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The Word of Truth - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2024 12:00 am

The Word of Truth - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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January 27, 2024 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley addresses misconceptions people have about the Bible and the consequences of believing these false statements.

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Do you struggle to talk with people about Jesus and His gift of forgiveness? Do you feel unprepared to present the good news? On today's podcast, we'll learn that when believers are grounded in the word of truth, we can confidently share the message of Christ's love. If you would live a happy life, a peaceful life, a contented life, a successful life, then you must know the truth. Because you see, there's some truth you need to know about God, about His Son Jesus Christ, about the Holy Spirit.

You need to know the truth about relationships, about money, about work, about responsibility, about accountability. There is one volume that you can look in and you will always find the answer to any one of the problems that you and I may face are questions we have about life. They're all in this one volume called the Bible.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ goes from Genesis to Revelation. And this is God's instruction book for us as to how to live. And the reason we have problems oftentimes is because we decide to lay the instruction book down and decide that we know a little bit more about life than God. And so we choose to live our lives apart from and indifferent to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which shows us how to relate to the God who created us, to His Son Jesus Christ, how to relate to ourselves, how to relate to one another, the right attitude about our work, the proper attitude toward money, the right attitude about accountability and responsibility. Those are issues in life that we have to face every day. And most people have decided they know more about that than God. Well, my friend, we don't.

And the truth is that most of all of us who are honest enough will have to say yes. Before I opened God's Word and began to read the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I made a mess of my life. But one day somebody opened this book to me and shared with me some of its truth. Something happened to me on the inside. Something happened to my relationship to God, to His Son, to the Holy Spirit. Something happened in my attitude about work, about money, about accountability, about responsibility. My attitude about death changed, my attitude about life changed, my attitude about judgment changed. Everything about my spirit began to change when somebody opened that book and explained to me the meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It doesn't make any difference, my friend, how many degrees you have, how many letters you have behind your name, what your occupation, what your vocation, what your prestige, what your position, how high you are in any organization in the world. I want to tell you something that may humble some of you. Every single person, educated or non-educated, will stand before the same Jesus Christ and give an account for their life based on the principles of the same book, the living Word of God. And my friend, no matter how prideful you may be in your good health today, there's going to come a time when you're going to want what's in the pages of this book. You're going to desperately need to know if there is any hope beyond this life. You're going to become more than likely, more open to the message, this old antiquated, outdated, scoffed-at-ridicule message. All of a sudden, this thing is going to start having value to you. And you're going to wish that you had somebody who could explain it to you.

And you're going to wish that maybe you knew more about it than you know. So I want to explain something very careful to you this morning. And maybe you've not read the Bible in a long time, but you've got one laying around. While we're turning to Colossians chapter 1, you go get yours. And I want you to turn to Colossians chapter 1, and I want us to read the third through the eighth verses, and this is our series on Colossians. Beginning in verse 3, Paul says, We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth the gospel, which is the title of this message. The word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you just as in all the world also, it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also, since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth. Just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bondservant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.

Now, here's the person who had shared with Paul what is happening in the Colossian church, and so he's giving thanks for him. If I should ask you this morning, what in the world is the gospel in a way? Well, some of you would give me the correct answer, and some of you may have a difficult time, but the truth is, in essence, the gospel is the good news. But the gospel is the good news about the saving work of Jesus Christ. It is the good news that everybody in the world needs to hear, and it is the good news which, unless you do hear it, all of the rest of the news in your life ultimately is going to end up being bad news.

Because until you experience the good news of Jesus Christ, whatever good news you hear will always be lacking to some degree. Now, Paul called it the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I want you to look at two or three passages in just a moment, but you remember in the Great Commission, Mark, Jesus said, you and I are to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He says our hope is in the gospel. And in Romans chapter 1, which most of you all know by heart, you remember what Paul said when he talked about the gospel there? He said, for I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He says, for it is the power of God and the salvation to everyone who believes.

He says, the reason I'm not ashamed is because I personally have experienced the power of the gospel in my own life. It has totally, absolutely transformed me from a persecutor to a proclaimer of the Christ, who is the subject of the gospel. Now, what is the gospel? Here's the gospel. The gospel is the good news about the sacrificial, all-sufficient, atoning, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for man's sin, his burial and his resurrection. The gospel is the good news about the death of Jesus Christ for our sins. But that death is all-sufficient, sacrificial, atoning, substitutionary.

That is Jesus Christ died in your place in mine. So when somebody says, well, what is the gospel? The gospel is the good news of the atoning death of Jesus Christ for our sins of his burial and his resurrection, which validated everything that Jesus Christ said. The gospel of Jesus Christ becomes reality in the heart of a person who, first of all, recognizes that their sin has separated them from God. And listen, more important than that, that they are dead in trespasses and sins.

Now, my friend, I want you to listen carefully to that because I want to show you a fallacy that multitudes and multitudes of people have been trapped by. But a person experiences the gospel when they recognize their sinfulness, that they really are spiritually dead to the things of God, that they've been separated by their sins. And that person recognizes that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sin and that God placed all their sin upon him. And therefore, in his death, he paid in full your sin debt. Having believed that and understood that you receive Jesus Christ, you accept by faith Jesus Christ as your savior.

You believe the witness of the word of God. The testimony of scripture is that Jesus is God's only begotten, beloved, virgin born incarnate son, that God the father came into this world in the form of his son, Jesus Christ, who is always God and man, never was at any point in his life, not God. But he took upon himself the form of humanity to walk among us in order to reveal to us what God is like. Now, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. But you have to understand, he came to die for our sins. The burial was very important because it was the finality as far as man is concerned. The resurrection validated everything he said.

And when he arose, he said, I'm coming back. I will be in you with you and upon you through the Holy Spirit. So that for every single one of us who has received Jesus Christ, the gospel has now been affected in our life as sins have been nailed to the cross. We've been forgiven of our sins. We are now sealed and indwelt by the person of the Holy Spirit. We have experienced the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And what Paul is saying in this passage in Colossians, he says, we're giving thanks to God, the father, since we heard of your faith in Jesus Christ. And you see, a person has faith in Jesus Christ, has the gospel. And the person who has the gospel has eternal life. And the person who has eternal life knows God.

Listen. Many of you believe that you know God. You say, well, I believe I'm going to heaven.

I don't know much about the Bible, but I do believe in God. And my friend, I want you to listen very carefully. Here is one of Satan's snares in your life. He's deceived you. You say, well, I'm not deceived.

Yes, you are. Here's what I want you to understand. You may believe in God, but the big question is, who is this God you believe in? You see, there is only one true God, but there are many other gods. There are gods that men make with their hands. But the most insidious, cunning, subtle form of deceit that Satan has used so successfully is to motivate people to create their own God with their mind, not with their hands. And so many people say, well, I believe in God and I pray and God answers my prayer.

No, he doesn't. My friend, if you have avoided, if you have rejected, if you have spurned and you have turned your back upon Jesus Christ, God the Father is not answering your prayers. What he's doing, he may be answering the prayers that somebody else is praying in your behalf. And God may listen. Paul says in Romans chapter two, know you not that the goodness of God that is expressed in your life is, he says, is for the purpose of leading you to repentance. That isn't God answering your prayer. That's God expressing goodness towards you to get your attention, to lead you to repentance. Many people have an idea about God, and I can usually describe him rather well because ultimately it all gets back to this.

And what is that? That is their belief and their idea of God is that God said, oh, yes, they've sinned against God. They know they've done wrong.

And no doubt about it, they wouldn't even claim to be perfect. But here is man's human reasoning. It's been around since the beginning of time. Oh, I know that I'm not a Christian. I don't read the Bible. I don't go to church. I don't do all those religious things.

But I do believe in God and I believe that one of these days. God's going to look at my good things that I've done and the bad things that I've done, and he's going to look at me in comparison with a lot of other folks. And you see, the guy who's telling you this are looking at your life and saying, well, you know, I'm as good as you are and you're one of those baptized Christians. You claim to know this person, Jesus Christ, read the Bible.

I'm just as good as you are. And in from their viewpoint, what they know about you, the truth is, there may be some things about them that are better than the same things in your life. And so they look at you and they say, well, you know, if God's accepted you for sure, he's going to take me in. And so they go back to this whole idea of weighing their bad against their good and saying, well, God would never let me die and go to hell because I've done some evil things.

But look at all the good I've done over here. And if this God of love is the God I believe he is, he would never let me be lost. Now, friend, that's the way the world thinks. That is Satan's theology about God.

I want to tell you something. That will never pass at the judgment because that's not what God says. Nowhere in the Bible does he say he's going to weigh your good versus your evil. And if your good outweighs your evil, God is going to take you into heaven. That is the human rational thinking of those whose minds have been blinded by Satan, which is exactly what he himself confesses that he does. Blinds the minds of unbelievers not to know the truth.

Now, apart from the atoning, sacrificial, all sufficient, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, there is absolutely no hope of forgiveness whatsoever. And what Paul is referring to here in this Colossian church, he says, I thank God for your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the foundation of our faith, the gospel, the message of truth. The second thing he says in this verse, look, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the brethren. Now, what does the Bible teaches about the believer and his love? Does he not say by this all men shall know that you are my disciples, that you what?

That you have loved one to another. And Paul was thanking God for the love these Colossians had expressed. Now, I want you to turn to 1 John for just a moment. We're going to come to a verse or two here. A lot of people who say, oh, I love God and yes, I love my fellow man.

Therefore, I believe God's going to take me in. Now, the Bible says very clearly that God is love. That means that he is love and he's the source of all love. There is a difference in genuine sacrificial love and passion and affection. And there are many people who get along rather well who have an affection for each other.

And then there's the whole problem of passion out of control. But all true, genuine love comes from God. Now, 1 John chapter 4.

Look, if you will, beginning in verse 7. He says, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. That is, if a person's life is a life characterized by genuine love, he says that person knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent his only begotten Son of the world so that we might live through him. In this is love. Not that we love God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation or the sacrifice for our sins.

Now, listen. You and I didn't initiate God's love. And nor did we initiate loving God. It is because he first loved us.

Does he not say, even while you and I were yet sinners, God expressed, commended his love toward us. How do we learn anything in the world about loving except through the Word of God? Because all genuine love is to be found rooted in God. And when a person learns to love God, it's very simple to learn to love someone else. And when the person says, well, I love God, but I just don't believe in Jesus Christ, you can't.

Because, you see, the very foundation of your faith is rooted in the message of the redeeming life and death of Christ. And all true genuine love is to be found in him. Now, if I reject his son, I reject him. And if I reject him, how can I ever feel the capacity to love someone else lovingly, unselfishly, generously, pouring my heart into their life if I do not understand and do not have the source of true genuine love within my heart?

The truth is we can't. All genuine love was born in the heart of God. That means it's always been there.

And its highest demonstration was on a bloody cross. Jesus Christ committed himself to you for how long? For eternity. And listen, he didn't say if you perform well.

He didn't say if you do good. His commitment to you and me is forever, no matter what. It's forever. Where do we learn how to love? We learn how to love from God. Thank you for listening to part two of The Word of Truth. For more inspirational messages like this, visit our online 24-7 station. And if you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-21 11:15:55 / 2024-02-21 11:23:16 / 7

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