THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 9-30-12
LESSON TITLE: “ALL GOOD MENT WILL BE SAVED”
Paul once proclaimed, “Do not grow weary in doing good!” 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!
It’s now time to join in our songs of praise as we together sing the first hymn of the morning. Won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing, “Sun Of My Soul.”
(SONG # 1)
Perseverance is a difficult thing for all of us, especially in the day and time in which we live. When there are so many opportunities around us to have things, we often fall victim to our own desires and forget to put God first. Every time we go to the mall or into a store we see something we like and want. It doesn’t matter that we already have something similar - we want the latest or the newest versions. Every time we drive down the road we see a car or a house we like better than what we have.
It is because of all of these earthly things that I say we have a difficult time today persevering and accomplishing what we want to for God. How easy it must be for the Devil to put stumbling blocks in our way when so many things are made today to appeal to our fleshly desires.
No doubt perseverance is a Biblical topic. In fact, in 2 Peter 1:5-7, we see that Peter includes perseverance among the Christian virtues one must have to be pleasing to God. How can we then know that perseverance is something we are commanded to do? Let’s look at what Peter goes on to say in verses 8 and 9 of the same passage, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” Paul also confirms the need for perseverance when he said, “…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope,” Romans 5:3-4. I hope we are beginning to see that perseverance is a Bible subject.
In James 5:11, we are again reminded of our discussion this morning, as we read of an example which James uses to help in understanding perseverance. The verse says, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord; that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” Who had greater perseverance than Job? He was a greatly blessed servant of God who lost everything at the hands of the devil. However, Job was able to persevere and remain faithful through the entire ordeal. Are we able to do the same? OR, when things start getting tuff do we just give in and fall away. When temptations seem to attractive to us, do we accept them and worry about the consequences later? We need to be more like Christ, learning to endure, and persevere no matter what may come.
This morning, we will continue with our series called, “Teaching As Doctrine The Commandments Of Men!” Our specific topic today will deal with the belief that, “All Good Men Will Be Saved.” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with our study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn is, “Stand Up For Jesus!”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now go to God’s word and consider yet another lesson from our series entitled “Teaching as Doctrine the Commandments of Men.” As we have begun to see together in our many lessons that there are many things today that men teach and say are of the doctrine of God but really the Bible says quite the opposite and even something different. Yet man still teaches these things as if they were doctrine from God. Certainly this is an unacceptable thing, it is something that misleads not only the individual but others away from God and the truths found in the word of God.
Our lesson this morning however starts at the very beginning. You might remember that when God placed man in the garden there was an opportunity for man to be certainly greatly blessed as a pure being. A being that would live forever with access to the tree of life and we know in the garden there at least in the beginning they had not sinned. But there was law given by God and God forbid them to eat of a certain tree and so man knew God has said we could eat of every tree but there is one tree that we cannot eat of and the day that we eat thereof it we shall pay for it, we will die. So when you think about that isn’t it significant that God is always given man a choice to obey his will, that means his covenant and those things that he has spoken, or to obey their own covenants and concepts.
Well we go on very quickly in the story and we find out that even there in Genesis 4, Adam and Eve have children and we see their that Cain and Abel are born and isn’t it significant that both of them start out serving God and bringing sacrifices to God but then do you notice how it is that one chooses evil. Cain chooses evil, Cain kills his brother and he chooses evil although Abel chooses good. Later they have other children but Seth included is a righteous man. On and on and on we can go throughout the Bible and we see this clear choice that God has given that one choose God, and obviously we love Him enough to serve Him and obey Him, and if we don’t choose God we choose Satan. Now, you might say well they don’t actually choose Satan, no, but when we choose ourselves and our own desires and the world and the things of the world who are we serving? Are we serving God? Certainly not! And the Bible tells us we can’t serve two masters. So you remember what it was that Jesus even said himself there on the Sermon on the Mount there in Matthew 6:24, “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…” In fact He goes on to say, “…you can’t serve God and mammon.” Or riches, you can’t serve God and the things of this world or yourself in relationship to accumulating the things of this world. What does that say to us? It says you are either of your Father God or as Matthew 5:44 says, your father the devil. If you do those things that are really opposite or contrary or not of the command of God you are serving Satan but if you do the will of God, great be to God, because you are a servant of God.
Now with that in mind then I want you to turn over with me to an important passage I think that is found there in Romans 5, because this will begin to address our discussion or at least the title of our discussion this morning now that we have set up the introduction. He begins to talk about there in verse 6 of Romans 5 for when we were still without strength. Now there was a time when we were without hope that we had a need of something, that there was not chance that you and I as Gentiles of finding salvation. But then it says there in due time that Christ died for the ungodly. But notice there in verse 7, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. You know you think about who is writing the book Paul He is writing to the Church at Rome and do you notice the pro nouns that he uses? Do you notice what he said there in verse 8, “But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”? Let me ask you a question, was Paul a good Jew? Was he a Jew of Jews, was he focused and committed to the law of Judaism, but yet was he wrong in the eyes of God for he had not served the true law of Christ. The answer is yes, and yet even he says that although I was a Jew of Jews and I was good man Christ died for us as sinners. Then he even makes the distinction in verse 7 of those who would die for a righteous man and those who would die for a good man. Do you find it interesting that He lumps them separately. He doesn’t say that a good man is righteous. Certainly a righteous man is good but a good man does not necessarily have to be righteous. A person can be a very kind and good person and yet they may not serve God at all and they man not have obeyed any of His precepts. But yet a righteous man is one who not only has heard the word of God but believes and obeys in God, therefore he is pure or holy or striving to be as God has commanded him too. A good man may be moral, he might be virtuous, he might do many things that are at least are acceptable in our society that does not make the individual to be a saved individual. You might also notice as we begin there in verse 6 where he said that, “Christ died for the ungodly.”
So the question begins to be who are the ungodly? Who are those considered as the ungodly of God? Well the reality is, is that as we live in this world and we are exposed to sin the Bible is clear that all have sinned. In fact if you will notice just one chapter over in Romans 6:23 it tells us that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life…” You see there is hope, that’s what we read just a moment ago in chapter 5. Christ died for the ungodly of which he died for us as sinners and yet there is hope for us because of the death of Christ for everlasting life but still that does not negate the fact that in Romans 3:23 the Bible says, “For all have sinned…” Again I ask you, who was he writing to? He was writing to the Church at Rome. He was writing as a Christian himself, Paul, and he said, “For all have sinned…” I like the way that John puts it also, do you remember there in 1John 1, in fact he says, “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Boy, that is pretty straight isn’t it. If someone claims to be sinless in other words that they are perfect, that they are so good that they don’t make mistakes then they are liars because all men have sin and therefore who needs the blood of Christ, all men. In fact there was only one man that ever lived on this earth that was perfect and that is the man himself in the flesh who was God that is Jesus Christ.
Now within that context we see some other ideas there in chapter 6, if we back up around verse 15 and following he talks about what we make ourselves slaves to. This is what we were taking about a moment ago he says that we make ourselves slaves to righteous things, guess what, we are righteous as God is righteous. But if we are anything else we have made ourselves slaves to something else which actually he says here sin which would encompass being focused only on ourselves, being focused on the world, being focused on things ungodly, being involved in wicked things. You see we must make a choice in who we serve.
Now I bring all these issues up and I lay all of that down because I think up to this point everybody is saying well you know that’s right and those things are straight from the word of God and that’s what the Bible says. But then you turn around and you hear a neighbor, a friend, a co worker say you know that’s a good person and all good people will be saved. Is that what the Bible says? How many people have you known throughout your life that were basically good people, and by that what do we mean, they were moral individuals. Well, you didn’t see that maybe they even used harsh language much and they might even be individuals who weren’t involved in themselves and drinking and smoking or other things that we might even say certainly are not good for Christians to be involved in. Yet although they didn’t involve themselves in these things and they were good people they never followed God. They never even went to church, they never even obeyed the Gospel of Christ, they never became a Christian, they never showed their love to God by serving God. Yes they are good people morally speaking but what does a real good person? What did Jesus say? Well, He said don’t even call me good there is one good and that is God. But what makes us to be seen as the friends of Jesus there in John 15:14, or those who love Jesus as we keep his commandments John 14:15. When we are committed to the things of Christ and are obedient children, a child of God is exactly what it says. A child of God is someone who not only knows Him, but they are serving Him, and in the family of God. A good person might very well be in the family of God and be moral and their not serving God and although they are moral and good in most respects according to our culture and our world standards, and even very well the standard of God does not make them to be faithful.
There is a significant text I think that really maybe begins to show us the need of the individual and it’s a topic that is not strange to us because we have discussed it many times on this program and no doubt you heard many lessons and classes concerning it as you even go to church. But there in Ephesians 2, do you remember what it says there about what saves us, it says there, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” Do you see there again that emphasis on yes salvation, on the fact that God offers grace to man? But do you also see the idea that there is salvation and grace offered but there is a further concept here of faith and through faith. Whose part is faith? Read Hebrews 11, our lesson today is not on faith so I’m not going to take a lot of time with I, and we have discussed it in the past in great detail. But again those who love God enough to do what he says. Faith, our part is faith. Grace is what God has done, what, offered to all men. He has extended to all men as we have read even this morning but faith is our part.
I want you then to notice with me a good example for us found back in the book of Acts and there are really several good examples in the book of Acts. One that I like is found there concerning a man that we will be familiar with who was called Cornelius in chapter 10. You might remember that Cornelius was actually a soldier; he was a man who actually had men under him so he was over other soldiers. You might also recall there that he was a man who in many ways is actually noted as being spiritual, as being one who is believer in God, in fact verse 2 says he was, “A devout man and one who feared God with all his household…” and therefore even did what, “…gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” We actually look at the life of Cornelius and we see a man who had not yet obeyed the law of Christ but he feared God and believed in God and even did many works according to the old Covenant. In many respects people will then certainly say well wow what a good guy, and we know that he was liked because later he invites not only family but friends to hear what it is that Peter says to them concerning salvation. But you know what? Peter did not go to them and say Cornelius you are a good guy don’t worry about it, he didn’t say ‘You know you’ve got some great friends here and don’t worry about it, and you are at least doing some things and you at least believe in God. You fear God and you are doing some things that are good so you know I’m not going to muddy the waters, I’m not going to bother you with it; I’m really not going to say things that are not essential. Do you know what he told him, he told him the gospel? He told him what he needed to know even as a devout religious man who fears God and did many things concerning to the law of God that is the old covenant, he still needed to know the truth of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. If Cornelius needed that as a good man what do all people need? Whether they are good morally or not they need to know Christ and they must obey to be saved.
Is that not what it goes on to clarify here even within the same text if you will notice there again as we look in chapter 10 but there around verse 13, really this is a portion of the text where Peter is dealing with the vision that he is having that is showing that certainly Cornelius and other Gentiles are well worthy of what it was that they need to know and obey in order to be children of God. But what is was that they wanted and what it was that they needed the most and what it was that God wanted from them was salvation. Both these men were bringing what Peter and the others were doing is telling them what they needed to know. In fact is you might recall earlier in the story verse 6, they actually sent for Peter that they should find out what they must do that they might be able to explain to them the things that they need to know in order to know what it is that God requires of the faithful. Someone of faith not someone who is just good and moral who does good things even or who knows God and even believes but one who obeys God. That’s why later in the same text we see that after Peter had preached tot hem that they were baptized in verse 47-48, exactly as they were commanded, why? That they might be saved, that they might be able to have that salvation. Over in chapter 11 we again see a similar idea that is being discussed here we again se the statement that is made and he told sys how he had seen an angel standing in the house who had said to him send men to Joppa to call for Simon who’s surname is Peter and he will tell you the words by which you will be saved. You see he wasn’t saved. Those men who were sent by him that the spirit of God had told him because he knew his heart that he wanted to know the truth that he would respond and obey the truth. What they went to find out was how can I be saved. And so let’s not be caught up in silly concepts and ideas, doctrines of men, such as just because someone is a good person that is makes they right with God or that they will be saved. Let’s not be caught up in the concepts of men that just because I believe in God and do some things that God say that I am saved. Let’s understand that through faith we are saved that we do what? When we not just say Lord, Lord (Matthew 7) but when we do the will of the father.
So that’s the question for you today, are you doing the will of the father? Are you recognizing that not only must you know the will of the father but that you need to teach even those that are good and morally excellent in some respects that they must do the will of the father. Are you proclaiming God’s truth that one must be obedient to the commandments of God in order to be saved and if they do not they will be lost. Are you being committed to the teachings of Christ or are you following man?
(SONG # 3 – “Sweeter Than All!”)
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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How blessed we are to imitate our savior and to strive to love as He taught us to. Furthermore, what wonderful joy it brings to our life to be followers of God and to do those things which are according to His Will.