THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 2-27-11

LESSON TITLE: “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE: MORALITY”

WELCOME

In 1 Peter 1:3 we learn that God’s, “…abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope.” What a truly merciful and caring God we serve. A God who loved us enough to beget us unto His wondrous blessing and promises! It is before this Magnificent Creator who we assemble today to laud and magnify His Holy Name!

Welcome to our program and let me thank you all for joining us this day for this time of Worship to our God. It is my prayer that we are all doing our best, today and every day, to accomplish everything according to God’s precious will and His eternal purpose. Won’t you do your part this morning so that God may truly be praised and so that all we offer toward His throne will be done in spirit and in truth.

With these thoughts in mind, will you bow with me before His almighty throne in prayer?

(PRAYER)

Now it’s time to join in our first song of the morning. Our first hymn of the day focuses our thoughts on the beautiful reward of Heaven. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be?”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

We began this morning with a portion of a verse found in 1 Peter. Now let’s consider the entire verse, there it says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Notice what we learn about our God in this passage!

First God is happy to provide and has provided an abundant mercy to those who will believe and obey. How wonderful it is to see that God the Father was willing to go to such extremes to see that we might be happy as well.

Secondly, notice that God the Father has begotten us unto a living hope! How has He accomplished this? Through the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Again we see here the great love and mercy of our God.

Finally, notice the outcome of such a caring and active God. This verse adds that we have a living hope! Wow, does this help us to realize just how much our God cares for us? He gives us hope as those who live in Him!

And what type of hope are we talking about here? I think the next verse helps clarify what this living hope is all about, it says, “to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,” Thanks be to God for His promise of the blessing of this life and the blessing of an eternal life to come. May we all live life today and every day to affirm that we are recipients of this great and wondrous promise!

We are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us again today as our guest speaker. As you may remember, brother Jerry is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us this day and we look forward to him guiding our thoughts on God’s Word at the appropriate time.

As far as our main study of the day, we will be continuing our discussion entitled “Let Your Light So Shine….” Our specific lesson of the morning will deal with, “Morality.” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Sullins will be leading 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, “Home Of the Soul.”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Jerry Sullins

We certainly want to thank you for being with the program this morning that is tuning in to the program and being a part of our listening audience. We appreciate so much your observing this program every Lord’s Day morning. Many of you are with us every Lord’s Day and we appreciate that so much.

We’re continuing our series concerning “Letting Our Light So Shine Before Men.” This morning, we’re going to be discussing the subject of morality.

It would be impossible for us to “let our lights so shine before men that they might see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven” unless we develop a proper system of morality. I’m aware of that in this day and time the modern day philosophy is that we have no right to exercise any system of morality upon our children, that is to teach our children any system of morality. This certainly is something that will bring doom to our nation. We must as Christians develop this system of morality that we see in the New Testament.

This is told of us or actually we can see this proclaimed in several different places in the New Testament itself. You might remember not too long ago when we were discussing the attributes of a Christian that are found in 2 Peter chapter 1 beginning with verse 5. There Peter said that “we ought to add to our faith virtue.” Now when we begin to define that word as we did when we were discussing that subject, we mentioned that it has to do with purity. It has to do with moral excellence. In fact, when we break that word down to what it actually means, it has to do with the spirit of having a manly attitude, a courage enabling a Christian to stand in the midst of temptations. It is the desire within a Christian to know what God’s Will is and to always do what is right. This is involved in adding to our faith that important attribute of virtue. It is the active courage in fighting the good fight of faith. It is that force within that is developed through our understanding and knowledge of the scripture, that is the Word of God, that we can develop this moral system, or a moral system that was devised by God Himself that we must portray in our Christian life if we are going to truly “let our light shine before men and they see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.”

It was Peter who said in 2 Peter 1 verse 3 that “God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” That makes us as we look into God’s Word and we see what those attributes are that we as Christians are supposed to have in our lives that makes it possible for us to be that chosen generation, that royal priesthood, that holy nation, that people of God’s own possession. So that we can do what? Show forth the Excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light as Peter said in 1 Peter 2 verse 9.

It is through understanding what Paul said in Philippians 4 verse 8 that also contributes to our understanding of how we are to be and what our moral system should be as we portray ourselves to others as Christians where Paul said in Philippians 4 verse 8, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, those that are just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there be any virtue, that is if there is any moral system of moral excellence, if there be any praise meditate on these things.”

So my brothers and sisters in Christ it is so important that we understand that the Christian life is one of design and one of purpose. Yes, it does take courage to stand upon those principles that God has given us in His Holy Word. And we do have a responsibility to choose what is right and what is wrong and determine within our lives that we will not do those things that are wrong in the sight of God.

I am perplexed today when I speak to different people and we discuss such subjects as this, but they seem to have the spirit of, “Well, why should we determine what is right or wrong?” Or “How should we determine what is wrong?” Or “Does anyone have the right to determine what is right and wrong?” Well certainly we do and what we determine in our lives whether it be right or wrong must be based upon the Will of God.

Do you remember what Paul said in Colossians 3 verse 17? He said, “Whatever we do in word or deed, let us do all in the name of…” That means by the authority of, “…Jesus Christ. So what does that mean? That means we must turn to the Bible, God’s Word, and we must understand what God desires of us. That’s the way we develop that system of what we might refer to this morning, that system which is moral in every way. That system that is based upon God’s Holy Word.

Do you remember what Paul said to Titus in Titus 2 verses 11 and 12? He said, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation unto all men…” That was Jesus Himself. He was the express image of the grace of God that brings salvation to all men and has done what? He teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live righteously, soberly, and godly in this present world. Now does that not make you understand that God is expecting us to make a choice in this life as Christians and that choice should be to do what? Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live a certain life, a righteous life, to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present world. As Christians, we need to do that. We must develop that moral system.

We have a great problem in our world today and that is the problem of immorality, as you well know. Every honest person who sincerely looks at the condition of our nation today understands that we have a moral decline. Many politicians, even politicians these days are making mention of the fact that our moral system has ceased to exist in many parts of our country. People no longer are interested in determining what is right and what is wrong or even consider anything whether it is right or wrong. Even this past week as we have looked at the crisis in Wisconsin we have seen that even doctors have been able to submit to doing things that are not correct, writing statements that are outright lies so that they can enable other people to lie to the government and on and on and on. This is a lack of having a proper moral system before God.

Do we not know what God said in Revelation chapter 2? He said this simply that, “All liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.” If God is who He is and I firmly believe that He is and His Word is true and I believe His Word is true and you do also, then people who lie are transgressing God’s Will.

We live in a situation today in the United States of America where the home is being broken apart. Over 50% of our homes end in divorce, and God, according to the Old Testament and in the New Testament writings, hates divorce. He instructs us that we should not divorce that mate that we have married, that it should be “til death do us part” unless the other mate is unfaithful to us.

We see sexual immorality everywhere. Over 1 billion dollars per year is spent in our nation, or is made in our nation of those who are involving themselves in pornography. There is wife swapping, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, and every filthy and unholy and ungodly thing going on in our nation today. These are the very sins that brought down the old cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, if you read your history books, every modern nation has been brought to its knees and overcome and overthrown because of immorality. Yes, we do have a serious problem in our nation today and in many of our families in this nation.

Well what can we do? Well it is very difficult sometimes to do anything because people have such attitudes as this,” Well everyone is doing it. So if everyone is doing it, I also have the right to do it.” Some people even say, “Well you only live once.” That’s true. You only live once and you die once, and after that the Hebrew writer says, “Comes the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) People say, “Well do your own thing. You don’t have the right to make a judgment concerning what I am doing.” Whereas the Bible says, “Judge righteous judgment.” It says, “If you see your brother overtaken in a fault you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of meekness and in love.” Some will say, “Well, no one is perfect.” Yes, God knows that. He made us that way. He made us where we could be imperfect but yet He gave a Savior to die upon the cross who said we ought to deny worldliness and worldly lusts and live righteously, soberly and godly in this present age.

So when we look around at our situation today here in the United States of America and we look at the world as a whole, we might ask ourselves, “Well what can we do?” Oh, it is very frustrating isn’t it? When we so much of the world giving itself to what John said, “The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.”

So what can we as mere individuals do? Well that’s where we begin to correct the problem. Remember what Paul said in Romans 12 verse 2? He said, “Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds that you might prove what is a good and acceptable and perfect Will of God.” So we must not conform to the world. The verse previous to that says that we ought to “do everything in our lives to add those Christian principles to our lives to live pure, holy and godly before others in this world.” That’s what God would desire for us to do. See? The church exists in the world, but we must not be of the world. We must in every way turn away from those things of the world. Well what can we do? Well we have that influence we know because Jesus said that we are the light of the world. We are the salt of the earth and we must not lose that savor. We must continue to be a good influence on this world today. What else can we do? We can maintain our purity and be an example to the world. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5 verse 6, he warned the people, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” And so I look at that in two ways. Some people say, “Well that’s bad.” I say, “Well, that’s good because you as a Christian can have a great influence on your family. You can have a great influence on this city. You can have a great influence on this state. You can have a great influence on this nation. You can have a great influence in this world today.” It starts with one person.

And so I challenge you to maintain purity in your life and be a great example to others around you. You can also take a firm stand against evil. When is the last time you stood against those who are involving themselves in alcoholism? When is the last time you spoke up and tried to help these people? When is the last time you refused to allow someone to tell you the benefits of pornography, or the so-called benefits of pornography, and laugh at it like it is a joke? When is the last time you stood up against sexual permissiveness? When is the last time you stood up against all of these sins that are not only destroying our families but destroying our nation and this world?

James said, “Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, that we visit or care for the widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.” That is what we need to strive to do as God’s children.

You know what we can do as Christians? To try to teach this morality, God’s plan of morality that so needs to be taught in this world today. We can preach it. We can teach it. We can live it in our lives, and by living it other people will see it; our children, our grandchildren, whatever the case might be, and because of that many people can be led to a pure life before God and a life that will lead others to that same purity. So we have to have the courage to stand. We have to have the determination to teach what we need to be teaching to others by not only the way we live, but by what we say to others so that we can make this place a better world to live in.

Well how do I deal with my sin? Well certainly if we find ourselves involved in immorality we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, be willing to confess His precious name before men, repent or turn away from those sins as the writer said in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized,” and then be immersed into Christ for the remission of our sins. My friends, that’s the way we become a child of God, when we can put on Christ and live for Christ as we need to live for Christ, take the courage to stand against the things of this world, involve ourselves in those things that will cause others to look at our lives and say, “That person truly is a Christian.”

So I challenge you this morning as fellow children of God to let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

(SONG # 3 - “I Am Thine Oh Lord!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

As always it was great to have you join us this morning. I hope our time together has been uplifting and profitable to all. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!

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Are you striving to let your light shine as a morally conscience individual in this world? Why not reflect today and everyday the wonder and glory of a perfect God! Won’t you give your best to God always?

(Program closing)