THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 11-16-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD IS TRUTH"
Welcome to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord's Day. What a privilege it is to have you with us today, as we together give this time to God. I know that we will all be encouraged and uplifted by our time together this morning. So, let's give our best to God so that He may be pleased with our offering. Furthermore, let's do all things according to His will - so that our worship will be received by Him in a good and perfect way. Now, let's approach His throne in prayer!
Today I am excited to say that we begin using our newly taped songs. So, won't you participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together the song, "A Wonderful Savior!"
(SONG # 1)
In James chapter 4, verse 8, we read a beautiful thought from this inspired writer of God. The first part of this verse says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." Wow, what an encouraging and great statement this is to those who love God and want to do His Will?
This statement says so much to the true follower of God. It tells me that the more I love God and do for Him the more He loves me and does for me. The more I live for Him and stand in His promises, the more He helps me to be what I need to be. The more I give to Him and commit my life to Him, the more He blesses and blesses. What a great incentive and motivation we have to respond to the wondrous love God has already shown us and draw nearer to Him.
I also wanted to look at the same text and see what part of our duty is in drawing near to God. First as you look at the second half of the verse we read earlier, it says, "Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." So drawing near to God is all about putting away that which is contrary to Him. Staying away from sin and darkness and completely turning our lives over to Him, as we strive for righteousness. Yes, following and serving God is all about being in the light where He is, not about being of the world or controlled by those things contrary to His Will.
Finally, look with me in the same passage, but one verse back - verse 7. There we again find an important part we must play in our drawing nearer to God. Furthermore, we are told of the great results when we are able to fulfill this command of God. There it says, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." There we have it, submit to God - learn His Will, find what He wants, and do it His way. Now notice the results of this action toward God. When we submit to God and draw nearer to Him, we will automatically resist the things of Satan, and thus the devil will leave us alone! What a wondrous promise this is to the ones who choose to submit themselves totally to God.
Today, it's great to have brother Ivie Powell with us as our guest speaker. Brother Powell is now preaching for a congregation in Rowlett, Texas. He has been in Springfield preaching a gospel meeting for us, and we are glad he was willing to lead our lessons thoughts from God's Word today.
As far as our study, we are continuing in our series on, "God Is For Me." Our specific lesson of the day is entitled, "God Is Truth?" So, we hope you will stay with us for this important study from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our second song of the morning. Won't you join in with the congregation as we sing the hymn, "Amazing Grace."?
(SONG # 2)
By Ivie Powell
"The churches of Christ salute you," Romans 16:16.
Thank you for being with us today and I want to thank brother Ray Sullins and the good brethren at Kansas Expressway for allowing me to be with them during the gospel meeting. Also we would encourage you in the audience to attend the services of the church of Christ this Lord's Day. If you have any questions about any particular subject then be sure to write brother Sullins here at the station and he would be more than happy to study the scriptures with you.
The Psalmist declared that, "The firmament showeth His handiwork," in Psalms 19 verse 1. And so one can observe from nature that there has to be a Supreme Being. But out of sight of the Word of God, one does not know anything about that Supreme Being.
The Bible lets us know that, "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth," Genesis 1:1.
Concerning Almighty God, the scripture also states in Psalm 90, the latter part of verse 2, "From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
John, in the Revelation chapter 4 and verse 8 states there, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty which was and is and is to come." Our Heavenly Father is THE source of all that is good, of all that is right, and of course this includes truth.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from the Father of lights with whom is no variation neither shadow of turning," James 1:17.
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who have all men to be saved..." Now observe, my friend. "And to come unto a knowledge of the Truth," 1 Timothy 2 verse 3-4.
God is Truth. God is right. Remember that, "The devil is the father of all lies," John 8 verse 34.
John lets us know in chapter 1 and verse 17 that, "The law came by Moses, but grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ." In other words, Jesus Christ is the source, the one and only source, the dependable source of Truth.
Concerning Truth, God would have us to understand that Truth as revealed in scripture will make us free. "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free," John 8:32.
Now pause and think about that verse for just a moment, please. One must hear Truth, believe Truth, obey Truth, live in accordance to Truth in order for them to be saved. Now if one hears error, believes error, obeys error, lives according to the error, then they will not be saved. It is absolutely important that we obey the Truth.
In 2 Thessalonians 1 beginning at verse 7 reading to verse 9. Paul lets us know, "Unto you who are troubled, rest with us. When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." So my friend, it is absolutely important that we turn to the source of Truth, the scriptures that we might learn Truth, and be obedient there unto.
The greatest problem we have is not the economy. The greatest problem we have is not crime. The greatest problem we have is sin. I recognize that these are offshoots, the problems that we have because of that, but man's greatest problem is sin. "When a person commits sin, they become a bondservant of sin," John 8 verse 34. Sin literally enslaves a person and there is no power to break that enslavement other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's why the Lord would have His preachers to preach the Truth.
When you turn to 2 Timothy 4 and you look at verse 2, "Preach the Word." That is the emphasis because the Word of God is Truth. "Thy Word is Truth," John 17 verse 17.
Why was the Holy Spirit sent to this earth? In John 16:13 we find that the Holy Spirit was sent to guide the apostles in to all Truth. So when one heard Paul, or Peter, or another apostle, then they were hearing God speak through them. In the course of time, those men put the messages they had preached in written form, which is called scripture. And thus, when we turn to 2 Timothy 3, God lets us know that this information comes from Him. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable unto doctrine," and you will not here that it, "Instructs us in every right way." And so, my friend, the inspired Word of God is a message that was given to us that we might learn Truth.
The verse itself reads verbatim, "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 may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." So God wants us to know Truth. He is the source of Truth, and "He has given us," in this volume that we call the Bible, "everything we need that pertains to life and godliness," 2 Peter 1 and verse 3. So whatever I need to know to become a Christian and to live the Christian life is revealed in this volume, the Inspired Word of God.
There are no latter day Revelations. I know there are folks that will come around they will try to tell you that there have been latter day information or revelations given to their so-called prophets, but that is not true. When Jude penned what he did in verse 3, we find that he lets us know that we are to earnestly contend for the faith, which has been delivered or once and for all delivered unto the saints. When John laid down his pen, writing the Revelation, that ended the Inspired Word of God. The book that I hold in my hand contains a portion of the mind of Almighty God. And if you want to know what God thinks about how you should live and how I should live, turn to this book.
John 5 verse 39, "Search the scriptures, for in them you think you have life and these are they which testify of me." We are instructed to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing or handling a right the Word of Truth. And thus, my friends, when we turn to the Word of God, we find that the Word of God will free us from sin. "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free," John 8 verse 32.
I mentioned a moment ago about how when one is in sin they are the bondservant of sin. The only power great enough to free man from sin is the gospel of Christ. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jews first and also to the Greek," Romans 1:16.
You will note also, my friend, that as we turn to the Word of God, Peter said, "Seeing you have purified your souls..." How Peter? "By obeying the Truth or in obedience to Truth," 1 Peter 1:22.
Now I want you to pause and think a moment. There are a lot of folk who do not like Truth. They want to go through the Bible like going through the cafeteria and just pick and choose what they want and work out a system of salvation that pleases them. My friend, God would not accept that. As a matter of fact, Jeremiah stated long ago in chapter 10 and verse 23 that, "It is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps."
All you have to do is go to the yellow pages of a telephone directory, turn over in the back and look under churches and you will find hundreds if not thousands of religious institutions. All of them set up; not all of them are the church that you read about in the New Testament. Now I want you to think about this, and I say
this very kindly. I would hate to be a member of the church that the only place I could find it is in the yellow pages of the telephone directory. Now I want that to sink in to your heart, my friends. I want to be a member of the church that you read about in the New Testament, not some manmade organization. The Lord has revealed that Truth to us in scripture.
Now what takes place if an individual were to reject Truth, if they were to turn away from Truth, hate Truth? Paul, to the Thessalonians, had these words in 2 Thessalonians 2 verses 10-12. "And with all unrighteous deception among them that perish because they received not the love of the Truth that they might be saved, and for this cause..." Now what cause is that? The cause being that they did not receive the love of the Truth that they might be saved. "And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Yes, God wants people to be saved! That's why He has given us the Inspired Word of God that we might know Truth, that we might believe Truth, that we might be obedient unto Truth, that we might be free from the burden of sin. '
We know further from the Word of God that we are to never sell out Truth. The Old Testament emphasized that in Proverbs 23:23. "Buy the Truth and sell it not."
As a child of God, we are instructed to walk in the light. As a matter of fact, 1 John 1 verse 7 states, "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sins." (1 John 1:7)
Now in the course of daily living, we will sin. What are we to do? Turn again to 1 John chapter 1 and note that John gives a second law of pardon, if you please, for the child of God. He states in verse 8 that, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us."
In verse 9, he says, "If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
And so my friends, as we walk this life in the light of God's Word, we sin and the Lord forgives us as we confess those sins.
We know also, ladies and gentlemen, that when we turn to scripture, we are to live according to Truth and that includes worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth. Now we cannot see God. "God is spirit," John 4 verse 24. And He has instructed us that we are to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Now "Spirit" means that we are sincere in what we do. We cannot pretend with God. He knows us. Acts 1 verse 24; "The Lord knoweth the heart of all men." You will notice in Romans 6 and verse 17, "But God be thanked that you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine that was delivered to you being then made free from sin. You became the servants of righteousness." Verse 16 actually starting there showing that, "To whom we obey His servants, you are to whom you obey whether it is sin unto death or obedience unto righteousness." Thus, "When one obeys the gospel out of a sincere heart," verse 18, "They are made free from sin." And thus, they are to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, sincerely worship God according to the Truth that is found in the Word of God.
Also we might mention that God being a Spirit never appears to mortal man because man cannot see Him. "No man has ever seen God." Did you know that? John chapter 1 reveals that information to us in the 18th verse. If you will see God, you will see Him after this life. To those who have lived faithfully, serving the Lord, it will be a happy day. They will hear the welcome words of our Lord in (inaudible) to the joy prepared for you from the foundation of the world. But to those who have never obeyed the gospel, to those who once obeyed the gospel but turned from the Lord, it will be a sad day. It will be the day that the Lord will say, "Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity. I know you not."
Often people have the idea that as long as they are honest and sincere then God will accept any and everything that they do. But when we turn to the source of Truth, we find the spotlight of God's Word destroys that false concept because in Matthew 7 and verse 21 Jesus said, "Not everyone that sayeth unto Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the Will of My Father which is in Heaven. Many will come to Me in that day and say, "Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name and in Thy name done many mighty and wondrous works?'" Verse 23 reveals to us that the Lord will say, "Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I know you not."
Yes, my friend, we must be obedient unto the Truth. God truly is the source of everything that is right and everything that is good. When we turn to scripture, it equips us in living this life. Paul discusses the Christian armor in the 6th chapter of the book of Ephesians and he lets us know that we are to put on the whole armor of God because the powers that we are fighting against are not physical powers, but they are spiritual powers. But the greatest power that we have that is working for us is the power of God's Truth.
When you turn to 1 John 4 and verse 4, John lets us know; "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world." And so the Christian never walks in this life alone.
The Hebrew writer reveals to us in chapter 4 that the Lord said, "I will never leave thee. I will never forsake thee." That is a very consoling wonderful passage of scripture. That means that as we go through life, God is always with us. Wherever we go, the Lord will be there.
And so, my friend, are you walking with the Lord? Are you faithfully serving Almighty God? Are you a Christian? Have you put Christ on in baptism for the remission of your sins? Yes, the verse actually is Hebrews 13 verse 5, the latter part. "I will never leave thee. I will never forsake thee."
Remember, "God cannot lie," Titus 1 verse 2. God reveals to us in His great love and mercy and grace what will await those who obey not the gospel. There is not only a real place called Heaven. There is a real place called Hell. But "God does not want that any man should perish," 2 Peter 3 verse 9, and thus my friend, it is through the preaching of the gospel that we are urging all men in all places to believe that Christ is the Son of God, to repent of their sins, confess Christ to be the Son of God and to be immersed for the remission of their sins and the Lord will add them to the church wherein are the saints.
Thank you for being with us.
(SONG # 3 - "Be With Me Lord!")
Thanks for putting God first and choosing to be with us this morning. I hope you have benefited from our time together. Please, remember you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God.
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Thanks be to God for His precious Truth, which we are able to know unto salvation. May we always obey the truth and teach it to the lost of this world that they might have salvation as well.