Summary: God speaks to His people through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He speaks through the media of the written Word, answered prayer, circumstances, and His Church.
INTRO.: When Moses encountered God at the burning bush, God spoke to Moses. It was very clear to Moses that God was the One speaking. There was no room for doubt. Not only that, but God’s message to Moses was all too clear. Moses knew exactly what God said. Moses’ conversation with God changed Moses’ life. Following the encounter, there was no doubt to anyone that his life had changed.
All through the Bible, we see instances of God speaking to people. He spoke to Adam and Eve. He spoke to the prophets. He spoke to Noah, Jonah, etc. In the New Testament, He spoke to Jesus, His disciples, the Apostle Paul, even the multitudes. When God spoke, those who heard generally knew it was God. They generally understood what He said. In many case, their lives were changed by the encounter.
God speaks to His people today. Obviously, not audibly, although He could. God can speak any way He wishes, and He has spoken in various ways.
Don’t you wish you could get a clear word from God? I want to suggest we have such a clear word, if we will hear it. God speaks to His people today.
I. He speaks through Jesus: Heb. 1:1-3
A. Jesus is the Eternal Living Word of God. John 1:1
1. He existed long before the worlds were created.
2. He is the power by which the universe was created. God spoke the worlds into existence.
3. These are difficult concepts we must accept by faith for we cannot understand them with our finite minds.
4. He alone reveals the Father to us. John 14:8, 9
B. What does He tell us about God?
1. Exactly what God is like. "radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,"
2. God loves us and wants to save us. "provided purification for sins"
3. John 1:14 says He is a God of grace and truth. An amazing combination. Truth is hard and cold. Grace is kind and merciful. God’s personality is a perfect balance.
II. He speaks through the Holy Spirit: I Cor. 2:9-14
A. The Holy Spirit is the only one qualified to reveal the heart of God. 10, 11
1. He searches even the deep things of God.
2. No one knows what’s inside a person better than his own spirit. So it is with God.
3. Jesus told His disciples all truth would come from the Holy Spirit. John 16:13, 14
B. We have received this Spirit and the world has not. 12
1. No one without the Spirit can understand the things of God. They are foolishness to him.14
2. He is given to us at baptism. Acts 2:38
3. He resides in our bodies. I Cor. 6:19
C. God is not likely to speak to us if we are not in a loving relationship with Him.
1. Loving God is the greatest commandment, according to Jesus. Mark. 12:30
2. Our love is expressed in obedience. John 14:21
3. God will love those who love Him and will reveal Himself to them.
III. How does the Holy Spirit speak to us?
A. Through the Word of God, the Bible.
1. This is the purpose of the word of God II Tim. 3:16
2. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. John 16:13
3. Any message we think we got from God must be measured against His Word. He will not contradict His written Word.
4. Often when we read the Word, God speaks to us by calling some previously unnoticed truth to our attention.
5. This means, you must know the Bible if you expect to know when God is speaking to you. You cannot expect to hear from God unless you read the Bible.
B. He speaks through answered prayer
1. We don’t always get the answer we want, but He does answer our prayers in accord with His will. This is also a function of the Holy Spirit. Rom 8:26
2. However, we often fail to make the connection. Unless you are in a loving relationship with God and think on Him, you may not connect His action with your prayer.
3. Sometimes when you pray, God will simply bring a solution to your mind. At other times, He may bring a passage of Scripture to mind.
4. ILLUS.: When I considered entering the ministry, I felt very inadequate for several reasons. I prayed about this and the next morning, the Lord brought to my attention II Cor. 12:9. That was His answer.
C. Through the circumstances of our lives.
1. We cannot rely on circumstances alone. What we feel God is saying must be confirmed by Scripture and prayer.
2. We need to see circumstances from God’s point of view. God is working in all events of our lives.