THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 7-26-15

LESSON TITLE: “STAND FAST AND HOLD THE TRADITIONS!”

WELCOME

IN JOSHUA 24:15, WE READ, “CHOOSE FOR YOURSELVES THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE, BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.” PRAISE GOD FOR OUR OPPORTUNITY THIS DAY TO SERVE HIM. FURTHERMORE, IT IS MY HOPE AND PRAYER THAT ALL OF US HAVE MADE THIS SAME DETERMINATION IN EACH OF OUR LIVES - THAT WE WILL SERVE GOD, WITH ALL OF OUR HOUSE.

WE THANK YOU THIS DAY FOR JOINING US FOR THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM. AS ALWAYS, IT IS A BLESSING TO HAVE YOU WITH US AS WE TOGETHER BREAK THE BREAD OF LIFE AND AS WE MAGNIFY OUR CREATOR. YOU HAVE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION TO GIVE THIS TIME TO GOD, SO LET’S ALL DO SO WITH OUR FULL HEARTS AND IN ACCORDANCE TO HIS WILL. SO, AS WE CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON GOD, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME IN PRAYER.

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 YOU HAVE GIVEN US TO SERVE YOU AND TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN. AND FATHER, WE KNOW THAT ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM YOU - NOT ONLY SPIRITUAL BUT PHYSICAL IN THIS LIFE. AND FATHER, WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER GIVE US THAT GREAT REWARD OF HEAVEN WHEN WE HAVE BEEN FOUND FAITHFUL IN THE END. AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU THAT THROUGH YOUR GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO RECEIVE THESE WONDROUS PROMISES THAT YOU HAVE SPOKEN AND CONFIRMED IN YOUR WORD. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

WELL, IT IS TIME TO JOIN IN OUR FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING. OUR FIRST HYMN FOCUSES ON THE WONDROUS REWARD WHICH GOD OFFERS TO ALL OF MANKIND – REDEMPTION! SO, WON’T YOU PARTICIPATE WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “REDEEMED!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

IN PHILIPPIANS 4:4-6, WE READ, “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS. AGAIN I WILL SAY, REJOICE! LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE KNOWN TO ALL MEN. THE LORD IS AT HAND. BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION, WITH THANKSGIVING, LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN TO GOD!” WHAT A GREAT PASSAGE THIS IS OF STRENGTH AND ENCOURAGEMENT. AND WHAT PRECIOUS TRUTHS ARE CLARIFIED HERE BY THIS INSPIRED WRITER OF GOD.

THE REALITY IS, WE NEED TO LEARN TO REJOICE IN THE LORD IN ALL THINGS. WHY? BECAUSE GOD IS REAL, HE IS THERE AND HE HAS PROMISED TO BE WITH US EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. SO WHETHER WE’RE EXPERIENCING JOY OR SORRY, HAPPINESS OR PAIN, OUR GOD WILL ALWAYS PULL US THROUGH - THUS REJOICE! WE ALSO NOTICE THAT PAUL SAYS THAT WE SHOULD BE GENTLE TO ALL MEN. WHAT BETTER WAY CAN WE EXEMPLIFY CHRIST THAN BY LETTING OTHERS SEE HIM IN OUR ACTIONS, WORDS AND DEEDS. JESUS CERTAINLY HAD A CARING AND GENTLE SPIRIT TOWARDS ALL MEN, AND WE MUST LEARN TO IMITATE THIS FINE CHARACTERISTIC.

FINALLY, NOTICE THAT OUR TEXT ENCOURAGES US THAT WE NEED NOT TO WORRY, BUT RATHER WE MUST LEARN TO TAKE ALL OF OUR NEEDS, WANTS AND REQUESTS, BEFORE THE MIGHTY THRONE OF GOD. AND WE KNOW THAT IF WE SPEAK TO OUR GOD IN PRAYER, HE HEARS US AND HE ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS ACCORDING TO HIS PERFECT AND COMPLETE WILL.

SO HOW WELL ARE YOU LIVING YOUR LIFE FOR THE SAKE OF GOD? ARE YOU TRUSTING IN GOD IN ALL THINGS? ARE YOU TREATING OTHERS IN THIS WORLD AS GOD HAS COMMANDED US TO? AND ARE YOU TURNING TO GOD FOR THE HELP WHICH YOU NEED TO MAKE IT THROUGH EVERY DAY? OUR GOD IS GREAT, MIGHTY AND WONDROUS AND HE WILL HELP US IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE, IF WE WILL DO AND ACCOMPLISH ALL THINGS AS HE HAS COMMANDED!

IN JUST A FEW MINUTES IT WILL BE TIME TO BEGIN OUR MAIN STUDY OF THE DAY. AS FAR AS OUR TOPIC OF STUDY, WE WILL AGAIN FOCUS ON OUR SERIES ENTITED, “STAND FAST IN THE LORD.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE MORNING DEALS WITH PAUL’S STATEMENT TO THE THESSALONIAN CHURCH, “STAND FAST AND HOLD THE TRADTIONS.” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US FOR THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD, AND I WILL BE LEAD IN THESE THOUGHTS AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME. SO, FOR NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR NEXT SONG OF THE MORNING. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “SAVIOR LEAD ME.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WHEN YOU THINK OF THE IDEA OF A TRADITION WHAT COMES TO YOUR MIND? WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF A TRADITION DO YOU THINK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT'S REQUIRED OR SOMETHING THAT WE DO JUST BECAUSE WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IT A CERTAIN WAY? WELL YOU SEE, THE REALITY IS, IS THAT WE OFTEN THINK OF A TRADITION AS SOMETHING WE JUST SIMPLY DO BECAUSE MY FATHER DID SO, OR MY FAMILY BEFORE HIM DID SO, OR WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY. AND EVEN IN RELATIONSHIP TO RELIGIOUS THINGS - SOMETIMES YOU'LL HEAR THE TERMINOLOGY USED THAT WE DO SOMETHING BECAUSE OF TRADITION. WELL, WE MIGHT THEN BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT THE QUESTIONS: WELL, ARE TRADITIONS BAD? CAN TRADITIONS BE GOOD?

WELL, SOME TRADITIONS MIGHT BE SO TRIVIAL AS THE FACT THAT WHEN WE MEET ON A GIVEN SUNDAY MAYBE WE HAVE A GROUP THAT MIGHT CHOOSE TO MEET AT NINE OR 9:30 OR 10. AND THEY HAVE FOUND BY TRADITION THAT IT IS GOOD FOR THEIR GROUP TO MEET AROUND 9:30 AND THEREFORE THEY COME TOGETHER EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK TO WORSHIP GOD AT THAT SAME TIME OUT OF TRADITION - FOR THEY HAVE FOUND IT GOOD AND IT SATISFIES THE GROUP AND THEY'RE ABLE TO ASSEMBLE AT THE SAME TIME TO WORSHIP THEIR GOD. ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE MIGHT DO WITHIN WORSHIP ITSELF THAT WE MIGHT REFER TO AS TRADITIONAL. WELL, WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IT THIS WAY. WE'VE ALWAYS HAD MAYBE ONE OR TWO SONGS AND A PRAYER. ANOTHER SONG AND MAYBE THE SCRIPTURE READING. AND ANOTHER SONG AND THEN THE SERMON AND THEN ANOTHER....SO AGAIN BY THE PATTERN, WE ALWAYS LIKE TO FOLLOW A PATTERN IT SEEMS BECAUSE THAT'S TRADITIONALLY HOW WE'VE DONE IT. SO IT'S NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING OR A WRONG THING SOMETIMES TO CHANGE TRADITION. I KNOW A FEW YEARS AGO AT KANSAS EXPRESSWAY WE MOVED OUR SUNDAY EVENING SERVICES FROM 6 O'CLOCK UP TO 5 O'CLOCK. WELL, WE CHANGED A TRADITION AND SOME PEOPLE LIKED IT AND SOME PEOPLE DIDN'T LIKE IT.

BUT THE FACT IS THERE IS A RIGHT TO CHANGE SOME TRADITION. A LOT OF TRADITION IS BASED ON EXPEDIENT MATTERS AND REALLY IS NOT FOUNDED IN DOCTRINE OR REQUIREMENT OF DOCTRINE.

WITH THAT HAVING BEEN SAID, THERE ALSO IS TRADITION THAT IS BASED ON COMMANDMENT. IN OTHER WORDS, WE MIGHT SING EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. WELL, WHY DO WE SING? BECAUSE GOD COMMANDS US TO SING AS WE WORSHIP HIM. BUT ALSO WE DO IT BECAUSE TRADITIONALLY WE'VE ALWAYS DONE THAT. WE'VE ALWAYS LIFTED UP OUR VOICES SO THAT IS A GOOD DOCTRINAL TRADITION THAT BENEFITS ALL OF US BECAUSE WE ARE DOING WHAT GOD COMMANDS.

NOW TO UNDERSTAND THIS A LITTLE BIT BETTER THOUGH WE MIGHT GO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT FOR A FEW EXAMPLES. AND ONE EXAMPLE IS IN THE FAMILIAR PASSAGE OF MATTHEW 15 - WE LOOK HERE OFTEN BECAUSE THIS IS THE PASSAGE WHERE JESUS ACTUALLY SAID THAT THEY WERE IN WORSHIP GIVING HIM A VAIN WORSHIP AND HE SAYS IN VAIN, DO THEY WORSHIP ME - TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT HE STARTED WITH EARLIER IN THAT SAME CHAPTER - MATTHEW 15 VERSE 1? HE'S THERE WITH THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, VERY LEARNED INDIVIDUALS, WHO WOULD BE WELL AWARE OF WHAT THE LAW OF MOSES COMMANDED - WHAT WAS REQUIRED. AND THEY ACTUALLY ASK A QUESTION OF JESUS, “WHY DO YOUR DISCIPLES TRANSGRESS THE TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS?” IN OTHER WORDS, THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH OF THE JEWISH FAITH, THE IDEA OF THE TEMPLE ITSELF. THEY HAD MADE CERTAIN TRADITIONS BECAUSE OF THE WAY THEY HAD ALWAYS DONE THINGS AND THEY HAD BEGAN TO IMPOSE THOSE AS DOCTRINE.

I WANT YOU TO NOTICE THE REACTION THAT JESUS GAVE. HE RESPONDS BY SAYING THIS, VERSE THREE, “WHY DO YOU ALSO TRANSGRESS THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD BECAUSE OF YOUR TRADITION?” AND THEN HE ACTUALLY MENTIONED SOME EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC COMMANDS THAT GOD GAVE - THOU SHALTS OF GOD THAT THEY WERE NOT HONORING AND THEY WERE NOT PRACTICING. AND YET THEY WOULD COME HYPOCRITICALLY AND SAY, WHY ARE YOUR DISCIPLES NOT COMING AT 9 O'CLOCK WHEN WE SET THAT TIME AND WHY ARE THEY NOT FOLLOWING THE MAN-MADE TRADITIONS WHEN WE ARE NOT GOING TO FOLLOW OR WILLING TO FOLLOW EVEN THE DOCTRINAL TRADITIONS? WELL, THAT'S THE ARGUMENT THAT THEY'RE HAVING WITH JESUS. AND THAT'S WHY NO DOUBT HE REBUKED THEM STRONGLY IN VERSE 8 AND 9 AND SAYS, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE OF ISAIAH'S DAY. IN MANY WAYS THEY DRAW NEAR TO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH AND THEY HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS THEY'RE SAYING WHAT THEY NEED TO SAY AND IT LOOKS LIKE THEY'RE FAITHFUL...BUT WHAT? VERSE 8, “THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. AND IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” YOU HAVE MADE TRADITIONS GOD'S COMMANDS WHEN THEY ARE NOT.

NOW, ANOTHER VERSE THAT REALLY HELPS US WITH THIS DISCUSSION IS SOME THINGS THAT WERE SAID BY PAUL LED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN 2 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 2. AND THERE IN THIS CHAPTER HE CERTAINLY HAS ALREADY WARNED THE BRETHREN ABOUT SOME GREAT APOSTASY THAT WOULD COME THEIR WAY. IN OTHER WORDS, THOSE THAT WOULD COME IN AS FALSE TEACHERS OR WHO WOULD TRY TO MISLEAD THEM WITH THINGS THAT WERE CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE OF GOD. HE SAYS YOU GOTTA WATCH OUT! AND SPECIFICALLY THE THING THAT THEY WERE DEALING WITH HERE WAS THE DAY OF THE LORD, WHEN THE LORD WOULD COME. AND THERE WAS A CONFUSION AND EVEN A DISAGREEMENT ABOUT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS IN COMPARISON TO THE RESURRECTION OF ALL MEN IN THE DAY OF THE LORD OR THE DAY OF JUDGMENT WHEN THE LORD WOULD COME AGAIN. AND HE'S TRYING TO ENSURE THEM, IT WILL HAPPEN, IT WILL COME. YET THERE WERE THOSE WHO WOULD SAY THAT IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN. THAT IT WOULD NOT COME. YOU SEE THE DOCTRINE OF GOD.

BUT THEN AS HE GOES ON THERE AND HE ENCOURAGES THEM TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY NEED TO PERTAINING TO SALVATION, HE ACTUALLY TALKS ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND LOVE GOD AS THEY FOLLOW OR BELIEVE, VERSE 13 SAYS, THE TRUTH OF GOD. NOW IF YOU'LL READ WITH ME IN VERSE 14 HE ADDS THIS, “TO WHICH HE CALLED YOU BY OUR GOSPEL, FOR THE OBTAINING OF THE GLORY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” THEY WERE CALLED BY WHAT? THE GOSPEL. WHO'S GOSPEL? THE GOSPEL THAT PAUL AND OTHERS PREACHED TO THEM. WHAT GOSPEL WOULD THAT BE? THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, THE GOOD NEWS THAT THEY HAD BEEN GIVEN, BY WHO? THE HOLY SPIRIT. THAT THEY WERE PROMISED BY JESUS HIMSELF WHEN HE LEFT THE EARTH BACK IN JOHN CHAPTER 16.

BUT NOW LOOK WITH ME IN VERSE 15, “THEREFORE,” HE SAYS, BRETHREN, THOSE OF YOU WHO LOVE GOD AND ONE ANOTHER - WHO ARE STRIVING FOR SALVATION - WHO ARE TRYING TO FOCUS ON THE TRUTH BASED ON THE GOSPEL THAT YOU RECEIVED -THEREFORE YOU BRETHREN, YOU FAITHFUL BRETHREN, “STAND FAST AND HOLD THE TRADITIONS WHICH YOU WERE TAUGHT, WHETHER BY WORD OR BY EPISTLE.” NOW WHAT'S SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THIS - FIRST OF ALL IT TIES IN BEAUTIFULLY TO OUR THEME AS YOU MIGHT RECALL THERE HE SPECIFICALLY SAID STANDFAST. THAT'S THE THEME, STANDFAST IN THE LORD. STANDFAST IN WHAT THOUGH? TRADITION. STANDFAST IN THE TRADITIONS. WHAT TRADITIONS? IS PAUL TALKING ABOUT JUST THE THINGS THEY'VE ALWAYS DONE? JUST THE THINGS THAT SEEM RIGHT OR SEEM GOOD OR THAT MAN HAS COME UP WITH OR IS HE TALKING ABOUT MORE THAN THAT? BECAUSE HE HAS JUST AGAIN CONFIRMED THAT THEY ARE FOLLOWING THE TRUTH OF GOD BASED ON THE GOSPEL OF GOD THAT WHICH HAS BEEN DELIVERED TO THEM.

SO NOW LOOK WHAT HE SAYS THERE AT THE LATTER PART AS WE READ, HE SAYS, “THE TRADITIONS WHICH YOU WERE TAUGHT.” SO THOSE THINGS....WHAT? THE THINGS, THE TRADITIONS TAUGHT, THAT WERE BASED ON REALLY ON OPINION OR THOUGHT OR JUST WHAT THEY WERE DOING OR LIKED IT? NO - THE TRADITIONS TAUGHT, WHETHER BY WORD OR EPISTLE. THOSE THINGS THAT I COMMANDED TO YOU FROM THE LORD OR WROTE IN THE EPISTLES. THIS IN AND OF ITSELF, 1 THESSALONIANS, 2 THESSALONIANS. THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE BIBLE BY INSPIRATION OF GOD IS GIVEN. THIS IS ONE OF THE EPISTLES THAT HE WROTE. AND AS WE WELL KNOW IN THE BOOK OF TIMOTHY, IT CONFIRMS THAT ALL SCRIPTURE IS BY INSPIRATION OF GOD. AND SO PAUL HERE SAYS BY EPISTLE. THE TRADITIONS GIVEN BY EPISTLE; THOSE TRADITIONS WOULD HAVE BEEN BASED ON WHAT? THE WILL OF GOD AND THE REVELATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST.

ARE THESE BIBLICALLY BASED TRADITIONS? YES, THEY'RE BIBLICAL BASED TRADITIONS THAT THE CONCEPT THEN BACKING UP IN CHAPTER 2 THAT THE JUDGMENT WOULD COME THE DAY OF THE LORD AND WE NEED TO BE READY FOR THAT. IS THAT A TRADITION OR IS THAT DOCTRINE? WELL, WE'VE TRADITIONALLY ALWAYS TAUGHT IT BUT IT'S DOCTRINE AS WELL. IT'S A TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE THAT IS FOUNDED IN TRUTH OR GOSPEL. AND THAT'S WHY WE CAN GO, NOT ONLY IN THIS BOOK, BUT THROUGHOUT ANY OF THESE NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS OR EPISTLES AND WE CAN FIND THAT EVEN THE THINGS THAT ARE COMMANDED OF GOD WHICH WERE TRADITIONALLY DONE WERE BASED AND FOUNDED IN DOCTRINE OF GOD THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT. AND THEREFORE, MAY BE CALLED TRADITION LIKE WE USED EARLIER. THAT WE COME TOGETHER AND WE SING TO GOD. WE PRAY TO GOD. WE COME TOGETHER AND WE STUDY THE WORD OF GOD TOGETHER. WHY DO WE DO THOSE THINGS? WELL, WE DO THEM BECAUSE GOD COMMANDS US. THAT THERE ARE CERTAIN ACTS OF WORSHIP THAT WE DO EACH LORD'S DAY. BUT WE ALSO DO THEM BECAUSE WE'VE ALWAYS TRADITIONALLY DONE THEM. AND THEREFORE A TRADITION BASED ON DOCTRINE.

OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING BECAUSE IN THIS WORLD WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY? OH, YOU KNOW TRADITIONS ARE WHAT THE WAY THEY USED TO DO THINGS OR THE OLD WAY OR THE FUDDY-DUDDY WAYS OR THE WAY THAT MY GRANDPARENTS DID THINGS AND THEY'RE NOT UP TO THE MODERN TIMES OR THEY'RE NOT THE THINGS WE ENJOY. THOSE KINDS OF TRADITIONS SO WE GOT TO KIND OF CHANGE TRADITION AND WE'RE GONNA SING TO GOD BUT WE'VE GOT A MAKE IT MORE EXCITING FOR US. TRADITIONS BASED ON BIBLICAL TRUTH DO NOT CHANGE. THE FACT THAT WE ARE TO SING AND PRAISE GOD AND WORSHIP DOES NOT CHANGE - HAS NOT CHANGED - WILL NOT CHANGE. IT IS A COMMANDMENT OF GOD - PRAYER, THE CONCEPT OF GIVING ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK - ALL OF THOSE THINGS BY COMMANDMENT GIVEN AND FOLLOWED BY TRADITION OF MEN BASED ON THAT DOCTRINE DO NOT CHANGE. WHAT'S SO INTERESTING THOUGH IS SOME PEOPLE SAY WELL, WE'RE GONNA CHANGE THIS ACT OF WORSHIP A LITTLE BIT. WE'RE GOING TO CHANGE THIS TRADITION, THEY'LL SAY A LITTLE BIT. BUT BOY, WE DON'T WANT TO TOUCH THAT ONE! I GUARANTEE WE'RE GONNA GIVE EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK BECAUSE WE WANT THE MONEY COMING IN. WE'RE NOT GONNA TOUCH THAT ONE BUT WE'RE GOING TO ALTER THESE OTHER ACTS OF WORSHIP SO THAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE IT MORE APPEALING OR PLEASING.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT JESUS WAS CONDEMNING IN MATTHEW 15; THOSE WHO ARE TEACHING AS DOCTRINE - AS COMMANDMENTS - THE THINGS OF MEN AS THE DOCTRINE OF GOD, WHEN REALLY THEY WERE ONLY WHAT? THE TRADITIONS OF MEN. WE CANNOT BE CONFUSED WITH THE TWO. THOSE BINDING TRADITIONS WOULD ONLY BE TRADITIONS BASED ON BIBLICAL COMMANDMENT OR DOCTRINE. AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE EXPEDIENT TRADITIONS AS WE ALSO SAID AT THE OUTSET OF OUR DISCUSSION - SUCH AS MAYBE WHEN WE MEET, WHERE WE MEET, THINGS LIKE THAT, THAT WE MIGHT ACTUALLY AT TIMES ALTER OR CHANGE A BIT BASED ON THE NEEDS OF A CONGREGATION OR THE NEEDS OF THE BRETHREN.

NOTICE ALSO WHAT HE SAID HERE IN THIS TEXT THOUGH WITH ME, AGAIN VERSE 15 OF 2 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 2. HE NOT ONLY SAID STANDFAST IN THE TRADITION BUT HE SAYS, “HOLD THE TRADITIONS,” - TO HOLD FAST. IN OTHER WORDS, THAT YOU'RE GONNA GRAB ONTO THEM AND NOT LET GO. HAVE YOU EVER AS A PARENT MAYBE HAD A CHILD THAT TRIPPED OR HAD FALLEN AND YOU GRABBED AND YOU HELD ONTO THEM AND YOU DIDN'T WANT TO LET GO? I CAN REMEMBER ONE TIME WE WERE AT NIAGARA FALLS AND WE WERE STANDING UP THERE AT THE WATER, FACE OF THE WATER OR THERE ALONG THE RAIL, AND I WAS HOLDING MY CHILD. AND LET ME TELL YOU I WAS HOLDING ON AND I WASN'T GONNA LET GO BECAUSE IT WAS SCARY ENOUGH FOR ME JUST STANDING THERE BEING AN ADULT. BUT AS A CHILD, TO LET THAT CHILD GO, NOT LET GO, HOLD FAST THOSE TRADITIONS. DON'T LET GO. STANDFAST IN THOSE TRADITIONS AND DON'T LET GO. THOSE TRADITIONS THAT ARE WHAT? GIVEN BY OUR MOUTHS. OUR WORDS AS INSPIRED APOSTLES, OR THOSE TRADITIONS GIVEN BY OUR EPISTLES, INSPIRED WRITINGS OF GOD - THOSE WHICH ARE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WHICH AFFIRMED THE TRUTH THAT YOU AND I MUST KNOW AND FOLLOW UNTO SALVATION - THOSE TRADITIONS ARE TRADITIONS THAT WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR AND TRADITIONS THAT WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF.

NOW, SPECIFICALLY THEN WITH OUR LAST FEW MOMENTS I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT AN ARTICLE THAT I HAD READ A FEW YEARS AGO THAT TALKED ABOUT THE TRADITION OF BAPTISM. IT ACTUALLY WAS A PRETTY GOOD ARTICLE BUT AS YOU LOOKED AT THE CONCEPT OF THE ARTICLE IT WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD PEOPLE JUST WANT TO CHALK EVERYTHING UP TO TRADITION. AND IF YOU CHALK IT UP TO TRADITION THEN THERE'S NO REASON TO WORRY ABOUT HOW WE DO SOMETHING BECAUSE THAT CAN CHANGE. WELL, WHAT ABOUT BAPTISM? IS IT JUST A TRADITION? IF YOU'LL NOTICE WITH ME THERE, EVEN IN THE BOOK OF PETER - 1 PETER 3:21 WHEN PETER, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW NOAH WAS SAVED BY WATER IN THE ARK. HE ACTUALLY SAYS THIS IN VERSE 21, “THERE IS ALSO AN ANTITYPE WHICH NOW SAVES US – BAPTISM, ” HE'S REFERRING TO. THEN IT SAYS, “NOT THE REMOVAL OF THE FILTH OF THE FLESH, BUT THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE TOWARD GOD.” THE MAKING ONE PURE AND RIGHTEOUS. IS THAT NOT WHAT BAPTISM DOES? IS THAT NOT WHAT WE READ

THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE INCLUDED THERE IN ROMANS CHAPTER 6 WHEN IT SAYS THAT WE ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO DIED TO SIN AND WHO BECOME FREE FROM SIN BECAUSE WE WHAT? WE ARE CRUCIFIED THERE AS CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED AND AS HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY WE RISE OUT OF THE WATERY GRAVE OF BAPTISM. AND WHEN WE ARISE OUT OF THAT GRAVE WE ARE NEW CREATIONS. NEW CREATURES. THE RESURRECTED ONES. THOSE WHO NOW ARE IN JESUS AND WHO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. WHAT DID PAUL SAY IN GALATIANS 3:27? THAT THE WAY WE PUT ON CHRIST IS WHEN WE ARE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST. WHY DID PETER SAY ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST IN ACTS 2:38 – “REPENT, AND LET EVERYONE OF YOU BE BAPTIZED,” WHY? FOR THE REMISSION OF YOUR SINS AND YOU'LL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. WHY DID PETER TELL THEM TO DO THAT IF IT WERE SIMPLY AN OUT-OF-DATE TRADITION? A TRADITION THAT WAS UNFOUNDED IN DOCTRINE? THAT WAS SOMETHING OF MEN? IT WAS NOT! IN FACT, JESUS CAME EVEN BEFORE THE CHURCH WAS ESTABLISHED AND FOLLOWED THE PATTERN THAT JOHN HAD SET EVEN IN THE WILDERNESS WHERE HE WAS BAPTIZING PEOPLE IN THE JORDAN. AND THERE WE EVEN LEARN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT JESUS BAPTIZED AND MADE MORE DISCIPLES THAN EVEN JOHN.

WATER BAPTISM HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF GOD'S CLEANSING AND GOD'S PLAN. IS IT A TRADITION? WELL, IF YOU WANT TO SAY IT'S A BIBLICAL TRADITION I WOULD CERTAINLY AGREE. BUT IF YOU'LL SIMPLY SAY IT'S A TRADITION OF MAN THAT HAS NO PART IN TODAY'S FAITH OR TODAY'S SPIRITUAL LIFE OF THE CHILD OF GOD, I WOULD STRONGLY DISAGREE. BECAUSE TRADITIONS BASED IN DOCTRINE ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD - GIVEN TO US BY GOD AND CANNOT BE CHANGED AND CANNOT BE ALTERED.

THEREFORE LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU THIS DAY TO KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO STANDFAST AND HOLD THE TRADITIONS OF GOD. THE TRADITIONS THAT HAVE BEEN AFFIRMED FOR US IN THE BOOK - THE BIBLE, THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY THAT HE HAS GIVEN US TO NOT ONLY KNOW HIM BUT TO KNOW ALL OF HIS WILL. AND SO THE QUESTION IS YOURS, WILL YOU OBEY GOD? OR WILL YOU WILL OBEY MAN? WILL YOU FOLLOW THE TRADITIONS OF GOD BASED ON DOCTRINE OR WILL YOU FOLLOW THE TRADITIONS OF MEN? I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT THERE'S ONLY ONE THAT CAN SAVE ME AND IT'S NOT ANY MAN OF THIS EARTH. IT IS GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF! WON'T YOU LIVE TODAY TO HONOR GOD, TO OBEY GOD, TO FOLLOW HIS COMMANDS, AND TO KNOW THAT HE ALONE HAS THE POWER TO SAVE.

CLOSING COMMENTS

LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY. HOW BLESSED WE ALL ARE TO HAVE TIMES LIKE THIS TO COMMIT TO THE THINGS OF GOD. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US EVERY LORD’S DAY, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS OFFERING TOWARD GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO KNOW THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US HIS TRADITIONS TO FOLLOW. CERTAINLY TRADITIONS WHICH ARE FROM GOD NEVER GROW OLD OR TIRING. THE QUESTION IS, WILL YOU CHOOSE TO FOLLOW THE TRADITIONS OF GOD OR MAN? THE WAY YOU ANSWER THIS QUESTION WILL DETERMINE YOU ETERNAL DESTINY!