THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-8-00
LESSON TITLE: A LIVING FAITH INVOLVES A HOLY ATTITUDE
It's great to have you with us this morning for the Living Word Program. Thank you so much for joining us in this time of offering and sacrifice to God. As always, it will be our privilege today to study God's Word and to sing praises to His glorious name. Please do your part in making this worship acceptable in His sight. Now, will you bow with me in prayer.
Today is the day for the Television taping of congregational singing for the Living Word Program. This afternoon from 2:00-4:00 p.m., we will be taping songs for weekly use on this program of God. The taping will again take place at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ building in Springfield, Missouri. We hope and pray you will join us for this time of work in the service of our Lord. Hope to see you there.
Let me also bring to your attention a special holiday, which will be coming up on October 28! This is National Make A Difference Day! In recognition of this holiday, we at the Kansas Expressway church of Christ would like to honor this day by reaching out in our community and helping to meet the needs of those in our area! We will be offering, free Bible materials, free clothing assistance, free food sacks and also free games and gifts for the children! This will take place at our building on North Kansas Expressway from 10:00 in the morning to 2:30 in the afternoon, again on October the 28. If you have needs, we hope to see you there!
Now it is time to join in our first song of the morning with the congregation. Won't you all join in as we sing together, "Blessed Assurance!"
(SONG # 1)
When was the last time that you saw someone walking near, or by your house and got suspicious. Maybe it was a car which was following you for a little to long or just a little to close. Some of us may have been in a store or a mall and thought that someone was watching us or again following us around. As we think about these examples, we are all reminded that we live in a very suspicious society.
Some of our suspicions might be merited in the fact that there are many today who don't respect the things of others or who have lost respect for human life. However, I feel most of us have gone to far the other way to the point that we automatically suspect everyone and everything!
One writer made a worthy comment on this topic that I would like to share with you. He said, "we often confuse the concept of suspicion with caution." I think everyone realizes that it is alright to have a healthy cautious attitude in certain situations, due to the facts which have been presented. Actually, caution is a characteristic which is based on one examining the facts and safeguarding ones self against possible dangers or misfortunes. On the other hand, suspicion is a vague belief or fear with the concern that something may happen, but it is usually based on no substantial reasoning or facts.
So you see, as Christians there is nothing wrong with being cautious in our relationships or our activities with others. However, we must be careful not to get caught up in the characteristic of suspicion, which focuses on ideas and stereotypes which have no real foundation in everyday life.
Now, how does this relate to our lives as Christians? In Matthew 5:37, Jesus said, "Let your yes be yes and your no, no!" We should be able to be taken at our word, as well as accepting the word of those we live with in this world! May we all strive to follow the Biblical principle of giving others the benefit of the doubt, so that we may believe in and trust others in this life, just as we want to be trusted ourselves.
Again today, we want to continue our study on a true Living Faith. This morning we have a guest speaker with us who will cover the specific topic "A Living Faith Involves a Holy Attitude!" Our guest speaker is Nathan Adams, minister for the Rogersville Church of Christ. After our next song together He will return with this study from God's Word. Now let's again join in song. The name of this hymn, "I Will Sing The Wondrous Story."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Nathan Adams
Good morning and thank you for joining us as we study God's word this morning. We will look at a living faith that has a holy attitude in our lives. It isn't often easy for an individual to claim to have faith or to simply state that they are a Christian. It is something entirely to demonstrate that faith in your life and to demonstrate Christianity in every day, in the every day that you live. We demonstrate our faith and our Christianity in life by our speech, by our love, by our compassion, and by our obedience to God.
Anytime though that you discuss the attributes of faith or a living faith, you must always go to Hebrews chapter 11. We sometimes call Hebrews chapter 11 the hall of faith because of all those wonderful individuals that we find there that the Bible says that by faith they did certain things, by faith Noah built an ark, by faith Abraham left the land when God told him to leave and went not knowing where he was going but still went because of his faith in God.
One of those individuals listed there in Hebrews chapter 11 is a man named Able. Now most of us know the story that Cain and Able were the first sons of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 4. And they went out and they went to sacrifice to God. Now Able was one who tended flocks and the Bible says that Cain tended the fields. And they went and they offered their sacrifices to God and God accepted Abel's but rejected Cain's. And Cain became quite angry. He became angry because Abel's sacrifice was accepted and his was not. And God spoke to him about it in Genesis chapter 4 beginning in verse 6 and said, And the Lord said unto Cain, Why aren't thy wroth? And why has thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shall thou not be accepted? If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door and unto thee shall be his desire and you shall rule over him. Cain did not listen to God. He did not listen to God as God admonished him about his anger and about the possibility of sin lying at the door of his life and instead he allowed that sin to come into his life and to come from that door and to enter into his life and manifest itself when he allowed himself to become angry and to kill his brother, Able.
We're not here to talk about Cain this morning, but we are here to talk about Able. Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 4 says that, By faith Able offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain by which he obtained by witness that he was righteous. God testifying of his gifts and by he being dead yet speaketh. By faith, it says. By faith, he did these things. In other words, what the Bible is saying there is that it was obedience. It was by faith. It was because of what God had told him to do. We're told that Paul told the Romans that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So that by faith or by what he had heard from God and the belief that he had in what he had heard, he did it in a way in which God was pleased.
In Romans chapter 1, verses 16 through 17, Paul says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith as it is written the just shall live by faith.
We have faith in God and in His word which prompts us to obey. We learn those things however from God's word. None of us would know what we need to do to be acceptable to God except that we have learned it from the word that God has provided for us. It is the pattern of faith.
Now when we want to build something or we want to put something together, say a model airplane or even build a house, something that large, you know you need a pattern. You need a plan. And we look at that blueprint and we look at that plan and when we build it according to that, then we get what that pattern intends for us to build. At the end, it will look like that. And it is the same way with God's word. It is a pattern. It is a blueprint for life. And if we build our lives and construct our lives in accordance with the pattern that we see there, we will get what God has said that pattern will build and that is a faith-filled life.
Notice that Paul states there also in Romans chapter 1, that he says, Therein is found the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. And he's talking about there that we get our faith from the pattern of faith and that's the faith part. But he says, Therein is revealed the righteousness of God, and the therein is found in the previous verse when he says that that is the gospel of Christ that he is not ashamed of.
This morning, we are talking about the living faith that comes from that pattern of faith found in the gospel of Christ and the fact that a holy attitude will be found in the life that has that living faith, in the life of an individual that has the living faith that comes from that pattern of faith that God has provided for us in the Bible. When we talk about holy attitude, we need to understand and know what holy means. What is holy? I mean when you tell me that I need a holy attitude or that I need to be a holy person, you know Nathan, what exactly are you telling me? Holiness is moral and ethical wholeness and perfection, freedom from moral evil. It is used most often to describe the perfection and the flawlessness of God Almighty Himself.
Able was quite obviously a person that had these holy attributes, the fact that by faith he offered a more excellent sacrifice shows us that he was an individual that was wanting to serve God. He was an individual that wanted to please God in the things that he did. I believe also the fact that he is mentioned with men such as Moses and Abraham and Enoch illustrates to us the kind of man that he was and the holiness that his life portrayed.
Applying our definition of holy to our attitude says that our desires and emotions and ultimately our actions are dedicated to moral and ethical wholeness and perfection, and that we seek to free ourselves from things that would be morally dangerous or morally evil. Our attitudes point us in certain directions. Ungodly attitudes will always point us in sinful directions. Godly attitudes will purposely move us away from those things which are Godless and sinful and will move us toward righteousness and holiness and to be more like Jesus Christ. In our society today, people seem to have lost the definition of what true morality really is. They say, "Well, you know Christianity is a morality." And when somebody says it in that particular way, that is just not true. Christianity is not a morality. Christianity is the morality. Our attitudes must be defined when we look to have a holy attitude which moral and ethical, that moral and ethical attitude must be defined by God's word. The only place that you find morals. The only place that you find true ethics. Everything outside of Biblical morals is immoral. We must define our morals and our ethics as God has defined them, not as we would like maybe to define them.
We see Able offering a sacrifice with an attitude of holiness and seeking to please God. We too, must be prepared to offer a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.
In Romans chapter 12 and verse 1, it says, I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.
Notice what Paul told the Romans. Give yourself. Give yourself as a living sacrifice. In other words, we must sacrifice our desires and our wants to what God commands and demands and desires of us. Even in a living sacrifice though, there are some things that we must put to death. In Romans chapter 6 and verse 6, it says, Knowing this that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed that henceforth we should not serve sin. So who is this old man that we are to crucify or that we are to put to death here in Romans chapter 6? It says that, It is the body of sin.
In Ephesians chapter 4, verses 22 through 31, now if you have your Bibles there with you as you are watching, I hope that you will read along with me. He says that, You put off concerning the former conversation, the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lust, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind and that you put on the new man that which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole, steal no more. But rather let him labor working with his hands the things which is good that he may give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communications proceed out of your mouth. But that which is good to the use of edifying that it may administer grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you're sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking be put away from you with all malice.
Paul also tells the church at Collosae, in Collossians chapter 3 and verses 9 through 10, Lie not one to another, seeing that you have laid off or put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.
So we see that the old man that we put to death, that old man that we crucify as Romans chapter 6 says, that is the man of self, the part of self that is selfish and desires to do things that are sinful. It is the self of selfishness and sin. We sacrifice and put to death those things that are opposite of God so that we can be acceptable to God.
Ephesians told us that if we would do those things and we would put on those, we would put that man to death, and we would put away those things that characterize him, that we would be recreated with righteousness and true holiness by God Himself. A holy attitude will direct our lives to be a living sacrifice which is holy and acceptable to God every day by putting to death those attitudes and desires which are unacceptable to God. When the living faith produces a holy attitude, then we have a renewal of our minds. All of the text that we have just previously read and referenced to this, all talk about renewing our mind or renewing our knowledge.
Back to Romans 12 and verse 2, the next verse after the one that we read says, And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed. How? By the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. We see that the true transformation takes place by the renewing of our minds but with the holy attitude that desires that moral and ethical purity. If we fail to renew our minds then we fail to be transformed into that living sacrifice in the image of Jesus Christ and we will by default be conformed to this world. The Bible speaks very plainly that we do not want to be conformed to the world, that we do not want to be a part of those things that take place in the world.
1 John chapter 2, verses 16 through 17, John says, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world, and the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
1 John chapter 4, verses 4 through 6, John says, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore speak they of the world and the world heareth them. We are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God heareth not us, hear by we the spirit of truth and we know the spirit of error.
John continues in chapter 5, verse 19, when he states, And we know that we are of God and the whole world lies in wickedness.
It is quite obvious that our living faith and the holy attitude which must accompany it, must not come as a result of the world around us. It must come as a result of being transformed, not being conformed to the world. We must be transformed, and the way that we do that, Paul says is to renew our minds.
Well why is the renewing of our minds important to our living faithfully or having a living faith or being holy in our attitudes? You might ask why is that? Why would that be so important? Because the renewing of our minds means a changing in the way that we think and the attitudes that we have. A holy attitude by necessity must come from a holy mind which has been renewed or which has been built up in the knowledge of God and only through that can we offer a more excellent living sacrifice in life. We must replace the sinful knowledge that we have, in that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but we must replace the sinful knowledge that caused us to commit those sins with a Godly knowledge that will cause us to live faithful to God.
Jesus Christ said in Matthew chapter 6 as well as in Matthew chapter 12, that the renewing of our mind is important to our attitudes and actions because it is where everything that we do comes from. When I make a decision to do something, it is because my mind has made that decision. It is because it is there in my mind. The heart or mind is where everything that we do, every attitude that we have and every word that we speak and every obedience has its origin. The heart is the birthplace of faith in your life and it is thus also the birthplace of a holy attitude seeking those things which are righteous and pure in the eyes of God.
The way we ultimately find the purity and perfection we seek in a holy attitude is through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, that we access by the grace of God through obedience to His divine will. That includes both the mind or heart in our actions in life. God is the God that sees the heart and expects us to be a people of pure and holy hearts. Take care of the heart and I can promise you that it will take care of your life. Renew it if it is conformed to this world. Transform it by renewing your mind that you may be a new man or new woman in the image of Jesus Christ having sacrificed that old man to be a living sacrifice to God Almighty. Seek a holy life with a holy attitude and just as able by faith a living faith, you can live a holy life that is acceptable to God which is your reasonable service.
(SONG # 3 - "Almost Persuaded!")
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged by our time together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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May we all learn to have a greater Faith in our lives, which exemplifies a Holy attitude, as our God is Holy!