THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-23-13
LESSON TITLE: “TRUTH SAVES.”
What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God’s Living Word. We welcome you to our program and we thank God that you have chosen to be with us today. We are excited about this opportunity we have together this morning to glorify our creator. 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 “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross!”
(SONG # 1)
Living in a world that is full of so many people, we are reminded every day how different everyone is. Think about how hard it is, at times, to get along with everyone and to overlook each others imperfections. Probably everyday, whether it is at home among family, at work among coworkers, or at school among peers, we are faced with getting upset about something that has been done to us or something that offends us in some way. Maybe the comments made are not even to us or about us, but still, they often bother us enough for us to put them in the back of our mind, so that we can remember them on a regular basis.
For the next few minutes we want to consider something that my wife has learned to be really good at - forgiveness. One of the most fundamental social principles found in the Bible is forgiveness. In fact, we can quote scripture after scripture that reminds us of the need to be a forgiving people.
However, we must remember that at the heart of it all, God was first willing to forgive. We must remember that God first gave His own Son to die on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Thus, we read, “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Ephesians 1:7. As Christians, we are not asked to be a forgiving people because we are special or different, but we are asked to forgive because God first forgave us. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Here we learn that the only way God will forgive us, is if we learn to forgive others.
The lesson of forgiveness is a hard one for us, but nevertheless it is important to understand because the “unforgiver” will not be forgiven. Paul put it well in Colossians 3:13, where he said, “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” We must be patient with each other in this life, realizing that we all have faults and shortcomings. So, we must learn to forgive others, as God has forgiven us.
Isn’t it the golden rule that adds another aspect to this study? “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” If we want to be forgiven by God and others, we must learn to be forgivers of others faults. This is the will of God.
Finally, let me ask you a question, “did Jesus have to be asked before He forgave others?” What about on the cross, Jesus was asking the father to forgive those who had not even asked for forgiveness yet. Are you striving to follow this example of Jesus? Or do you keep thinking, he or she never asked me for forgiveness or said they were sorry! Let’s learn to be better Christians, by learning to be more Christ-like. Isn’t that what Christianity is all about?
Today we will continue our study entitled, “I Say These Things That You May Be Saved.” Our specific topic of the day will deal with, “Truth Saves.” So please continue with us this morning and after our next song I will return with this lesson from God’s Word. It’s now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free, John 8:32. We are so glad you have continued with us this morning as we now go to God’s word and consider another lesson in our series from the statement of Jesus concerning salvation. For certainly it was Christ who told us things that we might know them in order to be saved. So, one such thing that we will consider today is truth and you might have noticed in what we have just read together a statement once again by Jesus Himself when He said and you shall know the truth and it shall make you free.
Now to think about then what these things really mean we have to understand what this freedom is all about. What freedom was Jesus offering in connection to this discussion of the truth? Well, one of the places we can go to understand this is over in the book of 1Timothy and there when Paul was speaking to that young evangelist in 1Timothy 2:4. You might notice what he says there in relationship to truth, he says there, “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Who? God. If you back up just a little bit it is talking about the grace of God, the good Will of God, and the fact that it is God who desires all men to be saved. Sounds very similar to what Peter once said according to the Holy Spirit; that God is not slack concerning His promises as some count slackness but is longsuffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. What does God want? All men to repent and be saved. How does he say here that we accomplish that? By a knowledge of truth. So, what part does truth play in salvation? Well, it gives us the ability to know God and to know the Will of God in order that we might be saved. You see salvation is a gift that is offered by God but there is something that we have to do in order to take the gift, even when someone gives you a gift there is an action required. You don’t just see that they offer it to you and then you don’t even reach out and take it, or you don’t open it, or you don’t say you just don’t want it. If you are to receive a gift you have to act in order to reach out, take it, open the gift, and then respond to the gift in some way.
So you see here that God certainly offers us the gift of salvation through grace but He wants us to know how we get there. How do I know about God? How do I know about His grace? How do I know about His Will? How do I know what He requires? By the truth of God, the knowledge of truth. Now what is the other side of that coin? Well, if you back up in the book of 2Thessalonians you might find it interesting in 2:10 of that book that he actually mentions this in relationship to the works of Satan. Verse 10 continues by saying, “And with all unrighteous deception among those who are perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” What does that mean? It means that if I am outside of God in sin and that is where all men are before they come to an obedience of God’s will to His grace, love, salvation, and His truth. If I am outside of God and I’m a follower of Satan therefore like it or not, and I have a desire to be saved he says specifically in verse 10 that we must develop a love of the truth. And that love of the truth he says helps us to be saved. Well, that is the part we play to know the truth. Doesn’t that just simply make clear sense and understanding in all things. For how could we obey a God, how could we even know about a salvation from God, how could we understand what the reward is all about if there were no truth that guides us unto salvation and helps us thus to be saved?
That being said Jesus clarifies, well, that the truth is the word of God. You might recall with me there back in the book of John, in fact specifically John 17:17, that Jesus proclaims something clearly as truth when He says, “Sanctify them by your truth, Your word is truth.” What is the word of God? What is truth? The word and the truth are one so when we go back and we think about well, what was Jesus called John 1, He was called the word and the word became flesh and dwelt among men. Why was Jesus the word? Because what He brought was the message of God, the good news of God unto salvation. You see the word, God’s word is truth for only the word of God is true enough to save mans soul. Back in Thessalonians we see another verse that really specifies the fact that word and truth are the same in connection to the things of God. 1Thessalonians 2:13 the Bible says, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of god which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God…” Well, what was he saying? He is saying that which saved them, the word of truth, was the word of God. So I really don’t think most people have a very difficult time understanding that the truth, the right, the understanding of what is right and wrong, knowledge, the truth of knowledge, through knowledge about knowledge is all where? In God and the word of God for there is no other book perfect like this book which completely furnishes us and gives us all we need. There is no other book as James says which is the perfect law of liberty; Jesus and His word as the Bible is. So therefore the word is truth.
Another aspect that I think helps with our discussion is also clarity that the Gospel is another way to specifically indicate truth or the word of God. Let’s look at a few verses so that you might understand that with me together. There in Ephesians 1, guess what it says there early on in that text, verse 13 specifically. After he has talked about salvation, the blood of Christ, and all those things that come through Jesus he then says this, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation…” What? “The word of truth, is the gospel of your salvation.” The good news, where else do I learn the good news of God’s saving grace except it be in His word which is the truth. The word the truth the Gospel all are clearly indicated as being those things which lead us to salvation and which will save us when we react and do our part by love Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments, that is obedience. By loving God enough to not only know truth, know word, know the Gospel but then to obey it. Also Paul similarly said something to the Colossian brethren there in Colossians 1:5 when he says this, “because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel…” Well, what is the gospel? It is the truth. What is the truth? It is the Gospel. What are the Gospel and truth? They are, as we know, the very word of God. And no wonder then we go to a text so similar or familiar to us, Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ…” The what? The Gospel, the good news of Christ. “…For it is the power of God unto salvation.” What is the power of God? Oh the Gospel is the power of God, right. But why would anyone want to distinguish that from truth or the word for they have to be one. God doesn’t give different books, He doesn’t give different words, He doesn’t give different truths unto salvation. It says there that God gave His word which is truth and which contains the good news, the Gospel, of Jesus Christ. No wonder then Paul would say in Galatians 1 that if he, or an angel from heaven, or any other man preach another gospel to you in fact he said there really is no other gospel than the one Gospel but if anyone preaches a different Gospel let him be accursed. Why? The Gospel is God’s word and God’s word alone. It is the alone truth from God which is able to save our souls and the souls of all who then will turn to God and obey God.
Do you notice the amount of scripture we are looking at today? I wanted to remind you of that because this is not something that we think from God’s word this is something that we know, for it has been declared that the word of God saves us which is His truth saves us. Which is in turn the Gospel which is the power unto salvation for it gives us the knowledge to be saved. How does it do that? Well, Peter helps us with that concept in 1Peter 1, when he actually speaks about the fact that we are able to purify our souls. Would you say God is pure? Yes. Would you say God is a pure heart or one of pure heart? Yes. Should we strive to have a pure heart? Yes, in fact in Matthew 5 Jesus said the pure heart will see God. So here notice what he says in 1Peter 1:22 he says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth…” Obeying what? Well, not the Gospel or the word but the truth. Guess what, they are all the same. The Gospel saves, the truth saves, the word saves. Within the same text after he says that this is what gives us a pure heart the ability to obey the truth he then says in verse 23, “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible through the word of God…” There he says we purify our souls by truth, we are born again by the word of God. Guess what he mentions down in verse 25, “Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”
How wonderful it is to see that God loved us enough not that we might have to guess or figure it out for ourselves but He loved us enough that we might be saved in, by, and through the word of God. How important is that word, that truth, that Gospel? Well, it is important enough to save us but how does that work? Well, if you look with me in John 12 we read there the significance of the word or the words of God which are truth in Gospel. It actually says there in verse 48, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” The word judges us in the last day. What are the words Jesus spoke? The next verse he says, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but to the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” The words Jesus spoke as the word was only of and from the Father by the authority of the Father. They therefore revealed truth for God’s word is truth and it gave us that same good news, that message that is able to save our souls from eternal damnation.
That is why brethren we need to be students of the word. That is why we need to diligently look into the pages of God’s word and find out what it is that He would have us to do and therefore obey it. It is not enough to just say well I think I know what God wants, and I think I know what He says, and I’ll try to figure it out. The Bible actually tells us there in 2Timothy 2:15 that we are to be those specifically who are diligent in the things of God yet who also rightly divide the word of truth. He says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.” They look to the truth, they look to the word, they look to the Gospel and they divide it or they discern it based on God’s Will, God’s message, God’s intent, God’s desire not their own. A servant of God, one who follows the word of God, is all about doing His will, abiding in His good will, abiding in the biddings that come from His precepts. We might also notice in the book of James, James clearly as he talks about the word of God, 1:21, says that we have the word which is able to save our souls. But after he mentions that word that is in our hearts, that has been implanted in us, and become a part of us, he then says verse 22, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” So, my challenge for us today is to understand that God has word; He has given us the truth and the Gospel which are one in the same. And as He has given those to us through His word the Bible, the perfect law of Liberty James 1:25, He thus gives us the opportunity to show our love for Him by obeying Him, loving Him enough to keep His commandments. Therefore our love for Him allows us to be seen as His children and to be found in His perfect grace. Not because we can earn salvation, or not because I am going to merit or be worthy enough of it but because He loves me enough through the word I show Him to give me what He has promised. Are you willing to live that way for God? Are you willing to obey the truth? Are you willing to follow it in all things so that you might have the blessings of God today and so that you might have that eternal home in heaven with Him on high?
(SONG # 3 - “Will Your Anchor Hold!”)
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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How blessed we are to have the perfect truth from God which is able to save our souls from eternal damnation. Have you fully obeyed the truth of God?