Program Air Date - 3-25-01



It is great to have you with us this morning for the Living Word Program. We are excited to have you with us for this time of offering and praise to our God. We are glad you have chosen to be with us today, as we together study from God's Word and sing songs of praise to His name. Let me encourage each of us this morning to do our part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now let's begin by approaching His throne in prayer.

Sometimes it is hard in life to figure out what we should do or to decide which way we should go. The world gives so many different answers to these types of questions in our every day lives. However, if you think about it from the standpoint of a Christian, we don't have to worry about these types of decisions. Why? Because they are easily made when we put God first and follow His Will.

Our first song this morning helps us know what to do and where to go. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing the hymn, "Thou Art The Way!"
(SONG # 1)


Have you ever stopped and asked the question, "Why do we have the Bible?" At one time or another in our Christian lives we have all questioned our faith or what we believe in. But when it comes to the Word of God we need to understand why we have it!

John helps us with our answer in his gospel account, in chapter 20, verses 30-31. There we read, "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." There we have it, we have the Bible so that we may believe on the name of Jesus.

Let's also read from 1 John 5:13. Again, in this verse John helps us with our discussion as he said, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God."

Praise be to God that we have the Bible to help us know who Jesus is. And not only to know who He is but also what He expects of us if we are to be pleasing in His sight. We have been given The Book, The Book Of Books, The Word Of God - to know exactly what we need to know, to know exactly what God wants of His followers.

Isn't that what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17? There he said, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Here we have confirmed, all of the Bible is from God, it profits us in all areas of our lives, and it completely equips us for everything we must do in life.

Praise be to God that He has blessed us with such a wonderful and informative book. A book that is perfect, as James said in chapter 1, verse 25 of his book! It is this perfect book from God which give us all the answers we need and shows us the proper direction in which to go.

So, now let me ask you again, "why do we have the Bible?" May we always realize that we have God's Book to know our Jesus and to obey His Will! Are you doing what God asks?

Our topic today is still related to our series "The Lord's Response." Our specific lesson this morning will focus on answering the question, "What Is Truth?" So, please stay with us and in a few minutes I will return with this study from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our second song of the day, it's name, "Redeemed."
(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thank you for continuing with us this morning. We appreciate that. We are excited about our topic this morning, probably one of my favorite topics in the Bible, and that's dealing with truth, and actually as we've been seeing over the past several months, many, many questions that have been directed at Christ and how that really He responded to those questions in a very adequate way to always help glory be given to the Father. And this morning, we want to do the very same thing. We want to look at the truth, the question that was asked of Him. "What is truth?" We want to see what setting that was prepared in and really applied to, and then we want to again look at the Bible and it's fullness to understand what that truth is really all about.

So if you'll turn in your Bibles to the book of John, we want to begin there and we want to understand the story that was taking place. We know at this time it was just after the Lord had already had the feast with His disciples. Later, we know that He went to the garden and was praying there. In fact, in chapter 18, we see that the betrayal takes place at the first of this chapter. And after the betrayal, we know that He is taken before the High Priest in about verse 12. After being taken before the High Priest, we know that it is just a few verses down that then Peter denies Him. In other words, denies having known Christ as he is sitting there in the outer court waiting with others, and then he is said to have been one to be with Christ. Well, he denies that three times. Then, we know that the rooster or the cock crows. Around verse 19, we see that the questioning continues and then later even brought before Pilate in verse 28. But in our story this morning, we want to begin in starting around verse 33. Now He's in Pilate's court. He's waiting now and we know that Pilate is now about to enter the room and say exactly to Him the things that we have based our lesson this morning.

So if you will, look at verse 33, and we want to read through verse 37 at this time. It says there, Then Pilate entered the prayertorium again, called Jesus and said to Him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this or did others tell you concerning me?" Pilate answered, "I am a Jew. Your own nation and the chief priest have delivered you to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I would not be delivered to the Jews, but now my kingdom is not from here." Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are you the king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king, For this cause, I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."

Here the ideas are unfolding very, very clearly in relationship to the situation that was taking place. Again, we have this man, Pilate, who comes in, a man who has great authority in the region and the area, and now he stands before Christ and Christ before him, as they discuss this situation that is taking place. His own people, the Jews. Again, Christ being one of them. His own people now bring Him before Pilate and that's kind of I believe the thing that Pilate is saying to Him here as he questions, "Are you a king?" And Jesus says, "Well, are you saying this because you know it or because you have heard it?" And then he says, "Well, how am I to know it because your own people have now brought you before me. You claim to be a king, but they are rejecting you. So Pilate here was in an odd situation, it seems, and he was really trying to figure out what was taking place. Obviously as the conversation proceeds on, Jesus makes several clarifications to him which would have put his mind at ease. We see that some of these ideas that He brings out first of all is that He is a king as He has said, but His kingdom is not of this world. Otherwise, His servants would not have allowed Him to be taken by the Jews or to have come before Pilate. So again, Pilate begins to see that even if this man claims to be a king, He's not claiming this in some way a threat against Pilate or the Roman government at that time, but really He's just making a claim that He's a king of more of a spiritual kingdom, as you and I would understand. But at this time as Pilate probably was struggling with a bit. Pilate may have even thought in some ways that the man didn't have His right mind from the things that He was saying, without the proper knowledge and the background that this was the coming Messiah and He was setting up a spiritual kingdom.

But if you'll notice with me again in verse 37, He says there that, "You have rightly said that I am a king and that I have come here according to what God has said. I have come to bear witness of the truth." And notice here again the concepts. "My kingdom's not of this world. It's not something made with hands. I don't have servants who are going to somehow protect me or save me. But at the same time, yes, I am a king and there is a kingdom and," as it says here, "I have come as a part of that spiritual kingdom to bear witness of the truth."

Now if you'll look with me in verse 38, we find the question that really we focus on this morning. Pilate said to Him, "What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, "I find no fault with Him at all." We can see through the discussion here again shows very clearly that he really did not feel that Jesus had done anything wrong, that He wasn't doing anything against the Roman government and surely against these people. He wasn't forcing them to follow Him. He wasn't in arms or somehow threatening them to follow Him, but He was giving them the choice, the opportunity. So he says, "I have seen nothing wrong with this man." But before going out and saying that to the Jews who were there, we see that he first asked, "What is truth?" Well, that's the same question I think that we find so many times today and really that should be on all of our minds as we consider the word of God and truth. What is truth? Because here it says in the words of Jesus Himself that He came to bring the truth. Now if Jesus brought it and that's what He came for, it ought to be important. It ought to be something that we really want to know about, that we really want to understand.

Well, let's go into some other verses especially in the book of John here and understand exactly what this truth is all about. If you'll look back a chapter with me in chapter 17, we begin to see I think clearly as He spoke earlier with His disciples and those who believed in Him. He explained to them clearly what the truth was all about. And I want you to read with me there as it says there in chapter 17 and verse 17, sanctify them by your word, your word is true. Christ speaking here. In your text, you might notice again that His reference here is the word, the will of God. He says "your word, God. God's word is true." So if we say what is the truth? Well, it is God's word. What is God's word? It's that which He has delivered to us today, the Bible, and therefore again, this concept of what is truth. It is that word or will of God that we must study and learn in order that we might follow it. That's the truth. And that's what this is all about as we understand the discussion here this morning, as we understand what it is all about and really try to comprehend these things that pertain to us and help us to know exactly what God tells us in relationship to the truth. Truth is vastly important then. If it's something that's here being acknowledged as the word of God, and it's something again that was brought by Jesus and that's why He came. The truth is important. So we must feel the importance of God's word, that word that we have today, the Bible.

Another verse that we might look at here that will help us is a few chapters back again, in chapter 14. If you'll turn back just a few chapters, we want to read from verse 6 here again the words of Jesus and notice here very carefully the words that He uses in reference to Himself. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Here in this situation, we see that He is once again in a discussion. We have an individual in verse 5, Thomas, who asked Him a question about who He is and wants to really know where He's going in such light. And in all these things, we find the answer again given by Christ Jesus that He is the way, that perfect way, that perfect guidance that we can follow. He is the truth there again. Now we have something added. The word is the truth, and Christ is the truth. Well what's the difference? Well, there really isn't any because Christ came to deliver the truth which is the will of God, the word of God, so He is that instrument, that being that brought the truth. So Christ is the truth. He is the deliverer of the truth, and here again, the word of God is truth. And then also mentioned here, the life. If we want to know the way to go. If we want to know the word of God and follow His will, the truth, and if we want to have eternal life, all these things are found where? Jesus Christ. Why? Because He has all truth. He can deliver to us and help us to know everything that we are required to do as again faithful children in His kingdom.

I also love what is said here at the end of verse 6 because it says here that no one can come to the Father except through Him, through Christ, that is. Why? Again, He is the way. He is the truth and He's the life. How can you get to the Father anymore unless you go through Jesus? If He's the own son who came and died for us in order that we might know the truth, the will of God, the way that we should go and the life that is now going to be ours as faithful children of God.

So yes, if we want to get to the Father, we must understand that as well as in this day, those who were rejecting Christ needed all the more as Jews to understand this simple truth that there was no way any longer that they could follow and be obedient to the Father in heaven that they had followed for generations and generations, unless they were willing first to accept Jesus and accept Him as the son of the Father, because the only way He's told them to get to the Father was by following Him and again in our study, we've already seen that is because He is the way. He is the truth. He is the life. And that is where we should find our confidence also as Christians.

I wanted to also look in connection with the truth with a few ideas that might help us to know more about it and I wanted to really go to the book of Ephesians because there Paul again helps me and you as we study this topic to relate with a few other ideas that truth is. We've seen that truth is the will of God, the word of God. It is Christ Himself because He is the deliverer. He is the bringer of the way, the life and now we have very carefully put out in the book of Ephesians, chapter 1 and verse 13, the need again for truth but in connection with something else. There's something else that we can say is equal to it or the same as. In verse 13 we read, In Him, you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Notice very carefully here what it said. That it was something that was believed that gave them the promise, the Holy Spirit, that gave them all the knowledge that they had to have to be pleasing to God. Now, what was that again? Notice with me in verse 13. What was it they trusted? They heard the word of truth. Well, we already know the importance of the truth. That's why Jesus came and that's what He brought. He is the way, the truth and the life. The word of God is the truth. So then what else is in connection here? The word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Notice here the word gospel and it's usage in this verse. Here again, the truth, the gospel of your salvation. The gospel, the truth - they are one in the same. What truth must we follow? The one from Christ. The individual, not the trues of God, the one truth, the one way. Not the gospels of God, but the gospel, the one true gospel. The reason I bring this point up is because I want us to understand the need to follow the Lord's truth, to follow what He has asked us to do just as we find in John 4 and 24 that God is a spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Truth is important. The one truth. The one way, as well as the one gospel.

If you'll look in Galatians chapter 1, I want you to understand this truth, this gospel with me again, in connection with how important it is that we follow the right truth. Not anyone's truth is okay. Not any man is okay that we might follow him unless he proves himself through the word of God. Read with me if you will Galatians chapter 1. We want to read verses 6 through 9. Paul said, I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel which is not another but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you, then that which was preached to you, let him be accursed. As I have said before, so say I now again, if anyone preaches any gospel to you other than that which you have received, let him be accursed.

Here again, very carefully the truth, the word of truth that brings us salvation, the promises that we've already mentioned is the same as the gospel. The gospel is mentioned here to be the one gospel. If anyone brings then a different gospel, if anyone brings a different truth than that which we find in the word of God, what must we do? Well, we must reject it because it says here anyone who does such should be accursed by God.

There's a final verse I want to look at with you if you'll turn with me to the book of 2 Peter. We just have a few minutes here remaining. We want to understand here what Peter had to say in 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 12, again in relationship to truth and what we should do with it. Read with me if you will from verse 12. For this reason, I will not neglect to remind you always of these things though you know and are established in the present truth. Here, we have mentioned by Peter. We've talked about Paul. We've talked about Jesus. But now, Peter says we must be established in the present truth. If we want to be acceptable to God and if we want Him to be pleased with us, then we must know the truth.

Now, I want to mention one more thing. In John 8 and 32, it says there that we have freedom. We can have freedom in Christ Jesus. And you and I know that. That's why we're Christians. But those of you who are watching maybe who are not, we find there that this truth is only that which God gives us to bring us that freedom. That is where we find it. That is where we find that comfort and that's what this is all about, understanding what the truth is, the word of God, Jesus Himself, because He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is that which gives us these promises and He is that one who delivered the truth, as Peter said that we must be established in, the one truth, the gospel that is according to the word of God. So my encouragement is that we follow this book. We follow the truth of God and if you and I follow the truth of God and do as He has commanded us, then we know all things will be added unto us because He will be pleased and we will be pleasing in His sight.
(SONG # 3 - "Our God He Is Alive!")


Thanks for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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I hope today that we have all refocused ourselves on the Truth in God's Word. Why, because the only place that freedom and salvation can be found is in this knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
(Program closing)