Program Air Date - 1-6-08



Here we are, the year 2008 and we welcome you to our first Living Word Program of this exciting New Year. We thank you for choosing to be with us today for this time of offering and encouragement, as we participate in the things of God.

This program has always been committed to doing what God wants, in the way He wants. We accomplish this by collectively singing songs of praise to glorify His name. We also study from His Word, to learn what He wants of us. And we further, approach His throne in prayer, so that we may talk to our creator! So, at this time, let's humbly bow our heads before our God.


Now it's time to praise God through of first song together. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing about the wondrous hope and promises we have through Jesus Christ. The name of the song, "God Is Calling The Prodigal."

(SONG # 1)


Now that the crazy holiday rush is over, I hope we have all sat down, taken a deep breath and considered some of the new goals that we want to accomplish this new year. I think that often we plan to fail, mostly, because we fail to plan. In other words, we can do nothing and expect something good or great to come out from it. Obviously, it takes a lot of planning, patience, time, effort, and commitment to accomplish anything worthwhile in this life. As we all know there is nothing in this life worth anything that comes completely free.

With these thoughts in mind, consider with me that some have misunderstood or taken out of context the words of our Lord in the Bible in relationship to planning. In fact, many like to quote the verse found in Matthew 6:34. There Jesus said, "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." In this verse is Jesus saying don't plan or set goals in this life? Certainly not. What He is trying to say is that we don't focus and worry so much about what will happen tomorrow that we forget to do the things which we need to today.

Another verse which might help us to understand what God truly wants is found in Luke 14:28-29. Here again, we have recorded the words of Christ, as He said, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it; lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him." This verse helps us to see that Jesus knew it was necessary to consider tomorrow and the things concerning it - if we are to be good stewards of what He has asked us to do.

Now, in the same text, go back to verse 27 with me, where Jesus said, "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." So, Jesus was trying to say that part of bearing our cross and following Him is in finding out what He wants and planning to do it. You and I both know, that if we are going to be able to accomplish anything in any part of life - again, it requires good planning and execution of what we determine to be the goal.

So, consider today whether you have made the goals and plans necessary to accomplish great things for your Jesus. If not, then why not begin today taking the time to find out what Jesus wants. Then we can obey His Will and follow His Word, by executing those plans and goals which help us to accomplish it.

Today, I will be speaking on the topic entitled, "The Home Is Made Up Of Christians," This is our final lesson to consider in our series called "The Home As God Intends." So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God's Word. Won't you join in with the congregation as we sing our next hymn of the day? The name of the next selection is, "Hark The Gentle Voice Of Jesus."

(SONG # 2)


By Ray Sullins

Thanks for staying with us today as we now go to God's Word and consider a final lesson about "The Home as God Intends." We've learned so much together about the home and appreciate all the interest and all the contacts and those who have even requested tapes and transcripts. Certainly this is an important topic because it affects each and every one of us.

And so today, we want to include a lot of these thoughts by really considering a home that is made up of faithful, those who are faithful to God. But really what we want to look at in connection to that is the idea that is presented to us throughout the Bible. There are those that were faithful and homes that were faithful and notice the results of those homes.

One that might stand out first and foremost in my mind is the home of Noah in Genesis chapter 6. Then thereafter, we read of so many places in that text that talk about the faithfulness of Noah, but we are reminded about who was saved from the flood. In fact, even not only in Genesis but also in the book of Peter, 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 20. It tells us there that Noah, during an unrighteous period of an unrighteous generation, that Noah was saved. But notice who else was saved. It says there, "Eight souls were saved." You know what's neat about that thought? Of all the wickedness on earth, guess what. One family made it and that was Noah, his three sons, Noah's wife and the son's wives. And so this shows us a home that functions and is faithful to God. And what is the outcome of that home? As we read here in verse 20, "They were saved." They were saved. But now I want you to notice there again 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 20 what they were saved by, and the next statement that is made as it says there, "a few souls, that is eight that were saved," but it says, "by or through water." Think about the significance that water played, the significance of God teaching and talking to Noah and encouraging him. As we even find in the Hebrew letter, Hebrews 11, to "build an ark, an ark that was prepared to (do what?) save him and his family," those that were followers of God and they alone. Salvation offered by God to the faithful, the faithful family. And so in the ark they were saved through water, then let out on Mt. Ararat, and then they began to multiply the earth once again. They alone, that family, were existing after the flood.

And so now we read there in that same text however in 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 21 that "as Noah was saved by water that it says there is an anti-type that today or now saves us in this age. Notice what it says that it is. Baptism!

I want you to think for a moment about a home made up of Christians. What are those people? Who are those individuals and what are they required to do to be known as the faithful or as children of God?

There are many verses that we could look at but I would first of all turn with you to the book of Romans chapter 10 for here it tells us a lot about the concept of what is needed by a person who knows God. It says, "There with the heart one believes unto righteousness." So there is a need to believe with your heart, but in order to believe with your heart what must first happen? Look down to verse 17. The Bible says, "So then faith comes by hearing. Belief comes by hearing." Hearing what? "The Word of God." So we hear the Word of God. We develop belief. Then that belief turns into what? Faith. For we know that faith is separated from belief in the fact that it is active. So we hear the Word of God. We know God, and we believe it, but then faith means we act on it. We also know that because not only the verses we mentioned earlier, Hebrews 11, as it says, "By faith, they obeyed God," but also in the concept of James chapter 2. "The devils believe and tremble but they're not those of faith." So what is the difference? He says, "Well, you show me your faith without works and I'll show you faith by (what?) works. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead."

You see what we're beginning to understand is that one has to hear and then believe and to begin to demonstrate that faith. And as they demonstrate that faith, how is it that it must first be demonstrated? The same text, Romans 10 helps us. It says there in verse 9, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart..." You see we've already talked about the heart. We've already talked about belief. We've already talked about faith. What's a part of faith? Confessing this. Confessing it so that what? So that you might be, verse 9, saved, will be saved. Read also verse 10. "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." There it is twice. Salvation. What does it take to be saved? That one believes, acts on that belief by faith and as we read here, we find clearly the idea that that person demonstrates faith first by confession, confession.

There's another thing that you and I agree on and know certainly well that God requires for instance there as is found in Luke chapter 3. As we look there in that text, (chapter) 13 rather and 3, we find that it say that there is something needed. And what is that thing? Repentance. What does the verse say? "Repent or perish." What does it mean to repent? It means there in Luke 13:3 to acknowledge sin, to notice sin. Why? "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23. And once you repent of that sin, what do you do? It says, "You turn away, you change, you are transformed by the renewing of your mind," Romans chapter 12 verses 1-2, not like the world, but different now from the world, having made a metamorphosis and now something unique and different, a follower of Jesus Christ.

So confession, repentance that is required for if you do not repent you will perish. But then what else is required? Well we also know that after we have confessed and after we have repented and we have demonstrated that faith in these ways that there is something else that saves us. And how do we know that? We know that because we've already read it. In 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 21, "As by water, Noah was saved," it says, "Today we have a like figure, an anti-type that also saves us, baptism." You know the only thing about baptism though is that so many reject it as essential. Noah was saved by water. Why are we not also saved by water, when it states here that our anti-type, our like figure, that which is unto salvation for us is also baptism?

Why is it so hard then to understand, so hard to understand when men like John the Baptist in John came doing what? Baptizing. Do you remember that throughout the text as it talks about that he was coming to baptize and how many witnesses were baptized, notice there in verse 29 of chapter 1, "with water." Then as you'll move over with me to chapter 3 of John we again see the same idea as it says in verse 22, "And these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea..." and notice what they did. "And they remained there with them and baptized." What were they doing? Baptizing. Later in that same text we see who else was baptizing. John. Verse 23, "And John also was baptizing in the region." Look on down to chapter 4 and verse 1, "Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John." You see a baptism likened to John's, a water baptism essential to what? Wash away sins. Essential to what? Put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). How else do we put on Christ except by confession, except by repentance, and now as we see baptism for it is in baptism that we meet that blood of Christ (Revelation chapter 1 and verse 5) that the blood cleanses us and we are washed in our sins. (Acts 22:16 tells us there Paul being told by Ananias to "arise, to be baptized and to wash away his sins."

Turn with me then, if you will, to Romans chapter 6. As I have said, this is one of the greatest texts I think that shows us the "why" of baptism. Why would I want to get in water and get wet because God tells me? Well besides the fact that my God has said so, we read there the following in verse 3. "Or do you not know as many of you as were (what?) baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. If we are united in the likeness of His death, verse 5, "we also shall be united in the resurrection of life, the resurrection of the new man." And that's what verse 6 goes on to say. It says, "In and through baptism, our faith is demonstrated..." How? We now have repented and turned away from worldliness and sin. We've confessed the name of Christ and now we've washed ourselves spiritually and literally so to speak in a spiritual sense in the blood of Jesus signified in baptism that we might rise what? A new creature. As He died and was buried, we die and fully are buried under the water. As He rose, we rise and we are what? New creatures of Jesus Christ. How wonderful! How wonderful to know that Mom, that Dad, that the kids, the siblings, all are Christians as we have seen are heirs together of the grace of God, of salvation, of Heaven. We looked at that in previous weeks. But consider again how important it is that that affects each and every one of us because we know that is what God commands.

Another verse that helps me is in Acts chapter 2. There on The Day of Pentecost when the church was established, and we know that to be the case because in verse 47 it says, "Those that were being saved were added to the (what?) church." Well what were they doing, those that were being saved? Well if you back up to about verse 38, the Bible says, "After they had said, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'..." Here they are, they've heard the gospel preached. They've heard they killed Christ, and they say, "What shall we do?" Peter says, "Repent." There's that repentance. We know they've already said, "We killed the Son of God." Confess. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ." Why? To wash away that sin, to signify by faith your belief and to demonstrate it.

Then I'm reminded of a man named Naamin, a leper, one who said, "Oh I'm too big to get in water seven times to dip myself to get rid of my leprosy. Give me something real to do. Give me something of my stature, something that is worthy of me." Is that our attitude sometimes with baptism? Why not simply be satisfied with what God has said? Why not accept it and realize that baptism is not more important, but it is essential unto salvation so that one comes to a belief in Christ to demonstrate that in faith they must make that great confession, for without the mouth and confession being made with the mouth, one cannot be saved. One then must repent and turn away from that sin and acknowledge that I no longer will serve sin, but I'm going to turn to Christ and change and turn away from that sin. Therefore, without repentance one cannot be saved. Finally as well, one must be buried in baptism, washing themselves in the blood of Christ that they might rise to be that new creature. Why is it so important? For that is the anti-type that now saves us and one cannot be saved without baptism.

So I ask you this morning, have you confessed His name? Most say, "Yes." Have you repented of your sin? Again, most would say, "Yes." Have you been baptized with the knowledge of it's requirement unto salvation and its cleansing factor that sin is removed from the body and that we rise to be new creatures, that we are added by Christ Himself to the church, and as a part of the church, guess what we make up. The saved. Just as Noah was saved by water, we today in demonstration of our faith, confession and acts and baptism are as well saved. Will you obey Christ or will you follow man?

(SONG # 3 - "How Great Thou Art!")


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.

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

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May we all strive to fulfill our respective place in the Home as God intends. So that we will all be the type of Christians which God desires and thus receive the precious reward of Heaven together.

(Program closing)