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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20110703: "A Nation of the Book"

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A  NATION  OF  THE  BOOK

SERMON STARTER

          Two types of visions are brought to mind by this morning's text. There are the visions we see in our head when we are hovering between consciousness and awakening in the early morning. Then, there are the visions we see when we get relaxed, glassy-eyed and may even call them, "day-dreaming." There are the visions of hope when we see things as they are and forecast how they could be.

          In today's text Ezekiel is having what I refer to as an "Open Vision." God sends an angel to speak directly to him about things to come. His vision can also be seen as an analogy to describe personal, Christian growth. Many people are content to stay in the shallow waters of immaturity, while others want more and plunge more deeply into the waters of God's spirituality.

          Today we need to become a nation that has the same respect for the Word of God as did our founding fathers. It's the only thing that will make a difference in this nation. I suggest it's done one person as a time who develops a heart-hunger for more of God.

 

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 3, 2011  - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

A  NATION  OF  THE  BOOK

Ezekiel 47:1-6

"Spiritual Christian growth does not happen instantly at conversion: it is a gradual process that can be compared with human physical growth."                                                                                                                           Pastor Phil Roland

 

With God's Word Christians Will Grow Through 4 Basic Stages:

I.  THE ANKLE-DEEP STAGE - Verses 1b, 3b

"Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar." 3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles."
          A. The Shallow, Beginning Stage of Christian Growth  

                        1. 1,000 Cubits wide / About 1500 Feet

                        2. Content, Comfortable Shallows

            B. Ankle-Deep Immaturity

                        1. Work Hard - 2 Tim. 2:15

                        "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does

                        not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

                        2. Read the God-Breathed Book - 2 Tim. 3:16,17

                                "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for

                        doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

                        17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for

                        every good work."

 

II.  THE KNEE-DEEP STAGE - Verse 4

"Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist."
            A. Becoming Accustomed to the Word of God

                        1. Two-Edged Sword - Heb. 4:12

                                "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any

                        two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,

                        and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and

                        intents of the heart."

                        2. Risk-Taking - Risking Transformation

            B. Transformation has begun

                        1. New Creation in Christ - 2 Cor. 5:17

                        "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things

                        have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

                        2. This Change is an Irresistible Process

                             a. Spiritual Growth is spontaneous

                                    b. It is the result of feeding on the Word of God

A NATION OF THE BOOK, cont.

 

III. THE WAIST-DEEP STAGE - Verse 4b

"Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist."
          A. You Will Feel the Pull of Strong Currents to Deeper Waters

                 1. He Promises to be With Us! - Isaiah 43:2

                        "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through

                        the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the                            fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you."

                 2. Hard to Keep Your Balance in Strong Current / Dizzying

            B. Christ's Call to Deeper Waters

                 1. Taste and see - Psalm 34:8

                        "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who

                        trusts in Him!"

                 2. Apply God's Word to Your Life for Assured Success

 

IV. THE CAUGHT-AWAY STAGE - Verse 5

"Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed."

            A. Mature and Nurturing Others

                 1. The Word of Our God Stands Forever - Isa. 40:8

                        "The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands

                        forever."

                 2. The Believer is Swept-Away by the Majesty of the WOG

            B. Are You Overwhelmed by God's Book or the World's Books?

                        1. People of the Book

                        2. Have you entered the stream?

 

 

 

A  NATION  OF  THE  BOOK, Text:

Ezekiel 47:1-5 (NKJV)
1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.
2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.
4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.
5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ezekiel 47:1-6

47:1  The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.

2  He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side.

3  As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep.

4  He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist.

5  He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in--a river that no one could cross.

6  He asked me, "Son of man, do you see this?" Then he led me back to the bank of the river.

7  When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.

8  He said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh.

 

 

 

THE  BIBLE  IS . . .

                 

A Companion To The Lonely.

            

A Staff To The Weak.

  

          A Light In The Darkness.

 

               A Lifter of Burdens.

  

          A Banquet To The Hungry.

  

          A Well To The Thirsty.

  

          A Cleanser Of Hearts.

  

          A Compass On The Ocean.

              

A Breaker Of Idols.

  

          A Revealer Of Hypocrisy.

  

          A Unveiler of Deceit.

 

          A Voice Against Sin.

 

          A Enemy Of The Devil.

 

          A Sinner's Greatest Terror.

 

          A Penitent Sinner's Greatest Friend.

 

          A Revealer Of Christ.

 

          A Revealer of Man.

 

          God's Masterpiece.

 

          God's Greatest Gift To Mankind.

 

Can Any Other Standard Compare With The Bible?

 

 

 

 

 

PARODY: God Bless America!

Let's bless God, America, for this land that we love.
He's stood beside her and guided her
   through her nights with His light from above.
For the mountains, and the prairies
And the oceans white with foam.
Let's bless God, America, for our home sweet home.