THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 3-16-14

LESSON TITLE: “GOD’S CHURCH WEAR’S HIS NAME.”

WELCOME

LET ME WELCOME EACH OF YOU TO OUR PROGRAM ON THIS WONDROUS LORDÕS DAY MORNING. I HOPE ALL OF YOU ARE WELL AND THAT YOU ARE PROSPERING GREATLY, IN YOUR PHYSICAL LIVES ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU ARE GIVING TO GOD SPIRITUALLY. IT IS WONDERFUL TO BE A PART OF GODÕS FAMILY AND TO HAVE OPPORTUNITIES SUCH AS THIS TO COME BEFORE HIM AND LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT HE WANTS OF US, AS WELL AS PRAISING HIS NAME THROUGH SONG. AS WE BEGIN OUR HOMAGE TO GOD THIS MORNING, WONÕT YOU BOW WITH ME IN PRAYER?

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU FOR THIS DAY AND FOR EVERY DAY OF LIFE. FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR ALL BLESSINGS FOR WE KNOW ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS AND ALL PHYSICAL BLESSINGS ONLY COME FROM YOU. FATHER, WE ALSO KNOW THAT YOU WORK ALL THINGS TO GOOD AND FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE YOU AND WHO DO YOUR WILL. THEREFORE FATHER, WE ASK THAT YOU WILL HELP US EACH AND EVERY DAY TO LOVE YOU ENOUGH, TO NOT ONLY KNOW WHAT YOU WILL HAVE US TO DO THROUGH YOUR WORD THE BIBLE, BUT TO OBEY YOU AND TO FOLLOW YOUR COMMANDMENTS. FATHER, KNOWING THAT WE WILL BE BLESSED TODAY AND NOT ONLY BLESSED TODAY FATHER, BUT KNOWING ALSO THAT THE FAITHFUL WILL BE REWARDED IN THE END WITH ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN WHERE A MANSION HAS BEEN MADE READY FOR EACH OF. FATHER, THIS DAY HELP US TO DO ALL IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH AS YOU HAVE COMMANDED THEM AND HELP US TO LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO DO YOUR WILL AND TO OBEY WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US IN THE PERFECT COMMANDMENTS OF THE BIBLE. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN. OUR FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING DEALS WITH THE WONDROUS BLESSING AND PROMISES OF GOD, FOR HE IS EVER WITH US AND GUIDING US, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER THE SONG, “WALKING IN SUNLIGHT!”



DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

A MIGHTY STATEMENT IS MADE IN 1 SAMUEL 2:2, WHICH TELLS US A LOT ABOUT THE WONDROUS GOD WE SERVE. THERE WE READ, ÒNO ONE IS HOLY LIKE THE LORD, FOR THERE IS NONE BESIDES YOU, NOR IS THERE ANY ROCK LIKE OUR GOD.Ó DID YOU CATCH ALL OF THIS IMPORTANT EXHORTATION?

YES, GOD TRULY IS HOLY! IN LEVITICUS 11:44, GOD SAID, ÒFOR I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD. YOU SHALL THEREFORE CONSECRATE YOURSELVES, AND YOU SHALL BE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY.Ó NOTICE THAT GOD IS OUR LORD AND HE IS HOLY. FURTHERMORE, WE ARE TO BE HOLY AS HE IS HOLY.

THE NEXT THING SAMUEL CONFIRMED WAS THAT GOD ALONE IS GOD. DAVID CONFIRMED THIS VERY THING IN PSALM 86:10, THERE HE STATED, ÒFOR YOU ARE GREAT, AND DO WONDROUS THINGS; YOU ALONE ARE GOD.Ó CERTAINLY THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT GOD IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD AND THAT THERE IS NONE OTHER BESIDE HIM THROUGH WHICH WE CAN BE SAVED.

FINALLY, TAKE NOTE HOW DEPENDABLE OUR GOD IS, EARLIER WE READ, “NOR IS THERE ANY ROCK LIKE OUR GOD.” LET’S READ WHAT MOSES WROTE IN DEUTERONOMY 32:3-4, THERE IT SAYS, “FOR I PROCLAIM THE NAME OF THE LORD: ASCRIBE GREATNESS TO OUR GOD. HE IS THE ROCK, HIS WORK IS PERFECT; FOR ALL HIS WAYS ARE JUSTICE, A GOD OF TRUTH AND WITHOUT INJUSTICE; RIGHTEOUS AND UPRIGHT IS HE.” YES, GOD IS OUR ROCK, WHO CAN BE COUNTED ON FOR ALL WE NEED OR REQUIRE IN THIS LIFE. ALL THOSE THINGS OF A PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL NATURE HAVE TRULY BEEN PROMISED BY OUR GOD. HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THE ALMIGHTY GOD WHICH YOU ARE REQUIRED TO SERVE TODAY?

HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN HOW GREAT HE IS? OR MAYBE YOU NEED TO BEGIN TO REAP THE GREAT REWARDS FROM A FAITHFUL SERVICE IN HIS KINGDOM. WHATEVER YOUR NEED MAY BE, RESPOND TO HIS CALL TODAY, AND DO SO ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, NOT YOUR OWN. THIS MORNING, I WILL BE LEADING OUR LESSON THOUGHTS OF THE DAY, AS WE CONTINUE OUR STUDY TOGETHER ON JESUS STATEMENT, “UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY IS ENTITLED, “GOD’S CHURCH WEAR’S HIS NAME.” SO STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER I WILL RETURN TO LEAD THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW LET’S PRAISE OUR GOD AGAIN IN SONG. THE NAME OF THE NEXT HYMN, “TRUST AND OBEY.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTINUING WITH US TODAY AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AS WE CONSIDER ANOTHER LESSON FROM OUR SERIES CONCERNING THE LORD'S CHURCH. WE'VE HAD A REALLY GREAT DISCUSSION TOGETHER AND HOPEFULLY IT HAS CHALLENGED ALL OF US TO THINK MORE ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO NOT ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE VALUE OF THE CHURCH AND THAT WE MUST BE IN THE CHURCH BUT ALSO TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PART OF THE CHURCH AND WHAT THE LORD'S CHURCH REALLY CONSISTS OF. WHAT DOES HE REQUIRE? WHAT DOES HE COMMAND?

THIS MORNING WE CONTINUE WITH YET ANOTHER IDEA THAT MAYBE WILL HELP US TO AGAIN RETHINK SOME THINGS THAT MAYBE WE FIND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD THAT REALLY ARE NOT IN TUNE WITH WHAT WE FIND IN SCRIPTURE CONCERNING THE MOST GLORIOUS AND VALUABLE INSTITUTION THAT GOD ESTABLISHED WHICH WE ARE A PART OF WHICH MAKE UP THE SAVED ON THIS EARTH. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF A NAME, THINK ABOUT HOW SPECIAL A NAME IS. IN THE VERY BEGINNING GOD IDENTIFIES HIMSLF WITH A NAME. IN FACT, THE FIRST VERSE OF THE BIBLE IN GENESIS 1:1 SAYS “IN THE BEGINNING GOD...” THAT WAS REVEALED TO US THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE SERVANT MOSES' WRITING THAT GOD HAD COMMANDED OF HIM SO THAT WE MIGHT IDENTIFY THE CREATOR BY NAME- GOD.

IT WASN'T LONG BEFORE, AS WE KNOW GOD WITHIN THOSE SIX DAYS HAD MADE THE EARTH AND THEN HE ALSO MADE MAN. THEN THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALS TO US THAT HE GAVE MAN A NAME - ADAM AND THEN EVE - BEING THE FIRST WOMAN. THE MOTHER OF ALL MANKIND AS WELL AS THE FATHER OF MANKIND. AT LEAST IN A FLESHLY SENSE. WE KNOW THAT ADAM IN CHAPTER 2 OF GENESIS WAS GIVEN THE DUTY BY GOD TO NAME ALL OF THE OTHER CREATIONS THAT GOD HAD MADE. IN FACT, AS WE READ THERE WHAT ADAM DID IT SAYS THAT GOD REALLY LOOKED AT OR CONSIDERED THE NAMES THAT ADAM HAD GIVEN ALL THINGS AND HE ACCEPTED THOSE NAMES. NAMES HELP US TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THINGS MEAN OR WHAT WE ARE REFERRING TO. EVEN IF YOU LOOK AT THE IDEA OF JUST A GENERAL NOUN, IF I WERE TO TALK ABOUT A DOG OR IF I WERE TO TALK ABOUT A HORSE OR IF I WERE TO TALK ABOUT A CAT YOU KNOW IMMEDIATELY WHAT IS IDENTIFIED BUT IF I WERE TO GIVE THOSE ANIMALS NAMES AND THEN I WAS TO SAY, NOT ONLY ABOUT THESE DOGS A NAME SUCH AS BELLA YOU WOULD KNOW IMMEDIATELY THE NAME AND THE DOG I'M TALKING ABOUT. IF I WERE TO NAME A HORSE OF A SPECIFIC NAME. YOU SEE, NAMES ARE IMPORTANT AND THAT'S WHY GOD DETERMINED THAT NOT ONLY MAN NEEDED NAMES, BUT ALL THINGS OF CREATION NEEDED NAMES TO IDENTIFY WHO THEY WERE. SO AS WE ARE GIVEN NAMES AND IF I WERE TO SAY WHO IS RAY SULLINS? THIS MORNING YOU MIGHT IDENTIFY ME AS RAY SULLINS BUT IF YOU LOOKED IN THE PHONE BOOK, YOU MIGHT FIND THERE ARE OTHER RAY SULLINS’, BUT THERE PROBABLY AREN'T ANY OTHERS IN SPRINGFIELD THAT HAVE A NAME AS LONG AS MINE. IT IS JERRY RAYMOND SULLINS, JUNIOR. HERE I AM GIVEN NOT ONLY A MIDDLE NAME, I'M GIVEN THAT FIRST NAME, AND WHAT IS CALLED THE LAST OR SURNAME, AND THEN I'M EVEN GIVEN THE IDEA OF A JUNIOR TO IDENTIFY THE FACT THAT I AM THE SECOND TO BEAR THAT NAME. ALL OF THAT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT SEPARATES. IT IDENTIFIES ME FROM OTHERS WHO MIGHT HAVE A SIMILAR NAME. JUST SO YOU ARE SURE THAT NAMES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT, I WANT TO ASK YOU THIS QUESTION. HOW MANY OF YOU, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF YOU WHO LOVE GOD, HAVE EVER CALLED ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN SATAN? WHY DIDN'T YOU NAME YOUR CHILD SATAN? WHY DO WE NOT EVEN SEE IN THOSE OF THIS EARTH, INDIVIDUALS WHO WEAR THE NAME SATAN, ARE LUCIFER? IN FACT, IN MY LIFE I'VE NEVER HEARD OF ANYONE WHO WORE THOSE NAMES OR WHO WOULD PROUDLY BE CALLED THOSE NAMES, EVEN AMONGST THOSE WHO PROFESS TO BE ATHEIST OR EVEN THOSE WHO CLAIM TO WORSHIP SATAN. NAMES ARE IMPORTANT. CERTAINLY NOT ONE OF US WOULD WANT TO BEAR THE NAME THAT WOULD IDENTIFY SOMETHING NEGATIVE OR SINFUL ABOUT US. NAMES ARE IMPORTANT.

THEN WE GET INTO THE RELIGIOUS WORLD AND WE FIND ALL SORTS OF NAMES BEING USED FROM ONE END OF THE SPECTRUM TO THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM. I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN TODAY WITH THE QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE NAMES THAT GOD USED? WE REMEMBER THAT THE BIBLE IS GIVEN TO US BY GOD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT LED EACH AND EVERY WRITER OF THE BIBLE TO WRITE THOSE THINGS WHICH HE CONTROLLED AND DETERMINED ACCORDING TO HIS REVELATION. THEREFORE I WOULD THINK THAT IF GOD CHOSE CERTAIN NAMES THEN THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF NAMES THAT WE SHOULD ALSO USE TO BE PROPER IN HIS SIGHT IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE OF A NAME, THE IDENTIFYING MARKS OF A NAME, THE ABILITY THAT THE NAME HAS TO IDENTIFY THE CHARACTER OR THE IDEOLOGIES OF AN INDIVIDUAL.

I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WITH ME AS WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING TOGETHER EVERY WEEK IN MATTHEW 16 WHERE WE LEARN THAT WHEN JESUS SAID HE WILL BUILD SOMETHING WHAT HE WAS GOING TO BUILD IS THE CHURCH. THE WORD CHURCH COMES FROM THE GREEK WORD ECCLESIA WHICH MEANS THE CALLED OUT OR THE ASSEMBLY OR THE SET APART. THE SET APART IDEA IS THE IDEA THAT THOSE WHO FOLLOW GOD ARE SET APART FROM THE WORLD. WE ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD. NOTICE THAT THE CONCEPT OF THE CHURCH REALLY IDENTIFIES THINGS PERTAINING BACK TO GOD. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF THE CHURCH, WE THINK ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL IDEA OF THOSE WHO HAVE ASSEMBLED AS CHRISTIANS AND OF THOSE BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD. YOU SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF HOW WE BEGIN TO SEE THE CHURCH WHEN WE GO DEEPER INTO THE BIBLE? WHEN WE BEGIN TO LOOK AT OTHER TEXT WE BEGIN TO SEE CLEARLY THAT NOT ONLY IS THE WORD CHURCH USED TO IDENTIFY GOD'S PEOPLE AS THE ASSEMBLED BUT HE BEGINS TO APPLY OTHER IDEAS WITH THE CHURCH. FOR INSTANCE, IF WE WERE TO TURN OVER TO THE BOOK OF CORINTHIANS, YOU'LL NOTICE WITH ME IN 1CORINTHIANS 1:2 PAUL SAYS, “TO THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHICH IS THE CORINTH.” SO NOW WE SEE SOMETHING WITH EVEN MORE OF A SPECIFIC NATURE. NOT ONLY IN ASSEMBLY OR A CHURCH BECAUSE YOU COULD HAVE SOMETHING SECULAR THAT IS CALLED AN ASSEMBLY OR A CHURCH BUT THIS IS GOD'S CHURCH. DOESN'T THAT MAKE SENSE THAT IF GOD IS THE CREATOR AND THE GIVER OF ALL AND IS ALL POWERFUL DOESN'T IT MAKE SENSE THAT IF WE WERE GOING TO CALL OURSELVES THE CHURCH OF SOMETHING, IT WOULD BE THE CHURCH OF GOD. GOD ALONE GAVE US THE BIBLE. GOD ALONE BREATHED INTO OUR NOSTRILS THE BREATH OF LIFE AFTER MAKING US. GOD ALONE GAVE US HIS WORD IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT KNOW HIS WILL AND OBEY IT. GOD ALONE SENT HIS SON TO DIE ON THE CROSS. JESUS ALONE SHED HIS BLOOD SO HE ALONE IS WORTHY OF HONOR WITH THE NAME WE WEAR: THE CHURCH OF GOD. THAT'S WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALS TO PAUL THAT CONGREGATIONS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT TIMES WERE BEING CALLED THE CHURCH OF GOD. SO I WOULD SAY THE CHURCH OF GOD IS A FINE NAME TO IDENTIFY OURSELVES AS THOSE WHO ARE FOLLOWERS OF GOD. NOT FOLLOWERS OF MAN, NOT A DOCTRINE, NOT AN IDEA, BUT THE CHURCH OF GOD.

ANOTHER TEXT THAT HELPS US WITH THIS IS FOUND IN ROMANS 16:16 WHERE PAUL ADDRESSES THE CHURCH AT ROME AND NOTICE WHAT HE SAID IN THAT TEXT, SPECIFICALLY VERSE 16. HE SAYS GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH A HOLY KISS. THEN HE SAYS THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST GREET YOU. DID YOU NOTICE THE WORD CHURCH THERE AND DID YOU NOTICE THAT HE IS MENTIONING THE PLURALITY OF THE CHURCH AND THE IDEA OF THOSE CHURCHES BEING EQUAL AND THE FACT THAT THOSE CHURCHES ARE ASSEMBLIES OF CHRIST. CHURCH OF GOD, GLORY TO GOD. CHURCH OF CHRIST, GLORY TO CHRIST. WE DON'T STOP THERE WE. WE FIND ALSO IN EPHESIANS A BEAUTIFUL TERM THAT IS GIVEN THERE IN CHAPTER 4 SPECIFICALLY VERSE 12, WHERE HE SAYS FOR THE EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS, FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY, FOR THE EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. WOULD THAT NOT BE THE SAME AS THE CHURCH OF CHRIST OR THE ASSEMBLY OF CHRIST? WHEN WE LOOK LATER IN EPHESIANS AND WHEN WE LOOK AT FIRST CORINTHIANS 12 OR ROMANS 12, WE LEARN QUICKLY THAT CHRIST IS THE HEAD AND THE BODY IS DESCRIBED AS WHAT? HIS CHURCH. GUESS HOW MANY BODIES THERE ARE? EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4 VERSES 3 THRU 7 INDICATES TO US THERE IS BUT ONE BODY. THERE IS ONE CHURCH. JESUS ONLY SAID I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THAT MEANS ONLY ONE. WHATEVER GROUP THAT IS FOLLOWING WHAT JESUS SAID HAS TO BE IN THAT CHURCH. THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS VARIETIES OF CHURCHES. JESUS BUILT THE ONE CHURCH AND GAVE US THE GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW SO WE NEED TO CALL OURSELVES BY NAMES THAT ARE PROPER. THE CHURCH OF GOD, THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, OR THE BODY OF CHRIST. THAT WOULD BE ANOTHER GOOD NAME. WHAT ABOUT FIRST TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3 WHERE PAUL IS TALKING TO TIMOTHY AND HE IDENTIFIES ANOTHER IDEA THAT YOU WILL CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND QUICKLY ITS INTENT OR PURPOSE. IN CHAPTER 3, NOTICE WITH ME WHAT VERSE 15 SAYS, FIRST TIMOTHY 3:15. HE SAYS BUT IF I DELAY, I WRITE YOU SO YOU MAY KNOW HOW YOU SHOULD HANDLE YOURSELVES IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, THE ASSEMBLY OF GOD, THE HOUSE OF GOD. THEN HE ADDS THIS: WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH. HOUSE OF GOD. CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD. THERE WOULD BE NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT NAME BECAUSE THAT GIVES GLORY TO GOD. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THESE, INCLUDING HEBREWS 12:23, SAYS THE FIRST BORN CHURCH OR CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN. ALL OF THESE TITLES THAT ARE GIVEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IN REFERENCE TO GOD'S PEOPLE OR GOD'S CHURCH OR GOD'S ASSEMBLY ALWAYS GIVE GLORY TO GOD. WE NEVER SEE THE CHURCH OF PETER OR THE CHURCH OF PAUL. THEY WERE GREAT MEN AND THEY WERE APOSTLES AND CHOSEN BUT WE NEVER SEE THOSE TITLES BECAUSE THEY DID NOT DIE FOR THE CHURCH AND THEY ARE NOT HEAD OF THE CHURCH. GOD ALONE IS WORTHY OF THAT NAME. I WANT YOU TO NOTICE SOMETHING ELSE WITH ME AS WE CONSIDER THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT NAME. WHY DO WE SEE THAT MAN WOULD CHOOSE TO CALL THEMSELVES BY SOMETHING THAT WOULD HONOR ANOTHER MAN, SOME TYPE OF AN ACTIVE WORSHIP, OR AN ACT OF SALVATION? IT'S SAD TO SAY THAT THIS WAS GOING ON EVEN IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES. IF YOU WILL TURN BACK AGAIN TO FIRST CORINTHIANS.

I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WITH ME IN CHAPTER 1 WHERE PAUL ACTUALLY WARNS THEM ABOUT SOMETHING. WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM THEY WERE HAVING? IN VERSE 12 PAUL SAYS SOME OF YOU SAY THAT I AM OF PAUL. SOME OF YOU SAY THAT I'M OF CEPHAS. SOME OF YOU SAY THAT I AM OF APOLIS. THEN HE ASKED THIS QUESTION IN VERSE 12: I AM OF CHRIST. ARE YOU NOT OF CHRIST? THEN HE ASKS IN VERSE 13: IS CHRIST DIVIDED? THEN THIRDLY HE ASKS WAS PAUL CRUCIFIED FOR YOU? PAUL SAID DON'T CALL YOURSELVES THE CHURCH OF PAUL OR ANY NAME THAT WOULD GIVE GLORY TO ME AS A MAN. FOR I DID NOT DIE FOR THE CHURCH AND I DID NOT ESTABLISH THE CHURCH. I'M NOT HEAD OF THE CHURCH SO HE CONDEMNS THE IDEA THAT THEY WOULD CALL THEM NAMES BY MAN. FRIENDS, I WOULD ASK YOU TO CONSIDER HONESTLY THE RELIGIONS OF OUR DAY AND THE RELIGIONS THROUGHOUT SPRINGFIELD. THERE ARE NAMES THAT GIVE GLORY TO MAN, RATHER THAN TO GOD. THAT GIVE GLORY TO A CERTAIN TYPE OF ACT OR CHARACTER RATHER THAN GOD. WHERE DO WE FIND THAT EXAMPLE IN SCRIPTURE? THE REALITY IS: WE DON'T. SOME OF THE MEN THAT I RESPECT MOST ARE THE MEN WHO HISTORICALLY ARE CALLED THE FOUNDERS OF THESE RELIGIOUS GROUPS. THERE IS ONE SUCH FOUNDER THAT I THINK IS OF PARAMOUNT INTEREST AND CERTAINLY MOST OF US HAVE HEARD THE NAME OF MARTIN LUTHER. HE WAS ONE OF THE GREAT REFORMERS OF ALL-TIME FOR HE WAS WILLING TO STAND UP AGAINST THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH AND TO SAY THAT WHAT THEY WERE DOING WAS NOT FOUND IN SCRIPTURE AND THAT IT NEEDED TO BE CORRECTED.

LUTHER WAS A MIGHTY REFORMER AND A REFORMER WHO WANTED TO GET BACK TO THE SCRIPTURES IN THE BIBLE AND DO THE THINGS THE WAY OF GOD. THERE IS A STATEMENT THAT MARTIN LUTHER MADE IN HIS WRITINGS BEFORE HE DIED AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT STATEMENT WAS? HE SAYS QUOTE "I PRAY THAT YOU LEAVE MY NAME ALONE AND DO NOT CALL YOURSELVES LUTHERANS. CALL YOURSELVES CHRISTIANS BECAUSE YOU ARE CHRIST FOLLOWERS AND DISCIPLES. EVEN MARTIN LUTHER BEGGED THOSE WHOM HE LOVED AND THOSE WHO WERE FOLLOWING THE THINGS THAT HE PREACHED BASED ON WHAT GOD'S WORD TO NOT CALL THEMSELVES LUTHERANS. TODAY DO WE HAVE THE LUTHERAN CHURCH? IT'S A SAD THING. IT'S A SAD THING THAT MAN WOULD CHOOSE TO WEAR THE NAME OF OTHER MEN RATHER THAN ULTIMATELY GIVING GLORY TO GOD BY PROCLAIMING THE CHURCH TO BE THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHO DIED AND SHED HIS BLOOD. IT WASN'T JUST LUTHER. THERE WERE MANY REFORMERS WHO SAID THE SAME THING. CHARLES SPURGEON WAS A HIGHLY RESPECTED BAPTIST PREACHER. HE ONCE WROTE THIS: I SAY OF THE BAPTIST NAME, LET IT PERISH, BUT RATHER LET CHRIST'S NAME LIVE FOREVER. WHY DID HE SAY THAT? THESE WERE GOOD MEN WHO HONESTLY AND CERTAINLY WERE TRYING TO SAY THAT WHEN WE CHOOSE NAMES AND TERMS AND IDEAS THAT GIVE GLORY AND RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHURCH, TO ANYONE ELSE OR ANYTHING ELSE BUT GOD ALMIGHTY, WE ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE PATTERN OF SCRIPTURE GIVEN BY EXAMPLE AND WE'RE NOT FOLLOWING THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD OR THE HOLY SPIRIT AS HE TELLS US WHAT THE NAME OF THE CHURCH IS. MY CHALLENGE TO US TODAY IS FOR THOSE OF US WHO LOVE GOD, FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS TO BE HONEST AND TO SAY WHAT SHOULD WE CALL OURSELVES? CERTAINLY THE NAME CHRISTIAN, DISCIPLE, OR SAINT. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WE CAN LOOK AT ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE LORD'S CHURCH, IT IS THE LORD'S CHURCH. WHY NOT CALL THE CHURCH BY THE ONE WHOM HAS DIED FOR IT AND HONOR GOD ALONE? HE IS WORTHY OF THE NAME. ACTS 4:12 SAYS IS NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN BY WHICH A MAN CAN BE SAVED THAN IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST? SO THEN WHY WOULD WE WANT TO CALL OURSELVES BY ANY OTHER NAME? TODAY, WHY NOT CALL YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN? WHY NOT SERVE GOD? WHY NOT FOLLOW CHRIST AND KNOWING THAT GOD ALONE HAS THE POWER TO SAVE YOU NOW AND BLESS YOU, BUT TO GIVE YOU THAT REWARD IN THE END WHEN YOU HAVE FOUND YOURSELF A PART OF HIS FAMILY AND HIS CHURCH.XXXX

CLOSING REMARKS:

IT WAS CERTAINLY GREAT TO HAVE YOU WITH US TODAY. THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE HAD TO COME BEFORE HIS THRONE THIS MORNING. PLEASE REMEMBER, YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE JOIN TOGETHER IN THIS SERVICE TO GOD.

NOW LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAYÕS LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A 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:XXXXXX

MAY WE ALL CHOOSE THE NAME OF CHRIST AND CHRIST ALONE, AS HIS FOLLOWERS! FOR THERE IS NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN OR ON EARTH BY WHICH WE CAN BE SAVED, EXCEPT IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!