THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 3-9-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD'S PECULIAR PEOPLE: A PECULIAR NAME"
Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. We thank God that you have chosen to be with us today, as we commit this time to our wondrous Creator. What a great privilege we have today to join in this opportunity to praise our God and glorify our Savior. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will? Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
What a wonderful privilege we have as Christians to lift up our voices in praise to God. Furthermore, what a sweet smelling savor the fruit of our lips is to our Creator. So, this morning won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning? The name of the song "I Stand Amazed!"
(SONG # 1)
How many times have you felt like you're the only one with troubles in this world? Doesn't it seem like every time things are going good, something else happens to burden us down in the troubles of the world? In fact, it doesn't matter whether you are of God or of the world, we are all affected by the troubles of everyday life.
However, David reminds us that troubles are different for those who are followers of the Lord's will. In Psalms 34:19, we read, "many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." In this verse, we are assured that the Lord is always there to deliver us from problems if we are following Him according to His will. Another fact, that is pointed out in the same verse is - even the righteous have afflictions.
So how do we react when trials come our way? Usually, the first thing you and I think is, "why is God allowing this to happen to me?" You see, we always put the blame where it is not due for God does not and will not tempt man. James stated this very idea in his book, when he said, "let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone," chapter 1, verse 13. This inspired writer tells us that God can not be tempted nor does He tempt anyone. So, why do these trials and problems come our way? The answer, because God allows us to be tested!
Think about the wonderful story of Job. Why were such awful things happening to him? It was because God was allowing Satan to test him, to confirm his faithfulness to God. When we are tested, this brings suffering, because Satan uses our fleshly desires and weaknesses against us. In verses 2-3, of the same opening, James also said, "my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." Problems and trials in this life test us and make our faith stronger, because we learn to rely more on God, as we read earlier.
A final exhortation in dealing with troubles is found in Paul's words to the Corinthians, where he said, "no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it," 1 Cor. 10:13! Have you got it now? We will be tempted, but God will help - even to the point of showing us a way of escape to remove ourselves from the situation.
Are you trusting in God and allowing Him to be by your side in troubles? Or have you forgot your friend Jesus, who has promised to always be with you? Let's face every day stronger knowing that God is there and will guide, guard and protect us always - as we faithfully labor in His vineyard.
Today we will continue our study on, "God's Peculiar People." Our specific topic of the day will deal with, "A Peculiar Name." So please continue with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Jerry Sullins will be leading us in this lesson from God's Word. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Soldiers Of Christ Arise."
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I'd like to welcome you to "The Living Word" broadcast this Sunday morning. We appreciate your presence. We're glad that you've tuned in to this program to learn more of God's Word and hopefully it will help us all to understand more of what God's Will is for us.
We're presently in a series that is entitled, "God's Peculiar People" taken from 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 9. It is such a good series because certainly as His children, we are supposed to be peculiar people. Now in the King James Version of the Bible, that's what it says. When you go to other versions of the Bible, it might give you just a little bit better understanding of what is stated there in 1 Peter 2:9 because it means "a people of God's own possession" or as in the New King James Version of the Bible it says, "a very special people or God's special people." And so in this series of lessons we're trying to show from God's Word exactly how God's people are a special people. This morning, it is my responsibility to take us through the Word of God and to examine the importance of a name that God has given us. We probably already know what that name is, but I am going to show you through the history of the Old Testament how we would be called by a new name. I don't know where it is that people have tried to say or come up with an understanding, if you could call it that, that names really don't matter. We are today having a controversy in the political world because someone has chosen to call another by his name and his name that happens to be a name that causes controversy because his middle name is "Hussein." So for that reason, I don't know if he wants to be called by his middle name or not. This is certainly not a political program. It is a religious program. But you see, I am making this point to show you that names are important. If not, why is there such controversy over that name today? Also, as we just logically look at the situation, what one of us as parents would refer to our children or want to call our children by the name of "Satan?" Sometimes they do things that are very bad, but we try to never call them that because we don't in any way want our children to think that we think they are the devil himself. So consequently, when our children are born we don't refer to them or call them "Jezebel." We don't call them many other names because names do mean something. There are names that are reserved for animals that we would not call our children. And so it's just a logical thing for us to look into God's Word and see by what name we as His followers should be called.
Now how does God look at names? Does He seem to think that they are very important? We see that He did because in the very first part of the Bible, we turn all the way back to the first book, Genesis chapter 5 after the creation had taken place, that after He had created male and female, it says in Genesis 5 verse 2 it says, "He created them male and female and blessed them and called them mankind in the day they were created." Now this is a general term which simply means man and woman. I think the King James Version says, "He called them Adam," but if we go back in the second chapter of the book of Genesis, we'll see that He called the first man, Adam, but notice in chapter 2 verse 23 when He created the woman He said that "She shall be called woman because she was taken out of the man." So there she was called "woman," a descriptive name and then she was given a proper name. That proper name in chapter 3 was to be the name "Eve" as we see in Genesis chapter 3 verse 20. That name itself means simply "living" or "life." And so therefore, she became the mother of all living. So names do mean something to such a degree that God even named or gave Ishmael his name, that was the son to Hagar, the handmaiden as we see that Abraham had a child from or of, and He gave also Isaac his name before his birth. Before John the Baptist was born it was predetermined what his name would be. One important name that was predetermined is found in Matthew chapter 1 verse 21 where it states, "And He shall be called Jesus." Now that word "Jesus" means savior. "So He shall be called Jesus or Savior for it is He who shall save His people from their sins." So a name in the sight of God is very important!
Now we can see how important for us to recognize God's names in even what we're supposed to be called as followers of Jesus found even given in prophecy. I would like to call your attention to a new name that was prophesied of in Isaiah chapter 56 verse 5. Now we know that God's house is the church. In Isaiah chapter 56 verse 5, it says, "Even to them, I will give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters." So this name would be recognized even better or greater than sons and daughters.
Now Isaiah goes on to mention something else about that name in Isaiah chapter 62, if you have your Bibles. I hope you're using your Bibles every Sunday morning. In Isaiah chapter 62 verse 2 it says, "The gentiles shall see your righteousness, in all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord will name." So it will be a new name which the mouth of the Lord would name. That's how important God's name for us is. If God chooses to call us by certain names, don't you think we should be wanting to call ourselves by that name?
So we look again in prophecy to Isaiah chapter 65 verse 15. Isaiah chapter 65 verse 15 where it says, "You shall leave your name as a curse to my chosen for the Lord God will slay you and call His servants by another name." Well there's another indication that God has a special name for us.
Then finally in the book of Isaiah chapter 66... Isaiah had a lot to say about it, didn't he? These were prophesies. He was a prophet. He was foretelling things that God wanted the children of Israel to know. He said in verse 22 of chapter 66 of the book of Isaiah, "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your descendents and your name remain." Your name remain. He's talking about the name that He's going to specify in the New Testament that people should name and it would be a name above all other names, that is as far as descriptive names for those who follow Jesus Christ.
I'm reminded of an important scripture found in Acts chapter 4 verse 12, a very important scripture where Peter said that Jesus in His name, it was a name far above all other names. I want us to turn, because this is such an important scripture, to Acts chapter 4 verse 12 where it says, "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." Now that's an important name, isn't it? And our Savior is Jesus Christ. So what are we supposed to call ourselves? Are we supposed to call ourselves after man? Well, some may ask you, "What are you religiously?" What do you say? Do you call yourself after a man? "Well, I'm of Joseph Smith." "I'm of Martin Luther," or "I am of Ray Sullins" who happens to be the one on this program almost every week. Is that what you're going to say? That's NOT what God wants you to call yourself! He has specified what we are to call ourselves. This name that He mentions as another name in Biblical prophecy in the book of Isaiah, a new name in Biblical prophecy in the book of Isaiah, that name is told us in the New Testament. Simply in fact in three different places it is told us.
Look at Acts 11verse 26. There it says, "And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." Now this was after the gospel was given to the gentiles in Acts chapter 10, a fulfillment of the prophecies of the book of Isaiah where they would receive another name. That name was what? "The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch." Now what does that mean? It means "follower of Christ."
In Acts 26 verse 28 when Paul was standing before King Agrippa and he was reasoning with him about many spiritual matters, Agrippa replied and said, "Almost you have persuaded me to become a Christian." So Agrippa was aware of that name. In fact, I believe the whole Asian world was aware of that name especially the people in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and Galilee and the regions that bordered Israel and throughout all the then known world probably because the Jews were dispersed of persecution from Jerusalem, those who were converted to Christ and went throughout the world converting to Christ and went throughout the world proclaiming the gospel and referring to themselves as "Christians" which simply means "followers of Christ." That's why Agrippa said, whether he said it in a proper way or whether he said it in a beligerent way, "Almost you have persuaded me to become a Christian."
Then a very important series of scriptures found in 1 Peter chapter 4. I'd like for us to turn there, 1 Peter chapter 4 and we're going to read verses 14-16. "If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you for the spirit of glory and of God rest upon you on there part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified, but let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief, an evil-doer or as a busybody in other people's affairs or matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this matter." My friend, when we are asked what we are spiritually or what we are religiously, we have the right to say we are Christians. Basically, that's the term that God has given us to wear. It's a worthy name in James chapter 2 verse 7. It's a name that has been named by the Lord (Ephesians chapter 3 verses 14-21. Since we are married to Christ, (Romans 7 verse 4) why is it that we would want to call ourselves by any other name other than that name that refers to Christ? When Christ took that coin and showed it to the disciples and said, "Look at the inscription here." It was an inscription of Ceasar. He said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's." We as God's children are His children. We have been saved by the Savior, Jesus, by His blood. And so whose name should we be wearing? The name of some man? NO! That's what makes us God's special people. That's why we are referred to in the scripture as "the church of God" in 1 Corinthians 1:2 when Paul wrote "Unto the church of God at Corinth." That's why we are referred to as the body of Christ, Colossians 1:18. These are all descriptive terms. That's why we are referred to as "Brethren in Christ." That's why we're referred to as "Children or sons of God" as is mentioned in Galatians 3 verse 26 where it says, "for we are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." So if we've been baptized into Christ and we have put on Christ, why would we want to call ourselves by any other name?
You know, in matters like this as well as in any other religious matter, I love what Peter said in 1 Peter 11 and actually this was God through the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter. This is God the Father speaking. "If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God." So when someone refers to me as God's follower, as a Christian, then I say, "Thank you very much!" because that's what I am and that's what God wants us to call ourselves, not by any man's name, not by any man's doctrine or any man's creed, not by any man's organization. He wants us to call ourselves "Christians" and when we get the names of men, organizations, and doctrines and we apply that to our name and say as well, "We are not only just Christians but we're this kind of Christian or that kind of Christian," that's when we divide ourselves. And so what am I seeking to do today? I'm seeking to get all of us who have been baptized into the body of Christ to realize how important it is for us to use that special name that God has given us. All of you who claim to be Christians who have not yet done what Christ wants you to do to become a child of God then certainly do what you can today to prepare yourself to wear that wonderful and glorious and precious name that God Himself has given us.
Now we pray that you will have a wonderful day and we pray that you will search His Word daily to see if what we're telling you is the truth. We pray it all and everything that we will tell you God's holy truth.
(SONG # 3 - "The Gloryland Way!")
Let me thank you again 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 also 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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May we all learn to use Bible names so that we might give glory to God in all things? Furthermore, may we never use names to elevate ourselves spiritually, for there is but one who is worthy of such - God Almighty!