THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
PROGRAM AIR DATE: JULY 2, 2006
LESSON TITLE: "GOD'S TRUTH: BELIEVE AND OBEY THE TRUTH"
Paul once said, "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints," 1 Corinthians 14:33. How wonderful it is to come before our God of peace on this wondrous Lord's day.
So let me say good morning, and thanks for joining us for the study of God's Living Word on this His special day! We are glad you have put God first today and that you have decided to give this time to Him. It will be our privilege this morning to sing songs of praise, to study His precious Word, and to approach the throne of God in prayer. So, at this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me please!
Let's begin immediately with our songs of praise. Our first song of the morning reminds us of the directions we must go in this life. So won't you do your part in worship to Him at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Stepping In The Light!"
(SONG # 1)
I love the passages in the Bible that remind us of the nature of God. This morning we already mentioned that our God is a God of peace. In fact, the Bible tells us that God offers to us a peace that surpasses understanding, Philippians 4:7.
However, I think that many often misuse or twist this idea of God's peace or strive to use it in a way in which God never intended. For example, the religious world today talks a lot about God's peace and the need for unity. These are certainly Biblical ideas and things which God proclaimed. However, most go so far as to suggest that this peace and unity must be achieved at any cost! That doesn't at all seem to add up with what Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-36, there we read, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household."
So what on earth is Jesus talking about here. Well, Jesus says that he wants peace and unity, but not at any cost. God must come first, and His commandments must be obeyed, whether our friends, family, or church are teaching what is right or not. Remember what our savior also said in Matthew 6:33, "seek first the kingdom of God!" Here we have a direct command, no confusion, no exceptions, no wiggle room, for if God said it we must obey - no matter what!
Is this the type of love, honor and respect which you show God? Or do you put your opinions, or the relationship which you have with others before Christ. Maybe you need to ask the question of yourself which Jesus asked, "Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul," Matthew 16:26? There is nothing on this earth or in this world, which is worth loosing our souls over. Whether possessions, relationships, or even desires, there is nothing we should put before our God and His perfect Will!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson topic today, we will be continuing our series entitled, "God's Truth." The specific lesson of the day will focus on our need to, "Believe and Obey The Truth!" So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes I will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "The Old Rugged Cross."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
For several weeks now we've been looking at the study together of God's truth. We've been able to find out what truth is as we looked into the scriptures and found out that the Bible says that God's Word is truth (John 17:17). Certainly John chapter 12 as well confirms for us that Jesus Christ came to this earth and all that He spoke, all that He did was directly from the Father. Nothing was His own Will. So therefore, all that we heard from Jesus was the Will and Word of the Father. That's why no doubt in John 14:6 that we as well learn that Jesus was not only the way, but the truth. You see, God's Word is truth and Jesus is the truth because He presented the Word of God and when He presented the Word of God on this earth to man, He did so that we might have what? Freedom. That's the idea that we as well looked at last week as we read there in John 8:32 that "it is through the truth that we are made free." Today, it's wonderful to know that as those who love God, who desire to know His Will and who realize that if we obey it, that we will be saved, to understand that it is the truth of God that has been given to us, that has been revealed that we might know the Will and obey and that we might be free from sin.
You might notice with me as well that we looked at together there several weeks ago in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 13 where it mentions there this. "In Him you also trusted after you heard the Word of Truth." It also says, "the gospel of your salvation, in whom you believe." We have there the idea once again of this Word of God being the gospel, saying "the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation." The same good news (Romans 1:16) that we have salvation through. The same good news or gospel that we can preach none other than the one gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). So as we look at the truth, we look at the gospel of God. We look at the Word of God. We consider the very same thing and we find together then why it was a man like Paul to the Galatian church who said that "he would not even for an hour, even for an hour submit but rather preach the truth of the gospel of Christ." We find that there in Galatians chapter 2 and verse 5.
You see the truth is something to be preached. It is something to be proclaimed. It is something that can be known and followed (1 Timothy chapter 2, verses 3-4). And if you and I are those who are willing then to know it and to obey it and follow it, what do we find? We find again that we are those who are recipients of God's blessings and as well, recipients of eternal life.
Read with me if you will then from 1 Timothy 2 and there beginning in verse 3 the Bible says, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved..." Now God wants all men to be saved. We're saved by the gospel. But what does he go on to say here? "...That wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." You see what we're talking about in our series is of the utmost importance because it is tied directly to His Word, His Will, His Gospel, and salvation. In fact, it means the very same. It is the same as knowing God or understanding the Will of God because of that which He gave to us. This is God's Truth. How else would we know Him? How else would we know where we come from? How else would we know who our God is or what He's done or the sacrifice that Jesus made by the Truth, the Word of God, the Gospel, the Good News that saves us. So yes, God gave us His Truth and He gave it that we might be free unto salvation.
But today, we want to focus just a little bit more on the need to believe and to obey. You know we cannot separate the concept of truth with not only understanding that we think it's right or we believe it with an obedience. It is often what we find happening in the religious world that many will separate somehow belief and the idea of action or works or belief and obedience. The reality is the Bible clearly teaches us that they must go hand in hand. God sees our faith, sees our belief, not in what we say, but in what we do, in our actions, in the proofs. As we consider these things together then, we know that we must be those who are obedient to that truth, that truth that comes directly again from God that was given through His son Jesus, then revealed through the Holy Spirit as He led men to write the Bible and which was finally compiled for us in the Canon of scriptures that we carry today ourselves and contains 66 books from so many different writers. This book that only could have been compiled by God Himself that only could have been compiled by a Deity, a Deity that had interest enough to know that if I would read it and that if I would obey it, then I could be saved.
I love the writings there of the Hebrew writer, but particularly in relationship to our discussion this morning in Hebrews chapter 5. If you'll notice there in verses 8 and 9, notice the example that we are given and then what it goes on to state further about the example and the point of the example. He states there in verse 8 beginning, "Though He was a son yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." What did Jesus do? He came down as God in the flesh yet He was obedient. He was obedient to what? The Will of the Father. "Even unto death," the verse says. And verse 9 goes on to say, "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation." What did Jesus do? He died. He was obedient to the Father's Will and He accomplished it that all might be saved. But I want you to notice what I left out intentionally. The last part of the verse goes on to say that "we might know Him as the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey." You see obedience is needed. To do what? Have eternal salvation. To know that Jesus. What does that tell us? It tells us as we read in Romans 10:17, as we read there that "faith comes by hearing," that when one hears they begin to believe. If their heart is honest and they are right and they hear the truth, then they begin to believe, and it is the belief that then says, "Well, I want to do what God says," and it leads me to an obedience because obedience is required for salvation. It is required by God. Isn't that why in Mark 16 and verse 16 that we read, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved." Not only do we have the idea of a belief here, but an action. "Who believes and is (what?) baptized." An action, a work, something that must be accomplished to prove the belief. Yes, truth requires belief. Yes, truth requires obedience because you can't help but read the truth and then know the Will of God, and once you know the Will of God, you no longer can plead ignorance because God knows you know His Will and then He requires that you obey it and that you follow it as you have been commanded to do.
It makes me think of the verses that are so clear. We read them often in James chapter 2. I like verse 18 where it talks about the devils and verse 19 where it clarifies as well that "the demons believe and tremble." It makes me think of old Satan or some servant of Satan hearing the name of God and what do they do? The tremble. They're afraid. Why? They believe there is a God, but what's the difference? They don't obey Him. They don't obey Him. And how does God know that they believe but they're His followers? Because they don't do His Will. They don't obey. Now we know that further because in the same text in verse 18, he says, "You show me your faith without works and I'll show you my faith by works." You see what we're trying to understand here as we read the Word of God and as we in our hearts love God, "A love," Jesus said, "makes me want to keep His commandment." And if we are keeping His commandments, guess what. They can be seen. Now will that save me? No. It is only God's grace that can save me, but that does not negate the fact that they have to be there, and that when I know God's Will, I have to obey it, and when that I obey that Will, God sees my faith. You see, "it is impossible to please God without faith," Hebrews 11. In fact, verse 6 there of Hebrews 11 tells us that very fact. "It is impossible to please God without faith." Then it goes on for the rest of the chapter clarifying for us heroes of faith. In every example it states, "By faith Abraham, by faith Noah, by faith Moses..." You see, they believed in God, but what was it that separated the belief of Moses and the belief of devils? Well Moses believed unto action. Noah believed unto action. And there even all these examples that are given believed unto action and therefore because of their truth and their obedience to the truth, then they were seen righteous in the eyes of God. You know, that's what we want, isn't it? That's what we all strive for. That's what we all desire to have in our lives and to understand that we can have that knowledge, that truth of God, that truth unto obedience.
There are several passages that I would like to look at from the books of John, the latter books and letters of John beginning there in 3rd John chapter 1. In these epistles we find so clearly given to us some indicators that John realized the importance of truth and obedience thereof. In 3rd John notice with me in chapter 1 and verse 3 where he says, "I rejoice greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you." Notice what he goes on to say though. "Just as you walk in truth." These people were walking in truth. If the truth isn't something that is real and substantial, how are they walking in it? Well certainly it's the Word of God. It's something that can be known. It's something that can be done and it is something that can be followed and accomplished. Why? Because we know those in John's epistle were told to continue walking in it. They were already walking in the truth. But he says, "Continue to walk in it." Notice also that he says in verse 3 that "the ones around heard of it." He says, "People know that you walk in the truth." In verse 4 he says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth." What is that? God's Word. That they know God's Word, that they believe it, and then they obey it by walking in it, by faithfully doing those things that God has said.
Back in the book of 2 John, you might notice with me in that chapter in verses 1 and 2 to the elect lady, John says, "And her children whom I love in truth, and not only I but also all those who have known the truth, because the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever." He says here," The one who abides in truth, those who know the truth, know her who abides in truth." Then in verse 2 he says, "Because the truth abides (in what?) in us, and in all those who believe and obey." What does it mean when we believe and obey in God's truth? That we abide again in Him, that we follow Him, that we are His children, that we are those who were seen by Him as faithful.
Again, back to 3rd John chapter 1 down in verse 8 we read, "Where therefore we ought to be those who receive (it says) such who have become fellow workers for the truth." What do we notice about those who are also of the truth? That they are fellow workers or fellow laborers, those who likewise who love the truth. Yes, the truth is from God. It is of God. It's through Jesus Christ and it is the Word of God and it is given to us that we might know His Will, obey and follow, but it is also that which is required to be accomplished or will not be seen as faithful by God.
In 2 Corinthians there in verse 1 we read several passages there in that chapter that help us to understand that this truth is of God and we must be those who are either for or against the truth (2 Corinthians 13 verses 7-8). But if we choose not to be of the truth, Paul tells us in Romans chapter 2 and verse 8 that we are those who will see the wrath of God, but if we follow the truth, we will see eternal life (Romans chapter 2 and verse 7).
Are you one today who will live according to God's Truth and therefore have life eternal? Or are you one who because you have rejected the truth (Romans 2:8) will see the tribulations, the wrath and trials that God will bring on the disobedient? Choose today to know the Word of God, to believe it, and upon belief obey every precept that you might be found faithful until the end before your loving God.
(SONG # 3 - "The Way Of The Cross!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an uplifting and an encouragement to all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Do you believe the truth of God and have you obeyed it's precious commands? If not why not put God first and obey that which offers freedom in this life. God's Word is Truth!