They covered their ears: Acts 7.57

“But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent.”

Acts 7.57

The Jews refused to hear Stephen’s sermon which exposed their sins and challenged them to repent. They drowned him out with their shouting and stopped him by stoning him.

What the Jews did literally, covering their ears, we sometimes do figuratively. The command to hear urges us to welcome the word of God. Willingness to listen is the important first step to salvation.

#votd #hearing #Acts

He who has ears to hear

You may have heard of the latest great viral debate – is it yanny or laurel?

After hearing it yesterday I told my wife it probably has to do with what a person’s ears can hear over a digital speaker since people can obviously speak either of the words out-loud and we understand each other.

Sure enough, that is what’s going on. Keeping in mind that the quality of the audio device producing the recording has a bearing on what can or will be heard, and frequently the age of one’s ears, the basic premise of the original recording had to do with high and low-frequency recordings. People with ears attuned to high-frequency sounds heard “yanny” and people with ears attuned to low-frequency sounds heard “laurel”.

There is also another level of recorded frequencies that cause some people to hear one thing while some people hear another – the spiritual frequency.

Unlike the yanny or laurel debate, the ability to hear the spiritual frequency of God’s word has nothing to do with our physical ears but rather with our mindset. Our mindset changes and controls what we are capable of hearing. You can call it a point of view driven by resonating sound of spiritual sensitivity.

Correctly hearing God’s word is vital to a right relationship with God (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). Jesus spoke much about this important point. This is why he spoke in parables! To test the ears (hearts) of his hearers (Mark 4:1-12). A test that continues to have more riding on it than “yanny or laurel” to this day.

So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body.” (John 2:18-21 NKJV)

Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ” But not even then did their testimony agree. … And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”” (Mark 14:57-59; 15:29-30)

#hearing, #hearing-the-words-of-the-lord, #spiritual-illustration

When they heard this: Acts 19.5 VOTD

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Acts 19.5

Paul found some disciples in Ephesus who had received only the baptism of John. Perhaps they had been taught by Apollos, whose information was outdated. Paul taught them correctly and they responded appropriately.

Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime act of obedience. Wrong ritual that does not put one in Christ doesn’t count. A person needs to be “baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” The proper response to hearing the truth is acting upon it.

#baptism #hearing #VOTD

Hugh’s News & Views (Swift To Hear . . .)


Two weeks ago our “News & Views” essay posed some questions for Christians about the church. Last week we asked some questions concerning New Testament Christianity. The two essays were intended to complement each other and to allow us to check up on ourselves to see just how well acquainted we are with New Testament teaching about the church and the distinctiveness of New Testament Christianity. How did you do on those questions? Continue reading

#hearing, #hughfulford, #listening

Get it directly from the source

sourceNothing like getting it directly from the source. In matters of the spirit, we can be content with nothing else.

Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, unmediated by human interpretation. A happy result of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman is this word of the townspeople to her: Continue reading

#faith, #hearing, #new-testament, #word-of-christ

If you don't hear the speaking, you won't hear the silence

The principle of silence is an important aspect of rightly dividing the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 7:14). Unfortunately it’s a concept that’s hard for many in the religious world to grasp despite the fact that it has a biblical basis. What makes it even more difficult to understand is when an individual fails to first hear what’s spoken, because if you don’t hear the speaking then there’s no way you’ll hear the silence.

A person once told me to show them where the New Testament says that baptism saves us – I showed them 1 Peter 3:21 but it didn’t change anything.

A person once told me that there were no funerals in the New Testament after the day of Pentecost – I told them about Acts 9:36-37 but it didn’t change anything.

A person once told me that Jesus never told anyone to serve him and that he never said he was the Son of God – I showed them John 5:22-23 and John 12:26 but it didn’t change anything.

You see, if a person fails to learn from what the Spirit of God has said concerning the will of God, then the will of God won’t be revealed to that individual when it comes to the Spirit’s silence.

This is why the churches of Christ still strive to speak where the Bible speaks, and to be silent where the Bible is silent; because we believe that the silence of the scriptures can say as much as the speaking.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:9)

#churches-of-christ, #hearing, #silence-of-scriptures

Six-second sermon

I was a bit dismayed to learn that the recent generation’s attention span seemed to be equivalent to the time between commercials. It seems the current generation is down to about six seconds, with the rising popularity of social media sites like VINE, where you are allowed six seconds of video broadcast — and then on to something else — I guess I’d better hurry.

Here is a short, but profound lesson in Psalm 106:13-15:

“They quickly forgot His works;

They did not wait for His counsel,

But they craved intensely in the wilderness,

And tempted God in the desert.

So He gave them their request,

But sent a wasting disease among them”

How does that work? They got what they craved (water), but spiritual health did not come with it. We have to wait for His counsel. Got it in 6?

Oran Burt, Somers Ave. church bulletin “The Observer,” North Little Rock AR

#attention-span, #hearing, #social-media

Swift or Slow

 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20, NKJV).

This passage is properly interpreted in relation, of course, to that which James said previously, as well as to what follows. It has been customary to interpret the phrase “swift to hear” in relation to “God’s word.” One can hardly dispute the application of this, or perhaps even the interpretation.

On the other hand, the phrase “swift to hear” might be better suited to a person being swift to hear what another says, just as it is appropriate for one to be slow (and deliberate) to speak, and slow to anger. The Holy Spirit has expressed Himself: “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28). RT

#hearing, #james

Daily Nudge: made you stop

What have you heard recently (a subjective adverb) that made you stop and think? Could be a person who spoke it in your ear, or via a public speaker, or a recording or podcast or other mechanically or electronically transmitted message. Not something you’ve read, but heard. Something that really brought you up, gave you a start, froze you in your tracks, grabbed you by both ears. It could be good or bad, sad or joyous, momentous or small potatoes. But it should have elicited a strong response from you.

#hearing, #words-spoken