WHY AND HOW GOD SPEAKS
God desires to be known by all humans.
If God didn’t take the initiative to reveal himself to us, we couldn’t really know anything about God. Sure we could speculate based on creation that he is powerful and likes beauty. But we could just as easily study creation and come to the conclusion that it is the product of random chance. Or we could believe any number of myths about others gods and goddesses and the creation stories of other cultures. One of the key things that sets apart the Biblical portrait of God is that God take the initiative to reveal himself. God speaks and initiates relationship with humans. Our Heavenly Father pursues us and speaks.
God speaks to and through some chosen messengers.
Angels are messengers. That is literally what the word means. Prophets are messengers. People tuned into God hear his voice, dream dreams and see visions through which God speaks. Sometimes God appears to people who are not even looking for him and chooses them for a special calling. Think of Moses, Abraham, Noah, Gideon, and pretty much most of the characters in the Bible. God calls them to do something or say something to reveal his will, thoughts or character to others. The apostles were chosen by Jesus to be sent with his message. God choses some people as the way to reach all people.
God inspired the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus.
Brilliant and receptive humans wrote and compiled the Bible under the inspiration of God. It is divine and human at the same time. God’s chosen people wrote the stories and poems of their experiences with God, their histories and hopes and dreams. God inspired it as the master creative editor so that it ultimately tells a unified story that leads to Jesus.
Jesus is the perfect revelation of God and of God’s will for humanity.
As Hebrews 1:1-3 says “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:1–3a, ESV) Jesus shows and tells us what God is truly like and what humanity was made to be as God’s image bearing sons and daughters.
Today God speaks by the Holy Spirit to and through those who receive Jesus by faith.
When we trust in Jesus as our anointed representative (Messiah or Christ), he gives us his own Spirit to live in our hearts and speak to us from there. He not only illuminates the Bible as we read it, but he continues to speak to us and through us to others who may not be as practiced in listening. It takes practice to discern the voice of the Spirit. But you can learn.
Sunday we are starting this series to learn to hear God’s voice by his Spirit, by his Son and by reading the Bible together. Whether you are a seasoned Christian or someone who is not quite sure they buy any of this, you will encounter the God who speaks.