THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-8-06
LESSON TITLE: 'WALKING WITH GOD: BEGINNING OUR WALK WITH GOD"
It is great to have you with us this morning for the Living Word Program. We are excited to have you with us for this time of offering and praise to our God. We are glad you have chosen to be with us today, as we together study from God's Word and sing songs of praise to His name.
Let me encourage each of us this morning to do our part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now let's begin by approaching His throne in prayer.
In just two weeks it will be time to gather at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ building and to tape another group of songs to be used on this program. We hope that many of your will be present on October 22. I hope to see you there.
Now let's join in our first song of the morning. It talks about our relationship with God, as His dear children. So won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing the hymn, "Let Me Live Close To Thee!"
(SONG # 1)
The apostle Paul gives us many encouraging words throughout his letters to the different church. Over and over, I gain confidence from the things that he told the church of the first century, as well as those things he wrote to individuals - to assure their faith in Jesus Christ.
One such first which I find great comfort in is Romans 14:8. There Paul says, "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's." Here we are exhorted to understand that God is always with us anytime, anywhere. Whether we live or whether we die, we are not alone, because as he said, "we are the Lord's."
Now think about that last statement with me for just a moment. This idea reminds us that there is something we must do, there is a place we must be. Again, where are we required to be if we are always to have God on our side? We must be His, of Him, in Him and with Him!
Another verse I want to read that helps us with this same idea is found in Philippians 1:21, there Paul said, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." When are we going to realize that everything about life that really matters is center around Christ. Our daily lives must always be about doing His Will and pleasing Him. In fact, there is nothing else as important in life or which give us such wondrous hopes and promises.
The writer to the church of Philippi, also mentions here death as a gain. What could this mean? Well obviously, when we die as those who are faithful in the Lord, we have a great reward awaiting us. We are told it is better than anything on this earth or anything we have ever know. So, yes, it is and will be better to die.
Because of this, I often love to think about Heaven - don't you? We are told from a physical standpoint it will be comparable to a city with golden streets. It's entrances will have gates with precious stones covering them. We are also told that a mansion has been prepared for us there. How truly wonderful Heaven must then be in a spiritual sense.
Finally, we further know this about that celestial city, there will be no night there, no tears or sadness, no pain or sorrow. As the song say, "all will be glory in that land!"
So this morning make sure you are focusing your life here on this earth towards God. He is there to help you - "for me to live is Christ!" On the other hand, know that something better is awaiting all of us if we do what God wants. Death is not something to be dreaded from spiritual standpoint - for "to die is gain."
Today, we happy to have a new guest speaker with us. He is a new minister working with us at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ. He is also one of the full time instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank brother Chuck Northrop for being with us today and we look forward to him leading our main study from God's Word at the appropriate time. We certainly welcome this fine brother and we are glad he is with us today.
As far as our topic today, we will be concluding our series entitled, "Walking With God." Our specific lesson this morning will focus on, "Beginning Our Walk With God!" So, please stay with us and in a few minutes brother Northrop will return with this study from the Bible. Now it's time to join in our second song of the day, the name of the song, "Yield Not To Temptation."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Chuck Northrop
What are you worth? What is your value? I'm not talking about the value of humanity. I'm not even talking about the value of a world leader or some great statesman in the world's population. I'm not even talking about the value of some scientist who saved thousands, possibly even millions of people because of some cure that he has discovered. I'm talking about your value. What is your value as a human? What is your value as an individual?
Welcome to "The Living Word." During the past few weeks, we have talked about "Walking With God." In the first week of our series, we talked about "Walking With God." The second week, we talked about "Walking With The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit." The third week, we considered "Walking in His Commandments." Then we looked at "Walking in Love," and "Walking in Newness of Life," and "Walking in Light." During the past few weeks, we have talked about "Walking in Truth," and "Walking in Steps of Faith." Then last week, we considered "Walking Not in the Flesh," or "Walking Not in Darkness." But this week, consider with me "Walking With God in the Beginning," that is "The Beginning of Our Walk With God."
What is your worth? As we think about worth, several years ago I read about the value of a human is only $1.00. That's it. Just a single dollar. According to this article, if you would break down the chemical make-up of the human body and sell those various chemicals, you would get a dollar bill. That's it! That's all! Interestingly, I read a similar article just a couple of years ago and in which they said the human's value is the same, again basically was built upon the same premise, just a dollar. I thought to myself, "Just a dollar?" But I also thought, "Well what happened to inflation?" Well, you know inflation obviously is a part of that, but yet they still say that all we are worth is $1.00.
But consider this. Value is sometimes determined by the price one is willing to pay for something. That certainly is true with the real estate market. You know, we know that there are houses out in the middle of nowhere that people aren't willing to buy because of where they are and yet you take that same house and put it into a market in which there are those that would like to have that house, into a city where there is financial prosperity and where there is opportunity of service and those kinds of things, and when you put that house in that other market, then the value goes up. The same house, just different locations. So the real estate people say, "Location, location, location" because sometimes the value of a house is determined by location.
Antiques are the same way. If you look at antiques and you think about your life as you were a kid and the things that you had and you find that people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars for things that you only paid a little bit for when you were a kid. In fact, they say that, and I am not an antique expert but they say that sometimes the things of greatest value, as far as antiques are concerned, are things that were shared by everyone at that particular time. So what is the value of an antique? It is determined by the price that one is willing to give for that antique.
When we talk about one's value, it isn't about the chemical make-up of that person. It isn't the various chemicals that are found that can be distilled from that body, but the value of a person can be seen in the price that one is willing to give for that. Consider 1 Peter chapter 1, verses 18-20. Peter by inspiration of God, Peter the apostle said this, "For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold from your vain conversation as we see from the tradition of your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot who verily was foreordained from before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you." Now what is Peter saying? Peter wants us to know that we're not redeemed with silver and gold. We're not redeemed with money. We're not redeemed back to God because we have much money or because we are able to buy ourselves back with God. He is saying that we're not redeemed with corruptible things, that is those things that would be of material value that ultimately will come to an end. We're not redeemed with that. The man with the most toys isn't the winner necessarily. And so those kind of things cannot redeem us. But what has redeemed us or can redeem us is the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
What's my point? What does this have to do with beginning our walk with God? Our walk begins with the idea and the understanding that we are valuable and that Christ paid a price for us. Jesus makes it possible that we might be bought back, that we might be redeemed unto God. Our walk with God then begins with our understanding of God's light. It reminds me of 1 John chapter 3 and verse 16 where John writes, "Hereby perceive we the love of God because He laid down His life for us," and we ought to lay down our life for one another, for the brethren. Notice what is he saying there. Perceive we, here is how we can think, here is how we can know the love that God has toward us in that He laid down His life for you and for me. That's your value. That's how much you are worth.
In Romans 5, verse 8, Paul would write to the church at Rome, he said, "But God commendeth His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Again, we see our value, our worth in the fact that Christ died for us even while we were in sin, even while we were in opposition to Him, even while we were in enmity with Him.
So that brings up the old familiar passage, John 3 and verse 16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
But add verse 17 to that particular passage where he says, "For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that we through Him might be saved."
Love then becomes the motivation. We see our value because of His love for us, but that love should also motivate us. Jesus said in John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." You see the motivation there? Because we see the love of God, we then are motivated to keep commandments that Jesus has provided for us.
In John 15, verse 14, Jesus would say, "You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you."
But I'm reminded of the penetrating words of our Lord in Luke the 6th chapter in verse 46. Jesus said, "Why call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not the things which I say?" You see there are many people who recognize the love of God. There are many people who recognize the commandments of the Lord, but they don't do what God says. They understand that Jesus is Lord, that He is master, and yet they don't do what Jesus commands. They don't do what Jesus calls on us to do.
Consider this gospel sermon of Acts the 2nd chapter. In Acts the 2nd chapter, we find a marvelous lesson being delivered by Peter and the eleven. In that sermon, Peter points out first that "Jesus was a man approved of God." Then secondly, he pointed out that "Jesus was delivered up and put to death." Third, he tells us that "Jesus was raised from the grave." And finally, he says that "Jesus was exalted to the throne of God." But now notice the conclusion of this marvelous sermon. It is found in Acts the second chapter and verse 36. Peter says, "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God had made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ. Now, with that in mind, he brings it to a conclusion. He says, "Jesus is both Lord and Christ." He is Lord. He is Master of the world. He is the one that controls the world. He is the one who created the world. He is Master of the world. But He is also the Christ. He is the anointed one of God. He is the Messiah of the Old Testament. Now notice their response. In verse 37 of the text he says, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and they said, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'" It is interesting that they understood that they needed to do something. They understood that they just couldn't just hear the message and do nothing about it. They understood that there was something that they must do. So they asked Peter and the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
Now that we know that God loves us and that we are motivated to obey Him, does God's love have any impact upon our lives? God's love impacted those that were gathered in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost 50 days after the death of our Lord in Acts chapter 2 and they asked, "What shall we do?" If God's love impacted their lives should it not impact ours as well? If God's love impacted them where they asked, "What shall we do?" Should we not ask the same question: What shall we do? So what shall we do?
Well, we will answer this question with the book of conversion which is the book of Acts. In that marvelous book we learn that we ought to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God. We ought to believe that what Peter said in Acts the 2nd chapter. Peter's point was really again going back to verse 36 where he brings to a conclusion where he said that ye have crucified Him and that He is both Lord and Christ. But then we need to repent of our sins. Repenting is simply to turn again. Peter's response to their question, "What shall we do?" is that they needed to repent. They needed to again have a changed mind which results in a change of action. They were walking from God. But now they need to walk back to God. But then we should confess our faith in Christ Jesus. In Acts the 8th chapter and verse 37, after Philip had taught the Eunuch, the Eunuch said, "See here is water. What doth hinder me to be baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe, you may." And he said, "I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God." And we must be baptized for the remission of our sins. When a person is baptized according to the scriptures, he or she is immersed in water and is baptized unto salvation. Now notice this. In Christ, and we're baptized into Christ, in Christ is all spiritual blessings (Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3). lncluding in that spiritual blessings is salvation (2 Timothy 2 and verse 10). Now if salvation and also spiritual blessings is in Christ, then that's where I want to be. So the question is then: How do I get into Christ? Galatians 3, verses 26-27 answers that question for us. "For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Now then, since we see that the beginning of a walk is a response to God's plan of salvation, is a response to God's love, is a response that shows us our value and our worth, then we must continue faithfully in Him.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 beginning with verse 58, Paul would write to the church at Corinth and he says, "Therefore my blood brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
During the past few weeks, we have noticed a number of attributes in walking with God. Today, we considered beginning of our confidence. And so we ask, "Are you walking with God?" May we help you in any way. May we help you in your walk with God. If we can help, please, we beg you do not hesitate to call or write. Let us know. Remember your worth is declared by the price that God paid for you, the precious blood of Christ. One last exertation in Hebrews 5 verse 9, "Being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him."
(SONG # 3 - "Wonderful Words Of Life!")
Thanks for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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May we always walk with God according to that which we learn from His Precious Word. Therefore, from our first steps to our last, may they all be in turn with exactly what God commands!