THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 7-7-13
LESSON TITLE: “OBEDIENCE SAVES!”
Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for God’s Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week, and I hope your weekend was a profitable one also.
Now, here we are on another glorious Lord’s Day morning. What a wonderful opportunity we have again today to join together in the worship of our Redeemer. I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.
As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible’s handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let’s begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
At this time, we want to sing our first song of the morning. Won’t you all join in with the congregation at this time as we praise God together with the hymn, “ Purer In Heart O God.”
(SONG # 1)
Wonderful things happen in all of our lives on a regular basis. In fact, I think most of us realize just how blessed by God we truly are. With this in mind, let me ask you to consider for a moment where you might fall in the following thoughts.
Think for a moment about the feeling you had the first time you met your one and only. Think about those feelings you had whenever you were together or whenever you were apart!
Think about that feeling you had when you walked toward him down that aisle or when she came toward you up the aisle to become your mate for life. Think about that feeling you had when you saw your first child, a wonderful creation and gift given from God.
Think about that first day of school, when you watched your child go into that big building all alone. Think about that day your son or daughter got married and left your home. Think about that day that you saw your first grandchild and held it in your arms.
Think about that day you stood by the hospital bed, as your loved one suffered. Think about that day you cried by the coffin as you lost your better part! Think about that feeling which makes all these moments possible and more special. Think about that human emotion which we are all blessed to share in. Think about Love!
No doubt one of the greatest privileges and emotions we share in this life is the ability to love others and to build special relationships. We get this ability directly from the one who loved us first, our creator, God the Father. John said, “We love Him because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:19. John also confirmed the fact that, “God is love!”
Love is such a glorious and wondrous part of our lives. It is a feeling that we all share in and are made better by. Love is the foundation of everything and for everything in this life. Furthermore, love is the foundation of all spiritual things we share together as followers of God and with the Giver of all Himself!
Paul may have put it best as he was addressing the Corinthian church, when he said, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Truly love is the greatest. Won’t you chose to be like the Father and learn to love in all things, just as He loves us?
Our study this morning will again focus on the statement of Jesus, “I Say These Things That You May Be Saved.” Our specific topic today is entitled, “Obedience Saves!” So please continue with us and in a few minutes I will return with this study of the morning. Now, let’s join in our second hymn of the morning. The name of the song, “Redeemed!”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We are so glad you continued with us this morning as we now go to God’s word and we consider yet another lesson in our series concerning that wondrous statement of Jesus and certainly it is a glorious statement for it identifies to us how we can be saved. He alone gives the words unto salvation and eternal life. So where do we go for those words? Well, we certainly understand that the only place we find God’s word is in His book, that is the Bible. So we have been looking at together so many different aspects of those things required in becoming a Christian that we might be saved. Then for the past month we have been looking at many ideas that are required or involved in the walk of a Christian that we might continue in salvation. Certainly, that is important as well because it is not enough just to love God and begin the walk; we have to continue the walk. I hope overall what you begin to see in this series is how that really there is not any one thing that saves. In other words if I were to say that the grace of God saves that is true. But does the grace of God save without love? Does the grace of God save without faith? Does the grace of God save without other requirements found in the Bible? So what this series has been all about is not only the fact of what Jesus has clarified as those words unto salvation but how that the concepts and teaching of God’s word in the gospel, the doctrine of Christ, are intertwined. It is not a matter of saying well I choose grace and I choose faith but I don’t want love. It is not a matter of picking and choosing what we like or what we want. It is a matter of doing all of these things unto salvation, doing our very best in these areas.
So we will look at today yet another important aspect that is a part of salvation for without it you cannot be saved. No matter what you cannot be saved without this aspect of Christianity in your life. Obedience saves. How do we know that? Well, the Bible teaches such. It teaches that one must obey God or keep the commandments of God in order to have eternal life. Now to understand that certainly there are many places we could go in the Old and New Testaments. But there are a few I would like to take just a moment there in the Old Testament to consider although our time is brief here.
I’d like to first think about King Saul. You might recall there for instance in 1Samuel 13 when Saul actually became impatient and waiting on Samuel and he went ahead and made sacrifices himself to God; when he had no authorization and no right to do such according to the law of God. So what did he do? Did he obey God or disobey? Well, he disobeyed. There in verse 13 of chapter 13 Samuel says, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord.” Well that is not the only time Saul had a problem. We go over to chapter 15 for instance and here Saul as they are continuing the conquest and doing a lot of the things that God had commanded them in defeating other nations. They are actually going up there it says to the Amalekites. But when they do so although they have been told to kill all the people they actually spare the king whose name is Agag. What happens? It says there that they kept these spoils and they spared the King and they were just going to use all of these things to sacrifice to God. Well, was that what God told them to do? To save the spoils to sacrifice, to spare the King, no. He said go in, don’t take the spoils, and destroy all the people including the king. Now what was it again that he is told by Samuel in verse 22 of 1Samuel 15? It says there, Samuel said to him, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying ht voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” Now why does that make such good sense? Because the fact is it does no good to do what we need to do for God if it is not what He has asked. It does no good to go through the motions of sacrifices, or as it says here the fat of rams, or that which might be placed on an altar, or different types of sacrificial offerings for sin. Those things are worthless unless they are according to obedience. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about the heart of a man, the sacrifice itself, the way it is sacrificed, where it is sacrificed, the altar that is used. Those things all pertain to obedience. But do you know what is neat about the discussion, if you obey God, that means you are going to want to not only know His will but understand His will that you might do it His way. If you obey God guess what is going to fall into place? Well, you are going to sacrifice in the right way because you are going to want to obey what you have learned, what you know. You are going to only do what God has commanded, you are going to use the right sacrifices, you are going to sacrifice in the right place, and you are only going to use those especially under the Old Covenant who are authorized to sacrifice.
Now that being in mind I want you then to think with me just quickly about a few Old Testament examples that show us how important it was to obey God. One that stands out to me is the story of Noah. He found grace or favor in the eyes of the Lord, why? I believe it was because he was someone who did the commandments of God, not some of them, not those he liked, not in the way he wanted but he obeyed all that God commanded. The text multiple times tells us that at the end of chapter 6:22, it says, “Noah did according to all that God commanded him so he did.” It doesn’t only stop there but you can drop down again and you can see even in chapter 7:5 this statement, “And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.” Do you see the significance there? What made Noah a righteous man? He not only heard, he not only desired to understand and know the will of God, but then He did it. He didn’t say well God don’t you think it might be better if I bring animals in by 3 just in case one dies, don’t you think it might be better if I bring clean animals in this way. You see what he did was he obeyed God. The same way Saul should have, the same way we can think about great men like Abraham and righteous David. What made them stand out is not the fact that they were somehow un-human, for they were human. What made them really stand out was the fact that they had the ability to prove their love to God through obedience. Therefore we see that throughout the Old Testament those who did such proved themselves well and proper before God.
Now we want to go over to the New Testament because even before the Church was established we find the very same principles being laid down. For instance a familiar text there in the words of Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7 tells us exactly what is required of the one who is faithful to God. What is that? If you look with me there in that text specifically we consider together verse 21, the Bible says, “Not everyone who says to ME, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Who will enter the kingdom of heaven, it goes on to say, “But he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” The will, the one who obeys the one who knows it and does it. That again is the emphasis of this text and what is the outcome? Well, the kingdom of heaven a reward of eternal life and blessings and promises even in the life that we live now. Now the opposite of that is also found in that text because verse 22 says there were many in that day who will say but Lord didn’t we do all these wonderful things in your name and they may not have been the right way, and they may not have been the right thing, but Lord we did them in Your name. But notice what God’s reaction to such will be verse 23, He says, “Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” What is lawlessness? It means that if there is law established and I choose not to follow the law I am a lawless individual. Therefore if you separate that idea what do you find? You find that it is proof that one who is lawless is not right in the sight of God. On the other hand one who does what, the law, one who does what, verse 21 the Will of the Father in heaven, that individual will have the kingdom of heaven. You see how important obedience is? Jesus was trying to tell them that they had to obey, that they had to obey in order to be right in the sight of Him. Certainly Jesus also then was God.
If you want to think about another very familiar text it is found over in the book of John and it’s significant once again because it contains the words of Jesus. Once again, in connection to our topic that is doing the Will of God, knowing that obedience is required in salvation, and obedience does save at least in part. If you look with me there in that text chapter 14:15, Jesus says this, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Well, there we have several things clarified. Number one, if God says there are commandments to keep He has given commandments. So there are commandments to follow, there are commandments He says that are mine, the commandments of Jesus which would be according to the Will of the Father. Thirdly, there are then those commandments that must be kept. Now if we are going to follow the commands how must we keep them? Well, according to the way we are commanded or told. I also want you to think about this because this is as well significant. If we think about those commandments that God has given and we think about the fact that He has given them to us through His word can we be right without following them? Here is an example, think about the laws of the land. The laws of the land are given and you say well here are the traffic laws and those laws are detailed in relationship to speed limit or in relationship to registration or insurance. If we do not do what they say, if we do not have the proper amount of coverage or insurance are we keeping the law? Or if we get a ticket or a fine? Well, you certainly know the answer. So when law is established it is not enough to say well I am going to keep insurance but I am going to keep the kind I want. Or I am going to follow the law and I am going to go a speed limit but I am going to go a speed limit that I want. Does that make sense? Well, try that out and see how well that works when you get pulled over. Well, you see the fact is Law must be adhered to according to that way that is it written or given, the same is true spiritually. God has given us law and when He says He has commandments to be kept and if you love Him you are going to keep those commandments certainly we understand that that is God’s law universal. This isn’t something that Jesus just started speaking when He was on the earth; it is what God has always desired of man. Do you not remember with me there what it is that Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes, of the Old Testament, there in chapter 12 verse 13 he said that the conclusion of the whole matter or the all of man is to, “Fear God and keep His commandments.” Well, you see Noah seemed to get it. Abraham seemed to get it, David seemed to get it. You go through all these examples the apostles seemed to get it. Those who were alive in the days of Jesus seemed to understand clearly what it meant to keep the commandments of God. So why is it so difficult for people today to just do what God says? Why is it such a practice among denominations that they want to do it their own way, they want to go it alone and really think they can be satisfying to God because they offer some kind of sacrifice when God even told Saul of old to obey; to obey is better than to sacrifice.
So as we think about our privilege as Christians today to sacrifice to God why not do so in an obedient way? I think that is exactly what it was that is being dealt with in Acts 5 when Peter there was being challenged in His faith. You might remember with me there what it was that Peter answered with when they were being threatened not to preach, threatened not to teach, He said we ought to obey God rather than man. So that is the question of the day. Will you obey God? Will you love Him enough to keep His commandments? Or will you be selfish enough to hold on to your own wants and desires, the wants and desires of others, the thoughts of man, the teachings of religion, or will you simply to what God wants? For obedience is unto eternal life. Even in the book of Revelation 22 those who keep the commandments of God will have access to the river of life there coming from the throne itself.
(SONG # 3 - “Savior Lead Me”)
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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May we all strive every day to obey our God in all that He has commanded us. For what comfort and peace is found in our obedience to a loving and saving God. Are you willing to submit?