THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
PROGRAM AIR DATE - 5-11-08
LESSON TITLE: "THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: THE PREEXISTING CHRIST"
Paul once declared, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation!" Praise be to God for His Gospel and praise be to God for you this morning, as you have joined together with us for 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 lift up our voices in praise to God. How encouraging it is to have this avenue of worship to our Creator! So, this morning won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning. The name of the song "Be Not Dismayed!"
(SONG # 1)
How many of us are good at keeping secrets? It has been interesting watching my children grow up and go through different stages in many aspects of their lives. At first, they just couldn't keep their mouth shut. In fact, if you told them anything, you could be sure it would be repeated. Especially to the one who they were not supposed to tell it to.
I'll have to admit however, that I know many adults that are just as bad. I guess every church has that individual that works better than the 10 o'clock news, if you tell them anything.
I mention all of this to remind us that God had a great secret that was hidden for a long time. In Ephesians 3:9, Paul said, "and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ." You see for ages there was something hidden in God, until the proper time came.
So, what was hidden? Paul again answers this question in his book to the Colossians. In chapter 2, and verses 2 and 3, we read, "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." There we have it. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge were hidden by God until they were completely revealed through His glorious Son, Jesus Christ.
What a wonderful blessing we have today as Christians to have the promised, revealed secret through Jesus our Lord. Furthermore, the only way we can be pleasing to God today, is by accepting and following the revealed mysteries which we now have because of Christ. Are you taking advantage of the revealed knowledge and wisdom offered to you by God?
With these thoughts in mind, today we will begin a new series of study which will focus on revealing the mysteries of the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since it is the Gospel, by which we are saved, we certainly need to know all that it says and what it means to us.
So this morning we will begin our study together on, "The Gospel Of Christ." Our specific topic of the day will deal with, "The Preexisting Christ." So please continue with us this morning and after our next song I will return with this lesson from God's Word. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "I Stand Amazed."
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We begin this morning reading from Romans chapter 1 and verse 16 where Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes for the Jew first and also the Greek, for in it is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith."
We are excited this morning to begin a new series of study about the gospel of Christ. And why should it be exciting to us? Why should we be so ready to look at the gospel of Christ? Here we read that, "It is that which leads us to salvation." And furthermore as we find here it also is that which gives us the ability to know the very righteousness of God, to know what faith is all about and how to live. So certainly when we think about the gospel of Christ, we're talking about something that is of the utmost importance, that which really pertains to our eternal existence whether we will live forever with God or whether we will live forever condemned by God.
As we think about the gospel of Christ then, there are many, many facets, many things that need to be considered in order that we can see what the gospel truly involves. Sometimes man has certainly misunderstood the gospel in feeling that maybe it is only one thing or a few small things, or maybe one event. But when we read the Bible or we can consider what it is that the Bible says to us, we begin to find the word "gospel" or "good news" used time and time again in relationship to those things concerning the life of Christ but also in relationship to those things required of a follower of Christ. So for the next many months, we want to look together at the gospel of Christ so that we might understand it and believe in it unto salvation.
In fact, isn't that why Paul, in the same book, Romans chapter 15 and in verse 19 said this, "In mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God so that from Jerusalem and round about Ilyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." What is it that Paul did? Throughout all the regions, throughout all the places, throughout every opportunity given to him, he preached the gospel of Christ. So today, we accept that same challenge to preach the gospel beginning with the concept of Christ and His preexistence.
What does that mean to us? It means that Jesus had no beginning. It means that Jesus was eternal. It means that Jesus, as we will learn, was God and as God bears the same attributes as the Creator Himself. In fact, we want to discuss the true teachings that Jesus was the Creator as is found in the Word of God.
I want to go back to the very first verse in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis. We read the Bible saying, "In the beginning God created." Now there's no doubt or question to those who believe in God and are followers of God that God is the Creator and that in the beginning before there was anything, before God said, "Let there be light," and before God created the worlds or the heavens, God existed. What does that tell us? God had no beginning. God has always been. God therefore is the one who has brought about everything physical that we know for the fact is God is not physical.
The Corinthian writer, Paul again, 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that "God and heaven are not made up of flesh and blood."
John 4:24 tells us that, "God is a Spirit," so the spirit realm, the supernatural realm as we might refer to it sometimes, and is not flesh and blood and so therefore, the things that we talked about in relationship to the eternal nature of God are not physical. So therefore, that which is physical has been made by God. Those elements and the matter and all that we now know to be real or tangible, concrete, these things are all creations of God. So therefore, as we say, "God in the beginning created." We need to understand more about who this God was.
In the same chapter in verse 26, Genesis chapter 1 once again, there God says, "Let us make man in our own image." What's this talking about? We say, "God," but then He uses the plural form. Well if we'll consider together earlier on there in the first few verses if we'll continue on in the idea that "in the beginning God created," it actually goes further to tell us that "the Spirit of God was moving or hovering above the face of the waters." Now as we have seen then God was there. God who? No doubt the Father. God who? God the Spirit as we learn also in Acts, Acts chapter 4 as well as chapter 5 goes on to deal with the examples of God being lied against even by Ananias and Sapphira and that God referenced to is the Spirit of God. So we see those two in creation. But then as we turn over also into the New Testament, John chapter 1, we find this gospel that is presented of Jesus by an apostle as one that clarifies, "In the beginning was..." what? Verse 1, "The Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." He, the Word was in the beginning with God. Here we learn that Jesus was what? In the beginning. How do we know the Word was Jesus? Verse 14 says, "The Word became flesh and walked among men." And so this Word was with God in the beginning. It was God. He was with God in the beginning. Then in verse 3 notice what it adds. "All things were made through Him, the Word, and without Him nothing was made that was made." It's this same Word that eventually it says that, "Life was given, the light of all men, that light would shine in darkness." But notice clearly verse 3 clarifying that "Jesus, the one in the beginning with God, who was God, was actually as well the Creator."
And so what do we see in the beginning? God the Father. What do we understand? God the Son, the Creator, and God the Spirit involved as a part of the physical enactment of creation. The Godhead. There Romans chapter 1 talks about the Godhead, the eternal Godhead. The Bible tells us about the fullness of the Godhead represented in the flesh that was Jesus Christ. This idea of the Trinity, three persons in one God: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And so then it should not be strange to us to understand that Jesus was not only with God in the beginning but was God and therefore as God He is as well eternal. He is eternal and therefore preexistent as far as the physical creation, as far as the world and the things of it that we understand that we know.
Not only this but we find in the book of Hebrews some interesting information that again reconfirms as other verses in the Bible do that Jesus was not only there in the beginning in creation but that Jesus Himself was the Creator. Look there in chapter 1 of Hebrews. There the writer tells us as we would know in verse 2, "In these last days, God has spoken to us through His Son whom He hath appointed heir of all things through whom also (notice) He made the world." What did the Father do? Through the Son whom He also made the world. You see, Jesus, through Jesus He made the world. Who is Jesus? Verse 3, "He is the brightness of His glory and the expressed image of His person." How do we know God today? We know Him through the literal life and attitude and actions of the perfect man, Jesus Christ, who was God but yet who became man to know what we would experience, to suffer as we suffer yet without sin, to leave us an example, to give us a footprint to follow in and to know exactly what it is that we must do in word or deed to be found acceptable in His sight.
But Hebrews doesn't stop there in helping us to understand our discussion because in the same chapter, Hebrews 1 over in verse 8 as God the Father is speaking about Jesus as He has said, "He is higher than the angels. He is greater than the angels because He is not an angel. He is My Son. He is God." I want you to notice what He says about Jesus and to Jesus in verse 8. And the Father says, "Your throne, oh God, is forever and ever." What do we have clarified here? That the Father says, "Your throne, oh God is (what?) forever and ever." Look at verse 9. He goes on to say this. "And you have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness, therefore, God your God has anointed You." Who was anointed? Jesus. By whom? The Father. And here the Father says, "Your God, oh God, has anointed You."
Do you see what we're trying to understand here is that Jesus was not a mere man, that Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord was God and eternal and that He became man and fleshly for our sakes that He might do what? As we read here in this text, that "He might," there in verse 3, "purge our sins through His blood, that He might live and shed His blood and die that you and I might have eternal life." Now when was all this planned? When did the Father, the Son and the Spirit determine all these things would be according to the Will of God?
Well, 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 18 beginning helps us to see "knowing that you are not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold..." but verse 19, "The blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish or without spot." Verse 20, hear it, "He indeed has for-ordained before the foundation of the world but has manifested Him in these last times." What did the Father do? According to His Will, He sent the Son. What did the Son do as God according to the Will of the Father? He submitted to that Will. And what did the Spirit do? He was there every step of the way to help the Son and then even sent by the Son and the Father to inspire and lead and even given miraculous abilities to the apostles and chosen ones of God.
Do you see the involvement of God in all these things? Do you see the importance of Christ? Do you understand that Jesus is much more than just another man who lived, another good man who accomplished things, another man who had followers. Jesus Christ is God and therefore these things were planned according to the Will of God and Jesus submitted to it.
We also find in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3 that "Jesus Christ (again) was one who was from heavenly places and that we have spiritual blessings now through Jesus because of His sacrifice and therefore now we are adopted as sons of glory (verse 5) as those who (verse 7) are redeemed by His precious blood." How much more perfect could the blood of Jesus have been than for it to have been God Himself who was perfect in the flesh to have lived, died, shed the blood, had been buried and risen again. You see, Jesus Christ. God, the Son of God.
No wonder in John 3:16 we read the beautiful passage where it tells us that, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." And why? "That whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." No doubt this is why Jesus later said in John 14 verse 9 beginning, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. If you know Me, you have known the Father. If you hear Me, you have heard the Father. If you see My works, you have seen the works of the Father." Why? "For everything I have done, all the authority I have, everything I have accomplished is only by the authority of and according to the Will of the Father in heaven." We also find that in John chapter 12. So therefore, we learn that we will be judged by the words of Christ for they are the words of the Father. They are the words revealed by the Spirit. Therefore, they are the words of what? God in His entirety. From God, delivered from God, determined by God and all these things pre-ordained, predetermined and decided by God Almighty Himself.
So therefore, we begin to learn just how important it is that we preach Jesus. Why? For it is Jesus and the name of Jesus that salvation is found in the Bible in Acts 4 and verse 12. There is no other name under heaven by which a man can be saved than the name of Jesus Christ. Why? He is the Son of God. He is God, and He is the one who came as the very form of God to the earth and gave His life a ransom for you and I that we might be saved.
So do we proclaim that gospel to the world? And furthermore we might ask, do we live that gospel everyday? For it is that gospel and obedience to it that leads as we have seen to salvation and faith and obedience and we know that these are the things that not only will give us blessings today in this life, but the things that will give us eternal life someday in heaven with God. God who? Well God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Will you not live according to His Will even today?
(SONG # 3 - "Soldiers Of Christ Arise"!")
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 Glorious Gospel, which is able to save our souls. Are you submitted to the Gospel of Christ today?