THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 6-28-15

LESSON TITLE: “STAND FAST IN THE FAITH.”

WELCOME

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING, LET ME WELCOME YOU TO THE PROGRAM. THE LIVING WORD IS A WORK OF OUR LORD, DEDICATED TO DOING GOD’S WILL IN HIS WAY! AS ALWAYS, IT WILL BE OUR PRIVILEGE TODAY TO SING SONGS OF PRAISE AND TO STUDY FROM HIS WORD. IN THESE ACTS OF WORSHIP, MAY WE ALL BE ENCOURAGED, BUT ULTIMATELY MAY WE EACH PRAISE GOD ACCORDING TO THE SACRIFICES TO OFFER TOWARD HIS THRONE. IT WILL ALSO BE OUR HONOR THIS MORNING TO SPEAK WITH GOD THROUGH PRAYER. WILL YOU BOW WITH ME AS WE TALK TO OUR CREATOR?

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY GREAT BLESSINGS OF LIFE - THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN AND TO BE SERVANTS IN YOUR KINGDOM. AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR JESUS AND THE SACRIFICE HE MADE THAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR SIGHT. AND FATHER, WE ASK THAT YOU'LL HELP US NOT ONLY TO LIVE PROPERLY IN THIS LIFE BUT TO LIVE IN SUCH A WAY THAT WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER WE'LL RECEIVE THAT GREAT PROMISED REWARD OF HEAVEN IN THE END. AGAIN FATHER, WE ARE THANKFUL THAT ALL THESE THINGS ARE ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH YOUR GRACE LOVE AND MERCY. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN

OUR FIRST SONG THIS MORNING REMINDS US OF THE FACT THAT WE HAVE SOMEONE WHO WE CAN FULLY TRUST IN AND WHO WE NEED TO OBEY! THAT SOMEONE IS OUR CREATOR, GOD. SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER THIS ENCOURAGING SONG, ITS NAME “TRUST AND OBEY.”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

ONE OF THE GREATEST LESSONS WHICH WE CAN LEARN FROM JESUS WAS HIS TRUE HUMILITY. THERE HE WAS, THE VERY SON OF GOD ON THIS EARTH. FURTHERMORE, HE WAS DEITY IN THE FLESH. BUT WHAT WAS IT THAT HE CONTINUALLY CHOSE TO DO? HE GLORIFIED HIS FATHER! HE PROCLAIMED “NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS BE DONE!” YOU SEE, JESUS NOT ONLY LOVED, RESPECTED AND REVERENCED HIS FATHER, HE ALSO HONORED, GAVE PRAISE TO AND GLORIFIED HIM. OH, WHAT A TRUE PICTURE OF SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE JESUS WAS, AND WHAT A GREAT LESSON WE CAN LEARN FROM THESE THINGS AS WELL.

I THINK THAT JOHN HELPS US UNDERSTAND THIS IDEA BETTER, AS HE ACTUALLY RECORDS FOR US THE WORDS OF JESUS IN HIS GOSPEL ACCOUNT. IN CHAPTER 12, VERSES 49-50, WE READ, “FOR I HAVE NOT SPOKEN ON MY OWN AUTHORITY; BUT THE FATHER WHO SENT ME GAVE ME A COMMAND, WHAT I SHOULD SAY AND WHAT I SHOULD SPEAK. AND I KNOW THAT HIS COMMAND IS EVERLASTING LIFE. THEREFORE, WHATEVER I SPEAK, JUST AS THE FATHER HAS TOLD ME, SO I SPEAK.” OUR LORD JESUS DID NOT COME TO DO HIS OWN WILL OR TO SPEAK HIS OWN WORDS, BUT WHAT HE WAS ALL ABOUT WAS THE WORK OF THE FATHER! NO DOUBT THIS IS WHY HE TOLD HIS MOTHER AT A VERY YOUNG AGE, “WOMAN, DON’T YOU KNOW THAT I MUST BE ABOUT MY FATHER’S BUSINESS?” CERTAINLY, JESUS KNEW HIS RESPONSIBILITY TO HIS GOD. HE DEFINITELY KNEW HIS DUTY TO THE FATHER ABOVE, AND HIS EVERY DESIRE AND EFFORT WAS TO ACCOMPLISH THE COMMANDED PURPOSE AT HAND!

BRETHREN, IF WE COULD ONLY LEARN TO HAVE A SIMILAR ATTITUDE AS JESUS. TO PUT OUR OWN WANTS, LIKES AND DESIRES ASIDE, AND TO DETERMINE TO HUMBLE OURSELVES COMPLETELY TO THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS REVEALED TO US THROUGH HIS WORD. WHAT A PRIVILEGE WE HAVE TO DO GOD’S WILL AND TO ACCOMPLISH IT ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE AND DESIRE. THE QUESTION FOR US ALL IS, WILL WE CHOOSE TO SPEAK THE WORDS OF THE FATHER AS JESUS DID? WILL WE BE WILLING TO FOLLOW THE ALMIGHTY’S COMMANDS, AGAIN AS JESUS DID? WILL WE COMMIT TO DOING ALL THE WILL OF GOD AS IT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US IN HIS OWN PRECIOUS WORD, THE BIBLE? JUST HOW MUCH WILL YOU CHOOSE TO HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD? TODAY, WE WILL CONTINUE OUR NEW SERIES OF STUDY ENTITLED, “STAND FAST IN THE LORD.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSONS THIS MORNING IS ENTITLED, “STAND FAST IN THE FAITH!” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US THIS MORNING AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, I WILL LEAD US IN OUR MAIN THOUGHTS OF THE DAY. NOW IT’S TIME TO JOIN IN OUR SECOND SONG, THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “VICTORY IN JESUS.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE SO GLAD YOU'VE CONTINUED WITH US THIS DAY AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND CONSIDER ANOTHER LESSON IN OUR SERIES. AS SOME OF YOU ALREADY KNOW WE HAVE TAKEN OUR SERIES FROM PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 4, AND THERE IN VERSE 1 THE VERSE SAYS, “THEREFORE, MY BELOVED AND LONGED FOR BRETHREN, MY JOY AND CROWN, SO STANDFAST IN THE LORD, BELOVED.” HERE PAUL IN A VERY ENDURING WAY SPEAKS TO THE BRETHREN AT PHILIPPI. AND AFTER MENTIONING TO THEM ABOUT THEIR CITIZENSHIP BEING IN HEAVEN AND THE FACT THAT THEY ARE CERTAINLY FAITHFUL CHILDREN OF GOD SHOWING FORTH THEIR LOVE, FOR NOT ONLY PAUL BUT OTHERS IN DOING CHRISTIAN ACTS AND GOOD DEEDS, HE CERTAINLY SPEAKS OF THE GREAT JOY, THE GREAT LOVE, THE GREAT CARE, AND CONCERN THAT HE HAS FOR THEM - AS HE CHALLENGES THEM TO STANDFAST OR FIRM IN THE LORD. AND SO THAT HAS BEEN OUR DISCUSSION THEN. WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO GO TO OTHER PLACES IN THE BIBLE AND LOOK AT WHERE THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO STAND FAST OR FIRM IN CERTAIN THINGS. BECAUSE THEN IF WE CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT STANDING FAST IN THE LORD IS, IT WILL HELP US ALL TO BE BETTER SERVANTS AND BETTER WORKERS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

THE VERSE THEN OF OUR CONSIDERATION TODAY, AT LEAST FOR A SPRINGBOARD IN OUR DISCUSSION, IS FOUND OVER IN THE BOOK OF CORINTHIANS - 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 16. AND IN THAT TEXT, IT'S A VERY SHORT TEXT, THAT WE REALLY GAIN OUR THOUGHTS FROM. BUT AGAIN, THIS SAME PHRASE IS USED TO STAND IN SOMETHING, WHICH MEANS STANDING IN THE LORD. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT VERSE 13 WITH ME, CONSIDER WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, “WATCH, STAND FAST IN THE FAITH, BE BRAVE, BE STRONG.” THIS IS AN INTERESTING TEXT ESPECIALLY EVEN FROM THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE. BECAUSE GENERALLY AS WE TRANSLATE FROM OTHER LANGUAGES WE DON'T NORMALLY HAVE ALWAYS THE SAME PERFECT ORDER THAT WE WOULD CONSIDER IN ENGLISH. IN OTHER WORDS, WE DON'T HAVE ALWAYS JUST A SUBJECT, AND THEN A VERB, AND THEN THINGS THAT MIGHT MODIFY OR MODIFIERS THAT MIGHT COME BEFORE A VERB OR EVEN A NOUN. SO WE DON'T ALWAYS SEE THAT ORDER AND SO A LOT OF TIMES IT'S TURNED AROUND IN DIFFERENT WAYS WHEN WE LOOK TO THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE. BUT AS WE LOOK TO THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE WHAT'S INTERESTING IN THIS TEXT IS THAT WE HAVE A VERB/VERB/PREPOSITION/ARTICLE/NOUN/VERB/VERB.

NOW, NUMBER ONE - YOU LOOK AT THAT AND YOU SAY WOW! THAT SENTENCE ISN'T A VERY GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT SENTENCE IN ENGLISH BECAUSE WE HAVE FIVE VERBS. FIVE VERBS - THE OBVIOUS FROM THE CONTEXT, THE SUBJECT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD. THE NOUN OR SUBJECT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD. BUT FIVE ACTION VERBS - FIVE VERBS TELLING US WHAT WE SHOULD DO. AND ONE OF THOSE VERBS ACTUALLY COMES WITH A PREPOSITION AND AN OBJECT OF THE PREPOSITION TELLING US THERE'S SOMETHING THAT WE DO WHEN WE STAND FIRM IN, WHAT WE SHOULD STAND FIRM IN. SO THAT'S WHY IT STANDS OUT.

AND WE MIGHT JUST BRIEFLY LOOK AT ALL OF THEM; THE IDEA THERE IN VERSE 13 OF BEING WATCHFUL - A VERB/ACTION MAKING SURE THAT WE'RE EVER EVIDENTLY LOOKING AROUND AND AWARE OF OUR SURROUNDINGS AND KNOWING THAT THE LORD WILL COME AND MAKING SURE THEY WE'RE LIVING AS WE OUGHT. WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK TO THE STANDFAST PART BUT THEN IT GOES TO BEING BRAVE IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE. IT'S KIND OF A INTERESTING WORD THERE BECAUSE IT'S SAYS BE A MAN. THAT'S ACTUALLY WHAT THE WORD MEANS - TO BE A MAN. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD SOMEBODY USE THAT STATEMENT BEFORE? STOP BEING A WIMP, BE A MAN. WELL, BE BRAVE. BE WILLING TO FACE WHAT YOU NEED TO FACE AS YOUR WATCHFUL, WATCHFUL FOR THE LORD'S COMING, AND WATCHFUL IN THE THINGS THAT GOD WOULD HAVE YOU TO DO. BE A MAN - BE STRONG IN WHAT YOU WOULD NEED TO DO ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD. AND STRENGTH IS THAT LAST VERB. BE STRONG OR STRENGTH IN THE LORD. AND THAT AGAIN INDICATES THE FACT THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE WILLING TO HAVE BOLDNESS AND POWER IN OUR ACTIONS. SO ALL OF THESE VERBS ARE IMPORTANT! THINK ABOUT WHAT BEING IN THE LORD MEANS; TO BE WATCHFUL, TO BE STRONG, TO BE BRAVE.

BUT THEN HE ALSO SAYS TO STANDFAST. AND THIS IS THE CASE WHERE HE ACTUALLY CONFIRMS WHAT WE SHOULD STANDFAST IN. AND THEREFORE HE SAYS STANDFAST OR FIRM IN THE FAITH - AND AS MANY OF YOU KNOW WHO WATCH THE PROGRAM ON A REGULAR BASIS, THAT THE IS IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE...IN THE FAITH...IN THE PESTOUO - THE IDEA OF THE SYSTEM OF FAITH - IT'S NOT JUST THE IDEA OF FAITH OR A GENERAL FAITH OR THE IDEA OF MAYBE A BELIEF. IT IS THE FAITH! A SPECIFIC FAITH! A DELIVERED FAITH! NOW, YOU MIGHT SAY WELL, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT? WELL, I THINK THE BOOK OF JUDE HELPS US WITH THAT SAME DISCUSSION. IF YOU'LL GO THERE TO THE BOOK OF JUDE. OF COURSE THERE IS ONLY ONE CHAPTER IN JUDE BUT IN VERSE 3 IN THAT BOOK NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS THERE AFTER HE SPEAKS ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE WISHES HE COULD'VE JUST WRITTEN TO THEM A GENERAL ENCOURAGING EPISTLE ABOUT THEIR COMMON SALVATION. BUT THEN HE SAYS THIS AT THE LATTER PART OF VERSE THREE, “I FOUND IT NECESSARY TO WRITE TO YOU EXHORTING YOU TO CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE FOR ALL DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS.” THE FAITH THAT HAS BEEN DELIVERED; THE SYSTEM OF FAITH. THE FAITH WHAT? THAT JESUS SHED HIS BLOOD TO SEAL IN AND TO THE CHURCH THAT IS GIVEN TO US IN THE BIBLE. THAT FAITH! THE FAITH THAT TELLS ME HOW TO LIVE AND HOW TO HAVE MY BEING AND HOW TO USE MY MOUTH. THE FAITH THAT DEMONSTRATES TO THE WORLD HOW MUCH I LOVE GOD BECAUSE THEY SEE BY FAITH I OBEY GOD AND WHAT I DO AND SAY GLORIFIES MY GOD. YOU SEE, THE SYSTEM OF FAITH - THE BIBLE DOES TEACH THE IDEA OF A SYSTEM OF A SINGULAR FAITH WHICH ONLY COMES FROM GOD.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT FAITH ENTAILS? HOW DO I KNOW WHAT THAT SYSTEM INVOLVES? THERE'S ONLY ONE GUIDE, ONE BLUEPRINT THAT GOD GIVES US AND THAT'S THE BIBLE. SO IF I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT FAITH I NEED TO GO TO THE BIBLE AND LEARN WHAT FAITH IS. AND I DON'T KNOW OF REALLY A BETTER TEXT OR CHAPTER TO LOOK AT THAN THE GREAT FAITH CHAPTER. IF YOU'LL TURN OVER WITH ME THERE IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS CHAPTER 11 AND IT'S HERE WITHIN HEBREWS CHAPTER 11, THAT GREAT FAITH CHAPTER ,THAT WE HAVE REALLY A WHOLE HOST OF INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE NAMED AS BEING THOSE - WHO BY FAITH - DID CERTAIN THINGS AND PROVED THEMSELVES THEREFORE WORTHY BEFORE THEIR GOD. BUT I WANT YOU TO NOTICE A FEW THINGS AS WELL THIS TEXT DOES FOR US. THE FIRST THING I WANT YOU NOTICE THERE IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 11 - IS THAT IN VERSE 6 IT TELLS US THAT FAITH IS A REQUIREMENT. IN FACT, VERSE 6 SAYS, “BUT WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM,” GOD. YOU HAVE TO HAVE FAITH. YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT FAITH IS, WHAT THE SYSTEM OF FAITH IS THAT GOD REQUIRES, AND THEN YOU HAVE TO SHOW FORTH FAITH. THERE HAS TO BE A FAITHFULNESS. HOW DO WE KNOW THAT? BECAUSE OF THE EXAMPLES WE HAVE HERE. BY FAITH THEY DID SOMETHING; THEY RESPONDED TO THE LOVE OF GOD IN AN OBEDIENT WAY TO DO WHAT? TO PROVE THAT THEY LOVED GOD.

YOU SEE, GOD HAS SHOWN US HE'S TRUSTWORTHY. HE CAN BE COUNTED ON, THAT HE LOVES US. AND HE'S SHOWN US THAT BECAUSE OF ALL THAT IS DONE AND CONTINUES TO DO IN EACH OF OUR LIVES. AND THEN WHAT DOES HE ASK OF US? HE SAYS IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WILL KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. ISN'T THAT WHAT JESUS SAID IN JOHN 14:15? DO WE LOVE JESUS THAT MUCH? IS THAT NOT FAITH? KNOWING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, KNOWING THE SYSTEM OF GOD, KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD, AND THE FAITH OF GOD, AND THEN ACTING UPON THAT BELIEF AND PROVING TO GOD THAT BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT WE LOVE HIM, FOR HE CAN SEE IT AND THE WORLD CAN SEE IT. HE CAN HEAR IT IN OUR VOICES AND OUR MOUTHS AND THE WORDS WE USE AND THE WORLD CAN HEAR IT IN OUR VOICES AND OUR MOUTHS AND IN THE WORDS THAT WE USE.

BUT THERE'S A SECOND SIGNIFICANT THING WE FIND IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 11 AND THAT IS SPECIFICALLY THE IDEA OF WHAT FAITH IS. THERE IN VERSE 1, AND I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THIS TO BE ONE OF THE BEST BIBLICAL DEFINITIONS. IT MAY NOT BE A WEBSTER DEFINITION OF FAITH BUT IT TELLS US WHAT FAITH IS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. I DON'T KNOW OF A BETTER AUTHOR THAN GOD HIMSELF. AND SO IT SAYS, “FAITH IS.” NOT WHAT FAITH MIGHT BE...FAITH IS! HAVE YOU EVER GONE TO THE DICTIONARY AND NOTICED THAT A LOT OF THOSE START OUT BY THIS IS? THAT IS? FAITH IS! IS WHAT? IT, “IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR.” IT IS THAT WHICH WE KNOW GOD HAS SAID AND PROMISED THROUGH HIS WORD AND WE HAVE HOPE AND CONFIDENCE THAT IT WILL BE TRUE. WE TRUST HIM AND WE KNOW WE CAN COUNT ON HIM FOR HE DOES NOT LIE AND HE HAS ALL POWER TO ACCOMPLISH THE WILL HE HAS DETERMINED. SO IT IS THE SUBSTANCE. IT IS THAT WHICH I CAN HOLD ON TO - THAT I'M HOPING FOR - ALTHOUGH MAYBE I'VE NEVER SEEN HEAVEN AND ALTHOUGH MAYBE I'VE NEVER SEEN CERTAIN THINGS, I BELIEVE AND I OBEY WHAT GOD SAYS PROVING MY FAITH. SO IT IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS THAT I'M HOPING AND LONGING FOR, THOSE THINGS THAT ARE REALLY THINGS I CAN HAVE GREAT CONFIDENCE IN.

BUT THEN THE SECOND PART HE SAYS IS, “THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN.” HAVE YOU EVER LITERALLY SEEN GOD IN THE FLESH. NO, WE DIDN'T LIVE BACK IN THAT DAY. WE DIDN'T SEE JESUS BUT WE BELIEVE, BY FAITH WE BELIEVE. AND HAVE YOU EVER ACTUALLY SEEN THE MAN MOSES? DID YOU EVER SEE JOHN THE IMMERSER? DID YOU EVER SEE PAUL THE APOSTLE? DID YOU EVER MEET THOSE MEN? WELL, WE MIGHT SAY - WELL, WE CAN SEE THEM IN THE BIBLE AND WE CAN SEE THEM FROM A HISTORICAL STANDPOINT BEING INDIVIDUALS WHO LIVED. AND THAT MIGHT BE TRUE BUT WE DID NOT EVER ACTUALLY SEE THEM WITH OUR OWN EYES OR BEHOLD THEM - AND BY FAITH WE BELIEVE. WE BELIEVE THAT THOSE THINGS HAPPENED AS THEY ARE SAID. IT'S AMAZING TO ME THAT PEOPLE HAVE A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING THAT CONCEPT IN A RELIGIOUS SENSE BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IT ALL THE TIME IN A SECULAR SENSE. YOU'LL GO TO A HISTORY BOOK AND THE HISTORY BOOK WILL TELL YOU THAT ON THIS DAY, ON THIS DATE AT THIS TIME A CERTAIN EVENT TOOK PLACE; A CERTAIN WAR, A CERTAIN ACTION, A CERTAIN COMMENT AND WE SAY OH, WELL THAT'S THE GOSPEL TRUTH SO TO SPEAK OR THAT'S THE NEWS THAT WE CAN'T GO AGAINST. WE KNOW IT'S TRUE. WE DO THAT EVERYDAY WITH THINGS THAT ARE OF THE SECULAR NATURE - WHY NOT OF GOD? BY FAITH WE BELIEVE. BY FAITH I BELIEVE GOD FORMED THE WORLD AND SAID LET THERE BE LIGHT AND THERE WAS LIGHT. THAT'S ACTUALLY WHAT HE STARTS OUT WITH, ONE OF THE EXAMPLES, GOD THE CREATOR. WE WEREN'T THERE BUT WE BELIEVE BY FAITH.

SO YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE FAITH. YOU'VE GOT TO KNOW THAT SYSTEM OF FAITH. BUT THEN WE WHAT FINALLY WANT TO LOOK AT HERE THIS MORNING IS THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE TO ACT ON FAITH AND THERE'S NO GREATER EXAMPLE THAN THOSE GIVEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT HERE THROUGH THE HEBREW WRITER. BECAUSE IF YOU'LL NOTICE WITH ME HE BEGINS WITH ABEL, THE FIRST CHILD THAT WAS BORN INTO THIS WORLD AND MAN WHO PROVED HIMSELF TO BE FAITHFUL OF ADAM AND EVE. IF YOU'LL NOTICE THERE IT SAYS NOT THAT ABEL WAS A FAITHFUL GUY AND IT DOESN'T SAY THAT ABEL WAS SOMEBODY WHO LOVED GOD. IT DOESN'T SAY THOSE THINGS ALTHOUGH WE KNOW THOSE THINGS TO BE TRUE, IT ACTUALLY SAYS, “BY FAITH ABEL OFFERED.” THERE'S A VERB AGAIN...BY FAITH. BY FAITH - BY PESTOUO - HE OFFERED. OFFERED WHAT? HE OFFERED OBEDIENCE TO THE PLAN OF GOD, A MORE PERFECT SACRIFICE. WE GO DOWN NEXT TO VERSE 5, ENOCH BY FAITH, ENOCH WAS TAKEN AWAY. WHY? BECAUSE HE HAD A TESTIMONY THAT PLEASED GOD. DID HE PROVE HIMSELF BEFORE GOD? WHY DID GOD FEEL THAT HE HAD A GOOD TESTIMONY? HE WAS OBEDIENT. IN FACT, IF WE GO BACK TO THE BOOK OF GENESIS CHAPTER 5, YOU KNOW WHAT IT TELLS US? ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD. HE WAS SOMEBODY WHO PROVED HIMSELF WORTHY BECAUSE BY FAITH HE DIDN'T JUST BELIEVE IT. HE DIDN'T JUST SAY YEAH, I KNOW THAT'S WHAT GOD WANTS. HE WAS WALKING IN THAT OBEDIENCE. FAITH, THE SYSTEM OF FAITH THAT GOD HAD DELIVERED TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM. NOAH IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE. “NOAH, BEING DIVINELY WARNED,” BY FAITH, IT SAYS PREPARED AN ARK. HE MADE AN ARK. HE BUILT THE ARK - AN ACTION. AN ACTION THAT WAS REQUIRED AND ACCOMPLISHED. ABRAHAM IS MENTIONED. OTHERS LIKE MOSES ARE MENTIONED.

AND WE CAN GO THROUGHOUT ALL OF THESE EXAMPLES AND GUESS WHAT WE CONTINUE TO SEE? BY FAITH THEY DID CERTAIN THINGS THAT GOD HAD TOLD THEM TO PROVE THEIR LOVE TO GOD. OR ONE WAY THAT WE MIGHT ACTUALLY SAY IT IS TO PROVE THEIR FAITH TO GOD. BY FAITH THEY PROVED THEIR FAITH. HOW DID THEY PROVE THEIR FAITH TO GOD? THEY PROVED THEIR FAITH TO GOD BY DOING WHAT GOD COMMANDED. I LIKE THE WAY THAT JAMES PUTS IT. HE SPENDS A GREAT DEAL OF TIME IN JAMES CHAPTER 2 TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. NOT THAT WE ARE SAVED BY WORKS OR JUSTIFIED BY WORKS BECAUSE WE CAN'T MERIT OUR SALVATION. BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEY'RE NOT REQUIRED AS A PART OF FAITH - THAT THEY ARE NOT COMMANDED AS A PART OF FAITH, AND THEREFORE I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS IN VERSE 18. THIS IS THE STATEMENT THAT HE MAKES IN RELATIONSHIP TO ONE WHO IS TRYING TO SHOW FAITH OR TRYING TO SHOW WORKS. HE SAYS THIS, “BUT SOMEONE WILL SAY, ‘YOU HAVE FAITH, AND I HAVE WORKS.’” HE THEN SAYS YOU, “SHOW ME YOUR FAITH WITHOUT YOUR WORKS, AND I WILL SHOW YOU MY FAITH BY MY WORKS.” HOW DOES GOD KNOW? HOW DOES THE WORLD KNOW THAT I LOVE GOD? THEY SEE IT! THEY HEAR IT! BY FAITH -YOU SHOW ME YOUR FAITH ALL YOU WANT BY DOING NOTHING FOR GOD AND CLAIMING THAT IT DOESN'T MATTER AND HE'S GONNA SAVE YOU ANYWAY. YOU KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO? I WANT TO LOVE MY GOD AND OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS AND I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU BY OBEYING HIS COMMANDMENTS THOSE WORKS - THAT I LOVE HIM AND THAT I HAVE PROPER FAITH.

YOU KNOW, THAT KIND OF TO ME HOPEFULLY BRINGS ALL THAT WE BEGAN WITH THIS MORNING TO A FULL CIRCLE. WHERE WE SAW ALL THESE ACTION VERBS THERE IN 1 CORINTHIANS 16:13. AND IT KEPT TALKING ABOUT THOSE WHO NEED TO BE WATCHFUL AND THOSE WHO NEED TO BE BRAVE AND THOSE WHO NEED TO BE STRONG AND THOSE WHO NEED TO STAND FIRM OR FAST IN FAITH. DO YOU SEE WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT? IT'S ALL ABOUT WATCHING AND KNOWING WHAT GOD WANTS AND ACCOMPLISHING THAT TASK. THE QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY - ARE YOU DOING WHAT GOD COMMANDS? ARE YOU OBEYING THE PLAN THAT HE GAVE ACCORDING TO HIS SYSTEM OF FAITH THAT WAS ONCE DELIVERED FOR ALL - JUDE CHAPTER 1:3. AND ARE YOU ACCOMPLISHING THAT TASK IN A WAY THAT PROVES NOT ONLY TO GOD BUT THE WORLD, WHO NEEDS TO KNOW GOD, WHAT TRUE FAITH AND LOVE IS IN YOUR CREATOR? IF SO, PRAISE BE TO GOD. IF NOT, WHY NOT REPENT OF YOUR SIN TODAY. WHY NOT GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT. WHY NOT EVEN CONFESS THE NAME OF JESUS IF YOU'RE NOT YET A CHRISTIAN AND REPENT OF SIN, AS WELL, AND ALSO BE BURIED WITH YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR IN BAPTISM THAT YOU MIGHT BE ADDED BY GOD HIMSELF TO THE CHURCH. AND THAT YOU MIGHT BEGIN TO STAND FAST IN THE FAITH AS ALL THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND WHO CARE ABOUT HIS COMMANDMENTS. WON'T YOU GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT TODAY AND MAKE SURE THAT GOD COMES FIRST IN ALL THINGS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

CLOSING COMMENTS

LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY, IN THIS OFFERING TO GOD. I KNOW 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 SERVICE OF GOD!

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THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THE OPPORTUNITY OF FAITH, WHICH WE HAVE THROUGH THE PRECIOUS MESSAGE OF JESUS CHRIST. HAVE YOU BEEN OBEDIENT TO THE GOSPEL? ARE YOU LIVING ACCORDING TO PROPER FAITH?