Storeroom Sermons of David Chadwell

The Lord Speaks

God always has communicated His desires in a manner that the listener and seeker could understand. In times past, there have been occasions when God communicated directly with individuals or bodies of people. For example, God spoke directly to heads of households with such people as Adam, Noah, and Abraham.

Through Moses and Joshua, He spoke to the nation of Israel.

Later, God spoke through prophets. Sometimes God spoke about specific persons, circumstances, or conditions through the prophets. Sometimes He evaluated, sometimes He illustrated, sometimes He compared, sometimes He declared assurances and blessings, and sometimes He expressed anger and displeasure.

In one instance, God spoke directly to Christians in the New Testament through the resurrected Jesus Christ. He addressed the churches in Asia Minor in Revelation 2 and 3 through John. In those messages to specific congregations, God through the resurrected Jesus was specific about what was happening and about His reactions to those events.

How would you like for God to address us individually or as a congregation so directly today? Initially, some might think it would be nice, but I do not think the majority would even initially desire that to happen. That would terrify most of us!

Whether God speaks to us directly or not, He knows what is happening in our lives and in our congregations. How He communicates to us has no bearing on His knowledge of us. Hebrews 1:1, 2 reminds us: "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world."

  1. God's word, the Bible, repeatedly declares itself to be "alive."
    1. It is not a dead book with a dead message from dead men.
    2. It is the source of spiritual truth that frees, sanctifies, and purifies.
    3. Regardless of how alive it is, how much power it has, or how it can bless, it cannot and will not significantly bless a person if he or she does not study it.

  2. With that understanding, I would like to ask you as a Christian, why do you study the Bible?
    1. Different people study for different reasons.
      1. Some study for purely academic reasons.
        1. It is an ancient writing.
        2. They study it as a book from antiquity that had a profound impact on people for centuries.
        3. They study to seek an understanding of why some people acted as they did (and do).
      2. Some study to discredit its message.
        1. They resent the Bible's influence.
        2. They see it as a destructive hoax.
        3. They search for flaws in an attempt to destroy its influence.
      3. Some study to find trivia information.
        1. They are committed to finding the small, the obscure, and facts of little significance.
        2. What was Adam's last name?
        3. Where was Moses buried?
      4. Some study to fulfill a requirement.
        1. They do what they were told to do--read the Bible.
        2. They were told Christians had to read the Bible, so that is what they do.
        3. They read to be able to say they read.
      5. Some study to sharpen arguments.
        1. They had rather argue than teach or confront than share.
        2. They study to strengthen their position or weaken another's position.
        3. They especially seek ways to counter arguments that weaken their position.
      6. Some study in search of correct doctrine.
        1. They want to know which teachings are right and which teachings are wrong.
        2. While such a search is proper, unfortunately, it is the only reason they search.
      7. Some study to grasp God's purpose.
        1. They have studied enough to know God has a purpose.
        2. They want to understand God's purpose better.
      8. Some study because they want to understand proper Christian conduct.
        1. They understand God through Christ wants them to be a specific kind of people.
        2. They know they were re-created in Christ to be new creatures.
        3. They know this new life is expressed in the way they live.
        4. They want to know who they are and how they should live.
      9. Of all those reasons for studying the Bible, one reason combines the best of all the positive reasons.
    2. To me, that reason is declared in Hebrews 4:12:
      For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
      1. Again, God's word is alive, just as it was when it was first spoken.
      2. It is neither powerless nor passive in our lives--it is instead active, powerful, and dynamic.
      3. It was like the sharpest instrument they knew--the double edged sword.
        1. It cuts in any direction it moves.
        2. It can make the finest distinction imaginable, distinguishing between soul and spirit.
      4. To the serious student, it will expose private thoughts, motives, and intentions.
    3. I have seen people moved by ignorance and conscience to become more serious in their Bible study.
      1. I have watched some grow and develop spiritually.
      2. I have seen some quit because their lives were too full.
      3. I have seen some stop primarily because they were afraid to learn.
    4. It seems to me that the fear of learning discourages many from Bible study.
      1. Scripture does three things to the serious student:
        1. It reveals who you are.
        2. It takes you apart.
        3. It puts you together again.
      2. Too many people do not study enough to let scripture bless them by putting them together again.
    5. We think we can hide "who we really are" from everyone and from God!
      1. We think we can deceive people about our true intentions.
      2. All of us (definitely including me) stand amazed when the Bible begins to reveal us (personally) to ourselves.
        1. When I get aggravated with other people's attitudes, the Bible reveals mine to me.
        2. When I get frustrated with other people's weakness, the Bible reveals mine to me.
        3. When I am hurt by other people's inconsiderate words or acts, the Bible reveals my inconsiderate words and acts to me.
      3. When you study with a godly attitude, the Bible will work on you more than anyone else.
    6. When we truly understand who and what a Christian is, we study because we want God to take us apart and put us together again.
      1. God knows who I am all the time, and He is 100% correct.
      2. Jesus Christ knows who I am all the time, and He is 100% correct.
      3. The person least likely to know who I am is me, and what I know about me is never 100% correct.
      4. I study because:
        1. I want to know accurately who and what I am.
        2. I want to know what is wrong with me.
        3. I want to know what is correct with me.
        4. I want to know what needs attention in my life.
        5. I want to know what God would change in me.
        6. I want God to show me how to change me.
      5. If I do not know those things accurately, I am the only one who is ignorant.
      6. I want to learn now while I can give attention to those things.
    7. If you are afraid to study because you fear finding out about yourself or discovering God's view of you, you need to change your perspective.
      1. God and Jesus already know about me and you--truthfully, accurately!
      2. You can discover what you need to know about yourself while there is opportunity to change.
      3. Or, you can find out in the judgment when it is too late.

I wish I had an effective way to help us all understand that God's purpose, Jesus' purpose, and the Bible's purpose are to change us. God did not send Jesus to teach us how to hide from Him. Jesus did not come to teach us how to hide from God. God sent Jesus and Jesus came to teach us the blessing of coming to God. Changing to belong to God is a good thing, not a bad thing!

Our purpose in Christ is to allow God to make us new creatures, His new creation, by understanding righteousness. The Lord speaks now. Are you listening to Him?  

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