Program Air Date - 5-9-04



Good morning! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us to hear the Living Word of God. We are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our God. Won't you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to God, as we together offer this time of worship to Him. May all things be done, to God, for God and unto His glory. Let's begin our offering to God with a prayer!


I would like to take a moment this morning and invite you to visit with the Freedom Church of Christ in Montreal, Missouri. This congregation is a long time supporter of our work and they have certainly done their part in helping us to take God's Will to those who live in this area. If you live in the Montreal area you can meet with these brethren on Sunday mornings beginning at 10:00 o'clock for Bible class, then a main worship follows at 11:00 a.m. Again on Sunday evening at 6:00 there is provided an opportunity to assemble before God.

Won't you please take advantage of this opportunity and visit with these good brethren very soon. If you need further information or would like to contact this congregation please do so by calling their minister, Charles Pitts at (573)346-1516. We again thank these brethren for their help.

Now it's time to praise our God through song. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus."

(SONG # 1)


I am ever reminded of an instrument of our body that carries great weight and power than any other. Although it is so powerful, it seems small and insignificant to the eye and most would not consider it as we have just described it! However, if you notice with me what James said in his book, chapter 3, verse 6, there we read, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell." Yikes, did you catch all of that! Our tongue truly is powerful and able to do a lot. In fact, our tongue can be the greatest and most positive part of our being or it can be the most vile and worst part of our being. Now what does James say makes this determination, of just how our tongue affects us? It's use!

Verse 9 of the same passage goes on to help us understand how the use of our tongue affects us, there we read, "With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men," You see, we can use our tongue to glorify God, to edify and to do good. Or we can use it to blaspheme against God, to tear down and to harm. Again, according to how we use it - we then are known by our fruits. Finally, notice what James warns against in verse 10, that "ought not to be so!" He says there, "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so." God will not accept our words and the things we say whether they are right or not, unless we are consistent and have shown ourselves to be trustworthy. We can use that which is for good for bad, not that which is bad for good and think that God is really ok with this. So how are you perceived of by God, as far as in what you say? Do you always bring glory to Him, or do your harm His precious body? Let's all learn to use our tongue more properly and to control it more, so that we will be found pleasing in the sight of our Creator!

As far as our main study of the day, we will again focus on one of the "Important Doctrines of God." Our specific lesson of the morning will deal with, "The Doctrine of Redemption". So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will be leading us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Paradise Valley."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

We would like to continue this morning in relationship to our study of "The Great Doctrines of God." Today, we'll look at redemption. Again, another very important factor in understanding who a Christian must be and should be and who is pleasing before God.

Redemption is an interesting term, a concept really that begins from the first of the Bible. In fact, from creation itself we find the idea of redemption being clarified from the very first man and woman and to even their sons and even as we go throughout all of the Old Testament. You might even remember there that Cain and Abel brought before God an offering and basically offerings were usually given to consecrate, which means to purify, to sanctify oneself or to redeem, to redeem one who has done something wrong. Basically when we think about the concept of redemption, we sing many songs today in our hymnals which refer to the concept of "angels were singing redemption's song." We find "I've been redeemed by the blood of the lamb." I know young people sing the concept that we are those who have been redeemed once again and that we are somehow brought clean and cleansed and pure before an Almighty God. Well certainly these ideas are all true. They are all right because we have been redeemed. That's certainly it's important today that we understand that this Old Testament idea of redemption where a price was paid, where a sacrifice was made, where a lamb was often taken, the hands of the accused laying his hands on it's head, it being killed and then sacrificed on an altar. It was a price, a redemption price that the blood of the animal might somehow cover or roll forward the individual's sins until the next year.

Well as we understand this idea to be clear, and that Israel certainly practiced it, it is certainly then something today that as New Testament Christians must understand because our Bibles as well help us to understand the important lesson of being redeemed, how that you and I have been and surely are redeemed. And without redemption, where would we be? Well we might begin this morning as far as our New Testament ideas in the book of Romans because perhaps Paul, in his address to the Romans, does better than anyone else in helping us to understand that those outside of Christ, even as the Romans, were once in sin and sinners and those who were afar off, those who were not brought nigh to Christ yet because they had not obeyed His precepts. They had not responded to the redemption and the price that had been paid and because of that we find verses such as Romans 3:23 which is very familiar to us to say that "all have sinned," and as those who have sinned, "we fall short," the Bible says, "of God's glory." You know if God is glorious and He is glory and we are striving to be like God and we are striving to be glory and glorious like God is and we find that we sin and we fall short of the glory, well certainly we see that we are not doing enough. We are not striving. We are not making great enough strides. And therefore, we find there that we have to do something to cover sin. Now that holds true whether we are one who has not yet obeyed Christ and we need to be redeemed or even as a follower of God, a redeemed of God, we still often have to pay a redemption price, just as an Israelite who would have every year had to make sacrifice to again consecrate, to redeem themselves, to prepare themselves, to purify themselves. You and I as well as we continue to maybe break the precepts and laws of God. Although we don't desire to and we don't want to, as humans we make those mistakes and therefore we need to be therefore redeemed, covered and purchased in the blood.

Another verse that helps us with this is the idea of what is said by Paul to the Ephesian church in Ephesians chapter 2, verses 1-3. It says there that we have been redeemed by Christ once again, but the concepts more specifically being given that we were slaves of the devil, that we were at one point bound and tied and really adhering to the things which were evil and contrary to the Will of God. That's what he was reminding the Ephesian brethren of, but then he turns around and he says that "because of Christ, because of the price that was paid, you have been redeemed."

Again in 1 John chapter 3 and verse 8, Jesus said that, "He who sins is of his father, the devil. He is a follower of the devil." So it's not I or maybe a church or another individual that claims a sinner is a follower of the devil, but it is God Himself who clarifies the fact that once we sin and we are sinners and choose to remain in sin, then we are those who have chosen to serve the devil.

So how is it once again that we get out of that servitude of evil or wickedness of even Satan? We must be redeemed. That's where the Bible helps us clearly to see that redemption then is found in Christ. "That we will not die in our sins," John 8:24, "but yet we will be again cleansed through Christ if we simply will be those who will believe and obey the things that God has given us."

So again specifically through scripture, how does God do that? Well we've mentioned it already but yet we want to find it specifically again where He confirms it in scripture. We might begin first of all then in Colossians chapter 1 beginning in verse 13. As the Bible says, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the dear son of His love, in whom we have redemption." He says that we've been taken out of the old kingdom and were put into a new kingdom of His dear son. What would those be? Well the kingdom of sin, the kingdom of Satan, those outside of God. Whether you desire or want to or not, you are serving Satan. You've either got to serve God or Satan. But He says, "I have taken you out of that. I've conveyed you into a new kingdom of the dear Son, the dear Son of God, the Son of my love," and He says, "I have done that because I have redeemed you." How? The verse goes on to say, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." He not only adds the idea here that we have a redemption through the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross that paid the price, that purifies us because it alone was perfect and the only sacrifice that could give us redemption, but yet it also gives us a forgiveness. A forgiveness that the writer talked about often even there in the concept of chapter 13 that "we are those who when we sin, when we sin, we do things that are contrary to God."

In other references he talks about the idea where when we sin now we are forgiven and they are remembered no more. Redemption.

Well what about the blood of bulls and goats there in Hebrews 8 and 9? Well they couldn't forgive forever. They might roll the sin forward until the next year, but the blood of Christ... Notice our redemption compared to the redemption of old. Our redemption is complete, is perfect, is permanent, is something that once God has cleansed us with that blood, the price that has been paid, then we are completely pure, completely holy. And even though we might make another mistake, John tells us in 1 John chapter 1 that the blood of Christ will again cleanse us and continually cleanse us if our hearts are right, if we have a penitent attitude. Yes, Christ is the redeemer. "He is the one that makes us free," Ephesians chapter 3 and verse 13.

Are we those who certainly have acknowledged sin, who have known that we were sinners, but now today, we have chosen to be redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ? Well then I hope we understand to this point that redemption is there, that redemption covers the sins that are in our lives.

Well let's ask another question. Why have we been redeemed? What is the purpose? Why has God seen that the price was paid? Well certainly because He loved us. In fact, John 3:16 tells us that "God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son that He might give all a chance to be saved, that nobody would perish." And when He says those things, we know that He says them with the knowledge of the very complete death, the suffering, the price that would be paid at Calvary. So when we talk about this redemption, nothing greater could have been given. No greater price could have been paid and it was paid for you and I so that we might be His children. But what does redemption do? It makes us His own. It makes us His children. It makes us among the saved. It makes us a part of the kingdom, the church, the body. It makes us His obedient followers. Obedience is another immediate reaction of this concept of redemption that we will do and will only desire to do what God has asked us and the fact that He has done so much for us, not only in the past, not only through His son, but continually doing so much for us. Oh how blessed we are by God that He has loved us enough that we are no longer slaves to sin, but His slaves, His children, obedient to Him and no longer bound to death and the wages of sin being death and the fact that we would lose our souls, but now we have, as we looked at last week, the wondrous hope, the promise, the rewards and heaven, knowing that as redeemed, we are those who are pure, who are holy and who are righteous. We are those who have been made like He is. As Paul said, "Be imitators of me," 1 Corinthians 11:1. Why Paul? "Because I am an imitator of Christ." Redemption causes us and gives us the desire, encourages us and makes us want to be more like Christ because we know what has been done and our response to that love is to show our love by keeping His commandments. Isn't that what the Bible says? God knows we love Him by our obedience. We know that He loves us by what He's done for us, but He knows that we love Him by our obedience. Certainly that's what the Bible says because when we keep His commands, we have then shown that not only do we believe and adhere to the redemption that He has offered us, but we have proven ourselves to be worthy, worthy children before again the lamb.

I'd like to end this morning in 1 Peter. 1 Peter chapter 1, here in this book we see similar references to what Paul was saying in relationship to the things that Christ did, the great resurrection, how that He not only died, was buried, but that He rose again that we might be those who were purchased, that we might be those who were redeemed with a certain thing that is clarified just as Paul said, being the blood of Christ. But if you'll notice with me there in these verses, as he refers to us beginning in verse 14 of 1 Peter chapter 1 that "as obedient children we must not conform ourselves to the former lust as in our ignorance." We've left something. What? The darkness, the kingdom of darkness, and we have been translated what? Into the kingdom of His light through redemption. But then in verses 18 and 19 he goes on to say, "Knowing that you are not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by traditions of your fathers. You are redeemed with earthly things that are worthless and insignificant and will someday be destroyed with the earth," as Peter said, "in fire and by fire." But there in verse 19, "But you have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." You have been redeemed by the greatest and most precious spotless thing that you could be redeemed by. In fact, God Himself in the flesh has redeemed you by giving His life and paying the price. And when did He choose to do it? When did He plan to do it? "Even before the world began," verse 20 tells us.

So I ask you this morning to consider the price that has been paid, the redemption that has been paid for your sake that you might be made whole and perfect and complete in and through Christ Jesus and the blood that He shed that you might be able to not only have those things of this world today, knowing that you have been redeemed through this precious thing, but that you might know throughout all of your life that God will be with you and bless you and that ultimately as His child, as His follower, as one who is obedient in the last day when He comes again, you will be taken home as one of the redeemed. You know what's interesting is that if we live redeemed on this earth, we will someday be fully redeemed eternally in heaven.

Are you among the redeemed? Are you among those who are worthy before the lamb who paid the price? If not, choose today to obey the Will of God. Choose today to respond to the redemption that has been offered. It's a gift. What part will you pay in receiving it?

(SONG # 3 - "Redeemed!")


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 worship to God!

But for 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:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

Isn't it wonderful to know that God loved us enough to Redeem us? May we always thank our God for the awesome price which was paid, so that we might be called His Children!

(Program closing)