TL-3 - How God Communicates Today
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An evil king asked a great question, ‘Is there any word from the
Lord?’ Jeremiah 37:17.
As we think today about God's truth and how it's been revealed to us
and what it teaches, we need understand God has spoken. There is word
from God. That word is found for us in the Bible.
Paul repeated a similar question in Romans 4:3 when he asked
“What does the Scripture say?” What does the Bible say? Has God
revealed Himself to us? Has He revealed His will to us? If so, where is that
will? What does it teach us about how to live and how to do the things that
God wants us to do?
First let's realize that God has revealed Himself to each and every
one of us. I want you to notice Hebrews 1:1-2. The Scripture says “God,
who at various times in various ways, spoke in times past to the fathers by
the prophets has in these last day's spoken to us by His son, whom He
appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”
Here God clearly teaches us that although He used to speak in
various ways through the prophets and angels, now how does God speak
to men and women today? Does God whisper in their ear? Does God send
some inner feeling? How does God speak to us today?
Notice again, “God has in these last days, the Christian era, spoken
to us by His son.” If men and women are going to hear the voice of God
today, if they are going to obey His will, it will be done by listening to and
doing what Jesus Christ teaches us. Here's what's great about the word of
God, we have that word. It’s everything we need to get to heaven. I love the
words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Paul said “All Scripture,” not some or few. “All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God. It is God breathed and profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” listen,
“that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good
work.” This book, the word of God, is God's message to us today.
God has spoken. It gives us everything we need to get to heaven.
Peter said in 2 Peter 1:19-21 “The holy men of God spoke as they were
moved or guided by the Holy Spirit.” Can you imagine what it would be like
without the word of God? It would be like trying to navigate through a dark
room. It would be like trying to make it through this life without the sunlight.
That reminds me of Psalm 119:105. Look at what the psalmist said about
God's word. The psalmist said “You’re word is a lamp unto my feet and a
light unto my path.” It gives us direction. It keeps us from stumbling.
Ultimately it shines the light on the way to heaven itself. So has God
spoken? Absolutely! God has spoken to each and every one of us today.
Then as we think about the idea of God speaking to us, and ‘Is there
any word from the Lord?’ we ask next: Where is that word? How do we find
God's message for us today?
Many people become confused. We talk about understanding the
Bible, understanding where God's law is for us today, and sometimes they'll
go back even as far as the 10 Commandments. They may say ‘We need to
live under the Mosaic Law. We need to live under the 10 Commandments.
We need to do the things that they there did and live like them.’ As you look
to the Bible, God's revealed will, it tells us we've got to rightly divide the
word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15.
We need to understand today the God's revealed will for us is in the
New Testament. When we ask the question: Is there any word from the
Lord? The answer is a resounding yes! But we ask then, where is that? It's
in the New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I want you notice the words of John 1:17. Look at what Jesus here
said. Jesus said, “For the law all was given through Moses but grace and
truth,” are where? “Are in Christ.” That grace that brings salvation down,
Titus 2:11-13, that grace that makes salvation possible, Ephesians 2:8, that
grace that calls God to send His son from heaven and come and live a
human life and die a perfect sacrifice- that grace is in Christ! Truth is in
Christ. That's important because ‘it's the truth that will set us free,’ John
Notice grace and truth are not in Moses; they’re in Christ. Today we
have the New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have the
better covenant, Hebrews 8:5-6. We have the covenant under which there
is immediate forgiveness of sins when one obeys it. Hebrews 10:3-5 the
Bible says that “The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin.”
Think about this friend, why would you want to go back to a law that
couldn't take away sin anyway? At its best there was a reminder of sin.
Would you want to go to a law that reminded you of your sins? Even when
you made the bloodiest sacrifice you can imagine, it didn't take away the
sin. That's the old law. Thank God that we're living under the sunshine age
and the sunshine age of Christianity. We have that better covenant now.
Sometimes people struggle with the idea of the old covenant being
removed and us being under the new covenant. The Bible does make it
abundantly clear. Hebrews 8:13 the Hebrew writer said “That the old law
was growing old and ready to vanish away.” It had become obsolete. It was
no longer useful for the people in the New Testament.
Then of course we think of the words of Ephesians 2:14-15. “Jesus at
His death nailed the old law, the handwriting of requirements, to the cross.”
It's no longer a viable law for each and every one of us today. In fact Jesus
Himself taught us that when we stand before the judgment seat of God and
give account of our life, we will be judged by the words of Jesus- not the
words of Moses.
Jesus said in John 12:48 “He who rejects me and does not receive
My words has that which judges him the word that I've spoken will judge
him in the last day.”
On that final day when men's lives are opened up, when the books
are opened, what's our judge going to be? It's going to be the words of
Jesus Christ, not the words of Moses. Well if God has spoken and if then
that law for us today is the New Testament, do we have all of it?
Some people say ‘Well have got bits and pieces. We need a little
more here and little more there. Maybe we need another Revelation.’
Do we have everything we need today to get to heaven? The answer
to that is very clear also.
God has not only spoken, and not only do we have the new law of
Jesus Christ, but we have everything we need to get to heaven and live the
best life. Jesus made this promise to His apostles, to His disciples while He
was alive. He promised they would receive everything necessary to get
men and women to heaven.
Look at John 16:13. Jesus said “However when He, the spirit of truth,
has come He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own
authority, but whatever He hears He will speak. And He will tell you things
to come.” How much truth did Jesus say the disciples were going to get?
Can’t get more than all, and that's what God promised us today.
In the pages of the New Testament, I've got everything I need to get
I love the words of 2 Peter 1:3. The Scripture says “According to His
divine knowledge God has given to us all things that pertain to life and
godliness.” Not only has God given me everything I need, but he's given it
for two areas. God's given us all things for life.
Friend if you obey the gospel and live the Christian life, you are the
most well-equipped person for this life right now. John 10:10 Jesus said “I
came that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
There's no better life in the here and now than the Christian life. Notice that
second part “I have all things for life and godliness.” In the New Testament
I've got everything I need to be the godly person God wants me to be and
change my life and live in such a way that I can be guaranteed heaven will
be my home.
Don't you love the words of Jesus in John 8:32? Jesus said “You
shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.”
What is that truth? Jesus stated later in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by
your truth, your word is truth.” This book is truth. It's all truth. The promise
to each one of us is if we obey it and do what it says, we can live with God
forever. “Is there any word from the Lord?” Absolutely! I've got everything I
need and so do you to be the godly person that we need to be.
Would you look at the beautiful words of Psalm 119:160? The
psalmist said “The entirety of your word is truth and every one of your
righteous judgments endures forever.” How much? The entirety. What's
that mean? Every bit of God's word is truth from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation
22:21. Every bit of that is absolute truth from heaven on high. It is what
man needs to save his soul.
Then let's think about another question. If this book contains all truth,
how am I going to get that truth? I know it's there, but is it just somehow
going to feel my life? Is it going to go through the process of osmosis
somehow? Are God's words just going to absorb in my life? Of course not!
I've got to study to know the truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 the Scripture says
“Study to show yourself approved unto God a workman who does not need
to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.” If this book is all truth,
friend that ought to encourage and motivate us to study this book. I want to
know it. I want to live my life by it. I can’t help but think of the people in
Thessalonica. These were the people who weren't as noble. They didn't
give their lives as well to the word of God. In contrast with them, Acts 17:11
of the Bereans Paul said, “They were more noble in that they learned the
word of God with all readiness, and they searched the Scriptures daily to
see if these things were so,” Acts 17:11.
We've got to be ready always. We have got to study. We’ve got to
give ourselves to all who desire to know and do the will of God. As we think
about the great question: ‘Is there any word from the Lord?’ we can know
the word. We can know what it is. We can know how to get it.
Let's talk for just a minute about some specifics. Let's think
specifically about the question, “Is there any word from the Lord on
salvation?’ “What must I do to be saved?” the great question of Acts
16-30:31. It was asked in Acts 2 when the Jews realized they'd killed their
own Messiah. They were cut to the heart. They cried out “Men and brethren
what shall we do?” Acts 2:37. Is there any word from God on my salvation
and on yours? There is friend. The good news is God has made salvation
available. Romans 1:16 the gospel, this book, the message of Jesus Christ
is God's power unto salvation. James 1:21 James said “If you receive with
meekness the implanted word it’s able to save your soul.” ‘The word of God
is living and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword.’
If the Bible is God's message of salvation, what does it teach us?
What a person must do to be saved. I want you to stop for just a moment
and think about your own salvation. What did you do to be saved? Where
were you? How old were you? What steps did you take by which you know
you had obeyed the plan of salvation and were saved? I want you think
about that. Then let's examine for just a moment what the Bible says a
person must do to be saved.
First the Scriptures teach you must hear the word of God. Romans
10:17 says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” That
truth that sets us free, to initially be saved I've got a listen to it.
I can’t help but think of the words of Mark 9. Jesus takes Peter,
James, and John upon the high mountain. He's there transfigured before
them. He begins to shine. They’re in a state of awe and reverence and in
that context. Peter, because he's afraid, doesn't know what to do. He blurts
out “Lord it is good for us to be here. Let's make three Tabernacles. One
for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” God's voice came from heaven
and said “This is my beloved son. Hear Him.”
If I'm going to be saved, I must hear the word of God. Hearing is
essential. The Bible says without faith I can't be saved. Hebrews 11:6 says
“without faith it's impossible to please God.” It's impossible. There's no way
to please God without faith. Well if it's impossible to please God without
faith, then whatever process by which I get faith is also essential. Think
again about Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the
word of God.” If we’re going to be saved, we have got to put aside
prejudice. We got a put aside bias. We have got to put aside what other
people of told us. We have got to give ear to the word of God only and do
what it says.
So what must I do to be saved? First you've got to hear the word of
Secondly you must believe in Jesus as the son of God. Jesus said “I
am the way, the truth, and the life no man comes to the father except by
me.” Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God? Acts 8 Philip is teaching
the Ethiopian eunuch the gospel. He got up in the chariot with him. They’re
traveling down the road. In the process of teaching him from Isaiah 53
about the Messiah being Jesus, in the distance they see water. This man is
excited. He's heard the message. He's ready to do what God says. As he
sees that water he says “Here's water what doth hinder me from being
baptized?” Do you member the hindrance? Acts 8:36-37 “If you believe with
all your heart, you may.” To be saved a person must believe Jesus is the
son of God. Jesus said in John 8:24 “Unless you believe that I'm he you'll
surely die in your sins.”
Be sure of this: it doesn't stop there. Salvation does not occur in the
New Testament at the point of belief alone. If it did there would have been
no need for Philip and Ethiopian eunuch to get down out of the chariot.
A person must also repent. You have got to change your way of
thinking and change your way of living. Listen to Jesus’ words in Luke 13.
Certain people came to Jesus and it looks like they’re there to tell on other
people who've been living ungodly. They think acts of God's justice. There
are these people who had the blood mingled with their sacrifice- meaning
at the time of sacrifices they killed those people, their blood was mixed with
the blood of the animals. They say to Jesus weren't they worse sinners
than all else because that happened? Well Lord what about these 18
people who are walking down the road aimlessly minding their own
business and this tower comes from nowhere and crushes them? Wasn't
that your justice on those evil ungodly people?
Jesus said in verse 3-5, “I tell you no, but unless you repent you will
all likewise perish.” Repentance is essential to salvation. Acts 3:19 Peter
preached “Repent and turn again that your sins may be blotted out the
seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Hear God's word. I'm willing to believe. I'm willing to repent, change
my life and turn to God. Then I must make that good confession. Matthew
10:32-33 Jesus said “If you won’t confess me before men neither will I
confess you before the Father who is in heaven. If you will confess me
before men, I'll also confess you before the Father who is in heaven.”
Making that confession that Jesus is the Christ the son of the living God,
Acts 8:36-37, is essential to salvation. In fact in Romans 10:10 Paul said
“With the heart with the mind one believes unto righteousness,” and listen
“and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Have we publicly, orally acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ the son
the living God? Both Jesus and Paul said that was essential to salvation.
But again it doesn't stop there. What does God say a person must do to be
saved? To be saved a person must also be baptized for the remission of
Now I want you look at two passages with me that beyond a shadow
of a doubt teach from God's word truth that we must be baptized to be
The first is found in Mark 16:16. Look at the simplicity of what Jesus
said. Jesus said “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he
who does not believe will be condemned.”
Now did Jesus say the person who believes alone will be saved? No,
but there's a lot of people in this world who teach that. Did Jesus say the
person who is baptized prior to belief will be saved? No, but every baby
that's been sprinkled has gone through that process.
What does Jesus say? “He who believes and is baptized will be
Friend so many people get caught up in the doctrines of men. ‘All you
got to do to be saved is believe.’ The only time ‘faith only’ occurs in the
Bible is found in James 2:24 and God says “Man is justified by works and
not by faith only.” It’s not by belief alone. It’s not by baptism alone. You
can't just run out of the street grab some fellow who has never heard about
Jesus and dunk him in the water and he be okay. You have to believe and
be baptized to be saved. Although baptism is not the only step in God's
plan of salvation, God does say it's essential to salvation. Some may say
‘well that's Mark 16:16, are there any other passages?’ Absolutely there is.
Look in Acts 2, and I want you notice what the Bible says in verse 38
on that great day of Pentecost. Peter said “Repent and let every one of you
be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you
shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
When those Jews cried out “Men and brethren what shall we do? We
realize our hands are dirty with the blood of the Messiah whom we killed.
What do we need to do to be saved?” Peter said “You need to repent and
be baptized.” Why? “For the remission of sins.”
Now someone says what does “for” mean? For doesn't mean
because of. I know that when we look at how that language is used in the
Bible. Think about Matthew 26:28 as Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper. He
took that fruit of the vine. He said “This this is my blood of the new
covenant which was shed for many for the remission of sins.” What does
for mean there? Did Jesus shed His blood because of sins that had already
been remitted? No, exact same language in the Greek syntax there it
means in order to receive and the same is true in Acts 2:38. Well someone
says ‘I don't know if that's really what God said.’
Friend that's not the only passage it occurs in. Think about Acts 22:16
when Ananias came to Saul. God told Saul ‘You go into the city, be told
you what you must do,’ Acts 9:4-6. When God comes to Saul in the
messenger of Ananias, Ananias says ‘Why are you waiting? ‘Arise and be
baptized,’ and listen, ‘and wash away your sins calling on the name the
Lord.’ 1 Peter 3:21 Peter said “Baptism does now also save us.”
Friend I want you listen real carefully. If God says explicitly and in His
own words ‘baptism does now save us,’ how dare any man say baptism is
Someone may say, ‘Are you saying I have to be baptized to go to
heaven?’ Friend that's the exact language of Jesus in John 3:5. Jesus said
“Unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom
A person cannot be saved, cannot get to heaven, and cannot be in a
relationship with God- outside of obeying what He says in the waters of
Now someone says, “That sounds like you're saying that I earn my
salvation, that baptism is some magical or mystical work.’ That’s not what
we’re saying. We don't believe there's anything magical or mystical in the
water. We don’t believe that we’re earning our salvation. But we do believe
it is in obedience to the commands of God.
Here's how Peter describes it, “Baptism is the answer of a good
conscience,” 1 Peter 3:21. When God says you must be baptized to be
saved, Mark 16:16, I respond with a good conscience by doing what God
says and obeying His will. We don't believe we earn our salvation. Even at
the point of baptism, salvation is available by the grace of God and thus it is
grace and faith. The Bible says in Hebrews 5:8-9 that ‘Jesus is the author
of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.’
I must do what God says to obey God and receive the free gift of
As we conclude these matters today, I want you think about the
words of John 14:50. Jesus said “If you love me keep my commandments.”
The fact is there is word from God. God has spoken. That message
tells us exactly what we must do to be saved. Do we really love God
enough to obey His will?
Do you love God enough today to put aside maybe what you’ve
always believed or what others have told you and just search the Scriptures
Friend if you've never obeyed the gospel, we're urging you today in
view of the fact that God has spoken and that message is clear and one
day I'll be judged by it, won't you obey the gospel? Won't you become a
God has spoken. That message is a message of hope and love.
Today we urge you to become a child of God. Obey the gospel. Submit to
God in baptism and rise out of that to live a new life.
As we think about these matters the truth is, God has spoken and
that message is a message of hope for me and you.
Study Questions for Topical Lesson 3:
“How God Communicates Today”
1. What did the evil king ask in Jeremiah 37:17?
2. What did Paul ask in Romans 4:3?
3. According to Hebrews 1:1-2, how did God speak to us in times of past?
4. According to Hebrews 1:1-2, how does God speak to us in these last days?
5. According to Hebrews 1:1-2, who did God appoint heir of all things?
6. According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, how much of scripture is from God?
7. According to 2 Peter 1:19-21, when did the holy men of God speak?
8. What does the psalmist compare God’s words to in Psalm 119:105?
9. According to Hebrews 8:5-6, what can’t take away sins?
10. According to Ephesians 2:14-15, what did Jesus nail to the cross?