THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 11-7-10
LESSON TITLE: ‘IF THESE THINGS ARE YOURS AND ABOUND: OBTAINING LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH”
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 Creator. Won’t you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to the Lord, 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!
Our first song of the morning reminds us of the wondrous grace offered by our caring and loving God. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Amazing Grace?”
(SONG # 1)
In the great Sermon on the Mount, recorded beginning in Matthew 5, our Lord started out with what are referred to as the Christian Beatitudes. What wonderful lessons we learn concerning those things which pertain to a faithful follower of God. Furthermore, how exciting it is to know that we can be happy people in the sight of God: if we are poor in spirit, if we mourn, if we are meek, if we hunger and thirst after righteousness, if we are merciful, if we are pure in heart, if we are peacemakers and if we are persecuted for righteousness sake. Oh, how all of these characteristics show our great need for God - for His love, care and protection.
On the other hand, we can learn why we are able to be so happy when we exemplify these characteristics according to the Will of God. What are the results of those who faithfully serve God with these different Christ-like characteristics? Well the same verses tell us that: ours is the Kingdom of God, we will be comforted, we shall inherit the earth, we shall be filled, we will obtain mercy, we will see God, we shall be called sons of God and ours is the Kingdom of Heaven. Oh, God blesses and makes us happy as those who are striving to diligently obey His will!
Like you, I am always amazed at such beautiful teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here, in this first recorded sermon of our Lord, we read that He “preached the gospel” to the multitude! And what did He begin His sermon with; the follower of God and his/her attitude toward God and others. What great lessons we can learn from these Christian beatitudes!
Furthermore, let me remind us of the many other great lessons we can learn from all the wonderful teachings of Christ throughout the Sermon on the Mount. Teachings which help us to live properly in our daily lives, as well as striving to be those who are found acceptable before our Creator. May we always study such great passages, that we may learn of those things which better equip us in the service of God. And Why? So that we might not only be acceptable before our loving God, but that we might also be a shining light to others in this world in which we live. Are you willing to find the true happiness available in this life, through obedience to the teachings of Christ?
As far as our main study of the day, we will be concluding our series entitled, “If These Things Are Yours and Abound.” Our specific lesson of the morning will deal with, “Obtaining Like Precious Faith!” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, we will be lead in our main thoughts of the day.
This morning we are happy to have brother Ted Clarke with us as our guest speaker. We thank him for joining us and look forward to him leading our thought from God’s Word. Well, for now let’s return to our songs of praise together in our second hymn of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Be With Me Lord.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ted Clarke
Good morning and welcome to “The Living Word” Bible television program. My name is Ted Clarke and I am glad to be back with you once again after an absence of some time, but I am doing much better now and appreciate the invitation to come and be with you to come and teach from God’s Word.
Our lesson this morning deals with the matter of “Obtaining a Like Precious Faith.” There must be both an obtaining of faith and a maintaining of faith, and without both of those we could never hope to get to Heaven. The apostle Peter in 2 Peter chapter 1 beginning in verse 1 said, “Simon Peter, a servant, an apostle of Jesus Christ of those who have obtained a like precious faith with us and by the righteousness of our God and our Savior Jesus Christ, grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
The like precious faith that we desire to obtain can only come to us by the grace of God and by the wonderful knowledge of God and His Will of us and the work and the testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Obtaining a like precious faith is just a synonym for “What can we do to be saved?”
There is really no difference in the meaning of those terms. And what you heard this morning or some of the things you hear anyway may be different from what you’ve heard before and you may take a strong objection to some of the things that you hear, but I simply ask that you take your Bible and a pen and a pad and jot down the scripture reference and read them for yourself and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to study these things with you.
What must we do to obtain a like precious faith? In John 3:16 our Lord said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
A little later in that book Jesus said in John 8:24, “Except you believe that I am He you shall die in your sins.” Faith is an absolutely essential matter before we can obtain that like precious faith.
The Lord Himself in Mark chapter 16 verses 15-16 as He gave the Great Commission to the apostles told them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. He who disbelieves shall be condemned.”
The message that the Lord gave them to preach was first delivered in the book of Acts in chapter 2 after our Lord descended to Heaven on the Day of Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, they began to speak with other languages as the Spirit empowered them to do so. Their having done so caused quite a crowd to gather together there in the temple area and many of the Jews were interested in what was being done and what would be said.
Notice this too, if you would please. In Acts chapter 2 and verse 14, Peter standing up with the eleven other apostles and speaking to the audience there raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be made known to you and heed my word.” Heed my word! In order for us to have faith in Jesus Christ it has to come from the Word of God.
The apostle Paul in Romans chapter 10 and verse 17 said, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” So faith must come by hearing the Word of God and Peter told these Jews here on this occasion to heed His words.
Then down in verse 22 he tells them again, “Men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, the man attested to you by God by miracles, wonders and signs which God did through Him in your midst as you yourselves also know, so heed these words.” Hear these words.
Then again, in verse 40 Luke records that with many of the words Peter testified and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation.”
In order for us to obtain the like precious faith that Peter spoke of in 2 Peter chapter 1 it must be that we have the same faith that was preached on the Day of Pentecost. Belief in Jesus Christ is the very Son of God. The fact that He died on the cross for our sins, that He was buried, but that He arose again the third day, that death could not hold Him, and He arose again the third day and eventually ascended to Heaven to be seated at God’s right hand on David’s throne to reign over the kingdom, church which He purchased with His own blood.
In verses 22-25 the apostle Peter preached all of that about Jesus and encouraged the audience there to believe the very things that He had said.
In verse 36 of Acts 2, Peter says, “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this same Jesus who you crucified both Lord and Christ.” Peter says, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly,” that is believe this with all confidence “that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ,” and they evidently did believe what Peter said because in verse 37 it says, “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” Now if Peter had been a member of many of the religious denominations that exist today and claim to be the church which our Lord purchased with His blood, those men would have said on the Day of Pentecost, “Well you already believe. There’s nothing else you have to do. Faith alone will save you.”
Listen friends, brethren, there are about 150 verses in the New Testament that talk about salvation by faith, but not one verse, not one, says we are saved by faith alone. The fact of the matter is in James chapter 2 and verse 24 in talking about Abraham sacrificing Isaac upon the altar, James said, “You see then that man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” So how is it that men could go about it today and preach and teach that we are saved by faith alone?
We remind you again of Mark chapter 16 and verse 16 where Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved but he who disbelieves shall be condemned.” Jesus indicated there were at least two things required for salvation. Not faith alone, but faith plus baptism.
But then it is not just those two things by which we acquire this like precious faith. Faith is certainly the beginning and baptism is the concluding act, but there are other things that are involved. For example when the Jews here in Acts 2 said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter, the apostle Peter, the one to whom the Lord gave the keys to the kingdom of Heaven responded and said, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So repentance is also a part of God’s plan for leading us to receive that like precious faith and repentance of course requires a change of mind that leads to a change of life.
We must have faith in Jesus as being who He said He was. We have to repent, that is turn from our sins and turn to God, to do God’s Will, and then also we find in Acts chapter 8 that when the Ethiopian Eunuch was converted in Acts chapter 8 and verse 37 after Philip had told them that if he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ he could be saved and he confessed and said, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” With that, Philip commanded the chariot to stand still and they both went down into the water and Philip baptized the Eunuch according to the teaching of God’s Word.
Now baptism is looked upon by many as a non-essential in order to be saved, but in reality my friends, it is one of the most precious of things that we can do in order to be saved and one of the things that is repeated and commented on in the New Testament as being essential.
Let me give you an illustration of that. Somebody says, “Well I believe that the blood of Jesus Christ is what brings about our forgiveness and saves us,” and I do, too. In fact, without the blood of Christ we simply could not be saved. Listen to these comparisons. IN Matthew chapter 26 and verse 28 Jesus said, “For this is My blood of the New Testament which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.” Now the blood of Christ is what saves. The question is: When does it save? Again in Acts 2:38 Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” The blood is what brings about remission of sins. Baptism is the culminating act and God’s plan of salvation by which we obtain that. Then in Revelation chapter 1 and verse 5 the apostle John wrote, “Unto Him who loved us and washed us from our sins by His blood.” Does the blood of Jesus Christ wash away our sins? Indeed! But when does that happen? Not just when we first believe. In Acts chapter 22 and verse 16 when Saul of Tarsus was being taught by Ananias, Ananias told him, “Why do you tarry? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord.” And then finally in Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 14 the Hebrew writer tells us, “How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Well the blood of Christ is what cleanses our conscience. But when does it do that? In 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 21, Peter says, “There is now an antitype which now saves us namely baptism, not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The blood of Christ brings remission of sins. The blood of Christ washes away our sins and the blood of Christ cleanses our conscience. When does it do that? When we are baptized according to Acts 2:38, Revelation 1:5 and 1 Peter 3:21.
My friends, these things are all essentials in order for us to obtain the like precious faith with those of the New Testament and those of exceeding generations that have come along and desired to serve God and His Son Jesus Christ who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords who will save us and our obedience to the Lord is absolutely essential.
The Hebrew writer again says in Hebrews chapter 5 and verse 9, “He is the author of eternal salvation and to all them who obey Him.” Without obedience we cannot be saved.
(SONG # 3 - “Anywhere Is Home!”)
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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Have you done what God requires to be a part of the family of God? If not, why not commit to doing His will today that you might be saved and have eternal life.