THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-12-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF GOD: THE GOSPEL, TRUTH AND DOCTRINE”
“This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalms 118:24! Oh, how true these words should be to every follower of God! This is a great day! We should be rejoicing! We must be glad! WHY - We are blessed servants of God able to assemble before His throne on this, the Lord’s Day!
I am glad you are with us this morning and thank God you have made the right decision to give this time to your Creator. I look forward to our time spent together today as we sing praises to the Almighty and as we study from His matchless Word! This Morning, I know we will all be edified through our time spent together. So let’s all do our part to make this time profitable before God, and furthermore may we use it as a great encouragement one to another!
At this time, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Just think for a moment how much your Lord has done, and is doing in your life! I hope none of us have forgotten what a wonderful Savior we serve! This morning we want to begin with a song that reminds us of the wondrous Son of God who loved us enough to serve us! So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives?”
(SONG # 1)
Aren’t we blessed to have the Bible? A book full of God’s Will to man! A book that not only answers all of our spiritual questions of the day, but which also gives us all the answers that pertain to life and Godliness!
How would we have the answer to questions like, “Where did we come from?” “What is life all about?” or “Where are we going after death?” Only the Bible gives us the proper and complete answers to all those things we need to know in this life.
When was the last time you wondered, “How should I act?” Or “What should I say?” Maybe you questioned, “Where should I go?” or “How should I react?” Again, there is only one source where we can turn for these and all other answers we need to be proper in the eyes of God.
I really love the way Peter put it in 2 Peter 1:3. There we read, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” Did you catch all of that! Because of God’s Power we have and know all things pertaining to life and Godliness. Again where do we find these answers - from God’s Book itself - the Bible! The same verse goes on to talk about how through this same book, we can have the knowledge we need and truly know God and His Will. Oh, how truly blessed we are to have the Bible!
Finally, let’s read how God gave us this wondrous book that equips us so completely! First you might remember what Peter further said in his book in the same opening as above. However, now let’s drop down to verses 20-21. There we read, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” There we have it, God chose faithful men and lead them to write those things according to His Will as He so desired!
How blessed we are to have a God who cared enough to give us His complete revelation. So that we may not only know Him, but also - so we can know what we need to do in order to be found pleasing in His sight.
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our continued theme of study is, “The Gospel of God.” And our first lesson today will deal with “The Gospel, Truth, and Doctrine!” So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our next song of the day. The name of this hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour.”
SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’ve had a great discussion together over many weeks now about “The Gospel of Christ.” We’ve been able to see a lot about what the gospel is and who it is to and really what it entails from scripture. So today we want to continue with our discussion about the gospel in trying to really understand more about words that are synonyms or similar to the gospel of Christ.
We’re going to begin this morning in Hebrews chapter 4. Interestingly enough we have the Hebrew writer here in chapter 4 and in verse 2 stating, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them.” In the context, he is talking about the gospel of peace and the fact that the gospel and obedience to it produces rest in the obedient child or follower of God.
But now I want you to notice the text down in verse 12 as it continues to say this, “For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even through the division of soul and spirit and joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Did you catch the idea here? We have the gospel that what? Saves and gives eternal rest and peace. Then it says, “The Word of God.” Which is what? “All powerful, all sharp” and all capable to do whatever it takes to get our hearts where they need to be if we love God and we put God first. You see the idea we are trying to understand is the reality that the gospel is that which was the good news proclaimed which were the words of Jesus Christ and those words are as well the gospel.
We know the Bible speaks a lot about the fact that the Word will save us, or God’s Word saves us. We also see the idea that Jesus Himself in John chapter 1 was “in the beginning and was the Word and was with the Word.” We know there that this Word in verse 14 was with God and was God as again we might clarify there in verse 1. It was the Word Jesus that was with God the Father. And how interesting of all the things that could have been said, the thing which was used to identify Jesus was that the “Word, in the beginning, was the Word and it was with God and it was God.” Jesus is the Word. The Word is Jesus. The Word and Jesus, the things that He spoke are therefore again the gospel of Christ. Certainly then also the Word is Truth.
Another idea that I might make mention of is found in 1 Peter chapter 1 and verse 23. We learned that the Word is something that lives and abides forever. That tells us again the significance of the Word in equal way to the gospel. There in James chapter 1 and verse 21, the Word is also something that, guess what, is able to save my soul. Remember what we read last week in Romans 1:16? “The gospel is the power of God unto (what?) Salvation.” And here again James 1:21, “The Word is able to save our souls.” And so the gospel is the Word. The Word is the gospel. The Word was brought to us from the Father, through the Son Jesus, and even Jesus for that reason was called Himself “The Word.” He represented God and the Will of God and the Word of God in and of Himself. Colossians 2 says, “He was the fullness of God.” Why? When we saw Jesus, we saw the Father’s Will. We heard the Father’s Will and we knew that He is the Word and the Word was presenting clearly the Will of God as a whole.
Now with that in mind then, we are going to look at some other ideas that show us not only is the gospel clearly the Word of God but what else in scriptures identify itself as equal to the gospel or the Word? We will not have time obviously to look at all of these passages so I would encourage you to call and request a cassette or a CD or even write down the passages that we are able to read at this time that you might have a clear idea as you go back and study some of these things.
What about the concept of truth? Well was not the Word truth and the gospel called truth? As we look again in scriptures we find as we have already clarified that as the Gospel was the power to salvation and freedom, the Word was the way of power and freedom and salvation. Notice what we learn in John chapter 8 and verse 32. It states there that, “We shall know (guess what) the Truth and the Truth shall make us (what?) free.”
And then guess what in the same book but in chapter 17. We learn in verse 17, it says, “Sanctify them by the Truth. (guess what) Thy Word is Truth.” Gospel, Word, Truth. Truth brings freedom. Truth brings freedom from sin that we might be saved in God. The Gospel brings salvation which is also freedom from the world and darkness and following God. And as well now we have learned that the Word brings that same freedom and that same salvation. What we are finding are synonyms, words that identify to us the gospel of the Word of God that indicate to us a different quality about it. The same way that we find about the church. The church is identified as the body of Christ. The church is identified as guess what. The kingdom of God! All identifying terms and marks that help us to understand more about what the church is. Well that’s why we have so many different descriptive ideas about the Gospel, the Word of God or the Truth of God.
Another concept is found, if you’ll turn with me there, in the book of Ephesians. Here, as Paul writes to the church at Ephesus, he yet again challenges them to know the Gospel, but yet he identifies the gospel in a different way in verse 13 of chapter 1 beginning. He says there, “In Him you also trusted after you heard (notice) the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation.” What does he say here? He says that the gospel of your salvation is the same as the Word of Truth that you what? That you have trusted in and that there latter in that verse you have received the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of. So again, Truth, Word, Gospel. These things prove to us that these things are the same.
Let’s turn over and look there what Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy and chapter 2 and there in the text in verse 15 what do we find? “But be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not to be ashamed rightly dividing (what?) the Word of Truth.” There again the connection once again. We as workmen, as children of God diligently serving Him need to divide properly the Word of Truth. Now not only do we begin to see that the Gospel and the Word and Truth are the same, but we also begin to find that there is a distinct or specific Will. We can know Truth. We can know Gospel. We can know the Word of Truth. And then He says we are supposed to what? “Rightly divide it.” That means there is a way to obey and follow it and there are things we would do that would not be rightly dividing that Word. Does it not? Certainly it means that!
What other word might we tie into our discussion? How interesting that in Acts chapter 2 when it talks about the fact that they continued in the things that God had commanded through the Holy Spirit on that day, there in the text in verse 42 when it’s clarifying for us what they continued in in a spiritual sense, and it says, “They continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and in fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayer.” Notice here “the apostle’s doctrine.” Who was their doctrine from? Well God Almighty. Certainly the apostles did not preach their own ideas or thoughts, nor did Christ. When Christ came, He said, “What I preach is the Will of the Father.” All the apostles also through the Holy Spirit as they were led by Him proclaimed the truth of God the Father through again what was learned in the Son Jesus Christ and now revealed to them fully in and through the Holy Spirit.
We find this same idea in Romans chapter 6. If you’ll notice with me there in that text in verse 17 that the Bible says, “But God be thanked that though you are slaves of sin yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” It says deliverance here.
Colossians chapter 2 tells us that, “We are taken out of darkness and we are put into the kingdom of the dear Son of His love.” Rather let me correct that. Colossians chapter 1 and verse 13. We are taken out of that and put into the kingdom or the church. Notice here the same terminology being used that we are delivered out of something. We are delivered out of sin. Notice how! When we obey and believe that form of doctrine. So what would the form of doctrine be that delivers us from sin and places us into a relationship with Christ? None other than the gospel. None other than the Word or the Truth of Jesus Christ.
Again the same idea Paul presents to the Romans over in chapter 16. Again if you’ll turn with me in that passage we will look together at verse 17 as they there were urged to, “Note those,” it says, “who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned.” He says there is going to be a doctrine that you have learned. There is going to be people that teach something other and so note them or mark them and even avoid them because their doctrine is different than the doctrine that what? Saves you or led you to Christ or gave you the knowledge of Christ unto salvation.
So once again we learn that the Gospel, the Word, the Truth and Doctrine are all tied together identifying to us that “all scripture is from God and is profitable for doctrine,” as it states even in 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16. You see the Doctrine of God is that which we must abide in if we are to be from God, of God and acceptable in His sight. Titus was told in Titus chapter 1 and verse 9 to “continue in sound doctrine.”
Another idea that I’d like to present to you is the idea of a rule. In school very quickly and at a young age we learn what a ruler is and we measure lines and we try to determine how long exactly in inches or centimeters or millimeters is this line. So we learn that quickly and we know that a ruler gives us a precise and clear and distinct and accurate measurement. Well do you know the Bible is called the same thing or the Word of God? If you’ll notice with me there in the book of Galatians and chapter 6 we find this challenge that they were “to work and to obey and follow (notice verse 16) the same rule.” You see they were being challenged to know the Will of God, and to follow the Will of God.
If you’ll look over in the book of Philippians again in chapter 3 in the same verse as before but verse 16 in this text, he says this, “Nevertheless, to the degree that you have already obtained, let us walk in (guess what) the same rule and let us be of the same mind.” You see there is a standard, a ruler, something that establishes a certain way or precedent or guideline. And what is that? The Bible, the rule of faith!
What about blueprints? When you build a house, do you need a blueprint? Certainly! Do you need a certain pattern? What about ladies when you make that dress or that shirt or that piece of clothing? When you make that and you follow that pattern, you need to follow it precisely or you are going to find that you have got an arm higher than another one. You’ve got a pattern to follow. Do you know that the Bible is also referred to as a clear pattern of God? There in the book of 2 Timothy and chapter 1, but in verse 13 we read this, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words.” Notice there he ties pattern to being that which is found in the sound Word. And then later in the same verse, he says, “Which is according to your faith.” So now we have another idea that ties these thoughts together.
You know some in the religious world spend so much time trying to divide all of these concepts and religious thoughts that they fail to catch the point. The point is that the Word of God, the Truth, the Gospel, all of these things such as faith and the pattern and rule that saves us is only found in one place, this book, and it is referring to the same thing. There aren’t different ways that we can be saved, so all of these things talking about that which leads us to salvation have to be the same. So why not figure out why they are the same and work together rather than trying to confuse by saying that they are different? The scriptures clearly teach us that if we will obey the Gospel, the Word, the Truth, the Doctrine, the Pattern, the Rule that God has given us, if we will do that which God has confirmed in this book, the Bible, that leads us to salvation, that keeps us righteous in His sight, then we will someday be saved.
So the question is yours. Have you responded to the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation? If not, today why not confess the name of Jesus, repent and turn away from sin, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ by doing these things He adds you to the church, the church that was following the Doctrine of the apostles, the Doctrine of God, the Pattern, the Rule left for those in the faith? As Jude put it in Jude chapter 1 and verse 3, “That faith which was once delivered for all…” You see, the faith! “There is but one faith,” Ephesians chapter 4 tells us. That faith is found and clearly given to us in the Word of God. So will you obey God’s Will? Or will you obey something else? Today let me challenge you to be a child of God, to follow His Will and do only those things that He commands for if you do, you’ll be blessed now and forever more.
(SONG # 3 - “I Know Whom I Have Believed!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. 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 blessed we are that God has given us a clear road map, guide and path to the way of life! May we always study it, follow it, and obey those things pertaining to eternal life.