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Freedom to Speak - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
July 18, 2022 12:00 am

Freedom to Speak - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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July 18, 2022 12:00 am

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed” (Psalm 119:45-46).

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Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, Thou the resolve, my God and King, Thou triumphs of this grace.

This is L. Sherry Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. We sing of the grounds of the West, That clouds be so bright and so fair, And of our stories confess, But one must defeat to be fair. In the sweet, quiet fire, We shall meet on that beautiful shore. We speak of the pathway of hope, It's vaulted with truth so rare, It's wonders and pleasures untold, But what must it be to be fair? In the sweet, quiet fire, We shall meet on that beautiful shore. We speak of its freedom from sin, From sorrow, temptation and care, From trials without and within, But what must it be to be fair? In the sweet, quiet fire, We shall meet on that beautiful shore. We speak of its service of love, The throes mixed of glory might wear, The church of the firstborn above, But what must it be to be fair? In the sweet, quiet fire, We shall meet on that beautiful shore. Dear Lord, I'll make sorrow and hope, My spirit for heaven prepare, That surely I also may know, But what must it be to be fair?

In the sweet, quiet fire, We shall meet on that beautiful shore. We continue in our study in the Psalms today, the section we're entitling, Freedom to Speak. I pray the message will be a blessing to you. If it is, we hope that you'll tell others about the program.

They can hear at the same time each day. And if you can help us with the support, we'll be very thankful for it. You can make a donation at our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. In the dark of the midnight, Have I hope in my face, While the storm mounts above me, And there's no hiding place. Till the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry, Keep me safe till the storm passes by, Till the storm passes over, Till the thunder sounds more, Till the clouds grow forever from the sky, Hold me fast, let me stand, In the hollow of my hand, Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Many times, safe and whispered, There is no need to try, For there's love in the sorrow, There's no hope by and by. But I know Thou art with me, And through all the road I'll ride, Where the storms never die in the skies. Till the storm passes over, Till the thunder sounds more, Till the clouds grow forever from the sky, Hold me fast, let me stand, In the hollow of my hand, Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

When the long night has ended, And the storms come no more, Let me stand in Thy presence, On that bright, peaceful shore, In that land where the tempest never comes, Lord, may I well with Thee, When the storm passes by, Till the storm passes over, Till the thunder sounds more, Till the clouds grow forever from the sky, Hold me fast, let me stand, In the hollow of my hand, Keep me safe till the storm passes by. We look once again at Psalm 119. In verse 41, we have seen a desire for salvation, Let Thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, Even Thy salvation according to Thy word.

In verse 44, we see a plan for the future. I will keep Thy law continually forever and ever. This is my plan.

This is what I'm committed to do. I will keep Thy law. And I believe that He has a view even to eternity because He says I will do it forever and ever. Certainly in heaven, where God's people serve Him day and night, it will be the delight of all the redeemed hosts to do exactly and explicitly what is in harmony with God's will. Then we have been looking at verse 45, where He says, And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Thy precepts.

I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings and will not be ashamed. This is a great freedom enjoyed. Sin is slavery, but holiness is freedom. It's freedom from the bondage of guilt, freedom from fear, freedom from ultimate destruction. Holiness is not only to the honor of God, it's good for you. We looked at a number of scriptures to support that. It enlarges your thinking rather than being restrictive and an imposition upon you and burdensome to you.

It expands your life because it gives you many opportunities that would never be yours if you were not walking in a godly path. And now we come to note a part of this liberty as described in the 46th verse, I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings and will not be ashamed. So as you enjoy this liberty that comes from serving God, seeking His precepts, walking in His way, you can have boldness of speech. Now there's a distinct difference to be made between holy boldness and brashness. We all have seen people who are very quick to express an opinion, maybe very harsh in their tone and the way they described what they wanted to convey.

Always ready to be the first to speak and in many cases having the least amount of knowledge on the subject. So we're not talking about being impetuous or being brash, we're talking about speaking boldly because that boldness comes because of a close walk with God. Because this individual is keeping the commandments of God, walking closely with Him, being blessed and empowered with the Holy Spirit, there is a boldness.

It can be spoken in great love and yet without compromise. It means that there is boldness because the fear of man has been overcome. We see a number of examples of that in scripture, not the least of which can be found in the book of Daniel chapter 3 when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were being reprimanded because they were not bowing down to the image of the king. And it tells us in the 16th verse, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

That is, we're not full of care, we're not worried, we're not intimidated, we're not concerned about answering thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. Now here was total confidence in their God to be able to deliver them. They believed in a God who has all power. So no matter what the edict of the king might be, no matter what the penalty imposed upon them, no matter what the danger, God was able to deliver them. Now if you really believe that, that gets you well on your way to being bold because you know that your help and your hope is in God. I'm trusting Him and God is not limited. He can deliver whatever the circumstances might be.

But notice what else they said. But if not, that is if it's not pleasing to God to deliver us, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Just as a little aside here, we want to add to what we've already said, that we're not open for negotiation. Because even if it should not please our God to deliver us, we're not going to worship your gods. We're not going to bow down to this golden image that you have asked us to reverence. We're just not going to do it.

Our commitment has been made to our God, the one true and living God that we worship. Isn't it wonderful to observe that kind of boldness? Now none of us have ever had to face a situation where our life was in jeopardy. We may have been criticized. We may have been spoken to in a very harsh manner. We might have been rejected by friends. We might have been ostracized from certain realms of fellowship, but we haven't faced the fiery furnace. How do you suppose you might react under such circumstances?

You think you'd be trying to do some quick calculations as to how you could avoid the fire and still not just totally turn your back on the Lord? There might be some little ground here. Couldn't we kind of just sit down and talk this out? Not with these young men.

Their minds made up. We're not going to bow to the image. We're not going to compromise. We're going to worship our God. God's able to deliver us.

If He doesn't, that's alright. We still trust Him. We're still going to do the right thing. When we think about some of the persecutions that our Baptist forefathers endured right here on American soil, in the days that in some of the colonial governments it was illegal for Baptists to preach.

And they were beaten and imprisoned. It makes us realize that while we are thankful for the religious liberty that's been ours for so many years, it's always the possibility that darker days could once again return. May we pray that God will give us the courage and boldness to stand no matter what the challenges might be. But in the meantime, while you've never had to face the fiery furnace, has there been a time that you have compromised when the consequences were a lot less severe? That is, you just didn't want to take a bold stand. You were visiting with friends that you knew did not believe like you believe. And you thought, if I really speak my mind, they're going to think I'm off the deep end. I don't know that I want to be criticized or have them think ill of me. Or they might feel like I'm trying to push my religion on them and I don't want to be guilty of that.

Oh, you could think of a hundred ideas as to why it's best just to say nothing. Oh, to have this holy boldness in a gracious, kind, loving way, yet to speak the truth. The truth about God. The truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

No matter what the circumstances may be. We turn to the book of Acts, and my, what a contrast we find here. We made reference not long ago to Peter's failure when he denied the Lord. Peter was on the inner circle.

Peter, James, and John were the three who were closest to the Savior. He'd walked with him, communed with him, sat at his feet, listened to his teachings, heard his preaching, observed his miracles. And Peter had a lot of self-confidence. He said, Lord, others might deny you, not me.

I'll stand firm. But you see, his confidence was in the wrong place. It was in himself.

And when that's the case, we're just a few steps from a downfall. And so when they pointed to Peter and said, you're one of his followers. They denied him, I don't know this man, three times, even with an oath.

No, I don't know him at all. And they had to think that that very man, who sinned so grievously, who so blatantly, openly, publicly denied his Lord, had now been restored to fellowship, had now been empowered to preach on the day of Pentecost, had been used in a most remarkable way. What a contrast to see the boldness that we now observe in the fourth chapter of the book of Acts. Verse 18 says, and they called them and commanded them not to speak at all, nor to teach in the name of Jesus.

These are the authorities saying, you're not to teach in this name. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people, for all men glorified God for that which was done.

My, what a difference. There are men that in face of tremendous opposition, possible imprisonment, maybe even death, because the life of Stephen was taken after this. But they're bold. They said, you consider yourself, is it appropriate that we obey you or obey God? Our commitment is made, we're going to obey God. We cannot but speak the things which we've seen and heard. We can't be quiet. This is like a fire burning in our bones.

We must speak it. Well, in spite of such opposition, after a time it was said that these that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could be said in this day that those who are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ have been preaching with such power and the messages had such an impact in the lives of men that the very world has been turned upside down. Certainly that was true of the religious world and the political world and the social world.

Things were turned upside down by the preaching of the truth, the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But these were men that were walking in harmony with the commandments of God, in communion and fellowship with Jesus Christ. And when they were challenged, they didn't fold their tents and quit. They didn't cave in and say, well it was nice while it lasted, but obviously we can't go on because the authorities have told us we can't preach. We are to obey the law of the land. We are to give respect to the powers that be because they're ordained of God. But there is an exception. If the law is enacted that denies us the right to do what God has commanded us to do, then we must obey God rather than man. Or if we should be required to do something that God forbids, we must obey God rather than man. And so we see that boldness. And then in the 24th chapter of the book of Acts, we see it with the apostle Paul.

Here he appears before Felix. In the 14th verse, he said, but this I confess. It's already said that they cannot prove the things that they now are accusing me of. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.

Paul says as to their accusations, they can't prove what they're saying. But I will confess this. I will admit to you that after the way they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers. And I believe that all the things that were spoken in the law and the prophets, I believe them, believe that they were to be fulfilled.

And we have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. And herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men. He had a clear conscience because he was keeping the commandments of God. He was walking in a godly path. And though accused, and though constantly being sought out, hunted down, those in great numbers who desired to imprison him and even kill him, yet he's bold. And he says, after the very way that they call heresy, yes, that's the way I'm traveling.

That's what I'm preaching. I'm preaching that what the law and the prophets contain is now fulfilled, and I'm preaching Jesus Christ. And then in chapter 26 we see him come before Agrippa. And he says in the second verse, I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee, touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews, especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews, wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. He's respectful of the man before whom he has to appear. I'm glad to know I'm before a competent man.

You know these things and I'm glad for this opportunity to give testimony as to what all this controversy is about. And then you come to the thirteenth verse and he begins to relate his experience. Now I think this indeed required a holy boldness on his part. Look what he's going to tell him. At midday, O King, I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun shining round about me, and them which journeyed with me. Now if he was going to be concerned about what people would think, suppose he might have reasoned, if I start telling them that I saw this light from heaven and the Lord called my name, they're going to think I am off the deep end.

They're going to think I'm deranged. I don't know that I ought to bring that up. But he's filled with the Spirit of God. He's filled with boldness. And so he doesn't hesitate. And he starts telling what his experience really was. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecuteest thou me?

It is hard for thee to kick against the bricks. He relates it. This voice from heaven called my name. Saul, Saul, why persecuteest thou me? And I said, Who art, my Lord?

And he said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecuteest. Well, I'm glad you've been with us today. If the program is a blessing to you, I hope you'll let us know about it. Mention the call letters of the station over which the program comes to you.

And your support will go a long way to keeping the program on the air. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Mach 17, 037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Do we greet you at the same time tomorrow? This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr., bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. This is my story.

This is my song. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. All the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 19:03:27 / 2022-11-27 19:11:47 / 8

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