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Sermon No: 64310-Communion with God



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SERMON TOPIC: Communion with God

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 19 January 2020

Topic Groups: CHRISTIAN LIVING

Sermon synopsis: The purpose of Salvation is not the forgiveness of your sins. That had to take place to fulfil the purpose of Salvation

The purpose of Salvation is not that you may escape Hell! That is the draw-card for many, but Salvation is more than a fire escape from hell.

The purpose of Salvation is that you may have a relationship with God.
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SERMON OVERVIEW:

Communion with God.

Communion.

The meaning of the word communion (Oxford)

The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level.

The meaning of the word communication (Oxford)

The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

Communication is a vital part of our everyday lives, whether it is at home or at work at school or simply as a citizen of a country.

In times of war communication is the backbone of every army, and codes and encryptions are developed to ensure that the enemy doesn’t understand the messages.

Communion with God.

What is the purpose of Salvation?

The purpose of Salvation is not the forgiveness of your sins. That had to take place to fulfil the purpose of Salvation

The purpose of Salvation is not that you may escape Hell! That is the draw-card for many, but Salvation is more than a fire escape from hell.

The purpose of Salvation is that you may have a relationship with God.

Communion with God. thegospelcoalition.org

There is much in our lives that distracts and prevents us from experiencing genuine communion with God.

Living in a fast-paced society with endless demands and countless opportunities can mean that slowing down to commune with God can seem indulgent if not outright impossible. Amid our busyness, we can even find ourselves feeling guilty when we are not constantly accomplishing things.

But interpersonal relationships are not “things” to be accomplished. They are more about “being” than “doing,” and they need attentiveness, mutual exchange, and care to flourish. Relationships cannot be life-giving sources of strength if we are not present in and to them.

Communion with God is a deep need for every human, whether we acknowledge the need or not.

How important is “Communion with God”?

Matthew 7:21-23.

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

Communion with God.

God has created you to have friendship with.

God wants to fellowship and communicate with us.

That's two-way communication. Why? Because you can't really have a relationship unless there is true dialogue.

How do we get to know a person?

By communicating with them. By talking and listening.

It's the same with our relationship with God.

He talks, we listen. We talk, He listens. We can't make demands on Almighty God.

We can't shake our fist at the sky and say, 'all right God, let me hear you.’

But we can ask, seek, and knock, and the Bible promises that God will open the door. God will reveal Himself to those who humbly seek Him. CBM.com

Communion with God.

What does it mean to ask God?

A.sk

S.eek

K.nock

Matthew 7:7-8.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

There is effort involved.

Communion with God.

Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

How can the Lord direct us if there is no way of communicating with us?

Apart from friends and family and their advice and opinions, there are three voices that we can hear

The voice of God.

The voice of our own fleshly desires.

The voice of the Devil.

How can we know if it is the Lord directing us?

The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can train our ear to recognize the voice of God above all the noise.

Hebrews 5:14. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

It is by practicing, by reason of use, that we are able to discern whether what we hear is of God, our flesh, or the Devil.

Jesus said to Peter Matt 16:23.

“Get behind me Satan”

Communion with God.

How do you recognize someone you know?

You see them and recognize them by their face.

You hear them and recognize their voice.

God can be seen, he can be felt, he can be heard.

To the Jews who confronted Him and did not accept His claim to be the Messiah, Jesus made this sobering statement.

John 8:47.

Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.

Have you seen, felt and heard from God?

Communion with God.

Isaiah 30:21.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.

So God will speak, and you can hear His voice, but you must be careful, especially when you are a young Christian, that you objectively confirm that you are following the Holy Spirit and not another voice.

Our own flesh can speak pretty loud and the Devil is a deceiver.

So how can we know whether we're hearing the voice of God?

Here are some guidelines of how God speaks to us and reveals Himself.

Guidelines of how God speaks.

Look Up.

Look down

Guidelines of how God speaks.

Look around

Look within

God speaks through Creation.

Look Up

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”

Psalm 19:1.

The heavens declare the glory of God.

God speaks through Creation.

Romans 1:18-20

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

God speaks through Scripture.

Look Down

There is no greater way to hear from God than through His Word. He has revealed everything we need to know for life in the pages of Scripture.

Cultivate a habit where reading Scripture is as much a part of your day as brushing your teeth.

God speaks through Scripture.

1 Peter 2:2.

Like New-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

Colossians 3:16.

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…….

God speaks through Scripture.

God speaks to us through his Word and in the absence of all other directives this must be our guide.

In his book “Knowing God”, J. I. Packer says, "God has spoken to man, and the Bible is His Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation."

II Timothy 3:16-17.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Romans 10:17.

So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

God speaks through circumstances and timing.

Look around

God speaks to us through his creation and through His Word and He speaks to us through circumstances and timing. He reveals Himself to us.

Acts 18:1-3.

After these things he (Paul) left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they were tent-makers.

This relationship between Paul, Aquila and Priscilla, which happened as a result of circumstances, became one of the most important strategic partnerships in the book of Acts.

God speaks through circumstances and timing.

Elijah moved on when the brook dried up.

1 Kings 17:2-7.

Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there. So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

God speaks through circumstances and timing.

Elijah moved on when the brook dried up.

1 Kings 17:2-7.

Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him: Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there.

I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.

God speaks through His Holy Spirit.

Look within

Hebrews 8:10-11.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:

I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, know the Lord, for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them.

John 16:13.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

God speaks through His Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit communicates with us and reminds us of the words of Jesus. John 14:26.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Romans 8:14.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The Holy Spirit will guide us with His inner peace.

Colossians 3:15.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

God speaks through His Holy Spirit.

The story about the prophet Elijah is a good illustration of how God speaks to the heart of man. When the word of the Lord came to Elijah and told him to stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, God was not in the powerful wind that tore mountains apart and shattered rocks, nor was He in the earthquake. God wasn’t in the fire either.

After the fire, Elijah heard God’s “still small voice.”

This is why it is so important to have our minds renewed.

Romans 12:2.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God speaks through His Holy Spirit.

1 Kings 19:11-13.

The LORD said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by. Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind.

After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.

And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?

Don’t just hear listen to God’s voice.

John 10:14-16.

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.

They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Don’t just hear listen to God’s voice.

Mark 4:23-25.

He who has ears to hear let him hear.

Consider carefully what you hear, with the measure you use it will be given to you and even more.

He who hears will be given more, he who does not hear even that which he has will be taken away.

This exhortation is repeated many times in the book of Revelation. “He who has an ear to hear, let him hear.”

When you stop listening, God stops talking.

Don’t just hear listen to God’s voice.

Ezekiel 33:30-33.

As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.

My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.

Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

Don’t just hear listen to God’s voice.

If we refuse to do what God tells us, we deafen our spiritual ear.

Jeremiah 6:10. To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

Zechariah 7:11-13. But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped their ears.

They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen…So the Lord Almighty was angry.

When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen says the Lord Almighty

Hindrances to hearing from God.

Don’t just hear, LISTEN.

Most Christians don’t have a problem talking to God, they neglect to do it at times and remember very quickly when challenging situations arise, but many Christians don’t allow God to talk to them, and if they do they don’t listen.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-2.

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

Make time regularly for God to speak to you.

Hindrances to hearing from God.

Noise.

Hindrances to hearing from God.

Harbouring sin in our hearts.

Psalm 66:18-19.

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer

or withheld his love from me!

Hindrances to hearing from God.

Your communion with your wife affects your communion with the Lord.

1 Peter 3:7.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Hindrances to hearing from God.

Ignoring the plight of the poor.

Isaiah 1:15-18.

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.

Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

Come now, let us settle the matter, says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Do you share God’s heart for the outcasts?

Ignoring the plight of the poor.

Proverbs 21:13.

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

Look for opportunities to care for the needy and vulnerable. There is a strong connection between loving widows, orphans, and the poor, and loving Jesus

James 1:27.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Why do you want to hear from God?

Isaiah 29:13.

These people come near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Why do you want to hear God's voice? That may sound strange, but motives are important in anything we do.

Do you want to see if God’s will suits your flesh?

We need God’s Word to examine our motives.

Hebrews 4:12.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Willingness to obey precedes hearing God.

There has to first be a willingness and a desire to do God’s will before He reveals His will.

John 7:17.

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

Hebrews 5:7.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears … and He was heard because of His reverent submission.

When you are in submission to God, your prayers will be answered, because of your desire and willingness to see God’s will done.

God is waiting to have communion.

Revelation 3:20.

Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.

The Lord will not speak into our lives through a closed door like some unwanted salesman.

A hunger and thirst is required to hear from God.

GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO THOSE WHO SEEK HIM WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS. Proverbs 2:1-5.

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

Do you want to hear God's voice? If so, it's possible you're hearing Him already, drawing you to Himself, instilling a hunger and thirst that only He can satisfy.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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