Today’s Reading: Neh 7:66–8:18, 1 John 5:6–12, Ps 110:1–7
Today’s Themes: Hear, Study, Do the Bible
We are called to hear God’s word as we read it, listen to it and submit to biblical teaching. We are called to study and think about God’s word. Most importantly we are called to do what the Bible calls us to do.
God desires your attention
And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. Nehemiah 8:3 (ESV)
The people were attentive to the word of God being read to them.
Very often Jesus would say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” in places like Matthew 11:15, 13:9, Mark 4:9 and Luke 8:8.
God desires that we listen to His word (either by reading or hearing it). The Bible is God’s clearest self revelation and He desires that we come to know Him and His ways through His written word (The Bible). 2 Timothy 3:16.
God does not want us to read the bible without turning our hearts towards Him to listen carefully and pay attention. In our media rich age, there are so many distractions. We must make up our minds to focus, listen and give attention to God’s word. Mark 4:19.
God speaks today through His Son, Jesus Christ. What Jesus has said is recorded in the Bible, which contains the message of the gospel. We must listen to Him and act on what we hear. Matthew 17:5 and Hebrews 1:1-2.
Pay attention to God’s word today!
We are called to be students
Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. Nehemiah 8:7 (ESV)
Jeshua and the other Levites helped the people understand the word.
God does not only desire that we pay attention, God desires that we understand what we hear.
We are all called to be students of the Bible. This means we must have a teachable attitude and submit to sound biblical teaching. 1 Timothy 6:3-4.
Sound teaching is a necessary part of our lives as Christians. Although our relationship with the Lord is personal it is also corporate, involving the wider church community. Titus 2:1 and 1 Timothy 4:6.
God placed it on Pastor Dennis’ heart that as we read through the Bible reading plan as a church, we get understanding of what we read every day and so commissioned the Bible notes you are reading right now. Colossians 3:16.
Let’s be students of the word today, utilising the resources God has made available to study His word and get clear understanding. 2 Timothy 2:15.
Give thanks for teachers in the body of Christ but give greater thanks for the Spirit of Truth who guides and leads us. John 16:13.
The necessity of expository preaching
They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. Nehemiah 8:8 (ESV)
“They gave the sense so that the people understood it”. The Levites were expositors of the word.
Bible exposition is to expound on what the Bible is teaching in any particular passage. Explaining the word of God with passion, at length, in depth and in context.
Jesus explained parables making them easy to understand and apply, in Matthew 13:36–43 and Matthew 24:32–34.
Apollos in the book of acts was a powerful expository preacher. Acts 18:28 reads “for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.”
Paul also expounded on the scriptures in Acts 17:2-3 and encourages Timothy and Titus to do the same in the pastoral letters. 2 Timothy 4:2.
We give God thanks for our Pastors who faithfully give us clear understanding from God’s word, through their weekly expository preaching of the scriptures. 1 Timothy 5:17-18.
The application of the word brings joy
And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. Nehemiah 8:17 (ESV)
While Ezra and the others were studying the word of God as leaders of the people, they realised they had not practised the feast of booths since the days of Joshua. They set about obeying the word and applying it to their lives, which resulted in great rejoicing.
God does not want us to just listen to and understand His word, God wants us to apply it, to live it every day. Matthew 7:24.
When we apply the word of God to our lives and live it out, it brings us great joy and brings God great joy too. John 15:11.
Make up your mind to live out what you read and understand today. James 1:22.
As we apply God’s word, the joy of the Lord will be our strength. 1 John 1:4.
1 John 5:6–12
The Spirit is the truth
This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 1 John 5:6 (ESV)
The main role of the Holy Spirit is to testify to the truth. The Holy Spirit did this in the inspiration of the scriptures and continues to do this in our lives as He leads us according to the scriptures.
John was refuting some who said Jesus had not died an atoning death. John confirms that the Spirit of God affirms this truth and all scripture because the Spirit is the truth itself just like Jesus.
As we read the Bible we need the Spirit of Truth to guide and lead us.
We know when we hear the truth because the Holy Spirit bears witness. This coupled with an understanding of God’s word is how we exercise discernment.
God’s testimony is God’s word
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 1 John 5:10 (ESV)
The Bible is God’s great testimony recorded for all the world to hear.
If we do not believe God’s word recorded in the Bible we are calling God a liar. God declared that eternal life is only available through His son Jesus Christ.
We must believe God’s word to partake of it’s promises and blessings. Jesus is the only way to eternal life. This is the word of God!
The Gospel is God’s testimony to the world. God’s great news that we boldly and publicly proclaim.
The Divinity of Christ
The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Psalm 110:1 (ESV)
This is the very proof text Jesus used when His divine nature as the Son of God was challenged. Jesus used the word of God, so should we. Luke 20:44.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 1 John 5