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Summary: Pentecost (B) - Dry bones -- hear the word of the Lord!! God’s word gives us life. Our Lord gives his Spirit

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DRY BONES, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD! (Outline)

May 11, 2008 --

PENTECOST --

Ezekiel 37:1-14

INTRO: On this day of Pentecost we recall the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the early Christian church.

God’s Holy Spirit is still poured out upon the Christian church. This same Holy Spirit comes to us day in

and day in through and by the power of God’s holy word. "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the

power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,

and the message is heard through the word of Christ"(ROMANS 1:16a; 10:17). The words in verse 4 of today’s

text will be our theme:

“DRY BONES, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!”

I. God’s word gives us life.

II. Our Lord gives his Spirit.

I. GOD’S WORD GIVES US LIFE.

A. Ezekiel was God’s prophet in exile. Israel, God’s chosen children, were also people in exile.

1. Israel had been defeated, captured, and now taken as prisoners to Babylon.

2. Ezekiel now gives them hope in these verses. This was God’s revelation to Ezekiel, verse 1.

3. God’s hand upon Ezekiel was the overpowering grip of divine revelation for mankind.

B. Verse 2. The valley filled with dry bones was a sad sight. The bones were ready to turn back to dust.

1. Can they live? Verse 3. Ezekiel answers with trust in God’s mercy. They can live = mercy.

2. Verse 4. The bones are dry. Bones with no ears. They are told to hear. God’s word = power.

3. This power of the word and voice of the Lord through Ezekiel would bring life, verses 5,6.

C. Ezekiel hears, listens, and speaks as the Lord commands, verses 7,8. Bones connect and flesh covers.

1. These forms are empty shells with no life. The Lord gives his command to Ezekiel, verse 9.

2. Again, Ezekiel obeys. The once dry bones with lifeless flesh now live! Verse 10.

D. The Lord and Ezekiel still speak to us today, “Dry bones, hear the word of

the Lord! The power of God’s word gave life to those dry bones. God’s powerful

word and actions still speak as loud today as they did at the beginning of this

world. Human beings are the crowning glory of God’s creation. This is so

because of God’s plan and design. Contrary to evolution we have not evolved

into being the top of the food chain. We were created that way from the very

beginning. "The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed

into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being"

(GENESIS 2:7). The Lord God Almighty stooped down and formed us from the dust of

the earth.

E. Notice the time and care and concern our Lord God took in making man. This

is different from the rest of creation. For the rest of creation God spoke and

it was done. This is the absolute power of God’s word that goes beyond our human

comprehension. When there was nothing at all God spoke and everything was created.

By the word of the Lord there was light, dark, water, land, animals, the sun, the

moon, the stars, and all things. "By faith we understand that the universe was

formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was

visible"(HEBREWS 11:3). We do well to remind ourselves of Ezekiel’s words: “Dry

bones, hear the word of the Lord! God’s word gives all things and us life.

F. We may not think of ourselves as dry bones. This is not a pleasant picture.

Read today’s Psalm (51). In this Psalm we discover the source of our dry bones.

Our bones are dry because of our sin. From the moment of our conception sin

infects us. At the moment of conception life begins. Sin is a part of our

spiritual DNA. Sin does not give life but only produces death. Thankfully we

have God’s word (and his Son) that gives us life. "When you were dead in your

sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with

Christ. He forgave us all our sins"(COLOSSIANS 2:13).

“DRY BONES, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!”

God’s word gives us life. God’s forgiveness gives us life.

Our dry bones are refreshed by grace through faith.

God’s forgiveness is a gift, it is free.

II. OUR LORD GIVES HIS SPIRIT

A. Ezekiel and God’s people, Israel are in exile. This is not easy for them. They are living in Babylon.

1. Jerusalem has been destroyed. The temple is in ruins. They do not have a house of worship.

2. Verse 11. The dry bones are Israel. They feel dried up, without hope, and cut off.

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