Keskiviikko 26.9.2018
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Jos me elämme Hengen varassa, meidän on myös seurattava Hengen johdatusta. Emme saa tavoitella turhaa kunniaa emmekä ärsyttää ja kadehtia toisiamme. Gal. 5:25-26

Hearing the word of God

in English 24.11.2015 12:00 | Siionin Lähetyslehti
The Bible begins with the story in which God creates the world by his word. Right in the beginning God spoke to the first human pair, Adam and Eve. The third chapter of the Bible tells us how man fell into the temptation of not hearing the word of God: ”Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Gen 3:1) As a consequence of the fall into sin, man doubts if the word of God is true.
It is God who opens a person’s ears to hear (Job 36:10). The Old Testament describes diverse dialogs between the people of Israel and God. For example, the patriarchs–our forefathers–wanted to be obedient to the word of God in the various situations in their life

The Old Testament also contains many stories of how the members of the chosen people did not want to be obedient to the word of God. At such times the prophets had the task of being messengers of God. Jeremiah, for example, clearly reveals whose mission he is on: ”Thus saith the Lord” (Jer 18:11).

The prophets reminded the people of Israel about the covenant between God and the people and the way of life it entailed. Even the letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament refers to God’s speech to the people of the Old Covenant: ”God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Heb 1:1).

If any man has ears to hear, let him hear

In the New Testament Christ himself – who was the word made flesh – teaches that any man who has ears to hear should hear Him (Mark 7:14, 16). The gospels strikingly depict many situations where the people wanted to hear the word of God. Luke relates: ”And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret” (Luk 5:1).

In the parable of the sower Jesus speaks about different kinds of hearers of the word. One hears the word of God but because he does not understand it, the Devil snatches away the sown word. Another joyously receives the word but rejects it when he encounters difficulties. The third hearer receives the word but temporal cares, riches, and pleasures prevent its growth. Some of the hearers comprise good ground: they hear the word of God, understand it, and bring forth fruit (Luk 8:4–15).

In the original language of the New Testament – Greek – the words hearing and being obedient are derived from the same root: to hear. Indeed, hearing and being obedient to the word of God go hand in hand. In the gospel according to St. Luke Jesus says: ”Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luk 11:28)

Beautiful are the feet of them that bring tidings of joy

An essential place in the Bible concerning hearing the word of God is found in the letter to the Romans: ”For the scripture saith, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:13–17)

Living faith is born by hearing the words of Christ. The words of the Scriptures come alive when they are preached by children of God through the Holy Spirit. This does not exclude the importance of reading the Bible. The word of God contains power that builds up a believing person (Act 20:32). The word of God is the wisdom of God, not wisdom of man. The word of God is to be preached as it is written (1 Cor 2:6–9).

The first Christians rejoiced over what they had heard. Paul and Timothy shared this joy with the Colossians, among others, when a group of people had accepted the gospel and thereby received the hope of eternal life into their life (Col 1:4–6). Faith in Christ made people act for the good of their neighbors and bonded believers to each other. The newborn children of God wanted to preach to others and make widely known the gospel they had received as a gift (1 The 1:6, 8).

The Acts of the Apostles describes to us the simple life of the early congregation: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Act 2:42) We receive the care of the word of God for our heart in the unity of the congregation of Christ. 

Text: Noora Tala-Kopperoinen
Translation: KK
Source: Siunaus, Ajankohtaista 2013

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