THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 6-8-14

LESSON TITLE: “CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.THE HEBREW WRITER PROCLAIMED, “SEEING THEN THAT WE HAVE A GREAT HIGH PRIEST… LET US HOLD FAST OUR CONFESSION!” DO YOU KNOW THIS HIGH PRIEST TODAY?

GREETINGS TO ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. LET ME THANK EACH OF YOU FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING - WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM. TODAY WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO ONCE AGAIN ASSEMBLE BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD. IN THIS TIME OF WORSHIP WE WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SING SONGS OF PRAISE AND TO STUDY FROM HIS WORD. MAY WE EACH DO OUR PART IN PRAISING GOD ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, AS WE MAKE THESE SACRIFICES AND OFFERING TOWARD HIS THRONE. NOW AS WE BEGIN TALKING TO OUR GOD, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME IN PRAYER!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU FOR THIS DAY AND EVERY DAY OF LIFE. WE THANK YOU FOR ALL BLESSINGS OF LIFE, ALL PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL THINGS. FOR FATHER, WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS COME FROM YOU. FATHER, WE THANK YOU MOST OF ALL FOR THE GREAT GIFT OF YOUR SON JESUS AND THE SACRIFICE HE MADE. THAT HE PURCHASE THE CHURCH, THAT HE MIGHT SHED HIS BLOOD AND GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY OF FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND THAT WE MIGHT HAVE, AS WELL, THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE. MAY WE THEREFORE LIVE EVERY DAY, THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE THESE GREAT BLESSINGS AND REWARDS THROUGH YOUR GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

WHAT A GREAT BLESSING AND PRIVILEGE IT IS FOR US TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRAISE AND MAGNIFY OUR GOD. IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, I LOVE TO SING AND ACCOMPLISH GOD’S WILL AS WE TEACH AND ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER. BUT ULTIMATELY, HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO HAVE THIS AVENUE TO WORSHIP OUR GOD. SO THIS MORNING, LET’S BEGIN WITH A SONG WHICH REMINDS US OF THE WONDROUS THINGS AWAITING THE FAITHFUL WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER. WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

I FIND IT VERY INTERESTING TO SEE THAT MANY COMPARISONS THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS USE TO THOSE THINGS OF OLD. IN FACT, WE SEE MEN LIKE PAUL CONTINUALLY COMPARING THE LITERAL THINGS OF THE OLD LAW, TO THE NEW AND BETTER THINGS OF THE NEW LAW!

ONE SUCH REFERENCE IS MADE BY THE HEBREW WRITER IN CHAPTER 5, VERSES 5 AND 6, OF THAT BOOK. THERE WE READ, “SO ALSO CHRIST DID NOT GLORIFY HIMSELF TO BECOME HIGH PRIEST, BUT IT WAS HE WHO SAID TO HIM: "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.” AS HE ALSO SAYS IN ANOTHER PLACE: “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” CHRIST IN A SPIRITUAL SINCE IS OUR HIGH PRIEST TODAY, JUST AS AARON AND MELCHIZEDEK WERE LITERAL HIGH PRIEST OF OLD!

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO US AS CHRISTIANS? WELL, LET’S READ ANOTHER VERSE BACK IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 4. VERSES 14 AND 15 SAY, “SEEING THEN THAT WE HAVE A GREAT HIGH PRIEST WHO HAS PASSED THROUGH THE HEAVENS, JESUS THE SON OF GOD, LET US HOLD FAST OUR CONFESSION. FOR WE DO NOT HAVE A HIGH PRIEST WHO CANNOT SYMPATHIZE WITH OUR WEAKNESSES, BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN.” PRAISE BE TO GOD THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR HIGH PRIEST, WHO TRULY KNOWS ABOUT OUR SUFFERINGS AND TRIALS IN THIS LIFE? AND WHY, BECAUSE HE HIMSELF ALSO, LIVED AS US, SUFFERED AND ENDURED THESE SAME TEMPTATIONS. HOWEVER, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS, WHEN CHRIST WAS TEMPTED HE ENDURED AND SINNED NOT! WHAT ABOUT US, IS THIS HOW WE RESPOND TO TRIALS AND TEMPTATION. DO WE LOOK TO GOD FOR HELP AND ENDURE WITHOUT SINNING? MAY WE ALWAYS LEARN FROM THE GREAT EXAMPLE WE HAVE IN OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. ALTHOUGH WE CAN NOT BE PERFECT AS HE WAS, WE CAN AT LEAST BE COMPLETE BEFORE HIM. WHICH MEANS, KNOWING HIS WILL, DOING IT AND PUTTING OUR GOD FIRST IN ALL THINGS. WHAT TYPE OF RESPONSE ARE YOU GIVING TO JESUS, THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU AND HAS SHOWN YOU SO. ARE YOU SERVING YOUR GOD, BY FOLLOWING AND OBEYING OUR HIGH PRIEST?

AS FAR AS OUR MAIN STUDY THIS MORNING, WE WILL BE CONTINUING OUR SERIES OF STUDY ENTITLED, “CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE MORNING WILL DEAL WITH, “CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS?” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, I WILL BE LEADING US IN THIS INTERESTING STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW LET’S AGAIN JOIN TOGETHER IN SONG, AS WE SING THE HYMN, “TIS SO SWEET TO TRUST IN JESUS!”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

“BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU.” WE'RE SO GLAD THAT YOU'VE CONTINUED WITH US THIS MORNING AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND LOOK SPECIFICALLY AT ANOTHER LESSON CONCERNING THE FACT THAT WE ARE CREATED IN THE VERY IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD ALMIGHTY. AND SO AS YOU ALREADY KNOW, THOSE OF YOU WHO TUNE IN EVERY WEEK, WE'RE TRYING TO LOOK AT DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD, WHICH CERTAINLY THEREFORE, WE ARE CREATED IN HIS IMAGE TO DO LIKE HIM OR TO REALLY IMITATE HIM.

SO THIS MORNING, AS YOU CAN ALREADY TELL THROUGH THE FIRST VERSE THAT I READ, PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST FAMILIAR VERSES FOUND IN THE BIBLE AND SPECIFICALLY WITHIN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, THAT BEAUTIFUL STATEMENT OF JESUS WHERE HE SAID AGAIN BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. WE LOVE THAT LAST PART THAT SAYS WELL, ALL THESE THINGS ARE GOING TO BE ADDED TO YOU. BUT DID YOU NOTICE WHAT WE ARE TO SEEK? WE ARE TO SEEK GOD'S KINGDOM. WELL, IF WE ARE TO SEEK IT THAT MUST MEAN THAT IT IS AVAILABLE. IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE CAN FIND. CERTAINLY, GOD WOULD NOT ASK US TO SEEK FOR SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT AVAILABLE OR THAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND. AND SO HE CHALLENGES THEM TO SEEK THE KINGDOM, THE KINGDOM THAT HE SAYS "I WILL BUILD" IN MATTHEW 6. THE KINGDOM THAT DID COME TO FRUITION IN ACTS CHAPTER 2.

BUT THE SECOND PART OF THAT IS ALSO INTERESTING, BECAUSE IT'S NOT ONLY THE KINGDOM OF GOD, BUT IT'S REALLY ABOUT THE FOUNDATION OF THAT KINGDOM. AND WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD? WELL, IT IS GOD HIMSELF. BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD. BUT SEEK FIRST HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO FOCUS ON TODAY. SEEKING THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. CREATED IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE IMAGE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. WELL, THAT'S CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT IS EASY TO PROVE FROM SCRIPTURE BECAUSE WE ALREADY SEE THAT, EVEN WITHIN THIS STATEMENT, IT IS DECLARING THAT JESUS HIMSELF IS THE RIGHTEOUS ONE. HE IS RIGHTEOUS, AND THEREFORE, WHAT DO WE SEEK? HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

ANOTHER VERSE THAT I BELIEVE HELPS US REALLY WELL WITH THIS IS FOUND OVER IN THE BOOK OF JOHN. AND YOU MIGHT NOTICE WITH ME THERE IN 1JOHN AND CHAPTER 3 SEVERAL TIMES AS HE'S TALKING ABOUT SIN AND LAWLESSNESS AND WHAT IT IS THAT WE ARE TO CHOOSE IN RELATIONSHIP TO SIN AND LAWLESSNESS OR GOD, PURITY, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS, FOR INSTANCE, IN VERSE SEVEN OF CHAPTER 3. THE BIBLE SAYS, “LITTLE CHILDREN, LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU. HE WHO PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, JUST AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS.” OH WOW, WE LEARN TWO BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS TRUTHS HERE.

THE FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO START WITH IS THE LATTER. HE IS RIGHTEOUS. SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD. GOD IS RIGHTEOUS, WHICH MEANS HE IS RIGHT, HE IS TRUE, HE IS PURE, HE IS TRUSTWORTHY, HE CAN BE COUNTED ON. OUR GOD IS A PERFECT AND A COMPLETE GOD. THEREFORE, HE IS RIGHTEOUS WHICH THIS TEXT SAYS IS THE OPPOSITE OF SIN AND LAWLESSNESS. SO IF WE THINK ABOUT WHAT SIN AND LAWLESSNESS IS; ALL THAT IS WRONG, ALL THAT IS EVIL, AND ALL THAT IS WICKED. THEN RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THAT WHICH IS RIGHT. ALL THAT IS GOOD. ALL THAT IS PURE. ALL THAT IS HOLY, AS WE SAW LAST WEEK. YOU SEE, GOD IS RIGHTEOUS. BUT WHAT ARE WE THEN CHALLENGED TO DO, KNOWING THAT GOD IS A RIGHTEOUS GOD? THE SAME TRUTH AS WE FOUND WHEN WE LOOKED AT HIS HOLINESS. GOD SAID, BE HOLY FOR WHAT? I AM HOLY. AND WHAT DOES THIS TEXT SAY? IT SAYS BE RIGHTEOUS FOR I AM RIGHTEOUS. THAT'S EXACTLY WHY EARLIER THERE IN VERSE SEVEN HE SAYS HE WHO PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS. YOU SEE, WHEN WE ACT RIGHT, WHEN WE FOLLOW, PURITY, AND WHEN WE FOLLOW THAT WHICH IS HOLY AND GOOD, WE ARE PERCEIVED AS THAT. THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE SEE. THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE HEAR.

NOW WHAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO DO WITH ME THOUGH IS TO SEE EVEN FURTHER ABOUT THIS CONCEPT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOW WE CHOOSE TO SERVE THAT WHICH IS EITHER RIGHT OR WRONG. THERE IN VERSE 10 IN THE SAME TEXT HE GOES ON TO SAY THIS AFTER HE SAYS THAT WE HAVE BEEN BORN OF GOD AND THEREFORE THOSE WHO ARE BORN OF GOD, IN VERSE 9, STRIVE NOT TO SIN. HE SAYS THIS IN VERSE 10, “IN THIS THEN YOU ARE CHILDREN OF GOD AND THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL ARE ALSO MANIFEST. WHOEVER THEN DOES NOT PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD. NOR IS HE WHO DOES LOVE HIS BROTHER.” DID YOU NOTICE THAT STATEMENT? HE'S TALKING ABOUT SIN AND WICKEDNESS, HE'S TALKING ABOUT RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THAT WHICH IS OF GOD AND PERFECT AND HE SAYS THOSE WHO ARE OF THE DEVIL ARE NOT RIGHTEOUS, WHICH MEANS THEY ARE WHAT? UNRIGHTEOUS. ISN'T IT JOHN THAT CLARIFIES THERE THE FACT THAT ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN OR CONTRARY TO THE WILL OF GOD. WHY? BECAUSE IT IS OF THE DEVIL. BUT HERE WE READ EVEN FURTHER THAT IT'S THE OPPOSITE OF GOD, FOR GOD IS RIGHTEOUS. THEREFORE, KNOWING THAT GOD IS RIGHTEOUS, WE MUST STRIVE OURSELVES TO BE RIGHTEOUS AND TO PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS. WHY? BECAUSE WE ARE BORN OF GOD.

IN FACT, THERE IN THE SAME TEXT IN VERSE EIGHT, IT SAYS, “FOR GOD IS RIGHTEOUS THEREFORE, KNOWING THAT GOD IS RIGHTEOUS. WE MUST STRIVE OURSELVES TO BE RIGHTEOUS AND TO PRACTICE RIGHTEOUS. WHY? BECAUSE WE ARE BORN OF GOD. IN FACT, THERE IN THE SAME TEXT IN VERSE 8, IS SAYS WE ARE SONS OF GOD, WE FOLLOW, THE SON OF GOD. WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD AS THIS TEXT SAYS IF YOU BACK UP IN VERSE 2. SO IF I WANT TO BE A CHILD OF GOD,. I'VE GOT TO STRIVE TO IMITATE THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF MY FATHER. THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF MY LORD AND BROTHER JESUS CHRIST. I NEED TO IMITATE AS NOT ONLY A CHILD BUT AS A BROTHER IN CHRIST. I NEED TO TRY TO IMITATE AS ONE WHO CERTAINLY LOVES MY GOD, THAT I AM WILLING TO SUBMIT TO THE CHARACTERISTIC OF BEING RIGHT AND RIGHTEOUS IN MY LIFE. AND ALTHOUGH I MIGHT NOT BE PERFECT, I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO ALWAYS BE SOMEONE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN, I MUST ALWAYS TURN BACK TO GOD AND STAY WITHIN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR HE IS RIGHTEOUS. IF I WANT TO BE ACCEPTABLE, IF I WANT TO BE APPROVED OF BY HIM, I MUST BE RIGHTEOUS.

ANOTHER REASON THAT I THINK IS SO INTERESTING IS FOUND IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 1 CONCERNING WHY IT IS THAT WE SHOULD BE RIGHTEOUS IS FOUND THERE IN THAT TEXT. SPECIFICALLY, LET'S LOOK TOGETHER AT VERSE 9 WHERE SOME STATEMENTS ARE BEING MADE BY GOD THE FATHER CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST, WHERE HE IS ALREADY STATED IN VERSE 8 THAT JESUS IS HIS GOD. WELL, JESUS IS GOD THE SAME WAY THE FATHER IS AND SO AS JESUS SAID THE FATHER IS GOD, GOD THE FATHER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT JESUS IS GOD. NO WONDER JESUS IS RIGHTEOUS. NO WONDER GOD IS RIGHTEOUS AND PERFECT. THEY ARE ONE IN THE SAME. BUT I WANT YOU TO NOTICE HERE IN VERSE 9 THAT HE GOES ON TO SAY THAT GOD, THAT IS SPECIFICALLY JESUS, THE ONE WHO HOLDS THE SCEPTER, LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS. NOW, WHY IS THAT? WELL, BACKUP WITH ME NOW TO VERSE 8 RIGHT AFTER HE SAYS, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD,” AS HE'S TALKING ABOUT JESUS, “IS FOREVER AND EVER; A SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SCEPTER OF YOUR KINGDOM.” THE RULERS STAFF, THAT WHICH IS IN YOUR HAND IS RIGHTEOUSNESS. DID YOU NOTICE HOW BEAUTIFUL THAT IS? DID YOU NOTICE HOW HE SAYS THE SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS IN YOUR HAND OVER YOUR KINGDOM. IS THAT NOT WHAT WE ARE READING IN THE WORDS OF JESUS BACK IN MATTHEW EARLIER AS WE LOOK THERE AT CHAPTER 6 IN VERSE 33? SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

NOW WE LEARN THAT THE SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS IN THE HAND OF JESUS AS HE REIGNS OVER THAT KINGDOM AS HE LEAVES THE PEOPLE OF HIS KINGDOM. THEREFORE, IT SAYS HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THEN HE DEFINES FOR US AGAIN IN THE SENSE OF WHAT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BY TELLING US WHAT IT'S NOT. HE SAYS HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATES LAWLESSNESS. SO AS JOHN ALSO INDICATED IN 1JOHN, WE READ A MOMENT AGO CHAPTER 3 THAT LAWLESSNESS IS SIN. LAWLESSNESS IS THE OPPOSITE OF GOD AND THEREFORE A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO UNDERSTAND IT IS THAT LAWLESSNESS IS UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, AND EVERYTHING CONTRARY TO WHAT GOD IS. BUT GOD IS EVERYTHING ABOUT LAW, THE LAWGIVER, THE LAW PROVIDER, AND EVEN THE RIGHTEOUS ONE. SO GOD LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS. NOW, WHAT THAT SHOULD TEACH US IS THAT, AS GOD IS RIGHTEOUS AND AS HE IS A LOVER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHAT IS GOING TO MAKE GOD LOVE US EVEN MORE? WHAT IS GOING TO MAKE GOD FEEL LIKE WE'RE SUBMISSIVE IN HIS KINGDOM, WHICH HE REIGNS OVER WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS? WHEN WE CHOOSE TO BE NOT ONLY RECIPIENTS BUT WE CHOOSE TO BE SUBJECTS OF GOD, WHO ARE IMITATING AND FOLLOWING HIS PLAN OF LAW. WHICH INCLUDES ULTIMATELY THIS BEAUTIFUL CONCEPT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH CERTAINLY JUSTIFIES AND MAKES US IN THE SIGHT OF GOD WHAT WE SHOULD BE. THEREFORE, RECIPIENTS, AS WE'VE MADE MENTION, OF WHAT? HIS GRACE, HIS MERCY, HIS LOVE, HIS CARE, HIS PROTECTION. THERE ARE ALSO SOME OTHER ASPECTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BUT I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WITH ME AND REALLY THE APPLICATION OF WHAT RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL DO AND CAN ACCOMPLISH IN OUR LIVES. IF YOU'LL TURN OVER TO A FAMILIAR TEXT OF JAMES CHAPTER 5, YOU'LL NOTICE WITH ME HERE THAT JAMES IS ACTUALLY DEALING WITH THE DISCUSSION OF PRAYER. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING THAT HE SAYS ABOUT THOSE WHO PRAY AND THE REQUESTS THAT THEY MAKE. HE FIRST MAKES THE STATEMENT IN VERSE 16 OF JAMES 5, “CONFESS YOUR TRESPASSES TO ONE ANOTHER, AND PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER. THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED.” AND THEN HE SAYS, “THE EFFECTIVE, FERVANT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILS MUCH.” YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF PRAYER IS HEARD BY GOD? THE RIGHTEOUS PRAYER. WHY IS THAT? BECAUSE THE RIGHTEOUS ONE IS SEEKING AFTER GOD AND HIS KINGDOM, FOR HE IS RIGHTEOUS. NOW, WHAT DOES THAT TELL US IN RESPONSE TO ONE WHO IS UNRIGHTEOUS? DOES GOD HEAR THE PRAYER OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS? WELL, GOD MIGHT HAVE THE ABILITY TO KNOW OR TO HEAR ALL THINGS BUT THE THING WE'RE REALLY ASKING IS, IS GOD ABLE TO HEAR AND THEN DOES HE ANSWER AND RESPOND TO THE PRAYER OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS IN RELATIONSHIP OF BLESSING THEM IF THEY'RE NOT SERVING GOD AS THEY SHOULD. WELL, WE MIGHT SAY THAT HE MIGHT RESPOND TO A PRAYER THAT SOMEONE WHO IS UNRIGHTEOUS MAKES AND THEIR DESIRE IN THEIR HEARTS OF KNOWING THE TRUTH OF GOD. WE MIGHT CERTAINLY KNOW THAT GOD IS GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT TAKES PLACE. BUT IN RELATIONSHIP TO JUST SOMEONE SAYING WELL, I KIND OF PLAY CHURCH, AND I KIND OF PLAY GOD, AND I'M GONNA PRAY THAT GOD WILL HEAR ME. IT SAYS HERE THAT THE RIGHTEOUS MAN'S PRAYER IS THAT WHICH AVAILS. IT DOESN'T JUST AVAIL A LITTLE BIT, BUT THAT FERVANT PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILS A WHOLE LOT, MUCH. THAT MEANS WE CAN KNOW THAT GOD NOT ONLY HEARS OUR PRAYERS BUT HE WILL MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO HAVE WHAT WE NEED. TO EVEN HAVE THE REQUEST WHICH WE HAVE MADE.

THERE IN THE BOOK OF JOHN HE DEALS WITH A LOT AS WELL ONCE AGAIN WITH THIS CONCEPT OF OUR PRAYERS AND OUR PRAYERS BEING HEARD AND GOD MAKING SURE THAT WHEN WE ASK OF CERTAIN THINGS THAT HE WILL DELIVER OR GIVE US WHAT WE HAVE MADE PETITION OF. WELL, WHY? BECAUSE HE LOVES US AND BECAUSE HE IS RIGHTEOUS AND, AS THOSE WHO SEEK HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND STRIVE TO BE RIGHTEOUS AS CHILDREN, HE CARES FOR US, HEARS OUR PRAYERS, AND ANSWERS THEM.

NOW I WANT TO LOOK OVER IN THE BOOK OF CORINTHIANS, SPECIFICALLY 2 CORINTHIANS 9, AND HERE YOU WILL NOTICE WITH ME RIGHT AFTER HE TALKS ABOUT THE IDEA OF BEING THOSE WHO ARE GOOD GIVERS, NOT GRUDGINGLY BUT CHEERFUL GIVERS, AND TO MAKE SURE THAT WE UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN WE GIVE A LOT, THAT WE GET A LOT AND WHEN WE GIVE LITTLE, WE GET A LITTLE. YOU KNOW, WE BASICALLY REAP ACCORDING TO WHAT WE SOW IS WHAT HE SAYS. BUT THERE IN VERSE 9 HE ACTUALLY QUOTES SOMETHING TO REITERATE WHAT WAS FOUND IN PSALM 112. AND HERE'S WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS IN 2CORINTHIANS 9:9, “IT IS WRITTEN HE WAS DISBURSED ABROAD. HE HAS GIVEN TO THE POOR AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.” YOU KNOW, IF I'M GOING TO LOOK SOMEWHERE TO PUT MY HOPES AND TRUST AND FAITH, I WANT TO LOOK FOR SOMETHING THAT IS ETERNAL.

YOU KNOW, A LOT OF MEN WILL LOOK TO THE THINGS OF THIS EARTH AND CERTAINLY THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT ARE PLEASURABLE OF THIS EARTH AND WE MIGHT DESIRE TO FOLLOW THEM AND HAVE THEM. BUT, WE KNOW THEY ARE PASSING AND WE KNOW THAT SOMETIMES THEY'RE EVEN TEMPORARY AS WE ARE ON THE EARTH AND WE MIGHT HAVE THEM FOR A LITTLE TIME AND THEN THEY BREAK DOWN OR WE NO LONGER HAVE THEM. THINGS HAPPEN BUT GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER. IT'S NOT LIKE WE HAVE TO WONDER WILL GOD ALWAYS BE RIGHTEOUS? WILL HE ALWAYS BE A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE? WILL HE ALWAYS BE A RIGHTEOUS PROVIDER? WILL HE ALWAYS? WELL, YOU SEE, THE FACT IS GOD IS AND CAN BE AND WHY? BECAUSE HE IS GLORIOUS. HE IS WONDERFUL AND AS WE LEARN HERE, HE AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, HE AND HIS KINGDOM ENDURE FOREVER. THAT'S THE KINGDOM I WANT TO BE A PART OF. THAT ONE THAT WILL SOMEDAY BE HANDED BACK TO THE FATHER AS WE LEARN THERE AGAIN IN FIRST CORINTHIANS 15, DELIVER BACK TO THE FATHER IN THE END THAT WE MIGHT LIVE WHAT? IN THAT KINGDOM OF GOD ETERNALLY. BUT NOT ONLY THAT, BUT KNOWING THAT AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS NOW, THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE THOSE WHO ARE RIGHTEOUS EVEN THEN, AS WE ENJOY THE REWARDS OF ETERNAL LIFE. THEN I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WITH ME ALSO WHAT IS SAID OVER IN 2TIMOTHY, BECAUSE THAT TAKES US INTO A LITTLE BIT OF A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE ETERNAL REWARD, NOT JUST THAT JESUS' RIGHTEOUSNESS IS ETERNAL, BUT OUR ETERNAL REWARD BECAUSE OF THE CONNECTION THAT WE HAVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THAT WHICH IS OF GOD. LOOK THERE WITH ME IF YOU WILL AT WHAT PAUL TOLD TIMOTHY BEGINNING IN VERSE 6 OF 2TIMOTHY 4. “FOR I AM READY TO BE POURED OUT AS A DRINK OFFERING IN THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE IS AT HAND, AND I HAVE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, AND I HAVE FINISHED THE RACE, AND I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH, AND FINALLY THERE'S LAID UP FOR ME THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” THERE IT IS. WHAT KIND OF CROWN? THE CROWN THAT IS TRUE. THE CROWN AND SELF THAT DECLARES THE VERY TRUE THINGS AND THE TRUTH OF GOD ITSELF. THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS WHAT WE WILL WEAR WHICH THE LORD, NOTICE THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE WILL GIVE ME ON THAT DAY, AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT ALSO TO ALL WHO HAVE LOVED HIS APPEARING.

DO YOU SEE THE CHALLENGE BEFORE US? WE CAN RECEIVE THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, WHICH IS ETERNAL RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE. BUT NOT ONLY TO US BUT TO ALL WHO LOVE GOD AND SERVE HIM. AND WE KNOW THAT TO BE THE CASE BECAUSE THERE IN VERSE 8 AT THE END IT SAYS, “THOSE WHO HAVE LOVED HIS APPEARING.” HOW DO WE SHOW THAT WE LOVE GOD? JESUS SAID, “IF YOU LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.” DO YOU LOVE THE APPEARING OF THE LORD? NOT ONLY APPEARING THAT HE IS ACCOMPLISHED ALREADY IN THE WAY THAT HE CAME AND DIED AND SHED HIS BLOOD AND ESTABLISHED A CHURCH, BUT THE APPEARING THAT WILL COME IN THAT DAY OF JUDGMENT. THAT'S WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT HERE. IF YOU LOVE THAT DAY AND YOU WANT TO RECEIVE THAT RIGHTEOUS CROWN KNOW THAT THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE WILL GIVE YOU THE CROWN IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SERVE HIM AND DO HIS WILL. IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SEEK HIS KINGDOM FIRST AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, YES, ALL THINGS WILL BE ADDED TO YOU. NOT ONLY IN THIS LIFE BUT ULTIMATELY IN THE LIFE TO COME.

CLOSING COMMENTS

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PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR HIS PERFECTION AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. MAY WE THEREFORE STRIVE TO BE RIGHTEOUS AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS! FOR ONLY THE RIGHTEOUS ARE FOUND WELL PLEASING IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. ARE YOU STRIVING TO BE RIGHTEOUS TODAY?

OUR PRAYER IS TO HELP THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT GOD THROUGH THIS TELEVISION PROGRAM. THE LIVING WORD HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU UNDER THE OVERSIGHT OF THE ELDERS OF THE KANSAS EXPRESSWAY CHURCH OF CHRIST IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI

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