THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 2-10-02

LESSON TITLE: EXAMINING GOD: "WHO NEEDS GOD AND WHY?"

WELCOME

Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.

Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won't you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let's begin our praise to God in prayer.
(Prayer)

God has promised us so many things in this life and the life to come. One such blessing is eternal life, which our song today talks about from the standpoint of our reward of Canaan! Just as Israel, God has promised us a land, but our inheritance will never end! This morning, wont you join in with the brethren at this time as we sing the song, "To Canaan's Land I'm on My Way!"
(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

The Psalmist David always had a wonderful way of reminding us of just how great our God is. In fact, in Psalm 94 we see that he helps us to remember that it is only through God that we are able to bear the things of this life. In verses 17 through 19 we read, "Unless the LORD had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, 'My foot slips,' Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." Think of all the wonderful things David reminds us of here.

He said without God's help his soul would have already been silenced. How true this is. If we don't have God, our soul is empty, because it is the soul of man that houses the very essence of God. God fills us as his children and guides us through the soul.

He also reminds us that we can count on God to help us when we fall. He said if his foot slipped, God was always there to catch him. You see, we have the same privilege in Jesus Christ. He is always with us to help us and care for us when we have needs.

The final thing David mentions is in relationship to anxieties. He says that God is always with us as a comfort when anxieties come our way. Let me remind you that anxieties are fears which we have due to uncertainties or things we are unsure of, in this life.

Oh, how truly comforting our God is. Yes, our God is truly a great God. He is always with us to guide, guard and direct us in every walk of life. He is the only place we can find the true peace and solace that we desire in this life. Now, the question is, do you have Christ in you? If not, why not? Choose today to accept His will, by confessing His name, repenting of your sins, and being buried with Him through baptism. Then, and only then, can you have the help from God that we are talking about today.

This morning we will again consider a lesson from our series on "Examining God." Our specific topic today deals with, "Who Needs God and Why?" So please stay with us through our next song and after that I will return with this study from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Lord, We Come Before Thee Now."
(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ray Sullins

It's good to have you with us as we continue this morning and we study the word of God, as we continue to examine God and who He is and what He is all about. We've been able to see so far that truly there is a God and it's more reasonable to believe that there is a God than to not to believe that there is a God, and to be able to know a little bit more about who He is by looking at specific scriptures and trying to identify what the scripture says about who God is and His different attributes. And then we've also last week looked at the idea that we find out about who God is and His will from the Bible. Without the Bible, we found that there would be no way to really know our God and to really know what His plan was for us to follow in order that we would be pleasing in His sight.

Well we want to continue this morning by looking at another concept, another great idea about who needs God and why. So far we've seen that there is a God and that truly man has a desire to serve God and we've seen who God is and why He's so worthy of being served and as we looked at as I said last week about the knowledge we can have of God in the Bible. Then who is it that needs God? And why is it that they need Him? That's what we want to look this morning as we again understand so clearly why we need not only the Bible but we need God who wrote the Bible and gave it to us.

In the book of Isaiah chapter 59, I want you to notice there what this great man wrote to help us understand something about our need for God. It says there beginning in verse 1, "Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that He cannot hear, but your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear." Here it says that God is there. God is there to hear, to help, to see, to do all of these things for us. But notice, notice what verse 2 goes on to say. This great prophet says, "Their iniquities had separated them from God." Notice here it doesn't say that God had left them. It doesn't say that somehow God had just forgot them for no reason. It says that "their sins, their iniquities." The people's sins had caused God to separate Himself or really it caused those acts to separate themselves from God. In fact, He goes on to say there that "because of their sin, God had actually hidden His face." He had hid His face from those people because God is not of sin. God knows nothing of and He wants no part of sin and therefore He cannot be a party to it. He cannot fellowship those who are involving themselves and continuing in sin as if God will somehow approve and because of that today even God will also hide His face from us when we choose to sin. So what then, what then is the reason that we need God? Well, it is because of sin just as in that day. God hides His face from us because we sin and we separate ourselves through sin, our own actions, our own deeds. We separate ourselves from a God who really has done so much for us and has made Himself a ransom for us.

We're going to look at that more in just a moment, but now I want you to actually go over and look at some ideas in the New Testament with me because there we find it continues to help us to know what the Bible says about sin and really again how sin affects us. A very familiar verse that we might look at is found in Romans chapter 3 and you might remember there in Romans chapter 3 and verse 23, it tells us that "all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God." Notice here that it tells us that all sin. Why? Because they transgress. They go against what God has said. In fact, John said in 1 John 5:17 that "sin is the transgression of the law." When we do that which is contrary to the law of God, we sin. Who sins? All sin. So we've already answered our question actually this morning that we wanted to focus on but we're going to go a lot deeper in scripture. But when we say, "Who needs God and why?" All have sinned therefore all need God. And why? Because God gave us a plan of redemption. He gave us a way to bring ourselves out of sin. In fact, you might also look as we just read there in chapter 3, look at also verse 24 as he says,. "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ." Here we see that yes, all have sinned, but He has saved us and redeemed us through who? Jesus Christ. And that's what we want to understand better knowing that truly we need Jesus to get sin out of our lives. Why? Because it says in Romans 6:23 that "The wages of sin is death." So we can't take part in sin and continue in sin and think that God somehow is going to again be happy or that God is in some way going to be pleased with what we do.

Now as we consider sin then, we might say, "Well, where is it that sin comes from?" Well there are many verses that we could look at in trying to understand where sin comes from, but one that might really be off the top of our minds is in James chapter 1 as it talks there beginning in verse 12 about temptation and how that blessed we are when we endure temptation. But if you'll notice there it says in verse 13 that "let no one say that when he is tempted that I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil nor does He Himself tempteth any man."

God is not the tempter. So who is the tempter? Well, we can actually turn over just a book or so and look there in the book of Peter. Peter helps us to understand who the tempter is. And then 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 8, we read the following. It says, "Be sober and vigilant because your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." Here we are again introduced to one we know of well, the devil, Satan, the one that was cast from heaven because of his sin, his contrariness to God. He also doing those things or wanting those things that were contrary to the will of God. Here he is now on the earth walking around like a roaring lion trying to cause us to fall away from God through sin. Why? Because sin separates us from who? Isaiah said, "from God." It is a great need that is shown to us because Jesus died. He died to be that redeemer that we're talking about also this morning.

Another verse that I want to look at is just several books over once again. We can look there in the book of John. That is 1 John chapter 5. In 1 John chapter 5 and verse 19, notice what it says here in continuing our discussion about sin. The verse says, "We know that we are of God and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." If you notice here in the verse just before it was talking about God, it was talking about keeping ourselves clear or like God, but here in verse 19 it says that "those who are not in God, are those who are under the sway of who?" "The wicked one." The ones who are controlled by Satan, by Satan here, the devil again being mentioned. So we've got to make a choice. We've got to make a choice in this life and say, "Well, who do I need? Why do I need God?" I need God because He can redeem me and if I'm not a servant of God, the Bible clearly tells me that then I am a servant of Satan. Why do I need God? Because He's offered me not only the great blessings of this life, but I need God because He has promised me and offered me the great blessings of that life to come, that life that will be there for an eternity, that eternity that we can live with Him, an eternity that will never end.

If you'll look also in 2 Thessalonians, here is another great reason why we need to look again to the ransom of Jesus Christ. There in 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 and verse 7, it says, "And give to you who are troubled rest with us, with the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." Here it says "vengeance will be taken someday when the Lord comes again with His mighty angels and it will be taken against those who number 1, do not know God, and number 2, who do not obey God." We have two categories there, those who do not know Him and have not followed Him and those who have known Him and choose not to follow Him. So yes, it's important that we understand that there is a God to serve. It's important in our study that we understand who God is as we examine God so that we can say, "We've got to serve God and we need God and all need God because all have sinned and the only way we can get away from sin and be purified is through that ransom again, that ransom Jesus Christ."

I really like the way again that Peter helped us to see it, and if you'll turn there again we want to look and we're looking at several scriptures this morning and the best way really to answer the questions of our topic is found in scripture because they are so clear. But there in 1 Peter chapter 2 if you'll notice with me what Peter says, he helps us clearly to understand the idea of what Christ has done for us. Notice in verse 21 and following, "For to this you are called because Christ also suffered leaving us an example that you should follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth, for when He was reviled did not revile in return, when He suffered did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously, who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree that we having died to sin might live for righteousness whose stripes you were healed by."

Now if you look here clearly, we again see that it was the act that Jesus Christ gave on the tree as He hung His body on the tree, it says that He bore our sins. Not His sins. He was sinless. He was God in the flesh. But He bore our sins, and He bore our sins, as it says also in that verse, so that we might be healed through His stripes. So that through His burden to Calvary, we might be found righteous, the verse says, before our God. That's the example that He left us. So why do we need God? Why do we need Him? And who needs Him? We need Him because He has died for us, that is our Savior Jesus Christ. He has died for us and we all need Him, everyone of this earth, because the only way we can get away from sin and Satan, and the only way we can get toward what God has offered, salvation, redemption, and the love that is found through Jesus Christ is again only by being followers of God.

Now I want you also to consider with me this morning as we look of this idea of this ransom. What does it really mean when we talk about a ransom? There's been many movies no doubt, and many stories we can watch on television, many books that have been written that would deal with a ransom situation where one maybe is being held hostage and then maybe an amount is required that they release an individual. As we consider that though, we really look at the same picture that we talk about today with Jesus. It was Jesus Christ who was chosen by the Father Himself, as we read in John 3:16. And why? Because "God so loved the world that He gave His own son." It was God the Father that chose to sacrifice His son from the very beginning so that we might be given the ransom, so that the price would be paid and so that the blood would be able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Wasn't it Ananias that told Paul there in Acts 22:16, "Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins." It wasn't the water that was going to wash away his sins. It was the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. It was the blood there that was going to clear him and cleanse him from all iniquity or sin as we have talked about this morning. So yes, the ransom price has been paid. And it had to be paid because the only way we can be the ones who receive that reward or by following God and acknowledging the ransom.

We'll look at a few verses in the gospels that help us to see that. Let's look first of all in the book of Mark. Mark chapter 10, we see here where it specifically notes that Jesus was not one just sent to the earth by the Father, but He was one that was sent for a ransom, specifically for a ransom to pay the price for us. In Mark chapter 10, read with me if you will verse 45. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many." See, He didn't come to receive something or receive service from others. He came to care for others and to help others and to serve us. How? Through giving His own life as a ransom.

In 1 John chapter 2 and verse 2, it talks about how He is the "propitiation for our sins." He is that which gave Himself for our sins. In fact, if you'll look there in the verse in 1 John, it says, "for all sins." In other words, everyone. He is the propitiation for all mankind, for everyone who has ever sinned. It was Jesus who paid the price to cover that.

Also in Matthew 26 and verse 28, it says there that "He shed His blood again for our sins."

So if we look at the bigger picture of what we're discussing this morning and we again ask the question, "Who needs God and why?", we see that all need God because of sin, but all can be redeemed because of the blood of Christ. And why do we need Him? Because it brings us out of evil, out of the service of the dark one, the wicked one, as the scripture says, Satan, the devil, and brings us into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. Once we're in the light, the Bible tells us amply those wondrous blessings that we have in this life and also the life to come, the life that God has promised us because of the price that He has paid. Let me remind us always to remember that only in Jesus Christ are these things found. We might also look at the verse found there in Acts 4 and verse 12 that says, "Salvation is found in no other name except Jesus Christ." Why? Because the verse before says that "He is the chief cornerstone." He was the one chosen by God Himself. So when we wonder who needs God, we all need Him because He gave Himself for us. What better Master to serve than one that would lay down His own life and give Himself for us. Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That's the type of Master we serve. That's the type of God we serve, one that would not only die for us, but one that would give His own son so that we might be redeemed, so that we might live eternally, so that we might receive the blessings and the rewards of this life.

Why not consider this morning the great price that has been paid for you? Why not consider this morning what we have been discussing and understanding that you need God because you are in sin? Why not remember this morning even if you are a child of God, that it is still the blood of Christ that continually cleanses you from all unrighteousness because you are striving to do those things that God has asked you. This morning, why not look to Jesus? Why not look to the blood and find purity therein?
(SONG # 3 - "I Believe in Jesus!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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It is our duty to help those of this world to realize that every human on this earth needs God, because without Him we will never find the true peace we need in this life - or the blessing to come in the next!
(Program closing)