THE LIVING WORD TRANSCIPT
Program Air Date – 1-24-10
LESSON TITLE: “EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES: THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU FREE”
In Ecclesiastes 12:13, the wise man Solomon said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.” Today, it is my hope and prayer that we have all come together, before the throne of God as complete servants. Which means we are all those who fear God and keep His commandments.
How glorious it is to assemble this morning, and to come before such a mighty and awesome God, to worship and praise His name, as He has commanded. So thank you for joining us and for doing your part as we offer these sacrifices to our God.
At this time, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Our first song of the day talks about the blessed assurance we find in God. So at this time, let me encourage us all to join together in this song. The name of the hymn, “Blessed Assurance!”
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever met anyone in this life who thinks they are perfect or maybe they just act like they think they are! No doubt we have all met a few. The reality is, in all of the arrogance and pride of this world, we certainly find many who think they are the cream of the crop! Now the problem with this type of thought is that God says that we all have sin. So how could anyone of this earth really be perfect?
However, let me remind you this morning, of one who truly is perfect and good in every way - our God! I love the way David put it in Psalm 18:30, there 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.” Here we find that God’s way is perfect and through history He has proven it. But we also find in this verse that our God is a shield and there to help all those who follow Him. Wow, isn’t this comforting? To know that our God is perfect and yet He loves us enough to care for, protect and guide us in all walks of life.
But now back to us, are we to be perfect? The Bible says, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect,” Matthew 5:48. In this passage Jesus Himself clarifies that our goal must be to strive for perfection or completeness! But again, can we accomplish it? The reality is, as humans who love and follow God; we still mess up, make mistakes and sin. No matter how hard we try, we will never be perfect as God is. However, what God has asked of us is that we strive toward that goal and do our best. And if we do our best we will be seen as perfect and complete before Him, thus by His grace and mercy we will receive the reward. So, are you striving for perfection? Are you trying to be more like your Creator?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on God’s, “Exceedingly Great And Precious Promises.” Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” So please stay with us for this study from God’s Word, and we will be lead in these thoughts at the appropriate time.
As far as our guest speaker. We are happy to again have brother Jerry Sullins with us. We thank Him for helping us this day. Now let’s join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “A New Creature.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I would like to welcome you all to The Living Word broadcast this morning. We’re so thankful that you’re viewing this television program and we hope and pray that it will be a great strength to all of you and also help you to understand what God’s Will is for you in this day and time.
We want to certainly extend our prayers to all of those people who are suffering in the country of Haiti. Having lived in a third world country for 20 years myself, I know that there is great pandemonium in that country now. So many people are suffering. It will literally take years upon years to recover and to rebuild the devastation that has taken place in the structures alone and so many years in the hearts of those people to renew their confidence and strength and to rise up again under such horrible circumstances. So our prayers are with those people and with that government and we pray that they will receive assistance and the help that they need and be able to endure this great time of trial in their lives.
We are considering for these weeks to come “God’s Great and Precious Promises.” One of those great and precious promises we might just call truth, for it is in truth which some have defined as the essence of the matter that we find out how God really loves us in that he made certain that we would be able to know truth and to obey truth and have everlasting life.
As we turn to the pages of God’s Word we can certainly notice that much is said by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ concerning the truth. It was He that said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Now of course he was talking about in matters of spiritual things. That is you shall know the spiritual truth and by obeying that truth you will be set free.
It was this same Jesus who said in John 17 verse 17 to His disciples, “Sanctify them in thy truth. Thy words are truth.” So that truth is displayed to us in truth.
It was the same words that Jesus spoke as He referred to Himself in John 14 verse 6 when He said, “I am the way, the truth and the light. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” So Jesus is that truth.
He said that the words of the apostles would be truth and how would they know that truth? Well He stated in John 16 verse 13, “How be it when He the Holy Spirit has come He will guide you into all truth.”
Well certainly it would be a world that would be almost unbearable if we could not know the truth that God has given us an opportunity to know through His Holy Word. And so this morning we are going to examine some of the matters that pertain to truth as we see it in God’s Word.
As we said Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
But isn’t it a shame that some people today say that it is not possible to know the truth? In fact, they say in their agnostic beliefs that it is impossible to know anything for sure. Well now Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Can we not believe that? Well if we can’t know it, then what is Jesus? If we cannot know the truth then Jesus is lying to us because He said you can know it and by knowing it and obeying it, basically is what He is saying, then you can be set free. Of course He is talking here about being set free especially from sin.
Well Paul believed that he knew things. Remember what he said in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 1 when he was speaking about our bodies. He said, “For we know that if this earthly house or our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building in heaven not made with hands and it is eternal in the heavens,” and certainly he went on to say that or meaning in this scripture that that truth is something that we can know because we know that that place is there for us according to the truth. We also see as Paul said in 2 Timothy 1 verse 12 as he was referring to knowing things. He said, “I know in whom I have believed,” that is Jesus, “I know in whom I have believed,” and he said that “in every way this Jesus Christ was able to keep that which He had committed unto Him against that day.” What a wonderful and beautiful assurance that the apostle Paul felt, but he felt this assurance because he knew that Jesus Christ His Lord was the very essence of the truth.
We spend time just for a few moments so let’s turn to 1 John chapter 5 and I want to show you what he said here or read to you what he said in verse 13, 1 John chapter 5 verse 13. Here John says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” He says that he is writing these things so that they may know that truth that gives them eternal life.
Then in verse 15 he said, this is 1 John chapter 5, “And we know that He hears us whatever we ask.” And he went on to say, “We know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Another statement of actually knowing things.
Then in 1 John chapter 5 verse 18 John said, “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin but he who has been born of God keeps himself and the wicked one does not touch him.”
He went on to say in verse 19, “We know that we are of God and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
And then in verse 20 he said, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true in His Son Jesus Christ, this is the true God and eternal life.”
So is it possible for us to know things today? Well certainly it is! Is it possible for us to know the truth? Well certainly it is! Jesus said, “You shall know the truth.” The apostle Paul believed it. Peter believed it. The New Testament Christians believed it. We believe it today because that truth is found in this Word of God.
Now my friend, I want to point out to you something about the truth. It is impossible for us to believe that Jesus indeed said, “You can know the truth and the truth shall set you free” unless we have belief that the Bible is God’s Eternal Word. It was God Himself who said through the Holy Spirit, through the one who wrote the book of Hebrews in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 6, “For without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto Him for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek after Him.”
So I am not asking you to believe in truth without a basis for that belief. But that basis is in your faith in understanding that this is indeed God’s Word.
Was it the Psalmist that said and certainly it was in Psalm 119 verse 105, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my pathway.”
And well did Paul say to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17, “All scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
So in order for us to believe that truth is what it is we have to believe that the Bible is indeed God’s Word. It is the infallible. It is the all sufficient, inerrant Word of God. It is His Word that has been given to us and the Bible embodies the truth that God would have us to believe. It gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
So to know what truth is we have to understand that there is a standard that we must believe in. That standard is His Holy Word.
I know in serving in Africa for so many years, my wife and I were there for about 20 years living in Kenya and also in Botswana and in Zambia, and we had opportunity to present to many people who were hearing for the first time the gospel or anything about the Bible. And so I had to start out with proving that the Bible is God’s Word and sometimes even approving that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of the Bible, and then prove that the Bible is God’s Word. But I said to these people, “In everything you have to have a standard and in matters of religion, matters of faith, there must be a standard.” And after proving to them that the Bible was that standard then they were able to begin their walk of faith and to really understand what the truth is. Now what I would do is I would say, “How many centimeters wide is this Bible, and how many centimeters long is this Bible?” And I would call on the audience to answer and there would be so many different answers. I would say, “The only way you can tell exactly what the measurements of this Bible would be that you would have to have some type of a ruler, a standard, and so when you put the standard on the Bible you find out it is so many centimeters high and it is so many centimeters wide and then everyone can believe. And so what we do is we prove to people that the Bible is indeed God’s Holy Word and I can prove to you and by faith you accept it because it is based upon evidence and by doing that you can certainly know what the truth is and how the truth will set you free. So it is our rule or standard!
Was it not Peter who said in 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 23 that, “We are born again not of the corruptible seed but of an incorruptible, the Word of God which lives and abides forever.” He said in a verse prior to that, “You have purified your souls.” Listen! He said in 1 Peter 1 verse 22, “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth.” Where is that truth found? In the Bible! The last verse of that chapter (chapter 1) of 1 Peter 1, the last verse says, “That word is the gospel which was delivered unto you.” Now there my friend is truth from God! That’s the standard which we can accept and we can know is truly from God and then we can accept the statement and believe the statement that Jesus made, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Now who did Jesus give His truth to? Well we know that all authority had been given to Him in heaven and on earth. We know that in Matthew 28 verse 18. He passed that authority on to whom? To His apostles. We said, “How be it when He the Holy Spirit has come, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) But we noticed that Jesus said when His disciples were still upon the earth, He was speaking specifically to Peter on this occasion in Matthew 16. His other disciples were around and He later told them in Matthew 18 the same thing that, “I will give to you the keys to the kingdom of heaven and whatsoever has been loosed on earth has already been loosed in heaven and whatever you shall bind on earth has already been bound in heaven,” is what Jesus is saying. So those apostles were given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. These men as well as other men would be inspired of the Holy Spirit to write down these words of truth.
If we had time this morning, you may would want to write it down and read it later on.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verses 10 and then verses 12-13 we see where the apostle Paul even claimed to have that same inspiration that he was not speaking the wisdom of men but he was speaking the wisdom of God.
We might want to know Colossians 1:17. The apostle Paul said to the brethren, to the members of the church in Colossians 1 verse 17, he said to them that what he was teaching them was the truth and he said, “Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of or by the authority of Jesus Christ.”
My friends who are listening this morning and my brethren, is it not important that whatever we do in the name of religion we have book, chapter and verse? How is it we could believe that we are following the truth if we cannot find the authority for what we are doing in God’s Holy Word?
One of the things that we have asked many of our students in Africa, and we have graduated over 140 there in Zambia, and many schools are teaching men to go out now and preach the gospel, one of the things that we tell them that you must ask yourself before you practice or do or say anything in religion and that is, “Where is the authority? Where is the truth? Where is the essence of what God wants us to do? That essence is the truth that we can base what we practice, what we say upon. I believe certainly that is something that we must do. In fact, that is exactly what the apostle Paul was saying when he stated in Colossians 1:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Now how can I know that the Bible is truth today? Well certainly that is another study. I wish we had time to actually talk about that. By the way, that may be Colossians 3:17. My mind went a bit astray there! “Whatever we do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus Christ.” You might want to check Colossians 3:17.
But I want to encourage you today, my friends and you, who are of the church, do not sacrifice the truth for anyone or anything. The writer of the Old Testament said, “Buy the truth and sell it not.”
Jesus died. He said, “I am the truth.” And He died upon the cross to institute truth for us, to put in place truth whereby we would be saved, be able to be saved and whereby we also would know how to live in this life. We need to be conscious of that. We need to understand that God is a loving and merciful God, but He also is a God that demands of us that we not only know the truth and is found in the pages of God’s Word but we do the truth also.
As we go back to what Jesus said, what a beautiful statement in John 8 verse 32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” I encourage you in every way this morning as you are listening to and watching this “Living Word” broadcast that you strive in your life in every way to follow after that truth. Search for that truth and follow after that truth and certainly God will bless you in the end.
(SONG # 3 - “Faith Is The Victory!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Thanks be to God for the Truth which offers us freedom from a lost and dying world. The question is, will we respond to the truth which God has offered, will we obey His precious will to be righteous in His sight?