Program Air Date - 1-8-06



This morning we assemble before a God who truly provides all of our needs. Just as the Psalmist confirmed in these words, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits!" David then went on to proclaim, He is the "God of our salvation!" (68:19)

We are truly excited to have you with us today as we together break the Living Word of God. We are certainly glad that you have chosen this day, to give this time to our Creator - so that together we may Worship and Praise His Holy name!

As we come together this morning, it is my hope and prayer that we will each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before God. As a collective offering of those who love God, and who are willing to submit their own sacrifices before His throne.

So, At this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:


One of the greatest blessings from God is the fact that He gave His only Son to die for our sins! This morning we want to begin with a song that reminds us of this great sacrifice which was made and what it means to each of us. So, won't you join in and participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "The Way Of The Cross!"

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS We mentioned earlier that our God truly cares about us and gives us those things which we have need of. But just how far is our God willing to go for us. I think Jesus put it best in Matthew 6:28-32, there we read, "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." You see our God does care for us as His Children. As a father He does care that we have food, drink, clothing and even shelter. How comforting it is to know that God provides the needs of those who love and obey Him.

A final verse I would like to mention is found in Ephesians 1:3, in this verse Paul said, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." So not only does God provide our physical needs but He also provides our spiritual needs. Thanks be to God for all He does for us! In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study today, will again deal with another lesson about the "Bible." The specific title of the morning is, "The Bible Bears All Authority Thus We Must Treat It With Respect."

As far as our speaker of the day, we are happy to again have brother Ted Clarke with us. Brother Clarke is one of the full time instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri here in Springfield and as well he is the preacher for the Marshfield Church of Christ. We thank brother Ted for being with us this day. So please stay with us for this study from God's Word, and at the appropriate time brother Clarke will be leading our main thoughts from God's Precious Word. Now let's join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "There's A Great Day Coming."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ted Clarke

Good morning. It's good to be with you again this morning on "The Living Word" Bible program. Our lesson this morning has to do with the authority of God's Word and our need to demonstrate respect for that Word. This type of program that we're delivering this morning is basically one for those who already accept the Bible as the Word of God and thus have some sense of it being authoritative in their lives.

I remember watching a television program at one time and hearing a lady on a talk show say that she was a Christian but she didn't let the Bible interfere with the way she wanted to live her life. Well of course when you look at the Bible like that, it doesn't have much to say to you. But if you look at it as the Bible claims for itself, the authority to direct and govern our lives, then it becomes the most important thing that we have in the sense of a guide or authority for us in matters religious. In fact, it is the sole authority in all matters religious.

When we look at creation itself, we can see that God exists. The Psalmist said in Psalm 19 and verse 1, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork."

Again, in Romans chapter 1 and verse 20, the Psalmist said that, "We can look at creation and gain from that the idea that God exists and we catch a glimpse of His eternal power and His Deity or His Godhood."

But beyond that, we cannot know much about God unless God reveals Himself in some special way, general or natural revelation through the creation itself is a way to tell that God exists, but we can't know what kind of God He is or what His Will for us is. That requires a special revelation.

In Jeremiah chapter 10 and verse 23, the prophet says, "Oh Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps." Jeremiah understood that man unaided simply could not know what God's Will for him was, and then carry that out in his life.

Our Lord, during His personal ministry, said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." And so we're interested in what the Bible has to say to us as the guide for our spiritual lives.

Now there are some things that the Bible does not reveal. For example, in Deuteronomy chapter 29 and verse 29, the prophet Moses says, "The secret things belong unto God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children that we may do the Will of God." And so we're not concerned about the secret things, those things that we might like to know about, that God has not chosen to reveal to us, but we are definitely concerned about those things that are revealed from God's Word that provide us the leadership that we need to live the proper kinds of lives.

In 2 Timothy chapter 3 beginning in verse 16, the apostle Paul said, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." If that claim of the Bible is true, then the Bible contains everything that we need to know to make us acceptable to God from a religious standpoint and provides us with all the information that we need to know how to live our lives and serve God acceptably.

Again, over in the book of 1 Peter chapter 1 and verses 2 and following, he says, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as His divine power has granted unto us all things pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and virtue, by which have been given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

So the Bible claims to be a complete and fully authoritative revelation from God to us. The claims of the scriptures themselves bear this out.

In Exodus chapter 4, for example, in verse 12, God said to Moses, "I will by with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shall say."

Again, Jeremiah chapter 1 and verse 9, Jeremiah is told by God, "I have put My Words into thy mouth."

And to Ezekiel in Ezekiel chapter 2 and verse 7, God says, "Thou shall speak My Words to them."

And then the prophet, David, says in 2 Samuel chapter 23 and verse 1, "The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me and His Word was on my tongue."

And again in 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 21, the scripture says that, "Men spoke from God being moved by the Holy Spirit."

So the Bible claims for itself that it is the authority by which we ought to govern our lives. Jesus Himself said that, "Men shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." What we have in the sacred scripture is literally God speaking to us through His selected messengers.

In the book of John, the gospel according to John, Jesus chose His twelve apostles to begin the ministry of the Word after He had left this earth. He says in verse 46 of John 14, "But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring you remembrance of all that I have said to you." The again in chapter 16 and verse 13, Jesus said in verse 12 beginning, He says, "I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now, howbeit when He the Spirit of Truth has come, He will guide you into all truth for He shall not speak on His own authority, but whatsoever He hears, He will speak and He will tell you of things to come." So our Lord inspired and equipped these men to go out and to preach and to teach His Word and of course as they went out and began to preach the gospel message, this was a new revelation from God. "The Old Testament and the Law of Moses was going to be done away in Christ and was nailed to the cross," according to Colossians chapter 2 and verse 14, but a new law was coming in its place and that was New Testament system that God had ordained. Accordingly, God had to be able to demonstrate through His messengers that they were indeed speaking on His behalf and He equipped them with the power to go out and to work miracles to demonstrate that they were indeed messengers of God.

In Mark chapter 16 and verses 19-20 after giving the great commission earlier in verses 15-16, it says, "So then after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God and they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word through the accompanying signs and so both the messengers and the message were confirmed by the miracles that the apostles and the prophets of the early church performed."

But God's Word was revealed and delivered once and for all. It was completely delivered just as we've already quoted from 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 16 and 17. Paul told the young evangelist Timothy that, "God's Divine Word would be a guide to completely furnish them unto every good work." Well, if they were completely furnished unto every good work by the revealed Will of God and its authority, then there was nothing left to be revealed or no other authority that could come to take their place.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 beginning in verse 1 and down through verse 14 that "The Holy Spirit would come and that it was guiding men like him as one of the apostles to reveal God's mind, God's Will to mankind." This wasn't the religion of the apostle Paul. It wasn't the religion of Peter or the religion that they had established and ordained. It wasn't from their authority that they were speaking, but they were speaking by the Spirit of God.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 and verse 9, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love Him, but God has revealed them unto us through His Spirit for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God, for what man knows the things of a man say the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, the things of God no one knows except the spirit of God." And Paul says, "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God that we might know the things that have freely been given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Spirit teaches combining spiritual things with spiritual words," the American Standard Version says there in that passage.

And over in chapter 14 and verse 37, when the apostle Paul continues his letter to he church at Corinth, he says, "If anyone among you thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let knowledge that the things that I'm writing unto you or the commandments of the Lord."

So it wasn't just the spoken Word, but it was the written Word that also was authoritative and binding according to the teaching of the apostle Paul and the sacred scriptures themselves.

If we are going to allow God's Word to lead and guide us today, we are going to have to recognize that it is truly God speaking to us. I don't have any authority to stand before you and this television camera and to teach you things that aren't revealed in God's Word and say, "This is what God's Will is for you," because I cannot know that unless God has revealed it, but God has revealed it, and as long as I'm preaching from God's Divine Word and providing book, chapter and verse, then that is authority that ought to be respected, not because of who I am, but because of the Word of God that is being presented.

Unfortunately, through the years, men have gotten away from the sole authority of God's Word and have gone to other sources of authority for what they teach and practice in religion.

Jude verse 3 says, "Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which has once for all been delivered to the saints." Now Jude wrote that in the 1 century. By the end of the 1 century, all revelation was fulfilled and God's Word was complete and it provided the perfect standard by which we ought to judge things religiously today.

We need to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. We need to do Bible things in Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names. When we have a "thus sayeth the Lord" for all that we teach and practice in religion, then we're respecting the authority of God's Word as we ought to do.

In John chapter 14, Jesus says, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me."

And down in verse 23, Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word and My Father will love him and we will come into him and make our home with him."

And so we need to be considering today to do those things that keep us in the love of God and that is doing His Word. We need to do away with all the manmade creeds and catechisms and church disciplines and manuals that exist that draw people away from the Word of God and focus their minds on the words of men. That's wrong! We need to return to the Bible and make the Bible our only standard of authority in matters religious.

We're trying to instruct the students that go through The Bible Institute of Missouri to take this approach to the scriptures and to be prepared to go out and to preach nothing but book, chapter and verse from God's Divine Word. We know that if they do that, they'll be drawing men to the only source of authority and demonstrating proper respect for God's Divine Word.

We encourage you to come by the school and meet with some of us and maybe even sit in one of our classes and hear us as we present the truth to these men and prepare them to go out.

We thank you for your time and your attention this morning and our prayer is that you will open your Bibles, read them and continue to consider God's Word as your only source of authority.

Thank you again.

(SONG # 3 - "Trust and Obey!")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. What a glorious time we have had before the throne of God. 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!

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

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

Many of these items are also available on our web page, that address:

Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

May we always honor and respect the Word of God as the only true authority from God. The Bible truly is a precious gift from God!

(Program closing)