THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 2-27-05
LESSON TITLE: "WHO IS JESUS?: JESUS AS TRUTH"
"...Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Just how much do you love your God on this wondrous Lord's Day morning? I hope it is with every fiber of your being, with the totality of your human nature!
Thanks for joining us this day for God's Living Word. Let me remind us again of just how blessed we are to have opportunities like this to praise our God and to do those things which are according to His will. Are you willing to do your part this morning to make this time successful in the service of God?
Now, as we begin our offering to God, will you bow with me in prayer!
What better way to worship God than in song. So at this time let's join together in our first hymn of the day, it's name, "God Is A Fountain Whence."
(SONG # 1)
As we begin this morning, consider the love which we are to have for our Creator. A love that is required of all who will follow Jesus and obey His will.
However, let's consider for a moment just how important it is that we love God? As we read from Matthew 22:37, at the beginning of our program, we learn that this was the "first and greatest command," from God almighty Himself! Let me remind you that these were also the very words of Jesus Christ, which He was proclaiming to His disciples. I would say that if God has said we must do it, then it must be very important.
Along these same lines, I remember a day in the history of Israel, when Joshua challenged God's people to love their God. In chapter 23, and verse 11 of his book, we read, "Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God." In the context, Joshua had reminded Israel of all that God had done, and was doing for them. He was caring for them, guiding them and protecting them. In fact, in verse 10, he went so far as to say that God had even fought for them against the wicked nations of Canaan. So what a beautiful thought Joshua is placing before the people of God here, as he reminds them to be careful how they deal with such a powerful and mighty God. Because God truly deserves and requires our respect and reverence.
Brethren, the reality is, our God requires the same today. He wants our love, service and obedience. He has asked us to submit to His will and do all that He has commanded. However, He has not asked us to obey or to follow, without first doing His part and showing His wondrous love and concern in each of our lives. You see, God first loved us and proved it through all that He has done and is doing for us. Therefore, we should also love Him, through a clearly seen obedience of those things which He has required of us through His Word. Are you showing this type of love to your God? Isn't He worthy of our complete love, considering all that He has done for us? Will you choose this day to, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."
Today we will be continuing our series entitled, "Who Is Jesus?" Our lesson of the day will deal with, "Jesus as Truth!" So stay with us this morning, and after our next song together, I will lead us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "A New Creature."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
I'm glad you've stayed with us this morning and now we go back to our study about "Who Is Jesus?" Again, our primary text there in John chapter 1 has introduced to us many facets of who Christ is, really characteristics, ideas that present some different identifying marks or clarifications as to who He was and really as ascribed by God what really Jesus means to us. So we've had so far a great study together. A lot of good men have helped us with that study. So today, we want to continue as well by looking at the next idea that is presented.
Last week, you might recall that we looked at Jesus again as the fullness of Christ. That concept of fullness, that is really identified to us over in Colossians chapter 1 and verse 19, as well as Colossians chapter 2 and verse 9 where it says that, "He was the fullness of God." "He is the complete essence of God that came to the earth," here as we see in John chapter 1 and verse 14, "that actually became flesh and dwelt among men." Here in the same verses we continue, that is verse 14, and we saw last week that "He was full of grace," that is this Jesus who was sent by the Father, but the next idea is truth. He was full of what? "Grace and truth." Then as it goes on there in verse 17, dropping down, he continues the idea by saying that the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth, notice came from Jesus Christ. It is that truth today that we want to consider. The grace and truth and now has been established, not by the Old Law or by Moses' Law or by something that the prophets of old or something that we read from the Old Law, but that which has been revealed, completely revealed to us in the New Law. Really in a nutshell as we will see, it is that truth in and of itself, the fullness of Christ in grace and truth, the truth itself that really is the confirmation of the complete revelation, the complete revealing of the mysteries of God as we see in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 9. Those things that again show to us that "all things have been made known to us, all things pertaining," as Peter said, "pertaining to life and godliness." So we know all that we need to know through the Word of God which now we would like to present as the Word of truth.
As we look at the word "truth" here, it's not hard for us to understand that which is true as opposed to something that is not true. If we say something is true, then certainly we know that it is right, it is proper, that it is something that can be counted on, it is something that is correct. Whereas those things that would be untrue would be the opposite, things that would really be for us unable to count on, those things that are not right, not proper. But as we look at truth here and we identify, that is the concept of truth, what is it that we find scripture revealing to us? Well, we have it revealing to us here that it was Jesus who was the fullness, as we've seen, of God. The fullness of what? The fullness of grace, there again exemplifying grace and the fullness of what? Truth. And so as we explore this concept, I think we can first begin over in John chapter 14 and verse 6 there where Jesus Himself proclaimed that, "I am the way, the truth and the life." You see there again that fullness concept? That Word that became flesh and dwelt among men. That Word that is not only the life and the light and really God Himself in the flesh and that Word that really is the Creator, but really that "Word, Jesus Christ that is truth and that it is that truth," here that it says, "is required as one of those things that brings us back to the Father, the way Jesus is, the truth that Jesus is and it says here, "the life that Jesus is."
So then as we look at this truth, what then does it mean? What does it really explain to us about this Christ, about this Jesus who we are studying about? Over in chapter 17 of the same book, John 17 and verse 17, again the words of Jesus as He was really declaring to His disciples here in a prayer, so to speak, a concept of really what it was that He hoped not only for them but those who would someday even obey His Will. He clarifies there what the Word and Truth are. In fact, what this clarification is is that they are one in the same, that God's Word is Truth. So as we read there in verse 17 of chapter 17 the Bible says, "Sanctify them by your truth. Your Word is true." There Jesus, speaking of the Word of the Father and clarifying that it was the Word of the Father that was truth. Well read on there in John. Read on in chapters backing up to chapter 14, 15, 16 and so on and so forth, even up to 17 and learn how that Jesus came to accomplish the Will of the Father, that the words that He spoke were not of His own account, not of His own ideas or concepts, but it was the words of the Father, that His actions were again to accomplish the Will of the Father. Everything Jesus was about, Jesus, God in the flesh, the one who had come to the earth for our sakes, the one full of grace, the one full of truth, He is the individual, the being in the flesh, then that has revealed to us through His flesh, the Word. What was that Word again? The Word of God. What was that Word again? The Truth, because the Truth is the Word.
Now then as we begin to understand more about the Truth and understanding that certainly we need to know who Jesus is, that He is the Truth, that He provides that which is the right, the right way, the right path, the right precepts that we must follow and that the path and the precepts and the concepts that we must know as truth are found in the Word of God. Then let's further drop back to John chapter 8 and see what the Truth is described through the Words of Christ once again as really their effect on man. Since we know that Jesus is the Truth, since we know that it is His Word again that is Truth and that all of His Word is the Word of God, thus again described as true. Let's look there at John chapter 8 and see what the outcome is of the truth.
Notice there if you will beginning with me in verse 31 where Jesus said to the Jews who believed Him, these were believers. What did He say to them? He said, "If you abide in my Word, you are My disciples indeed." Notice what He's talking about here is that if one abides, if one does His Will, abides in His Word. Notice the word that He uses in the next verse as a synonym to one who abides in the Word again. Notice verse 32. "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." He said that if you abide My Word, guess what. Then you are doing My Word and an obedience to My Word brings what? Freedom. Now the word that He uses in verse 32 is that as you are told to obey My Word, obey the Truth. Anyone who obeys the Truth finds freedom, freedom through Christ Jesus. So Jesus being the truth, Jesus being the completion of the Word, the one bringing the Word of the Father to man verbally and then the one who prayed to the Father that He might send the Spirit and then the Spirit, in a miraculous way indwelling the apostles of that day and the disciples, that they might not only know but that they might preach and teach and even perform miracles to confirm that what they were proclaiming was from God Almighty the Father Himself. Certainly again, the Word of God, the Truth, those things that bring freedom, freedom from a life of bondage and sin. That's what He goes on to talk about there as they simply were asking the questions, "What is this bondage that we're in? What is this freedom that we need?" He goes on really to proclaim to them, "The freedom that you need is from sin," in verse 34, that "they were slaves of sin when they committed sins." But in verse 35, once they abide in the Word, which there in verse 35 it actually says is abiding in the Son of God who again is the Word, who again is the Truth. Once we abide in the Son, the Word, the Truth, we are free because of the precious promises of God Almighty.
So again, we find here that yes, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life. Yes, the Truth is the Word of God, that Jesus is the very being, the very thing that exemplified in the flesh of God, in the fullness of God that which the Word and Truth is all about. So therefore as we understand these things that it is only through Him that we find this freedom, this freedom from sin and old things and even the Old Law in order that we might follow Christ Jesus, in order that we might be translated out of the kingdom of darkness into a kingdom of the Son of God because of grace and truth, as there in Colossians chapter 1 and verse 13.
Now what I'd like to do with the remainder of our time is to look further at Truth in relationship to really the concept of what Truth is as far as a benefit for us, you and I that is, as those who love God, those who strive to do His Will. What is that truth and the requirements of it as we have seen in His Word? Well we have already seen first and foremost that it brings us freedom from sin, freedom from bondage, freedom from the yoke unto Christ Jesus because there we, under Him, have a liberty, a liberty in Christ. But if you'll notice with me as well in the book of 2 Timothy, we find there that the Truth certainly then further demonstrates and ability of knowledge. And what does knowledge do? Knowledge helps us then to really carry out that which God requires of us? It helps us to not only know what He wants, but it helps us to be able to know how to do what He wants.
If you'll notice with me in a familiar verse there then of 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 15, he says, "They are to be diligent (or study, as the King James says) to present yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." Notice now the next idea that is brought in here as we again see the Word and the Truth tied together so specifically and really beautifully here by the author, that again is the author Paul to Timothy, the young evangelist, and as he tells him to study the Word, study the scripture, to grow in knowledge, which again would be the Truth of God, he says, "Do so, so that you can rightly divide." You see, when we begin to understand Truth in Jesus, we need to understand that knowing Jesus, knowing Truth is all about knowing the Will of God and being able to rightly divide it. You know that tells us specifically that if there is a way to rightly divide it, then there is certainly a right way and there certainly is a wrong way, that the concept of Truth itself, as delivered here, is something that is not only of the Word of God, but something that has been delivered, something that must be studied and something that must be applied as God intended for it to be applied, not as I want it to be applied, not as I think it should be applied, but to applied as God has commanded. So we rightly divide the Word of Truth according to the wisdom that God has given us. So certainly we understand that the Truth being Jesus and the Word of God and the revelation that we have as we study and learn it, it is something that we must handle right.
Another concept that is tied directly to the Truth is the great need for an obedience. It is not enough just to know the Truth as it said there. The knowledge of the Truth is really an action that is being described. It is an obedience that is being described and we know that because other writers in scripture such as Peter in 1 Peter chapter 1 tells us that, "One must obey the Truth in order that he or she be found acceptable in the sight of God, that one be rewarded in the things of God."
I want you to notice with me then in 1 Peter chapter 1 beginning in verse 22 what God says through the Holy Spirit and Peter. The Bible says in verse 22, "Since you have impurified your souls in obeying the Truth through the Spirit in the sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again not of corruptible but of incorruptible through the Word of God which lives and abides forever." The Word of God. What does the Word of God do? The Word of God, that Truth that is obeyed, it says here that, "it brings us incorruptibly before God. It is that which abides forever," and it is that which causes us to act like we should towards our brethren. You see, we're challenged here in the truth to obey the truth, that Word of God, again those words used in the two verses interchangeably, helping us to understand that a part of fulfilling the Truth is accomplishing the tasks and the commands and the requirements that God has placed before us in the Truth itself. And when we do it, notice the blessed promises, the rewards and the beauties that are mentioned there and how that not only the Word will endure forever but that you and I, ourselves, will live eternally.
And as well in relationship to the Truth, in 2 Peter chapter 1, we find that not only is it something that we must obey, but that it is something that we must be established in. Notice that the three that we've discussed here are all tied together. To know the Word of God, you certainly are going to obey it if you want to be proper with God and thus you will be one who is presented as obedient before God. But as well to know and to study the Word of God and then to be one who obeys it, certainly you are one who will be established in it, to stand in it, to be strong in it. In 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 12, notice the way that Peter puts it in this passage. He says, "For this reason, I will not neglect to remind you always of these things though you know and are established in the present truth." Established in what? You and I know that we are to be followers of the Word of God established in the... He says here that "they were established in the Word of God," yet he says, "I am going to tell you again what you need to hear about His Will, although you probably know what I'm going to tell you, I'm going to tell you again and again and again, although you are established in the present truth, I want you to know the truth once again to make sure you are right."
Brethren, do we understand then the great need to know who Jesus is? Because He is the Truth. He is the Word of God. He is the one who gave us the Word. As we tie these together, He then is the one as the Word, as the Truth, as God in the flesh, the fullness of God that must be obeyed, that must be stood on, established in, so that we might in all things glorify Him and as well glorify the Father through Him because an obedience in the Son is certainly an obedience, a love and respect for the Father and the Spirit.
I encourage us all today to know who Jesus is and to know that Jesus is Truth and He is that Truth that will bring us freedom from this life, freedom that will eventually reward us in an eternal life forever with our Father on high.
(SONG # 3 - "Footprints Of Jesus!")
What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord's Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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God's Word clearly proclaims that our Jesus is the Truth. How wonderful it is to know this truth, which is the complete Will of God - which was delivered to us, once and for all, through His Precious Son, Jesus Christ.