THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 1-29-06
LESSON TITLE: "THE BIBLE: WE MUST OBEY GOD'S WORD AND TEACH IT TO OTHERS"
Jesus said, "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour the Lord is coming," Matthew 24:42. Are you ready for the coming of your God?
Good morning, and thanks for joining us for the study of God's Living Word on this His special day! We are glad you have put God first today and that you have decided to give this time to Him. It will be our privilege this morning to sing songs of praise, to study His precious Word, and to approach the throne of God in prayer. So, at this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me please!
Let's begin immediately with our songs of praise. The first song of the morning tells us that God is always there and calls us home! So won't you do your part in worship to God at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, "God Is Calling The Prodigal!"
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever worried about your salvation and wondered if you would make it to heaven or not? I think we all have struggled with the realities of life from time to time and when things get tough we often begin to question many things.
Well, the good news is, we are not alone. We find this same pattern existing in those followers of God throughout the Bible. For example, King David. David was a man of God who knew that he had made mistakes and sinned before his Creator. However, David also had the willingness to humble himself and repent of those sins in his life. He understood that he needed God and that if he asked for forgiveness and help, God would be there! In Psalm 51:12, the Psalmist made this request, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit." David here was pleading with His God to again help him find joy in the confidence of salvation. No doubt we have often longed for the confidence ourselves, that we can again be joyful and sure of the promises which our God has made to those who He loves.
I also think of the confident Peter, who said he would never forsake his Lord. In fact, he said he would even go his death for the sake of Jesus. We all know this story well, for it was not long before the rooster crowd, Matthew 26. Don't you know that Peter's confidence was shaken, and we certainly understand that his faith was in question! However, what did he do? Peter returned, repented and again followed. God helped him to restore the joy of salvation to his life and to once again get things on track!
So how about you, have you lost the joy of your salvation? Do you again need God's help that you might be held up by His strong and mighty hand. Why not turn to God today to assure yourself before His wondrous throne. We all need to rely more on the generous Spirit of God!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson topic today, we will be concluding our series on, "The Bible!" The specific lesson of the day is entitled, "We Must Obey God's Word and Teach It To Others!" So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes I will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "Hark The Gentle Voice Of Jesus."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you so much for continuing with us today as we look again to the series on "The Bible." In fact, we'll be concluding our series. And if you will, go ahead and turn to 1 Timothy chapter 4 in your Bibles. We're going to begin this lesson with a comment here made by Paul to this young evangelist in relationship to what he should do in his own life, as well as what he should do for others.
You know, as Christians, we have learned thus far in our series, as those who are interested in God and who love God, that we must know His Word and we can through the book, the Bible, and as we learn it that we must put it in our lives and obey it that we might be saved. And then after we have learned and obeyed and we are saved, then it is certainly of the utmost importance that we find a love and an interest for others that we might want them to be saved, as well. That's exactly what Paul is telling this young man here who is not only himself saved, but is willing to evangelize and do the work of an evangelist, and so he tells him to save himself, but not only himself, but others also.
I want you to notice there, if you will, with me in that passage, again 1 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 16. The Bible says, "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them for in doing this, you will save both yourself and those who hear you." Certainly what he is encouraging him with is not only the fact that he know the Will of God and to take heed to the doctrine, but to do it and to save himself. Then when he knows that he is doing what God wants and he has saved himself, he says to also tell others. And so when they hear, the idea is not that they just have heard what he says, but that they hear as well unto an obedience, that they hear and obey what they have heard that is according to the Will of God, that they might be saved as well.
Certainly again the Bible teaches us that we must know the Will of God and that we must obey it. When we read in different places like in the book of Timothy and we read the great encouragement that we find about how we must know the Word and strive to know and grow in it. Even there in 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 15, "To be diligent or study to show ourselves approved..." Why? "that we might be workmen who rightly divide the word of truth." Why would we need to rightly divide the word of truth? John 14:15 says, "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." Jesus said, "Know My Word and obey it. Keep My commandments." It also reminds me there of what the Lord said in Matthew, again chapter 7, around verse 15, we begin to see the discussion about those who were wolves and not of God and those who were in proper clothing and of God.
But then around verse 21, we read furthermore the idea that you and I must do more than just say, "Lord, Lord." In fact, the difference in what the Lord says really determines a goat or a sheep is one who does the Will of the Father. In fact, what He states there is, "Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" You see, it's whoever does His Will. God says, "Here's what I want. Here's My commands." And our objective should be to obey. And by obeying, what do we do? We save ourselves. We've read other passages in our series so far. Romans 1:16, "The gospel is the power unto salvation..." To who? "...to those who obey, to those who hear it and who take it in and believe unto it, an obedient faith, just like that faith that we read about as well in Hebrews chapter 11."
Not only that, we also move then to the concept of not only knowing ourselves and growing ourselves and obeying, but also needing to be evangelistic. The Bible tells us that certainly there is a great harvest to reach out to. There are many who need to know the Word of God and hear it. In fact, once again, as we hear the beautiful words of God, He encourages us to know that the harvest is plentiful. There are many who need to know His Will. However, the problem has always been laborers. What does that tell us? It tells us that we need to be laborers for God, laborers to fulfill the great commission.
We also remind there ourselves in our scripture references in Matthew 9 there in verses 37-38 where it says again that, "not only is the harvest plentiful but the laborers are few and pray that the Lord of harvest..." will do what? "...send forth laborers." Brethren, that's us. Friends, that is what we must be. The laborers and the harvest to those who have not yet obeyed. And so therefore we read passages such as Mark 16:16, to "go into all of the world." In Matthew 28:18-20, that we "go to every creature, every nation, and we preach the gospel." What will the gospel do? Save. Through what? Obedience. And that's why he goes on there in Mark to say, "He that believeth and is baptized..." Belief unto what action will be saved? You see, we need to save ourselves and we need to be willing to save others also. No doubt, that's why as well in the book of Peter, that we find our God is a God who is interested in those souls of mankind. In fact, it tells us in 2 Peter 3 and verse 9 that the Lord Himself is not slack concerning promises but He wants us and all to come to repentance. Well, how is that possible? That we know the Word and obey and that we teach others also. And as His servants, who else but us can teach it and proclaim the truth that we ourselves have already understood and believed and obeyed.
I might also bring to your attention there in 1 Peter. In 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 15 where it tells us, what will we do when someone asks us a question? There in that passage we read, "We must sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and always be ready to give a defense and give an answer to everyone who asks the reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." If someone asks me about the hope, about God, about salvation, about why I am who I am in the Lord, I must be ready to give an answer. If that's not teaching, if that's not encouraging others to know who God is and obey, I don't know what else could be. Certainly we must be ready. Certainly we must proclaim it, obey it and teach it that all of us might be saved. And again, not only as Timothy was told, not only that we might save ourselves, but that as well we might save others, also.
Well, it's not long before the concerns begin to come or maybe the excuses that we use, but "I just can't do it," or "I just don't have the abilities." I have always found it interesting that in our lives that evangelism is something that when someone wants to do it, they learn the skills to do it and it is not difficult for them to do it because what they have done prepared and committed the time to do it. You don't become a doctor by wishing to be it or hoping to be it. You've got to commit time. Any occupation, anything we want to become that is worthwhile takes time and effort and energies. And when we begin, we're not the best, but little by little, we grow and we gain. It's interesting in life as well that when we want to do things, we can. When we want to become good hunters or we want to become better at hunting, we study and we practice and we do what it takes. We'll take off from work and we'll go hunting and we'll take the time and effort and energy and money. But when it comes to evangelism, oh, I just can't do that. We begin to make excuses. Well, the reality is that you and I as the people of God are in the saving business. We are to understand that as it says in Philippians 4:13, "We can do anything with the help of God." With Him on our side, I cannot fail. Maybe I won't be the best evangelist or maybe I won't be the best soul winner or even the best teacher, but I won't fail because I am giving God His due. I am showing love to Him and giving my best. So just like when I commit myself to hobbies and different things that I like to do secularly and I become good at them and I enjoy them, why not in the things of God? Why not in the things of Christ? Why not prepare? Do we also use excuses in life when we do not have the time or the ability for secular things that we want to do? Well again, certainly we often make room for those things.
I want you now to go back with me to the text of where we began, to 1 Timothy chapter 4, and I believe we can find there in the last few minutes a few great lessons about a good evangelist. What does it take for me to evangelize as an evangelist, a minister, a teacher, as a personal worker, as somebody who goes out one on one or with my family or friends? What does it take? I believe He gave the answer right before He said, "Save yourself and save everyone else also." He gave the answers there beginning in verse 12. He said, "Timothy, don't let people despise your youth. He says, "Be an example of the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith and in purity." All of these areas. In every regard of your life, do what it takes to be an example of the believers. What more could God want? Do we not understand that our lives are probably the greatest lessons, the greatest sermons that we could ever preach? When people see in my life, in my words, God, what greater things can they see to know God than that? So certainly He says here, "Timothy, know it and live it. Live it in every word, aspect, deed, that others might see Christ in you." He tells him to, "Study (the next verse, verse 13) till I come. Give attention to (what?) reading, exhortation and the doctrine." He says to read it. He says to be encouraged through the Word because the Word can encourage and it tells us the promises of God. And furthermore, He states here, "Be one sincerely interested in doctrine." How do we know doctrine but it be from God? And what He requests and what he requires through His Word. So he tells him here first, live it and then study and study and study and grow more and more and become founded in doctrine by reading and by being encouraged in those things, and he says to use the talents God has given you (in verse 14). It probably was a miraculous gift that is mentioned here, but in relationship to us, we have been given talents by God as well. It says, "Laying on hands of the elder gave him abilities to do things that would prove he was of God." You and I can do the same. We can use our talents and people can see what I do and say and they can see that you're a child of God or when we say, "I'm a Christian," they know we are because of the fruits that we bear. So certainly He said, "Use your talents." And then He said, "Meditate on the life of a Christian." Verse 15, "Meditate on these things. Give yourself entirely to them that your progress might be evident to all, that everyone could grow and grow and grow, that everyone can see your growing, that your progress is becoming clearer and that you have entirely given yourself over to (what?) righteous things, to reading, to growing, to doctrine, to living the life, to talking the talk, to working everyday in all areas to the glory and the sake of God." And He also stated there as we read earlier, "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine and continue in it. Give yourself over entirely to God and take heed to the doctrine and continue in it." What does that tell us? It tells us there has to be a doctrine we can know. Where do we know it and how do we know it? The Word of God, once again. "There has to be a way that we can know the truth unto freedom," John 8:32, and it will save us, but then there has to be a way that when we tell that doctrine to others, evangelism, and that we also hear as we read in verse 16 "to not only save ourselves, but those who hear us unto salvation."
You see, the challenge is yours and mine everyday, not only that we know God and we love Him and we strive to serve Him, but that everything we do builds us up and encourages us and causes God and others to see Him in us that we are truly sound and founded in the teaching that we find from the Word, that we are taking heed and continuing daily in all these things. But not only that, but once we have secured ourselves and confident of our own salvation, then we must teach others also. We must be those examples that not only save ourselves, but care enough about the souls of others to teach them also that they might know God and enjoy the blessings of this life and the promise of the great reward of eternal life in heaven as well.
So the challenge is ours. Will we do it? Will we get up everyday and make the preparation, take the time, give the effort, use the money and do whatever it takes to bring glory to God ourselves in our own lives that we might be saved, and furthermore to take that energy and teach others also so that they might be saved as well and we might live eternally with our God.
(SONG # 3 - "How Great Thou Art!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an uplifting and an encouragement to all. Please remember that you are invited back 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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How blessed we are to have the truth, to be able to know it, and to find salvation through its teachings. Let's all teach others also about this saving message which comes from God.