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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:11-16

Ears to Hear (Part 2)

Intro.

1.  Review Part 1: Must listen to Godís word, reproof and wise counsel.

2.  Listening to Godís word is essential to doing His will and being in fellowship with Him (Lk. 6:46).

3.  A major part of keeping ďthe unity of the Spirit in the bond of peaceĒ is listening to one another, Eph. 4:3, 15-16.

 

I.  THINGS THAT KEEP US FROM LISTENING (Understanding what we hear), Jno. 8:43.

  A.  One of the Biggest Problems Achieving Good Communication is Poor Listening Skills, cf. Eccl. 5:1-3.

    1.  ďWe donít listen to understand Ė We listen to reply

    2.  We show our foolishness when we do, Eccl. 5:3.

    3.  Why do we do this? Why do we have trouble listening effectively in order to advance meaningful understanding and communication?

  B.  Our Own Sin Hinders Opening Our Ears to Hear, Jno. 8:44-47.

    1.  When we are given more to defending ourselves and our sin than to pursuing righteousness, we will ďstop our ears,Ē Acts 7:54-59.

    2.  A heart given to sin does not/will not listen to truth, Rom. 8:7.

    3.  How committed are we to hearing and doing Godís will? Ezek. 33:30-33

      a.  We show we are listening to Godís word by obeying it when we hear it, cf. Acts 16:32-33; 22:16.

      b.  What are we giving ourselves to: Hearing and doing truth, or hearing truth, but following error and evil?

  C.  A Hard, Unrepentant Heart Closes Our Ears, Matt. 13:14-16.

      1.  The Pharisees displayed this heart toward Jesus, Lk. 11:52-54.

      2.  Avoid this by listening to daily exhortations, Heb. 3:7-8, 12-13.

      3.  Illustration: Prejudiced hearts reject truth without giving it a reasoned, intelligent, and respectful hearing, Acts 22:21-23; 17:11-12.

      4.  The approaching day of wrath should prompt us to listen and obey God, Rom. 2:5-6 (Refusal to repent and obey God brings punishment).

  D.  Spiritual Shallowness and Self-Interest Closes Our Ears (no spiritual interest), Matt. 13:19-22.

    1.  Closed due to carelessness, indifference, and lack of attention to spiritual things, truth will not penetrate this person.

    2.  We show our willingness to listen (to God and each other) by how we use our time, resources, and opportunities to become better listeners, Matt. 6:33 (Eph. 4:11-16).

    3.  As Christians we must have spiritual depth Ė Not be surface saints.

  E.  Anger Prevents Effective Listening, Jas. 1:19-20.

    1.  Will not be able to listen to Godís word, to reproof, or to wise counsel when our temper controls us, Prov. 12:15-16.

    2.  Have you ever tried to communicate with someone who was throwing a temper tantrum? Impossible!

  F.  Pride Refuses to Listen and Learn, Prov. 4:5-8; 11:2; 18:12-13.

    1.  Arrogant conceit refuses to admit any wrong, any sin, any error (even when it is of no harm and to every advantage to do so).

    2.  Pride prevents us from listening to the sound teaching of Godís word and to wise advice, Prov. 15:31-33.

    3.  Humility toward each other is essential for listening, 1 Pet. 5:5-6.

 

Conclusion

1.  Love listens, 1 Cor. 13:4-8 (cf. Matt. 22:37).

2.  We must be hearers and doers of Godís word, Jas. 1:21-25 (Matt. 7:24-25).

3.  We must listen to each other in order to help each other follow Godís word and fulfill His will for us (1 Cor. 1:10).

 

 

By: Joe R. Price

Posted August 30, 2019