THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 6-11-06
LESSON TITLE: "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE: IF THESE THINGS ARE YOURS AND ABOUND"
In John 3:17 we read, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." How wonderful it is to know that God came to save the world from the sin which destroys us.
Welcome to our program and let me thank you all for joining us this day for this time of Worship to our God. It is my prayer that we are all doing our best, today and every day, to accomplish everything according to God's precious will and His eternal purpose. Won't you do your part this morning so that God may truly be praised and so that all we offer toward His throne will be done in spirit and in truth.
With these thoughts in mind, will you bow with me before His almighty throne in prayer.
Now it's time to join in our first song of the morning. Our first hymn of the day reminds us of the task before us as Christians. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "His Yoke Is Easy."
(SONG # 1)
As we have already considered this morning, why our Lord came to this earth, that all of mankind might be saved. It is further interesting to understand how all these things came about. There is one verse in the Bible which summarizes the life of Jesus perhaps better than any other, that is 1 Timothy 3:16. There we read, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory." This verse takes us from the birth and coming of Christ through the proofs of His life which proclaimed Him to be the Son of God. And finally it returns us to the fact that our Lord has now returned to His heavenly abode!
Now the question we might ask is why did he do all of this? Well the answer again lies in our first text of the morning, "that the world through Him might be saved." Remember the beloved and familiar passage in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Our Lord and Savior came to this earth that we might believe unto obedience. That through this obedience, we might be saved and thus receive the great reward of eternal life! Have you yet responded to the love of God in your life? Or do you need to obey your Savior and receive the gift which so freely has been offered to all who believe? I pray that you will get your life right with God today!
As far as our speaker of the day, we are happy to again have brother Ted Clarke with us. As you know, brother Ted is one of the full-time teachers at the Bible Institute of Missouri, and as well he is the minister for the Marshfield Church of Christ! We thank brother Clarke for being with us this day and we look forward to him guiding our thoughts from God's Word.
Our topic of study this day, will be a continuation of our discussion entitled, "Partakers of the Divine Nature." Our specific lesson of the morning will actually conclude our study together as we focus on this statement, "If These things Are Yours And Abound...." So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Ted Clarke will be leading us in this study of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "His Grace Reaches Me."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ted Clarke
Good morning. It's a pleasure to be with you here to participate in The Living Word Bible Study program with you.
As we conclude the lesson this morning or the series that you've been listening to on the Christian Graces, we concentrate on verses 8-10 of 2 Peter chapter 1. Peter says, "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he who lacks these things is shortsighted even to blindness, having forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Therefore brethren, be more diligent to make your calling an election sure, for if you these things you will never stumble. For so an entrance shall be supplied unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." If you do these things... What things? Well, the things that you've heard discussed on this program for the last several weeks.
Going back up to verse 5, Peter says, "But also for this very reason giving all diligence add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness love." Then he says, "For if these things are yours and abound, you will not be barren or unfruitful."
But go back to verse 5 again where Peter says, "But also for this very reason..." What reason? Well, the reasons that he has just described in the previous verses. Beginning at verse 2 he says, "Grace be unto you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord as His divine power has granted unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and virtue by which we have been given these exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the Divine Nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through love."
Peter speaks in verse 1 about those of like precious faith, those to whom he addressed this epistle and he points out to them that a part of this like precious faith is being blessed with the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and being given all things from God that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that called us, that is Jesus Christ, by His own glory and virtue and that we receive or become partakers of the Divine Nature as we have received these blessings from God and escaped the corruption that is in the world through love. Therefore, we are to add these Christian graces that he talks about in verses 5-7 and verses 8-11, if we do these things then there are promised blessings to be ours both here and hereafter.
But what if we don't do these things? What if we don't show our faith and add to it virtue and knowledge and self-control and the other graces that are there? Well with every "if" there is a condition and the condition here is if we do these things, then we will have an abundant entrance supplied unto us in the kingdom, the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The converse would be true if we did not do these things we will not receive an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Over in the book of James in James chapter 1 beginning about verse 21, James says, "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted Word which is able to save your souls and be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only deceiving your own self. If anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his face in a mirror, for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues therein and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the Word, this one will be blessed in his doing."
Well that's basically what Peter is telling us here in 2 Peter chapter 1 and that is after we obey the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have an obligation to continue in the faith and do those things that are well pleasing unto God and if we do not do them, we cannot expect God's approval.
There is a doctrine in the world, a rather pernicious doctrine in the religious world that states that once we're saved we're always saved and it doesn't make any difference what we do after that. That will not affect our eternal salvation in the least. But that, my friend, is not a true doctrine according to the scriptures. Peter here said that if we lack these Christian graces, then we are blind, shortsighted even unto blindness and have forgotten and we were cleansed from our old sin. If we leave these things off, we are not making our calling an election sure and we run the risk of stumbling to the point of falling and falling from the grace of God by which we are saved through His Son Jesus Christ. None of us want to find ourselves in that situation but if we have any hope at all of entering into the eternal kingdom of our Lord, we must first obey the gospel and second, we must maintain our faithfulness unto God.
In the book of Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 6, the writer says, "For without faith, it is impossible to be well pleasing unto God for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." We must be diligent in the faith in regards to seeking our Lord or we cannot expect the blessings of God to fall upon us here in this life and then in eternity when this life is through.
But I want us to go back for a moment and think about what it means to become a partaker of this like precious faith that Peter speaks of in verse 1. This same apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost following the ascension resurrection and ascension of our Lord into heaven, he and the other apostles had the Holy Spirit of God fall upon them inspiring them to preach and to teach for the first time the unsearchable riches of salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On that occasion, the apostle Peter spoke about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and said that that was in fulfillment of the prophecy that Joel had made back in Joel chapter 2, one of the Old Testament minor prophets. Then in verse 22 he says, "Men of Israel, hear these words." And Peter continued for some time to preach the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. He goes back and talks about the fact that Jesus had been put to death by the wicked and lawless hands of the Jews, how that He had been raised from the dead because it was not possible for death to overcome Him, and says that Jesus' resurrection from the dead was in fulfillment of the prophecies that were made through men like David. David was promised that one of his seed would sit on his throne forever. And Peter says in verse 29, "Men and brethren, let me speak to you freely, the Patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath with him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on His throne. He foreseeing this spoke of the resurrection of Christ that His soul was not left in Hades, neither did His soul see corruption." This Jesus God has raised up where we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God and having received of the Father, the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath now poured out this which you see in here for David did not ascend to the heavens, but the Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool." And then Peter concluded his sermon like this. He said, "Therefore that all the house of Israel know assuredly, that is believe with all confidence, that God hath made this same Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ." Peter's message was to emphasize to the Jews that Jesus is Lord and to provoke their faith in Christ as the Son of God, the crucified but now risen Redeemer who was sitting at God's right hand. When the Jews heard this, obviously they believed it because they said to Peter and the other apostles, "What shall we do?" Peter said to them, "You repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promises unto you and your children and all there afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call." And with many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, "Save yourselves from this perverse generation."
Now notice that Peter first emphasized the need for faith that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. He says, "Let all of the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made this same Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ." When those that were present in the audience expressed their faith by asking Peter and the other apostles, "What shall we do?" Jesus said, "You repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." Not because their sins have already been forgiven, but in order to have those sins forgiven and so they were to believe and then to repent and then to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness of their sins.
Now having received forgiveness of sins then, of course they were to lead a good and godly life according to the teaching of God's Word. In verse 41, it says, "And then those who gladly received His Word were baptized and they were added unto them that day about 3,000 souls. Look at verse 42. "And they continued steadfastly (steadfastly) in the apostle's teaching and in the fellowship and in the breaking of bread and the prayer." Being saved eternally means more than just at one point in your life professing faith in Christ. It means more than even being baptized into Christ, although that is an essential part. What it means to be a Christian is to obey the gospel initially and then to live faithfully all the days of one's life. Having done that, we can be promised an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But continuing steadfastly in the apostle's teaching is equivalent to adding these Christian graces in our lives and the other teachings that we find in the New Testament of our Lord.
But now we've mentioned that if we do not do these things, we will not be given an everlasting entrance into the kingdom of our Lord. The only other alternative is one that we just simply do not like to contemplate, but it's just as real as eternal life in Heaven and that is eternal condemnation in Hell. In Matthew chapter 25 when Jesus talked to the disciples and the audience there, He said that, "The righteous shall be parted to the right and hear the words of God. Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." But to those on the left, they heard the awful words, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Why did they receive that condemnation? Because they did not do the Will of God. In the last verse of Matthew chapter 25, verse 46, Jesus says, "These (that is those that were unfaithful) shall be cast aside into everlasting punishment, but the righteous (those that did the Will of God) will receive eternal life."
My friends, we plead with you this morning not to rest on your laurels of having once believed in the Lord and then you've done nothing with your life, but for you to come back to God and to live as though He is the most important thing in your life because He is. Once you get to Heaven you'll never regret any moment that you've spent in love and obedience to God. If you need help in learning more about how to obey the gospel or how to be restored or how to live the faithful life, we encourage you to contact the Kansas Expressway congregation through the information that is given to you in the closing credits of this program and they'll be glad to come and talk to you or have a Bible study with you or do whatever they can to assist you in knowing that your soul is the most precious possession that you have. We pray that you'll consider these things this morning as we've discussed them and that you'll add these Christian graces, that you'll live your life in love and peace and harmony with God and that finally Heaven will be your home.
(SONG # 3 - "Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart!")
As always it was great to have you join us this morning. I hope our time together has been uplifting and profitable to all. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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How wonderful the promise of Heaven is for all the faithful! Are you living your life in such a way that God will reward you with Eternal life some day?