THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
PROGRAM AIR DATE – 11-2-14
LESSON TITLE: “WILL PRAYER SAVE?”
Good morning! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us to hear the Living Word of God. We are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our God. Won’t you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to God, as we together offer this time of worship to Him. May all things be done, to God, for God and unto His glory. Let’s begin our offering to God with a prayer!
Prayer: Our God and Father, we thank you so much for this day and the many great blessings of life and the privilege that we have to be called your children. Father, help us to always do those things that bring glory and honor to Your name that we might be found faithful and that we father, might be blessed not only in this life but in the life to come. And thank you for privileges such as this to study Your word and to lift Your name on high. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Our first song of the morning talks about the fact that we are Solders of God, who illuminate and shine forth to help all those in need. Furthermore we are truly blessed to have a God who is always there and ready to assist no matter how bad the storms get. Are you truly following God as the Rock of your life? So, let’s sing together the first song of the morning. Won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing, “Solders Of Christ Arise.”
In Romans 6:17, we read, “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” Did you get all of that? God has delivered us from this world and darkness, but how? Through that form of doctrine which He has given us through His Word!
I also love the way that Paul put it to the Colossian church, when he said, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Aren’t these beautiful thoughts? Our God has loved us enough to give us a path out of darkness, that we might live in the light, where God is. And notice how He accomplished this, no doubt through the blessed gift of His Son, Jesus Christ who died on the cross to redeem us from our sins. I think we often forget just how much our God has done for us.
So, what does all this show us? Well, the reality is we all struggle with sin. But God be thanked for there is a doctrine from Him that can deliver us. A doctrine, that if followed, which can save us from a dark and lost condition. A doctrine that brings us to the light of God. So we know what God has offered us that we might be saved, however, there is something that one must do if they are to get rid of sin in their lives and choose to turn completely toward God. Obviously we must follow God Will. So the question we need to ask this morning is are you following the Will of God? Are you obedient to the form of doctrine with all of your heart that God requires us to follow if we are to be found proper in His Sight!
This morning we will be concluding our series together entitled, “Lord Teach Us To Pray!” Our specific lesson of the day will answer the question, “Will Prayer Save?” We hope you will stay with us for this important study from God’s Word.
As far as our speaker today, we are glad to have brother Jerry Sullins with us again. Brother Jerry is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri, here in Springfield. We thank him for being with us and we look forward to him leading our lesson thoughts of the day.
So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Sullins will lead us in our study. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Sun Of My Soul.”
BY JERRY SULLINS
We'd like to welcome you again to the living word broadcast and we're so thankful that you have chosen this opportunity to view this television program and to be a part of this program as we seek to know God's will and as we seek to do his will. It's certainly a pleasure for us to come into your house every morning or wherever you might be so that we can discuss with you things that pertain unto life and Godliness, things that pertain to our salvation.
Our series for the past few weeks has been along the line of prayer. And today we're going to discuss in this final part of our series concerning prayer as it relates to salvation. Will prayer save one eternally? I'd like for us to consider seriously what the bible has to say about this because unfortunately there are many people in the religious world, probably about two thirds of all people or even more who call themselves Christians, are following after a doctrine where they believe that a simple trust or belief in Jesus Christ is enough to be saved and also a reciting of what is referred to as the sinner's prayer.
Now, I went on the website to just find out what the sinners prayer was because I certainly do not believe that we can find it in the word of God. Now we might find parts of it but the prayer itself is really not, as we look at god's word, would not be something that we would form. It says this and this is one of the versions that I read: Dear lord Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner and I ask you for forgiveness. Now, the problem here is the addressing of this prayer. Did not Jesus say in the Sermon on the Mount when he was asked by the disciples how they should pray he said to say this, “Our Father who art in heaven.” Jesus did not pray to himself, he prayed to the Father who is in heaven. I see no authority in the scripture at all for one to address his prayers directly to Jesus Christ. Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth and it was through that authority that he told his disciples and others that you need to address the Father above when you are praying.
Now, no doubt Jesus is our mediator and we pray by his authority. Because in Colossians 3:17 it says, “Whatever we do in word or deed do all in the name of,” or which means by authority of, “our lord Jesus.” So if Jesus said to address our prayers to the Father in heaven then certainly that is what we need to be doing, is it not? He says and I ask you for forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my lord and savior, guide my life and help me to do your will. In your name, amen. Now, the ending of that prayer - in your name, in Jesus name - are we praying to Jesus? And then we're saying by your authority? Well no doubt we ought to say in your name or by the authority of Christ. But if we do that, again I remind you, that our prayers should be directed to the Father, even according to the words of Jesus Christ.
Now what most say about the sinner’s prayer is they add some other versions to it and they say something like this: will you accept into your heart Jesus as your personal savior and believe that He died upon the cross and has been resurrected and now is in eternity. So many different versions of that. My friend, you cannot find that in the scripture. That is not the plan of salvation. Can we pray to God that he might assist us in knowing what his plan is for us to be saved? Well the point is, yes we certainly can. We know that in every nation God will not hear the prayers of the sinner but he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is acceptable to him. So yes, we can pray as those who are seeking to do god's will. We can pray to the Father that in some way we might be encouraged, that we might be taught so that we can what? So that we can obey the gospel.
The problem is this. That belief as Jesus said and as is misinterpreted in the text in john chapter 8 I believe it's verse 24, “Except he believes that I am He you will die in your sins.” Well, there are many people that believe that Jesus is the Son of God and you will know they're not saved. Why are they not saved? Because they have not obeyed like Christ has asked them to do.
Now I call your attention to what faith actually means in this. What does Jesus mean when he says, “Except you believe that I am he,” or when he said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”? Some people remove it out of the context when he says to his disciples that all things you ask in prayer believing you shall receive. Believing what? There is something to believe. When we look into the scripture, we find that faith is not just the belief or the ability to say that I accept Jesus into my heart as my personal savior. That's not in the scripture or to say that I believe that He's the Son of God. That's not all there is to it. Faith is a system by which we base our belief upon that we must obey in order to do his will. By the way, the sinner’s prayer says that we must do the will of God, that we must do the will of Jesus to do your will? What did Jesus say? John, in the book of Matthew chapter 7 Jesus said that certainly we must do what? “Not everyone thus saith unto me Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
I want to call your attention to certain scriptures that are in the bible itself. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians16:13, that's 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” What is faith? There's some indication here, in fact there's all indication here, that it's much more than just believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Now every one of the people who were mentioned in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 and that great hall of fame, that is heroes hall of fame as some people call it. Were people who had faith in God. But that faith was demonstrated by what? Their acts. If they did not act then they were therefore thought to have no faith. Noah said, and Noah believed, that god would save us, did he not? But how was he saved? When he built that ark according to god's instruction. And throughout the old testament and the new testament faith is always that which involves god's commands and our obedience to those commands.
In the book of 2 Corinthians 3:6 Paul said we were made ministers of a new covenant not of the letter, that is of the Old Testament, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills and the Spirit gives life. Remember what Paul said in Romans 1:16? “I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. For it is the power of god unto salvation to everyone who believed to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” What must they believe? They must believe that Jesus is the Christ and then they must obey the Gospel. Obedience to the faith in Romans 1, I believe it's verse 5, and in Romans chapter 16. It talks about the gospel or the obedience to the faith - there was something to obey.
Paul said in Romans chapter 6 he mentioned that you have obeyed from your heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto you. You have obeyed the gospel is what he was talking about. And the gospel is much more than just saying well I believe that Jesus is the Christ. There are many people believe that Jesus is the Christ but are they saved? You might say well, if they say that they believe that Jesus is the Christ. There's no scripture in the bible that would support such an argument even though it says that.
People have not made a proper definition of that term faith. Look at what the bible says in 2 John 9, “Whosoever goeth on and abidith not in the doctrine or teaching of christ hath not God.” Now can you imagine going to Jesus and saying when Jesus said in mark 16:16 in his great commission he that believes and is baptized shall be saved. Now if you are an English teacher you know exactly as you take that sentence apart you will know that believe and in baptism are joined together with a coordinate conjunction and so both are the same value. If you believe and you are baptized you will be saved. It's not if you believe that Jesus is the Christ saved and then you’re baptized to join a church. That is not the truth. Jesus said - i'm saying what Jesus said not what I said. Read it for yourself mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” That's what it takes to obey the gospel.
Remember what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith.” My friend, faith is a system. The disciples were called in the city of Jerusalem to obey the gospel and they did in Acts 2:38 where Peter when he had addressed the Jews there, they were assembled from all corners of the earth and he told them that this same Jesus whom you have killed or whom you have murdered is both Lord and Christ and they cried out. They were slain in the heart, that is the Greek terminology it means somewhat like that, they were cut to the heart and they cried out men and brethren what shall we do? And then Peter said, “Repent every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Now acts 2:42, that same group of people says it says of them they continue steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine in the breaking of bread, in fellowship, and in prayers. Now, note that first thing. They continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine. That was the doctrine that Jude spoke of in Jude verse 3 where he said continue earnestly for the faith which once for all was delivered under the saints.
Now is it possible for you to be taught wrong? You might ask yourself that question. Have you been taught wrong? Have you as some people have actually done and I know of the one lady back in Chattanooga, Tennessee years and years ago. I said have you looked at Matthew or Mark chapters 16:15 and 16? And she says no I haven't. She says in fact, I cut that out of my bible. And I said oh, you cut it out of your bible. Why did you do that? It's God's word. Because I don't believe a person needs to be baptized in order to be saved. Well, if you believe that you're completely rejecting the truth. Jesus said he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. You will not be saved. You can pray all day, you can pray for the rest of your life every moment and call upon Jesus to forgive you of your sins but there's only one way that your sins will be forgiven.
Now I want to give you that plan of salvation today. It's well worth our time to really look at what the bible has to say and I’m not going to be telling you what I have said. I'm going to be turning or having you to turn the pages of God's word to understand what His will is for you in order that you are saved. And it is not by prayer. So let's first of all thank. Yes we have to hear the gospel. There's no doubt about that. Romans 10:13, “whosoever shall call on the name of the lord shall be saved. How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? How shall they believe on him in whom they have not heard? How shall they hear except they preach? And how shall they preach except they be sent?” And the last part of that section of scripture says it was by the gospel that I preached under you whereby you heard these things. That's how the truth came to those people. It came through the gospel. We must obey the gospel and that's more than just saying I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Now how does faith come? Well, Romans 10:17 the scripture says, “For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” We develop our faith in knowing who Jesus is and we simply say this - okay, I believe that you are the Son of God. There is no doubt. Now, Jesus what would you have me to do to be saved? Now it's not in this sinner's prayer. It's in the bible. Jesus, what would you have me to do to be saved? Well, Jesus would say as He said there in His great commission: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” So you must have a belief, “Except you believe I am He you will die in your sins.” That's what Jesus said. That's one of the steps toward salvation. To believe.
What about repentance? Jesus covers that also and you sitting out there who are listening to this message and believe that the sinners prayer will save you also believe that one must repent. There's no way you can be saved unless you repent. Jesus said, “Except you repent you will all in like manner parish” - Luke 1:3. Read it in your Bible. It's there. What did Peter say on the day of Pentecost? The first reply, the first thing he said to those people who had crucified the lord and savior, acts 2:38, he said repent. Repent of what? Repent of those sins. Change your mind about your sin. Do away with your sin completely. Determine that you're going to live for Christ. That's part of your plan of salvation or the plan of salvation which God has given you to obey. No man can come to Christ unless he or she is willing to repent of his or her sins.
Well what about confession? All of you would say oh yes, a person needs to confess to Jesus as the Christ because again Romans 10, 9-10, says “With the heart man believes under righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” That is it's going to take place. Salvation, part of obeying the gospel is to confess that Jesus is the Christ.
And then we get down to the final thing which most of the religious world rejects. And that is baptism into Christ for the remission of sin. A person one time said well, if you can show me one verse in the bible that says baptism saves and I’ll obey the gospel. Well, of course they didn't but I showed them the verse. First peter 3:21. Peter said, that's 1 Peter 3:21, in case you missed that, peter said that the like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us. It's not putting away the one fifth of the flesh but it is the answer of a good conscience toward God. So what does baptism have to do with our salvation? My friend, write down Romans chapter 6:1-6. And you'll find in there that we are buried in the likeness of His death. We are raised in the likeness of His resurrection. That is when our sins are washed away. Revelation 1:5, where it says that our sins are washed away in his own blood.
Now I’ve told you what the bible has to say. I have said what I’m saying. I've told you what the bible has to say. I can't in good conscience tell you that all you need to do is pray the sinner's prayer and you'll be saved. If you'd like to discuss this more we're open all the time. You can come to the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ or any Church of Christ near you and they will further explain to you what God's true plan of salvation is for you. So as the Bible points out - the bible does not say that we can say be saved through simple prayer. There is an obedience that must take place. There are steps that must be carried or steps that must be taken so that one can properly obey Christ. And I plead with you today to do the will of God as we said. “Not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Truly obey the gospel as the Ethiopian eunuch said, “Here is water. What hinders me to be baptized?” Be baptized for the remission of your sins and then you will know that you have obeyed the gospel. May God bless you in your consideration in His eternal and wonderful love in the Gospel.
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering 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 worship to God!
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Isn’t it wonderful to have the privilege of prayer to be able to communicate with our God at all times. Are you taking full advantage of the avenue of prayer and are you praying to God a He requires?