THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 3-11-07
LESSON TITLE: "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH: THE CHURCH HAS ONLY ONE METHOD OF ENTRANCE"
James said, "Who is wise and understanding among you?" I pray that we are all striving to have true wisdom and understand, which only comes from God!
Good morning! Thanks for joining us this morning in this service of God. The Living Word Program is committed to proclaiming the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible's handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let's begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
It's now time to join in our songs of praise as we together sing the first hymn of the morning. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing, "Alas And Did My Savior Bleed."
(SONG # 1)
Read with me this morning a text found in Job 28, beginning in verse 12! There it says, "But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living. The deep says, 'It is not in me'; And the sea says, 'It is not with me.' It cannot be purchased for gold, Nor can silver be weighed for its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx or sapphire. Neither gold nor crystal can equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral or quartz, For the price of wisdom is above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold. "From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living, And concealed from the birds of the air. Destruction and Death say, 'We have heard a report about it with our ears.' God understands its way, And He knows its place."
Job here is dealing with the great topic of wisdom. Job, a man who knew God and His will and who obeyed it in prosperity and in the face of adversity. Notice what this great man of God summarized wisdom as: He states that true wisdom is hard for mere man to comprehend, because of its great value and worth. Then he goes on to compare it to all the great precious stones of this earth, to show its great value in the eyes of God!
Then the question is asked, "so where does it come from?" The answer is obviously God. The reason that proper wisdom is so great is because it is founded in the Creator Himself!
That's why Paul and other writers spend such a great deal of time talking about the need to have a Godly wisdom. Earlier we read from James 3, and verse 13, but notice with me the remainder of the verse. There we read, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom." Here James begins comparing the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. Then he clearly shows that the only wisdom that will benefit us and which is truly worth having is that of God. So consider today, what type of wisdom are you striving for in this world, Godly or fleshly? Only one will bring true happiness and eternal life! So why not turn to God and focus on the wisdom found through our Creator!
This morning, we have a guest speaker with us who is one of the ministers for the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ! It is great to have brother Brent Green with us and we look forward to him leading our main study of the morning from God's Holy Word.
Today we will be continuing our discussion on "The Lord's Church!" Our specific topic this morning is entitled, "The Church Has Only One Method of Entrance." So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together brother Green will return with our study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "Be Not Dismayed!"
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Brent Green
Good morning and welcome. It's always a privilege to study God's Word and have the opportunity to dive into His Word and see what He has to say to us. This morning, we have the great privilege once again to do that so I encourage you at home if you have your Bible to take it out and follow along with us and also if you have paper, maybe to take notes so you can study these things at a further time.
I want you to consider, if you would, the different groups and different clubs that people can join throughout the different avenues of this world. People can be involved in many different things but in order to get in those different clubs and stuff, people are involved in certain application processes and so they'll fill out forms or they'll fill out papers in order to get things done. There may be prerequisites. There may be any number of qualifications that a person might have to meet in order to get into a certain group. But when the standard is set, there is only one way to get into that club, or one way to get into that group. So when we see there are certain requirements, those must be met.
Also, if you would consider the oneness that Paul speaks of in God. Ephesians chapter 4 verses 4-6, we see Paul speak of the one God. Seeing this verse here, "There is one body and one spirit just as you were called and one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in you all." We see Paul speak of the oneness of God. Many of these things, people do not have a problem with. We see that the oneness is confirmed throughout the Bible. But when we get to things about the one faith and the one baptism, questions often arise, "Well, is there more than one faith? Is there more than one baptism?" Well, we can see from God's Word that there truly is only one and it is confirmed here by Paul, but also throughout the rest of the scripture.
So as we begin to consider the question, "How do I enter into the church of God?" Or rather, "What must I do to be saved?" Those questions are really synonymous in themselves.
If you would, consider Acts chapter 2 and verse 47. Here we see there on the Day of Pentecost, "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Well who was it that made up the church? Who was it that made up this body of Christ? It was those that were saved and the Lord is adding those saved people to the church and so we see the question, "What must I do to be saved?" is really the same question as, "What method or what way is there to enter into the church of our Lord, the church of Jesus Christ?"
Well, truly that one way is put forth in scripture. We see there in Acts chapter 2 the people there after hearing that great sermon of Peter respond with a question of their own. In verse 37 they asked, "Men and brethren, what must we do to be saved?" They were asking the question, "How do we enter in this body of Christ? How do we become a member of the Lord's church?" asking that question, "We are sinners. What do we need to do to remove this sin from our lives?" You see, the people on this day recognized some basic facts. They understood that they truly were sinners.
In Romans chapter 3 and verse 23, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Here Paul speaking to the Romans, he also confirms the same fact three chapters later in Romans chapter 6 and verse 23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." We see that as people that once we come to that age where we realize right from wrong and we choose the path of evil, we choose the path of wickedness, sin comes into our lives and it separates us from God. The people here on the Day of Pentecost realized that. They had been convicted of their sin. Peter had told them, "You're the one who crucified Christ. You're the one who denied Him," and they realized their sin and they realized that it separated them from God. You see, before we sin, before we're old enough to choose the sin, we have a relationship with God and there is a connection there, but when we sin, that relationship is broken. Our sin separates us from God. But they knew that they needed to do something. Thankfully for us and thankfully for them, sin wasn't going to keep them from God forever. God did not want them to perish.
In 2 Peter 3 and verse 9, Peter also confirms there that "the Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness as longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Truly God does not want His people to perish from this world. He does not want His people to die in sin. Even though they are sinners, He wants them to come to Him. But how is it done?
Jesus said Himself in John chapter 14 and verse 6, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me." How do we get back to that relationship with God, that perfection, that coveted relationship where we are one with God? It is only through Christ and it is only through His plan and His way can we enter into His church and can we have that salvation which is promised through Him. Truly God provides that plan. Truly God has given us the form, given us the pattern by which we can have salvation. So what are the words of Christ? What is it that we need to know to have salvation?
Consider if you would Romans chapter 10 and verse 17. We see here Paul speaking to the Romans again telling them what they need to do and what they need to know. So he says, "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God," verse 17 of Romans chapter 10. What they had heard or what they had needed to hear was where their faith was developed. It was not in any words of man or any other creed, but it was truly what they had received from Paul, an inspired apostle of Christ their faith was developed in that Word of God. This is the first thing that we need to know is that our faith is developed from that Word.
Jesus speaking in Matthew chapter 7 spoke of hearing the Word and what it is that we need to do, spoke a parable of two builders. One was foolish and one was wise. Do you know what the foolish one did? He heard the words of Christ but he did not do them. And what was it that it said he had built his house upon, as if he had built his house upon the sand? What about the wise man? He heard the words of Christ and he did them. That's what separates the wise and the foolish. Those who are wise truly build their house upon Christ because they have heard Him and they do what He says to do. And we see that that foundational rock upon which our faith is founded is Christ Jesus. Matthew Chapter 16 verse 18 and also in 1 Corinthians 10 and verse 4. Christ is that rock. We hear those saving words of Him, those words which He has spoken and they save us because we believe them and our faith is developed from them.
Upon hearing those words, what is the next step? We must believe with all our heart. It's not just enough to hear them, we have to do and in doing those, we do them because we believe. We have that conviction from the Word of God.
Consider if you would Mark chapter 16 verses 15-16. We see here Jesus sending out His disciples upon the Great Commission. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. He who does not believe shall be condemned."
What do we need to do? Hear the Words of Christ and believe them with our heart. Know that they are the truth and the saving message which we need for ourselves to have salvation. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Without belief, we cannot be pleasing to God.
We see in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 6, "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Faith is necessary to be those that are pleasing in the sight of God. Without faith, without belief expressed in action, we cannot be those that have salvation.
We also see in James chapter 2 the necessity for our belief not only just to be of mere mental acclimation but to be that truly that is seen in the way that we live. Many have called James an epistle of emptiness, not even seeing that it has a place in the Bible, but truly this inspired book tells us, "Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works," James chapter 2 and verse 18. We need to be those that have heard the word and believe it and upon believing it doing what we have heard, that conviction that we need to have in Christ, truly being those that believe and show our faith through our works. When we show our faith through our works, there's a change that should happen in our lives and it is no longer walking down the path that leads to destruction, the path of Hell following Satan, but rather walking down that path that leads to Heaven, that path of God. We need to be those that make that change upon believing and hearing God's Word. We call this repentance. We see in the holy scriptures in 2 Corinthians chapter 7 verses 8-10 that "Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation." It's not the sorrow of the world which produces death, but this godly sorrow. Upon believing that Christ is real and His Words are true, it should make us sorry that we have sinned and sinned against God and separated ourselves from Him. This godly sorrow leads to repentance. What does that repentance lead to? It leads to salvation because we made that change. No longer serving Satan, but serving God. That's the difference. It is making a U-turn as if going one way at a time and then turning completely around the opposite way and following God.
In Acts chapter 17 and verse 30, we see here the apostle Paul speaking to those in Athens saying, "Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." Repentance isn't something that is just for a select few or just for those that have heard and believed. God wants all to repent. Just as He doesn't want any to perish, He wants everyone to repent and come to Him. Truly we need to overlook those times in our lives and get past those times when we were following Satan and repent and turn to God.
In Acts chapter 3 and verse 19 the same exhortation is put forth, "Repent ye and be converted," to be those that truly have turned to God.
In Luke chapter 13 and verse 3, we also see Jesus speaking here. "If you do not repent, you will perish." It's a concern of all of us that we need to turn to God making that change in our lives. It's not just enough to be those that have heard and believe and even those who have made that change, but we must turn to God and confess the name of His Son, confess that Jesus Christ truly is the Son of the Living God. We see this in the example of Matthew chapter 10 verses 32-33. Jesus said here, "If you will confess Me here on earth, I will confess you before My Father in Heaven, but if you deny Me here on earth, I will deny you before My Father who is in Heaven."
What do we need to do? Christianity can't be something that is secret. It can't be something that we're afraid to share with others. We can't be afraid to say, "Hey, I believe in Christ. I believe that He is the Son of God and I believe we need to follow Him." We need to confess with our mouth and with our actions that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. If we don't, what will happen? We'll be those that perish because Christ will not confess us before God in Heaven. This confession is of the utmost importance.
We see also the example of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts chapter 8 as he was reading the scripture here in his chariot and Philip comes along and begins preaching to him Christ beginning at that scripture that the Eunuch was reading in Isaiah the passage there. He preaches to him and he tells him about Jesus Christ and what is it that the Eunuch says? He makes that great confession. He says, "I believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God." What a great statement. What a statement all of us will have to make if we want that salvation of Christ proclaiming that we are one of His, that we are His follower and that we are willing to serve Him and do what we need to do for Him. We see there after that great confession what the Eunuch did. It wasn't just enough to confess with the mouth, but he went on, and as Philip had preached to him and told him what he needed to do, the Eunuch looked over and said, "See, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized this very moment?" What did Philip say? "Nothing. Here it is. Let's do this." And so they went down into the water together and the Eunuch was baptized for the forgiveness of sins.
We see that being the final step. Doing all these things to have that salvation to Christ. Even at this point, once we've made that confession, we still have sin in our lives. That sin still has to be removed from our presence, removed from our souls. How is that done? Through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. It is only through baptism which our sins are washed away. That sin is taken from our lives. Jesus Christ's blood that He shed on the cross is that avenue by which we have salvation. Truly only in Him are we reconciled to the Father. And we see the great example there in 1 Peter chapter 3. Baptism is spoke of as the anti-type which now saves us. It is not just a mere recognition that God is God or a mere whatever men might say. It's not philosophy, but it's that baptism. It's the washing of the spirit. It's not the removal of just the filth of the flesh, not merely just taking a bath as we would to remove that dirt, but it's the washing of the spirit or the washing of the soul and it's done through the means of baptism, done through that water where we are buried in that water just as Christ was buried in the grave and we rise up out of that water to walk in newness of life (Romans chapter 6) because truly we do have salvation in Christ. We need to be those that remember the commands of Christ remembering in Mark chapter 16 and verse 16 again, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved." Only those that can rise out of that water of baptism to walk in newness of life will have that salvation. Christ paid the price for us. Christ died on the cross for our sins. His hands were nailed. His body hung there and He died for all of us. Why? That we might have salvation, that truly we might be those that live for Christ daily and not giving up.
The question, "By what method or means do we enter into the church?" The question of the same merit, "What do I need to do to be saved?" They're the same question and the plan is given through Christ Jesus to do what He said to do, to hear His Word, to believe it, to repent of your sins, to confess His name, to be baptized and to live faithful to Him.
Have you done what He said to do?
(SONG # 3 - "I Stand Amazed!")
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. 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.
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As Christians, how thankful we should be that God provided us a clear avenue by which we can become His children. Have you obeyed the plan of God and started your walk according to his Ways?