THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-5-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD IS UNCHANGEABLE"
Thank you for joining us this morning, let me welcome you to the program. The Living Word is a work of our Lord, dedicated to doing God's Will in His Way! As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise and to study from His Word. In these acts of worship, may we all be encouraged, but ultimately may we each praise God according to the sacrifices to offer toward His Throne. It will also be our honor this morning to speak with God through prayer. Will you bow with me as we talk to our creator?
Our first song this morning is a beautiful old hymn which challenges us to strive for the best we can as Christians. Are you reaching for the stars as a child of God for the sake of your Creator? Won't you join in with the brethren at this time as we sing together, "Higher Ground!"
(SONG # 1)
The Internet is an unbelievable tool in our day and time. You can find anything you need on it. Most things are very worthwhile, yet others are worthless. Practically every day, I receive really good stories and illustrations that help me to be a better person. One really neat article I received reminded me of how great my God is, the one we all serve. One excerpt from this email went like this:
When I fall, He lifts me up! When I fail, He forgives me! When I am weak, He is strong! When I am lost, He is the way! When I am afraid, He is my courage! When I stumble, He steadies me! When I am hurt, He heals me! When I am broken, He mends me! When I am blind, He leads me! When I am hungry, He feeds me! When I face trials, He is with me! When I face persecution, He shields me! When I face problems, He comforts me! When I face loss, He provides for me! And when I face death, He carries me Home!
What a beautiful and wondrous statement this is about our all encompassing God, who provides our every need and relieves our every care. I think we often forget just what type of God we serve and all that He truly does for us.
Another statement in the same article said this about our God, "He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way - He is God, He is faithful, I am His and He is mine!" Praise be to God for these precious promises and truths which we all must believe in. In fact, think how much easier life can be if we but put our trust and faith in a God like this.
As the encouraging old song said, "without Him I am nothing." But remember what the Apostle Paul said, "with Him, I am and can do everything". Get back to serving this almighty God today, or if you are not presently doing His Will - Start serving Him today, according to what He commands. As we have seen together, it is worth the effort, it is worth the price. Will you put God first in all things?
It is great to have brother Ted Clarke, with us this morning as our guest speaker. Brother Clarke is the minister for the Marshfield Church of Christ and he is also a full time instructor a the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us and look forward to him leading our thoughts from God's Word at the appropriate time.
As far as our study of the day, we will again be considering "God Is For Me." Our specific lesson of the morning will cover the truth that, "God is Unchangeable." So please stay with us and after our next song we will be led in this important study of the morning. Now let's again join in song together. The name of this hymn, "Does Jesus Care."
(SONG # 2)
By Ted Clarke
Good morning and welcome to ""The Living Word" Bible Program. I am Ted Clarke and glad to be back with you.
Our subject this morning deals with the changeable nature of God. The word sometimes "Immutable" is used in describing this attribute of God. It simply means that He is steady and He is there and He is unchangeable in His essential attributes. Those things are things that are a blessing to us when we stop and think about His dealing with mankind.
When we talk about the attributes of God, we talk about His omniscience or the fact that He is all knowing and God has always been and always will be all knowing. Those are things that we can appreciate.
God is all-powerful, omnipotent. There is never a time that God has had less power than He has right now. He has always been all-powerful.
He is omnipresent in our lives, that is there isn't anywhere that we can go where God is not there and does not know what is going on in our lives. Psalm 139 rehearses that wonderful attribute very clearly.
God is also infinite in His love and His mercy and His justice and His benevolence, in His eternality, His purity, His holiness, His grace and His righteousness. All of these things work together for us. Psalm 56 and verse 9 says, "When I cry out to you, then my enemies will turn back. This I know because God is for me."
What we are going to be talking about this morning is how God is for you in His unchangeable nature. Most of us like things to be predictable, to be the same. We lament when things change that we like. We get a particular kind of shampoo that we like to use and if they change that, we find that somewhat disturbing. We might drive the same make and model of car over and over again because we like that and if they change it in ways that differ greatly, we don't like that. We like for things to stay the same. In some instances the unpredictability of things is just very disconcerting. But with God, we can know that He does not change and that He stays the same.
In Psalm 102 verses 24-27 the Psalmist said, "I said Oh my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days for your years are throughout all generations. Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure. Yes, they will all grow old like a garment. Like a cloak you will change them and they will be changed, but you are the same and your years will have no end."
In the book of Malachi chapter 3 and verse 6, God says, "For I am the Lord, I do not change."
Then in James 1 and verse 17, James tells us "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
Then Hebrews 13 and verse 8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."
There are three areas that I want to discuss with you this morning briefly in areas of God's unchangeableness where we can be comforted and know that God is trustworthy and that if we follow Him and what His word says, we will be indeed blessed. The very fact that God is unchangeable brings confidence and the peace of mind.
The first area that I want to discuss is in the area of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is unchangeable in the presentation of Jesus Christ as our Redeemer. God intended from the very beginning for Christ to come and to die on the cross for our sins and to be there as our Savior and our Redeemer.
In 2 Timothy chapter 1 verses 8-9, he says, "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor me as a prisoner but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God..." Now listen! "...Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our words, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began."
Another way in which Jesus is the same, yesterday and forever is pointed out in 1 Peter chapter 1 and verse 20. The apostle Peter says of Jesus that "He indeed was for-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest or revealed in these last times for you."
We can have the full confidence that God intended for Christ to come and to suffer for our sins and to redeem us and that there has been no change I that plan from the very beginning before the foundation of the world and Jesus Christ continues to be the only Savior that God has set forth for the redemption of mankind.
In John chapter 14 and verse 6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but by Me."
Now that bothers some people because they like to think that salvation maybe can be found in Buddha or Krishna or even Mohammadism, but the Bible, if you believe it, says that there is no other way but that through Jesus Christ. That hasn't changed in the thousands of years of human history. God intended and He set His plan in order and at the appropriate time, Galatians 4:4 said, "In the fullness of time, God sent forth His son, born of woman, born unto the law that He might redeem those under the law." That will not change! The same gospel plan of salvation that Jesus Christ set forth in the Great Commission for us to believe in Him as God's Son, to repent of our sins, to confess His name as Lord and to be buried with Him in baptism, to be raised with Him to walk in newness of life will be in effect until the Lord comes again.
Hebrews 11:6 talks about the necessity of our faith.
Acts chapter 17 and verse 30 talks about the essential nature of repentance and that is our turning away from sins and turning to God.
Romans chapter 10 verses 9-10 speak of the need to confess Christ with our mouth.
And of course, baptism, as Paul notes in Romans chapter 6 verses 3-5 is an imitation of Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
God isn't going to change His plans in the middle of the stream, so to speak. He doesn't have to get out to the line and scrimmage and see that the opposition is different that what He wanted and (inaudible). He has His plan set forth and it will be enforced until Jesus comes again. We have an unchanging Savior, an unchanging gospel plan of salvation. Despite the fact that there are those that claim they have had latter day revelations from God, that just simply is not the case and that leads us to our second point and that is that God's Word is unchanging. It is final and complete in the way that it has come forth from God Himself through these selected messengers.
In Matthew chapter 4 and verse 4 when Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He said, "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
In Matthew chapter 24 and verse 35, Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." God's word is unchanging. It will last. It will endure.
In 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 16-17, Paul said, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable..." Listen now! "...Is profitable for doctrine, for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be complete, furnished completely unto every good work."
2 Peter 1:3 says, "We have all things pertaining to life and godliness given to us through a knowledge of Jesus Christ."
Then in Jude 3, Jude says, "Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you concerning our common salvation, I was constrained to writing to you, exhorting you, to contend earnestly for the faith which is once for all delivered unto the saints."
God's Word is unchanging. If we have a Bible, we can take that Bible and know that that is God's Word today just as it was 2,000 years ago or 4,000 years ago going back to the Old Testament. So we are thankful that God's Word is stable and we're thankful that God has revealed to us what His Will for us is so that we can know and do that Will.
Then finally, God is unchangeable in regards to saving institution, which He ordained here on earth. The church kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will not change. There is not going to be any earthly kingdom of 1,000 years when Christ returns. Christ is reigning now over His kingdom, which is His church, His body, and He is the Savior of the body according to Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 23.
The apostle Paul said in the book of Colossians as he wrote to the saints there that "we are in Christ." He said there that, "You are in Christ and to be in Christ is to be His body, the church..." But then in verse 13, he said that, "God has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son." God was doing that 2,000 years ago. He is still doing it today and we are a part of God's precious kingdom.
Then in the book of Revelation chapter 1 the apostle John says in verse 6 that "God has made us a kingdom and priests to His God and Father to whom the glory and dominion forever and ever."
Then in verse 9, John says, "I, John, your brother and companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." So the kingdom existed in the 1st century. It still exists today. It will continue as it is until the Lord comes. Then the Lord will take us back to be in Heaven with God for eternity and turn the kingdom over to God. (1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 23-26)
Oh brethren and friends, these are precious truths that we have that we can know that God has organized a plan for us and that He has the power and the wisdom to carry out that plan and there isn't any force in Heaven or on earth that can change what God has set forth for us. We can take full confidence in knowing that God's Word and in knowing that the teaching of God's Word is what will judge us in that final day. We don't have to wonder if we are being acceptable to God and worry about whether or not God has revealed to us what His Will is. The scriptures affirm that they are God's Will. They affirm that they will stand until the Lord comes. All we have to do is study that precious and divine Word and we'll know whether or not we are doing what God's Will says we must do. God is unchangeable in His nature. He is not going to come up with a different plan of salvation at the last minute. We can know that if we study God's Word and remain faithful in it that we will receive the promised blessing.
No matter how badly some might want to change these things about God's Word; Christ will remain the same as the only Savior and the only Way to salvation.
God's Word will remain the standard by which we will be judged and by which we ought to live our lives today. There is no changing that in spite of what others might say. The church kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the body of the saved now and will be the saved that are taken to Heaven when Jesus comes again for them.
These are precious truths, brethren and friends, that we can take great heart in because God's Word has been revealed and we can know it and live it in our lives and be with Him when this life is through.
(SONG # 3 - "The Great Physician!")
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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May we always look to our unchanging God and know that we can have full confidence and trust in all that He has said and done. Our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!