gave a clear plan of that when He was upon the face of the earth. Remember what Jesus told His disciples as He was sending them out on the Great Commission there in Mark 16 verses 15-16. He said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

No doubt one must believe as Jesus said in John 8, "Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." You must believe that Jesus is the Christ. No one would doubt that! And no one that I know of in the religious world would refute that because the Bible says it and it is true.

Well Jesus also said that we must "repent or perish," in Luke 13:3. In fact the Holy Spirit guided Peter on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 verse 38 to say, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ." Repent of what? Repent, or that expression means to turn away from your sin, that sin that is enslaving you, that sin that is causing you to lose your soul. Repent and turn away from it and work and serve as a servant of God, a servant of righteousness.

No doubt Jesus said you need to confess that He is the Christ. Jesus said, "Whosoever confesses me before men, him I will confess before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32) Paul said in Romans 10:9 that, "Confession is made with the mouth unto salvation."

No one would doubt that we should not do these things to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, to confess His name before men, even to repent of one's sin. Then why do we stop there? For it was Jesus when giving His great commission, remember in Mark 16:15-16 especially verse 16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." We are baptized, as we go back to Romans chapter 6 verses 1-2 and actually through verse 4, "we are baptized into the likeness of His death, His burial and His resurrection." That is that form of doctrine that we obey, that frees us from sin. Many people teach that. Many people throughout what is called the Christian faith teach the necessity of baptism and we do also in the Lord's church that baptism is necessary for the remission of sins.

So there is a great plague in this world today. It is not of a physical nature, but of a spiritual nature. The plague of sin. That sin is something that will cause all of us to lose our souls unless we do something about it. God has given us that plan. So, my friends, this morning I plead with you that you do what God has asked you to do in order to be saved. Repent, confess, and be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I hope that you will consider these things very seriously in your life and do what is necessary that you might have hope of eternal life.

Thank you very much.

(SONG # 3 - "I Am Thine, Oh Lord!")


Thanks for putting God first and choosing to be with us this morning. I hope you have benefited from our time together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

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Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417) 869-2284

Thanks be to God that He has given us a remedy for sin through the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Furthermore, because of this gift, how wonderful it is to find complete forgiveness from sin unto eternal life.

(Program closing)