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“Sound Brethren”

When we use the term sound in this case we define the term as is found in the American Heritage Dictionary, “Founded in truth; firm; strong; valid; solid; that cannot be overthrown or refuted; as sound reasoning; a sound argument; a sound objection; sound doctrine; and sound principles.” Along with “Right; correct; well founded; free from error” as the Psalmist says in Psalm 119:80, “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.”

Throughout the New Testament we are taught to be sound in this regard. To adhere to what the Scriptures teach and not stray from them. Even in the Old Testament Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4:2, "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” In the New Testament John said in 2 John 9, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” Those who adhere to the Word of God are known as “Sound Brethren.” “Sound Brethren” are those who are founded in Truth or well founded. When the apostle Paul left Titus to set things in order in Crete he told him there were many who were insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers. So, Paul tells Titus to rebuke them sharply so they will be sound in the faith as we read in Titus 1:13, “This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,” Upon this rebuke and admonition Sound Brethren are to do as James tells us in James 1:21-22, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” You see “sound brethren” are “Sound in practice.” They eradicate every spiritual trait contrary to God’s will. “Sound Brethren” take on the meekness mentioned in this section of Scripture. And in this case, meekness is not weakness; it is rather inward strength voluntarily submitting to the Will of God’s Word. When we properly receive the Word of God as Titus was instructed to teach it, and as James tells us, God’s Word is a powerful thing. God’s word has power to continue to save the child of God and therefore, Sound Brethren don’t just simply hear the words only, but apply them and live by them. For in the Holy Scriptures “Sound Brethren” find God’s final and complete revelation to man as we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” With the will of God at our fingertips we can easily go to God’s mind for man and know that it was given once for all as Jude 3 tells us, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” “Sound Brethren” will take this knowledge and understanding and will “Sound out the Word” as Paul says in Romans 10:18, “But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world." It is from this verse that Paul clarifies that all have heard the word, especially the Jews. He does this by quoting Psalm 19:4, “Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,” By quoting this verse from Psalm 19 Paul is expressing that “Sound Brethren” sound out the word as the heavens declare the glory of God, and as the firmament shows His handiwork, they speak universally of God. “Sound Brethren” Sound out the Gospel of Christ, the Good News, without hesitation and without fear of reprisal no matter the places they go. There’s a song we song from time to time in our worship to God that helps to encourage “Sound Brethren: to continue to Sound out the word entitled, “Ring Out The Message.” The first verse says, “There’s a message true and glad For the sinful and the sad, Ring it out, ring it out; it will bring them courage new, it will help them to be true; Ring it out.” The second verse reads, “Tell the world of saving grace, make it known in ev’ry place, ring it out, ring it out; Help the needy ones to know Him from whom all blessings flow; Ring it out.” The third verse says, “Sin and doubt to sweep away, Till shall dawn a better day, Ring it out, ring it out; Till the sinful world be won for Jehovah’s mighty Son; Ring it out Ring it out.” The Chorus helps us to know how to ring the message out when it says, “Ring out, Merrily ring, the word, Speed it away, oe’r land and sea; send it today; Let it cheer the lost and those in doubt, Still far from Jesus many live in sin and doubt; Ring out the wonderful news that makes men free, to all the lost of every nation, Ring it out.”

From here let’s note something else the apostle Paul says concerning “Sound Brethren” in 2 Timothy 1:13, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” “Sound Brethren” will heed this admonishment. However, the apostle Paul warns in 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;” Within the religious world we find many that have turned from “Sound Doctrine” and left the fold of “Sound Brethren” to heap up for themselves, just as Paul says would happen, teachers that will tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear. When and since this has happened, many who were “Sound Brethren” have become “All Sound” a great deal of talk to the point that they talk too much. Paul speaks of “tattlers” in 1 Timothy 5:13, “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” Paul also speaks of “boasters” in 2 Timothy 3:2, “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” Let’s not forget about those who are “sayers and not doers” as Jesus warns against the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:3, “"Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” We also want to be sure that we do not become “swearers” as James warns against with the tongue in James 3:9-12, “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” From “Tattlers” “Boasters” “Sayers and not Doers” we get a lot of noise. Far Too much “Sound.” However, we could also include in this “Sound” “Liars” as were Ananias and Sapphira whom we read about in Acts 5:1-10. From this section of Scripture, we find out God’s position on this type of Sound, “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. 7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?" She said, "Yes, for so much." 9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.”

The opposite of “All Sound” could be seen as “No Sound” at all or “Sound Asleep” as Paul expresses in Romans 13:11, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” “Sound Brethren” remain awake in their efforts to serve the Lord. When the apostle Paul wrote to those in Corinth he admonished them for their “Love feast” and was not pleased with what they had done with the Lord’s Supper. He accused them of being weak and sick and many “asleep.” Listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:30, “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” “Sound Brethren” stay awake and alert to those things which we are commanded to observe and seek obey properly. Paul admonishes those in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 5:6, “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”

When we think about “Sound Brethren” we ought to think of those who have tremendous love for lost souls and for their brethren. Far too often we find so called “Sound Brethren” without love and the apostle Paul describes one without love as “Sounding Brass” in 1 Corinthians 13:1, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” Paul helps us understand that without love, he is nothing but a load noise; he has no real essence or meaning. He might draw attention to himself, but he is, nevertheless, nothing! The Love “Sound Brethren” are to have is the “Agape” love that God had and has for the world which motivated him to send his only begotten Son to die for it as we read in John 3:16, “"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” When “Sound Brethren” have this type of love they are willing to inconvenience themselves to help another no matter the cost.

It’s important for us to understand what it means to be “Sound Brethren” and the play on words we’ve used in our lesson today like “All Sound –Too Much Talk” or “Sound Asleep” or “Sounding Brass.” “Sound Brethren” are to be as our definition stated, “Founded in truth; firm; strong; valid; solid; that cannot be overthrown or refuted; as sound reasoning; a sound argument; a sound objection; sound doctrine; and sound principles; Right; correct; well founded; free from error.” “Sound Brethren” are to be “Sound in the faith” which means “Sound in Practice” willing to “Sound Out The Word of God” and “Hold Fast to the pattern of Sound Words” found in the Word of God.

Let us take note of another song we sing from time to time in our worship to God entitled Precious Words. This song is based upon Jesus statement in John 6:63, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The first verse says, “Precious forever! Oh, wonderful words, Teach me the pathway of duty; Lead me beside the still waters of life, Flowing thru valleys of beauty.” The second verse says, “Freely He offers their promise to all, “Come unto me whosoever,” Sinners oppressed with a burden of woe, Drink of the bountiful river.” The third verse says, “Wouldst thou refuse the sweet solace He gives, In the midnight of Thy sorrow? Would thou go on in the darkness of sin, Longing for no bright tomorrow?” The Chorus says, “Precious forever to you and to me, Words that our Savior has spoken, Bearing salvation far over the sea, Healing the hearts that are broken.”

In the book of John we read the Lord’s Prayer, in which He prays to the Father for Himself, for His disciples, and for All Believers. It is within this prayer we find the Lord petitioning God for all to be unified for all to be “Sound.” So, we’d like to close our lesson today, with the reading of John 17:1-26. For that we must recognize our responsibility to the prayer in that we must all seek to be “Sound Brethren”, “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 "Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. 20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

  Let each one of us make the choice to obey Christ and His Will as it is presented in the Bible. Let us adhere to the “oracles of God as Peter told us in 1 Peter 4:11. Let us do as the apostle Paul explains in Philippians 2:12, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;”

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