THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 8-4-13

LESSON TITLE: “TEST YOUR ETHICS.”

WELCOME

Paul once proclaimed, “Godliness is profitable for all things.” Are you striving to be godly?

Here we are together again on a wondrous Lord’s Day Morning. Privileged to serve our God in songs of praise and through the study of His Word. We welcome you to this time of offering to God.

I hope each of you had a great week and I hope you are ready today to think on things above, and to give full attention to our Creator who has done so much for all of us. In fact, this morning we want to begin by talking to our God in prayer. Won’t you bow with me at this time before the throne of God.

(Prayer)

At this time we want to get started by singing our first song of the morning. And how blessed we are to offer the fruit of our lips to God Almighty. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we lift up our voices together, in the hymn, “Standing On The Promises.”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Physical fitness seems to be almost an obsession with many in our day and time. You can look almost anywhere and find health clubs or gyms to work out in, in order to improve your physical strength or your physical appearance.

For many of us our favorite characters and hero’s are the strongest, who seem to be able to accomplish anything because of their strength. Some of us like certain sports, where again athletes spend a great deal of time on building their physical bodies to prepare themselves to adequately execute their sport!

With these thoughts in mind, I am reminded of a verse in Psalms that makes me think of the same kind of strength in the Lord. David said, “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever,” Psalms 125:1. Here we see that those who have God are like a mountain, which can not be moved! Furthermore, they will abide forever. This verse helps me to think of how spiritually strong we are when we have God on our side. If we have God on our side and we exercise ourselves spiritually, then we know that we can endure or withstand anything, just as a strong, unmovable mountain.

Another remarkable verse along the same lines is found in 1 Timothy 4:8. There we read the word’s of Paul as he said, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” Notice again the emphasis here on the spiritual rather than the physical. Not to say that bodily exercise is wrong, but it really profits little because some day our bodies will simply return to the dust, Genesis 3:19!

However, also look at the great benefit we gain from spiritual exercise! This verse tells us that it profits us for all things. It make us better in every way today, right now. Furthermore, it also prepares us and makes us ready for all of that which is to come - even Heaven.

So, as those who love God, let’s always try to exercise ourselves unto godliness. In so doing, we will make ourselves better servants today and tomorrow for all the things which God has in store for us.

In our study this morning we will again focus on our series entitled, “Test Yourselves.” Our specific topic today is, “Test Your Ethics!” 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, “Sweet Hour Of Prayer!”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

We are so glad you continued with us today as we now go to God’s word and consider those things in relationship to testing ourselves. As you know, those of you who tune in every week, we have been looking at a series together based on a statement of Paul in 2Corinthians 13:5. Where he actually challenges the brethren to examine themselves as to whether they are in the faith. The next thing that he says in that verse is to test yourselves. We all understand as Christians the importance as well as the significance of making sure that what we are doing everyday and what we are saying everyday is in alignment with God’s word. So one way that we might look at those things is in relationship to giving ourselves a regular test or we might even say a regular evaluation. To make sure that what we are doing and those things that we are saying really be of and from God. You might also remember that several weeks ago when we began our study another verse that we looked at was found there in Thessalonians. In fact 1Thessalonians 5 there again in verse 21 says test but it says, “Test all things,” and we discussed the fact of how really the Christian walk requires that we look well rounded at ourselves to make sure that every facet of life really coincides with what God desires or wants. But then if you will look with me there again at that text it goes on to say, “Test all things; hold fast what is good,” then in verse 22 it says, “Abstain from every form of evil.”

That kind of introduces us to our thoughts of this day, the topic that we will consider. That really deals with testing yourselves in relationship to ethics. The idea really that deals with morality or the morality of man as they live on this earth. If I were to really begin to define ethics I would say well, ethics comes from the Greek word ethos and that word basically translated is translated in a few different ways but often means this idea of character. So if we begin to think about the idea of ethics and we add the word such as Christian ethics we think about Christian character. Or in other words the idea of a Christians learning how to and then dealing with things whether they be right or wrong. There is an element of discernment within ethics. We think about the fact as being a moral individual whether I will decide to do that which is right according to God or whether I will do what is wrong. Again you and I have that decision to make, we have that right by God who has made us agents of free will to determine whether we will do it God’s way or whether we will do it another way.

If you look there with me in the Bible in the book of Romans we begin to see this idea really of Ethics or we might again use this word of morality in the essence of character once again. There in chapter 5 verse 4 it is in this text that Paul is talking about fate to the Roman brethren. Let’s back up to verse 3 in fact, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. You see there is a certain thing that is produced in the Christian. There is a certain thing that as we learn he says here to endure tribulation and persevere that that brings about character, a stronger character. Think about that, that makes perfect sense. When I face the challenges of life and I turn to my God, and my God helps me to overcome and to be victorious that gives me a stronger ability to endure those things that come in the future. A stronger ability to persevere or to endure the trials, the tribulations, or the issues of life. So certainly, we do learn through tribulation and trials that we are closer to God and that God will help and make us victorious and therefore that builds our character. Our character then has the ability to deal with those things with life much better. Therefore I am able to love more, I am able to forgive more, I am able to do so many of those Godly things in a way that God desires despite those things that might come my way.

Another text that actually helps using this same idea is found over by Paul once again but to the church at Colosse there in Colossians 3:12. He mentions here, “You and I as the elect of God.

(SONG # 3 - “The Gloryland Way!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

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.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

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Thanks be to God that He has given us a clear understanding in His Word of what it means to be a moral people. Therefore, may we never follow the morality of this world as we strive to be virtuous in the site of our Creator!

(Program End)