Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hearers of the Word

Temple Baptist Church - 9-29-2013
Amos 8:11-12
A. Two things need to be done in light of people “properly” hearing God’s Word. I often use this verse which can both be properly interpreted and practically applied this morning.
Amos 8:11-12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
1. The Word of God must be made indiscriminately available to the people. “Shall not find it.” The Word of the Lord needs to be preached in every land, to every creature! Before saving faith can be implemented, one must hear the Word of God. We hold up the King James Bible for many reasons but here is the most important one: without the Word of God, there can be no salvation. There is certainly a famine of sound, doctrinal preaching in our country.
2. God’s Word must be uncompromisingly magnified in the sight of the people. “The word of the Lord.” This bible I hold in my hand is more than the work of man; its preservation is an act of God. If it is errant, then our preaching is flawed. If it is fallible, then our eschatology is in doubt. It is not perfectly right, then our doctrine cannot be perfectly right. Psalm 138:2 declares that God has magnified it about all His name. With that being said, “Please leave this precious Bible alone! If you do not believe this precious Bible, then just leave this preacher and this church alone!”
3. God’s Word must be earnestly sought by the people. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD.” There must be a burning desire in the hearts of God’s people for God’s Word; there must be a hungering and thirsting for its precepts; there must be an earnest acceptance and obedience to it.
B. Having said that the Word of God is essential, let me say that the Word of God is also effective! One, it must be preached as it is; two, the hearer must listen to what the Word of God says; and, three, the hearer must believe God’s report through the Bible.
C. I want to look at another verse in order to make an application: Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (There are two hearings found here and they are in reverse order. There is an outer hearing [with the ear] and an inner hearing [with the heart]. Once again I will use the illustration: “You hear me but you don’t listen!” Now, I want to make a practical application with this verse.)
D. Though this particular hearing is salvation, there is much said about hearing to God’s children. Saving faith comes by hearing the Word of God as does sanctification, surety, service, etc.
1. The new believer needs the milk of God’s Word. God “grows” the child of God slowly and methodically. He is so careful with these new born children and so is this pastor. I try to preach fully and carefully (which is not compromise) for God’s children are tender when new born.
2. The mature believer needs the meat of God’s Word. God allows the preaching to feed both at the same time. The church is much like the old one room schoolhouse. It had up to 12 grades in the same room with the teacher instructing all grades together. As God’s man preaches, it is milk to the new born and meat to the mature.
E. Having said all of this, I believe that it is important for us to “hear” what God says. Preaching is for admonition, instruction, and motivation.
1. We need to prayerfully prepare our hearts to receive the preached Word.
2. We need to pray that the Word of the Lord have free course and be glorified.
3. We need to keep our hearts and minds stayed upon the preached Word.
4. We need to understand that God’s man is just a man and, yet, the Word preached in the Lord’s
5. We need to rightly, personally apply the Word of God to our hearts.
F. If rightly preached and rightly received, the Word of God should do some things.
1. Preaching should instruct your mind. 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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (We need the whole counsel of God in ord to be perfect or fully equipped. A good education is a well-rounded one!)
2. Preaching should tan your hide. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (The Word of God chastens.)
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
3. Preaching should warm your heart. Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (God’s people don’t get mad; they get glad when the Word is preached compassionately straight. I have had people come us to me and say, “Preacher, that did not offend me.” I am not here to offend but I am here to preach straight and straight preaching get us all. It should warm our hearts to know that God cares enough for us to give it to us straight.)
4. Preaching should provoke your will. Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (We are here to provoke each other unto love for the brethren and also unto good works. The preaching presents a challenge that demands a decision.)

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