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Summary: Hearing and understanding the voice of God is critical for all beleivers

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INTRODUCTION

Last we ended off with some false teachers that were trying to bring a different a gospel to the gentile believers

The one thing that they mentioned was that the gentiles needed to be baptised in order to be saved

The one thing that came out of our message was that, we are saved by grace alone

There is absolutely nothing that we can add to the salvation that God freely offers us through His Son Jesus

No law adding or abiding grants us salvation, it is by the finished work of Jesus on the cross

That provides such hope for us today, knowing that we don’t have to try and follow certain principles and laws in order to be accepted by Christ

We are accepted already

We find that after the council had met in Jerusalem a decision was taken that the gentiles don’t need to be circumcised

All they had to do was abstain from a few things, which were not laws put on them, but merely for them to respect their Jewish brothers

1Cor 8:9-13 reads, 9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

The word tells us that Paul and his companions went all over delivering this message and many were saved and added to the local church

This morning i want to speak on: HEARING THE VOICE OF THE LORD

• RESPONDING TO HIS VOICE

• GODS WORDS HAVE PURPOSE

1. RESPONDING TO HIS VOICE

Throughout scripture we see how God constantly communicated with His people:

• Burning bushes

• Donkeys

• Dreams

• Visions

• Audible voices etc

Now in this setting we find Paul and his companions on mission – to spread the gospel

We see them moving from Derbe then to Lystra, where they add Timothy to the team

Then on they went to Phrygia and Galatia but something happens

They are prevented by the HS from entering Asia and spreading the gospel

Then they tried to enter Bithynia and the HS again stopped them from going there

So two areas, the HS had prevented them from going into

But how did the HS speak to them? Scripture doesn’t tell us but probably:

• Inner prompting

• Lack of peace

Did Paul and his companions brush off the promptings or the voice? NO

The thing we need to understand about these guys, is that they are men of prayer

When you’re in prayer and stay in fellowship with the Lord He will speak to you

God often speaks in those quiet times we spend with him

That’s why individual and corporate prayer is so important

God wants to speak to us and lead us according to His will for our lives

Another thing that’s amazing in this scene is that they made decisions in union

I don’t think Paul just said, we must go here or there

I believe he consulted with his friends, but God had the final authority

Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps”.

APPLICATION

We need to be people of prayer, as this is one aspect of our walk with Christ we should value

Prayer changes things and in prayer God speaks

Illustration: our first call to harding, God said No

When God speaks we need to be obedient and follow what His telling us to do

We need to consult with others and seek advise from others, but let God have the final authority over your decision

Don’t make big decisions in isolation

How is God speaking to you today? Are you being obedient to His voice?

2. GODS WORDS HAVE PURPOSE

So the HS prevented them from entering Asia and Bithynia

As they seeked the Lord, Paul is given a vision to go to Macedonia

An interesting thing to see is that when God spoke they responded immediately

They didn’t linger or have long discussions around this, they knew that this was what God wanted, so they moved

As they come to Phillipi, the leading city of Macedonia, the 1st thing they look for is the place of prayer

At this meeting a wealthy lady is converted and her household thereafter gets saved and baptised

As they move around in this area, Paul delivers a slave girl from a demonic spirit

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