Summary: “Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you”. (Isaiah 35:4)
The theme for today’s sermon is “changing the world by the word”. The most widely read book in the world is the Word of God and it is estimated that over 3.9 billion copies have been printed in the last fifty years. The life of the late Billy Graham is a testimony of how the gospel, the good news, can change a life. The word of God changed the life of Billy Graham and through the anointed preaching of God’s word he impacted many lives and changed the world. The Scriptures are filled with instances where changed lives decided the destiny of individuals and nations through their anointed words. The outcome of one of the often-read battles recorded in Scripture between David and Goliath was clearly decided by the words of David who God had anointed. Even before David used his slingshot to kill Goliath and cut off his head the battle had already been won. The words of the two contestants triggered a spiritual response that was manifested in the physical killing of Goliath and the Philistines. When Goliath cursed David by his gods his words triggered a response from the devil whereas David’s words, as the Lord’s anointed, triggered a response from the Lord. The battle was won the moment David said he was coming in the name of the LORD and would strike him down and cut off his head and that he would give the dead bodies of the Philistines to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the field for the battle is the LORD’s. (1 Sam. 17:43-47) Many people today underrate the power of God’s words to trigger a spiritual response that is able to change the world.
Step One: Words create and destroy
a) Words created the world
Words are powerful and can create and destroy. All things were created by the Word. It was not until God said “Let there be light” that there was light. God continued to speak until the work of Creation was finished and then rested on the seventh day.
b) Words were responsible for the Fall of man
Words determined what happened in the Garden of Eden and were responsible for the Fall of man. God spoke to tell man that he may freely eat the fruit of all the trees in the garden except the fruit of one tree, the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. If he did he would surely die. When man chose to believe the word of Satan rather than the word of God he came under the rule of Satan.
Words were important both in Creation and in the Fall of man. When Satan spoke with Eve he cleverly appeared to be ignorant of what God had said and asks to be informed. His question was to make Eve doubt the goodness of God and suggest that God did not love them unconditionally and was hiding something from them. God had clearly told Adam that if he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will surely die. Once doubt had been planted in her mind Eve added her own words to what God had said. Satan immediately seized the opportunity to tell Eve the exact opposite of what God had said that they will not surely die. Eve believed Satan’s lie, ate of the fruit and gave it to Adam to eat and they came under Satan’s control. The same thing appears to be happening in the world today. How else can we explain how so many so-called Church leaders can manipulate their followers to perform unimaginable and degrading acts that do not glorify God. They use enticing words to deceive their followers and bring them under Satan’s control.
There are many people in the world today who are agents of Satan trying to change the way we think about God. They cleverly add to the Word of God, then change it and finally convince us to deny its truth. The moment we believe their lie we come under their control and thereby under the control of Satan.
Step Two: Words have the power to change lives
a) Words draw us to Christ
Words also have the power to change lives by drawing us to Christ. They reveal His invitation to give rest to all who are labouring and burdened. (Matt. 11:28) No one can come to a person they have never heard about.
b) Faith comes from hearing
The moment we come to Christ and “confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead we are saved”. (Rom. 10:9) Christ justifies the believer and the just are to live by faith. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”. (Rom. 10:17)