THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-7-11
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: GOSPEL, TRUTH AND DOCTRINE”
Isaiah once proclaimed, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You (oh God), because he trusts in You.” Do you trust in your God on this wondrous Lord’s Day morning? I certainly hope we all do!
And now may I welcome you to our program. We are glad that you have chosen to assemble before the almighty God today. Furthermore, as those who love and desire to serve Christ, what a privilege and opportunity this is to worship His glorious name. I hope and pray that we will each do our best to participate in this worship to God and to offer those sacrifices which are acceptable in His sight.
So, as we begin our reverence to God the Creator of all, won’t you bow with me before His throne at this time?
Now let’s join right into our song of praise with the first song of the day. Won’t you do your part in praising God at this time, as we sing together, “The Great Physician?”
(SONG # 1)
We mentioned a beautiful verse from Isaiah 26:3, earlier this morning. And in that verse we learned about our God’s true love for the faithful follower of His will! Notice what Isaiah said God gives us as His children, “perfect peace!” Wow do you realize what this inspired writer is confirming for us?
We all need peace in this life, for it is peace that gives us the ability to deal with the issues of life and afterward to be able to move forward. Well, in this passage not only is God offering peace to us, but “perfect” or complete peace!
This makes me think of a similar passage over in the New Testament. Let’s read together from Philippians 4:6-7, there it says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Did you catch all of that? Paul says pray, ask, receive and the peace of God is ours. And what kind of peace is Paul talking about here? A peace which surpasses all of our human understanding! What a loving and caring God we serve!
Furthermore, notice in this same text that he also gives us an outcome of this glorious peace from God. He says, it “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!” What can God’s peace do? It can guide us in the right way both physically and mentally. And how is this accomplished? Through Jesus Christ!
How blessed we are to have a God which offers such peace to the faithful. So let me ask, are you a recipient of God’s peace this day? If not, obey God this very hour that you may as well enjoy His peace which surpasses understanding.
As far as our main lesson of the day, we will be continuing our series of study on, “The Gospel of Christ!” Our specific topic of the day is entitled, “Gospel, Truth, And Doctrine!” So please stay with us for this study from God’s Word, and I will be leading our thoughts at the appropriate time. Now let’s join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
Again, we are so thankful you continued with us as we now go to God’s Word and consider another lesson concerning the gospel. Let me remind you of just maybe a few things that we talked about last week together from God’s Word in relationship to the gospel or the Word of God. We began to develop together that heart of the gospel and we tried to clearly show where the Bible does teach that the heart of the gospel, the foundation of all things concerning God’s Will is found in Jesus Christ the Son and specifically in the fact that He came to this earth, that He lived, that He died, that He also was buried and rose again on the third day.
As we think about all of those things, we certainly then want to look a bit deeper even today as we began a little bit last week to see that really the gospel would then be tied into many more things. There would be a lot more to the gospel. If I were to begin teaching about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ because I understand that the gospel really certainly teaches me about faith, about love, about obedience. And how could anyone say that faith, love, and obedience are not important when we know that without faith it is impossible to please God, when we know that love is the greatest of all things even greater than faith, but yet if I am to hold fast to the concept that the gospel only is the death, burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ without any explanation of what He did it for or what it was all about, then certainly I think someone has misunderstood the concept of really what the gospel is. The Good News is what was even prophesied about. The Lord is coming and He is going to make a kingdom. He’s going to make a church. He’s going to show you what to do. He’s going to help you. He’s going to send a comforter. He’s going to do all of these things and they are going to happen and then salvation will be for all men. You see the Gospel does involve more than what many tried to focus on as just the death, burial and the resurrection. Certainly we understand why they would say that because if we were able to agree that the Gospel only is the death, burial and the resurrection then it doesn’t matter what you believe. It doesn’t matter what you teach. It doesn’t matter who you fellowship because if we can agree on the death, burial and the resurrection, then the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, none of those things make any difference because we only have to agree on the death, burial and the resurrection. Well let’s look at what the Bible has to say a bit deeper in relationship to the text concerning these very things.
When we think about the Gospel, what again is the Gospel? It’s what saves us. And when we think about the Gospel certainly we know that the Gospel is called the “Word of God.” There are many passages that we’ve already been looking at together over the past many weeks that talk about the Gospel as the Word of God. One such text that would help us is Hebrews chapter 4. It speaks there in verse 2 about the Gospel that was preached to them and it says also that it was preached to the Jews who many have rejected it, and then later in the same text as he is speaking of that gospel and that rest that is found for all those who obey the Gospel. Certainly why would I tell somebody about the death, burial and the resurrection if I didn’t tell them about the promises and blessings of God, including Heaven! There’s the motivation to obey the Gospel! Well we read here in the same text that the gospel that they heard about (verse 12) was what? The Word of God. And that Word is living and powerful. Does that sound familiar? Romans 1:16, our main theme throughout this series. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The Word of God is living and powerful even able to pierce and divide the soul and spirit, the joints and the marrow, to help one discern the thoughts. That’s what the two-edge sword, the Word of God is. That’s what the Sword of the Spirit is, that word of God, the Gospel, the Good News! The Good News, yes, that encompasses Jesus and encompasses the death, burial and the resurrection, but also encompasses the entire Word of Truth because knowing that Jesus did what He did without why He did it or how He did it or what it means to me or what I must do certainly is worthless to us as those who will be saved. Why? Because I can’t be saved without other things like faith, without love as we saw a moment ago.
Peter helps us with the same idea. In the book of 1 Peter and chapter 1 he talks about “those who have purified their souls (listen) by obeying the Truth.” Wow! That sounds really familiar to me in relationship to one who obeys the Gospel is the power unto salvation. What purifies my soul unto salvation? Here it says, “The Word of Truth.” That which verse 23 says in 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 23 says, “By which we have been born again.” You mean the Truth of God; the Word of God causes me to be born again? I thought the Gospel did that. Well it did and it is one in the same because what is the Truth? You know what the Truth well is. You know what the Bible teaches that it is. The Truth is the Gospel. You know the Bible says that the Truth of God can set us free. I thought the Gospel did that. It does! And the Truth does because they refer to the same concept there in John 8:32.
But then in John 17:17 guess what we learn the Truth is. “Thy Word oh God is Truth.” The Truth is the Word. And if the Truth is the Word that sets me free and saves me and the gospel saves me then they certainly have to refer to the same thing. The Truth is that which is right concerning the Will of God, the teachings of God. It is that Good News of His righteousness and that is exactly what the Gospel is as well.
Guess what Peter went on to say in that same text. After he says “They purified their souls by obeying the Truth,” and he says, “They had been born again by it,” down in the same text, verse 25, he says, “Now this is the Word by which the Gospel was preached to you.” He said, “This is the Gospel that was preached.” There actually is more in the text there that reinforces that very same idea.
Still not convinced? I want you to look with me at a few texts that clearly indicate this Truth. If you have your Bibles, turn over to the book of Ephesians. There in the book of Ephesians in chapter 1 Paul is dealing with the church at Ephesus and trying to help them to understand what their responsibility as Christians is all about. And guess what! They’ve already obeyed the Gospel based on the death, burial and the resurrection so he is teaching them further things about guess what- the Truth of the Gospel. There in Ephesians chapter 1 down in verse 13 after he tells them that they have been made children, they have been adopted, they have Heaven and they have forgiveness of sins and they have all of these blessings of God, guess what he says to them there in verse 13. He says this, “In Him (Jesus) you also trusted after you heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation.” What? You mean the Gospel, is the Word of Truth? That’s what this verse says. That’s exactly what the Greek indicates. That’s what the Holy Spirit revealed that the Gospel and the Truth are one in the same. They are both that wondrous saving message that teaches me not only what Jesus did, but what it means and then how I have to react to it. In fact, that very text is telling them what they must do with the help of the Holy Spirit to continue to be recipients of that salvation. Sounds like the Gospel, the Truth again deals with the way I live, the type of life I am involved in.
Turn over now with me, if you will, to the text found in Colossians chapter 1 just a few books over. But there as Paul speaks to the Colossian church in chapter 1, hear with me what he says in verse 5 after he identifies their faith, again by which we are required to have or we can’t please God there in verse 4, when he talks about their faith he said, “The faith they have (verse 5) because of the hope which is laid up for them in Heaven of which you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel. Did you hear what he just said? He says, “The Word of Truth of the Gospel.” There he ties all three together. Word- God’s Word is Truth- and Gospel, the Good News that does what? Is telling me of my salvation of Heaven. What part does the death, burial and the resurrection tell me about Heaven except I don’t want to teach someone why the blood was shed and what I must do to respond to the shed blood that I might have that reward of Heaven, that hope of Heaven as he says here. You see again, the Word of God, the Gospel of God, both unto salvation. Truth, the Truth of God unto salvation that saves us, that makes us free, that gives us the ability to understand that we can be saved if we can come to a knowledge of the Truth. That’s what Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 4.
Now the final thing we’d like to look at today really can be started in our same text here, Colossians chapter 1 that we were in just a moment ago. We read there about the fact that the Word of the Truth of the Gospel. But then I want you to notice with me what he goes on to establish later in the same text there in verse 13. He speaks about again the fact that we have been made children or partakers of the inheritance, the blessings of God, but then he says, “And we have been delivered out of the power of darkness…” We certainly would understand that to be the world and sin. “…Out of the power of darkness and conveyed into (guess what) the kingdom of the dear Son of His love.” Now if we understand the fact that we have been taken out of darkness and conveyed into a kingdom and we know that those who respond to the death, burial and resurrection as well as the preaching Peter did in Acts 2 of the kingdom understood verse 47 that they were added to the church, those that were saved, or the kingdom of God. In other words, it wasn’t enough to just know what Jesus did. They had to understand that you are now in a kingdom, a spiritual kingdom where you must be a servant, a humble servant of God.
I want you to notice with me the concept that is equally and similarly spoken about in another text. Turn over now to Romans chapter 6. Keep in mind that as you turn over there about this thing we just read about how one is taken out of darkness, taken out of sin and put into the kingdom of His dear Son, the Son of His love. Now look with me at Romans 6 and verse 17. As he talks about sin in this text, in fact you are probably most familiar with verse 23 where he says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God eternal life.” But back up a little bit to verse 17 and notice what he says. “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, you were in darkness, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine by which you were delivered unto salvation.” Do you understand that? Do you understand the concept of darkness and sin and outside of God and then because of the Gospel, because of the Truth, because of now what the doctrine that you obey from your heart, where do you find yourself? In the kingdom of God! Well that sounds an awful lot like this doctrine and this information about the kingdom must certainly be about God’s Word. Well certainly it is!
Do we not find that again in Acts chapter 2? What does it say that those who were baptized that day, those who became disciples because of their salvation and added to the church, what does it say that they continued in? Do you remember? It says, “They continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine.” Now why did it say doctrine and not the apostle’s Gospel or the apostle’s Truth or the Word? Because doctrine encompasses the Will of God. It was the doctrine delivered through the apostles by the hand or the mouth of God through the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? That certainly again we have not only an idea that the Gospel of Good News and the Truth of right and righteousness but now also the plan that is laid out, the doctrine, the pattern. You see God hasn’t left anything to chance. He doesn’t just have to throw out a hodge podge of stuff and say, “Well if you can figure something out, great and if you can’t too bad for you.” He says, “Here is My Word that encompasses this Gospel and Truth and shows you My doctrine and helps you to understand what it is that is required of someone who will receive the reward.”
How also can we understand that to be true? Do you know that you can be lost for not obeying the doctrine? Well you can be saved by obeying the doctrine, but there in chapter 16 of Romans and verse 17 he actually urges them to “note those who have offenses,” and notice what he says, “do things contrary to the doctrine of Christ.” Now what’s the doctrine of Christ? The teachings of our Lord, what it is that He wants us to do. Do you remember what it says over there in the book of 2 John? He speaks there in verses 9-11 that if someone comes to you with a different doctrine that is not the doctrine of Christ it says you are not even supposed to eat with that person, not even supposed to be around that person. Why? Because they are denying the very heart of that Gospel and Truth of God’s Word not only in relationship to the Son and what He did but what He did it for and what we should do in response.
We are so blessed to have a Word of God, a pattern laid out for us, a Truth that is presented as the Good News of God and revealed in doctrine that we might know what our God wants, not only who He is and what He has done, but what our part is because at the end of the day that is what will help us to found justified or not. God has done His part. He is righteous. He is perfect. But now the work is ours to obey the Good News, to follow that Truth, to obey the doctrine, to hold fast to sound words, to accomplish everything that our God has asked of us so that we might not only be blessed now as a part of that kingdom but that we might also receive the blessings of eternal life when we live with Him forever someday in Heaven.
(SONG # 3 - “Blest Be The Tie That Binds!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How thankful we should all be for the great things our God has done for us, so that we might be saved. Furthermore, let’s thank our God for His love, care and guidance in all things, unto salvation!