Sunday Sermon: ‘Word of God Speak’



Sometimes I am a preacher and sometimes I am a teacher. Sometimes I am a ‘preacher / teacher’ meaning that I teach as I preach. Today I would say that I’m probably going to be a ‘teacher / preacher’ meaning that this message is probably going to be more of a lesson than a sermon. Actually I’m the most comfortable being a ‘teacher / preacher.’ Long before I thought about being a pastor I wanted to be a Bible teacher. My original goal was to become a teacher in a Bible college somewhere.

So class, what’s the lesson about today? It’s about the Bible being God’s way of communicating about Himself and His will to us.

This morning I want to teach a lesson that will not doubt become a sermon before we’re through. My lesson is entitled – “WORD OF GOD SPEAK.”

Every counselor will tell us that good communication is essential for a strong relationship. As a matter of fact, some marriage counselors believe that a lack of communication is the number one problem in many homes. Good communication is essential between a husband and wife, and good communication is very important between parents and their children. Parents, keep communicating with your children and do all that you can to keep them communicating with you. Good communication is important in the workplace and around the world. After WWII, the United Nations was established in order to encourage the various countries around the world to come and sit down and talk to each other. Good communication is essential in every aspect of life and no less can be expected in our relationship with God. If we are going to be ‘fully in touch’ with God, we must be able to communicate with Him and He with us.

So how do we learn to communicate with God? God has established to important principles for communicating with Him: the first is His Word and the second is our prayers. Let’s consider today the Bible as God’s means of communicating with us.

Step #1 Revelation “From God to Man”

Well we know that down through the ages, God has used a variety of means and methods to communicate with man. The Bible says that God speaks through His creation. We learn also from scripture that God has sometimes spoken through the use of an audible voice or special dreams and visions. God has used angels and on at least one occasion He spoke through an animal. The book of Hebrews says that God has spoken to us through His Son and there are many times when God has spoken by His Spirit. But the primary way that God speaks to us is through His Word. Over four hundred times in the Bible we will find the phrase –“thus saith the LORD.” Another two hundred times we will read – “the LORD said”. Another three hundred times we see that the Bible is referred to as “the word of the LORD” or “the word of God.” Therefore we can see that God’s primary way of communicating with us is through the Bible.

Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

We can see that God’s Word is described in many ways: the law of the LORD; His testimonies, precepts and commandments. But notice also that attached to each of these descriptive titles is a personal pronoun. It’s the LORD’s law. It’s His precepts and commandments. It’s His way in which we are to walk.

We all know that there is a book in the Bible called the book of Revelation. But actually the entire Bible is a book of Revelation. When I was attending college to prepare for the ministry, we had to attend chapel three times a week. At the beginning of each chapel we would stand as a student body and recite the school Statement of Faith. Part of that statement said: ‘We believe that the Bible reveals God, the fall of man, the way of salvation, and God’s plan and purpose in the ages.’ This is God’s Word to us.

Step #2 Inspiration “From Man to Paper”

How did we get the Bible? Many believe that it was simply written by man. They are correct in the aspect that God used ordinary men, just like many of us, to write out the words that we read in the Bible. But were these men the originator of these words? Are these words ‘their words’, or are these words ‘their record’ of words given to them? Behind the words on these pages is a higher power and purpose. The Bible reveals – ‘God’s plan and purpose in the ages.’

Consider this passage from the book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia…

Please note the process. John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, meaning that the Holy Spirit of God was upon him in some extraordinary kind of way. While in this state, he was able to see the resurrected Savior. He say the glorified Jesus and he heard the Lord speak directly to him. What did the Lord say? ‘Write out what you are about to see and hear and record it in a book.’ The word ‘book’ is actually the word for scroll. The Greek word for it is “biblion” from which we get the English word – ‘Bible.’ ‘Write out and put in the Bible what you are about to see and hear.’ But that’s not all the Lord commanded John. ‘Then send it to the churches to be read.’ The Bible is a written record of God’s revelation to us. Consider also this passage from the book of 2 Peter.

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

An Old Testament prophet was a spokesman for God. “Thus saith the LORD” was the introduction to his message. According to what we have just read, he didn’t originate his message. God gave it to him. You might be thinking – ‘But that was his spoken message. What about his written message? What about the writings of Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel or Daniel?’

There is a very interesting story found in the book of Jeremiah. (see Jeremiah 36) The Bible says- “This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Take a scroll, and write on it all the words I have spoken to you …” Jeremiah summons Baruch who was his servant and scribe to write out what God had said to Jeremiah. Then Jeremiah sent the written message to King Jehoiakim. When Jehoiakim read the message, he didn’t like it and so he took his knife and cut it into little pieces and threw it in the fire. Done with the Bible – right? Wrong! What did God do? God told Jeremiah to rewrite what he had wrote and to add even more words of judgment and warning. The Bible is the infallible, inerrant, indestructible Word of God.

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Bible is not the result of human effort. As a matter of fact, 1 Peter 1:10-11 teaches us that sometimes these prophets didn’t fully understand at the time what they were writing. They were ‘moved’ by the Holy Spirit. The word ‘moved’ refers to the wind that fills the sail of a ship and causes it to be carried across the waters. Not only did the Spirit give them the ability to write, He also guided them as what to write. The Spirit was the wind that filled the sail and the rudder that guided the ship. Sometimes the ship was an intellect like the Apostle Paul. Other times it was a common man like Simon Peter. The ship itself didn’t matter. It was the cargo that the ship was carrying that is most important. God used these ships to deliver to us His divine revelation.

The Bible is an amazing book. No other book in the course of human history has been hated more and attacked; yet no other book has had a greater impact upon who we are and how we live. Even in this day of modernism and pluralism, the Bible continues to be the number one selling book. I have read that over one hundred million copies are printed and distributed each year. The Bible has been translated into over 3,000 languages and that number is growing daily.

How did the Holy Spirit guide these men to write the Bible? The biblical word for it is ‘inspiration.’

2 Timothy 3: 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God…

What does the word ‘inspiration’ mean? Modern use of the word inspiration refers to something that is motivating or uplifting. But that’s not the proper meaning of the word as it is used in the Bible. Literally the biblical definition of inspiration is ‘God-breathed.’ What does it mean that the Bible is God-breathed?

Consider with me what the word ‘expiration’ or ‘expire’ means. If we say that someone expired, what are we saying? We are saying that they have breathed their last breath and now are dead. ‘Ex’ means out. They have breathed out their last breath. If expiration means to breathe out and die, what does inspiration mean? It means to breathe in and live.

The Bible is supernaturally alive.

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.

The word ‘quick’ means living. The Bible is living; it’s alive. Not only is it alive, it is active. That’s what the word ‘powerful’ means. It’s actually the Greek word from which we get the English word ‘energy.’ The Bible is alive and full of energy. In addition we see that the Bible is able. The Bible is able to penetrate to the deepest most part of our inner being and to expose our thoughts and desires. How is the Bible able to do this?

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest (brought out in the open) in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Please note that the author has gone from speaking of the Word of God as a living book to the Word of God as a living person. Often people say that they wish that God would speak to them. Well my friend, just open up your Bible and begin to read. God is in the pages of this book.

There is so much more that we could say, but we must move on. We’re only half way through the process of receiving God’s divine revelation.

Step #3 Illumination “From Paper to Our Intellect”

The #1 complaint I hear about the Bible is that it’s hard to understand. It’s too deep. Well after all my friend, we are receiving revelation from the God who created this universe. God has revealed things to us in His Word that not even the angels fully understand.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Many think that this passage is talking about heaven, but actually it is speaking about the wonderful things that God wants to reveal to you and me today. How can we know and understand the deep and wonderful truths?

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

The Bible says that God has given to us a divine Teacher who is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that the Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and that has come to guide us in truth. As I prepare lessons and sermons, I look to the Holy Spirit to guide me. As I preach and teach, I look to the Holy Spirit to guide you. If a sermon or a lesson accomplishes anything lasting and significant, it is because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

As we study our Bibles, the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see and understand God’s wonderful truths. This process might be called ‘Illumination’ which means to shed light upon something. Ephesians 1:17-18 says that He is the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Romans 8:16 says that He resonates with our spirit and confirms to us what is truth.

Therefore, as we read and study our Bibles, we should ask for the Spirit’s guidance. Often, during the preparation of a message, I get down on my knees in my office and pray specifically for the Spirit’s guidance. Consider this prayer of the psalmist in Psalm 119.

Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

Step #4 Application “From Our Intellect to Our Will”

There’s one last step in this process of God communicating with us. Step #1 is Revelation (from God to man). Step #2 is Inspiration (from man to paper). Step #3 is Illumination (from paper to our intellect). And Step #4 is Application (from our intellect to our will).

Here is where most of the breakdown in our communication with God occurs. Most of us know what to do, we just have decided to do it. James warns us about this.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

What is James saying? Let me put it in a modern nutshell – ‘Stop playing games with God and determine to do what you know that He is telling you to do. Don’t kid yourself by thinking that it’s enough to simply know what you should do. Do it, for then and only then will experience God’s blessings upon your life.’ (Covey translation) Old James were pretty blunt – wasn’t he?

There are two essential parts to this step of ‘Application.’

Part A – The Issue of the Heart

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

The reason most people don’t get anything out of the Bible is because their heart is not in it. They don’t really love God and therefore they don’t love His Word. When a person truly loves the Lord, the reading of God’s Word will causing a burning sensation in their heart. He or she will have an encounter with the living God, simply by reading His Word. Sometimes as I am studying the Bible, I become so moved that I get up and walk about throughout the church. I come into this sanctuary and preach for a few minutes – even though no one is here. It becomes a hammer that breaks down the walls in my life. It becomes a fire that burns away the chaff. It becomes water that refreshes my soul and it becomes bread that feeds me and gives me strength. It is a lamp that lights my way and it is a liberator that frees me from spiritual bondage. It is a surgeon’s scalpel that cuts into the deepest part of my being and it is a salve that heals my wounded soul. It is my milk and my meat. It is a mirror that reveals to me who I am and who God wants me to be. It is God speaking directly to me.

Part B – The Issue of the Will

Psalm 119:112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

The word ‘inclined’ means that he has turned his heart in the direction God is leading him and he is stretching out to grasp all that God has for him. Jesus said: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34) I believe that any man or woman who chooses to take that course in life will come to love, not only the Lord, but also His Word. They will carefully study the pages of scripture, searching for God and expecting to find Him. God said through the prophet Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (An end of that gives hope) 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD:

Comments are closed.