Summary: Principles for hearing God’s voice in the Bible: Recognize it (Plainly), Dig for it (Deeply and Widely), and Obey it (Fully)
SERMON NOTES: HELP ME, I’M STUCK IN LEVITICUS
Principles for Hearing God in Scripture:
1. Recognize the Word
2. Dig for the Word
3. Obey the Word
Title: Help Me, I’m Stuck in Leviticus!
Text: Luke 11:27 – 32
MP: You can and should be hearing the Words of God in the Bible.
1. Intro – Response to ‘My Sediments Exactly’
a. Was Leviticus 13 (You have to participate in the text for it to come alive)
b. Better response would been our text this morning – the Sign of Jonah
c. Principles for hearing God’s voice in the midst of Scripture
2. Recognize It (Signs)
a. Signs Not Wonders
b. Don’t allegorize it (Parable of the Loving Father)
c. Exegesis not eisegesis
d. Let your yes be yes and your no be no
e. Jonah had the most direct prophecy of them all – and it worked!
3. Communion is the ultimate expression of that participation / Christ is here / this is my body shed for you…
Back in September, I was preaching a sermon at The Plains – one that I’ve preached here [My Sediments Exactly] in which I challenged them to keep the Word of God flowing them, keeping them clean fresh and open to the Word of God. Afterwards, I got a great question from one guy who said, “Preacher – I hear you. I believe that this is the Word of God, I know it’s the Words of Life – but I’m in Leviticus, and it’s pretty dry. Can you help me?”
Well, he is right. I know we’re supposed to pick and choose our Bible, but let’s just say that if I was stuck in a prison somewhere where we had to smuggle in the Bible and parcel out the individual pages, Leviticus would probably not be the most in demand piece. If you are new to reading the Bible, its like the 64th or 65th book I’d have you read. The Word of God there is mostly a bunch of rules, mostly for the priests, and is mostly minute detail about dealing with diseases and sanitation in a way that, okay I’ll say it – we don’t deal with much anymore. I say Leviticus, because most of the Bible isn’t Leviticus, and even there, there is stuff we do, but let’s face it, we don’t deal with leprosy on a daily basis.
But I had a challenge, so I said, Okay – let’s dive into the driest stuff we can find for a second. I got him to open to Leviticus 13, and I just started reading a few verses about leprosy.
When a man is afflicted with a leprous disease, he shall be brought to the priest, 10 and the priest shall look. And if there is a white swelling in the skin that has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the swelling, 11 it is a chronic leprous disease in the skin of his body, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. ... 20 And the priest shall look, and if it appears deeper than the skin and its hair has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. …
That joke only works if you can put yourself in the place of the priest trying to learn all that stuff. Even the boring parts of the Bible can have their humor. We just need to be in that place in order to truly get it.
Now, if I had more time with this gentleman, I would have preferred to have given him a clearer and less dry passage for learning how to read the Scripture. I do, however, want to share it with you, because if you are going to hear from God through his Word, it would be good to know how to do it. This morning, I’d like to share with you some principles that Jesus gave us when it comes to hearing God’s voice. The context here is that a bunch of people think they know how to hear God, Jesus is going to set them straight on how to do it. So, let me read you our text, Luke 11:27 – 32.
I’ll admit, this text could be a little clearer. But, if we will recognize it, dig into it, and obey it, we can understand it. Indeed, I am going to suggest you that those are three principles that will help us get a handle on any part of scripture.
Let’s begin by just recognizing what Jesus is saying. I think the clearest thing in the passage is when Jesus says, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation looks for sign.’ Okay – so what does that mean? Clearly, Jesus doesn’t seem to think that signs are the things we need, right?