THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 5-14-06
LESSON TITLE: "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE: PATIENCE"
Our Lord Jesus Christ declared Himself as, "the light of the world." and added, "He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." Is Jesus the light of your life this day and do you thus have life through Him?
Well, it is before this magnificent "Light" 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 is such and important part of the Christians life. With this in mind, it is time to join together in our first hymn of the day, it's entitled, "Did You Think To Pray."
(SONG # 1)
As we read earlier this morning, there are so many passages in the Bible which identify Jesus as being the "Light" of this world. All of us understand the difference between light and darkness, especially in connection to what the Bible says about them. For instance, God is light, thus pure, righteous, holy, and so on. Light is always used to accentuate the good and positive things about God and this life.
On the other hand we read about the darkness. Obviously darkness would be the opposite of light, which means that darkness represents unrighteousness, evil and wicked things. So when we read that we are "children of the light," we understand this is based on God and His goodness, not the world.
But now I want us to hear the challenge to those of the light which we read a moment ago, there it said, "He who follows me shall not walk in darkness!" The child of God who is a follower of the God of light, should not, must not and can not strive or desire to walk in any darkness. As John adds in 1 John 1:5, "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." So what does that say about us and what we must strive for. We must work toward being in the light and as well, having no darkness in us at all!
So when we read about our God of light and hear the challenge of God to us that we walk in the same light, just how good of a job are we doing? Do we understand that the only way we can have "life" is by putting God first and thus living as Children of light! So how about you this morning? Are you walking in the light? Are you a child of the light? If not, why not obey your creator this day and give your life fully over to His bidding!
In just a few minutes it will be time to consider our main topic of the morning. Today we will be continuing our discussion entitled, "Partakers Of The Divine Nature!" Our specific lesson of the day is, "Patience!" 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, we would like to welcome brother Darin Chappell. Brother Darin is the minister for the Rogersville Church of Christ and as well serves as one of the part time instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank this good brother for joining us today and we look forward to him leading our thoughts from God's Word. 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, "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Darin Chappell
Patience is one of those things that so many people believe that they have and yet they rarely seem to be able to exhibit it in their day to day living. Part of the reason for this is because it is so very difficult for us to practice patience in our lives, but another part of the reason is because we simply don't understand Biblical patience as it is defined for us in the Word of God.
This morning as we continue our study concerning the Christian graces that are found in 2 Peter and chapter 1, we focus our attention upon the Word that is given to us as patience. That requirement that is placed upon us by the Word of God that we may live our lives in accordance with His Will. In order to gain a more full understanding of what it is that is required of us we must first fully comprehend what it is that is commanded of us as we are told to be patient in our lives. The word in the original language that is translated here in 2 Peter chapter 1 as patience is one that means literally to remain under. Now first that doesn't sound as if it has anything to do with being patient. But if we consider that it means to keep oneself under control. To practice the self-control that is required of us to continue in our lives living day by day for Christ, then we can see how it is that patience carries the same idea with it. It is this concept of keeping oneself under control, no matter the difficulties at hand that are being able to be exhibited by those individuals in the Bible who are described as being patient.
Paul, in writing to the brethren of Corinth, said that he and those who had been working with him had been giving no offense in anything, that "the ministry be not blamed, but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God in much patience." Then he goes on to list those things through which he had been patient, keeping himself under control as he was living his life as a Christian in the city of Corinth with those brethren. He says he had "been patient in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the Word of Truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report, as deceivers yet true, as unknown and yet well known, as dying and behold we live, as chastened and not killed, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all things," 2 Corinthians chapter 6:3-10.
Paul also said that he had been, "praying for the brethren at Colossi that they might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might according to His glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness," Colossians chapter 1, verses 10-11.
And to the brethren at Thessalonica, he also said, "We are bound to thank God always for you brethren as it is meek because that your faith growing exceedingly and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth so that we ourselves glory in you and the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure," 2 Thessalonians chapter 1, verses 3-4.
We are also told in Romans chapter 15 and verse 4, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." It is the ability of the Christian to keep himself under control, no matter what it is that life may throw at him, to keep himself under control as he is told to do within the scriptures that the Christian has access to the hope that is promised in the scriptures. We are able to live our lives according to the Will of God when we are patient to keep ourselves under the control that He requires of us.
We can also see that although it is extremely difficult to implement this self-control in our day to day actions and attitudes in the face of life's great trials, there is a grander purpose, if you will, for this command of our God may then at first meet the eye. The patience of which the Bible speaks as a necessity for the righteous is that virtue in a Christian's life by which he can be tested for his faithfulness. Again, the apostle Paul wrote to the brethren at Rome in Romans chapter 5, verses 1-5, "Therefore, be justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God and not only so, but we glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
A similar expression can be found in the book of James wherein we are told in James chapter 1, verses 2-4, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience, but let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing."
It's hard for us to understand how it is that we could possibly count it all joy whenever we fall into diverse temptations that this life can present before us. How is it so? It is because we can see those difficulties as being an opportunity for us to grow in our faith and the application thereof. If we are able to keep ourselves under control, that is be patient, even in the face of life'' most extreme trials, we prove to ourselves that we are indeed growing in our understanding and our application of the Bible and its truth.
Since the trials of this life are a constant and will always be with us, we can see the spiritual maturity that we have attained in our actions and our attitudes as we continue to handle those situations of this life better and better day by day. It is for this reason that James tells us that if patience is allowed to progress fully in our lives, we will become perfected, that is fully mature, full grown in the faith, not wanting in any area or any aspect of our spiritual lives.
The process of being patient as a Christian in times of struggle is much like testing a nail that has been driven into the wall. I can tell myself that a certain nail that has been driven into a wall is one that can hold so much weight, but until that nail has been tested, it is merely theory. Now if we choose to prove that theory to see whether or not it is so, we add weight to the nail. Each time another amount of weight is added to the nail, the nail is proven in its capacity to hold that amount of weight. Now eventually, obviously, we would put so much weight upon the nail that it would bend and break and then the nail in its capacity that it had at its fullest is known. Now for the Christian, it's a little different because unlike the nail, when we stumble, when we falter, when we fail, we have the opportunity as the righteous children of God to go to our Father in heaven in prayer and ask for His forgiveness in true repentance as Acts chapter 8 and verse 22 tells us and He will set us back on track, ready to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and get back in our spiritual lives, proving to ourselves what it is, at least at this time, that we were able to understand and to hold ourselves up as in the face of these tribulations. But also unlike the nail, we are not broken forever. We are stronger. We are able to handle more difficulties as life progresses. We are made better by the difficult things that we face. In this way, we can count all joy when we do indeed fall into the diverse temptations that life has to offer.
Of course, the perfect example of this form of Biblical patience can be seen in the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus was patient in that He suffered through the trials of this life, the difficulties that plague us all. The Hebrews tells us of the Christ in Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 15, that "He was tempted in al points like as we are yet without sin." He wasn't tempted in all of the different ways that we are in a sense of the specifics, but He was tempted in principle in every fashion just as we are today, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life. Things really haven't changed throughout the millennium. We are still what God created us to be. We are still His creation. When we are told that our Lord and Savior suffered temptation just as we are and we do today, we can understand that and see that He was indeed patient, keeping Himself under control at all times.
Jesus was also patient when He suffered through the direct temptation of Satan in the wilderness as we find in Matthew chapter 4, verses 1-11. Each time that Satan would tempt the Christ, He would answer in response, "It is written," appealing to the Word, appealing to the judgment of God in heaven and not to the judgment of mankind. We find that Satan each time tempted Him and Jesus was patient in that He kept Himself under control though He had been fasting, though He was undoubtedly thirsty, though He was undoubtedly hungry, though He was undoubtedly tired, He did not falter. He did not yield. He was the patient example that we can all follow.
Jesus was patient in that He suffered through the trial and tribulation of the cross. The prophet Isaiah as looking forward by prophecy to the Christ as He was going to come upon mankind, he said of that sacrifice that was going to be presented, "He is despised and rejected of man, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief and we hid as it were our faces from Him. He was despised and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has bore our griefs and carry our sorrows. Yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted, but He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray and have turned everyone to His own way and the Lord have laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment and who shall declare His generation for He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people was He stricken." Jesus Christ, our Lord, suffered all things for us. He was patient in all things for us. He kept Himself under control even facing crucifixion, a terrible form of death, a death that He did not deserve and yet because He was willing to suffer that difficulty that was placed before Him, He was able to be the Savior of the world. He is able to be the one through whom we have access to the Father, the one in whom we have our only hope in this life.
In order for us to be patient in the example of our Lord in the faithful of the Bible, we find that we must first begin with those first few steps, those first few steps by which we can become a Christian and whereby we can become the children of our God. In order for us to exhibit patience in our lives and keep ourselves under self-control, we must indeed be willing to submit ourselves to the Will of our Father in heaven. We must hear the Word of God (Romans chapter 10 and verse 17). We must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John chapter 8 and verse 24). We must be willing to confess Him as the Son of God before others (Matthew chapter 10, verses 32-33). We must be willing to repent of our sins so that we no longer live the ways of the world, but only for the Lord Himself (Acts chapter 17 and verse 30). We must be baptized for the remission of our sins so that we can have access to our Father through Christ Jesus and so that we can be added to the church that He built (Acts chapter 2 and verse 38 and Acts chapter 2 and verse 47). Then we must be willing to live our lives faithfully up to and including the point of death (Revelation chapter 2 and verse 10).
We must learn to be patient and keep ourselves under self-control no matter what it is that life may throw at us whether it be sickness or death or difficulties in the home, financial difficulties, difficulties in the office or at school. It doesn't make any difference what it is. We must remember that if we are to be pleasing to God, we must be pleasing to Him at all times. And when we find ourselves faltering, when we find ourselves failing ourselves and failing our God, we need to remember what it is that the Hebrews writer told those Christians of the 1st century in Hebrews chapter 12, verses 1-2. "Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith."
I thank you for your kind attention.
(SONG # 3 - "At Calvary")
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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Oh, what a blessed example of patience we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God give us all the patience we need to present ourselves proper in His sight, as well as before the lost of this world.