Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"God's Word is Active" - a Message from Acts 11:1-18

Dear Friends!
People often ask the hypothetical, "If you could meet and converse with anyone in history, who would it be?"  To that, Christians often reply, "Jesus."  How grand and glorious it would be to meet Jesus face to face, ask him questions, hear his responses, get his advice, listen to his counsel.  Would you take advantage of the opportunity if given to you?
The evangelical church professes, "The Bible is God's inspired Word."  What does that mean?  It means many things, not the least of which is that when we hear God's Word we are actually listening to the voice of God.  Yet how many of us approach the Bible with this anticipation?  You a way, we can meet and hear the voice of Jesus just by reading aloud the Word of God.
God's Word is Active!  
It continues to inspire those who have a curious and receiving heart. Unfortunately, in the liberal church, today, people approach the Word to impose their will on it rather than letting God impose his Will on them.  But we love God's Word, so we come to it to hear God's voice.
Listen to this message and let me know what you think.  And may God bless you as you hear his voice and respond to his lead according to His Active Word! - Kirk McCormick
PS - I've provided an outline, below, to make it easy for you to follow.

“God’s Word is Active”

** In the Bible…3 ideas about the “Word” of God

·      Jesus is the Word of God Incarnate…aka: Living Word

c.f.:  John 1:1-4, 14

** Here, “Word” = Logos = embodiment of the Divine Nature/Essence… “God with Us” (Immanuel)

But “Logos” is also used to describe the Scriptures = The Written Word of God

·      The Scriptures are the Written Word of God

c.f.:  Hebrews 4:12 - “For the word of God is living
and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

also c.f.: 2 Timothy 3:15-17 - from infancy “you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

·      The other primary designation for “Word” in the Bible is the Greek - rhema

** Rhema (lit: “utterance”) refers to the actual Word spoken or communicated by God to a given situation/person

c.f.:  Mary’s Response to Angel (Luke 1:38) -
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

This is what Jesus said in the wilderness when being tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:4) - “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

** The Word is Actively…

1.  Inviting those who are willing to discover God.

Acts 11:1 - “The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.”

c.f.:  Galatians 3:26-29 - “You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek (ethnicity), slave nor free (social status), male nor female (gender), for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

** The Word is Actively…

2. …Correcting those in Error.

Acts 11:2 - “So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, ‘You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.’”

Acts 11:18 - “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God.”

Proverbs 3:12 - “…the Lord disciplines those he loves.”

As Job reminds us - “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17)

** The Word is Actively…

3. …Anointing/Blessing those who are Listening.

Acts 11:16 - “Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

…as Paul reminds us in Romans 10:17 - “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of God.”

** The Word is Actively…

4.  Saving those who would believe.

Acts 11:18 - “God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

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