THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 12-25-05

LESSON TITLE: "THE BIBLE: THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD AND THUS SHOWS FORTH HIS CHARACTER"

WELCOME

Good Morning, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We welcome each of you to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord's Day. As always, we will be privileged this morning to give this time of Worship to God. We hope and pray that our songs of praise and our study from God's Word, will be acceptable in His sight, and according to His Precious Will. Now, as we begin to focus on God, let's begin with a prayer!

(PRAYER)

Let's get right into our songs of praise this morning. Our first hymn of the Day encourages us to worship our God. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "O Worship The King."

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Today is the Lord's Day, December 25, 2005. And I hope Santa was good to you all this morning when you arose from your cozy bed. How excited my kids are on this holiday to see if their wishes are fulfilled. And how exciting it is to me as a parent to see their enthusiasm during this special time of the year. Around this time of the year, we like to talk about the wonderful secular stories surrounding this holiday. Santa Claus, Flying reindeer, Red nosed reindeer, a sleigh - full of toys for all the children of the world, elves who make the toys. How the faces of little ones light up as they hear the story of the night before Christmas. What a privilege it is to celebrate this time of good, clean fun - which promotes love, family and giving.

On the other hand, let's also remember how this holiday began from a religious standpoint. We certainly are all aware that many celebrate this day as the date which our Lord was born around 2000 years ago. Great emphasis is placed on the birth of our Lord and it's significance to this world. And let me say, Amen, as far as the importance of Christ Jesus coming into this world, so that He later could become a sacrifice for our sins and purchase His church.

However, isn't it also important to clarify the facts and show that we are a literate people concerning the things of Christ and His Word? Isn't it true that no man knows the exact hour, day, or even year that our Lord Jesus was born in that manger? No matter how important or significant the event is, does this give us the right to set up and bind a religious day or a religious feast and celebrate it? Is it within our authority to bind days and feasts on God's people that He, Himself is silent about in the scriptures?

Let's also consider where this holiday comes from? Around 300 A. D., the Catholic church began to promote the idea of this religious holiday. The only problem was that the Roman Catholic church and the Greek-Orthodox Catholic church could not agree on a common date to hold the holiday. Finally, the first time this holiday was officially celebrated was in Rome on December 25, 325 A. D.

I think it is important to note that the church of our Lord Jesus Christ began around 33 A. D. and it was not until 300 years later that this holiday was established. So let me ask you, what does this tell you about this holiday, again from a religious standpoint? Well it tells me that, it is man-made: established by man, appointed by man and set up by man! If the Bible is silent about it and the first church established by our Lord, for 300 years did not practice it; I think we must be very careful about celebrating it as something commanded by God or approved of by God.

Let me make one final point! What event in the life of Christ bears the greatest significance to the follower of Christ? You and I know that it is His death. Why then don't we have a yearly feast for it? I will tell you why, God hasn't commanded it, authorized it or sanctioned it. Notice what Paul said in Galatians 6:14, "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Furthermore, are we not to remember all of these things every first day of the week?

So, let's enjoy this season and it's secular parts as we use this time for showing others how much we care about and love them. Furthermore, let's make it our duty to show God the homage and reverence due to Him when He has asked us to in His Word - every first day of the week. Not once a century, not once a year, not once a month, but once a week, just as He has commanded! How important is your God to you?

We are glad to once again have brother Jerry Sullins with us today as our guest speaker. As far as our lesson, this morning we will be continuing our study together about "The Bible". Our specific lesson today is entitled "The Bible Is God's Word and Thus Shows Forth His Character." So please stay with us this day and after our next song brother Sullins will be leading our thoughts from God's Word. Won't you join in the song, "Purer In Heart!"

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Jerry Sullins

Today, I'd like to discuss with you the all sufficiency of the Word of God. If I were to ask you today the question of whether or not you accept the Bible as your blueprint for living, what would your answer be? Well, most of you would probably say, "Oh certainly I do, although there are certain parts of the scripture that I believe are not applicable for us today," and of course that could be true in some ways. And then some of you might say, "Well, I accept parts of it in the New Testament and of course we do look to the New Testament for our guide and rule because there is where we find the authority of Jesus speaking His Words and telling us how to live and we see the presentation of the truths of the apostles." And so your answer would also be correct, but we need to also respect all parts of the Bible as being God's authoritative Word. In fact, someone has said and I believe it is a true statement that when we look at the scripture, we should look at it as the all-sufficient, inerrant, infallible Word of God, believing that all words in the scripture are truly inspired, that is God-breathed. And so this morning, let us consider some of the great claims that the scripture itself makes concerning its own inspiration.

In Matthew chapter 22 verse 29 there when the scribes and the Pharisees were confronting Jesus and trying to trick Him by asking Him so many questions, hopefully destroying His influence among the people, by the way which they failed to do, they asked Him a question concerning someone who had had several marriages and then had divorced and married another, concerning who would be this wife's husband in the resurrection or at the end of time. Jesus said, "You do err. In fact, you are mistaken not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God." Also, we see in speaking of the Holy Spirit and His guidance of those who would bring forth the Word of God, we bring forth in Acts chapter 1 verses 16 and 20. There it is given to us an example of David. When David revealed the truths that were written concerning Judas, even hundreds of years before it actually happened, what is said to have happened when Judas betrayed his Lord was prophesied even by David. So consequently we can look and see that David indeed was also inspired to speak the things that he spoke from God Himself. So when we look at the scripture itself, references also made in John 5 concerning Moses, the teachings of Moses, which indicates that Moses was also inspired of the Holy Spirit or inspired by God Himself to speak forth the words that he spoke.

Therefore, if God was speaking to us in person today, would He really say anything different than what He has already said? I believe that is a good question for us to ask ourselves. We know that He inspired men in the past, those who would speak forth His Words, and we know that those words are given to us in this book, but if He actually spoke to us in person today, would He say anything differently than what He said in the scripture? Well, I want us to look at the scripture itself and find the answer to this question.

In the book of 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 16-17, the Bible says, "All scripture given by the inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Now what this scripture says to me, friends, is this. If we have the scripture, that's all that we need. Now some might say, "Well, don't you realize that Paul was speaking to Timothy concerning the Old Testament?" Well, that was true, but yet the statement is true even about the New Testament as we begin to examine some of the scriptures in the New Testament. Do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 4 verse 4 when He was being tempted by Satan after He had been in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights? He said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of (whom?) God." So if we can prove that the words that we read in this book are out of the mouth of God, that they are inspired of God, then certainly we must adhere to those words.

If we turn also in the scripture to 2 Timothy again, to 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17, there Paul, as we said, says, "All scripture given by the inspiration of God, thoroughly furnishes men unto all good works." And so the Bible warns in many different places. In fact, around the first part of the Bible in Deuteronomy 4 verse 2 and then you turn to Proverbs chapter 30 and read over in Revelations 22 verses 18-19, the Bible strictly warns that we are to not do anything to add to or to take away from the words of God. Why? Because everyone of His words is pure. Adding or subtracting from the Word, as far as the scripture is concerned, brings punishment.

Let us consider that the apostle Paul, when he was actually preaching to the churches in Asia Minor... You know he went throughout Asia Minor in three different missionary journeys establishing churches in many of those cities and he established some churches in the province of Galatia. And he wrote back to those churches in Galatians 1:6-9 and he made a very important statement. He said, "I marvel that you are so soon removed from the gospel of Christ," and he said, "The reason you have removed yourself from the gospel of Christ..." and that gospel was what Paul had delivered unto them. He said, "The reason you have removed yourself from the gospel of Christ is because there are some who are perverting the gospel of Christ." They were changing it. They were saying that we have received some other inspiration. And he said, "Though we or an angel from heaven preach unto you any other gospel to you than what we have preached, let him be accursed."

A very important statement, I believe, is made to the disciples as we can read it in John 16 verse 13. Now this is before the disciples were sent out on the Great Commission, that is the apostles, and the statement is made here by Jesus Himself, "However when He the Spirit of Truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak and He will tell you things to come." Jesus is making this promise to His apostles. When the Spirit has come... He is talking about what would take place in Acts 2. ...The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. Guide you into what? What kind of truth? All truth. Just some of the truth? No, all of the truth. And so where do we find that embodiment of the truth today, we find it in the New Testament. We find it from the lips of the apostles and those other holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit and Jesus said to these men, "He will guide you into all truth." So where is that all truth found? It is found in this book, this book that we call the Bible. No wonder that Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy as we just stated a few moments ago that, "All scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God might be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

Now some people might say, now what about the apostle Paul? Well, we believe the apostle Paul became an apostle don't you? At least three different times in the book of Acts, the apostle Paul talks about his conversion. We know that while he was on the road to Damascus, the Lord appeared unto him and he became the apostle, that is the one sent from the Lord Himself to the Gentile nation, and no one would doubt that. Well, the apostle Paul had some important things to say about his inspiration, about how he and others were guided by God to understand and it was revealed unto them the words that they would speak.

I call your attention to 1 Corinthians chapter 2 beginning at verse 7. The apostle Paul said, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory." And then he said that this is how God revealed it to us. Looking at verse 10, "But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit." Revealed who? That is the Words, that wisdom. "...For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God."

Then look at verse 12. "Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit who is from God that we might know the things that had been freely given to us by God." And then he went on to say, and this should be conclusive in everyone's minds, "These things which we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

My friends, where did the apostle Paul and the other apostles receive their instruction? Where did they receive their words? They received them directly from the Holy Spirit. "The Holy Spirit," this scripture says, "revealed the mind of God." The Holy Spirit revealed the Words of God to the apostle and thus the mind of God was revealed in the very words that the apostle spoke that were given to them through and by the Holy Spirit. Now why would we want to change the mind of God? Because here the apostle Paul is saying that we have received these things from the mind of God. The Holy Spirit has given them to us and so why should we reject those teachings? Why should we reject those words? Well, the point is, we should not because they are the words that God gave them. Now consequently, we see the importance of what Jesus said in Matthew 4 verse 4, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." The scriptures are a complete pattern. They completely furnish us unto all good works.

That's what we read in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17. A very important verse also is found in 2 Peter 1 verse 3 where it says that "God has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness." Some things? No, not some things. God has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. Now how has He given them to us? He has given them to us through His Word. That's exactly how He has given them to us.

And we see in Jude 3, that very short book of the New Testament, the statement was made there that, "We should contend earnestly for the faith which once for all was delivered unto the saints." What a very important statement was made there. Now since the scriptures were complete in the first century, we don't need later day revelations. When someone comes to you and says, "My friend, you know that God has revealed to me something that is not in His Word." You need to reject that person because the scripture gives us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. It is God's final revelation to us today. Those scriptures will stand until eternity comes our way and we have an opportunity to either go to Heaven or go to Hell, one or the other. Human creeds are not supposed to explain and define the scriptures. The inspired men of God spoke those words which we are to understand and know are God's Holy Words and we should not give them any private interpretation. The interpretation is found within the scripture itself.

Now consider in the closing moments of this lesson today, that certainly the Bible is our complete revelation, given to us by God, and we should follow that pattern that God has given us. We do not need any latter day revelations, no human creeds. We don't need any so called modern prophets. If you've been following such things as this, you need to come away from those things. You need to stop following that. We need to follow the all-sufficient, inerrant, infallible word of God. The truth is found within this book that we call the Bible. The truth is found there for us to follow and we should not follow any other book.

A person once said to me, "If you've got something that explains more than what the Bible says, well you just as well put it down because you don't need it. If you have another book that tells you less than what the Bible says, well you don't need that book either." Now I understand that there are some books that tell us just exactly what the Bible says because it gives scriptural references. That's fine. That's what we need to adhere to.

Now since every word in the Bible is important, let me propose to you this. Should we not seek to do this, to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent? If the Word of God is all-sufficient, if it is inherent, if it truly is infallible, that is it is without contradiction, if we understand and believe that to be the truth, why shouldn't we call Bible things by Bible names? So I encourage you today to do this. As the apostle Paul said in Colossians 1:17 that we ought to make sure in every way that whatever we do or whatever we say should be done by and through the authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The authority is found within the book and I plead with you to adhere to what is found in God's Holy Word which we call the Bible.

(SONG # 3 - "Sinners Jesus Will Receive")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to worshiping God in His way!

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May we learn more every day to respect God's Precious Word for all that it means to us as His followers!

(Program closing)