THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 2-3-02

LESSON TITLE: EXAMINING GOD: "HOW DO WE KNOW GOD AND HIS WILL?"

WELCOME

We are excited to have you with us today for the Living Word Program. What a wondrous Lord's Day morning it is. As always it is an honor and privilege to have you with us. We are thankful you have chosen to join us as we commit this time to the things of God. It is our hope and prayer this morning that we may each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before Him and according to His Word. Now let's begin by talking to God through prayer!
(Short Prayer)

Our first song this morning reminds us of just how great and wondrous our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "I Stand Amazed."

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Whenever we go to buy a new house, car, furniture or virtually anything - the first thing we look at is the outward appearance! Then we immediately begin to consider the quality or the workmanship that was put into making the item. If we see or find a lot of flaws or imperfections in the item, we generally will be less likely to buy it or even want it.

Have you ever considered that you and I as followers of God, serve the same purpose to those who are in this world? Wasn't it Paul that said, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them," Ephesians 2:10. You see, we are God's workmanship, created by Him.

So, what does this tell us about those who live around us and see what we do and say. It is through our actions and words that our workmanship is seen by the world. When others hear what we say or see what we do, then they know that we are either a perfect creation made by the workman, God Himself - or an imperfect creation, not showing forth the glory of He who made us.

I also love what is said here about why we are created - for good works. Do you realize that the very reason we are made by God and like Him, is to do His will. This is something that God planned from the beginning, that you and I would follow Him by doing His will unto good works.

What a beautiful picture of Christ we can present to this world if we allow our workmanship to be seen as spotless, just as the one who has made us. What type of workmanship do you show forth for your God?

A final verse I would like to mention is found in Psalms 139:14. There David the Psalmist said, "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." In a few minutes our next song will deal with these very same ideas, as we think to Christ the creator, who has made us so wonderfully and done so much for us.

Well, its almost time to begin our study from God's Word. Our specific topic today will answer the question, "How do we know God and His Will?" This is our next lesson in the series on "Examining God." So, please continue with us this morning and in a few minutes I will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "Soldiers of Christ Arise."
(SONG # 2)


LESSON

Speaker: Ray Sullins

For two weeks now, we've been able to look at God and His will in trying to understand exactly who God is and not only who God is, but also the concepts or ideas of "Is there a God?" Looking at concepts like evolution, maybe theories we might also call them, the different ideas that men present sometimes that say that there is no God. So we've tried over the past several weeks to examine God and knowing more about what the world thinks, what people think, what our neighbors think, and exactly what we should think in relationship to "Is there a God, and who is He?"

Now today we want to build on that because we've well established that it is more reasonable to believe in God than to believe in anything else and that surely through all the evidences that we have such as the ideas that man has a desire to serve God and a desire to worship God and really that of the world shows that there is a designer because of it's wondrous design and it's complexity because every time you find some kind of an effect, there is a certain cause that caused it. Again, higher forms have to make those that are lower forms or things that are of less significance. So there had to have been something greater than the world and everything as we know it. Last week, we specifically looked at who God was, His great power, His great knowledge. Then again we want to find out how is it that we know these things? You know if there is a God and He is so great, He is so powerful, He knows so many things and He is able to accomplish such wondrous and vast things in this world today and has privileged us with so many things and He's all knowing and unchangeable. How do we know these things? Well, the way that we know them is through the word.

So today, we want to ask the question, "How do we know God and His will?" And again it is through the Bible. The Bible is the precious book, the book that God gave us in order to know the things that we have need to know. In fact, in our day and time, here in New Testament times, we are well blessed and privileged because we've been given the revelation, the complete revelation that we can hold in our own hands. We can read for ourselves. We can study. And we cannot only know about those times past that are the schoolmasters to bring us to today, that were the tutors to bring us to Christ Jesus, but we can know all things that were revealed from the very beginning of creation all the way through now to the presence of the church and all those things that pertain to us as New Testament Christians.

So as we look then at the word of God, let's look at some verses that really prove to us that yes, the Bible is the place that we go to find out who God is and to have a great knowledge about all of His will.

Let's begin first of all in a very familiar verse that is found in 2 Timothy. In chapter 3 there, Paul talking to this young evangelist must have been really dealing with somewhat the same type of question as he was trying to help Timothy know how important the word was. In other words, that word which was delivered by God. Of course at that time, we know that mainly it was being revealed through the Holy Spirit and there were some of these letters being written and circulated, but as far as being compiled as we have it today which is often referred to as the canon of the Bible as it was brought together as one unit. They did not have that privilege in that day. So they again really worked off of the Holy Spirit and primarily His guidance as well as some of the letters that were beginning to circulate. But what was it that Paul told Timothy about the scripture, about the word of God, again referencing the concepts of old and even those things that were being written anew according to the will of God. Notice there if you will in verses 16 and 17 of chapter 3 in 2 Timothy where he said, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof or correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped unto every good work." As we look at the text here, we see clearly, clearly that it is the word of God that we have in our hands. It doesn't say here, "some scripture." It doesn't say here, "one or two or maybe the Old Testament scripture." It says, "all scripture." In other words, everything that has proven the test of time that has shown it's validity according to what God's will is. "All scripture," it says here is given by who? Not by man, but is given "by God." What is it given for? It's given here for profitability. It's given here to know the doctrine of God, to profit us in knowing the will of God as it says here again, the doctrine. Not only that but it says here, "to correct us, to give us the correction and instruction, to reprove us" as we need that in Christ Jesus.

And then he goes on to say that not only have we been given that book to show us the way and to guide us in all things as it is all is from God, but then he goes on in verse 17 to say that "He has done this to equip us that the man of God might be equipped." Who gave the scripture? God. All scripture is to equip us to do what? To do "all good works." Here again, if you'll notice he says, "To thoroughly equip for every good work." Well I like actually what was said in verse 15 and we could have started there earlier, because Paul also said, "and that from a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." There he even said to Timothy, he said, "You've known from your childhood the Holy Scriptures." And what would those scriptures do? Paul said there, he said, "They will make you wise unto salvation. They will build your faith," he said. And why? Because all scripture is from God. All scripture is given by God to guide us in all things and to help us in every way that we need as well as correct us and it's done so that we might be His workmen, so that we might be those that are doing that which is proper and according to His will.

I ask you also to turn to another familiar verse that is found in 2 Peter. Peter also gave us a clear idea about scripture and where scripture came from and who wrote scripture. 2 Peter chapter 1 if you'll look there in verses 20 and 21, it says the following, "Know this first that no prophecy of scripture is of any interpretation for prophecy never came by the will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Here we have in a bit more laymen terms something about scripture, about prophecy, about those things that were written down, that were given to us here as it says by God Himself. It wasn't a private interpretation. It wasn't a mere man as it says also in verse 21, but holy men of God. In other words, faithful men of God were lead by who? The Holy Spirit.

Now if you go back to Timothy and you go back there again, we see the concept of inspiration. The idea of inspiration actually means that it was God-breathed. In other words, God breathed through those who wrote. He pinned through them the Holy Scripture. Why can we depend on it? Because it's from God and He lead there thoughts and their minds and their hearts. And even though when we read Paul's works, and Peter's works, and John's works, they vary some because of the background or the culture they had or the education they had, we still see that it is in accordance to what He had them to write as He lead them by the Holy Spirit, inspired them, breathed through them the words that He knew should be revealed to His children, that is mankind, you and I.

In fact, you might also back up in verse 3 of the same chapter. Again, 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 3 says this. "And His divine power has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by virtue and glory." Here we see again that God has revealed and given us all things. All things to do what? Pertaining to life and godliness. Not just spiritually, not just a godly aspect does He tell us what to do. But also all things pertaining to life, how we live and what we should do and what we should say and how to go about everyday being those who are found honorable in this world and godliness.

So yes, God has written and provided for us His word, the scripture, the scripture that lets us know who He is so that we can go to places like Genesis chapter 1 and read that "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth," as we've already studied in our series. So that we can go to places and understand as John 3:16 that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that we might believe in Him and have eternal life." Again, all of these things would not be known. We could not understand them as clearly if we didn't have these scriptures today, the Holy Book, the Bible, God's word, all inspired from Him so that we could follow it and know Him, truly know Him and know His will.

I might also suggest this morning with the rest of our time so concepts about why it was revealed to us. How is it that His word helps us so much? Besides knowing God, as we've already readily determined. In fact, last week looking at Him as the supreme being and laying out so many scriptures that told us all about our God and what He was all about and how He reacts and how great and powerful He is. Again, we've looked clearly from scripture at who our God is. So yes, again, scripture tells us who our God is, but we might also consider that it is one that tells us who we are. You know we've all asked the question and wondered in our lives and thought in our hearts, "Well, where are we from? What's it all about? Why was I created? Why am I on this earth?" Well again, it's the Bible that clearly gives us the understanding of where we're from, God making us. As Isaiah said, "So that we might be made in to His praise and glory." So that we might again give Him the homage and devotion that He deserves as our creator. So yes, we can find there in the scripture again from God, the almighty, the all powerful, the all knowing, where we came from. And as we see in the beginning, we came from a man, which He created, Adam and Eve. And throughout the ages as man has continued on this earth, God has blessed them and brought them up according to His love. Yes, God loved us enough to create us, to breathe breath into our nostrils, to give us the life that now is in our bodies in order that we might follow Him.

But not only does it tell us who we are but it also gives us the hope of where we're going. Again, I might ask you, Without God's word, would we know? Would we have a good idea where we're from? Would we have a good idea of where we're going? Would we really know if we're going to someday just perish and there is nothing else when we die? Would we know about heaven, about the concept of eternal life? Would we know about the immortality that Paul talks about of the soul, that soul that will exist forever, that will never die even though our flesh returns to the dust, that soul that essence of man will go and be without it's God? How would we know these things is the question. How would we know what to do in reference to God's will unless again we had His word? Unless He had revealed these things to us to help us know that yes, someday we will give an account and we will be rewarded for those things that we have done according to His will and we'll be well blessed just as we are told in the Bible that we are also well blessed in this life.

And that would bring us to our next point, that He meets our every need. The Bible tells us that God is there, that every good and perfect gift comes from where? From God. God not only cares and protects us, shows us the way, shows us His love by giving us the things that we have need of, but He clothes us and He feeds us just as He mentions there in the book of Matthew, just as He mentions in chapter 6 about that flower in the field or that grass of the field or that tree or that bird of the air and God cares for each of them because they are His creation. Again, He cares for us and our every need. Why? Because He is God and again, without the Bible, how would we know how much God loves us? How would we know how much He does for us physically? How would we know how important we are to Him and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image? How would we know that He cares so much that He knows the number of hairs on my head? How would we know? Again, the Bible is so important to know God and to know His will. More specifically, we might even say in knowing His will, as it says there in the book of Peter, that "we've been given all things pertaining to life and godliness through Jesus Christ." Let me remind you that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." Let me remind you that Jesus said, "There was freedom in the truth." Let me also remind you in John 17:17 that Jesus said, "The word was truth." The word of God. Jesus brought us the word, the word, the will of the Father through His lips recorded by the gift of the Holy Spirit, the inspiration once again that we've already talked about. And it was this Jesus that presented to us the gospel, the gospel that hinged very clearly on His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel that is centered around that great sacrifice that again promotes us to do what He has asked us to, to follow His will.

So yes, as we see in Romans chapter 1 and 16, the gospel is the power. And where do we find that gospel, that word, that good news about Jesus Christ? We find it again in the Bible. We find it again in His word that again tells us about the will of God, that again tells us who He is and why we should follow Him. If we didn't have the Bible, how would we know who Jesus was? How would we know the life that He lived as we find in the gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark and Luke? How would we know the things that we know now pertaining not only to God and His son but also to eternal life as well as the life of those who call themselves Christians who are added by the Lord to His church? Again, all of these things help us to know of the importance of the Bible, to know how important it is that we again put the merit in scripture that it deserves, that we again remind ourselves as well as this world that without this book, the Bible, we could not really know God. We could not really know His will. We could not really know that someday He will come to judge us after death, and we could not really know that we have eternal life without Him.

You see, the presence of the Lord, the person of the Lord, our God is completely revealed and His will as we have seen is completely revealed through His word, His word that has been delivered to us to all saints that will respond to it. And why then again? Because of His great blood, His precious blood. As He has come to save all men, to give us the spiritual food as well as the physical that we mentioned earlier, to give us the ability to respond to His blood, to respond to the gift that He came as He gave His own life and shed His own blood on the cross. You see, all of these things again help us to say yes, truly we can know God and truly we can know the will of God, but truly we can only know these things because God has given us His word and His word is only from Him and it's all from Him according to what He penned through the writers that we know of in the Bible, in the word of God as we so many times call it the book, the book of books.

As we consider the word of God and the Bible, why not also consider today what God asked you to do in that precious book. If you want to be a child of His, if you want to follow His will, He tells you there clearly that you must confess His name before men that He is the son of God. You must repent and turn from sin in your life and you must be buried with Him in baptism because it is there that we find that we put on Christ as we read in Galatians chapter 3. "And in doing these things, then the Lord will add you to His church," Acts 2 and verse 47. And as He has added you to the church and you begin to study His will, again the book, the Bible, then you can know your God and what He would have you to do in all things and then not only yourself knowing it, but you can teach others, teach others about that precious Jesus that has saved your soul, that has done something for all mankind to give everybody the hope of not only this life but of the life that comes, that promise of heaven.
SONG # 3 - "The Glory-Land Way!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

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:

The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803

Many of these materials are also available on our web sight:
That address is: www.thelivingwordprogram.com

Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
(417)869-2284

May we each do our part to teach the lost of this world that the only way they can know God and His Will is through His Word - The Bible!

(Program closing)