THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-5-09
LESSON TITLE: ‘THE GOSPEL OF GOD: NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL”
Thank you for joining us this morning. Let me welcome you to the program. The Living Word is a work of our Lord, dedicated to doing God’s Will in His Way! As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise and to study from His Word. In these acts of worship, may we all be encouraged, but ultimately may we each praise God according to the sacrifices to offer toward His Throne. It will also be our honor this morning to speak with God through prayer. Will you bow with me as we talk to our creator?
One of the greatest promises we have as followers of God is to know that some day we will live eternally with Him in Heaven. Do you ever think about what Heaven will be like? Won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together a song that talks about this glorious place, the hymns name, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be!”
(SONG # 1)
In John 17:18-19, Jesus made the following statement, “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” This verse reminds us that God the Father sent the Son into this world to do His Will. Furthermore, Jesus here says that He sent His followers into the world to teach others also - those things which pertain to the Fathers Will! But notice that He goes on further to say that He sanctified Himself.
As Christians we are to be imitators of Christ, thus we also need to be sanctified before our God. That is we are to be “set apart for sacred use,” or consecrated before this world and our Creator. The good news is, Jesus tells us how this is possible in the same verse we read above! Again in verse 19 He said, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” There we have it; we are sanctified by our knowledge of and obedience of the Truth!
You might wonder, but what is truth? Jesus proclaimed to be the way, the truth and the life, in John 14:6. He further added in that same verse that He is the only way to the Father. Now back to our text in chapter 17 of John, and in verse 17, the verse before those which we read earlier this morning. Notice there we read, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Jesus and His Word, which is from the Father, it is the Truth of God by which we are sanctified. The question is, are we responding to our knowledge of God’s Word so that he might count us among the sanctified and call us His beloved Children?
I would like to end by looking at one final verse in John 8:32! Here Jesus confirms the great importance of this truth which is able to sanctify us, when He said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Have you found freedom from this world and sin through your knowledge and obedience of the Truth? If not, choose today to do those things which will prove that you are faithful and obedient child of our redeemer.
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. This morning we will continue our discussion on “The Gospel of God.” And our specific lesson will focus on the fact that we are “Not Ashamed of the Gospel.”
As far as our speaker of the morning, we are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us again. So please stay with us and after our next song together, brother Sullins will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join in our next song of the day. The name of this hymn, “Home Of The Soul.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
Good morning again! We’d like to welcome you to “The Living Word” broadcast. We’re very thankful that you took the time this morning to turn on your television set and view this program that we have in store for you this half hour. We’re so thankful each week that we have the opportunity to come into your home and we have many people throughout the week tell us that they do view “The Living Word” and that they do get a lot from it and one of the greatest compliments that we get is the compliment is that we try to say just exactly what is in God’s Word concerning the subject under consideration.
Of course, for the last week or so and throughout the coming weeks, we’re going to be discussing certainly a Biblical subject because it has to do with the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So today we will continue that study as has already been announced speaking on the theme of “Not Being Ashamed of the Gospel.”
This is the statement that the apostle Paul made in Romans 1 verse 16. By the way, Romans 1 verses 16 and 17 could be considered the theme of the entire book of Romans. Paul said in Romans 1 verse 16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation.” Now that word “gospel” we’ve already examined in previous weeks has to do with as literally interpreted “the good news that Jesus Christ came to this earth to live on this earth as the Son of Man and the Son of God, to die upon the cross, be buried and after three days and nights be resurrected.” That indeed is the gospel as Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. The apostle Paul said he was not ashamed of that gospel. That means quite a bit as we consider for the next few moments why the apostle Paul was not ashamed of it and what showed in his life that he was not ashamed of it.
I call your attention also to what Paul had to say to the young preacher Timothy in the book of 2 Timothy chapter 1 in verses 8-9 where the apostle Paul said, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God…” See the gospel according to the power of God. “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” So the apostle Paul is here saying to the young preacher Timothy the very same thing that he said in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is the power of God the Father unto salvation through whom? Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Now consider the situation that the apostle Paul was in throughout his life after he became a Christian and we can read of that in three different places in the book of Acts especially in Acts 22 verse 16 where Ananias came to him and said, “And now what tarryest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.” We know that the apostle Paul became a follower of Jesus Christ by being buried with Christ in baptism so that He could have his sins remitted and then He was given, as the Bible tells us, as the New Testament tells us, as spreading the gospel of Christ, the good news that Jesus has come into this world, to the Gentile world. So Paul was certainly not ashamed of the gospel.
By the way, if you have an opportunity this afternoon, turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 11 and read of all the persecutions and trials and tribulations that the apostle Paul went through being a servant of Jesus Christ suffering for the cause of Christ and so that he might spread that precious good news to all the Gentile world.
We see Paul writing to the church at Rome and he had an unusual situation there in many ways. Now we don’t actually know when the church of Christ in Rome was established. We read in the scripture where actually Aquila and Priscilla were in that city. In fact, the church evidently was meeting in their very home. It could have been started not necessarily by them, but by Jews who had come after being at the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts chapter 2. Or maybe it was established by people who had been converted in other cities of Asia Minor. All we know is that the church was in existence in the city of Rome and meeting in the household of Aquila and Priscilla. We also know something else about the makeup of that church as we can see readily by what is written in the book of Romans that Paul was not only writing to Jewish people who today’s world would call “bigots,” because they were so enthralled in their own heritage, and although they had become Christians they had a difficulty accepting the Gentiles and the Romans. It was made up of Gentile people who of course were formally in almost all cases idolaters, and in their idolatry filled with all wickedness and ludeness and all types of sin. And then it was made up also of Romans who were of the military mind and they also were very much involved in the things of this world, the worship of the emperor and so many problems in those people. But see these people; whether they were Jews or Gentiles or Romans, they all gave up these things so that they might what? They might obey the gospel. And what was that gospel? It was the power of God and salvation to all who would believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, and that’s what Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who would believe, to the Jew and also to the Greek.”
Now as we see Paul’s relationship to these people in the city of Rome, whether they were Jews or Gentiles, or whether they were Romans by heritage, he was off speaking of these people and having the same problem and that was the problem of sin. Do you realize what he said in Romans 3:23? He said, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” And then he said to all of these people in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And then in the book he emphasized the importance of living as Christ would have them to live. It is so very important because these people were coming from different heritages, different political backgrounds, and they were being put together in the Lord’s body that is His church and they were expected to live according to how Christ told them to live and the apostle was telling them what Christ expected of them. Paul was not ashamed to tell them this message. So we see that Paul was a great proclaimer of Truth, and he was not ashamed of that message which he proclaimed.
Even as we look other places in the scripture, Jesus Christ Himself came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly. He came actually to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament that that good news was coming. He lived on this earth proclaiming that the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Remember when He came to that man called Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews in John chapter 3? Evidently He was not ashamed of the message that He had because He told Nicodemus… By the way, Nicodemus seemed to be a religious man. He told Nicodemus these words: “Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Nicodemus said, Well shall I enter into my mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, except a man be born of the water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” So Jesus was not ashamed to tell the rulers of the Jews what the gospel Truth was and He was of course telling this even before the church was established in Acts chapter 2. So His death, His burial and His resurrection was actually where He played a part in establishing what we might say the finality of the gospel itself, bringing the gospel, the good news into proper existence and that was His death upon the cross, His burial, and the fact that He was resurrected which makes it possible for us also to be resurrected in that last day.
Then I look at Peter and the rest of the apostles. Remember these were the men who witnessed the crucifixion of Christ not too many days before, about fifty days in fact before they came together with those same Jews who crucified Christ; many of them were the same Jews, on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Remember how boldly he and the other apostles stood up and they actually accused the Jews who were present that day, thousands upon thousands of Jews, they proclaimed to them that “You have crucified the Son of God, that One who has been delivered unto you, and yet you have crucified Him.” And then many of them cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter and the apostles said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…” That means by the power of Jesus Christ or the authority of Jesus Christ. “And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Now my friend, as we look at that, we see fearless men because what could keep the Jews from crucifying them? Well actually they could have and they sought to do that. They just couldn’t find a way where they could do it without the people oppressing those leaders of the Jews, the very leaders of the Jews who were wanting to do that. We see that in Acts chapter 3 and 4 where Peter and John had healed the man, remember the lame man at the gate that was called “Beautiful” and after doing that, he went and proclaimed it to the Jewish leaders and the Jewish leaders called Peter and John before them. They wanted to beat them. In fact, probably if their heart was known, they probably wanted to crucify them also, but they could not do it because of the people that heard that message, 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost that is about 3,000 were baptized. We see because of their teaching, not too many days after Pentecost that that number came to 5,000. So the preaching of the gospel continued and they were bold in their presentation of the gospel. And even though the Jews warned them not to teach or to preach any other words or to make any other sermons before the people, they said, “Well you can do what you want to do,” paraphrasing what they said, “But we are not going to cease to teach and to preach Jesus Christ.” They were not ashamed of the gospel.
Now I believe the question that we need to ask ourselves today is: Are we ashamed of the gospel? We should not be. If we’re ashamed of the gospel, the good news, then what are we ashamed of? We’re ashamed of Christ Himself. I’ve heard many times people say, “Well I want Christ but I don’t want the church.” Oh you don’t want His body? Is that what you’re saying? How can you be ashamed of the church of our Lord? It was Jesus who said to Peter in Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock, I will build My church.” That is My body. “I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” If Christ is the head of the church and the Savior of the body (Ephesians 5:23). If the church was purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts chapter 20 verse 38). How in the world can we say in any way that we want Christ but we do not want the church? By the way, my friend, if you are saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ by your obedience, you are added to the church. You are a part of the body of Christ whether you like it or not. Those people who have been sincerely baptized into Christ are not concerned about being a member of the Lord’s church. They realize that the Lord will add them to His church as it stated in Acts chapter 2.
Well you can’t be ashamed of His name. It amazes me how many people today are ashamed of the name Christian. Oh we sheepishly walk around because of political correctness and many other things and we’re afraid to tell people we are Christian. We’re afraid to stand up as our forefathers were NOT afraid to do so when they established this country to say we believe in God. We are Christians. We are followers of Jesus Christ. Well we keep sheepishly quiet because we are afraid we are going to offend someone. In no way could I imagine Jesus being that way. He was not afraid to offend the Pharisees and Sadduccees. The apostle Paul was not afraid to offend or to speak the Truth. Well anything you say today, people say, “That offends me.” Well the Truth is the Truth whether you accept it or not and we need to preach and proclaim the Truth and not be ashamed of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must not be ashamed of His Words. We need to study it. “Study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, handling aright the Word of Truth,” as Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15. “We are to preach the Word and to teach the Word in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort and instruct with all longsuffering and doctrine,” as Paul told that young preacher Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 4 verses 1-2.
How can we claim to be as Christ wants us to be and we walk around sheepishly afraid to say that we are Christians, afraid to say that we believe in Jesus Christ, afraid to say what God’s plan of salvation is for us. Remember what Jesus said. Remember closely, or listen closely. In Mark 16:15-16, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel, the good news to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be condemned.” Personally I am not ashamed of that. Jesus said in Luke 9:26, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the angels.”
One thing for sure, I don’t want Christ to be ashamed of me. I encourage all of you who claim to be Christians today to never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ and to show that in the way that you live, in the things that you say, in the proclamation that you proclaim for Jesus Christ. Jesus was not ashamed to leave Heaven and come and to live and die on the cross for us, and let us also not be ashamed of Him.
(SONG # 3 - “I Am Thine Oh Lord!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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I hope we are all proud to be children of God. Therefore, may we never be ashamed of His Gospel, which is the saving message for us and all of mankind! Are you standing boldly in the Gospel of God?