THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-12-12
LESSON TITLE: “SAVED BY FAITH ALONE.”
Jesus once commanded, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Have you denied self for Jesus?
Good morning! Thanks for joining us this morning in this service of God. The Living Word Program is committed to proclaiming 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!
Let me take just a moment and thank all of you who joined us last Sunday to tape songs for this program. Our gathering was a huge success. We will be using these new songs on the program in the near future as soon as they are edited and prepared. Thanks again for your help!
It’s now time to join in our songs of praise as we together sing the first hymn of the morning. Our first song today talks of the blessed day when we will see our Lord face to face! So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Farther Along.”
(SONG # 1)
One of the greatest decisions we ever make is to serve God and to become obedient to His Will! However, I think sometimes people fail to realize the level of commitment we are really making when we do that which God has commanded us to become a Child of His!
To become a Child of God is to become His servant and slave. We must understand that we have been bought and paid for with a hefty price – the very body and blood of Jesus Christ.
We also must accept that as Christians we have a new master to serve under. This includes a new head to guide us and new Savior to protect us. All the while being placed in the body of Christ by the Lord, we are to be obedient to Him, just as we were His own Children.
In connection to these thoughts, consider one of the hardest things we have to do in our new life as followers of God. That is to serve only the one new master. This is the very problem Jesus was addressing in Matthew 6:24. There He said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Here we read that serving God requires that we follow only Him. We can not be on the fence and try to serve both.
We also have clarified for us in this verse that there are different kinds of things which we can allow to rule over us. It is not just talking about a certain person, or a boss, or a ruler. Jesus even used the example that we can not serve God and mammon or riches. You see, it is just not possible for someone to serve God completely and still try to hold on to the riches of this world - making them also a priority in life.
So, when we choose God, we must choose Him and Him alone. He must be the only priority and we must seek Him first if we expect His promises and rewards. Have you put on Christ as your Lord and Master? If so, is He the only master you serve today?
This morning we are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins as our guest speaker. As most of you know, brother Jerry is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for joining us today.
As far as our study of the day we will continue with our new series called, “Teaching As Doctrines The Commandments Of Men!” Our specific topic today will focus on man’s belief that one is, “Saved By Faith Alone.” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together brother Sullins will return with our study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn is, “Footprints Of Jesus!”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
Again, welcome to The Living Word broadcast. We want to express our appreciation for you who are watching this television program this morning. We know that many of you are in our audience every Sunday morning, for that we are so appreciative and certainly if you are a first time viewer we hope and pray that this won’t be the only time that you will view this program. But that after you hear what is said today you might be interested in viewing this program again so that as we work together in studying God’s word, you studying with us and us studying with you over the television we can come to certainly a knowledge of God’s Word. That is the purpose of this program, to seek out what God’s word means and then to seek to apply it to our everyday lives so that in the end we can be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
I might make mention that this week is the continuation of a series that has just recently been started on the doctrines of men. Jesus made a statement concerning this as was introduced last week when he said in Matthew 15:9, “‘And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Jesus said in vain they worship me, which meant simply this, that their worship was useless, and that their worship was worth nothing because it was after the commandments of men. We know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by him, John 14:6. Jesus also said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Unfortunately, in the religious world today we have many men and women who are following the tenets’ and the doctrines of man versus the commandments of God. So, for this reason, throughout this series we are going to be investigating certain aspects of what is taught in the religious world today that is not in tune with, or that is not in a direct relationship with, the commandments of God but yet they are the commandments of men.
I would like to first of all start this morning by talking about a familiar subject that all of us are aware of, those of us who claim Jesus Christ is our savior, that is the subject of grace. It’s a wonderful subject but yet it is so misunderstood in the religious world today. We know as Paul told Titus in Titus 2, he said this, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” Now you notice what he said there in Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that brings salvations has appeared to all men.” Now how did he appear? How did this grace appear to us? Well, all of us know and accept the fact that Jesus Christ is the very express image of the grace of God that came to this earth to die upon the cross to save us from our sins. For this reason Paul wrote to our brethren at Ephesus, in Ephesians 2:8, saying, “For by Grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” We are saved by grace through faith. So the grace of God, that is his unmerited favor, which was extended to all so that all might have an opportunity to be saved has appeared or has been given to all men, at least that opportunity to receive the grace of God, has been given to all mankind. It was Paul who said in 2Corinthians 8:9, for we know that the grace of God happened when Jesus came to this earth which is stated in this verse 2Corinthians 8:9, that is was demonstrated when Jesus came to this earth, he lived on this earth, and he died, and shed his blood for all mankind. So, there is no doubt that all of us agree with the fact that Jesus is the express image of the grace of God that has appeared unto all men as Paul said to Titus in Titus 2:11.
But there are many false doctrines concerning the grace of God. Now most of these doctrines are attributed to a document that was written back in the 16th century called “The Institute of the Christian Religion” by John Calvin. Over eighty percent of the religious world today believes in or accepts one or more of those tenants that this man taught while he misunderstood and misused and abused Ephesians 2:8 and several other scriptures that are found in the Bible. But especially concerning grace he said this and some people believe this today, “What man does or does not do in this life will alter his soul salvation.” Have you heard that before maybe in this expression, “Once saved you are always saved.”? So once some people believe we are saved by the grace of God we will always be saved regardless of what we might practice or do in this life. Some have said that what this means and what Calvin was teaching and that they readily believe and agree with this is that man can not do anything to cause the loss of his salvation or even to have salvation. That it is simply the outpouring of God’s love through his grace in Jesus Christ so man absolutely has to do nothing; there are no conditions upon his salvation. Certainly this is not taught in the scriptures and we are going to show that in just a few moments to come. Some say once saved by his grace there is nothing you can do or there is nothing that you can possibly involve yourself in that will cost you your salvation, we know that that is not true. And of course all of these are the doctrines of men, now why do I say that? Because the Bible, my friend, does not teach that.
I want us to go through the scripture now and discuss exactly what the Bible says. I call your attention again back to Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you gave been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.” “For by Grace…” God’s part, “…you are saved through faith” that is mans part. Man has to have faith, man has to have belief, man has to recognize that there is that one faith of Ephesians 4 that system of faith and I say this in all reality that some people are believing that it is simply a statement that I believe or accept Jesus Christ into my heart as personal savior and therefore I am saved. Well, even the demons believe and tremble because they believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God according to James 2, does that mean the devils are saved? So let’s go back again and look at that scripture, “For by grace…” that is God’s grace or God’s part, “…you have been saved through faith…” that is mans part. So man must have faith and it’s not by meritorious works. Sometimes when people are trying to get out of what God requires that they be saved they will say oh you preachers you believe, especially you in the Churches of Christ, you believe that a man has to be baptized and that’s a meritorious work. Now that’s not a meritorious work, let me say this first of all I have been preaching for over fifty years and I’ve met hundreds and hundreds of preachers in the Churches of Christ and I have never heard one yet who says that we are saved by our works. But they say that salvation is conditional, there are things that man must do because it is a reflection of his faith and if those things are not there he therefore cannot be saved.
This is exactly what James said, do you not remember what James said in James 2:17? As the body without the spirit is dead so what, even so faith without works is dead in itself being alone. So what did James say there, he said that faith would demonstrate itself in works, if the works are not there then how could one claim that he has faith. In fact James went on to say in verse 24 of James 2, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” So he is justified by what? His works because his works are a demonstration of his faith. Now you need only go my friend to Hebrews 11 and you can see this repeated over and over again because Hebrews 11 is the great chapter on faith. What it shows there is that unless Noah built the ark his faith in God caused him to obey God’s commands. Because Abraham was willing to leave Ur of Chaldea and go to a place that God would eventually show him where he needed to go because he had the faith to obey God, which brought about his justification. On and on and on there is example after example, in Hebrews 11, that speaks of how faith must be demonstrated for one to truly know and understand that he is doing God’s will.
Salvation has always been and is and will always be conditional upon ones demonstration of his or her faith. Now I’d like to demonstrate that for you. First of all, I’ll ask you a simple question, must one believe in order to be saved? Now you say well that’s not a meritorious work and you say certainly one must believe. In fact even Jesus said, John 8, “Accept you believe that I am He you will die in your sins.” We know that one must believe and every religious person accepts that as the truth of God’s word. I have asked people before who believe in Calvinistic doctrine, must one not only believe but repent, that is turn away from sin, if they want to become a child of God? All have agreed that one must repent for Jesus himself said, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 15:3, 5. I have asked these people before, must one confess that Jesus Christ is the son of God or would one need to confess that Jesus Christ is the son of God in order to be saved? These people will readily say oh yes that’s true one must confess that Jesus Christ is the son of God. For Jesus said, Matthew 10:32, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My father who is in Heaven.” And it is not a meritorious work. Then the same Jesus who said you must believe, the same Jesus that said you must repent, the same Jesus who said you must confess me before men is the same Jesus who said in Mark 16:15-16 and giving His great commission, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” It’s not a work, just being baptized into Christ is a work? It’s not a meritorious work it is an action or a condition upon ones salvation. Jesus said you must do this, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” It’s a condition upon which one can be saved.
So let me express to you in some other scriptures for your consideration this morning. Have you remembered what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart form Me, you who practice lawlessness!” So not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ who says ‘Jesus, Jesus I believe that you are Jesus’ is going to be saved but the person who does what? Who does that will of the Father who is in Heaven. Hebrews 6:4-6, certainly points out, that one who even becomes a child of God must continue to do the works of God, if they fall away it is impossible to renew them again into repentance, why? Because they have decided that they are not going to do what God has asked them to do. Then back to Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly In the present age.”
My friend we could take the rest of the day and discuss from the scriptures how it is important that faith must be demonstrated through our works and if there are no works there is no faith. The same as becoming a Christian you can have faith all day long like the devils who recognized that this was Jesus, in fact they claimed when they saw Him that He was the Son of God and believed that He was the Son of God that alone will not save you. Although it is a demonstration of God’s love for us in showing us that his grace does abound. So what are we trying to say this morning? We are trying to say this, be careful how you follow mans ideas and mans doctrines. God does demand that there are conditions that must be met if we are going to be saved from our sins; we have stated those conditions this morning. He has also said that there are things we must follow, Titus 2:11-12. It is your decision whether you desire and whether you decide to follow man or God no one is going to force you, not in this United States of America. God certainly, is not going to force you but one thing for sure if you truly love Him and seek to do His will and want to enjoy Heaven some day you will keep His and only His commandments.
(SONG # 3 - “Give Me The Bible!”)
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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As Christians, may we seek to know God’s Will and truth and thus obey it. For there is no way but God’s way that leads to Salvation!