THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 1-15-12
LESSON TITLE: “HIS OWN SPECIAL PEOPLE: A SPECIAL PEOPLE”
In Hebrews 13:6 we read, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” With God on our side, we will always be victorious!
Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. We are excited that you have chosen to be with us today for this time of offering and encouragement, as we participate in the things of God.
This program remains committed to doing what God wants, in the way He wants. We accomplish this by collectively singing songs of praise to glorify His name, by studying His Word, and by approaching His throne in prayer. So, at this time, let’s humbly bow our heads before our God.
How wonderful it is to know that God is willing to do so much for each of us, even while we were still sinners! That is what our first song of the morning deals with. So, at this time I hope you will join in this the congregation as we together sing, “Jesus Calls Us.”
(SONG # 1)
When is the last time you felt like you just couldn’t do any more or like you just couldn’t go on? I think we have all been there before and wondered what we were going to do to get started up again. It doesn’t matter whether you are referring to our spiritual or physical lives, we all have these ups and downs that make us feel like giving up.
If we look in the Bible this problem is nothing new, because we find that even those who lived long ago had the very same problem. For a while they would be strong and faithful to God, but then they would fall away and have to be reminded, before they would turn back to their God. In Lamentations 3:40 we read this statement, “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD;” Here Jeremiah talks of a need for the people of God to examine themselves, and why? So that they would turn back to the Lord.
To me this is very encouraging to know that when we aren’t doing our best or feel like we want to give up that we are not alone. Everyone has been there and experienced the same thing, even many great followers of God in the Bible. I love the way Paul put it when he exhorted the Galatians with the following words, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Again, he tells us not to grow weary or give up and again why? Because if we endure and make it we will reap great things according to the promises of God. But we can not faint or quit on the Lord.
What else does God do to make sure we can make it to the end? Well, as faithful children of God, we know the answer to this one - He is there every step of the way. In fact, in Hebrews 13:5, we have recorded the words of our God, when He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” You see God is always there to help us when we fall or when we feel like we are alone. So the next time you are down and feel like there is nothing you can do to get going again, remember that God is by your side. And that with His help, all things are truly possible. I can assure you, it will be well worth the effort. Are you standing strong on the Will of God?
We are glad to have brother Jerry Sullins with us today as our guest speaker of the morning. As most of your already know, brother Jerry is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us this day.
As far as our study of the morning, today we will be considering a new series of study entitled, “His Own Special People!” Our specific topic this morning will be, “A Special People.” So, please continue with us this today, and after our next song together brother Sullins will return with this study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn is, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I would like to welcome you again to “The Living Word” broadcast. We appreciate so much your presence every Sunday morning. Many of you watch this program every Sunday morning and we do indeed appreciate your response with letters as you send letters to us, and communicate with us through the internet about how you appreciate this program and certainly we covet those remarks as we strive to keep this program on the air and do what we can to spread the truth of the Word of God throughout this community as well as throughout many communities in this state and even in other states and we appreciate so much the privilege to serve God in this way.
This week we’re beginning a new series that has to do with God’s special people, and we’re going to be discussing it from many different aspects throughout the next few weeks.
The apostle Paul made a statement in 1 Timothy 3 verse 15 that said that we as Christians basically ought to know how to conduct ourselves as he was instructing Christians to do so in the house of God which is the church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. Peter had a lot to say about the church and we’re going to focus many of our comments, at least the basis of our comments, throughout this study in 1 Peter chapter 2. As you will hear even next week we are going to be discussing things as such is mentioned in 1 Peter chapter 2 as the church being “living stones,” as you might read there in 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 5-6.
How does the Bible truth compare to the idea today that you can be a good Christian and never be a part of the church? Well the reason this statement is made is because people do not understand what the church is. When they think of a church they think of a building, but yet Peter is going to expand our knowledge of what the church is in telling us that the church is actually made up of individuals who have obeyed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that church, which in the Greek is called the assembly, constitutes those who are saved by the Gospel as they have obeyed the Gospel. In that, they become what Peter referred to them in figuratively language as “living stones.” For what reason? To offer up spiritual sacrifices. Now spiritual has to pertain to those things that have their origin with God and are consistent with His character. Now my friend, you may claim to be spiritual and you may even claim to be a Christian, but are the offerings that you give up to God spiritual in nature according to His Will or according to your will? That’s a question we must all ask ourselves. Now when we make up those special offerings, those spiritual offerings that are according to His Will, that’s when we become those living stones.
I call your attention to the scripture in 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 9-10 which will be the basis of our study for the next few weeks where Peter said, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous life who once were not a people but are now the people of God who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” Now what Peter is mentioning here is that we are an elect race and that is basically through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. We are that elect stone as we mentioned before in 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 4. We are his people who have been elected through the gospel. And so as we obey the gospel, we become His elect. We become His special people.
Now there are many descriptive terms here in 1 Peter 2, in these two short verses that tell us and describe to us who we actually are or what we actually are and how God views us. You might notice that we are priests according to God. Now priests in the Old Testament had direct access to God as you see if you read Exodus chapter 19 verse 6, and we’ll turn over there and read that this morning because it is a very beautiful verse that shows us the responsibilities or at least shows us a description of the priest as God viewed them. He said concerning the priest of the children of Israel. He said, “And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” So not only was He referring to the priest, that is the High Priest, and all the other priests of the tribe of Levi, but He was actually speaking this of the whole nation that they were a nation of priests and that’s just exactly who we are. We have direct access to the Father. In some religions, you have to go through a priest in order that you can have access to the Father. But we know that that is not true because here even Peter says as we look in the text this morning in 1 Peter 9 we are a royal priesthood. Every person who puts on Christ in baptism, every person who becomes a child of God is a part of that priesthood. We have direct access to the Father above through Jesus Christ our Lord. We don’t have to go through any man on this earth. We are children of God. We are not children of men. We have the ability as His priests, as His royal priesthood to make direct access to the Father any time we so desire to communicate with Him through prayer. We are a holy nation. And again we see in Exodus 19 verse 6 that the children of Israel were a holy nation. Do you know what holy means? It’s a Greek word which the Greek word is “hagios” and it means we are a different people. Now it means in some ways like sanctification that we have been set apart because we are different and the difference is we are spiritual people. We do things according to God’s Law and according to God’s judgment. That’s what makes us as is referred to in 1 Peter 2 verse 9, “a holy nation.”
Now Israel, as we know, was a special object of God’s providential care. We look throughout their history and oh, how God cared for them even though so many times they were so wicked. Remember they came out of Egypt and hadn’t been out of Egypt very long before they started wanting to worship again the idols. Some had probably even brought some of those idols with them that they had back in Egypt. But still Israel was an object of God’s love and providential care. He had made a promise to Abraham that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed and the children of Israel were of the seed of Abraham so therefore they became that holy nation, that different nation. Now as long as they lived spiritually, and again I remind you of the meaning of that word. It means living according to God’s ordinances. As long as they were spiritual, God continued to protect them and to care for them, and even when they grew out of God’s favor and He would cause them to go away into different types of captivity, He still loved them. He still provided for them and He still used them so that at the end of their generation, that is the end of the Israelite people, they would be consumed or assumed into the kingdom of God which would be made up of all peoples on the face of this earth.
The Bible mentions here that in 1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 9 that “we are a people for God’s own possession.” This was the emphasis that Paul made in Titus 2 verse 14. It says, “Jesus (speaking of Jesus) who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all unrighteousness and purify for Himself a special people zealous of good works.” The King James Version says, “A peculiar people.” But what that means is a people of God’s own possession. So the children of Israel were God’s own possession. In the kingdom of God, which would encompass all nations of the earth as they obey the gospel, every one becomes a people of God’s own possession, that is a very special people because they have been called by the gospel as Paul mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2 verses 13-14. So it is God, through Christ, who calls or invites this whole world to become a part of His own special people, His holy nation, His royal priesthood. The people of God are referred to here in this verse and these are people who actually not only belong to Him but take His nature.
I want us to turn to 2 Peter chapter 1 verses 3-4 where it mentions these things and in such a wonderful way. It says, “And as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. So we, my friends, as God’s special people, as we have obeyed the gospel, are able to do what? Become partakers of the divine nature which takes us out of the situation where we subject ourselves to the lust of this world. We have escaped that corruption through Christ and we have access to God through Christ and then we become His holy nation, His royal priesthood. And we have obtained mercy. He has saved us by His mercy as these verses here in 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 9 and verse 10 where he said in verse 10, “Who had not obtained mercy but now we have obtained mercy through our Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Now in many ways, through the world, we as Christians are challenged on a daily basis to not be like Christ, to become not His holy nation, to become people who would not be recognized as His royal priesthood because we are constantly challenged by the songs that we hear, by the television that we may watch, by the movies that we may attend and so we see around us all of the time people who are not living as God wants them to live. This challenges us as Christians. My friend, we have a responsibility as God’s children to do something. Let me remind you of what Peter said here in the last part of verse 9. He said that we are His holy nation, we are His special people, that we might do what? “Proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We are to show forth the excellencies of Him. What does that mean? That means we live in our flesh as God wants us to live. We present not only that image to people we associate with on the face of this earth, but according to Ephesians 3:10-11 this image is also placed before the spirit beings in the heavenly abode. And so it is a great challenge to us. We’re not living lives unto ourselves, but we’re living lives as we live among those of this world striving to have them have a knowledge of the Word of God and an opportunity to also obey the cause of Christ.
So how do we show forth His Excellencies? As we worship according to His Will! We look into the Bible and we see how they early church worshipped and we decide that this is the way God wants us to worship Him. We don’t take away from or add to that. We are very cautious about how we worship God because Jesus Himself said, “But in vain do they worship Me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” We show forth His Excellencies in evangelism as Jesus evangelized the world and came to evangelize the world and as He sent His apostles to all the world to preach the gospel to every creature. So it is we also show forth His Excellencies by going out and proclaiming that gospel of salvation to all. In our lives we live in such a way that we are indeed His royal priesthood. We are indeed His holy nation. We are indeed His special people who have called us out of darkness into His marvelous light and we do it by showing forth our good conduct as Peter mentioned that we ought to live in such a way that our conduct is an example to the Gentiles and to all of those who are around us so that they might have a like opportunity to know Him, to obey Him and to have salvation.
Now the question for you this morning: Are you a child of God? Are you showing forth His Excellencies? Well you can’t do that until you become a Christian. We encourage you today after you have understood the necessity for you to believe that Jesus is the Christ, to obey Him by repentance and turning away from sin, by being baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins and then He will add you to the church and you will become a part of His royal priesthood, His holy nation, that peculiar people who will indeed show forth the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His wonderful and marvelous life. May God bless you.
(SONG # 3 - “Jesus Is All The World To Me!”)
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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How precious the people of God are to their Creator. May we always remember this and never take it for granted, for such a wondrous God is worthy of our full devotion and praise!