Program Air Date - 2-5-06



In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 beginning, we read, "Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks!" Isn't prayer a wonderful privilege as a Christian? What a great opportunity we have to talk to God anytime we need to.

Well it is before God that we assemble this day! And let me welcome you to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning! Thank you for joining us today as we commit this time to the things of God. Together we will have the privilege to study from God's Holy Word and to sing praises to His wonderful name. Let's each do our part this morning in making this time of offering acceptable in His sight. Will you go to God in prayer with me at this time?


Our first song of the morning reminds us of the affect that God's love has on each of us. So at this time won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Love Lifted Me."

(SONG # 1)


Growing up, we all have someone who watched over us. Usually it is parents, grandparents and relatives who really take care of us and make us what we are today! What a wonderful feeling it was to always know that someone was there who cared for us, loved us, and listened to us and our needs.

As we get older, we often forget that we are still not alone in this world of trials and problems. In fact, as Christians, we have the promise that God himself is always there. The Psalmist David put it in these words, "The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore," Psalm 121:5-8. Notice here that the Lord Himself is our protector, keeper and friend. He is there all day and night, from today and forever more!

What a wonderful encouragement this is to know that truly God Himself is the one who is with us and who will never leave us. The Hebrew writer had a similar thought in chapter 13, and verse 5, of his book, where he said, "For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Again, we have confirmed for us that God can be depended on by those who strive to do His Will.

Also, let me help you to notice the great strength and courage we receive from this knowledge about God always being there. In the same text, the writer went on to say, "So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me,'" Hebrews 13:6? With God, His promises and the confidence we can have in Him - there is nothing we should fear or hesitate in doing, in connection to His Will! Why? Because He is always there with us, helping us and watching over us in all we do!

Do you have this type of confidence in God? If not, why not? Are you a follower of His, a true Christian, a child of God? Choose today to begin your Christian walk, and allow God to watch over you and help you in every aspect of your life. Learn to have faith in your creator today!

Today we are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us as our guest speaker. Once again brother Jerry is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri here in Springfield, Missouri. We thank brother Sullins for being with us today and we look forward to his presentation from God's Word in just a few minutes.

In our main discussion of the morning, we will be considering a lesson together on the way of salvation! Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, "The Bible Teaches One How to Be Saved!" So please continue with us and after our next song together, brother Sullins will help us focus on God's Word. Now, won't you join in with the congregation, as we sing our second song of the morning - the name of this song is, "Night with Ebon Pinion."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Jerry Sullins

It's a pleasure to be with you this morning as we consider one of the most important questions that man has ever asked and that is the question: What must I do to be saved?

My friends, as we look at the scripture itself, we know that we're going to be contemplating one of the most important questions because it is eternal in nature. It has to do with where our souls will spend an eternity. No matter what man may believe in or whom he may believe, that it God, throughout this world, we have found as we have traveled a lot of this world that man always for the most part believes in an existence beyond death. And so this question is not only entertained by us in the United States of America, but all over the world. Men contemplate the question: What's going to happen after life? Then after they have any opportunity to think about that, they consider even more the question of: If I do exist, is there going to be a place that I'm going to be going that will be a better place than this place and what can I do to reach that saved condition?

I don't believe anyone can be content in this life or be really happy until he or she has answered that question within himself or herself. And so this morning, I'd like for us to consider this most important question. But first of all, we must see that the Bible teaches that all responsible people whoever they may be, male or female have to be concerned about the condition of their lives because we are all plagued with a certain type of disease, a spiritual disease that the Bible refers to as sin.

If you read in the scripture itself, you'll see in Isaiah 53:6 that the prophet Isaiah said to the children of Israel, "All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every man to his own way." Then in Isaiah 59:1-2, he said to the children of Israel, he said, "The problem is that your sins and your iniquities have separated you between you and your God so that He has hid His face from you." So God no longer looks upon the face of a person, that is He is no longer pleased with nor is interested in saving that person who is involved in what we refer to and what the Bible describes as sin. For instance, in Romans 3, verse 23, in the New Testament, the writer, the apostle Paul said, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." And then a verse that is used so much by people in all religious faiths, that is Christian religious faiths, is found in Romans chapter 5 and it is in verse 12. "Wherefore as by one man's sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death has passed upon all men..." and the last part of this verse is very important because it says, "in that all men have sinned." And so the problem is that all people who have lived or who are living or who will live on this earth unless Jesus comes again, will certainly be those who will be involved with this same problem and that is the problem of sin.

Now if you as a person believe that you're a sinless individual, and I believe I've only met one or two of those people in my whole lifetime, then you must stand beside Jesus Christ Himself because Jesus is the only person who has ever lived upon the face of this earth and been totally sinless.

Some people have asked the question: Then what is sin? And that certainly is a good question. Having done about 20 years worth of mission work in Africa, my wife and I heard it expressed by people time and time again where they would ask us and I knew that they wanted to know because although they knew what was right and wrong, they didn't understand the concept of sin and the Bible tells us what sin is. In fact, if we turn to 1 John chapter 5, verse 4, it says, "Whosoever commits sin transgresses the law for sin is a transgression of God's law." So what is sin? Well, it is easily defined in the scripture. It is a transgression of God's law. It is doing those things that God has forbidden and certainly God has forbidden so many things in the scripture verbatim, that is we can read what God has forbidden and it is sometimes doing those things that God has expressed to us, or failing to do those things that God has told us that we need to do. And in those things, we do what? We transgress the very law of God. In fact, in James 4, verse 17, the scripture simply says that if we know to do good and we don't do it, to us that can be sin. So whether we do something that we know is wrong or fail to do something that we know is right or just fail to do anything at all, the scripture says these can be referred to as sin. So that is a universal plague of mankind. There is no greater plague on the face of this earth. HIV does not compare to this great plague because this great plague inflicts and affects everyone. No matter who you are. No matter what class in life socially you may hold. No matter whether you are male or female. If you are an intelligible person, if you have understanding and you know the difference between right and wrong and you can read God's Word or someone can tell you God's Word and you can understand it, then you my friend, are responsible for doing something about your sin, for you and I are all in what we call sin because why? Romans 5, verse 12 penned that "all have sinned." We all have a problem with sin because we all have committed sin.

Now let me propose to you this statement also. It is impossible for you or I to devise a plan whereby we can be saved. Now man has accomplished so many things. When I look and see, as I was discussing with a friend the other day, in that one individual whom we loved had undergone some type of surgery and this person was an older person and they had come through that surgery in flying colors, as we might say, and this person is going to be healed as far as we can tell and live at least a few more years on the face of this earth. All of us, at least my friend and I, discussed how wonderful it is today with the great medical facilities that we have as well as the medical knowledge which when I was born in this world and especially during my grandfather's day, many of us would not be around anymore if it were not for those knowledgeable people who understood our bodies and what to do to heal our bodies. So it is a wonderful accomplishment of man that God has given man that ability. And when we look at exploration of space and just casually go through flipping through the television channels each night, we see things that man has been able to accomplish. Man has been able to accomplish so many things, but man has never been able and will never be able to devise a plan whereby he can be saved. Now this is a thing that really perplexes me for there is a plan in the scripture that shows us how we can be saved, but yet I hear from religious leaders themselves, as I have discussed with them the subject of "What must I do to be saved?" the question of this morning. They have said, "Well really it is not important what the Bible has to say about it." I know they believe that because they don't follow the plan that is found in the Bible. But what they believe is it is more important how we feel about it which simply means this, it is more important what we feel about it than what God has said we must do in order to receive the salvation from our sins. Well, all of us believe it is God's plan for our salvation.

Look at Ephesians 2, verse 8, "For by grace we are saved through faith and that not of itself it is a gift of God." Yes, we are saved by grace, His part, that man's faith must respond, our part to that demonstration of this grace as Paul said to Titus in Titus 2:11 that "that grace of God has appeared unto all men in the form of Jesus Christ," is who Paul is talking about there, and it is through our response to that demonstration of God's grace that we can be saved or that we are not saved. We would all agree and I would say, yes, we would all agree that we cannot merit our salvation, but God has requirements for us to actually take hold of the plan and to be a part of the plan that He has devised from the very beginning of this world, even before the beginning of this world that we might be saved. You cannot cancel your evil deeds. It would be great if we could. We can't do it. We can't take back our sinful thoughts. We can't unsay sinful words we have spoken. Also, it is not possible for man to devise a plan whereby he can get rid of these things on his own. God has a plan for us. And so what is our only hope for salvation? It is the pardon of the cross. You cannot pardon yourself. God must do it. You cannot devise a plan yourself as to how you can be pardoned of your sins. God has to do it. Now when we think about pardon, what are we speaking of? In the original language it means the treatment of a person who is guilty as if he were no longer guilty. Now that's the way God treats us. he completely takes away from our souls the sin if we obey the plan that He has given for us to obey. Man cannot save himself. He cannot devise a plan as we have said, but God has devised that plan and we who believe that we are following that plan and even we who may not be following that plan in the scripture who consider ourselves to be Christians, we understand that that plan is based on Jesus Christ. "God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," Romans 5, verse 8. We all believe that is God's plan. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." God's plan is in His Son, Jesus Christ. He showed that love and concern for us which could be shown in no greater way than to be willing to offer his son on the cross for our sins.

Now how do we respond to that plan? Is there not a response? Well Jesus certainly said there was a response. In fact, the writer of the book of Hebrews says, "Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto God for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek after Him." Everyone in the religious world would say that yes, faith is necessary. We must believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. John 8, verse 24 says, "Except ye believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." It was Jesus Himself who said concerning the plan that God has given us to follow, to repent of our sins. Who in the religious world today would not say that it is not necessary or would say it is not necessary for us to repent of our sins? Not a one of you who claims to be a Christian, I'm sure. You would say it is necessary for us to have faith that Jesus Christ is the son of God. You would say it is necessary for us to repent of our sins in order to be saved, and you would also say and believe and preach that it is necessary for us to confess that Jesus Christ is the son of God as is stated in Romans 10, verses 9-10, that confession is made with the mouth unto salvation. But I ask you this, knowing that 85% of the religious world today who claim to be Christians do not believe this because they're followers after Calvinism, you would say that it is not necessary for us to do what Jesus said for us to do to be saved. For it was Jesus who said in Mark 16:15-16, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Then you'll say, "Well, here he goes. He's talking about baptism again." Yes, I am because most of the religious world rejects this teaching, and yet still claim to be Christians. "We clothe ourselves with Christ and put on Christ, "Galatians 3:26-27. We are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus for as many of us have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. So why shouldn't we teach as Peter said in 1 Peter the third chapter that "Baptism is necessary for the remission of our sins." For he said, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us." Why shouldn't we say that it's necessary to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins because that is what Peter proclaimed on the first day of the existence of the church as is recorded in Acts chapter 2 and he said that it is necessary as he taught all of those Jewish people, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Now I ask you, why shouldn't we teach this? If Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," and the inspired apostle said to "repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins," if Paul in Romans chapter 6, verse 3-4 said, "Baptism is our burial into Christ," why should we not claim that you should be baptized in order to be saved? Well, the fact is we do claim that you need to because that is God's plan, part of God's plan for our salvation.

I urge you today, loved ones and friends, to do what God has required for your salvation, not what I require for your salvation, but what the book says because someday we will be judged according to what Jesus has given us. Jesus said that in that last day, we will be judged according to what we have done in His book whether it is good or bad. We know that to be true, the apostle Paul said. And I urge you today to do what is necessary for the salvation of your souls.

(SONG # 3 - "O The Depth?")


Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves this worship to God!

Now, let me ask you if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or 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

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

Thanks be to God that He has shown us through His Word what one must do to be saved! May we all obey these clear truths and thus be added by the Lord to His precious church!

(Program closing)