THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 1-22-12

LESSON TITLE: “HIS OWN SPECIAL PEOPLE: SPECIAL IN NAME”

WELCOME

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one,” Colossians 4:6. What manner of speech do you present to God and this world? My prayer is that it is a speech with grace just as God commands.

Thank you so much for joining us on this the Lord’s day. We welcome you to our program on this his glorious day. And we commend you for putting God first and committing this time to Him on this beautiful and blessed morning!

I hope everyone is prepared to offer their best to God at this time as we approach His throne in prayer, song and in the study of His Word. What a wondrous and blessed opportunity this will be to completely focus and submit to the things of God.

Let’s begin our fellowship at this time, by approaching God’s throne in prayer!

(PRAYER)

Our first song of the morning challenges us to hear the voice of Jesus. So won’t you join in with the congregation in the first song of the day? The name of the hymn, “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling.”

(SONG #1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

As we read earlier, our speech is a powerful tool which can be used for good or bad. However, there are other things in this life that cause us to get down or to feel bad. When was the last time someone did something or said something that upset you? Was it today already, yesterday, last week, or last month? The fact is we get mad at people almost every day for things which they do or say against us. So what was it that he or she did to make you mad? Did they say something about you or were they talking with others about you. Maybe they said something to you that you didn’t like. Possibly they did something that brought you harm or pain!

Whatever the reason, we often get mad at others for things they do and surprisingly enough, sometimes they don’t even realize that they have done something to upset us. Were they teasing or joking with us or were they really talking about us to hurt us?

Let’s first be careful about judging the motives of those around us. In John 7:24, Jesus said, “"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” We must look beyond the face value of a person or situation and make sure we are making a proper judgement! But what do we usually do, we make a quick judgement without taking time to think it through. We make ourselves judge, jury and prosecutor within a matter of seconds. What type of judgement is this, righteous or unrighteous, wise or unwise?

The facts are, all of us like to jump to conclusions on these matters and we generally choose to get mad and get even now and worry about the consequences later. During these situations, isn’t our first reaction an “eye for an eye” or a “tooth for a tooth.” We seem determined to “get even,” by any cost or by any means. However, is this really what God wants? Look at what Jesus taught in Luke 6:29. There He said, “To him who strikes you on the one cheek offer the other also. And from him, who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.” Jesus said we need to learn to be better than those around us. Return good for evil as Christ would have us to.

Another thing to keep in mind, concerning getting even, is that God will take care of the vengeance. Paul said, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19. This is why Paul goes on to say in verses 20 and 21, “Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’” We must act as Christ would act, overlooking evil in order to do good. Thus, letting our enemies know that we are like Christ and not like them. Who was the wisest man that ever lived? Solomon. Look at what he said in Proverbs 22:20, “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil’; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.”

God will truly care for us if we will obey according to His will. How much easier it is for us not to have to worry about punishing others or getting even with them, because God has promised to take care of that for us. Who will you choose to be like God or your enemy?

Today we will continue with our series entitled, “His Own Special People.” Our specific topic of the day is, “Special in Name!” So I encourage you to stay with us this morning, and in just a few minutes I will be leading our thoughts together in this study from God’s Word.

Now it’s time to return to our songs of praise as we join together in the second hymn of the day. The name of the song, “Kneel at the Cross” (SONG # 2)



LESSON

By: Ray Sullins

Thank you so much for continuing with us now as we go to God’s Word and consider our second lesson in our new series that focuses on you and I, those who are followers of God being special people of God.

You might recall last week that we began there in 1 Peter chapter 2 and verse 9 where it says that we are a “chosen generation,” and we are a “royal priesthood,” a ”holy nation.” Then he makes the statement, “His own special people.” Certainly that’s where we have our theme taken from. But then if you’ll notice with me, he goes on to say in verse 10, “Who were once not a people but are now the people of God.” You see at one point, as the end of verse 9 says because of being in darkness, away from God, not having hope because God was not with us, we were not a people, rather we were just aliens, and we were scattered about this earth, not collected in or for God. But now with the fact that we are chosen by God and that we are special in God, we are now a people, and not just a people collected together but a people of God.

I want you to notice with me here within the context what he begins really to say concerning such things. You can actually back up into chapter 1 and we can begin to see a lot of really beautiful concepts and as we focus today on special names that are ascribed to those who are righteous or trying to be what God says. One we’ve just mentioned, “The people of God.” What could be greater than what we just think about in relationship to the Old Testament people and those of Israel were called, “the people of God,” or “God’s people.” But God said he would be their God and they would be His people. But if you’ll notice here with me in chapter 1, there in verse 2 he speaks of “the elect of God,” those who are elected or chosen by God, the same idea from chapter 2 and verse 9.

But now what I really want you to notice is around verse 14 because after he mentions the fact that we are to be those as God’s children who gird up our loins and who prepare ourselves and do what it is that God has asked, then in verse 14 he says, “as obedient children.” Wow! What another neat idea! Not only the “people of God,” “the elect of God,” but “the children of God.” What does this imply? The concept of having parents or a Father, God the Father and you and I being a child of God.

One of the reasons, to me, often it is so beautiful to think about that idea because we know that Jesus Christ Himself was the Son of God, a child of God and He was the child of God which certainly sets Him apart as God in the flesh, but yet we are still referred to as fellow heirs with Him as children of God. We are adopted in, drafted in to the people of God and therefore we are brothers and sisters as we might say with Jesus Christ Himself, God. He loved us enough to come live and die so that we might even become equal to Him in that realm of the family. So God the Father, and you and I as children of God. He doesn’t stop there. He continues on as we drop down and mention the fact that God is holy and then he says that, “We are to be holy.” There’s another very descriptive concept of those names that refer to those who are of God or those who are children of God.

Then as we move on down even into chapter 2 as we were looking at a moment ago, He begins to call us some other specific things. Look for instance around verse 4. “Coming to Him as to a living stone rejected indeed by men but chosen by God.” And now he says, “And precious.” Precious in the sight of the Lord! Think about as parents, our children. Think about as grandparents, our grandchildren. And think about how precious and dear and special they are, and now imagine how God feels. Not only are we His children through the gift of Christ, but we are actually created by Him, made by our God. Then He says in verse 5 of that same text, “You also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house.” He then refers again to the concept of a royal priesthood that he talked about last week, the idea here the concept of being a stone as it says here that God Himself and Christ was that stone, and other places refer to as the “chief cornerstone.” We are living stones or rocks that are building that building of God and as we said here are making up what are referred to as the children of God and the people of God.

That really leads us to the next idea because so far, we have really not focused as much on the idea of being a child, although we mentioned it in chapter 1 and we mentioned there the idea of the Israelites were the people of God, but do you remember also they were also called what? The children of God! The very children of God Almighty! What is it that children so often do so well? Well if you’re like me, you’ve seen many times your children imitate you and do things that maybe you wish they had never seen, to imitate things that you wish they would not have imitated, and sometimes they are good about doing that in front of folks that you would rather to not know. But yet they are still very honest and sincere in imitating us. Well what are we do as children of God bought and paid for, not only created but bought and paid for unto redemption? The ransom has been given that we might be set free through Jesus Christ. We find there in Ephesians 5, “Therefore, be imitators of God as (guess what) dear children.” What are we to do as the children of God? Imitate our God! So what does that mean? It means that there in Ephesians 5 when we are to look at God and look at the footsteps of Jesus as Peter said and see what it was that made Jesus so righteous, so holy, so perfect and we’re supposed to do our best to follow that, to imitate that, to get it right and to show God we love Him enough to keep His commandments.

You know names evidently are special. If God gave us so many names, they evidently must be very special. So if I think about these names and how God begins to ascribe these names to me, I begin more and more to understand just how special I am that He gives so many descriptive things to express who I am, who I should be and the rewards and blessings that I should have through Him.

I remember, as you well might, back in the book of Matthew, you might recall with me there the story of the coming of Jesus even in chapter 1 and the fact that prophecy was clearly given that through Isaiah and others they might know that as God’s people, the children of God, that there was something greater that would take place in the future. There was something wonderful that was going to happen. You might remember there with me for instance in verse 21 as we know that the angel had spoken to Mary, there in verse 21 it says, “And she will bring forth a Son and you shall call His name Jesus.” The concept of Savior. So here we have the idea right of the bat the importance again of a name, names ascribed specifically to Jesus.

And if you drop down, he then also refers to what was said in the book of Isaiah in the book of Isaiah the prophet when it was quoted, there in verse 23, “The virgin shall be with child and bear a Son and they shall call His name Emmanuel.” There it is again. Another important name! What does that mean? “God with us,” the text says. So Savior, Jesus, or Emmanuel, God With Us, Creator. We know that Jesus is called the Son of God, the Only Begotten Son of God. He is called Deity. All these names give us so much information and they are so precious because they are ascribed by God to His Only Begotten Son.

The same way is true I believe with us. God has given us these important names, the children of God, the people of God, the elect of God, the saints of God, the faithful of God… You can go to almost any of the introductions of the New Testament letters that were written, the epistles, and you see one enduring term after another concerning those that were faithful and those that were getting it right. And so what does it meant to be called these? It means that we are of God. What does it mean as we back up again to the book of Matthew and we see the name “disciple” ascribed to His followers? It means “a follower.” It means one who is willing to hear the teachings and not only hear the teachings but then to do what is taught and then to teach themselves.

Is that not what happened there as we find Jesus choosing 12 disciples in Matthew chapter 10? And He chose those disciples and what I really find so significant as we move later to what we refer to as “The Great Commission” even in the same book, Matthew 28. Do you remember what was said there after it says clearly in verse 18 that “All authority has been given to Jesus?” He then said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” You see He was telling His disciples what we often refer to as apostles to go and make what? More disciples! What does that mean? It means followers! Those who are willing to be what? Baptized! Those who are willing to be taught all things and those who are willing to accomplish God’s Will and not their own. They were disciples, followers of God!

I just wonder and I think I know, but I just wonder how proudly the apostles and the disciples of that day wore the name Jesus. I’ll tell you how proudly, so proudly that many of them were willing to give their own lives for the sake of Christ. Many of them were willing to die, to die for their God, to hold up the name disciple which gave honor again to God.

But there’s a greater name than that, a more wondrous name, a more identifiable name that we use on a regular basis even in our day. So I would that you would turn with me to Acts chapter 11. You might recall with me in this case that Barnabus and Saul and there in Antioch and they’ve been working as certainly Barnabus has been trying to help again, to help in trying to not only work with the church as Saul is but to make Saul, eventually Paul that we know who did so much for the sake of Christ. But as we look there in verse 26, notice what the Bible says. “For when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch…” Who? Saul! “For it was for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people,” and now notice, “and the disciples…” That’s the word we talked about a moment ago that the apostles used and the commandment God gave for them to make more disciples, those who would believe, follow and obey. “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Wow! Think about that. What’s the root of the word Christian? Christ! What greater name could we wear? And yet what more important could we understand than how precious that name is when we often throw that name around so carelessly? Someone says, “I’m a Christian.” You say, “Are you a Christian?” They say, “I’m a Christian. Everybody is a Christian.” Yet then you see someone say things they shouldn’t or do things they shouldn’t or go places they shouldn’t. Do we understand when we ascribe to ourselves the beautiful name, the special name of being a Christian? That we are those who are striving to be like Christ as dear children, imitators as in Ephesians 5 verse 1 that we saw. Isn’t that a beautiful idea? But isn’t there a lot of pressure in wearing that name proudly? You know if we’re able to be proud and wear that name then that means we have the confidence that we should have because we are doing what God has asked. But you know if we are not doing what God has asked, we can’t wear that name as proudly because we are not amongst the special people of God except we adhere to the things that make us such.

You know we as children of God, as those who are people of God, the elect of God, the chosen, as you might say the holy of God, the royal priesthood of God and as we even look at here Christians before God, we are a people, we are a people who were planned even before the world began. The name that was chosen for us, also planned before the world began, that we today might wear it proudly. Not because of our own arrogance or because of who we are or what we can do, but because of the wonder and the blessing of God.

Have you obeyed God today? Are you really a Christian? You know the Bible speaks of things required of one in order that they become a Christian or in order that they are added by God, not us, but God to His church. If you have confessed the name of Christ, if you have repented and turned from sin, and if you’ve been buried with your Lord and Savior in the watery grave of baptism, you are a Christian! God adds you to the church and then you have the right to remain faithful. But if you have not, if you have not done those things that are ascribed to becoming a disciple (Matthew 28:18 or Mark 16:16) then why not today? Why not today become a true disciple of God? Not because you think it. Not because you feel it. But because you are willing to do what it is that God commands. Will you submit today? Will you submit so that you might have your eternal reward in Heaven someday with God?

(SONG # 3 - “Just Over In the Glory Land”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

I hope you have benefited from our service to God this day. And we encourage you to join us every Sunday at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this sacrifice for God!

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How blessed we are to wear a glorious name from God Himself. Do we give honor to God in the way we wear it? If not, why not get your life in tune with the law of Christ today!

(Program closing)