THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 9-25-11
LESSON TITLE: “WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER: GOD AND LOVE”
“Test all things; hold fast what is good,” 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Are you testing the spiritual and physical things of this life, to confirm that which is good and right in the sight of God?
Thanks for joining us this Lord’s day for the study of God’s Living Word. How blessed we are today to be able to enjoy such opportunities and freedoms, that allow all to offer such times of sacrifice before His wondrous throne. I hope we all do our part this Lord’s day, in participating in this worship toward God and in doing all things in accordance to His Perfect Will!
So, at this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Now let’s begin praising our God through song. Won’t you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together a hymn that reminds us that our Lord is with us every step of the way. The name of the song, “He Leadeth Me!”
(SONG # 1)
There are many things which we often forget as those who are children of God. One of those issues that often slip our mind is “just who is in control of our lives?”
How easy it is to forget that when we become a child or God that our God must be put first in all things. In fact, the Bible says we are to “put on Christ” and to “seek His Kingdom first,” in all things. Furthermore, we are challenged in our lives to make sure that “everything we do in word or deed is done in the name of the Lord!” With this in mind, we really need to make sure that we have given our lives over to Christ. Have you put Jesus on the throne of your heart?
In Philippians 2:13, Paul made the following statement, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasures.” Wow, what a wonderful fact this is. We learn that God cares enough to work in us and to use us to His glory. However, notice what He uses us for, the verse says, “to will and to do!” Here we learn that God promotes His “will” through us. This is very important, because if we are to be “willed” by God we must know His word and obey what he commands. But secondly, we read the action part of this verse, God works in us to “do.” God guides us in this life, intellectually, mentally, and physically and He expects us to do all that we do based on what He commands through us. In fact, the verse here actually refers to our goal as accomplishing His “good pleasures.”
Are you living in such a way that God can use your life and thus through you “to will and to do for His good pleasures.” If you are praise be to God for you are truly a faithful child of God. However, if you are not choose today to repent of your selfishness and then turn your life fully over to God. That He may use you to His glory and praise and that He may accomplish His good pleasures through you!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. We are glad to again have brother Jerry Sullins with us. It is great to have him with us this Lord’s Day to lead us in our main study from God’s Word.
As far as our topic of the day we will again focus on our series entitled, “What God Has Joined Together.” Our specific lesson of the morning deals with, “God and Love.” So please stay with us and after our next song together we will be lead by brother Sullins in this discussion from God’s Word! Now let’s join in our second hymn of the day, Its name, “He Lives.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I would like to again tell you how much we are grateful for your presence this morning, for your viewing this television program. We’re so thankful for our regular viewers who are with us every Sunday morning and we appreciate so much your support with the letters that you send in encouraging us in this good work. It is our great desire that through this work the Truth of God’s Word might be known on many important subjects. In fact, every subject that comes to God’s Word is important, but those subjects that relate to our world today and how we are to live in this world today and what God’s Will is for us as we live in this 21st century. It’s a beautiful day today and we’re thankful for your presence.
We’ve been in a series of lessons that are comparing certain things with other things that is comparisons like faith and works and how that God’s Word does not divide certain things. This morning we are going to consider one of the others.
As we look at God Himself we know that He is a multi-faceted person. He has many characteristics. When we speak of God, we speak of the Godhead that’s made up of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They all bear these same characteristics alike. In the field of theology they are called for instance like, “God is omniscient,” that is He is all-knowing, and no doubt we all believe that as we read God’s Word that He does know everything.
Also He is omnipresent which means that He has the ability to be present everywhere and at all times. This is just one of the attributes or characteristics of God.
He is omnipotent which means He is all-powerful and indeed all of us would believe that God is all-powerful for we need only to look at the world and even closer to us than the world would be our own bodies, and as we look at the glories of nature and how God has put our bodies together and made them into something that no man could ever produce, then we know of the great power of God. When we see the power of nature we certainly know that the power of God has been put into nature itself.
We also know that God is immutable which means that He is unchangeable. He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. He is eternal in nature. He had no beginning and He will have no ending. That is the Godhead.
But there’s another attribute that God has that we need to consider this morning. The Bible says that if you know one, you know the other and you cannot have one without the other. At least you cannot think of one without thinking of the other. That is the simple truth that involves that God is love and when we take the ultimate of love we look at God.
In 1 John chapter 4 verse 8 it says, “Beloved let us love one another.” This is verse 7. “For love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, for he who does not love does not know God for God is love.” So the very essence of God is love. When we think of love we think of God. When we think of God as it relates to His attributes we think of God’s love. If I were to ask you this morning to give an attribute of God which you believe would come to your mind almost immediately. You would always probably say that attribute that is love. “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.” That’s probably the verse that would cause you to answer when you think of God you think of love.
Indeed as Paul said in Romans 5 verse 8, “For God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” So what did He do? He made it possible. He thought before the world began, before He created man that He would extend His love toward us and that as we would sin He would provide that avenue of escape by giving His Son to die upon the cross and shed His precious blood for your sins and also for my sins. God holds nothing back. Yet we know that this love is really not deserved by man himself as it says in 1 John chapter 4 verse 10. “In this is love not that we love God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” to be the satisfaction of our sins so we really did not deserve to be saved. Sin is a transgression of God’s law as John pointed out in 1 John chapter 3. We know that we transgress and do those things every one of us as Paul said in Romans 3 verse 23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” but it was the love of God that was able, before we were even created, to devise in His mind and His plan to send His Son to this earth to die upon the cross for you and also for me. What a wonderful plan! What great love! What greater love could there be than for someone to give of his own self that others might be saved?
Would you have that capacity? You who are fathers today, and even you who are mothers today, would you be willing to give up your child to die in any way so that some other person might have hope. I doubt very seriously. Now there are cases when there is no hope and the child is going to pass and everyone knows the child is going to pass from life that maybe the organs might be used to help someone else, but I am talking about a child who is well, a child who is living, who has no physical problems. Would you be willing to give that child up for the sins of all mankind? No I wouldn’t even be willing to give it up for the sins of one person who is a human being much less all of mankind.
Well God has demonstrated His love for us but yet we see that the source of all love is God Himself. As I call your attention again to 1 John 4 verse 7 it says, “Beloved let us love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” God is the source of all love.
You know that same type of love as we look at it as a source, He demanded that even those in a family have that same type of love for one another. Maybe not in the same degree could He expect, but He wanted us to have that agape love. Remember what Paul said in Ephesians 5:25 when he made mention of a husband’s relationship to his wife? “For husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.”
Then in Titus chapter 2 around verse 2 it says that “the older women ought to teach the younger women,” and one of those things that they were to teach the younger women is to love their husbands.
So the source of love is from God. And God placed within the family that He created a long time back in the book of Genesis and throughout all of time God has expected that people who are a part of a family indeed love one another as He has also loved us.
Now this recognition that we have that God made man should cause us even to love ourselves. Have you ever heard a person say before, “I just hate myself.” Well sometimes they say that because they have done something that they wished they could take back. Maybe they’ve said something or maybe they’ve literally done something to someone else that they are really not proud of. Well it is God Himself who desires that we love one another and that we love one another, our neighbor, as we love ourselves. Well did Jesus say, when He gave the first and second greatest commandment, the first one was that “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second was likened to it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Now where do we get that concept? Where do we get that desire? As God has loved us, we are to love Him and put Him first. Then the second group of people or the second person that we’re supposed to put in front of ourselves would be our neighbor, would be our family, would be our friends, would be our associates. That’s the way God loves and that’s the way God challenges us to love. So we sincerely love one another.
Look at what John said in 1 John chapter 4 verse 12. “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another God abides in us and His love has been perfected in us.” His love has matured in us and because of the way we love one another people are able to look at us and actually see an attribute of God.
Remember Jesus said to His disciples one time, “By this shall men know that you are My disciples, My followers, if you love one another.” What a wonderful principle, a great challenge to us to love as God is love. When we start thinking about this subject that we’re dealing with this morning, we just cannot separate God from love. If we think of God we think of love and we think of the challenge to love. Man’s love for God will also be demonstrated in another way, my friend, and that is our obedience to God’s Will. Our obedience to His Will is the way that we show that we truly love God.
Remember 1 John 5 verse 3? If you turn to your Bibles you will see that it says, “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments and His commandments are not impossible to keep. So what is the love of God within us? That we want to do what God has asked us to do. What is the agape love within us as it relates to our wives and our associates and our friends? It causes us to put their desires, their needs above our own needs. It is that selfless love that God had when He gave His only begotten Son. He sent His Son to this earth to die upon the cross for your sins and for mine. So by knowing God we learn to love.
I call your attention to 1 John chapter 4 verses 7 and 8 again. “Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves is of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God for God is love.” That’s the way we learn to love, by knowing God, by looking at the way He has loved in giving His Son. In looking at the way that He has loved in caring for the children of Israel throughout hundreds and in fact thousands of years throughout existence. That’s the way He has shown His love because He cared enough for us to establish His church bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He has shown His love for us and still shows it be caring for our needs on a daily basis. When we think of God we think of love, and when we think of love we think of God.
Now my friend, I have a question to ask you this morning. Are you demonstrating that love in return to God? It’s not that we love God but that He loved us and gave His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, but I’m asking you: Have you shown that simple trust and faith and confidence in Him and also an expression of your love to keep His commandments? What about your eternal salvation? Do you love God enough to do what God has said that you might be saved? You need to act upon the faith that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus said, “Except you believe that I am He you will die in your sins.” Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? How could you say you love God if you do not? Well God still loves your soul and He wants you to do that. Are you willing to repent of your sins? That is to turn away from sin, to start a new life, to determine that you’re going to live a life as much as you can free from sin, to become a new person in Christ? That’s what you need to do before you become a Christian. Jesus said, “Repent or perish,” in Luke chapter 13 verse 3 and verse 5. Will you be willing to confess His precious name before men? Why not if you love God because it was Jesus who died upon the cross, the Son of God, who gave you the opportunity to even be saved. Are you willing to confess His precious name before men? And are you, my friend, willing to be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins? This is what joins you together with Christ in the watery grave of baptism where your sins can be remitted and then and only then can you truly say, and I believe that the Bible would substantiate this, that you truly have shown that you love God because you are willing to keep His commandments and then sit back and watch how God will bless you in this life.
So my friend, do you understand that in the Bible God and love cannot be separated? As we think about what John revealed to us this morning in the epistle of 1 John, we can know for sure that God is love. There is no other indicator that we can see throughout the Holy Scriptures. So let us actively respond to His Will and do what Christ wants us to do.
(SONG # 3 - “A Wonderful Savior!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. No doubt our time spent together has been uplifting to us and acceptable to our God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of offering before God!
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How blessed we are to have God’s love demonstrated to us in so many ways. May we always respond to this great love with our complete obedience, that we might be found faithful in His sight!