Guest writer – Joe Dukes
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
In times past, God spoke in various ways, but now He speaks to us by His Son.
So HOW does God speak to us through Jesus?
HOW has Jesus appointed for God’s message to be delivered?
In Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15, we see that Jesus told his disciples to “Go… preach.” In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul told Timothy to deliver the message to faithful men who in turn could teach others also.
This is how God speaks to us today.
“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” (Romans 10:14)?
Notice all of the examples of conversion in the book of Acts. None of them received revelation directly from God telling them how to be saved. The message was always delivered by the preaching of men.
- Saul heard the voice of Jesus. When he asked, “What would you have me to do”, Jesus could have told him, but instead He sent Ananias to tell him what he “must do” (Acts 9). Saul learned he needed to “arise and be baptized and wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16) because Ananias told him.
- Cornelius had a vision from an angel. The angel did not, however, tell him how to be saved. Instead, he told Cornelius, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” Cornelius learned about salvation from the preaching of Peter.
- In Acts 8, the Spirit told Phillip to go teach the Eunuch. The Spirit could have appeared directly to the Eunuch, but He did not. Phillip taught him. It is by teaching that God has appointed for men to learn of the Gospel.
This is exactly how the Spirit speaks to us today. The New Testament was written through the inspiration of God, and when we hear or read those words, we learn what God desires for us to know.
There is no New Testament example of a lost person being saved through a direct action of the Spirit. It was always through the preaching of the gospel. “Faith comes by hearing… the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
“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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Notice through the inspired Scriptures, we can be “thoroughly furnished”. If you are thoroughly furnished, do you need any additional revelations? “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).
How are we called? “Through the knowledge”!
“To which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14). How are we called? By the gospel.
The very next verse says, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle” (2 Thessalonians 2:14). How were they called by the Gospel? They were taught.
How were they taught? Was it a direct operation of the Holy Spirit separate and apart from the Word? No, they were taught by word, or by epistle. That is how they were “called.”
This is the same way we are taught today. This is how Jesus established for the gospel to be spread through the world.
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17) Likewise, we also receive the Spirit by hearing (Galatians 3:2). Joe Dukes
Joe Dukes is a member of the Oxford church of Christ in Oxford, AL.
“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!” – Mike