THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 12-7-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD SAVES"
King David once said, "This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." Truly this Lord's Day is a wondrous day and we welcome each of you to our program this morning. As always on this day, we will have the privilege of studying God's Word. So, we are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our Creator. I encourage each of us to take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give our 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 start our program this morning with a prayer!
Do you ever wonder where your true home is in this life? Our first song of the morning answers this very question. So at this time I hope you all will join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Anywhere Is Home!"
(SONG # 1)
As parents we sure have an awesome responsibility to raise our Children in the things of God. I love the way Paul clarifies this in the later part of Ephesians 6:4, where he said (in relationship to children), "...but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This verse says we are to bring our children up, training them and encouraging them in the things of God.
Now I might ask, but why should we do this. Well, besides the obvious - which is because God said so. We also read what the great writer Solomon said about this matter. In Proverbs 22:6, we read, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." So we are to bring our children up in the things of God so they will follow Him and serve Him all the days of their lives.
Finally, let's notice the power of our examples and actions before our children. In the first part of the verse we read earlier it says, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." As parents we are not to do things toward our children which cause them to do wrong things. If we cause their anger and thus they are provoked unto wrath, are we not also guilty? As we all know, a bad example or harsh actions towards others - will affect those around us and often cause them to do things they wouldn't normally do. If we cause such things we are just as guilty in the eyes of God.
On the other hand if we live as we should, and our actions and words are according to the things of God - our children will be blessed because of it and grow in the Lord as they should. This is exactly what Solomon was further talking about in Proverbs 20:7, there we read, "The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him."
Do you see the difference our actions can make before our children? Do we really understand the power that our words and deeds hold in their eyes? However, let me also remind us that this is not only true with our children, but with all people which we come in contact with in this life. We are to be good and godly examples in all things and before all men - in every facet of our lives. Are you the type of parent and Christians you are supposed to be?
Today, we will be concluding our study together entitled, "God Is For Me." Our specific topic today will answer questions pertaining to salvation, as we consider the topic: "God Saves." So, please continue with us this morning and after our next song together I will return to lead us in our study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "Blessed Assurance."
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We're glad you've continued with us today as we go to God's Word and we find out exactly what He says to us once again concerning the topic "God Is For Me." We've had a great study together over many months in knowing who God is and trying to understand the many wondrous attributes about Him. Thus we are able to be those who truly do what God has asked and maybe imitate those things which He has asked of us. But as we consider today our final lesson in this series, we again find out that God is for me just like we have found from the very beginning in the book of Psalms. "God is for me!" That's what David said, but there today in Psalm 68 we find out another instance that really talks about the same idea but a little bit different wording, but now introduces us to our discussion of the day.
If you'll notice with me there in verse 19 of Psalms 68 the Bible says this: "Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits; the God of our salvation. Selah. Our God is the God of salvation and to God the Lord belong escapes from death." If you'll notice here in the idea that is presented twice it is mentioned that our God, the true God is Lord and He is the God of salvation. You know if you think about what God has done for me and that God is for me, and you think about as it says in verse 19, "the benefits that He gives me," as it says here, those things that He daily loads me with or provides for me." What greater thing than salvation? God has given me the opportunity despite the fact that I might not be worthy of it and that I might make mistakes and choose sin at times over Him and that I might transgress His Will and not even obey what He has asked me to do. He still loves me enough that even before I was, even when He knew that when I came into existence that I might be someone who would do contrary to His Will from time to time, but He still loved me enough and He still cared enough to offer salvation and to provide me an opportunity by which I can be saved.
You know there are many Bible writers that help us to understand what this offer of salvation is and certainly then what the author of salvation is and that is God. "God," as David said, "is the God of salvation." Certainly the same thing is shown forth throughout the New Testament.
There in the book of Acts chapter 4, we find an interesting passage that tells us where salvation is found. In fact it is very specific in telling us that there is only one place where salvation can be found. Verse 11 of chapter 4 says this: "This is the stone which the builders rejected which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." It is talking here about a cornerstone, a chief cornerstone, the stone of a building by which everything else is aligned, set in place, the foundation that holds it to withstand to whatever might come. That cornerstone that is being spoken of here in just a moment in the context is Jesus Christ.
Now what do we learn about this cornerstone? That the Jews rejected it. Those who should have been first to receive Him. What do we learn about this cornerstone and the name that He bears, Jesus or the Christ or Savior? It says here, "There is no other name under heaven by which a man can be saved." If God offered us salvation, this verse tells us that there is no other Name than the name of His Son Jesus that we can find salvation. Isn't that an encouraging verse to know? He says, "I will save you," and then He put a plan in place based on His Son to offer that salvation.
Now how do we know that to be the case? Back up in the same text. There in verse 10 we learn about Jesus being the cornerstone and we learn again what He has done for us. There verse 10 says, "But let it be known to all and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead by Him this man stands before you whole." It says here that in the name of Jesus we see this man was given a wholeness. He was healed. Therefore it is this Jesus of Nazareth, the one crucified and placed in the grave by the Jews, as spoken here as the one risen from the dead on the third day by the Father in heaven. It is He who is the cornerstone. It is He who offers salvation, and it is Jesus who gives us the chance to be saved. No wonder the Bible then tells us in John chapter 1 that "Jesus is the life." He offers life, not just life now and blessings now, but eternal life. No wonder He said in John 14 and verse 6 that "He was not only the way and the truth," but he says, "I am the life." Jesus offers life to a world of men who will be lost, those who will have no hope and who will never receive a reward except it be the fact that God loved us enough and cared for us enough to give us through His Son in the sacrifice made by His Son, death on the cross, eternal life and the ability to be saved forever and ever.
You know this is the same thing that we might understand there even as found in the book of Romans if you'll turn there with me. As Paul speaks to the church at Rome, he challenges them to understand some of these very privileges, these wondrous gifts that we find in God. As it talks here, it also tells us what these gifts have come from, what act gives us the chance to be saved. If you'll notice with me here in verse 6 of chapter 5 the Bible says, "For when we were still without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly." He then explains this. He says, "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die and perhaps for a good man some would dare to die." But hear verse 8. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus died. He was willing to sacrifice Himself on the cross. Why? For us that we might be saved. It says here, "Although we were not worthy." Those who it says here were really "unrighteous" especially in the fact that so many reject God. But now we might have the chance of what through the blood of Christ? Righteousness. So even while we were still sinners, Christ was willing to die. Verse 9 goes on to say much more then, "Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Now it talks about salvation. How are we saved? By the blood of Christ. Where did Jesus shed the blood? On the tree of Calvary. And that blood was shed why? For you and I that we might have forgiveness of sins. In fact, the writer there in Revelation chapter 1 and verse 5 says that "We might be washed in the blood, that we might be whiter than snow." You know it is God who offers this salvation. It is God who has provided these things for us. It is our Creator who has given me the opportunity, who has given you the opportunity to know that salvation is ours.
Go back to Romans chapter 5 with me and there is more that it teaches us in the same text. In verse 10 it goes on to say, "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son. Much more, having been reconciled we shall be (what?) saved by His light. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus through whom we now have received the reconciliation."
What did Jesus do for us? He gave us a bridge. He provided us a path. He gave us a way, as He says, "I am the way." That way is a connection, a connection for sinful man to reach the Father. Jesus alone is that mediator. He has provided the path, the way of reconciliation unto salvation and eternal life, notice, through the gift, the sacrifice, and the blood on the cross. This is how much our God has loved us. This is how much God the Father loved us to allow His Son to be sacrificed. This is how much the Son loved us to die on the cross and suffer the affliction of man and the persecution that He received although He was God in the flesh. This is how much the Spirit loved us in that He gave us the Word. The Bible that we have today is from God and through the Holy Spirit given. So yet again, it is God who has loved us enough to give a gift and provide us the true and perfect way.
Another verse that we might look at this morning in our discussion is found in John chapter 8 and verse 24. Here we read that we are those know God and who have learned of God who must respond in a specific way. What is that we have learned in verse 24? "Therefore I say unto you that you will die in your sins." Now He gives a way that you won't. "For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." You see, Jesus says, "I am the Christ. I am the Way. I am the Son of God. I am the One offering salvation through the sacrifice of My blood. If you don't believe that I am He, you will die in sin." So what is it that God offers us? He offers us a remission of sins, a forgiveness of sins.
So that's why it is so important for us then to understand how God has provided us the opportunity through His Son. But furthermore how important it is to understand our part. What must I do? How must I react? How must I respond to what God has done, the gift that He has offered? How can I receive it? There are several verses that we want to look at.
If you will turn first of all with me to Mark chapter 16, the Great Commission says to "Go into all the world" again confirming to us that the gospel is for every creature, for every nation. But then in verse 16 he says that, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved." Did you notice the emphasis there? Belief. Belief equals what? Salvation. But also what is included there? Belief and the baptism equals salvation. But here again to emphasize for just a moment this concept of belief unto salvation. The Bible tells us clearly that one must believe and that one must state that belief in order to be saved.
We also find the need for repentance. There are several passages that deal with this idea. First of all, Jesus said in Luke 13:3, "I tell you no except you repent, you will all likewise perish."
Isn't it interesting in Acts chapter 2 on the Day of Pentecost when the church began, when they were crying out, "Men and brethren, what must we do? We have killed the Son of God. How can we be saved?" In verse 38, Peter says, "Repent and be baptized." Here again we not only see the idea of the necessity of belief but to repent, to turn away from sin, rejecting sin, focusing on righteousness and following God. But notice also there it is including what? Baptism yet again, and we will get to that in a moment. But here we found the necessity of belief. We found the necessity also of repentance. Both are requirements unto salvation.
If you'll turn now to the book of Romans, we find in Romans chapter 10 the need then to confess this faith that we have, the faith in Jesus that He is the Christ that we are going to repent and turn away from sin. If you'll look there with me in verse 9 it says, "If we confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved." But notice what we must do in salvation. "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made (notice) unto salvation."
What must be done unto salvation? Confession. What must be done unto salvation? Repentance. What must be done unto salvation? Belief. All these things are required. But now we go back to what we said a moment ago. There we read, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved." (Acts 2:38) He said, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ receiving the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit."
So where does this new and final concept fit in of knowing that God has asked us as well to be baptized? I think an encouraging and exciting verse is found in Acts 22 when Paul had been blinded there on the road to Damascus and he goes in to Ananias and he says, "What must I do? I have been against Jesus and now I want to follow Jesus?" In verse 16 do you know what he tells him? He says, "Arise and be baptized (why?) to wash away your sins."
Do you see the point of it? It is not just an act that somehow is done for no reason or only because of obedience. It is symbolic of being able to meet the blood of Christ and wash away sins, the spiritual sin of life that we might be risen a new creature as it tells us even in many of the books of Paul.
That's why no doubt that Paul said there in Galatians chapter 3 and verse 27, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." It doesn't mean that baptism was more significant. It means that in relationship to all that should be done (like) belief, confession, repentance, that baptism was also an essential part to prove that demonstration of faith.
No doubt that's why in Romans chapter 6 it tells us there that "We die and are buried as Christ died and was buried, and as He rose on the third day, we rise from the watery grave to be (what?) added by the Lord to the church."
That's what the Bible tells us even happens there on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:47 when it says, "As many as were saved that day (guess what) were added by the Lord to His church." Peter also includes this in his writings. He says that "We have an anti-type today that saves us like Noah was saved from the flood." Guess what that anti-type or that like figure is. Baptism!
I challenge you today to receive and respond to the salvation of God. Do it His way by believing, confessing, repenting, and being baptized. By doing these things, God adds you to the church and you will receive the eternal reward of life in heaven with God forever.
(SONG # 3 - "A New Creature!")
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time 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 service of God!
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Praise God that He has given us a clear path to Salvation through His Word. May we obey what He commands and be found faithful in the end that we might receive the promised eternal life.