THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 5-25-14

LESSON TITLE: “CREATED IN HIS DIVINE NATURE.”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD. IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.

WELCOME TO THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM ON THIS WONDROUS LORD’S DAY. WHAT A PRIVILEGE IT IS TO HAVE YOU WITH US TODAY, AS WE TOGETHER GIVE THIS TIME TO GOD. I KNOW THAT WE WILL ALL BE ENCOURAGED AND UPLIFTED BY OUR TIME TOGETHER THIS MORNING. SO, LET’S GIVE OUR BEST TO GOD SO THAT HE MAY BE PLEASED WITH OUR OFFERING. FURTHERMORE, LET’S DO ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL - SO THAT OUR WORSHIP WILL BE RECEIVED BY HIM IN A GOOD AND PERFECT WAY. NOW, LET’S APPROACH HIS THRONE IN PRAYER!

PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU FOR THIS DAY AND EVERY GREAT BLESSING OF LIFE. FATHER, THIS DAY WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR OUR PHYSICAL GIFTS FROM YOU, AS WELL AS OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS. FOR FATHER, YOU ALONE HAVE ALL POWER AND ABILITY TO GIVE US THOSE THINGS THAT WE HAVE NEED OF. FATHER, WE KNOW YOUE REWARDS AND BLESSINGS ARE NOT ONLY BASED IN THIS LIFE BUT ULTIMATELY BASED IN THE LIFE TO COME. HELP US TO LOOK TO JESUS AND TO FIND THE STRENGTH TO NOT ONLY TO KNOW YOU BUT TO OBEY YOU EVERY DAY SO THAT IN THE END WE MIGHT BY YOUR GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY FIND SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

THIS MORNING WE WANT TO BEGIN WITH A SONG WHICH TELLS US OF SOME WONDROUS THINGS WHICH AWAIT THE FAITHFUL CHILD OF GOD AT THE END OF THIS LIFE’S JOURNEY. SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER THE SONG, “THE LAST MILE OF THE WAY!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

ISN’T IT HARD TO PUT GOD FIRST AND TO ALWAYS SEEK AFTER HIS KINGDOM. ESPECIALLY IN THE FACT THAT WE HAVE SO MANY TEMPTATIONS IN THIS WORLD THAT ARE PULLING US IN EVERY DIRECTION. HOWEVER, THE REALITY IS, GOD DOES EXPECT US TO FOCUS ON HIM AND TO PUT OUR THOUGHTS, HOPES AND TRUST IN HIM AND HIS WORD.

IN COLOSSIANS 3, PAUL TALKS TO THE BRETHREN AT COLOSSAE AND REMINDS THEM WHAT THEY MUST FOCUS ON. IN VERSES 1-2, THE BIBLES SAYS, “IF THEN YOU WERE RAISED WITH CHRIST, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST IS, SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. SET YOUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS ON THE EARTH. FOR YOU DIED, AND YOUR LIFE IS HIDDEN WITH CHRIST IN GOD.” DID YOU CATCH ALL OF THAT? AS FOLLOWERS OF GOD WE ARE TO FOCUS ON THOSE THINGS ABOVE - WHERE GOD IS! THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE HIGHER THAN THE WORLD, GOOD AND RIGHTEOUS. THEN IN THE NEXT STATEMENT PAUL GOES ON TO TELL US WHY THIS IS AND SHOULD BE SO. THE ANSWER, “FOR WE DIED!”

HOW OFTEN DO WE FORGET THAT WHEN WE BECAME CHRISTIANS WE TRULY DIED TO OURSELVES AND TO THE WANTS AND DESIRES OF THIS LIFE. AT LEAST SO FAR AS WE ALLOW THESE THINGS TO BE FIRST OR TO COME BEFORE OUR GOD. FOR THE TRUE CHRISTIANS, THERE IS NO OTHER ACCEPTABLE WAY TO FOLLOW AND SERVE GOD THAN TO PUT HIM FIRST AND TO ALWAYS FOCUS ON THAT WHICH IS GOOD - AND THUS PERTAINS TO HIM.

ANOTHER VERSE WHICH HELPS WITH THIS SAME TOPIC IS FOUND IN PAUL’S LETTER TO THE PHILIPPIANS. IN CHAPTER 4 AND VERSE 8 OF THAT BOOK, THE INSPIRED WRITER SAID, “FINALLY, BRETHREN, WHATEVER THINGS ARE TRUE, WHATEVER THINGS ARE NOBLE, WHATEVER THINGS ARE JUST, WHATEVER THINGS ARE PURE, WHATEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY, WHATEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT, IF THERE IS ANY VIRTUE AND IF THERE IS ANYTHING PRAISEWORTHY; MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS.” THE REALITY IS WE MUST COMPLETELY COMMIT OURSELVES TO FOCUSING ON THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE GOD-LIKE, IF WE EVER EXPECT TO BE WHAT HE DESIRES OF US AS CHRISTIANS.

FURTHERMORE, AS WE HAVE ALWAYS HEARD, “WE ARE WHAT WE EAT.” NOW BRING THAT OVER TO A SPIRITUAL SENSE. THAT WHICH WE TAKE IN THROUGH WORD, DEEDS AND THOUGHT - REALLY DETERMINES WHAT EVENTUALLY WILL COME OUT. ISN’T THAT WHY JESUS SAID, “FOR OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART THE MOUTH SPEAKS,” MATTHEW 12:34. WHATEVER IS ON THE INSIDE WILL BE SEEN ON THE OUTSIDE, NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY TO HIDE IT OR TO DECEIVE THOSE AROUND US. WHAT TYPES OF THINGS ARE YOU SEEKING IN RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST? ARE YOU FOCUSED ON THOSE THINGS FROM ABOVE?

AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, I WILL BE LEADING OUR LESSON THOUGHTS OF THE DAY. THIS MORNING WE WILL BE CONSIDERING THE NEXT LESSON IN OUR SERIES ENTITLED, “CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY IS CALLED, “CREATED IN HIS DIVINE NATURE?” SO, PLEASE STAY WITH US FOR THIS IMPORTANT STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW IT’S TIME TO JOIN IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE MORNING. WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AS WE SING THE HYMN, “THERE IS SUNSHINE IN MY SOUL.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTINUING WITH US TODAY AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND WE CONSIDER ANOTHER LESSON IN OUR NEW SERIES, WHICH IS REALLY CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT WE ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. LAST WEEK WE WERE ABLE TO LOOK TOGETHER AND INTRODUCE THE TOPIC WELL. WE BEGAN IN GENESIS CHAPTER 1 LOOKING AT THE IDEA THAT WE ARE MADE IN THE VERY IMAGE OF GOD, THE LIKENESS OF GOD. LAST WEEK WE WERE ABLE TO BEGIN TO SEE THE IDEA THAT CERTAINLY THIS CONCEPT OF THE LIKENESS OR IMAGE MUST MEAN SOMETHING BESIDES THE PHYSICAL.

THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS THE BIBLE TEACHES US AND ONE THING THAT IS FOUND THERE IN FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 15:50 WHERE IT SAYS THAT FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS AS TO WHY THAT IS THE CASE BECAUSE WHEN WE MOVE OVER TO BOOKS, FOR INSTANCE LIKE THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. IN JOHN CHAPTER 4:24 THE INSPIRED WRITER SAYS THAT GOD IS A SPIRIT. WILL WE KNOW THAT HEAVEN IS SPIRITUAL AND WE KNOW THAT GOD IS A SPIRIT. GOD MAY HAVE MADE THINGS IN A PHYSICAL OR CONCRETE OR FLESHLY NATURE BUT THEN HE ALSO MADE A REALM WHICH IS LIKE THE SPIRITUAL REALM OR WE MIGHT THINK OF THE CONCEPT OF THE GHOST REALM OR A REALM THAT DOESN'T REALLY DEPEND ON THE FLESHLY THINGS OR THE PHYSICAL THINGS TO EXIST.

WE ALSO SEE THIS IDEA AND YOU MIGHT TURN WITH ME THERE TO THE BOOK OF SECOND CORINTHIANS. AS PAUL WRITES TO THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH, I THINK IT'S QUITE INTERESTING THAT HE DEALS WITH THE SAME IDEA THAT HE DEALT WITH IN JOHN CHAPTER 4 IN THAT GOD IS A SPIRIT. THE FACT THAT GOD IS A SPIRIT, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO US? IF YOU LOOK THERE IN THE BOOK OF 2CORINTHIANS 3, LET'S READ TOGETHER VERSE 17 BEGINNING, “THE LORD IS THE SPIRIT AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS THERE IS LIBERTY.” VERSE 18 GOES ON TO SAY, “BUT WE ALL WITH UNVEILED FACE BEHOLD AS A MIRROR THE GLORY OF THE LORD ARE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO THE SAME IMAGE FROM GLORY TO GLORY, JUST AS BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD.” WHAT WE BEGIN TO SEE HERE ARE THESE TWO DISTINCT CONCEPTS: GOD, A SPIRITUAL BEING AND A BEING THAT WE ALSO KNOW IS ALL-POWERFUL AND ETERNAL. HERE IS A GOD THAT IS EVERYWHERE AT ALL TIMES.

THE INFINITE CONCEPTS OF GOD ARE GLORIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL IN AND OF THEMSELVES. AS WE LOOK AT GOD. WE CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE NOT IN HIS LIKENESS AS IF WE ARE GOD'S BUT WE ARE IN HIS LIKENESS AND IN HIS IMAGE OF THE SPIRITUAL APPLICATION AND SENSE THAT WE SEE DEMONSTRATED FOR US EVEN IN TEXTS LIKE THIS, AS IF IT SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT WE'RE GAINING THAT IMAGE. WE ARE ASSUMING THAT IMAGE. WE ARE FOLLOWING THAT. IN OTHER WORDS, WE HAVE BEEN CREATED IN THAT WE MIGHT, IN SPIRIT AND CHARACTER, DO THOSE THINGS WHICH GOD DOES; STRIVING TO HAVE THE PROPER CHARACTER IN LOVE OR JOY OR FAITH OR FORGIVENESS. ALL OF THESE TYPES OF CONCEPTS OR IDEAS.

NOW LET'S GO BACK TO 1CORINTHIANS 15. LAST WEEK TOGETHER WE DID CONSIDER SEVERAL THINGS FROM FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 15. BUT I WANTED US TO FOCUS JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE BEFORE WE GET INTO OUR SPECIFIC IDEA THAT WE WANT TO LOOK AT FROM 2PETER 1 THIS DAY BECAUSE ALL OF THIS REALLY IS THE FOUNDATION OF UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT IS THAT IS BEING SAID THERE IN 2PETER 1. BUT HERE IN 1CORINTHIANS 15, NOTICE THAT HE CLEARLY IDENTIFIES TWO PARTS. THE FLESHLY MAN THAT GOD MADE OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND AND BREATHED INTO HIS NOSTRILS WITH THE BREATH OF LIFE WHICH WE READ ABOUT IN GENESIS CHAPTER 1 AND ALSO IN CHAPTER 2.

BUT HERE WITH ME IN CORINTHIANS 15:44, NOTICE WHAT IT SAID, “IT IS SEWN A NATURAL BODY AND IT IS RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY. THERE IS THEN A NATURAL BODY AND THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY. SO IT IS WRITTEN THAT ‘THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING’ AND THE LAST ADAM BECAME A LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT. HOWEVER, THE SPIRITUAL IS NOT FIRST BUT THE NATURAL AND AFTERWORD THE SPIRITUAL. THE FIRST MAN WAS OF THE EARTH, MADE OF DUST; THE SECOND MAN IS OF THE LORD FROM HEAVEN,” VERSE 48, “AS WAS THE MAN OF DUST SO ALSO ARE THOSE WHO ARE MADE OF DUST, AND AS IS THE HEAVENLY MAN, SO ALSO ARE THOSE WHO ARE HEAVENLY”

NOW LOOK AT VERSE 49. AS WE HAVE BORE THE IMAGE OF THE MAN OF DUST WE SHALL ALSO BEAR THE IMAGE OF WHAT? THE HEAVENLY MAN. THAT TO ME IS ONE OF THE BEST VERSES TO HELP US TO UNDERSTAND THAT CONCEPT THAT WE ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OR LIKENESS OF GOD. BECAUSE IT USES THE SAME WORD, THE SAME IDEA AT LEAST. IT SAYS HERE THAT AS WE ARE BORN IN THE IMAGE OR LIKENESS OF THE FLESHLY MAN. IN OTHER WORDS WHEN I AM BORNE BY MY PARENTS I TAKE ON HUMANITY, THE FLESH, THIS TABERNACLE WHICH THE BIBLE BY THE WAY CONTINUOUSLY SAYS IS PASSING AWAY AND IT WILL NOT LAST AND THAT IT IS OF THE EARTH AND WILL RETURN TO THE DUST AS EVEN THE GREAT WISE MAN SAID. CLEARLY THE BIBLE INDICATES THAT TO US AND THAT THIS IS A TEMPORARY TENT THAT WE ARE IN, THE FLESH. BUT THEN HE SAYS AS WE'RE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF THE FLESH WE ARE ALSO MADE IN GUESS WHAT? THE IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY MAN, THE SPIRITUAL MAN. THAT PART OF MAN THAT AS WE READ LATER IS IN TEXT, SOMEDAY WE WILL TAKE ON THE FULL FORM OF AND BE CHANGED IN THE MOMENT OF A TWINKLING OF THE EYE AND THAT WE NO LONGER HAVE A CORRUPTIBLE FORM BUT AN INCORRUPTIBLE FORM BECAUSE THIS FORM BEARS THE CORRUPTION OF THE EARTH. WE MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY BECAUSE THIS MORTALITY NO LONGER IS ABLE TO EXIST WHERE FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT GO AND THAT IS HEAVEN. SO THEREFORE WE HAVE THE SPIRITUAL.

NOW AS WE THEN APPLY THAT CONCEPT OF THE SPIRITUAL, HOW DO WE SEE THAT IN OUR LIVES? THAT'S WHERE WE GO OVER TO THE BOOK OF PETER AND WE BEGIN IN 2PETER CHAPTER 1 AND I WANT YOU TO NOTICE, FIRST OF ALL WITH ME, A PHRASE THAT IS MADE IN VERSE 4 AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO DISCUSS THAT SOME. IN VERSE 4, ABOUT MIDWAY THROUGH IT, IT SAYS THAT WE ARE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE. NOW, AS YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF BEING A PARTAKER OF THE DIVINE NATURE, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS GOD HAS DONE FOR US. IT'S KIND OF ALSO NEAT THAT PETER IN HIS FIRST LETTER STARTS OUT WITH A SIMILAR CONCEPT. THERE IN FIRST PETER CHAPTER 1, HE ACTUALLY SAYS THIS IN VERSE 3. HE SAYS, “BLESSED BE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO ACCORDING TO HIS ABUNDANT MERCY, HAS BEGOTTEN US TO A LIVING HOPE.” WHAT? GOD HAS BEGOTTEN US? REMEMBER THE STORY IN JOHN THREE OF NICODEMUS AND BEING BORN AGAIN BY THE WATER AND THE SPIRIT? GOD HAS BEGOTTEN US INTO WHAT? A LIVING HOPE. WE HAVE HOPE THROUGH GOD. WHY? BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY IT SAYS. HOW DID HE ACCOMPLISH IT? THE SAME VERSE SAYS THROUGH THE GIFT OF JESUS CHRIST. THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST.

NOW GO BACK TO 2PETER CHAPTER 1 WITH ME. IT BEGINS TO TALK ABOUT HERE THE FACT THAT GOD IS THE DIVINE POWER, NUMBER TWO, NOT ONLY THE DIVINE POWER BUT HAS GIVEN ALL THINGS AS THE DIVINE POWER THAT PERTAIN TO US IN RELATIONSHIP TO LIFE AND GODLINESS. THAT'S WHAT VERSE 3 OF 2 PETER CHAPTER 1 SAYS SO WE SEE THAT GOD IS DIVINE. GOD IS CERTAINLY PERFECT. HE IS COMPLETE AND HE IS ALL THINGS. HE IS HOLY. HE IS RIGHTEOUS. GOD IS GOD AND THEREFORE HE HAS ALSO GIVEN US KNOWLEDGE AND THAT WE MIGHT DO WHAT? STRIVE FOR VIRTUE OR MORE ELECTIONS. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? IF GOD GIVES ME KNOWLEDGE AND HE TELLS ME WHO HE IS AND HE TELLS ME WHAT HE IS ABOUT AND WHAT HE DOES, AND THEREFORE THAT I'M TO BE AN IMITATOR OF HIM AND THAT'S THE TYPE OF LIFE I NEED TO LIVE, GUESS WHAT THAT MEANS? IT MEANS THAT I NEED TO TRY TO PARTAKE IN WHAT IT IS THAT HE HAS LEFT ME AS AN EXAMPLE. THAT I MIGHT BE A PARTAKER, NOT ONLY IN THE GIFTS AND THE REWARDS AS THE VERSE GOES ON TO SAY, BUT ALSO A PARTAKER IN THE UNDERSTANDING AND THEN DESCRIBING FOR A MORAL EXCELLENCE, AS GOD DEMANDS.

NO WONDER LATER IN THE SAME TEXT, WE GO ON TO READ WHAT IS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE CHRISTIAN VIRTUES WHERE IT SAYS YOU ADD TO YOUR FAITH, VIRTUE, KNOWLEDGE, AS IT SAYS HERE SELF-CONTROL, SELF-CONTROL TO PERSEVERANCE, PERSEVERANCE TO GODLINESS AND HE GOES ON TO GIVE US A WHOLE LIST OF THINGS THAT WE BUILD OUR FAITH ON. THAT WE GROW IN ORDER THAT WE WHAT? THAT WE ARE IMITATING AND WE ARE PARTAKING OF WHAT? THE IMAGE OF GOD AND THAT WE ARE PARTAKERS IN THE VERY DIVINE NATURE BECAUSE WHEN I AM TRYING TO PARTAKE IN THE DIVINE NATURE OF GOD. I AM FOUND PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT AND GUESS WHAT THAT MEANS TO ME?

NOW HERE'S WHERE VERSE 4 REALLY COMES IN TO PLAY. VERSE 4, SAYS BY WHICH HE HAS GIVEN TO US EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES. YOU LOOK AT WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US IN OUR DAILY LIVES. LOOK AT WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US WITH WHAT WE HAVE, THE PHYSICAL POSSESSIONS. LOOK AT WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US SPIRITUALLY. WE HAVE ALREADY READ THAT HE HAS GIVEN US ALL THINGS THAT WE ARE IN NEED OF PERTAIN TO LIFE AND GODLINESS IN RELATIONSHIP TO KNOWLEDGE AND APPLICATION AND THOSE THINGS THAT ARE ESSENTIAL FOR US TO LIVE. BUT HERE WHAT DOES HE SAY? HE SAYS THAT HE HAS GIVEN US EXCEEDINGLY GREAT PROMISES. EXCEEDINGLY PRECIOUS PROMISES. SO OUR GOD, MY GOD, AND YOUR GOD HAS GIVEN YOU PROMISES BEYOND MEASURE. BEYOND WHAT WE CAN COMPREHEND. BEYOND WHAT WE CAN FATHOM, NOT ONLY TODAY BUT FOREVER AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? IT MEANS HERE THAT THROUGH THESE YOU MAY BE PROTECTORS OF THE DIVINE NATURE. WHAT DO YOU MEAN? YOU MEAN THAT WHEN I DO THE WILL OF GOD AND I TRY TO ACT AS GOD WANTS ME TO ACT OR I TRY TO IMITATE HIM NOT BUT IMITATE HIM THAT I AM PARTAKING OF HIS NATURE? YES, NOT ONLY BECAUSE I'M TRYING TO BE MORE LIKE GOD, THUS PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT, BUT BECAUSE I THEN AM A RECIPIENT AS HE SAYS HERE OF THESE EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES. THE PROOF OF MY FAITHFULNESS IS ACTUALLY IN THESE WONDROUS PROMISES OF GOD.

THEN THERE'S A THIRD THING THAT HE ACTUALLY ADDS IN THE SAME VERSE. IT'S FOUND IN VERSE 4 AND IT SAYS THAT WE ALSO HAVE ESCAPED THE CORRUPTION OF THE WORLD. WHAT DID JESUS DO WHEN HE GOT ON THE CROSS? HE SHED HIS BLOOD, AND HE SHED HIS BLOOD SO THAT YOU AND I MIGHT BE ABLE TO COME BEFORE HIM AND FIND REDEMPTION THROUGH THE BLOOD. SO THAT IF WE ARE OBEDIENT AND WE SUBMIT OURSELVES TO THE PLAN THAT HE HAS GIVEN AND WE ARE WASHED IN THE BLOOD THROUGH BAPTISM, WHAT HAPPENS? WE ARE THOSE WHO ESCAPE THE CORRUPTION OF THIS WORLD. WHY? WE NO LONGER CHOOSE TO SERVE IT. WE SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM IT. WE FIND A NEW MASTER. WE KNOW THAT THE BOOK OF ROMANS TELLS US IN ROMANS CHAPTER 8 THAT WE CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS. IF YOU CHOOSE SIN AS YOUR MASTER THEN YOU WILL BE A SERVANT AND A SLAVE OF SIN UNTIL DEATH. BUT IF YOU CHOOSE GOD AS YOUR MASTER, YOU'LL BE A SLAVE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE. UNTO EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES.

SO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. WHAT WE BEGIN TO SEE IS THAT WE HAVE AN EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISE THROUGH THE HOPE AND THE MERCY OF GOD IN THE HOPE OF 1PETER CHAPTER 1 THAT IS FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, THAT WE MIGHT BE BORN AGAIN AT THAT MOMENT THAT WE FOLLOW OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. AT THAT MOMENT WE BEGIN TO DO WHAT? BE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE RECIPIENTS OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS THUS ESCAPING THE CORRUPTION OF THE WORLD. WHAT AN EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISE THAT WE MIGHT BE CARED FOR AS CHILDREN OF GOD BY HAVING THE THINGS THAT WE NEED, NOT ONLY IN KNOWLEDGE BUT ALSO IN THOSE FLESHLY THINGS THAT WE ARE PROVIDED FOR BY GOD. WHAT AN EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISE. THEN WE HAVE THAT IDEA THAT WE HAVE THE WORD OF GOD THAT WE MIGHT NOT ONLY KNOW WHO GOD IS BUT THEN TRY TO LIVE THE LIFE THAT GOD WANTS US TO LIVE AS WELL TO NOT ONLY SAVE OURSELVES BUT TO TEACH OTHERS.

WHAT AN EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISE. BUT THEN AS HE CONTINUES TO LOOK THERE THAT WE STRIVE FOR THAT MORAL EXCELLENCE AS THOSE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE THAT BY ADDING TO OUR FAITH, VIRTUE AND KNOWLEDGE THAT AS WE BEGIN IN THIS LIFE TO BE WHAT GOD WANTS AS WE GROW AND AS WE ACCOMPLISH WHAT IT IS THAT HE DESIRES. ULTIMATELY, WHAT WE FIND IS THAT NOT ONLY ARE WE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, THE SPIRITUAL IMAGE, BUT THE KEY IS, IS THAT WE HAVE CHOSEN TO PRACTICE WHAT IS THAT GOD WANTS. NOW, LET ME GIVE YOU A LITTLE EXAMPLE OF THAT. YOU MIGHT HAVE SOMEONE WHO'S CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD AND BY THE WAY ALL MEN ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OR LIKENESS OF GOD. THAT'S WHAT GENESIS CHAPTER 1 SAYS. YOU MIGHT HAVE SOMEONE WHO IS BUT THEY REJECT GOD AND NEVER FOLLOW GOD OR SERVE GOD. THEY NEVER SUBMIT AT ALL. IN FACT THEY MIGHT EVEN BLESS GOD. CERTAINLY THAT INDIVIDUAL IS NOT GOING TO BE A PARTAKER, ULTIMATELY OF THAT DIVINE INDIVIDUAL, OF THAT DIVINE ESSENCE OR NATURE BECAUSE THEY THEMSELVES HAVE NOT CHOSEN TO BE A RECIPIENT AT ALL. GOD OFFERS THEM THE GIFT BUT THEY WON'T RESPOND TO IT. HE KEEPS OFFERING AND OFFERING AND HE KEEPS WARNING THEM AND WARNING THEM, BUT THEY CONTINUE TO REJECT HIM. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT BY FAITH WHEN WE RESPOND TO WHAT IT IS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO LIFE AND GODLINESS THROUGH HIS WORD AND THEN WE ACT UPON THOSE THINGS, GUESS WHAT HAPPENS? WE BECOME PARTAKERS OF NOT ONLY THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD IN THIS LIFE BUT PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE AND WE KNOW IT AND WE FEEL IT AND WE SEE IT AND WE EXPERIENCE IT. BECAUSE OUR GOD IS EVER CARING FOR US AND LOVING US AND SHOWING US JUST HOW MUCH HE CARES. OH, THAT WE WOULD CONTINUE TO ESCAPE THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD TO BE THAT PARTAKER OF GOD'S DIVINE NATURE.

YOU MIGHT NOTICE WITH ME FINALLY IN THE SAME TEXT IN 2PETER CHAPTER 1 THAT HE TELLS US THAT IF WE WILL MAKE OUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE, TWO THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN. VERSE 10 SAYS WE WILL NEVER STUMBLE BECAUSE GOD IS ALWAYS GOING TO FORGIVE US THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST AS WE REPENT AND AS WE STAY ON THAT TRACK TO THE CROSS. BUT VERSE 11 SAYS THAT AN ENTRANCE WILL BE SUPPLIED FOR US INTO THAT ABUNDANT EVERLASTING KINGDOM. OH, HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS TO SEE THAT GOD'S PROMISES ARE EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND THEY ARE PRECIOUS AND THAT THEY ARE ABUNDANT AND ARE FOR YOU AND ME IF WE CHOOSE TO SERVE HIM AND LIVE LIFE ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. WILL YOU GIVE GOD YOUR BEST? WILL YOU COMMIT TO HIS SERVICE?

CLOSING COMMENTS

THANKS FOR PUTTING GOD FIRST AND CHOOSING TO BE WITH US THIS MORNING. I HOPE YOU HAVE BENEFITED FROM OUR TIME TOGETHER. PLEASE REMEMBER, YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS OFFERING FOR GOD.

NOW LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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THANKS BE TO GOD THAT WE ARE ABLE TO PARTAKE OF HIS VERY DIVINE NATURE AND TO STRIVE TO DO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT. SURELY OUR HEAVENLY REWARD WILL BE WORTH ALL OF OUR EFFORTS TODAY. MAY WE ALWAYS PUT GOD FIRST IN ALL THINGS!

OUR PRAYER IS TO HELP THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT GOD THROUGH THIS TELEVISION PROGRAM. THE LIVING WORD HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU UNDER THE OVERSIGHT OF THE ELDERS OF THE KANSAS EXPRESSWAY CHURCH OF CHRIST IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST: