Let Us Understand As We Read and Hear Scripture (Ephesians 3:1-7)
1. For several weeks we have been emphasizing the admonition given in Ephesians 5:17 -- "we are to understand what the will of the Lord is." 2. We have pointed out that the Lord has revealed His will in His Word. 3. The will of the Lord can be understood by reading and hearing Scripture. a. Understanding is associated with reading in Ephesians 3:1-7. b. Understanding is associated with hearing in Matthew 15:10. 4. The eunuch illustrates how Scripture can be read without understanding (Acts 8:26-35). 5. In our lesson we are covering several principles that relate to "understanding as we read and hear Scripture." 6. Let us first point out that . . . Discussion: I. THERE ARE BASICALLY 4 WAYS OF HEARING SCRIPTURE
A. (Luke 8) Jesus taught a parable in which He illustrated this point. 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 types of ground represent 4 ways of hearing Scripture. a. (vs.12) One kind of hearer is compared to the wayside ground. b. (vs.13) A second kind of hearer is compared to the rocky ground. c. (vs.14) A third kind of hearer is compared to the ground with thorns. d. (vs.15) A fourth kind of hearer is compared to the good ground. 3. Please note that only the good ground produced fruit. B. Since the Lord's Word may be heard in different ways, we must pay careful attention to His warning in Luke 8:18 -- "Take heed therefore how ye hear." C. Let us also pay careful attention to the Lord's warning in Mark 4:24 -- "Take heed what ye hear." II. HOW TO READ AND HEAR SCRIPTURE PROPERLY
A. We must read and hear with the right attitude, and we must have a desire to understand (Psalm 119:18). B. We must read and hear with eagerness but also with discernment (Acts 17:11). C. We must read and hear with a meek [humble] spirit. 1. See James 1:21 2. We must avoid hardening our hearts (Hebrews 3:7-8, 15; 4:7). D. As we read and hear, we must obey (James 1:22-25; Luke 6:46-49). Conclusion:
1. Let us follow these principles as we read and hear the Lord's Word. 2. The salvation of our souls is at stake. 3. Let us read and hear the Lord's Word, let us understand it, and let us allow it to produce fruit in our lives.