THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 3-5-06
LESSON TITLE: "HELP MY UNBELIEF: I BELIEVE IN THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT"
"The Lord is my strength and shield...," Psalm 28:7. Who is your strength and shield on this wondrous Lord's day? Our hope and prayer is that it is almighty God!
We are truly excited to have you with us today as we together break the Living Word of God. We are certainly glad that you have chosen this day, to give this time to our Creator - so that together we may Worship and Praise His Holy name!
As we come together this morning, it is my hope and prayer that we will each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before God. As a collective offering of those who love God, and who are willing to submit their own sacrifices before His throne.
So, At this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:
Sometimes it is hard to know which way to go in this life. This morning we want to begin with a song which tells us the right way to go. So, won't you join in and participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "The Way Of The Cross!"
(SONG # 1)
One of the beautiful things about the Old and New Testaments is the fact that they are so unified. I love to hear the prophecies give through the mouth of the prophets of God and then to see their fulfillment in the New Testament.
With this in mind I am reminded of something which Moses commanded Israel in Deuteronomy 6:5, there we read, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." No doubt Moses was here commanding them to put God first and to give Him their best.
So what about us today? These words sound familiar to us as well, because Jesus Christ Himself proclaimed these same ideas to those of His day. In fact, in Matthew 22, beginning in verse 36, we see that Jesus is asked a question, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Now here the response of our Lord. "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment." Notice here that Jesus says that the greatest commandment of all is the same as it was been from the very beginning, "Put God first and love Him with your all!"
Do you love your creator in this way? Are you fully expressing your love for God with the whole of your person? Is your heart, soul and mind in complete tune with what God requires? Do what it takes this day to make sure that you are right with your God!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of the morning, will again deal with another lesson from our series entitled, "Help My Unbelief." The specific discussion of the morning is, "I Believe In God The Father, Son, And Holy Spirit."
As far as our speaker of the day, we are happy to again have brother Ray Crawford with us. Brother Crawford is the minister for the Bellefonte Church of Christ, in Harrison, Arkansas. We thank brother Ray for being with us this day, and at the appropriate time brother Crawford will be leading our main thoughts from God's Precious Word. Now let's join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "There's A Great Day Coming."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Crawford
This morning, we would like to discuss the subject matter of the Godhead and we're going to take the Bible and only the Bible and the things that are written therein, rather than the opinion or maybe the conviction of other people in the religious community.
I want to begin my lesson first by pointing out two passages of scripture that I believe to be important as we discuss this important subject. The first one is found in 2 Timothy the 3rd chapter verses 16-17. "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work." Now this passage points out for us that God literally breathed the Word of God and that it's profitable for each and every one of us.
The second passage that I'd like for you to notice is 2 Peter the 1st chapter, verse 3 and also part of verse 4. In verse 3, we are told that, "God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness." Then in verse 4, it says we not only have those precious promises, but God also says that, "We can be partakers of a divine nature."
Now this morning as we discuss the lesson about the Godhead, I'd like for you to notice with me several other passages that God speaks about involving the Godhead.
I'll begin with Genesis the first chapter. If you will, turn in your Bibles there. In the King James, we have this reading: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved." Now the New King James says that it "hovered over darkness." As we notice this passage of scripture, we find two of the Godhead given to us here and we are reminded of those things. Number 1, God created. Number 2, the Spirit moved. We have God and the Spirit.
Now I'd like for you to turn in your Bible to the New Testament in John the 1st chapter and verse 1. In this passage of scripture, we read, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." The same with "with God" in the beginning. Now this passage points out another identity in the Godhead as it speaks about the Word. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and the Spirit was with Him. Now we find (that) in the beginning, the Word was there with Him as well. Now someone might say, "Well, it says that the Word of God was God," and of course we realize that this has to do with deity. The Word was deity as was the Spirit and God the Father. So in these two passages of scripture, when we combine them together, we find (that) in the beginning, there was the Godhead. There was God the Father, God the Spirit, and God the Son or Christ Jesus.
As we read from Genesis, we find the plurality is shown again in the 26th and 27th verse of chapter 1 of Genesis. In this passage, God said, "Let us (and the word is "us", and that's a plural) make man in our (there's the word "our", plural again) own image." And so, He created them, male and female, after the image of the Godhead or if you will, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
I want to also give you an idea about the three that are combined together in another passage of scripture that proves that there is a Godhead. Now many in the religious communities today believe in the oneness of God, the Jesus only, or perhaps indicating the Holy Spirit as being the main person in the Godhead. But I want you to notice that all three have a very important identity and personalities are shown.
Now in the book of Matthew the 3rd chapter, we have the story of the baptism of Jesus. Now Jesus is coming to John the Baptizer at the Jordan to fulfill the righteousness of God as was commanded. As He approaches John, of course, we find John saying that, "You should baptize me rather than me You." But Jesus said, "Suffer to be so or let it be as God has declared that you baptize Me." Now the importance here is John baptized Jesus. They come up out of the water, fulfilling all righteousness as God says they ought. We could go over to a study of baptism here, but we're not going to. But in this passage of scripture, we find that after Jesus was baptized, after He comes up out of the water, then the Spirit descends upon Him in the bodily form of a dove, according to the New King James. As we look at this passage of scripture, we find now Jesus Christ the Son of God, the only begotten of God, (John 3:16-17). Secondly, we find the Spirit of God coming down upon Him. Then thirdly we have the voice from heaven that says, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased." Now in this passage of scripture, we find all three of the Godhead given to us, the personalities, the identities of God the Father speaking from heaven, God the Son being baptized by John, and the Spirit coming down from heaven as well. We have all three indicated here in this passage showing that they are separate and yet one. Deity. God the Father. God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This is important for us to realize as we think about God and His creation and the importance of the Word of God and its completeness for us all.
Now I'd like for you to consider with me also some individual attributes of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit as they work together as deity for your, for my salvation. Now remember if you will that the whole purpose of the Godhead is for our own salvation, for mine and for yours. Now if we read our Bibles, we find in John 4 and verse 24 that the attribute of Jesus or of God rather is as a Spirit here. As Jesus tells the woman in John 4, "God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth," showing that God truly is a Spirit. God the Father. His presence predates the whole universe.
In the Psalm 139 verses 7-12, David declares through inspiration of God that all that we look at, those things that we even have in our heavens today are of God and it shows that He covers all.
In the book of Acts the 17th chapter in verses 27 and 28, the writer says that "We have our very being in Him." We live, we breathe, we move, all of it is due to God. He is without a doubt throughout all of the universe for us.
God is also described as the light as we look at the attribute of God. 1 John the 1st chapter, verse 5 speaks about the light in when there is no darkness at all showing the purity of God, God the Father.
God is love as we defined in 1 John the 4th chapter, verse 16 that shows that He is compassionate and that God dwelleth in us as love dwelleth in us.
God is called the good shepherd, the heavenly Father.
God is also a consuming fire and so therefore we must be aware of this as the Hebrew letter says in the 12th chapter verse 29, "for God is a God of justice."
In reading from the book of Hebrews the 5th chapter, verses 8-9, we find that God tells us through His writer that "Jesus Christ was a Son, yet learned He obedience through the things which He suffered and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him." Now if we do not obey God, then of course, we find that He is a consuming fire.
Now let's look at Jesus for just a moment as we talk about Jesus the Son or God the Son. He is a gift from God. No one would deny the greatest passage ever written or at least memorized by mankind is John 3:16. In this passage, it says, "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." Reading verse 17, "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through the world might be saved." So we find Jesus then, the God, the Son, is a gift from His Father. He came to do the Will of God, His Father according to Luke 22 and verse 42, "not to do His own but Him who had sent Him," John 4 and verse 34. He said that, "I come to do the Will and to do all," Philippians the 2nd chapter and verse 13. And the Bible tells us also in Hebrews the 10th chapter verse 9 that, "He came to do the Will of the Father." God is the Father over Jesus and Jesus says, "I came to do the Will of the Father."
Now thirdly in the Godhead, we find the Holy Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit gives a great deal of difficulty to many people simply because we surmise so much about the Holy Spirit or we so called read between the lines or we say it can't really mean that. All that we know in the Bible about God the Father, about Jesus the Son, and about God the Holy Spirit are found written in the Word of God. Remember the passage as we begin with in the book of 2 Timothy 3 verse 16-17, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God," and then, "We've been given all things that pertain to life and godliness." In these passages, we are told that all that we know about God, about Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are found in God's inspired Word. God breathed these words so that we might understand it. And so let us look at the Holy Spirit for a moment. God the Spirit.
In the book of Romans the 8th chapter and verse 1, and I want to read this passage to you. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Now God said that He was going to take Jesus away. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to leave. "They were troubled in their hearts," as we read in John the 14th chapter beginning with verse 1 and they were a little bit disappointed that Jesus the leader was going away. But Jesus said He would not leave them comfortless, but He would send a comforter, and He sent the Holy Spirit to be a comforter. As we notice, the Holy Spirit gives us the Word of God which enables us to walk according to what God says and not according to the flesh.
In 1 Corinthians the 3rd chapter, verse 16, the Bible says that the Spirit will dwell in us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need to realize as God dwells in us, as Christ dwells in us, even so must the Spirit dwell in us.
We're told according to the Philippian letter in the 1st chapter and verse 27 as the apostle Paul by the inspiration writes to the brethren at Philippi. He says that, "we are to stand fast in the Spirit." He speaks about us standing fast in the Word of God and following those things that God has given to us in order that we might be as God would have us to be.
And now we have a difficulty often times with people understanding how the Holy Spirit dwells in one. Let me give you an example of how I believe the Holy Spirit dwells within us and how He must be a part of us. In James the 2 chapter and verse 26, we find here that James says, "As the body without the spirit is dead, being alone, even so is faith without works being alone." That is that death of our faith is brought about by the lack of works. The death of our body is brought about by the lack of the spirit. When the Spirit dwells in us, as it should, the Word becomes active in us. We not only read and study the Word of God and know what it says, but it becomes a burning desire within us to do that which God would have us to do. We will be actively involved. When I read the Bible and it says that I ought to do good unto all men as the Galatian letter the 6th chapter verse 10 says, then I will have a desire to do good unto all men. When it says that I must love the Lord thy God with all my heart, mind and soul and even my strength, I will have a great desire to be just like that. When it says that I will sacrifice my body for the sake of God, that is commit my whole being to God and to His wonderful work, then I have a desire to do that. That shows that the Spirit is working through the Word of God. And I am to let it dwell in me richly, according to Ephesians 5, verse 19, as well as Colossians 3 and verse 16.
Now let me give you an indication of what tells us or is the summation of the Spirit dwelling in us as He ought to. We will have the fruit of the Spirit. Now the fruit of the Spirit given to us in Galatians 5, verse 22 and 23 is a singular word, fruit of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit contains a multiplicity of parts, individual parts within the fruit of the Spirit. And I will show this. If God is in me, if Christ is in me, the Holy Spirit is in me, if I acknowledge the Godhead being a part of my being, then I will have love and I will show love. I will have joy. I will show joy. I will have peace and I will show peace. I will have long-suffering and I will show long-suffering. I will be gentle and I will show gentleness. I will be filled with goodness and full of faith. I will have meekness and I will show temperance. God says to let these things dwell in us. We get back to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit guides us and directs us through His precious Word and we show forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus guides us and directs us through His precious Word which He became for us, according to John 1 beginning in verse 1, and God dwells in us, showing that we can truly have the nature of God. I can have and be a partaker of the divine nature of our Lord. No, I am not going to be a part of the Deity, but I will emulate the Deity in all that I do. God has always said, "Be ye perfect even as I am perfect. Be ye holy even as I am holy." So my life will radiate the love and warmth of Jesus Christ to others and my own being will be given toward obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I'd like to ask you a question this morning before we leave this program. As we recognize the importance of the Godhead and Deity itself, are you doing that which God would have you to do in order that you might be pleasing in His sight? Won't you hear the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ? Won't you have faith in Jesus Christ being God's only begotten Son? Won't you repent of your sins, confess His beautiful name? Won't you be baptized, have your sins washed away so that the blood of Jesus might take away our sins so that we might be raised up to walk in newness of life? Won't we do that for the sake of God Almighty, for the sake of Jesus Christ and more especially for our sake?
Remember if you will, God created us. God sent Jesus in order that we through Him might be saved, and God has given to us the Holy Spirit for our direction. I always say, "great," when someone asks me how I might be. Great, why? Not that I'm better than anyone else, but great because number 1, I have God as my Father. He is my Father. Number 2, I have Jesus Christ as my brother, and one day according to Romans 8, verse 17, I will be a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Thirdly, I have the Holy Spirit through God's precious Word to direct me and guide me and if I walk so according to His Will then one day I will be with Him throughout eternity. God has given this to me and I pray that you will take the Word of God very seriously so that you might accept and be a part of what God has given to you.
It is our prayer that God will truly bless you and keep you and I thank you for allowing me to be here today.
(SONG # 3 - "Trust and Obey!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. What a glorious time we have had before the throne of God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How wonderful it is to learn and to know who our God is. Furthermore, how blessed we are to understand that our God is one, yet bears three distinct persons - The Father, Son And Holy Spirit!