Summary: The people of Jerusalem eagerly desired to move away from the sins of their past and wanted to avoid another exile type experience, so they made a commitment to God, to surrender to His will and be obedient after they had confessed their sin and the sin o
Date Written: March 8, 2013
Date Preached: March 10, 2013
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Building with God
Sermon Title: Stepping Out Of Our Comfort Zone
Sermon Text: Nehemiah 10-11 [ESV]
28“The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding, 29join with their brothers, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law that was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord and his rules and his statutes.
Last week we saw how the people of Jerusalem were willing to submit themselves in willing confession to God. AS a corporate body, we saw how they repented for their sins of their ancestors AND their sins as well!
These people desired God to cleanse them and for them to be able to start afresh, and be basically ‘reborn’ (so to speak) in their walk with God AND in this new life in they now had in the newly rebuilt city of Jerusalem!
We ended last week by reading about an oath the people agreed to follow… it was a written covenant of repentance and a written vow by the people that stressed repentance and obedience to God!
TODAY I want us to continue looking at this situation… I want us to recognize that the people did NOT only allow the leaders to sign this covenant BUT they had a desire to be a part of this covenant as well! SO, today as we read in v.28-29 of chp11 we can see that these people committed and vowed to God the same things!
In this passage, the people said that they wanted to “…enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law…” a curse and an oath… this was a serious commitment on their part and they placed it in writing!
Now when it comes to any commitment, there is NOTHING better than to put it in writing and let others know about it to hold you accountable for your commitment!
Think about it… our society is BIG on putting things in writing! If we are entering into an agreement with someone, it is always best to put things in writing.
However, as Christians, when it comes to spiritual things and the living our lives in Christ there are MANY who feel that putting things in writing borders on LEGALISM! I believe that as believers MOST of us are simply NOT willing to put our spiritual commitments IN WRITING for others to see and know!
Here in our passage this morning we find a people who knew about the past of their people. These people had seen the results of past sins, they had experienced and lived through the ugly results of those sins… they did not want to REPEAT those sins OR the ugly result of those past sins either!
So what see that these people were willing to make an oath to God that, both, confessed their sin & pledged an oath of obedience and submission to God…
Now this morning, the focus for this sermon will be about what we, as a church, can pick up from what we see these people doing! The focus of the sermon is really simple…
First we will ask the question, “Is such a commitment necessary?”
Second we will ask, “If this is necessary, can we apply such a commitment here at Oak Park?”
Finally we will ask, “If we do apply this here at Oak Park, what will it look like OR what will it say in that commitment?”
I want you to understand that this sermon flows from my heart and where God is leading me as your pastor… and where I believe God is leading us as a fellowship! Let’s look at this first question…
Is a commitment like this really necessary?
In our passage this morning we find that the people of Jerusalem made a commitment to radically change how they were living. This was a radical commitment to serve God in a greater way than they ever had before this time…
Prior to this, the prophets had come and warned the people, but the people had not listened. However, it seems that this time God had their attention and they seem to be serious about their commitment to God!
What does this mean for us as a fellowship? When we look at what these people were willing to commit to… I believe such a commitment would be beneficial for any group of people!
I truly believe that if we were willing to make a commitment such as this to God as a fellowship… it would serve as a great anchor in holding us firm TO OUR COMMITMENT to God!