How To Listen To A Sermon
Early on in my Christian walk, I was aware that preachers and writers had the guidance and help of God. Soon after that, I became aware that hearers and readers also need the help of God. I discovered that I had the help of God. Without the help of God, I would not even have known that the preachers and writers had it. In a recent sermon Pastor Kent McBay of North Mesa Baptist provided many of the thoughts and scriptures I*ll include in this article. He and The Holy Spirit clarified many truths that had been vague in my mind by providing relevant scriptures.
When God wants Christians to receive informative heart-changing and life-changing truth and guidance from Him, preachers AND hearers must be cleansed of sin and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God coordinates EVERYTHING. He inspired those who penned the Bible. He fills Christian preachers and writers and helps them communicate God*s truth. He fills Christian listeners and readers and helps them to understand God*s truth. He arranges the times and occasions when He does His work. It is nothing short of a series of miracles.
2 Timothy 3:16: 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.
Many things happen when we receive Jesus that are the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course, first of all, Jesus baptizes us with The Holy Spirit.
Luke 3:16: John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
We are sealed with the Spirit.
Ephesians 1:12-13: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
We are indwelt by the Spirit.
Romans 8:9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
1 Corinthians 3:16: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
We are taught by The Holy Spirit. He comforts us with truth, teaches us about Jesus, teaches what to speak, how to speak, when to speak and how to listen.
John 14:26: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Isaiah 50:4: The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
The message of God is blocked by the sin of the preacher, the hearer, the writer or the reader. Beyond the point at which we refuse to preach, hear, write or read what the Holy Spirit says we receive nothing more from Him. Further revelation is blocked.
Isaiah 59:2: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
1 Corinthians 2:12-13: 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. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
When we receive Jesus we become more than a natural man with a natural father. We acquire a supernatural Father and become part of His family.
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
A sad truth is that believers involved in sin can even miss the witness of the Holy Spirit in their spirit that they are the children of God. It would be sad to be a son of my earthly father and not know it. Likewise, it would be sad to be a child of God and not be assured of it. Unbelievers and believers involved in sin do not have the indispensable help of the Holy Spirit. They do not see, hear or understand what He teaches. Sometimes it is very hard to see any difference between unbelievers and habitually sinning believers.
Matthew 13:13-14: Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Acts 28:26: Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
In everything that a Christian does, He needs the help of the Holy Spirit. Praying, speaking, reading, hearing, meditating, serving, making decisions and every other area. Blessedly, there are many times when we have His help, even when we don*t know it. But the oftener that we purposefully seek it the better.
Care to discuss How To Listen To A Sermon with Ron?