THE LIVING WORD TRASCRIPT
Program Air Date – 11-11-12
LESSON TITLE: “THE CHILD OF GOD.”
Solomon once proclaimed, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” How are your words spoken and then perceived? Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.
Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won’t you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer.
As those who love God, do we hear, believe and act on the words of our Master? Well, if not we need to learn to heed the words of our Savior. Let’s sing about this wondrous truth of the friend we have in Jesus, who has prepared the way for all of us. So, won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing together, “There’s Not A Friend!”
(SONG # 1)
How many times have we said something we regretted? When was the last time you said something you wish you could take back? Words are so very important! However we often throw words around and say things that really aren’t worth repeating.
On one hand, words can do so much good and can accomplish so much, because they encourage and edify the hearer. While on the other hand, words can do so much harm, tearing down, hurting and even damaging the hearer. No doubt this is why we read the words which Paul spoke to the church at Ephesus, “Let no corrupt word precede out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29. There we have it well summarized; our communication should only benefit those who hear it. Making them better people, encouraging them to be more Christ-like. Also notice that the idea of undeserved favor is mentioned in this verse. We say that which is good and right, no matter who we are talking to - whether they deserve it or not!
There is a final reason why our words are so important. Read with me the words of Jesus found in Matthew 12:37, there He said, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Also look back in verse 36, where He said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment.” There you have it, our words are of the utmost importance because by them we will be judged in the last day. Either found justified before our God for the good we say, or condemned by God because we have misused our words.
Think about our fruits this morning. Isn’t that how people know what we are all about. Again back to our text in Matthew 12, back in verse 35, Jesus prefaced His comments by saying, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” As we stated in the beginning, People will either know we are of God or not by what we do and say. Again, not forgetting that our words will either prove us acceptable before God or condemned? Are you using the proper type of communication in your daily life - that which is to the glory of God?
This morning we will continue our series of study entitled, “What Is Man?” Our lesson today deals with, “The Child Of God.” So please stay with us through our next song and in a few minutes I will return with this study from God’s Word. Now it’s time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “Prepare To Meet They God.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
In Psalm 8 we have been considering together a series that is entitled, “What is Man?” and the verse there says what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that really you even consider him. What is man? What is it that God has done for us that we even today breathe and exist and live on this earth? I believe together that we have done so many things as those of God that will help us to understand just how much God has loved us and just what He has done in order that He has created the earth and placed us on the earth giving us dominion that we might be those that truly with a soul and with the ability to make a choice can follow Him and be found faithful. What is man? Men are children of God.
As we back up to the very beginning of time we begin early on to see really the contrast between what even is referred to there in Genesis 6 in Noah’s day as the sons of God, as contrasting to the sons of men. With that in mind it begins to talk to us and to help us to understand that there was a clear distinction in relationship to the creation of God called man. There were those who chose to follow God and there were those who chose to reject God. Do you notice how enduring one of those terms was, sons of God and daughter’s of God? We go on and we think about Israel the people of God as they were called the children of Israel. The children of who? Well, yeah sure they were the children of an earthly Father, they were children of Israel himself but they also were called the children of God. Then as we move over into the New Testament, guess what, the same descriptive concept and title that refers to God as a Father and you and I as children is applied. So we begin to see clearly what the Bible says an answer to what is man, we are children of God. Yes, we have studied about the fact that we are created by God, we are made in His image, we are made in His likeness, we are given the soul that is housed in this fleshly body that was made of the earth. We have talked about all of these things but what does it really mean to be a child of God, especially in the New Testament, and we will begin there in the book of 1John and if you have a marker in your bible you might want to mark 1John because we are actually going to come back there several times and look at different passages. But first of all in 1John 3, I really love the way that this chapter begins there in verse 1, as the Bible says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us…” What is that manner of love? How far has God gone? He goes onto say, “…that we should be called children of God…” Oh wow, did you hear that? What love, what love not only to be created but then to be given a title of a child of God, a son of God, Christian. What beautiful, beautiful thought and how encouraging that should be to us because this really in a nut shell shows the power of God’s love. Now how did he do it? Well, he had to give His own Son, His son had to die on the cross, and suffer a cruel death, and then He had to rise on the third day. Jesus had to die and shed His blood as a sacrifice that you and I might be called children of God. That we might be given the opportunity as Gentiles to be in the family of God, that we might be as the Bible says engrafted into hat family. You see God loves us, what manner of love, what greater love? Jesus actually proclaims the fact, what greater love has anyone than to lay down his life for a friend, and that is exactly what Jesus our friend did. In John 15:14 we learn that if we are His friends in return what will we do? Keep his commandments. Do you see what a friend we have in Jesus? Do you see how much He loves us? Do you see what manner of love was bestowed upon us that we were given such a name as the very children of God almighty?
Another natural step within the concept of children is found over in the book of Galatians and as you turn there to rather Ephesians 5, I want you to notice with me what Paul is saying to the Ephesian brother and maybe apply that a little bit to what we know of even our earthly fathers and children. How often do your children or your grandchildren imitate you? Have you ever caught them doing something that you are doing, or trying to imitate something that you have done, or saying something that you have said? Well you see we all have seen that and we all ourselves when we were growing up wanted to imitate or be like those that we looked up to. Well what about as children of God? What about as we look up to our Father? I love it here as Paul so clearly to the Ephesian church in Ephesians 5, says this in verse 1, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” There it is again, the concept of God the Father you and I being children of God and then He actually goes on to describe the concept of walking then in the love of God, and in the light of God, and even wisdom. He goes on to clarify what that walk is all about if we are to be true children of God. But did you notice there the key element in verse 1, “…be imitators of God...” Well why, because children imitate their parents good or bad. Good or bad your children and your grandchildren have imitated you, sometimes you wish they didn’t but when we have a perfect example like God and we strive to imitate God as dear children we can’t go wrong. We can’t go wrong because then we will be in the light and not in darkness, then we will be in the love of God and not outside of the love of God. Then we will be those who are making decisions and discerning in a very wise way based upon the reality of God’s word and the reality of God’s truth, so are you a child of God? Are you a child of God who strives to imitate God? Who strives as we have seen to look up to the father and to then do those things that are characteristic of the Father.
Well, what is characteristic of the Father? I mentioned that we would return to the book of 1John, we want to do that at this time, we want to actually go the same chapter there because guess what he goes on to describe later in chapter 3 after he is saying wow what love God has to give us the opportunity to be sons of God, to be children of God. Notice what he goes on there in verse 9 to say, he says this concerning the child of God, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in Him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. Well, what does it mean to be born of God? Well it means you do not sin, but look at what verse 10 says, “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest…” Do you mean I’m going to understand what it means to be a child of God or the opposite which is a child of the devil, yes. It says whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is He who does not love His brother. So what is it that shows us to be children of God? Verse 11 says, “For this is the message that you have heard form the beginning, that we should love one another.” Even back earlier in verses 6-7 we learn that righteousness, when we strive to be righteous as He is righteous we are practicing something that shows that we are of God. The child of God then does not sin, cannot engage in darkness for there is no darkness in God at all, 1John 1. God does not entertain sin and we should not either, we must stay away from that which is contrary to the will of God and as we learn hear as children of God, show ourselves to love God and those around us and to strive for that righteousness that God proves and really displays that we might learn from it in His word.
Then I want you to notice also clearly there the opposite. You know I’ve met folks before that are good people but they are not religious people. Folks who don’t really engage in a lot of the things of the world and maybe even things that we would say like bad language, or alcohol, different things that certainly would not be becoming of a child of God. Yet do you know what the Bible tells us that you are either a child of God or you are a child of the devil. That doesn’t meant that you worship the devil directly, or that you are praising him, or that you are going to a church service or an assembly to worship him but what it does mean is that you are either serving God or you are not. So are you a child of God or are you a child of the devil? By rejecting God if you have not obeyed His will and if you are not submitting to all that He has asked guess what? You do not serve God you serve the devil. So today we would encourage you to know God, and to follow God, and to obey God, and to do everything that He has commanded for that is the only way that you might be able to correct that error in your life and to become a true child of God; for we know what being a true child of God means and we know the reward that we will look at in just a moment.
In the book of Philippians we also are led into another thought in relationship to being children of God because as children of God not only is there this element of not sinning and striving for righteousness but here to me in Philippians 2:15 he really brings it down within the concept of the world that we live in because we know that we live in a very sinful and wicked world. Notice with me what verse 15 here says, he says, “That you…” that is those who are children of God. “That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” That we might do what? That we might not only become children of God but what kind, well that righteousness means harmless and blameless. That we not only acknowledge sin but we have turned away from anything that would hinder us from serving God, anything that is of this perverse generation and world, the wickedness that would keep us from God for sin separates us from God. But what can we do as children of God? We can follow the character of God, we can follow the plan of God, and we can follow the love that God commands us to have not only for Him but for one another. In fact again in the same book there 1John 5, there is a long discussion in relationship to chapter 4 saying God is love and that we must love God, and we must respond to that love not only toward God but toward our brethren and the fact that we cannot say that we love God whom we have not seen and hate our brother whom we have seen. But then in verse 2 of that text he then says brethren, “Brethren, do you not know that you must love one another.” Do we love each other? Do we love each other as children of God? You know in a family, I think about my family I have got a daughter and two sons and a lot of times they really go after it. Sometimes they get irritated at each other and they try to provoke one another and they get into fussing and arguing and we are reminded that even in the family of God such can happen. So what do we need? We need to have love, we need to have compassion, we need to have forgiveness, we need to have the ability to understand that in the family of God as children of God not only do we need to respect the Father above but we must respect our spiritual siblings, those who are in that family with us. Are you one who loves your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you treat them in a fair and proper way? I hope so because that is what God commands; if we are truly to show that we are His disciples.
But you know of all these things as we talk about this morning and the fact of again the reality that we are children of God, I want you to notice with me what we begin to see in Timothy. In 2Timothy there in chapter 2 we find in verse 19 that there is something that is true about God and what it is that is true is this, verse 19, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His.” Did you know God knows His children? What about you? Do you know your children, do you know your grandchildren? Sure you do, you have probably got a picture that you would like to show me wow here’s my grandchildren. You are proud of it, you know who your children are and you want to be known by them and you want to know them and you want to be able to encourage and to help and to show them the love that is required in a family. Well guess what our Father the Lord knows those who are His. Now how does he know? We are imitators, we love Him, we love the brethren, we are showing forth righteousness, we are trying to be harmless, and we are trying to be blameless. You see we are trying to do all of these things that we have been discussion this morning to prove not only that we know what God wants, but we are willing to wants, we are willing to do what God commands. You see it is not enough just to know and to say well I believe, we must act on that belief. You see the true friend is one Jesus says who loves Him enough to obey His commandments. The true, one who loves God, proves it by faith an active faith just like those of Hebrews 11.
Our final verse this morning and discussion will be taken from Romans 8 and I really just want you to see it because it really summarizes well what we have been discussing this morning. Notice what it says, the spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. God knows those who are His, the very spirit of God that dwells in us but then in verse 17, notice the promise, “and if children…” those that God knows, “and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” What do you mean a child of God is an heir? Well, aren’t earthly children heirs of certain things from the family? If we are a true child of God we are recipients not only of the rewards of God but those that God knows are His, He will save and He will make an heir with, with Christ. Was Jesus His son, certainly, we are sons and daughters of God. Let’s live in such a way to prove to God and the world that we are His true children knowing that the blessings and promises are surely worth our every effort.
(SONG # 3 - “Purer In Heart O God!”)
Let me thank you again 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 also 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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Isn’t it wonderful to be a child of God and to know that we have such a loving and caring Father? Won’t you imitate you God today and every day? Won’t you give Him you very best in every moment of life? The fact is, the blessing and promises of God are surely worth our full effort!