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RESPONDING TO THE TRUTH (1)

 

Hearing the Truth

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   In this series of lessons, we are operating under the assumption that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17).

 

Sanctify them through thy truth:  thy word is truth.

 

B.   God has given His truth to man, and man is responsible as to how he responds to it.

 

C.   The very first obligation man has to the truth is to hear the truth.

 

I.             GOD HAS COMMUNICATED THROUGH THE WRITTEN WORD

 

A.   II Timothy 3:16

 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

 

1.    The word “inspiration” means “God-breathed.” 

2.    The words of the biblical text were breathed by God when He spoke them to “inspired” men.

 

B.   There are two ways that God’s Word can be heard by man.

1.    He can read what has been written (Eph. 3:3-4).

 

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby when ye read, ye may understand by knowledge in the mystery of Christ.)

 

2.    He can hear the Word of God proclaimed (I Cor. 1:21).

 

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

 

C.   Whether one is reading the Biblical text, or, whether one is listening to the Word of God proclaimed, he has the responsibility of hearing what is said.

 

II.           THE COMMAND TO HEAR

 

A.   Twice on the day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted the Jews gathered in Jerusalem to hear his words.

1.    Acts 2:14

 

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said, unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken unto my words.

 

2.    Acts 2:22

 

Ye men of Israel, hear these words…

 

B.   Jesus exhorted individuals to hear what He said.

1.    Matthew 11:15

 

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

2.    Matthew 13:18

 

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

 

3.    John 10:27

 

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

 

C.   Other exhortations

1.    Hebrews 3:7

 

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice.

 

2.    Revelation 1:3

 

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein:  for the time is at hand.

 

III.         OBLIGATIONS OF THE HEARER

 

A.   Be swift to hear (James 1:18-19)

 

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

 

1.    The Word of God is one of the elements of the new birth (See I Pet. 1:23).

2.    Therefore, individuals must be swift to hear it.

a.    Swift

1)    Strong (5036):  fleet, prompt, ready

2)    Thayer:  quick, fleet, speedy

b.    We have to hear just as the deer hears every sound in the wilderness.

 

B.   Take heed how ye hear (Luke 8:18)

 

Take heed therefore how ye hear…

 

1.    How is an adverb of manner.  We must be careful about the manner in which we hear God’s Word.

2.    Some hear and get angry.  Some hear to complain.  Some hear to judge and criticize.

3.    We need to hear to learn and apply.

 

C.   Take heed and don’t harden you heart (Heb. 3:7-8)

 

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day is ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.

 

1.    We hear, but we do not receive the message.  We hear and do not apply the truth.  We hear and grow angry.

2.    Every rejection of God’s Word makes our hearts just more stubborn and hard.

 

D.   Hear with discernment (Mark 4:24)

 

And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear…

 

1.    Satan’s ministers can appear as ministers of righteousness (II Cor. 11:15).

2.    Their message is smooth and subtle.

3.    The disciple must hear and discern the message spoken to him.

a.    The Bereans received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see if what was spoken was true (Acts 17:11).

b.    The church at Ephesus was commended for trying those who said they were apostles, but were not (Rev. 2:2).

c.    I Thessalonians 5:20-22

 

Despise not prophesying.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 

E.   Don’t let what you have heard slip (Heb. 2:1)

 

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

 

1.    Slip means to slowly drift away from.

2.    A person can have a tight hold of God’s Word today and drift away from it tomorrow.  Thus, we must always give earnest heed to the things we have learned.

 

IV.         THE RESULTS OF PROPER HEARING

 

A.   Hearing enables the heart to be pricked (Acts 2:37).

 

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

 

B.   Hearing produces faith within one’s heart (Rom. 10:17).

 

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

C.   Hearing causes one to be obedient to God’s will (Heb. 3:7).

 

D.   Hearing opens the doors to learning (John 6:45).

 

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.  Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

 

E.   Hearing ultimately leads one to obedience to God (Acts 16:14).

 

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us:  whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   The verses found in the Bible about hearing God’s Word are legion.

 

B.   Let’s close by reading a few of them.

1.    Matthew 7:24

 

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.

 

2.    Luke 10:16a

 

He that heareth you heareth me…

 

3.    John 5:24

 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life.

 

4.    Hebrews 12:25

 

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.  For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.

 

5.    Revelation 22:17

 

And the Spirit and the bride say Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.

 

C.   QUESTION:  Are you listening???