THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 12-18-05
LESSON TITLE: "THE BIBLE: GOD'S PLAN TO REVEAL HIS WILL TO MEN"
Happy Holidays and welcome to our program on this blessed Lord's day morning. Isn't it great to know God and to have the privilege of gathering together and praising His name on this His wondrous day? Thanks for choosing to be with us this morning for this time of offering to God. How blessed we are in this country to have the freedom to assemble this day and to give this time to our Creator. It is my hope and prayer that we will each do our part to make this time of worship acceptable in God's sight and according to His Will!
Now as we begin to focus our thoughts on God, will you bow with me before His throne in prayer.
As always, it is our privilege on this program to praise God together in song! So let me encourage you to join in with the congregation at this time as we lift our voices up in the first song of the morning. The name of the hymn, "Love Lifted Me!"
(SONG # 1)
What a beautiful song we just sang about God's wondrous love. If you are like me, you love to sing and to praise God with the fruit of our lips.
With that in mind, I would like to mention a song which we sing from time to time about the Bible. The specific song I am thinking of proclaims the following words: How precious is the Book divine, by inspiration given. Bright as a lamp it's precepts shine, to guide my soul to heaven. It sweetly cheers my drooping heart, in this dark vale of tears. Light to my life it still imparts, and quells my rising fears. This lamp through all the tedious night, of life shall guide my way. Till I behold the clearer light of an eternal day. Holy Bible book divine. Precious treasures thou art mine! Lamp to my feet and a light to my way, to guide me safely home." Wow, what a beautiful song about God's Precious Word. And how it reminds me of the wondrous word of David in Psalm 119:105, "your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path!" And yes, there is only one place which the Bible can lead us - to God, our true home!
Today we are going to begin a new series of study which will focus on this "Book of Books," "God's Word," or "The Bible!" For there is nothing more important or significant in the life of a follower of God than His complete, perfect and magnificent Word. For without it how would we know God, who He is or what He has done for us? How could you answer questions like, "where do we come from," or "who made the world?" And what about final things? How would you know what comes after this life or how to live in order to receive eternal life! You see, this holy book divine is very special precious and meaningful to all of mankind.
So as we have already stated, we will begin this new study this morning. Our new series will be entitled, "The Bible" As far as the specific message of the day, we will consider this topic, "God's Plan To Reveal His Will To Man." So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "Night With Ebon Pinion."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
We're so glad that you've continued with us today and now we begin our new series in relationship to the Bible. Certainly this is an important topic because as we study the Bible, we learn so much about God. We learn so much about His Will and really what it requires once again from us that we might be found acceptable in His sight. And for a moment, we might think: What if we didn't have the Bible? How would you know these things? How would you know God? You know that man was created from the very beginning by God and so it's not strange that man of all ages, in fact all cultures, no matter where you might go and you might even consider history, man has always desired to worship a higher being and realize that possibly he has come from something far greater than himself or than anything that he sees in his environment. But that's something that we're born with or created with really. But how then do we know what is that higher power? How do we know who God is? Well the Bible is the only way that we can know the true answers, the full answers, and know again what our God is all about. And so today as we begin looking at our study together about the Bible, we want to start at the very first in understanding what was God's plan to bring this word to man because from the very beginning God has spoken to man especially those who are faithful.
We might even recall in the garden of Eden that God spoke with Adam and Eve to their face, so to speak He spoke directly with them and they responded as again friends.
Then we find soon after that, Noah, the righteous man, the preacher of righteousness in his day and time, was spared in the flood and from the flood by God because of his faithfulness, with his wife, and his three sons and their wives. But as we look at the situation there, we find the same thing. God spoke directly to Noah. He didn't speak through anyone else. He spoke directly to Noah.
Then we find God choosing Abraham. Abraham certainly was the man of promise, the one that God chose that through his seed, he would bless all nations of the earth, and of course we know later that the seed was Jesus Christ, that through whom today we are all offered a chance to be saved. But Abraham as a patriarch, the first of what we generally refer to as the Patriarchs. He was faithful to God. He and then his son, Isaac, and then Isaac and Jacob, and Jacob then and his children and specifically there through Judah the seed continued. But during that time, how did God communicate? Not through a written word and not in some other means, really but specifically through communicating directly, speaking with them or through an angel or a type of vision or a dream.
Well, as we go on throughout the Old Testament, we find that even in Moses' day and Joshua's day, we find that later during the period of the judges or the kings, we find that God continued to deal we fathers but it was in a little bit different way.
In fact, we might look at Hebrews chapter 1 and verse 1 and notice there how he clarifies for us this fact. "God who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets." Well you see there, we talked about the Patriarchal Period where God spoke directly to the fathers, but then there was a period of the prophets, and I would say that would have began with Moses when God began dealing directly with who? Specifically with such as Moses and then Moses was to speak God's Will to the people. Then after Moses, Joshua, again so on and so forth, until even men like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and then some of the minor prophets that we read about came and spoke to God's people to bring them back to their true love, their first love, that is God the Father. And so God has always dealt with man and communicated with him in some way, and we see directly was the primary way in the beginning and then through a spokesperson or a prophet during the period of Moses.
Well that shouldn't be strange to us then that Jesus came during the time under the Law of Moses, nor should it be strange that it was Jesus who was chosen by God as well to be the one who not only as His son would be sent to save man, but would be the spokesman for God. If you'll remember when Jesus came and was born, He was born of a virgin there in Bethlehem in a manger, and as He was born there, we can recall clearly that Jesus was a man full of the Spirit. In fact, at a very young age, we read there in the book of Luke chapter 2 and verse 49 that Jesus told His mother, "Woman, do you not know that I must be about my Father's business?" They had left Him in Jerusalem and a few days later had come back to collect Him and they find Him there amazing the people in the temple, and He tells her clearly, "My work is the Father's work. I have come to speak what He wants me to speak. I have come to say what He wants me to say, and I have come to reveal and to do all those things that are according to His Will." Certainly that is what He tells us throughout the gospel of John.
One such verse is found there in John chapter 12 and verse 50. There Jesus says, "I know this command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak just as the Father has told me, so I speak." Jesus said, "What I do, what I say is not about my authority, is not about my will," and in fact the verse just above that in verse 39 says, "I do not speak on my own authority." That's what Jesus said. "But what I speak is from the Father." You see, just as the fathers of old, just as the prophets, Jesus came not of His own authority, but as the son of God, came to speak the Will to man through His lips and through His actions.
Now what did Jesus do? He selected men, Holy men that He might train. In fact, we know that He selected twelve apostles and He trained them for several years and as He trained them, He taught them all things according to whose Will? The Father's Will, according to what the Father would have them to say and what the Father would have them to do. In fact, over and over again, He reminded the apostles that what I am saying to you, what I am about, what I am doing, is the Father's business, His work, His Will and these are His words.
It's also interesting that when it became time for Him to return to the Father that He told them, "I will not leave you alone." In fact, there in also John, the gospel of John and verse 15 and following of chapter 14, we find there that God again reminds us, that is God in the flesh, Jesus, that He would not leave them alone, that if they would do His Will, He would always be there, and then in verse 18, He says, "I will not leave you as orphans."
But what was Jesus going to do? If you'll turn over in the same passage to about verses 25-26, you'll notice there that He says He will "send them a helper, a comforter," and then specifically says, "It is the Holy Spirit." So Jesus says, "I'm going, but don't fret because it's going to be better. When I go, I'm going to come again and I'm going to send you something even greater." Why? Because the comforter will be in you. He will dwell within you. And what will the comforter do? He will guide you in all things. He will teach you all things. He will help you remember all things. He will help you to prophesy all things, and He will even give you miraculous abilities to perform miracles. So that's what the Holy Spirit was all about. Again, Jesus returning to the Father, and then God again sending a messenger through the apostles to do what? Proclaim His truth. So again, God using the same pattern and accomplishing the same pattern.
But now, how was it that He determined that this Word would be given to us today? Well, I believe He determined it even before He created the world, but that plan was being played out in all that we have already said. And as the Spirit came in Acts chapter 2 on the Day of Pentecost and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Why were they there? They were there because God had told them to go and wait in Jerusalem. Why go and wait? Because He had already told them, there in even Mark 9:1 that "some of them would even die before the power, the Holy Spirit came, until the kingdom came with power and I establish the church," He said. So again, we find that the plan was being worked out well and the power did come and they had the Holy Spirit.
And then what did they do with the Holy Spirit? Well, they fulfilled the final part of the Revelation, the final part of the Written Word. You see, even Paul and the apostles knew that someday things would be different.
I want you to notice with me there in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, the great love chapter. We often think there of this chapter about love, but really it deals a lot with the miraculous situation. I want you to notice what he said there in verse 9 of chapter 13 about His knowledge. Paul said, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part." Paul says, "You know, I know only because God tells me and then I reveal it to you, but it's not really mine because the Spirit has to show me before I can reveal it." You see, in part. They know and prophesy in part. But he says, "The day is coming (verse 10) when that which is perfect will come and that which is in part will be done away." There was something that was going to come when Paul or no one else would no longer need to do a miracle. Why? They would no longer need to do a miracle because the revelation would be there. What was a miracle for? Well, if you'll look in verses like Mark 16 and verse 20, a miracle or a sign and wonder was only used or done or performed to confirm the messenger being from God. In other words, I might say, "God has said," and then I would cause a lame person to get up and walk and that would confirm that I was from God. Well, you see, Paul says, "I know in part. I prophesy in part and I confirm it through these miraculous things that I am of God, but the day is coming when that which is perfect will come."
What is it that is perfect? Well scripture tells us such as in James chapter 1 and verse 25 that "the perfect law of liberty is the Word of God," that that which has been revealed from God, the message that we have is that Word, is that law of perfection, of liberty, that gives us not parts of God's Will, but all of it, the full picture, not a piece of the puzzle or a section of the puzzle, but the entire puzzle has been laid out in the book, the Bible.
I want you also to notice with me other passages that help us to understand clearly that this scripture is from God and is given of God and was led by God. There in the book of 2 Peter chapter 1, you might notice with me in verse 20 and 21 that this writer, Peter, says the following. "Knowing this, first that no prophesy or scripture, no scripture is of any private interpretation for prophesy never came through the Will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved of the Holy Spirit." It says here that scripture didn't come by private interpretation by what man thinks, but it came through what? The Holy Spirit. Who had the Holy Spirit? The apostles. The disciples.
And who was told to pen it? Well, they were. In fact, you can begin to look in books like 1 John and you can begin in books like Peter and you can see where it is said that God told them to reveal these things and to write them and to make it known and to send it to the churches that they might let all the brethren know the Will of God. I want you to notice how much we have through the Word of God, what is covered in the book that is through the Holy Spirit by divine revelation.
There in the same passage, 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 3, it tells us there what God's grace has done. It says, "Through His divine power, He has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by virtue." Here we find that clearly again through His divine power, God did what? He has given us all things. What does the word "all" leave out? Nothing. God has given us all things that we need according to His divine knowledge to do what? Know the truth. John 17:17, Jesus said, "I can know the truth and I can be free." You can as well. And why? Because God has given us His Word.
I want you also to look in the familiar passage of 2 Timothy chapter 3 and beginning in verse 16 where there Paul proclaims, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." There it again says, "All scripture," not some, not part, but all is from who? God. The idea of inspiration there again is the idea of the Holy Spirit breathing through, writing through the authors of scripture. Then it says it does what? It gives us wisdom unto many things and righteousness.
But then hear verse 17. "That the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work." What does the Bible do? It completely and thoroughly furnishes us in all areas of life whether it pertains to life or whether it pertains to godliness. The Bible answers those questions.
So you see, God's plan was fulfilled in that which is perfect, the perfect law of liberty, the Bible. In that, we no longer need the miraculous element because today we can in our own hands carry the full revelation. We can at one time know in full, not in part, but in full, all that God wants of us, what He requires to be saved, what He requires to live a Christian life and what He requires in order that we might receive a reward someday of eternal life in heaven with Him.
You see, we have been greatly blessed and loved by our God in being shown such wondrous proof, truth and love and care and concern in that He would give us such a wondrous message according to His plan. So once again, we see that our God has always communicated with man, has always determined that He would do so in a very clear way and has always done it just as we read throughout the Bible. But today, He has revealed to us through the Holy Spirit and the authors of the Word of God, the book, the Book of Books, the Bible, that which is truly from God through the Holy Spirit that gives us everything that we need not only that we might save ourselves, but save all those that we preach and teach as well.
May I encourage you today to love the Bible, to respect it, to consider its authority as we will discuss even at a later date, and to show it the awesome love and care that you should because it is the saving message that someday will determine whether you or I live eternally in Heaven or lose our souls in Hell.
How much did God love you? He loved you enough to give you His Word. He loved you enough to give you the Bible, again, that you might be saved, that you might have eternal life in Heaven until the end of time.
(SONG # 3 - "O The Depth!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Thanks be to God for His love and care, in that He saw fit to reveal to us His saving message through the Bible! How blessed we truly are, to not only know His complete Will, but to have the opportunity to obey it unto eternal salvation!