THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 5-4-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD'S PECULIAR PEOPLE: A PECULIAR PATH TO SALVATION"
Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord' Day morning. We thank God that you have chosen to be with us today, as we commit this time to our wondrous Creator. What a great privilege we have today to join in this opportunity to praise our God and glorify our Savior. 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. Furthermore, what a sweet smelling savor the fruit of our lips is 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 "There's A Fountain Free!"
(FOR SONG # 1)
Some great friends of ours just had a new baby girl the other day. This certainly reminds me of the great task we have as parents to bring our children up in the, "nurture and admonition of the Lord." If you're like me, this is one of the most challenging things I have ever faced in this life - that is learning how to raise my children. We all want to teach them as much as we can and give them the best opportunities in this life. However, we all know that our society says we must do it one way, but God shows us another. God's ways are always more perfect than mans!
What about you grandparents? Does the job of trying to make your grandchildren better people in this world every end? Don't we all want what is best for the young people coming up in our families? So, where do we need to focus to keep them in the right direction? Our focus must be on God!
As we all would agree, one of the most important aspects of parenting is teaching children the things they need to know about God, because they will never get this from our society. There is a verse in the Old Testament that talks about the importance of not only God's people knowing His will, but also the importance of them teaching it to their children. Moses said, "Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren," Deuteronomy 4:9.
Think about the words of this great man of God as he reminds us that the things of God must be on our hearts, "all the days of our lives!" Now if it is important enough to be on my heart as long as I live, then I want the things of God on my child's heart also.
Let's never forget our duty as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on, to do our part in helping those who look up to us know more about our God. Furthermore, let's teach them that our God is their God, and as long as they have Him all things are possible! Are you willing to make a difference in the lives of our children and young people today?
This morning we will be concluding our series of study concerning "God's Peculiar People." Our specific topic this day is entitled, "A Peculiar Path To Salvation," So please continue with us and after our next song together we will be lead in this lesson from God's Word.
As far as our speaker of the day, we are happy to have brother Darin Chappell with us. Brother Darin is the minister for the Mountain Grove Church of Christ, as well as an instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We appreciate this good brother and thank him for his time on this wondrous Lord's Day.
Well, it's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, are you ready to continue your praise to God? The name of the song, "For The Beauty Of The Earth."
(SONG # 2)
By Darin Chappell
Good morning and thank you for being with us this morning as we continue our study and in fact, conclude it concerning "God's Peculiar People."
When we consider the peculiar way of salvation, what we need to understand is that the way of salvation is not something which is the (inaudible) of men. We don't have the right as individuals, human beings to determine how it is that we are going to be saved. It's not our right to determine how it is that we ought to be acceptable to our God, but instead our God has told us through His Word how it is that he requires us to approach Him. In fact, it is so important that we apply ourselves to the study of His Word that it is by that diligent study that we can be approved of Him according to 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 15. "For it is that Word by which we shall be judged in the end of all things," John chapter 12 and verse 48.
And so when we ask the question, "What must I do to be saved?" we can't just rely on tradition. We can't simply rely on what our family members or friends have done in the past, but instead we must only always appeal to the inspired, infallible Word of God which does not change and does not alter and continually points the way to Heaven.
As we go to our study this morning and we look to the Word of God, I want to take a look at several key verses which tell us how it is that we are to behave in order for us to be found acceptable to God. Now please don't misunderstand. Paul wrote to the brethren in Ephesus in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8-9 that we are "Saved by grace through faith and not of ourselves." It's not that we earn our way toward Heaven, but by faith, that is our faithful obedience to the Word of God we have access to the grace of God which is found in the person of Jesus Christ and that through His blood we are cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John chapter 1, verses 5-9).
Therefore, when we are appealing to the Word of God to find out what it is that we must do, it's not so that we can try to determine what steps or actions must be taken so that Heaven is owed to us, but rather what is it that we must do in order for our God to find us acceptable according to His perfect judgment of all things.
First from the scriptures, we find that we must be willing to hear the Word of God. Now Romans chapter 10 verse 17 tells us, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Faith, as we're going to be able to find out here very shortly as we continue our study, faith, Biblical faith is not a blind belief which is simply accepted by an individual with no evidence whatsoever, or rather it must always be based upon the evidences that are provided for us. The Word itself is a primary evidence source. But also nature all around us, our own bodies in fact tell us that there is a Creator. We must be willing to hear the Word of God and what it says about all of these evidences so that our Biblical faith can be established and kept strong. "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." And that's not just the recognition of sound hearing, but rather it is our attention being focused upon the Word of God, that we are submitting ourselves, yielding ourselves to its principles and precepts so that we can hear what it is that our God is telling us through His Word.
Secondly, we are told that we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God. John chapter 8 and verse 24, Jesus was saying to those who were gathered around Him that unless they would believe that He was who He was, they would be lost in their sins. Well, why would simple belief be required? Well first of all, it's not simple belief. Again, it must be based upon the evidences that are presented within the Word concerning the miracles that He performed and the things that are written about Him. But also we are told in Hebrews letter that the Hebrews writer says that, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him for those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him." Well, why is that? Only those individuals who truly believe that He is and in the case of the Christ, He is the Son of the Living God, only those who truly believe are willing to be obedient which is required for an individual to have access to the grace of God. Therefore, belief, understanding that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God is absolutely necessary, absolutely required for us in order to be acceptable to our God in the day of salvation.
Then we are told that we must be willing to confess Jesus before others. Matthew chapter 10 verses 32-33, Jesus said that, "Those who would confess Him before others, He would confess before His Father which is in Heaven, and those who would deny Him before others, He would deny them before His Father which is in Heaven." This confession or this profession of faith talks about the idea of speaking together with and is the common universal statement that binds all those who are His people together. It tells us what it is that we must do to believe and hold above all other things so that we can be found as His unique, peculiar people. And that statement, whether it's Peter there in Matthew chapter 16 or the Ethiopian Eunuch there in Acts chapter 8, it's that same common statement that we all can make about our Lord and Savior. He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And to be willing to make that before others, not just in our words, but in our day by day actions as well. We live our lives for the Lord (Galatians chapter 2 and verse 20.)
Then we are told we must be willing to repent of our sins. In Acts chapter 17 and verse 30 the apostle Paul when he was there on the Aeropogus Hill and he was seeing all of the different idolatrous gods that were scattered about him, he says that, "The times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." That repentance is literally a changing of the mind. It is a changing of the mind so that the actions, the behaviors of life will conform to that change so that we no longer live the ways of the world but instead only and always live for the Lord that we conform ourselves to His image that we be in fact transformed and we are no longer living for me, but instead I live for the Lord in His Will for me in my life (Romans chapter 12 verses 1-2). I must put Him first above all things if I am to be pleasing in His sight and repentance commands that I cease in my sinful behaviors that I had in my previous life and instead I look for the fulfillment of the righteousness of God which is given to me through His Word (Matthew chapter 6 and verse 33).
Then after we have been willing to hear, believe, repent and confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God before others, we must be baptized. Now at this point, some people say, "Hold on! I'm perfectly willing to hear the Word of God and I have no problem believing that Jesus is the Son of God. I'm perfectly willing to even tell people that He is the Son of God and for the most part I am even willing to repent of my sins, but baptism? I don't believe that is necessary for our salvation." Well, it's not my place at all as a simple human being. It's not my place to judge the hearts of anyone who refuses to submit to baptism, so I have no interest in trying to do so. But I have had individuals tell me that part of the reason why they simply don't want to be baptized is because it places them in a position of passivity. You know, I hear actively. I believe actively. I can repent actively. I can confess actively, but I must BE baptized. I need help. I have to submit myself. I have to yield myself. I have to humble myself in order to be baptized. It'' a passive action. It's something that is done to me when I submit myself and yield myself to the Word of God. I fear that in our society that prizes itself on being able to pull itself up by its own boot straps... I fear that too many people simply are unwilling to yield themselves to the standard of God's Word. But be that as it may, we know for a fact that baptism is required for one's salvation.
1 Peter chapter 1 and verse 21, as the apostle was comparing the things concerning the flood of Noah to the baptism that was required of the saints, speaking of that flood which washed away the sinfulness of the world and preserved that which was faithful, though they be few, they were precious in the sight of God. Peter said there that, "The like figure (just as the flood served as a figure to be examined), the like figure where unto even baptism doth also now save us." Not the washing away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God. We are to be baptized because baptism doth also now save us. Now friends, I'm sorry. It doesn't get any clearer than that.
But it's not just that you're baptized, immersed in water. It's not just that you're plunged completely under the water, because that is the meaning of baptism, by the way, that it is an immersion. Sprinkling and pouring are not Biblical baptism, just the immersion is what we are talking about. It's not just that, and it's certainly not the water and it's not the washing of the body. That's not what is important. What is important is the obedience, the willingness to submit to the Will of God regardless of what it might be, and to be baptized for the proper reasons with the proper intent in one's mind and in one's heart.
So why must one be baptized? Well, in Acts chapter 2:38 we're told that, "We must be baptized for the remission of sins." In other words, we must be baptized unto the end result being the sins of an individuals life being remitted or washed away. So when we're talking about someone being baptized for the remission of sins, we're talking about them baptized, looking forward to the end result of sins being forgiven, blotted out, their salvation.
Now there are those who will say, "Well, wait a second. The word "for" in the English language can mean "unto," but it can also mean "because of." I bake the cake for you. Because of you, I bake this cake. Well, that's absolutely true. The English word "for" does have that dual meaning, but in the original Greek that is not the case at all. I don't mean to bog our lesson down this morning in a study of an ancient language that you may or may not be familiar with, but let me just express this one idea to you. The concept of the Greek word that is involved is one that is so peculiar and so particular that it always means "unto," the end result being. And let me give you a classic example of that being the case and that's in Matthew chapter 26 and verse 28. Matthew chapter 26 and verse 28, Jesus said that "His blood was shed for many for unto the remission of their sins." Now if we're going to hold that "for the remission of sins" in Acts 2:38 means "because of their remission of sins," then to be consistent we would have to apply that same description, that same translation to Matthew chapter 26 and verse 28 and Jesus would be saying that He "went to the cross because their sins were already forgiven." Does that make sense to anyone? I know of no one who claims that as being right. Jesus Christ went to the cross for unto the remission of the sins of those who would be His faithful obedient followers. He did it so that they could be saved, not because they already were. We are to be baptized so that we can have our sins forgiven not because they are already forgiven.
Now there are those who will quit right there and say we're to be baptized for the remission of sins and not go any further. But we also must be baptized so that we can be added to the church. Which church? The church that Jesus purchased and built with His own blood (Acts 20:28), the church about which you can read in the New Testament, the church which belongs to Jesus, the Church of Christ.
We find that the individuals who were there and were John's disciples in Acts chapter 19 verses 1-7 that Paul recognized right away because they didn't know anything about the giving of the Holy Spirit. Paul recognized right away that they could not be Christians because no one at that time had even been exposed to the gospel without knowing that the Holy Spirit had been given. Therefore, the apostle Paul, when they said they didn't have any idea about the Holy Spirit the apostle Paul stated clearly, "Well then unto what were you baptized?" They said, "We were baptized unto John's baptism?" And the apostle Paul, he said, "Well, John's baptism was fine for the day in which it was given," but then He began to teach them about Jesus and about the institution of the church. Those individuals then after having been taught, they were re-immersed and they were baptized unto the name or to the authority of Jesus Christ so that they were now Christians and they were now acceptable to God. They had been baptized previously under John's baptism and here's the interesting thing according to Mark chapter 1 and verse 4. John's baptism was for the remission of sins. Being baptized for the remission of sins was not enough. They needed to know about the church. They needed to know about the institution in which God would place them upon their obedience (Acts chapter 2:41, Acts 2:47).
Therefore, when we are talking about how it is that an individual must be saved, we are talking about those who are able to hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized for the remission of sins so they can be added to the church, the church that Jesus built and purchased with His own blood.
You know, if I have a lock and it's got five numbers to a combination, I can't simply turn to one number and say, "There now the lock ought to open for me. I have to turn to all five, all of them are for me so that I can open that lock so that I can have access to that treasure in store. Will you have access to the treasure that is in store for you for the cause of Christ?
(SONG # 3 - "Alas And Did My Savior Bleed!")
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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My prayer is that all men will follow the simple and peculiar way of salvation which God confirms in His Word. For there is no other way to God, except through complete obedience to His Will!