Summary: To be born again is to be regenerated, and to be regenerated means to be brought to spiritual life. Like New Testament believers, OT believers knew were likewise regenerated and thus spiritually alive.
1. This week, Kokomo was in the news because Barrack Obama visited our city.
2. I was not at the rally, and, although I have found this year’s politics entertaining, and although I have never missed an election, I don’t get too enthused about politics.
3. A sister in the Lord was sharing some comments made by Jan Silvious this past week on Moody radio. Silvious stated that controlling type people (control or power freaks) don’t usually have relationships, just arrangements. That thought stuck in my mind.
4. With politicians, we might have an arrangement. It is something like this, "I’ll vote for you if you attempt to do this or that." It is sad, however, if our relationships with spouses, families, and friends are the same way.
5. Yet many more do not really want a relationship with God, they want an arrangement. The children of Israel at the time of Malachi mostly wanted an arrangement: they would serve God only to the degree that they received the payback they wanted.
6. But some -- a minority -- wanted to return to the Chief Shepherd of their souls. They wanted to know and serve God. They craved a vibrant relationship with their Maker.
Main Idea: To be born again is to be regenerated, and to be regenerated means to be brought to spiritual life. Like New Testament believers, OT believers knew were likewise regenerated and thus spiritually alive.
TS---- > This vibrancy is seen in actions by men and God.
I. Demonstrated In Fellowship: The Faithful TALKED to One Another (16a)
A. They FEARED the Lord
Deuteronomy 10:12, "And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…"
1. Reverence motivated them to study His Word
2. Reverence motivated them to conform to His Word
3. People who play at religion do not fear God
4. If my kids were too busy to listen to what I had to say, if they did not talk to me except when they needed money, and if they broke the rules I set for them, but sent me a Father’s Day card, all would not have been well in the Vasicek household
B. They INSPIRED one another to be faithful
1. Hebrews 10:23-25, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
2. The importance of talking to one another
C. This is the PROTOTYPE for a church meeting
From Gilligan’s Island
"Gilligan had gotten his feelings hurt and decided to move away to the other side of the Island to live alone in a cave. Immediately, this became a miserable existence for Gilligan—he was all alone. But also miserable for everyone else on the island—one of their own was no longer among them, in fellowship with them...and there was a terrible void. They missed him at the dinner table. They missed his jokes, his laughter, his gentleness. They even missed his clumsy screw-ups. I think at one point in the episode they were sitting around the dinner table taking turns talking about the specific things they missed about him. So what did they do? I think it began with Skipper. He decided to leave the rest and go live with Gilligan so he wouldn’t be alone. Then another person did the same. Then another. Until finally, all seven people were together again on the other side of the island in Gilligan’s cave. In true spiritual community, we either make it together, or we don’t make it...at least not in a healthy way."
Bill Huffhine, Sermon Central
To be born again is to be regenerated, and to be regenerated means to be brought to spiritual life. Like New Testament believers, OT believers knew were likewise regenerated and thus spiritually alive. This vibrancy is seen in actions by men &God.
II. Applauded by Heaven: God RECORDED their stand (16b)
A. The Lord LISTENED
1. Did you know that God has a habit of eavesdropping?
2. God notes those who follow Him, even when most people have forsaken Him or severely compromised His will be either biblical ignorance or disregard.
3. We must be willing to be among the unpopular because we have convictions --on two fronts: (1) compromised believers and (2) the world. The first category is what the devout Jews apparently faced in Malachi’s day, and what we often face here in the Bible belt…