THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-28-09
LESSON TITLE: “WHO IS GOD? GOD’S PLAN TO REDEEM MAN”
What a wonderful Lord’s Day it is, as we again gather together before the throne of God to Worship our Maker! We are so happy that you have chosen to be with us today and to give this time to the Lord. In fact, it is our privilege to be with you every Sunday morning, as we consider together, God’s Living Word.
It is my hope and prayer today that we are all uplifted in our fellowship together. Furthermore, I pray that we will glorify and praise our Creator in these acts of Worship which we participate in collectively as those who love God.
As we begin our homage to God on this day, will you bow with me in prayer!
How blessed we are to have the privilege to Worship our God in song this day. Our first hymn of the day focuses on a wondrous place which the faithful will someday go to and spend eternal life. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Home Of The Soul?”
(SONG # 1)
There are many sobering commands from God which we are required to follow. Thankfully, God tells us that His laws are not burdensome to those who love Him and desire to follow His Will. However, it is still a challenge to do our best and to get things right in His sight.
One command from God which is a great privilege and opportunity is that of worship. How sobering it is for us all to consider the responsibility we have been entrusted with in Worshiping our God and Creator. But why do I say sobering? Because the Bible tells us that not all worship is acceptable to our God. In fact, Jesus confirmed this very point in Matthew 15:9, there we read, “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” You see there is worship being done by many in life that is actually unacceptable and vain in the eyes of God! And why? Because it is according to the doctrines of man and not God.
With these things in mind, I am also reminded of what our Lord said in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” You see it isn’t enough to know God, to love Him, or to simply call His name. There is definitely more to it. So what then is needed to be pleasing to God? Well, let’s return to the same passage in Luke 6; guess what Jesus adds to His previous statement? In verse 47, the Lord said, “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like.” Did you catch the main point? We need to not only hear but to do! Are you a doer of God’s Will, as He commands and in His way? Faithfulness and obedience are the only options is we are to be truly pleasing to our Creator.
So are you satisfied with doing God’s Will in His Way? Are you a true worshipper of God as the Bible mentions in John 4:24? Do you worship your God in spirit and in truth?
Today we are happy to have brother Kevin Patterson with us as our guest speaker. Brother Kevin is the minister for the Hwy 13 Church of Christ in Bolivar, Missouri. We are glad he is with us and thankful that he will be leading us in our lesson of the morning at the appropriate time.
As far as our study concerning “Who is God?” today we will consider, “God’s Plan To Redeem Man!” So stay with us and after our next song together, brother Kevin will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “I Am Thine Oh Lord.”
(SONG # 2)
By Kevin Patterson
I bring you greetings this fine Lord’s Day morning from the Highway 13 church of Christ in Bolivar, Missouri. If any of you are ever up our way, we want to encourage you to stop by the church building which is located on the West side of Bolivar’s Highway 13. We meet on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings and we want to encourage you to come by and worship God with us.
Over the past several weeks we’ve been studying the overall theme “Who Is God?” and we’ve done this by examining the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This week we are going to turn our attention to “God’s Plan For Redeeming Man.”
We often use words in religion assuming that those who hear us understand what it is that we are talking about; words like repentance, confession, remission, and even the word salvation are often used under the assumption that the people who hear us will know the meanings of these words.
Well the word “redemption” is also like some of these. We often use it in Bible studies and in sermons that are preached in front of large numbers of people. Sometimes we forget that some people might not understand what this word means. So this morning I want us to start off by taking a look at the word “redemption” and how it is defined. It is defined as “the payment of an obligation, the purchase back of something that has been lost or the payment of a ransom.”
One might ask, “What payment was made?”, and “What was it that was lost in the first place?” Well to answer those questions we’re going to start in the beginning and I am being very literal when I say “the very beginning.” Genesis 1:1 teaches us, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Just a few days later on day 6 of creation, God created man and woman. We read in Genesis 1:26 and 27 that, “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image according to our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image. In the image of God, He created them, male and female. He created them.” Do you remember that God had created a literal paradise on earth, something called a “Garden of Eden?” It was there that we read in Genesis 2:15-17 that God put man into the middle of this garden and He gave them some rules. He said, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and to keep it, and the Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” Well we remember where the story goes. The serpent tempts Adam and Eve and we read in chapter 3 and verse 6 that the woman saw that the tree was good for food and it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise. She took of it fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband and he ate.
Thus we have a command. Don’t eat the fruit! And we have the disobedience of the command. They ate the fruit. As a result, sin entered into the world. And sin as it is defined in the Bible in 1 John chapter 3 and verse 4 is lawlessness. It is a transgression of the law. The word “transgress” means to go against and so sin is going against the law of God. When God tells us to do something and we don’t do it, we sin. When God tells us not to do something and we do it, we sin. Whenever we go against the law of God, we sin.
Well we read in the scriptures in Romans chapter 5 and verse 12 that the actions of Adam and Eve were far reaching. We read, “Therefore just as through one man’s sin entered the world and death through sin and thus death spread to all men because all sin.” This is related to the two passages of scripture: Romans 3:23 which teaches us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23 that teaches us that there are consequences to our sin, and there are consequences to this falling short of the glory of God and that is the price or the payment of sin which is death. Well, what kind of death took place? Well we recognize back in the Garden of Eden that a physical death did immediately begin. In that, Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden. Why is that? Well because there was a second tree that was present in the Garden of Eden and that was the Tree of Life. It is from this tree that Adam and Eve were able to eat and live forever. You see, God never intended for man to die in any way, but certainly He recognized in Genesis 3:22-24 that once they sinned they had to be removed from this other tree. We read that the Lord God said, “Behold the man has become like one of us to know good and evil and now lest he put out his hand and take also of the Tree of Life and eat and live forever.” “Therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man and He placed cherubim at the East of the Garden of Eden and a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the Tree of Life.”
They were not only removed from the Garden of Eden which caused them to enter into a slow physical death, but they were also spiritually separated from God in that this sin created a wall between them and the Father, between them and the close relationship they had had with God in the garden. We see that we also suffer the consequences of spiritual death when we sin just like those who have gone before us.
In 2 Peter chapter 2 verses 4-9 the apostle Peter wrote, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned but case them down to Hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment and did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly and delivered righteous Lot who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked, for that righteous man dwelling among them tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds, then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the Day of Judgment.” What is going to happen to the unjust on that Day of Judgment? What is going to happen to the sinner when this world comes to an end?
We read in Revelation 21 and verse 8 that those sinners are going to find a punishment. They are going to find a consequence for their actions. “Those sinners such as the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death.”
Matthew 13 verses 41-42 Jesus said that, “Those who practice lawlessness will be cast into a furnace of fire. There will be weeping or wailing and gnashing of teeth.” This is going to be a place, this second death, this lake that burns with fire and brimstone, this terrible place of punishment is going to be an agonizing existence and it is one that is going to continue forever. There are many in our religious world who do not believe in an eternal punishment. They believe that if you are a bad person in this life, then when you die you are going to be like Rover. You are dead all over. Well that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches in Matthew 25 and verse 41, “To the wicked, then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me you cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” So everyone who ever has sinned was and is destined to an eternity separated from God and not just separate but away from Him, away from Heaven, away from the presence of His goodness and into a place of eternal conscious punishment. We’re in bad shape unless a plan can be devised to save us. Believe it or not, the moment mankind first sinned; God introduced the plan through which He would save us.
We go all the way back to Genesis 3 and verse 15 where we read just after Adam and Eve sinned, just after we find them disobeying God, transgressing against His law, we see that there are going to be consequences for the man. There is going to be consequences for the woman. But then God speaks to the serpent and says that there will be consequences for him, too. He mentions something. He says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” One translation says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” In other words, Satan is going to have an impact on this world. There is much sin in this world. There is much godlessness in this world. Satan has made inroads into our lives, but as a result He is saying, “You may have won the battle, but you’re not going to win the war because there are going to be people who are going to follow you but there is going to come one from the seed of Eve whom the world will be saved through.”
I want you to consider that. I want you to consider what Paul said to the church at Rome in Romans 16 and verse 20 that, “The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”
How did God bring about this victory over Satan? How will God bring about this victory over Satan in our lives since we have sinned, since we have fallen short of the glory of God and since the wages of our sin is death, the payoff of the price or consequence of our sin is this eternal punishment? How is God going to bring about victory in our lives? Well the answer is really simple. Once again we go back to the Old Testament because we see God’s plan of redemption starting to unfold when He approaches a 99 year old man by the name of Abraham. “Abram was 99 years old,” as we read in Genesis 17:1-7 “and the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God. Walk before Me and be blameless and I will make my covenant between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly.’ Then Abram fell on his face and God talked with him saying, ‘As for Me, behold my covenant is with you. You shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be Abram but your name shall be Abraham for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you and the kings shall come from you and I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant to you and your descendants after you.”
We often remember when Abraham and his wife, some ten years his junior, learned of the news of this, we always remember that Sara laughed. Well guess what. Abraham also laughed in Genesis 17 and 17. He fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is 100 years old, and shall Sara who is 90 years old bear a child?” Well we know that they did and after the son, Isaac, was born God made that promise to him in Genesis 22:18. He said, “In your seed…” Now remember that Abraham is a seed or offspring of Eve. He says to Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed my voice.”
In Genesis 26 and verse 4 to Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sara, God repeats that promise. He says, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”
One of Isaac’s sons, Jacob, God repeats the same promise to him as well in Genesis 28:13-14 when he says, “Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth and you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south and in you and in your seed all of the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
In the days of Moses, God did not forget the promise He had made to the descendants of Abraham. He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as Exodus 2:24 reads. And He taught them in passages like 20 and verse 24 that they were to make altar sacrifices because of their sin. Now recognize that this was obedience to God when they did this, but the blood of animals could not permanently and once and for all take care of the problem of sin. But we do see examples such as we find in Leviticus 16 verses 21-22 a good example for a New Testament application and that is the example of the scapegoat where Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities or the sin of the children of Israel and all their transgressions concerning all their sins putting them on the head of the goat and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land and he shall release the goat into the wilderness.”
You remember our definition of redemption? The payment of an obligation, the purchase back of something that had been lost, the payment of a ransom. Well we read in Galatians chapter 4 verses 4-5 that, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born unto the law to redeem, to buy back, those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Why was Jesus a greater sacrifice than animals? Because Jesus never sinned.
We read in Hebrews 4 and verse 15 that, “Jesus was tempted in all ways, as we are, yet without sin.”
In Luke 23 and verse 33 we read that, “Jesus was led to a place called Calvary and He was crucified.”
In John 19:30 the last words that Jesus uttered were the words, “it is finished.”
Why? Well the answer is found in a song we often sing: “What Can Wash Away My Sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!” You see, “We are not redeemed with corruptible things,” 1 Peter 1:18-19 teaches, “like silver or gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
You see, the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Jesus paid the debts that we could never pay. He redeemed us. He gave us the opportunity to live. Won’t you live for Him today?
(SONG # 3 - “I Know That My Redeemer Lives!”)
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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How blessed we are to have a God who has provided for us Redemption! The question is however, will we respond to His gift and do our part to have life eternal. Choose today to say yes in all things to God!