Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

The Finger of God

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The Finger of God

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The Finger of God

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As God used His own finger to write His law on tablets of stone, He by His Spirit is writing His law on the hearts of the firstfruits.

Sermon Notes

PRESENTER'S NOTES

To the believer, the Holy Bible in its original form is the inspired, inerrant word of God, and the Bible, itself makes this claim. In other words, it’s not simply a conclusion drawn from a believer’s own reasoning but a claim supported directly in scripture.

Jesus, himself, expressed the value of the law in Matthew when He stated, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18 Matthew 5:17-18 [17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. [18] For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
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And Paul states in no uncertain terms the truth of all scripture when he writes in Second Timothy, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
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And throughout a number of places in scripture where God is revealed to be the authority behind the writing, we discover God’s inspiration through dreams, visions, and even direct person-to-person interaction.

Just a few examples of God’s personal interaction…

For instance, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in the book…’” (Exodus 17:14 Exodus 17:14And the LORD said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
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David declared: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.” (2 Samuel 23:2 2 Samuel 23:2The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.
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God instructed the prophet Jeremiah, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:9 Jeremiah 1:9Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
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And as Psalm 119 declares around 175 times, all scripture IS the Word of God!
 
So, we see clearly that the Bible is claimed to stand on it’s own merit as authorized by the living God! And, we could search and find an exhaustive record where God inspired the compilers of the word by dreams, visions and direct communication.

A couple of situations stand out, however, where God used no middleman to reveal His word; No dream; No vision; No direct communication to or in the hearing of a middleman.

Let’s first turn to one of these events.

Exodus 24: 12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”

Exodus 31: 18 And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

It’s important to pause here to understand that if God has communicated to a middleman His will and this is totally valid, why did God bother to write His commandments in stone personally? Why didn’t He just tell Moses the laws and let Moses write them? The truth of them would have been the same, wouldn’t it?

Well, we CAN conclude that God did NOT DO SO to establish some greater legitimacy, because scripture throughout is claimed to be the word of God as we established at the beginning of this message.

I will say, however, that the laws of God express the very nature of God, so who better to reveal this nature than the One who possesses it, right?

So, could God’s personal involvement have been symbolic?

Well, before we try to answer that question, there is revealed in scripture that God would use the same special attention He took to etch His law on stone, to give that attention and use that finger to write that law on something else.

(from MKJV)
Jeremiah 31: 31 Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah,
32 not according to the covenant that I cut with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the LORD;
33 but this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

So the Lord of the Old Testament, the One who later became our sacrifice, who later became our deliverer, and who later became our very own Teacher and Lord declared through Jeremiah that a day would be coming when Israel and Judah would enter a NEW COVENANT with God, a covenant where God again, would personally write His law, not on tablets of stone, but on their hearts.

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But if we turn to the witness of the New Testament we find that Israel and Judah as a nation would not be the first to partake in this NEW COVENANT.

The writer of Hebrews references Jeremiah 31 in Hebrews 8 as he compares and contrasts the old and new covenant. And he writes in chapter 9…

Hebrews 9: 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews iterates Christ as our Mediator,
 the one who would die that we may be forgiven and,
  henceforth, inherit eternal life;
   that NEW COVENANT…

Hebrews also specifically references in chapter 8 God’s promise to write His law on human hearts, associating that act with that NEW COVENANT…

PERSONALLY!

NOT through a man (not by your momma or daddy, not your spouse, not by even your minister, and most certainly NOT by yourself. BUT, by God, PERSONALLY! God’s own finger is writing His eternal law on your heart and on mine!!!

NOT JUST by us picking up a Bible and reading it,

not by listening to a bunch of sermons,

not even by practicing what you learn.

Many good people
 old covenant
  knew word of God and practiced God’s law
   they prospered,
    missing ingredient.

HOW, then, is God doing this, writing His law on our hearts? Well, here’s a good couple of references for HOW God writes His law on our hearts…

Romans 8: 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. (CAN YOU SEE GOD’S PERSONAL ATTENTION IN THAT STATEMENT?) Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

God couldn’t write His law on Israel’s heart.

Why?

He did not impart His Spirit to them. This would be the case for all of us, except that God granted us His Spirit.

Second…

1 Cor. 2: 9 But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

God made a symbolic gesture when He personally took His own finger and wrote His law on tablets of stone, and that symbolic gesture, in answer to the question previously posed, foreshadowed an amazing truth, that God NOW AT THIS TIME IS writing His law on your hearts and on mine. He is changing us, directly, by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Philippians 2 reads in verse 13, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

In light of the personal attention God is providing, what is God’s “work in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure?” Is it not that He is writing His law on our hearts by His Holy Spirit?

So, though it may not have been REQUIRED that God personally write His laws on stone for those written laws to be inspired, (continues…)
   God paid special attention to literally write His laws on those stone tablets.
      God is THE source of law.
          God IS the full embodiment of Law, which is eternal life.

And, so it makes sense that the only way for us to ever become like God is for God, Himself, to personally write His laws (to establish Himself) on our hearts by His Spirit!!

Can we perceive the incredible connection between God’s grace and His law given to us? God loves you and me so much that He PERSONALLY attends to our Spiritual instruction by His Spirit (or we could say, by His “finger”), FIRST having made it possible by the forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Christ, then by literally starting the process of writing the height, depth, and breadth of WHAT on our hearts? HIS LAW! (Ephesians 3:14-19 Ephesians 3:14-19 [14] For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, [15] Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, [16] That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; [17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; [19] And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
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God’s grace is to personally impart to you and me who and what God is which is established by that law. There is no commandment of God that does not define some measure of His own nature.

It’s so important to understand God’s personal attention to your conversion and mine, and what better day to reflect upon that than on Pentecost.

James 1: 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

To all of you who gladly receive the law of God written with the finger of God on your hearts, Happy Feast of Firstfruits!