“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by His Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley, and it was full of bones.” vs1
We are sinners - dead, depraved, and lost. We have gone out of the right way, since our father Adam transgressed. Therefore, we are conceived in iniquity - as soon as sperm enters the egg. We come from the womb speaking lies in contradiction against God, with rebellion in our every breath [Acts 9:1].
We must be born again from above, because our first birth makes us children of wrath, led by Satan, living after the corruptions of the flesh. All are not equally immoral, but all sin before God. All are not liars to their fellow man, but all deny the truth in ungodliness.
Our condition is horrible and desperately wicked! There’s nothing good about us and no light within [Rom 3:10-12]. We need God to save us - an Outside Force with power.
Secondly, God speaks to us in the new covenant [vs5]. “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breadth to enter into you, and you shall live.’”
He says, “I will, and you shall.” This is the message of the gospel - an act of God upon a poor and unworthy sinner, who can do nothing for himself. It is all mercy and God’s power through the finished work of Christ. It is because He loves us and gave Himself for us that we are saved. It is not a work of cooperation with man; it is God raising the dead and giving eternal life to whom He pleases [Rom 9:15].
Do not listen to a gospel that makes man his own savior. If that were possible, Christ would never have said, “The flesh profits nothing [John 6:63].”
Thirdly, we need SOMETHING MORE than the gospel [vs7-8]! “So I prophesied [preached] as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the ligaments and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.”
Truth is not enough. The gospel is the power of God, but He must get involved.
It is not accuracy of words, though we strive for faithfulness. It is not how prepared the sermon. The preparation of the heart and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. He must get involved and get the gospel on the inside.
This is what I see most among true believers: We have forgotten the Spirit, and we rely upon ourselves - our knowledge and our ability to communicate it. We think that we’ve done enough, when we’ve simply told the truth. Yet, it must be in the Spirit.
Get something that speaks to your heart, received from the Spirit, and communicate that to people. Don’t trust your own words but His.
Finally, if we rely upon the Spirit, God will work [vs9-10]. “Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and tell the breath that this is what the Lord GOD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, so that they may live!’ So I prophesied as He had commanded me, and the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet—a vast army.”
We can’t command His power, but we can pray in humility and confidence. Humility because we need Him and can’t work without Him; confidence because He has said that He will come. For Christ’s sake, we can rely on the Spirit to enlighten us and comfort our hearts. Then, we communicate what He is saying.
It doesn’t matter if you preach extemporaneously or read your sermon, so long as the Spirit is relied upon - confidently and humbly - instead of you. He will give peace, so we don’t minister in the flesh, like Moses, when he smote the rock twice.
James 3:18, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Do you want to see righteousness spring up from your ministry, as sinners are converted and saints are helped? Sow in peace. Preach in peace. Minister in peace, even though they are filthy sinners. Remember, God told Moses,
“Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” --Numb 20:8
It doesn’t matter that they are murmuring sinners! It doesn’t matter that they deserve wrath. You shall speak in peace, preaching peace from a heart relying on God.
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