THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 2-12-12

LESSON TITLE: “HIS OWN SPECIAL PEOPLE: SPECIAL IN KNOWLEDGE”

WELCOME

Good morning and welcome to the Living Word Program. It is a great honor to have you with us this morning for this time of worship to God. Thanks for choosing to be with us!

As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise to our God and to study from His perfect Word! I hope each of us will do our part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let’s approach His throne in prayer.

(Prayer)

Isn’t it wonderful to know all of the great things our God has done for us? We are especially blessed to find complete peace in a God of peace. This morning we want to begin with a song that reminds us of this precious promise of God. So, won’t you join in with the brethren at this time as we sing together, “Peace, Perfect Peace?”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

I was reading in the book of Revelation the other day and I came to a verse which reminded me of the magnificence of God. In chapter 22:13, the inspired John said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Think about the all encompassing words used here in this verse. They reflect some very important facts about our savior Jesus Christ.

Notice here that Christ is mentioned to be the very first and the very last, and the beginning and the end. In other words He is everything from start to finish. I think this is what David had in mind in Psalm 41, when he said, “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen,” verse 13. It seems like this great man of God realized exactly who God was. But you might wonder, what does this beginning or everlasting mean. Well again, David considers this in Psalm 8:23, where he says, from everlasting means, “From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.”

The New Testament writers also dealt with this topic as they tried to help God’s followers understand the everlastingness of Jesus Christ. In John 1:1-2, we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” Verse three goes on to say, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” This clearly tells us that our everlasting Jesus was in the beginning as God, with the Father God!

Another word which helps us to understand this same concept is “eternal!” Notice what Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:17, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” Again we find that the Father and Son are equally eternal or everlasting, with no beginning and no end.

Now we need to mention the third personality of God, because the Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is God and is eternal. Read with me if you will from Hebrews 9:14, there it says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” It is clear in this verse that the Spirit of God is likewise eternal and considered as an important part of the God head.

So when we think about who our God really is and what He is all about, we must always remember that He is truly eternal and everlasting without beginning and without end. Only God could have this characteristic which makes Him stand out above all else that we have knowledge of. So the next time you read from verses like Matthew 28:19, which gives us the great commission, remember the fact that this God who saves us is truly a one of a kind and awesome one. That’s why Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Have you obeyed His Will or are you ready to make that commitment today?

Our topic of study this morning will again center around our topic entitled, “His Own Special People.” Our specific lesson today will focus on “Special In Knowledge.” So, please stay with us and in a few minutes and we will return with this study from God’s Word.

As far as our guest speaker, we are happy to again have brother Kevin Patterson. Brother Kevin is the minister for the Hwy 13 Church of Christ in Bolivar Missouri. We thank him for being with us and look forward to him leading our thoughts at the appropriate time.

Now it’s time to join in our second hymn of the day, the name of the song, “Amazing Grace.”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Kevin Patterson

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.”

Good morning, and thank you for staying with us this morning and I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you and to provide to you another lesson from God’s Holy Word.

The passage that I read just a moment ago in part was from 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 9-10. It was a writing that the apostle Peter wrote addressing Christians, children of God and telling them what they were now that they had found themselves in Christ. He mentions a number of things: a chosen generation, that royal priesthood, a holy nation. Over the last several weeks we have begun a new theme entitled, “His Own Special People.” That’s what we are going to take a look at this morning. We have covered topics such as a special people, a special name, a special faith, even a special worship.

This morning we are going to take a look at “Special In Knowledge.” Let me be clear. That’s not suggesting that we would have access to some special knowledge outside of God’s Word as many in the religious community might suggest. NO, we are talking about the uniqueness that we have as Christians because of the knowledge that’s not provided just to a select few, but has been made available to the entire world.

Like a lot of words in our English language, the word “knowledge” can mean more than one thing. In the Bible that’s not any different. The word “knowledge” is used differently and sometimes if we didn’t know any better, we might suggest that those meanings would contradict. But let’s take a look at how we can understand the difference between the two. Let me give you an example of one of these passages.

1 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 1-2 reads, “Now concerning things offered to idols we know that we all have knowledge, knowledge puffs up but love edifies.” If anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. This passage of scripture suggests that knowledge which we have can puff a person up or some translations say will make them arrogant, so some would say that knowledge is not a very good thing. And yet, it talks about if you think you know something you probably don’t know near what you ought to know. So knowledge is in some cases suggested to be a negative attribute. But in other passages of scripture, knowledge is something that is not only positive but it’s something that we are encouraged to have.

Paul would say in Philippians chapter 1 verses 9-11, “And this I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense til the day of Christ being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” So here is a passage of scripture that suggests not only that we have knowledge but that we abound more and more in it. Why? Because it will better provide us with those things that we need in the kingdom of God in order to please Him.

Well how do we know what these things are and what passages of scripture might we learn to know the distinctions between bad knowledge and good knowledge, the kind of knowledge that is negative and we don’t want to have and the kind of knowledge that is good and we do want to have?

Let me take a look all the way back to Genesis just for a second and remind you of something that we find early in the creation of man. You might remember that Adam and Eve were created and they were placed in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis chapter 2 and verse 9 we find that there are two trees that are present in that garden. One is the Tree of Life. That was a good tree. But there was another tree called The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I want you to think about that name, The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That was the tree that Adam and Eve were told, “Don’t have anything to do with it. Don’t touch that tree. Don’t eat its fruit. The day that you do, you will surely die.” You remember the story. Adam and Eve did eat its fruit. They sinned by disobeying God and they were exposed to knowledge. You might even say they gained knowledge. The knowledge they gained was something sinful. The knowledge they gained was something that was contrary to God in His Will for them.

If you’ll consider for just a moment that God created Adam and Eve perfect. He did not want them to sin. He did not want them to disobey His Will, but they did and as a result they grew in knowledge but not the kind of knowledge that was pleasing to God, but in fact the kind of knowledge that separated them from Him.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 18-31, a long passage that we don’t have time to read here but I would encourage you to read that passage sometime. It talks a lot about the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. We might even use that to understand what we’re talking about this morning, the knowledge that man has versus the knowledge that God has. What we think we know versus what God actually does know, and where we obtain our knowledge and our information and our wisdom and our understanding versus where God would like for us to go to achieve these things. In this passage of scripture there’s several questions asked. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has God’s not made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through wisdom did not know God. It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believed.

Down in verse 25 it reads, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” You see men have strengths and weaknesses, but God’s strength is stronger. His weakness is stronger than our greatest strength. So when it comes to knowledge, we would recognize that when we think we know something, we really know very little especially compared to the infinite knowledge of our Lord.

So let’s talk about the first of those two types of knowledge, the evil knowledge, that negative knowledge, that false knowledge that the Bible would suggest. Paul warned Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 6 verses 20-21, he said, “Oh Timothy, guard what was committed to your trust. Avoid the profane and idle babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge. By professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.”

We see people in the pulpits representing the knowledge of God when in fact it is false knowledge. It’s not based upon God’s Word. You might hear them on the radio. You might even see them on television. How do you know if it’s true or false? You go to God’s Word. You check out what is being said. You examine to ensure that what is said is so. That’s your responsibility in making sure that you do not embrace a false type of knowledge.

Paul would go on to tell Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:23-26, “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes knowing that they generate strife.”

We don’t want to be a part of false knowledge. We don’t want to be a part of a sinful or evil knowledge. We want to be a part of the knowledge that comes from God. You know the great and wise and knowledgeable King Solomon spent much of his life searching the world for answers and he ultimately found out that the answers lie with God.

In Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verses 16-18, Solomon said, “I commune with my heart saying, Look I have obtained greatness and I have obtained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge and I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceive that this also is grasping for the wind for in much wisdom is much grief and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” Not the kind of knowledge that comes from God. The knowledge that comes from God not only leads to joy, happiness and peace in this life but in eternity of that to come. The people who search for knowledge in this world, who search for knowledge in themselves always come up short. Solomon says, “It is like grasping for the wind.”

He says in chapter 2 and verse 21, “There is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge and skill and yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and great evil.” Think about those people who spend a lifetime pursuing the knowledge of the world and in the end they too will die.

We need to seek the knowledge that comes from God because even Solomon concluded in Ecclesiastes chapter 13 and 14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments for this is man’s all, for God will bring every work in the judgment including every secret thing whether good or evil.”

So at the end of Solomon’s writings he says, “Fear God and keep His commandments.” If you want to know what you need to know, if you want to know where to obtain knowledge, that’s where it begins.

Interestingly enough, in Proverbs chapter 1 as we move into examining that good or true type of knowledge it would again be Solomon who would say in Proverbs 1 and verse 7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Not necessarily what we find in text books or in the newspaper or in other sources of world made knowledgeable documents, but he says to fear the Lord which begins by reading and understanding and in embracing of God’s Word.

Romans chapter 11 and verse 33, Paul mentions, “The depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out?”

The Bible tells us that from God we can know what we need to know. We can obtain what we need to obtain. That if we can consider some of the passages in the Bible that will help us to realize that knowledge then we can grow in the positive way that will lead us into the eternal home.

I want you to consider as I read very quickly some passages of scripture just touching on what these little pearls of wisdom teach us about knowledge.

Proverbs 2:5-6, “Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God for the Lord gives wisdom from His mouth the knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Proverbs 10:14, “Wise people store up knowledge,”

Proverbs 11:9, “Through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.”

Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly.”

Proverbs 15:14, “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge.”

Proverbs 18:15, “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

Proverbs 24:3-5 reads, “Through wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established. By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong. Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength.”

As we have said before, so we say again, the knowledge of God is revealed to us in His Holy Word. But there are a lot of people who will reject that knowledge, a lot of people who are not interested in the Bible. There are a lot of people who are not interested in the teachings in God’s Will for man.

Isaiah the prophet would say, “Therefore my own people have gone into captivity because they have no knowledge.” (Isaiah 5:13)

Hosea would write in Hosea chapter 4 and verse 6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.”

But Hosea would also write in Hosea chapter 6 and verse 6 what God desires more than anything. He says, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice in the knowledge of God more than burnt offering.”

You see it is through the knowledge of God that we can develop a faith and it is through that faith that we can be saved in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:17 teaches us that, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The Word of God that gives us that knowledge that can make us a special and unique people.

But you know what if we accept the knowledge of God, and if we are like the few that will embrace that source of all information, we can be saved in the end.

2 Peter chapter 3 verses 17-18 reads, “You therefore beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness being led away with the error of the wicked, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

When it comes to the knowledge of God, that is something that we should grow in. That’s something that we should mature in. That’s something we should want to be made whole and complete and perfect in the eyes of God.

You know it is no different than a person who grows up physically. I want you to think about that little baby that’s born, that beautiful, precious little baby who is made innocent. You know that infant does not know good or evil. That infant only knows the love that is provided to him by his parents and that infant grows into a small child. The infant trusts completely in his parents and everything that Mom and Dad says is right and he doesn’t question it at all. But then of course, the teenage years come along, and we understand what that means. They start trusting in themselves more than they trust in Mom and Dad. Sometimes it leads to an all out rebellion altogether concerning the will of the parents. But you know after a lot of years of struggling, most kids turn into adults and most adults realize Mom and Dad knew something after all and they weren’t so wrong in the end. That’s how we need to be with God. We need to go to maturity so that we can be a people who trust completely in Him knowing that the knowledge that comes from Him will save us in the end.

(SONG # 3 - “Be With Me Lord!”)

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.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

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Are you walking in the truth as God commands, based on a clear knowledge of His Word? Let’s all study more every day to make sure we know God’s truth, that we may obey it unto salvation and eternal life!

(Program closing)