THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-28-13
LESSON TITLE: “BELIEF SAVES.”
Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for God’s Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week. And I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.
As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible’s handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let’s begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
At this time we want to begin our songs of praise. Our first song of the morning helps us to focus on the wondrous Call of Jesus Christ. Won’t you join in with the congregation as we together sing our first song of the morning, its name, “Sweeter Than All.”
(SONG # 1)
Have you met those people before who just don’t seem to care much about God or religion? I have and it just amazes me that anyone could reject God or His will, especially knowing the rewards that are in store for those who obey Him. Many even go so far as to making fun of or laughing at religion - making comments like, “who believes in that stuff” or “I’m not going to waste my life on some church.” Isn’t it our duty as followers of God to let these types of people see God in us. Then hopefully, through our example, they will be able to see the light and want to know more about our Jesus.
Isn’t it also amazing how patient our God is with this type of a person. He continually waits with open arms for anyone who will come to His fold. Paul told Titus about this aspect of God in Titus 2:11, there it says, “for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” God’s grace is extended to all men, no matter who they are or what they have done. The Hebrew writer said, “but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone,” chapter 2, verse 9. How wonderful it is to know that Jesus suffered death for everyone!
What greater example do we have of this than that of the apostle Paul. As you know, before Paul was Paul, he was called Saul and he actually worked against the cause of Christ. He talked bad about Christians, he persecuted them and he did everything he could to keep the church from growing. It was Paul himself that said, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief,” 1 Tim. 1:15.
So, some might say, “but why does it really matter?” Well, let me tell you! We all will be judged by our words and deeds. In Mark 12:37, Jesus said, “"for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Also in Colossians 3:17, Paul said, and “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the lord!” Now you tell me why it matters?
This morning we will continue our series of study which is entitled, “I Say These Things That You May Be Saved.” Our specific lesson today will focus on the fact that, “Belief Saves” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will lead us in this study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn, “Take My Life And Let It Be!”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now go to God’s word and continue a series we began last week based on a statement of Jesus taken from John 5. Within the context certainly there are many beautiful things said here concerning the authority of God the Father and the fact that he has sent the Son, the Son of man and the Son of God one in the same. And the reality there, even in verse 30 of John 5 that all the judgments and the righteous decisions and acts of Jesus were simply those which were done according to the will of the Father. So sometimes people might wonder well why should I listen to Jesus, why should I look to Him to know what I should do unto salvation? Well, because the Father chose Him and sent Him to deliver the message of the Father to the world. That is why we certainly see He was thus given, in Matthew 28:18, all authority. Not some authority but all authority was given over to the Son, God in the flesh, in order that He might present the Will of the Father to a lost and dying world. But now if you will look with me specifically again in that text in verse 34, He actually says “Yet I do not receive testimony from man,” why, because He has already clarified the things He receives are from the Father. Then he adds this, “But I say these things that you may be saved.” You see what Jesus was about, why he came to the earth, was His love of man. Why would Jesus love man so much? Well, in John 1 we learn He was God, He was in the beginning with God, and He was actually the creator of all things. Certainly Jesus would love His own creation which He created according to the Will of the Father. Therefore, it is not a far stretch to understand the reason He then would eventually come to the earth, in the fleshly form, in order that as He says here, “That they may be saved.” That they might know the will of God, that they thus might be saved through obedience. So last week certainly brother Brent began to develop many of these good thoughts for us that we might understand that God certainly saves and the plan that He enacted through His Son, the blood that was shed on the cross, the opportunity of forgiveness of sins, the purchasing of the church, as well as our privilege to become children of God by obeying the Will of God. Certainly God does save and therefore today we begin to look at our part. As far as God then offering salvation, as far as Him doing what is necessary even unto giving His own son that we might be saved then what is our part? Well, the first thing we learn in the Bible is that we are to be those who believe in God, belief saves.
So this morning we are going to look at this thought the thought, the thought of belief saves. I think the best place to start perhaps might be where we even looked at last week and some of the things we considered last week from there John 3:16. Do you remember that familiar verse perhaps the most known and familiar verse of all verses in the Bible throughout the world, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. Did you hear that? God sent His Son into the world that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. They would be what? Saved. If you believe in Jesus, if you believe in God, you have the opportunity of salvation no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter what your background, culture, and race. No matter who you are as a human being on this earth God has love you enough to create you, enough to allow Jesus to die for you, and therefore if you believe you will be saved.
Well, we are going to understand a little bit more in a moment what this belief is all about. But belief is certainly at the heart of all things. Belief is that part that really we begin to play when we begin to take on that knowledge and that we hear and understand. Do you remember what it said in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing…” At some point as we begin to grow up, or as we begin to live lives, and we begin to discerner know right and wrong we are taught about God and about evil. Certainly, we can begin to learn to either believe in God or to reject God. So belief is really that first fundamental act that we are engaged in based on what we have heard, received, or learned. Whether we actually accept an act on that which we have heard, which is belief. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you believe that He came to the earth, that He lived, that He died on the cross for you? Do you believe that He rose again the third day and overcame death? Do you believe? You see we must believe in what we have heard and learned concerning the will of God demonstrated through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. So God loved the world enough that we might believe unto salvation or everlasting life.
The next verse that I would like to look at is really an example that is found back in another Gospel account, the book of Mark 9. There is a story told here of an individual who desires Jesus to heal a young boy, a son. It was in this discussion with Jesus as He desires Him to do what it is that He can to save His child that really we see a great faith. But notice the things that are said again Mark 9:23, first Jesus says, “If you can believe all things are possible to him who believes.” What was the foundation again Jesus says? Belief. You have got to believe that things might be possible. But He not only says that things might be possible but He says that if you can believe sir all things are possible, even bringing this child back to a full measure of health. Then read with me verse 24, I really love the beautiful reaction of the man here who certainly desired the help of Jesus Christ. It reads, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.’” You see I’m a believer, I think He can do it, I have been told you can do it, I know you can do it, so show me and help my unbelief that maybe human weakness that I really still doubt or question, I believe but show me Lord. What happens? Eventually we see that Jesus does restore the child. You see belief. What was it that caused this man to come to Jesus or to bring this boy to Jesus that he might be healed when really he himself had maybe never actually seen th4e power of Christ demonstrated, he might have heard of it but maybe not even seen it. His belief, I believe Lord, help my unbelief. Do we believe? Do we believe in Jesus when we read about Him in the Bible, when we read all of those things concerning His wonder, His might, His grace, His love, His mercy?
Another example that we might look at that is very familiar to all of us is the parable that we often refer to as the sower. The parable talks about a sower that goes out and he sows on different types of soil and what is he sowing, the seed. We want to specifically mention some things there found in Luke 8 because in Luke’s account He does give the explanation of what the different soils represent, the seed and so on a so forth. There in verse 12 I want you to notice what he says about the wayside soil. What is so significant about the wayside soil that teaches us really the need for belief. It says there, “Those by the wayside are those who hear. Then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts lest they should believe and be saved.” What did the devil do? He is trying to steal or snatch something out of the heart of the man who has began to receive, hear, and believe unto action. He snatches it out before they can believe and be saved. You know that ties beautifully with the idea of those things that really lead to salvation.
We might go ahead and just look their for instance in the book of Romans 10 that we mention a moment ago. We learn about the need of faith that comes from hearing but he also mentions here some other acts unto salvation such as confession. But I want you to notice what He says about confession there in Romans 10 and I want you to notice what is involved in this confession unto salvation. In verse 9 it says, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him form he dead, you will be saved.” Well you see something added here, confession. We are going to talk about the concept of confession more next week but I want you to notice here again that this begins to teach us again that the fact, the reality, that belief leads to salvation. Belief where? Belief in the heart, Lord help my belief, help me to stand, help me to know, and to act on those things that I know. But it also teaches us there that they had to do what confess that belief with the mouth from the heart in order to be what? Saved. So we actually see that belief in and of itself doesn’t save. It is not enough just to say that I believe in God, there has to be something that that belief does. It germinates, it produces fruit, and we act upon it. Therefore that is exactly what the Hebrew writer in Hebrews 11 demonstrates in faith; by faith Noah did this, by faith Abraham did this, by faith Moses did this. You see our belief has to be acted upon and that belief is how we prove…Belief acted upon how? Well, one way that we just read there is that confession with the mouth unto salvation.
Another concept that might help us with the need of belief unto salvation is there in the familiar text again of the Great Commission in Mark 16:16. Jesus speaking here actually says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Did you see it there? Believe, shall be saved. Used as a conjunction; believe and is baptized shall be saved. So we know belief is required unto salvation. Baptism is also mentioned there Romans 10:9 says that confession is required unto salvation. So we know that belief does not save alone, confession does not save alone, baptism does not save alone but that doesn’t make any of these acts less essential. We must believe to be saved, without belief you cannot be saved. So belief is essential and important to the child of God. Not only the child of God that they continue in their belief but belief is also essential to become a child of God for He, Jesus said, believes and is baptized shall be saved.
Another verse I want you too look at with me is an example found it the book of Acts. There in the book of Acts 16 you might recall the story of the Philippian Jailer who had not yet believed truly in God. And within that example after the prison bars had been blown open and none of the prisoners escaped by the power of God and Paul there certainly with Silas spoke to the jailer and they eventually teach Him. Do you remember what was said there in verse 31 to the jailer? When He said, “What must I do to be saved?” That is the question you need to ask! What should I do to be saved? Verse 31, “They said to him, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” What caused him to be saved? His belief. But he acted upon that belief because even down I verse 33, it says that same hour he and his family were baptized. You see the essential nature of belief unto salvation. Belief can save if we believe unto action, believe unto action that we might become a Christian, and believe unto action that we might remain a Christian. For without belief we cannot be saved, without belief we will be condemned.
I want to go back now to the book of John because there are several other verses in the book of John that I think help us with our discussion to see the finality of really the concept of belief and the requirement of belief not only to become a Christian but to continue as a Christian but there in for instance John 8. Do you remember the warning of Jesus there about those who would die in sin? He says in verse 4, “For I say unto you, you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am He you will die in your sins.” What was the stipulation? Unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins. What is sin? Sin is that separator Isaiah says there in Isaiah 59 that which separates one from God. So what does Jesus do? He reconciles us. When we believe and we act upon that belief in an obedient way He reconciles us to the Father, no wonder He was the one chosen to come to present the Will of the Father as well as to die and shed His blood that the opportunity might be presented. We go back several more chapters in the same book the Gospel of John there, in John 3. We read there another beautiful idea about this concept, the concept of salvation through belief. Notice that he added this idea, verse 36, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God.” What do we see about salvation? What is this salvation? What does this belief unto salvation do for me? Well here in John 3:36 it gives me everlasting life.
Now I want to go back where we began there in john 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever will believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” Salvation. What is it that we are longing for or working toward, hoping for? Everlasting life. What is this everlasting life? It is to go and to be with our God eternally in the place we call heaven forever and ever without end. Now that aught to make you want to believe because belief equals everlasting life. Not temporary life, not 80 years, not 90 years, not hundreds of years it’s everlasting life. A life with no end, that is what salvation, is all about. That’s why as one who has heard and been able to have faith in God I want my belief not to be something I talk about but something that pleases God, Hebrews 11:6, because I by my belief act on by faith those things God asks. Therefore the world is able to know me as a child of God not because of my goodness but because of the goodness of God’s will through me and my obedience to His loving commandments. So I would challenge you today to look at your own life and ask the question, do I believe in God? Have I believed unto salvation? In doing those things required that I might be added by God to His church. But then I might as you also to think about the fact have I continued in the belief of God that I might not only know His will to become a Christian but know His will to remain a faithful Christian, faithful unto death. That is the only way you can please God, that is the only way you can have the rewards that are promised by God in this life, and that is the only way that you can have the everlasting life promised for all who will believe in God.
(SONG # 3 – “Standing On The Promises!”)
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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Do you really believe in Jesus as is required through His Word? May we all have a true belief in God which is active and obedient, so that in all things we might be found pleasing in His sight; and thus be reward according to His Will.