THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 8-24-08
LESSON TITLE: "THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATES: GOD HATES ONE WHO SOWS DISCORD"
Here we are together again on another fine Lord's day! We are so glad you have chosen to be with us today, as we commit this time to our creator. Having the privilege to study God's Word and to sing praises to His name is something we all should be very thankful for. May each of us today do our part in this collective offering to God? Now, let's approach His supreme throne in prayer!
Our first song of the morning talks about just how wonderful our Lord and Savior is. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time and do your part in song to God, as we together sing, "Fairest Lord Jesus!"
(SONG # 1)
Do you ever get tired or run down and you just don't know where the energy you need is going to come from. This usually happens when you have something you need to do. Maybe it's time to go to work or school. Sometimes it hits us when we actually have a day off and we think that we are going to get some extra things done around the house. I'm sure we all have these days where we just feel worn out, lazy, and like we really can't do anything.
So, where can we get the strength we need to live our daily lives and to be productive. Well, the obvious answer is that we can take care of ourselves by eating well and getting enough rest so that we will be physically and mentally ready for everything that comes our way. However, let me remind you of another wonderful place that we can find great strength and power. You guessed it - this greatest strength is found in our God.
The great prophet Isaiah put it this way, "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint, Isaiah 40:31." In this verse we are told of the continued strength we receive from the Lord. However, also notice that this strength comes with a condition. The writer there said, it is "those who wait on the Lord," who receive this energy.
Notice the examples he gave to help us understand the abilities we have through God's help. He said we will be able to fly high with wings, as the eagle. Being above or elevated has always been a sight of strength and power throughout history.
He also mentions that we will run, but we won't grow weary. Wouldn't that be nice? Furthermore, we can walk as far as we need to, yet we will not faint.
I think all of these thoughts are truly summed up in one of Paul's writings in the New Testament. In Philippians 4:13, we all will recognize these familiar words, where he said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." You see, truly the strength and power we need to be faithful Christians comes from our Lord - He strengthens us and gives us the ability to do all, as He is with us and by our side. Are you relying on God for strength in your daily life? Because all things are truly possible with and through Him.
Today, we want continue our series entitled, "The Things Which God Hates." Our specific topic of the day will deal with the fact that, "God Hates One Who Sows Discord." So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together, our guest speaker will return to lead this discussion from God's Word.
As far as our guest speaker we are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us. As most of you know, brother Jerry is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for again joining us today. But for now, won't you join in our second hymn together as we sing the song, "Face To Face."
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
It's a pleasure to be with you this morning on The Living Word broadcast. I'd like to take this special opportunity to invite you to a special day at the Kansas Expressway church of Christ which is next Sunday, the last Sunday in the month of August. We're calling it "Friends and Family Day." We've been preparing now for over a month passing out Bibles and literature trying to interest our families and our friends to come and be with us on that day. A special lesson will be presented by our preacher, Ray Sullins, and also after the morning service we will have a "Friends and Family Day Potluck." I know that you'll enjoy that also and then we'll have evening services at 6:00. I believe we have a Youth Night that night. And so we invite you to come to all of those services on that very special day.
Also I would like to make you aware of the fact that the next class of the Bible Institute of Missouri actually starts within about, well it starts very, very soon and so if you would be interested in coming to train for a two year preacher training program for the churches of Christ, we invite you to contact us immediately. In fact, if I am not mistaken, classes begin even tomorrow, but it is still not too late for you to join us and there you will have an opportunity to study over 40 Bible or Bible related subjects in eight different quarters that last for two academic years. At the end of that time, we believe that you will be fully equipped to be an evangelist of the gospel of Christ in the United States or somewhere even in the world. So we invite you to take a special opportunity to come and to be with us and make application with the school and the Lord willing maybe things will work out and you can become a student at The Bible Institute of Missouri. So please contact us at the numbers that are given always on this program.
Now for the past few weeks, the study has been on a series of verses that are found in Proverbs chapter 6 verses 16-19. Actually they speak of seven abominable things that the Lord God Himself hates. Now most people when they think of God, they think of love and they say, "Well, how is it that God can hate anything?" Well it is possible for God to hate things but not to hate people. He doesn't hate any person's soul. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Someone has said in the past that, "God does not hate the sinner but He hates the sin."
I think that sort of coins the expression that I would like to present to you today concerning these seven abominable things that the Lord hates. You've discussed six of them in previous lessons. As we go back through we might make mention of them shortly to prepare for this last and final one that is listed here in the seven abominable things that God hates.
"A proud look," which simply means a haughty spirit. We know how God desires that we all humble ourselves before Him.
"A lying tongue," that is someone who willfully perverts the truth. That God hates. He abhors.
"Hands that shed innocent blood," that is murderers. Even today just riding to this broadcast and to tape this broadcast, I heard of another gruesome murder and I know that as we hate such things, God also even hates them.
It also says, "A heart that devises wicked plans." That is a heart that is filled with iniquity.
"Feet that are swift in running to evil." That is those who want to do sin and are always involving themselves in sin.
Then the last two.
One that you covered last week. "A false witness who speaks lies."
Then the one for our consideration this morning is "One who sows discord among the brethren."
Now I might want to mention here at the first of this discussion today that this one that we are mentioning today is of no greater gravity than the ones that God has hated before, the other six. It just happens to be mentioned last in this listing of things that God hates. Now for us to completely understand what is being said here, I want to read the definition of what this is actually saying. Who is this person that God hates? "It is one who troubles the peace of a family." This is part of the description of this person. "It is one who troubles the peace of a village or of a state or that is of a country by lies and misrepresentations trying to cause problems among people." God hates these people. In fact, in the statement here, "who sows discord among the brethren," it is not necessarily talking about the church. It is talking about wherever the Christian might be or wherever the follower of God might be. God does not want us to sow discord among people. In fact, the word "brethren" here means, "friends or associates, members of the same circle of people," whomever you may be speaking of which could include the church. And so this is a very serious thing that we are talking about today and I want to thoroughly try to describe to you what type of person we are talking about and if you find yourself in this category of a person then please try to do something to not be recognized by God Himself as one who sows discord or strife or quarrelling or like terms that describe of person and what he or she is doing among the people.
Now for further discussion of this person, we look at verse 14 where it says about this person, "Perversity is in his heart. He devises evil continually. He sows discord." Now you might say to yourself, "I don't know of a person like this," but on the other hand there may be many of you who are in relationships today who say, "That's exactly the type of person described to me that I know." How sad that is. Well this person needs to understand the gravity of his or her actions.
Let's describe this type of person. First of all it is a person who sows it. Someone who is trying to plant a seed that will grow up and destroy someone else. This person is a malicious person, no doubt. This is a person who delights in causing problems in the home, in the community, in the church and we have all seen people like this. These are people who bring about a breech of the peace, disorderly people who strive to cause strife among others. Adam and Eve were in the garden living there peacefully but there was one who sought to sow discord between them and God and you know who that person was. It was Satan. So he told Eve what? A lie! And she believed it. Was he malicious in doing this? Certainly! Was he wanted it to be a malignancy? Yes, because the malignancy that he was causing to happen was sin and it was something that would eventually envelop the whole world including us. This same Satan that we refer to in the Garden of Eden was one who was pictured in the book of Job of walking to and fro on the face of the earth and then he wanted to do something to bring down the servant of God, that is Job himself, and he wanted to do it maliciously. Yes, there are people today in our society. There are people who live in Springfield, Missouri and in this listening audience. You know yourself as well as some of us may know you that you are involving yourself in these type of activities. This is a very serious sin. Very serious because God hates that sin and God will not save the person who involves himself or herself in that sin.
In Acts chapter 20 the warning was given by the apostle Paul that "after his departure there would be men who would come in and speak perverse things and who would lead them away from the gospel." These are perverse men who want to pervert the gospel and indeed in our day and time there are people who seek to do that very same thing. These are people who are sowing discord among other people by speaking lies so that they might lead people away from the truth and lead people into heresy. This is that type of malicious person I am talking about.
And then also these people who sow discord among other people are those who many times are seeking power. They are interested in causing division. This very same problem occurred in the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians chapter 1. The apostle Paul actually warned them concerning there were divisions among them. He said, "Some of you are saying I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephus and some are even saying that I am Christ." He said, "Is Christ divided?" The fact is these people were dividing themselves under different names so that they might what? Sow discord among the brethren because they wanted what? Power. They wanted people to follow them and glorify them and lift them up and praise them. Well all of this is abominable before God. In fact, the apostle Paul said to these people in the church at Corinth, he said, "I want you to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." It is that selfish person who wants to lead other people away from God and from others and to sow discord so that they might receive the praise, the glory and honor from other people.
Well what does God want of us? He does not want us to be people who sow discord, who quarrel and cause people to be divided. He wants us to be peacemakers. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God," Matthew 5:9. How important it is that we do that.
He wants us to love one another. The very thing that we are talking about today is a violation of the second and greatest commandment. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Also in 1 John 3 and verse 23, "The new commandment," Jesus said, "I am giving to you is that you love one another." So this one who sows discord or division among the brethren is one who does not properly love. He wants us to "endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace," Ephesians 4 verse 3.
He does not want us to divide the church but He does want us to keep the church pure. That is clearly seen in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 where the apostle Paul is dealing with those in the church who were not doing things that were proper before God. In fact, they were sanctioning sexual sins in the church and the apostle Paul warned them that they had to deal with them. In fact, he even said in the last verse of that chapter, he said, "Put away from yourself that wicked person." God wants the church to be pure. He doesn't want us to sow discord and we should not do that, but He wants us to make sure that we keep ourselves in a proper relationship with Him and that all others do also so that there can be what? Hope of eternal life.
And so as we discuss this subject today, I think that we can see that yes, God wants us to be free of division, but He wants us to do what? He wants us to be peacemakers. He wants us to show love for everyone and at the same time we show love we must discipline one another. That doesn't mean we do it in such a way to lift ourselves up and puff ourselves up with pride and look and say, "Hey, look how great I am and what a sinner you are." No! It is that we are striving our best to lead people to adhere to the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to live it in our lives.
So as we think today as we close our thoughts, let us remember that although God hates sin, He does not hate the sinner. God wants you to be saved through His precious Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(SONG # 3 - "Walking Alone At Eve!")
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, as we gave this time to God. It is always a blessing to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to doing the things of God in His Way!
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May we always strive to be a people after God's own heart, thus working towards peace with all men. However, may we never strive for peace at any cost, for Jesus certainly did not teach this in the Bible! Are you in tune with the true peace of God?