THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-21-13
LESSON TITLE: “GOD SAVES.”
What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God’s Living Word. We welcome you to our program and we thank God that you have chosen to be with us today. We are excited about this opportunity we have together this morning to glorify our creator. 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 be soldiers of the cross. So, this morning won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing together our first hymn of the morning. The name of the song, “Soldiers Of Christ Arise!”
(SONG # 1)
Notice the beautiful words spoken by Jesus in Matthew 7:20, where He said, “therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Scary isn’t it! Jesus here is telling us that it is through our fruit that we are seen to be faithful or unfaithful. What does the Son of God mean here by the word fruit? Well, think with me about a tree, let’s say an apple tree. If you plant it, then it brings forth apples and if it is a good tree it will bring forth the best apples - after its own kind. Now, let’s apply that to us. If we are of Jesus, we are products of Him and after His kind. Furthermore, as we are planted in this world to work for our heavenly Father we must also bear fruit just like the apple tree. If we are good trees we will produce that good fruit after our own kind, which we have already clarified as being Jesus. But why is this so important.
To answer this question let’s continue reading from Matthew 7, and hear what Jesus went on to say after telling us we are known by our fruit. In verse 21, we read, “not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Now we see the importance of being able to see good fruit. Jesus says it’s not enough to just say you are a follower of Him or that you love Him, the proof is in the fruit we bear from our faithful labors in His vineyard.
You might again say, “but Ray, is this really important?”
When you drive around Springfield what do you see on almost every block that you pass? Well, most of us would probably say restaurants and you would be right, but besides that what do you see? I see many, many different types of churches. The tricky part is that they are all claiming to be of God, yet they are all teaching different doctrines. Can they all be right, yet teach something different? Can they all be wrong? You remember what we began with this morning, we are known by our fruits. If we are of Jesus our fruit should also be like Jesus, not us! Isn’t this why Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ,” 1 Corinthians 11:1. Paul was not saying that you were following him by imitating his example; he was saying you are imitating Christ by following his example.
Let’s go to the Bible to see what God wants, so we will know which churches are standing on God’s Will and which churches are not! If you and I go to God’s Word and determine those marks that identify the Lord’s church as being His, we can then know if the church we are a part of is that same church which Jesus built or something merely made by man. Will you accept the challenge to study God’s Word to see what His true will is?
Today we will begin a new series of study from God’s Word entitled, “I Say These Things That You May Be Saved!” This is a beautiful statement made by Jesus which will help us to focus on what is included in Salvation. The specific lesson today is, “God Saves.” So continue with us and after our next song we will have our guest speaker lead us in this lesson from God’s Word.
As far as our speaker we are happy to again have Brother Brent Green with us. Brother Brent is a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri and preaches for the Hwy 13 Church of Christ in Bolivar, Missouri. We thank him for being with us. It’s now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “Sun Of My Soul.”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
What a privilege it is always to open the word of God and to study from it. As we begin to consider again the opportunity now that avails us to think about salvation, God, and the Bible. I want you to think just for a moment now that throughout the history of the world all society’s have had some form of religion a man seeking to have some type of relationship with what he would consider to be a deity, and man seeking to understand what his final destiny might be. But throughout time you see people seeking after different God’s, seeking different pathways by which they could obtain some type of salvation and understand where they will go after this life. But what we need to quickly realize is that there is but one way and when we go to the bible and begin to look at the scripture we need to seek after God for salvation. A man needs to seek after the God, the one God of the Bible. Man needs to seek to find the way, the one path unto salvation. So as we begin to consider those thoughts and the necessity of doing such we understand very quickly that not all the god’s of the world will save, not all the pathways that are available that people believe will lead to eternity and salvation will lead you there. Well, consider the fact that it is God who saves, and it is God who brings salvation to mankind and makes it available to all. So consider the face as we consider in this lesson God saves.
I want you if you have your Bibles and hopefully you do as we are considering the word of God turn to John 5. Even the testimony of a man by the name of John the baptizer spoke to the fact that it is God that saves. We begin to understand this by what is said here in John 5:33-34, it says, “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony form man, but I say these things that you may be saved.” Now these are the words of Jesus Christ and He is referencing there the life of John the baptizer. He speaks in the fact that John the baptizer bore witness or he gave testimony and that his testimony was truth. What Jesus says there in 34 does not mean that John’s testimony was merely of man and that it was invalid well not at all. Well, you see if you understand the way that John the baptizer spoke he spoke by inspiration, he spoke as God revealed to him the word to speak, and what John spoke and what John proclaimed about the coming Messiah was the truth. The fact there is that Jesus even says, I spoke these words there again in verse 34 or “I say these things that you may be saved.” You see as John was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and as he was preaching that One to come, and saying the Messiah’s coming, and that I’m not even worthy to loose His sandal straps, He was pointing to the Savior, pointing to the Messiah, leading the way for the one coming into the world that would bring salvation. Jesus says that if you would have listened to the words of John, if you would have listened to the message that he had you could have been saved. So He even proclaims there about the message of John the baptizer that as he led people to Christ, that coming one that those are the words that saved.
Well, John spoke of the face that it was Jesus who would be the savior of the world so I want us to consider even further the testimony of John. We know it is inspired and we can go back even to John 1, that is the apostle John as he recorded these things about the life of John the baptizer. In John 1:33 this is in reference to now John the baptizer again, he says there, “I did not know Him (this is John the baptizer speaking), but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’” Well, John saw that. He saw the fact that the Spirit came upon Jesus, he saw that this one was chosen by God because He was sent by God to save the world. John saw those things. We understand there that is was John speaking as God revealed to him what to say. That this was the one; God showed John that this was the Messiah who had come to save the world. Even those who would speak about the life of John there in John 10:41 there were those who came to Jesus and referencing the life of John the baptizer and the words that he spoke of the coming savior. There in verse 41 it says, “Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that Join spoke about this Man were true.” John was a witness, John gave his testimony, that he had seen Jesus Christ that it had been revealed to him, and the sign had been given that the Spirit will descend upon the savior, and that sign would indicate that this was the son of God. John saw those things. John could give that testimony that indeed Jesus came to save the world sent by the Father, sent by God, sent by the one who has the power, had the power, and continues to have the power to do what? To save. God has that power.
Well, even further as we would go back again to John 1, we see the testimony again of John the baptizer proclaiming specifically that God sent His son Jesus Christ to save and therefore again God has the power to save. There in John 1:6-8 here John the baptizer was sent by God to bear witness in verse 7 of the light that all might believe. He was not that light but was sent to bear witness of that light. John was sent to be that forerunner, to bear witness that the light has come into the world, Jesus Christ. Well, guess what Jesus said when He arrived and what He proclaimed throughout His ministry? John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness (perish), but have the light of life (everlasting life).” Jesus is that light who came into the world, John bore witness to that very fact. Even there in the same chapter John 1:15, it says, “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was he of whom I said, ‘he who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’’” John said there is somebody coming after me; He was just the forerunner, the one to make straight the path so Jesus could come. And He said there is one coming after me who is greater than me, why would that be? Because Jesus would come to bring salvation to the world as He was sent here by God the Father to do so. What was the testimony? God saves, He sent His son to do that very thing. Even the Jews wanted to know who this John was. There in John 1 also, there in verse 20 they said, ‘Are you Elijah?’ He said no. They said, ‘Are you the prophet?’ John again said no. He said again simply I am the forerunner and I am the one sent before Christ again to lead the way.
So even clarified there as you go through the scripture throughout John 1, move on down there to verse 29. Here when Jesus comes, John sees Jesus coming and he said to Him, “Behold! the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” There in verse 30, “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” John said here comes what, the Lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world. Also we see later on in the same chapter there in verse 36 again John says looking at Jesus when he sees Him walking, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Also there in verse 34 which connects to the statements we have already been making from the scripture. There John says, “I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” John’s testimony, what he bore witness of, what he spoke of was the fact that Jesus Christ came to do what? He came to this world to save the lost, those who are sick need a physician, God sent His Son to do what? To save the world of their sins. So God does what? God saves. Even there in the same book if you will turn over a couple chapters there in John 3. Again you see that God spoke about salvation and gave us salvation as here John again clarifies that God sent His Son for that very fact. There in John 3 specifically again in verse 29 of that chapter John again exalting Christ, lifting up the one who was above even him, lifting up the name, and praising the one who could do what, who could save. John 3:29, John says that Christ is the bridegroom, I’m not the bridegroom Himself, Jesus is that, Jesus was that special one. He is the bridegroom and the Church is His bride. So John was exalting, again, Christ. Well, you move on there in the same set of verses 29 and following there in chapter 3. Again as you see there in verse 31, here it says, “He who comes from above is above all…” John speaking of Christ, “…he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth and He who comes from heaven is above all.” Then as you move on there in verse 33, “He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” What again was John saying? This is the one, the Messiah, the Christ, the one that prophets foretold, the one we have been waiting for, the one we have been searching for, the one sent from heaven above, the one who is above me, the one sent from God to do what, to save. And there it says that if you believe in Him, that belief that will lead you to take action and obey His word, to follow Christ, to take up your cross and follow Him, it says it can do what? It can bring you everlasting life. What is the point? What was John the baptizer’s testimony that Jesus referenced and spoke of? He says I speak these things that you may be saved and he is referencing there what John says. Well what was that? Well, what John said was that the Son came, the Messiah came to save. The point is that God saves. A very important point as man throughout the world seeks to have some relationship with something beyond this earth, to have a relationship with some type of deity, to in some way understand their eternal destiny after this life. What do they need to understand? It is God, the God, the one and only God that they need to have a relationship with. The one God who did what? Who provided an opportunity for salvation. That is where we begin to understand that a great point here in the scripture is that God saves.
Well, if you consider that very fact why did God send His son again? That great passage again in John 3 as we were looking towards the end of that chapter, if you will move back up towards more of the beginning of that chapter probably the most famous or the most used verse throughout the religious world for those who would follow Christ and His word. There in John 3 start with me there in verse 14, it says, “And as Mosses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” Jesus speaking and clarifying that He would have to go to the cross, He would have to be lifted up, He would have to die, He would have to shed His blood. Go on there in verse 15, Jesus goes on to say, “That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Verse 16, here is that verse so many know, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” God sent His Son to be lifted up on the cross to shed His blood so that we could believe in Him and the purpose being so that man could have what? So that man could have salvation. Again, God saves. God sent His Son into this world that He might save mankind. And what a great verse it is, many have looked at this verse and considered all of the great things that you see there in verse 16. It is a great verse for God, the greatest being. No other being matches up to God. For God so loved with the greatest love. Who in this world would send their own child to die for someone else, let alone to die for a sinner or criminal, that is what God did. For God so loved the world, the greatest number of people. That He gave the greatest gift that no other gift could compare to. His only begotten son, Jesus Christ became the greatest sacrifice. What a great verse it is again to teach us that great lesson that God saves. He sent His son here for that very purpose. We have got to understand as people and as those who seek to worship something around the world different than the God and look to salvation in some other means. There is no salvation in any other name, there is no salvation in any other God, and it is God who saves. Man cannot save, no man on this earth past, present, or future can save. No man can save as God saves. God sent His Son Jesus Christ who was God in the flesh, God can save, not the pope, not some other religious leader, not Mohammed, not any other name from any other religion past, present, or future it is God who saves. You know money can’t save either. Some people think well I can buy salvation or I can buy my way into some eternal state of blessing. You can’t buy that, money doesn’t save. Some might think well some type of mystical or magical experience has brought me salvation. None of those things, man, money, mystical experiences, and whatever else you want to add to that list nothing else saves. What’s the point God saves.
What a great point indeed it is to understand that God alone brings salvation and has offered salvation. Just a great wealth of verses would show us this throughout the scripture. Peter says there in John 6:68 that the, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Where else could we go? Peter says where else would we turn only you have the words that save there in John 10:9 Jesus said of Himself I am the door. Well how many other doors are there, I am the one. There in John 14:6, Jesus also clarified that, “I am the way the truth and the light, no man comes to the Father except through me.” One door, one way, one way unto salvation. God saves it is His way. Again Peter there in Acts 4:12 as He stood before the Sanhedrin, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” There is no other name. It is God who saves and God alone. God is the God of salvation. He was the God of salvation in the Old Testament, go back to Exodus 14:13, Moses said there “Do not be afraid, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” In the Old Testament God was the God of salvation, He saves. The psalmist would speak of that; Isaiah, Jeremiah would clarify the same thing when they wrote. God is the God of salvation. Even in the New Testament 1Timothy 4:10, there it says, “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” God is the savior. We find that in the Old Testament, we find that in the New Testament, we have seen it in the book of John. A wealth of information from God’s word the book of books shows us that God is the God of salvation. Well God saves what then do we need to seek after? John 3:16 “For God so loved the world,” so we need to seek after that, follow His plan and find salvation with the one true and living God of this world.
(SONG # 3 - “Stand Up For Jesus!”)
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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Thanks be to God for His Word and the path it shows unto salvation and everlasting life. Have you done what is required by God unto Salvation?