1. We learn from a series of questions in vs.14-15 that preaching God's Word is very important. a. God's Word must be preached in order for people to believe and call on the Lord's name so they can be saved. b. Gospel preaching is so important that people cannot be saved without it. 2. According to vs.17, hearing God's Word is also important. a. By hearing God's Word we are able to develop faith. b. We must develop faith so we can please God (Hebrews 11:6). 3. In our lesson we are studying passages that teach us how to hear God's Word properly. 4. Let us begin by pointing out that . . .
I. THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS OF HEARING GOD'S WORD
A. (Luke 8) Jesus taught a parable in which He showed that there are basically 4 ways of hearing God's Word. 1. (vs.5-8) A sower sowed his seed on 4 kinds of ground, including: a. wayside ground b. rocky ground c. ground infested with thorns d. good ground. 2. (vs.11-15) Jesus explained that these 4 types of ground represent 4 ways of hearing, including: a. (vs.12) wayside hearers b. (vs.13) rocky hearers c. (vs.14) hearers infested with thorns d. (vs.15) good hearers. B. Since there are several wrong ways of hearing God's Word, we must pay careful attention to the Lord's warning in Luke 8:18 -- "Take heed therefore how ye hear."
II. HOW TO HEAR GOD'S WORD PROPERLY
A. We must hear with understanding. 1. (Matthew 15:10) As Jesus taught a multitude of people, He began by saying, "Hear, and understand." 2. (Matthew 13:19) One who hears like the wayside ground does not understand what he hears. 3. (Ephesians 3:4) We can read, and we can understand God's Word. 4. In order to hear with understanding, we must hear with the right attitude, and we must have a desire to understand (Psalm 119:18). B. We must hear with eagerness but also with discernment (Acts 17:11). C. We must hear with a meek [humble] spirit. 1. See James 1:21 2. As we hear, we must avoid hardening our hearts (Hebrews 3:7-8, 15; 4:7). D. As we hear, we must obey (James 1:22-25).
1. Let us hear God's Word as it teaches us to hear it. 2. As we hear it, let us understand it and allow it to bring forth fruit in our lives. 3. Let us especially remember these principles as we study the fruit of the Spirit.