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Much Truth in Few Words - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2022 8:00 pm

Much Truth in Few Words - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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April 23, 2022 8:00 pm

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace!

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Blessed Savior, we are holy, we by all hand raise proclaim. Thou art mighty, thou art holy, glorious is thy matchless name. Glorious is thy name, O Lord. Glorious is thy name, O Lord.

Great Redeemer, Lord and Master, life of all eternal days, let the saints of every nation sing thy just and endless praise. Glorious is thy name, O Lord. Glorious is thy name, O Lord.

From the throne of heaven's glory to the cross of sin and shame, Thou didst come to die a ransom guilty sinner to reclaim. Glorious is thy name, O Lord. Glorious is thy name, O Lord. Come, O God, immortal Savior, come and take thy royal throne, come and reign and reign forever. Be thy kingdom of my own, glorious is thy name, O Lord.

Glorious is thy name, O Lord. Over the past weeks, I've been greatly encouraged by the testimony of many who have written us and expressed how the messages were used of the Lord to be a blessing in their life. Several had said it was just exactly what I needed, and I thank God for blessing me to hear the message. So I thank God for the privilege of being able to deliver the message, thankful that we can come your way at this same time each week.

If you can help us with the expense of the program so we can remain on your station, address your letter to the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. And maybe I must carry the blessed word of life across the earth to those in sinful strife, and though it be my law to bear my colors there, if Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere. If Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere. Is heaven to me where I may be if he is there? I count the privilege here is cross to bear if Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere.

It is not mine to question the judgment of my Lord. It is not mine to follow the means of his word, but if to go or stay, or whether here or there, I'll be with my Savior, content anywhere. If Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere. Is heaven to me where I may be if he is there? I count the privilege here is cross to bear if Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere. I want to let you know that we're making progress on the upgrading of our website, and soon the Baptist Witness will be available there.

If you'd like to help with this project, we certainly would appreciate your assistance. I was recently reading the book of 1 Thessalonians when I came to chapter 1 verses 9 and 10. It just stood out to me beyond what they ever had been previously. I want to read that to you. 1 Thessalonians chapter 1 beginning with verse 9. 1 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from wrath to come. You know, there are a lot of people that will say, well, doctrine is not really important.

We don't need to pay that much attention to it. As long as we love Jesus, doctrine doesn't matter. But I was impressed with how much doctrine is found in these two verses.

So when I decided to use these for my text today, I was trying to think what would be an appropriate title for the message, and I couldn't think of anything other than to say, Much Truth in Few Words. So in this portion, some of the doctrines we see. First, the doctrine of repentance. Now, the word repentance is not used, but certainly the doctrine of it is clearly set forth. The truth about service, serving God, the supremacy of God, the resurrection of Christ, the second coming of Christ, salvation by Christ, and final judgment.

All of these are clearly laid out in this portion of scripture. Well, first of all, we consider conversion. These people were converted, and we start when we go back to verse four with the doctrine of election, knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. All of the good things that happened to the people who were members of this church happened because God initiated it all.

And it goes back to his purpose in choosing a people before the foundation of the world. Paul says, The reason I knew you were God's elect was not because of your lineage, your background, your physical appearance, but because of the way you responded to the gospel as I preached it to you. So the gospel came in power, according to verse five, for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance. The Spirit of God did a work in them, because as Paul preached the gospel to them, it was more than just hearing the words that he spoke. They received it in the blessing and power of the Holy Spirit.

In regeneration, man is passive. It's the work of the Holy Spirit of God to quicken those who are dead in trespasses and in sin. But in conversion, we act. We are called to respond, and we act in this matter of conversion. Well, what is conversion? Acts chapter 20, verse 21 says, Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

So when we're talking about conversion, we're talking about just that. Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Well, we know that they were convicted of sin because that led to turning, turning from idols to the true and living God. When there's conviction, when the Holy Spirit has convicted a man of his sin, he sees himself then as a great sinner in the sight of a holy God. We think about Isaiah, who saw the Lord high and lifted up and heard the angelic host sing, Holy, holy, holy.

What was his response? Woe is me, for I'm a man of unclean lips. When we see God as he is, when we see his holiness, when we see his majesty, we see ourselves as we are fallen sinners. We think of the lesson Jesus gave concerning the Pharisee and the publican. The publican came crying, God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

He made no claim to deserve anything. He wasn't trying to recommend himself as the Pharisee was. He simply said, be merciful to me.

That's what I need. He would not so much lift up his eyes to heaven, but cried out, smiling upon his breast, God, be merciful to me, a sinner. And then we think of the testimony of the apostle Paul. Paul said, this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.

And I believe there's a multitude of people that join that group to say, I'm the chief. When you really are made to see yourself, when you see how far short you come of meeting the standard of perfection that would be required to be acceptable in God's sight, you're made to say, I am a great sinner, the very chief. Now, it's not only a matter of seeing the sins that you have committed, the sins that have been a part of your life, the things that you've done that you immediately recognize have been wrong, but the fact that you have failed to honor God and love God. In Matthew chapter 22, verse 36, we read these words. A man asked Jesus, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment and the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Now, he might say, well, they're just some terrible sins that I haven't committed.

I never have even been tempted toward them. The very sin itself would be repulsive to me. But when it comes to this issue, which Jesus says is the greatest of all the commandments, to love the Lord God with all your mind, all your heart, all your soul.

How do you stack up to that? If you have a sight of yourself, you know that you missed the mark terribly. Who could possibly say that in every day of my life, in every detail of my life, in every choice I've made, in every activity, I have put God first. I've loved him supremely. I've loved him with all of my heart, with all of my mind, with all of my strength. We come woefully short, do we not?

And we don't do any better on the second part of it. Love your neighbor as yourself. Somebody might say, I've been a good neighbor. I've done a lot of nice things for people.

Kind of proud of the fact that I've been generous and gracious and helped people. But you haven't come close to loving your neighbor as yourself. So here are the first and second commandments and importance that Jesus says. And when you see yourself in that light, you know I'm a sinner. In fact, if you love anything better than God, you are an idolater. A hymn writer says, Just and holy is thy name. I am all unrighteousness. False and full of sin I am. Thou art full of truth and grace. When you see yourself, you acknowledge I am all unrighteousness. False and full of sin I am. Well, next we see genuine repentance.

What's the definition? Repentance means to think again. I'm reconsidering things. I'm thinking differently than I've been thinking. Thinking differently about God. Thinking differently about myself. It is to change one's mind or purpose which results in a change of direction.

Well, we have an example in our text. There was a change. They turned from idols to serve the true and living God. When they were convicted of their sin, there was action. They turned.

They turned from their idols. And Jesus gives us a good example of what repentance is about when we read the book of Matthew chapter 21 verse 28. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons and he came to the first and said, Son, go work in my vineyard. And he answered and said, I will not. But afterward he repented and went. What impudence.

What a terrible response. What a lack of respect the son had for his father when the father requested him to go work in the vineyard and he just says, I will not do it. But afterward he went. And he came to the second and said, likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir, and went not. He was very courteous. He was very polite. Father requested him to go.

I'll do that. I'll go. But he didn't go.

He didn't go. Then Jesus says, whither of the twain did the will of his father? And they said unto him the first, Jesus saith unto them, verily I say unto you that the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. Because here were religious people who say, we love God. We'll go.

We'll do what we're supposed to do. But they didn't do it. But on the other hand, the publicans and the sinners repented and did what was expected. Verse 32, for John came unto you in the way of righteousness and ye believe not, but the publicans and the harlots believed him. And ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward that ye might believe him. You did not repent. And so here we have a very vivid example of what repentance is about. Even though the son at first said, I will not go, he repented because he went. And that's what counts. It's not what a person says.

It's what they do. And then we see many examples in scripture of a call to repent. John the Baptist came on the scene. He called on men to repent. When Jesus began to preach in Matthew 4 17, it says from that time Jesus began to preach and to say, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. So Jesus preached that men are to repent. Can't be any valid objection raised against preaching repentance when Jesus preached it. Now there are those that don't mind having the doctrine of repentance preached, repentance described, but they have a little problem when you start calling on men to repent.

But that's what Jesus was doing. And then Acts chapter 17, when Paul went to Mars Hill and saw the people given to the worship of idols, even to the unknown God, he says in Acts 17 30, And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. So if we're preaching a full gospel message, we call on men to repent, to turn from their idols to serve the true and living God.

Now, thankfully, there is grace to repent. Acts chapter 11, verse 18. When they heard these things, these things being Peter's report about his visit to the house of Cornelius.

There were people who were disturbed about that because Cornelius was a gentile and they couldn't imagine Peter going to his house and preaching. But when they heard these things about how the Spirit of God had blessed and visited that occasion, they held their peace and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. God granted repentance. So if you have repented, you have to thank God for His grace, granting you repentance, having worked in your heart and brought you to that place. Now, God doesn't repent for you. You repent, but He grants the grace for you to repent. God doesn't believe for you, but He gives you the faith. According to Ephesians chapter two, faith is the gift of God. He gives it, but we call on men to believe, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. So repentance is a gift of grace, but it's the sinner that repents.

And then we think about the evidence of repentance. They turned from idols. Now, the people of this city of Thessalonica worshiped many idols, and the people were taught from early childhood, these are the gods we worship. They knew them by name. They knew the descriptive phrases that were attached to the qualities of each of these gods that were of man's own making. So for a lifetime, this is what they believe, that they were committed to the worshiping of numerous idols.

So it was no doubt a challenging thing for them to think I've got to turn my back on everything I've been taught, turn my back on the religion of my parents, my grandparents, and everybody around me if I'm going to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Well, idols may take various forms and be given a variety of names, but they're all in the same category as described in Psalm 135, beginning with the 15th verse. The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not. Eyes have they, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not.

Neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them, so is everyone that trusted in them. So idols are dead. Idols are useless.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12, 2, you know that you were Gentiles carried away unto these dumb idols even as you were led. It seems foolish to us thinking how could anybody be so misinformed as to think that an idol, a statue perhaps, or some other form that the idol had taken or whether they were worshiping animals or trees or the sun. How could anybody think that such idols would help them when it was necessary to pray to them?

What a contrast. Idols are dead, but God is living. Idols are false, but God is true. Idols cannot deliver, but God does deliver. So they turn from idols to serve the living and true God.

Now, you may say, well, I certainly have never been an idol worshiper, and that may well be that you have never bowed down before some kind of a statue or some kind of a picture that was supposed to represent one that you would worship. But idols are not just statues. Idols are not just creatures of one's imagination.

Idols are idols of the heart. 1 John 2.16 says, for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father, but of the world. So, the lust of the flesh, the desire for sinful gratification can become an idol. The lust of the eyes, the things that you see, the things you want, the things that you strive for. Lust of the eyes can be an idol. The pride of life. I want to prove that I'm superior to others.

I want to have the biggest and best of everything. All of these things can become idols. And so, we talk about turning from idols. We're not just talking about turning from worshipping some mystical character or turning from a statue. We're talking about a change as far as our affections in our own heart.

Colossians 3.2 says, set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. And true repentance is not just remorse. Now, a person may be full of remorse because of some action, because it's complicated their life. It's made things difficult for them. They wish they hadn't done it.

And they are sorry they did it. But true repentance includes not just turning from something, but it is a desire for righteousness. A desire to be holy, to please and honor and serve God. The hymn writer says, oh for a heart to praise my God, a heart from sin set free, a heart that always feels thy blood, so freely shed for me. My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine. For thee, all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou. If ever I love thee, my Jesus is now. Yes, there are many people who say that doctrine is not important, but look how much doctrine is in just these two verses.

Indeed, it is important because it forms our view of who God is, of His holiness, of His grace, of His mercy, how thankful we are for the truth here given us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and using the Apostle Paul to pen these words. I hope you will take time to write us, and until next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Arms on thy brow, if ever I love thee, my Jesus is now. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to The Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's The Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. If ever adore thee, in heaven so bright, I sing with the glittering frown of my brow. If ever I love thee, my Jesus is now.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-27 23:29:49 / 2023-04-27 23:38:57 / 9

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