THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 4-2-06

LESSON TITLE: "HELP MY UNBELIEF: I BELIEVE GOD HAS A PLAN FOR ME"

WELCOME

In Psalm 18:2 we read, "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." What a truly wonderful and amazing God we serve! Well, it is before this magnificent "Lord" that we assemble on this wondrous day! And let me welcome you to the Living Word program on this glorious Lord's Day morning! Thank you for joining us today as we commit this time to the things of God. Together we will have the privilege to study from God's Holy Word and to sing praises to His wonderful name. Let's each do our part this morning in making this time of offering acceptable in His sight. Will you go to God in prayer with me at this time?

(PRAYER)

Before our first song of the morning, let me take a minute to bring to your attention that we will be having another Taping of songs for the living word program near the end of this month. Many of you have been involved before, so let me encourage you to mark your calendars for April 23, so your can come and be a part of this time of service to God. I have had a lot of folks call and ask when our next taping would be, so we hope to see many of you there at 2:00 on April 23, at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ building. Feel free to call me if you have any questions or if you need further information. Now lets join together in our first hymn of the day, it's entitled, "Why I Love The Lord."

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

We began with some beautiful words this morning of the great Psalmist David. And let me ask, did you hear all the truths he crammed into that one verse? He said that God is our rock, fortress, deliverer, strength, shield, salvation, and my stronghold. No wonder he added in the same text that he could certainly trust in the Lord! So what about us do we trust in God this much?

It is my hope and prayer that we do. However, I'm afraid we often forget who our God is and what He does, and thus we don't have the proper confidence in Him that we are required to have! David said my God is a Rock and fortress, which means that God is solid, firm and dependable. Furthermore, God will be that place of refuge and protection which we need in this life. The Psalmist also said that God was His strength and helper in every trial and tribulation of life. God has promised to bring the faithful through every day of life and in the end He has also promised to save us. And what about those in this life that we turn to for help and assistance. Well, David said that His God was His stronghold. Oh, for this type of faith, confidence and security in God.

So again, I challenge you to consider where you stand with God. Have you known Him well enough to understand just how great and awesome He is? Or do you need to turn again to God, His Word, that you might find a strength and trust in your creator who has promised to be with you every step of the way. Our Lord our God, truly is a great God!

In just a few minutes it will be time to consider our main topic of the morning. Today we will be concluding our discussion entitled, "Help My Unbelief!" Our specific lesson of the day from God's Word is, "I Believe God Has A Plan For Me!" So please stay with us and after our next song we will be lead in this important topic.

As far as our speaker of the day, let me again welcome brother Max Patterson. Brother Max is one of the full time instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri and it is always a pleasure to have him join us. So after our next song we will turn our attention over to him.

Now, won't you join in with the congregation, as we sing our second song of the morning - the name of this song is, "When We All Get To Heaven."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Max Patterson

Thank you and good morning. I appreciate you listening to the program today.

I want you to know that I believe in God and I also believe God. I believe that God has a plan for me and that plan includes a plan of salvation.

I will begin today's lesson from Acts 27 which tells the story of Paul being transported to Rome as a prisoner and he warns the people who are in charge of the ship that they are traveling in that they need to stay in Crete because if they do not, they will be in danger of losing not only the ship and the cargo of the ship, but maybe even their own lives. The people did not choose to believe Paul and ignored Paul's advice and as a result the journey was treacherous. The crew was in a state of despair. And Paul reminds them when they had lost the ship and lost all of the laden on the ship that he had given them the advice not to start the trip in the first place. Then Paul says concerning what God had said to him, that he believed God, the exact words are, "For I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me." He is speaking about the fact that if they will now listen to him, at least their lives will be spared.

We could apply these words, "For I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me," to every aspect of our lives. I believe this is what we believe about the plan of salvation, or what we ought to believe about the plan of salvation. I believe this applies to what we ought to believe about Christian worship. And I certainly believe it applies to what we ought to believe about living the Christian life. "For I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me." This is an attitude that ought to characterize all of us and especially every one of us that is a Christian. Probably you have seen the bumper sticker, sometimes I see it in bulletins, church bulletins, that says, "God said it. I believe it, and that settles it." Well that's pretty subjective. Probably a more objective point of view and more in line with the truth is, "God said it and that settles it whether I believe it or not."

The Word of God is true and dependable. Let me read to you two or three passages that substantiate that idea. Psalm 119 and verse 89 says, "Forever o Lord, thy Word is settled in Heaven." In the same chapter in verse 16, "Thy Word is true from the beginning and every one of thy righteous judgments endures forever." John 10:35 says, "The scripture cannot be broken." Well I guess you can say it can be broken from the standpoint of disobedience, but that's not what John is talking about. He is talking about it being broken in the sense that the truth cannot be changed. It cannot be eliminated. Truth will always and forever be the truth. In John 8:31 and 32, "If you abide in My Word, then shall you be My disciples and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." John 17:17, "Thy Word is truth." In John 12:48, the Bible teaches us that, "He that rejects Me and receives not My Word has one that judges him. The Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

Everyone has a belief system. It may be right. It may be wrong. It may be sincere. It might be insincere. But everyone has a belief system. It is not God that must adjust to the belief system of man, but it is man that must adjust to the belief system that God has set forth in His Word. Man must believe that "the faith was once for all delivered unto the saints," Jude 3. Man must act in an accountable way and he must obey. The Bible teaches us in Acts 10:34-35 that God is not partial. That is He does not play favorites. But in every nation, he that fears Him and works righteousness is accepted with him. So man must obey to have his soul purified. These are the exact words of Peter in 1 Peter 1:22, "Seeing you have purified your soul through your obedience to the truth." Man must do more than just say, "Lord, Lord," but he must actually obey the Lord's Will. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus said, "Not everyone that sayeth unto Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the Will of My Father which is in heaven." Belief or faith comes by an intellectual process. We cannot get emotionally exercised and maybe march up and down the aisles of the church building and go away all stimulated saying, "Man, I have really gotten a lot more faith tonight or today." The truth of the matter is that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. That's an intellectual process. Now it's wonderful if we can bring our emotions in under that faith and in tune with that faith, but the faith itself comes through hearing the Word of God.

The book of Acts shows in great detail how the apostles and others carried out God's plan of preaching and God's plan of salvation. How one can miss the fact that Acts is an urgent call to action, a call for all of the believers of Jesus to get busy in the work of saving souls is beyond me. Even the name of the book, "The Acts of the Apostles," shows and refers to this action. If one misses this urgency, I think he misses the thrust of the book of Acts. Acts is about carrying out the Lord's command. It is my view that there are very few people that understand the centrality of the book of Acts in the Bible. Do you realize that on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 you have a new beginning, a new church, a new plan of salvation, a new plan of worship, a new plan of organization for the church, the Great Commission, the salvation of souls based on the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. So many new things and so many things happening in the book of Acts.

In fact, one of the main things we want to emphasize today is that in the book of Acts one finds the carrying out of the Great Commission. Now the Great Commission is pretty clear. I want to read to you the three accounts of the Great Commission, first beginning in the book of Matthew. "Go make disciples or disciple all of the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." The teaching of Mark giving the same great commission says, "Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved and he that believeth not shall be damned." You know that's an interesting statement. I teach English Grammar and one of the things I do to the students when I get to this point is that I have them to diagram this sentence and to pick it apart and show me the different parts of the sentence. This is actually a complex sentence. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." This complex sentence is composed of an independent clause and of a dependent clause. The independent clause says, "He shall be saved." "He" is the subject and "shall be saved" is the verb. But we're not told just from this independent clause who it is that will be saved. This is the purpose of the dependent clause sometimes called the subordinate clause in most English Grammar books. The subordinate clause is "that believeth and is baptized." That clause tells us now who it is that will be saved. In fact, one of the ideas about this subordinate clause is that it acts as an adjective and describes. Well, that dependent clause actually describes who it is who shall actually be saved. He shall be saved. Who? "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Well I also want to point out that this ought to be the marching orders of the church. He said, "Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

So the book of Acts actually records the carrying out of this great commission. In fact, we're told in Luke 24:44 that "Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in My name among all of the nations beginning at Jerusalem." This is exactly what happened on the Day of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem when the apostles preached the first great gospel sermon. They preached the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the facts of the gospel that the people on that day were asked to leave. They were preached the commands, "Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins." These commands and others like these are to be obeyed. They were to be obeyed then. They are to be obeyed now. And then one stands in the position of enjoying the promises of God, the promise of the forgiveness of sins because notice when they repent and when they're baptized, they have the remission or the forgiveness of sins. And notice also that these promises are to be enjoyed. They are wonderful promises to be enjoyed.

Well, as one goes all the way through the book of Acts, one cannot help but understand that in this great book, this central book of the Bible, in this great book, in every case of conversion, in every case where the plan of salvation was preached and people obeyed, they did exactly the same thing. There is not one written statement about one doing one thing and another doing another thing in order to be saved. They all did exactly the same thing. So that's what we ask people to do today, to believe the gospel and to obey the gospel. "Not everyone that says to Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the Will of My Father which is in heaven."

So we must believe and repent of our sins, confess our faith, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. That makes us a Christian and as a Christian, we can continue to live the Christian life, continue improving ourselves, continue worshipping God, continue teaching others also this same thing that has been taught to us. What a wonderful privilege and blessing it is to be a Christian. What a wonderful position we are in to believe God and to believe in God and to believe His Word.

We thank you so much for listening today and may God bless you.

(SONG # 3 - "Have Thine Own Way Lord")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves this worship to God!

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How privileged we are to have a God who has given us a plan in this life, by which we can be saved and thus found pleasing in His sight. The question is, "have we humbled ourselves and submitted to His Will?" If not choose today to obey your God!

(Program closing)