Program Air Date - 7-14-02



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. (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 "Savior From Old Galilee!" (SONG # 1)


When is the last time you caught yourself thinking about something that you shouldn't be? We all have a problem with this from time to time. Why, because one of the hardest things to control during our lives is our thoughts.

But why is this true? Probably because no one can see or hear what we are thinking. When we think things that are good or bad they usually are only known by the one thinking them. However, one thing we may have forgotten is God. God also knows our thoughts, even though we might think that we are able to think evil things in secret. It was because of this that we are encouraged as Christians to think on proper things. In Colossians 3:2, Paul said, "set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." You see, we are to think on those things that are good and godly, from above. We are not to think on evil or earthly things. Paul presented this same idea to the Philippians when he said, "finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things," chapter 4, verse 8.

Now, let's consider another reason why it is so important to think on the right things. The Bible also says, we are affected on the outside by what is going on, on the inside. To understand this better let's read Proverbs 23:7, there it says, "for as he thinks in his heart, so is he." If we choose to think on evil things of this world, then eventually it will affect who we are and what we do. Whether we like it or not, the way we are inside is what we will be like on the outside. Where are your thoughts focused today? On God and His Will or on earthly things which are contrary to what God wants? Choose today to set your minds and keep them, on those things which are from above! Today we want to consider a lesson together from God's Word answering the question, "What must I do to be Saved." How important it is for us to not only know that we need salvation, but what it takes to receive it! 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, "A Wonderful Savior."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Again, let me thank you for continuing with us today as we study God's Word at this time and go to the Bible and see what He has to say on Biblical topics. In fact, if you will look with me today, I want to look primarily at what must I do to be saved. And the reason is on our program here from time to time we have a lot of discussions about God, about things that God would have us to do. We just finished a series on prayer and sometimes we discuss the church and God's kingdom and just on and on we could go about the many topics that we've covered. We had just not too long ago a series on the family and different roles that we must play as family members before God, the Christian home. And as we discuss all of these things, we always need to come back to the same place, that's the beginning. What is it that causes an individual to be saved? Obviously there is something that is required for God to have taken the time and effort to not only send His son that He might die on the cross. That He might take the time and effort to reveal to us through scripture, that is the Word of God, to bring down to us that Word which is all inspired of God which we read in 2 Timothy 3, verses 16 and 17. Then to give us the ability to know all things that have been revealed through that Word. There has to be a plan. There has to be a pattern.

And this morning we want to look at that plan and pattern that actually would help you if you are not yet a Christian to know what God does require so that He might add you to His church. Not so that I can or that some church might add you to the role book, but so that God Himself might add you to His universal church, that is the church that He built.

In fact, in Matthew chapter 16 and verses 16 through 18, we read there that Jesus said, "I will build my church." In fact, He says that "He would give Peter the keys to that kingdom which was the church."

We could go on in a later reference there in the book of Mark. In fact, Mark chapter 9 and verse 1 there just at the Mount of Transfiguration as He was speaking to some of His disciples, He said that "some of them would not taste of death until the kingdom came." In fact, in Colossians 1 through about 13 through 18 we have a discussion about how that at that time since the church had been established that individuals would be taken out of darkness and put into the kingdom of His dear son, the kingdom of God, the church which is later mentioned in the same verses there, the body which it also is referred to. So as we talk about all these things, what is it that puts me into that family or that home or that kingdom, that church that God instituted and established, that He prophesied about and said some day it is coming, a time when there will be a new people, a new covenant that I will rise up according to a better sacrifice, that again being Jesus Christ.

Well, our story really begins in the book of Mark. There are some references again that are made there. In Mark chapter 16, in fact in verse 19 we see there that "the Lord makes His final ascension to sit down at the right hand of the Father." But before ascending we might remember there in a few verses earlier that He actually had given the great commission in Mark chapter 16, verses 15 through 16, that "they should go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature", and the concept that really they should make believers. In fact, specifically He says there, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved." So, we already begin to see there that Jesus was telling His disciples something required unto salvation. We see belief, baptism there, things that will cause one to be saved, cause one to do that which proves obedience as we might also say unto salvation.

Well, if you'll turn over with me also to the book of Acts chapter 1, we begin to see some of the same things unfold as it is spoken there in the first several verses and we are reminded about John the Baptist and about the preparation made for Jesus Christ. And in verses 7 and 8 we are referenced there to somewhat the authority of the Father that was given to the son, Jesus, but how then they were told, the disciples that is, to go into Jerusalem to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit that was coming and that it was coming not many days from then and it was after that again that He ascended into heaven to be at the right hand of God

The same thing that Mark was talking about earlier recording that brings us to the same place in our discussion because in Acts chapter 2 we see that that power did come. The power that again was prophesied about that would come some day and establish a new king, a new kingdom, Jesus Christ and His body, His kingdom, His church. Well here again we find it taking place in Acts chapter 2. In fact, notice the first gospel sermon that was being preached there by Peter and the others. In fact, in chapter 2 and verses 36 and 37, we might read those because it gives us an idea of what he had said to them. It says, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'" You see, in the essence of what he was saying was that the Jews that were there were guilty of crucifying the son of God. The Christ, notice it says there. The Son of God. Jesus. God in the flesh, as the Bible tells us. They had crucified Him and put Him on the cross according again to the will of the Father, the prophecy, the prophecy that tells us it had to be done.

As we read also in the book of Hebrews chapter 8 and chapters 9 also that the blood had to be shed by the perfect sacrifice to seal the covenant. The testator, Jesus Christ had to die. The Son of God. The most perfect blood that could have ever existed. God's Son in the flesh died so that you and I could be added to the church. But I want you to notice that when they found out that they had crucified Jesus and the blood had been shed, their reply was clear, "What shall we do?" "What shall we do?" They cried out. They even understood at that time that there surely had to be a response on their part, some type of an action or a proof that would show that they understood what they had done was wrong and they needed to correct it. They needed to do something to show God that again they loved Him since they had made the mistake of crucifying the Son of God.

Well as we continue on we see that there were many who asked the same question, "What shall we do?"

In fact, we could read from the book of Mark chapter 10 and verse 26 where His disciples said, "Who then can be saved?" In reference to the rich man, they were asking the question about salvation. "Who can be saved?" Well, we know there that Jesus said "it was hard for the rich man to be saved but really anyone who obeyed the will of the Father could be saved." Now what again is that obedience? Well we'll look at that further in just a moment.

In Luke chapter 3 and verse 10, the people there asked, "What shall we do?" as John preached to them. He told them to repent and be baptized. This was before the death of Christ. But even at that time they understood there was something required on their part. "What was my part," they asked, "to be saved?"

In Acts chapter 9 and verse 6, again Saul, Saul of Tarsus, the one who later was known as Paul the great man, the great worker of God, on the road to Damascus asked this question, "What will you have me to do?" In fact, we know later that he was told to go into the city there, to go and to see a man named Ananias and then Ananias would teach him all things, again that we will refer to later.

The Philippian jailor in Acts 16 and verse 30 also asked a similar question by saying, "What must or what shall I do to be saved?"

So in all of these situations the question over and over by those who hear the gospel of Christ, those who hear about God and they want to be a follower of God and they want God to know that they are truly obedient to Him. The first thing they always do is say, "What do we need to do? What is my part? What must I do? How do I receive the salvation that you are talking about?" Why would they respond in such a way? Why is it that we for the most part many have responded in that way? Well, because the Bible tells us just as they were told on the day of Pentecost that they were guilty of the blood of Jesus Christ. They had killed the Son of God.

Well today, what happens when we sin? Well the Old Testament writer tells us that our sin separates us from God. Romans 3:23 tells us that "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." SO if we all have sinned, we know that we must do something. When we sin, we separate ourselves from God and we bring the blood of Christ to an open shame. We are guilty of His blood in sinning and doing contrary to the Will of God. So again, we must ask the same question, "What must I do to be saved? What is my part? What do I have to do to respond to the gift that has been offered?" You know when anybody offers you a gift, they just don't sit it down and you never receive it. A gift must be received. Yes, God has offered salvation. He's offered things like grace and mercy and on and on we could go, but the gifts must be received. How do we receive them? How do we do our part in salvation? Well, let's see what the scripture has to say.

Obviously, we must begin at the elementary principle of knowing that the Word of God has been proclaimed. As they were told to preach the Word, the first thing someone had to do was to hear that Word, that Gospel that was proclaimed. We all must hear. Why? Because "faith comes by hearing," Romans 10 and verse 17.

The next thing obviously as we hear, we must do what? We must accept it. We must accept what we hear or believe it. We must begin to develop a belief, a faith if you will. Really a belief and faith is only separated in the fact that faith is demonstrated. It's the idea of believing something and then acting on it. So we must begin to believe in the things that we hear that yes, Jesus is the Son of God, that this is the Word of God and we must do something to be obedient to God. We must begin to believe those things and then to demonstrate those in faith or in an active way by showing forth faith in all of our lives. Well, we see that's true because "without faith, it is impossible to please our God," Hebrews 11 and verse 6.

But furthermore, we see a need to repent. The Bible many times mentions the idea of repentance. In fact, in the book of Luke 13 and 3, Jesus said, "Repent or perish." But I want you also to go back to Acts chapter 2 where we were earlier where they said, "What shall we do?" Notice the first thing that Peter replied with. He said, "Repent." Repentance is required because repentance means that I acknowledge that I am a sinner, in sin, outside of Christ and I must change or turn to God and leave those things behind, putting the old man away and focusing on Christ and becoming a new man as He also is a new creation.

Well then as we are told to repent, then what else is necessary? Well we've hear. We say that we must believe what we hear and begin to act on that belief producing faith, that we must understand the need to repent, acknowledge sin, turn away and change from it, to be more Christlike , leaving the old sinful ways behind. Confession is also mentioned. In fact, in Romans 10 verses 9 and 10, it says that "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." You see, I didn't say that with the mouth confession is made and then you are saved. It says, "Unto salvation." Confession is another important part, that if we want to be saved we must confess the name of Jesus Christ. The very same thing that they had done on the day of Pentecost when they were told, "You have crucified the very son of God, the one that the Father in heaven has made both Lord and Christ." He said, "You are guilty of crucifying Him." They believed it. Why? Because they responded immediately. They said, "What shall we do? What shall we do?" So they believed it. They made the great confession. They made that confession that Jesus is the Son of God.

But finally we see that there was something else added there in all the verses that we've looked at primarily. And we see in Mark 16 again and verse 16 that it says, "he that believeth and is baptized." But there again in Acts chapter 2 and verse 38, we see again the same idea, "Repent," and Peter went on to say, "Repent and be baptized." Why? He says there to "receive remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit." Don't you think that's why Ananias in Acts chapter 22 and verse 16 told Paul to arise and be baptized. What? To wash away his sins. You see, we probably for the most part all agree on the needs to repent and confess and to have a faith in God. But many of you would disagree on the need for baptism. But why was it that Jesus Christ Himself said, "Believe and be baptized." Why did Peter say according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "Repent and be baptized." Why did Paul say in Galatians 3 and verse 27, "For as many of you as have been baptized in to Christ have put on Christ." Why did Peter say in 1 Peter 3 and 21, "The like figure of salvation today for us is baptism just as Noah was saved by water, we are saved through our obedience in the act of baptism also by water."

Brethren, the fact is, friends this morning, there are things that we have to do unto salvation to become a child of God. The question you must ask is the same that we all have asked, "What must I do to be saved?" If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, why not today confess that before men that He is the Son of God and then acknowledge that as a sinner you must repent and turn away from sin to be Christlike, a new creature in Jesus Christ and then be buried with Him in baptism. Why? Because in Romans chapter 6, verses 3 and 4 "we must be buried as He was buried in the grave and we rise to be a new creature in Jesus Christ."

Have you put on your Lord and Savior through obedience in all the things that God has asked you to do to be saved? (SONG # 3 - "Give Me The Bible!")


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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May all mankind be satisfied with being saved God's Way, because why would anyone every choose the ways of man over the way of God?

(Program closing)