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07 July 13, 2014, Ezekiel 37, Hope - Can These Bones Live

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Sunday School Lesson.

Sunday School Lesson.

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  • 1. Hope of New Life A Prophecy of Hope “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37 July 13, 2014 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI USA
  • 2. JULY MEMORY VERSE James 5:16 NKJV 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
  • 3. EZEKIEL • Priest in Jerusalem area exiled (deported) to Babylon in 598 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar • 10,000 + Jews exiled at this time • Deportation vs. Tribute, Protection, Extortion • God calls him to be a Prophet in Babylon – Spokesperson for God to the people – Predict the future and warn the people
  • 4. Structure of Ezekiel • Chapters 1 – 24: Prophecies against Judah and Jerusalem • Chapters 25-32: Prophecies against Foreign Nations • Chapters 33-48: Prophecies of Hope and Salvation
  • 5. LIFE IN EXILE • Jewish people had no rights in Babylon • Became farmers on government land • Allowed to practice Judaism • 4 months journey back to homeland • Heard that Jerusalem & Temple had been destroyed • Had time to reflect: Past & Future
  • 6. Ezekiel 37:1-14 “The Valley of Dry Bones” God gives Ezekiel a vision of hope for a restored Israel back in the Promised Land. God is in the business of making all things new!
  • 7. Ezekiel 37:1-2 1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.
  • 8. Valley of Dry Bones
  • 9. Ezekiel 37:3 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
  • 10. Ezekiel 37:4-6 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord. '"
  • 11. Ezekiel 37:7-8 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
  • 12. Ezekiel 37:9-10 9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live. '" 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
  • 13. Ezekiel 37:11-12 11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off. ' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
  • 14. Ezekiel 37:13-14 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord. '"
  • 15. Summary of Prophecy for Israel • Prophecy shifts from judgment to hope • They will return to their homeland Israel • Israel will be restored as a nation • Only God can do the impossible!
  • 16. Does this prophecy apply to us? Are you in a valley of dry bones? “Son of man, can these bones live?” Is there hope for me?
  • 17. Valleys of Life • Valley - used symbolically to refer to the difficulties of life Psalm 23:4 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. • Song: “There will be peace in the valley for me someday.”
  • 18. Dry Bones: Beyond Hope? • Very dry bones – dead for a long time • Far beyond resuscitation • No life and no joy • Disconnected • Pieces of a broken life • Shattered dreams
  • 19. “Son of man…” • Speaking to all humanity. • Not a reference to Jesus as Son of Man in this verse.
  • 20. “…Can these bones live?” Is there hope in my situation? YES!!! Why?
  • 21. What is Hope? Biblical Hope = anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance - Trustful expectation because of God’s promises to believers Worldly Hope = a feeling that what is wanted will happen (chance and luck)
  • 22. 3 Reasons Christians Have HOPE 1. What God has done in Christ – defeated the power of sin and death 1 Peter 1:3 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
  • 23. 3 Reasons Christians Have HOPE 2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit Romans 8:16 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
  • 24. 3 Reasons Christians Have HOPE 3. God’s Promises to Us Romans 8:28 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
  • 25. Hope For Non-Christians • “Hope is just an emotion attached to the future.” • “Hope is the feeling that when you work toward a change, the effect it has will be as beneficial as you envisioned. It is what bolsters perseverance.” • Do Non-Christians see hope in the lives of Christians?
  • 26. QUESTION? I am a Christian. I have lost my hope. How do I get it back? Ezekiel 37:4 4 … ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’ (The answers are in scripture)
  • 27. Isaiah 30:15 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, … Repentance + Rest = Salvation Quietness + Trust = Strength
  • 28. In Repentance and Rest is Salvation • Salvation – Rescued; returned to state of fellowship; my recovery and restoration – In the valley, the Christian’s legal position before God is one of righteousness, and it will be forevermore. – The feeling of separation is the grieving (distance) of the Holy Spirit because of sin. – Salvation, in this case, is the return of the Holy Spirit into our lives.
  • 29. Psalm 51:12 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
  • 30. In Repentance and Rest is Salvation • Repentance – Turning from your sin – Sin in the Christian grieves the Holy Spirit – Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you your sins • Sin of Attitude – Ask for forgiveness (Confession) – Repent – Pray when tempted for a way of escape
  • 31. Jeremiah 15:19 19 Therefore this is what the Lord says: "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; …
  • 32. In Repentance and Rest is Salvation • Rest – Freedom from activity or labor – Stop running in circles – Physical health issues – Do not make decisions when tired, upset or hungry! – Live in the reality of your physical abilities – Find the balance in your life – Build “moments of margin” in your life
  • 33. Matthew 11:28 28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
  • 34. Isaiah 30:15 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, … Repentance + Rest = Salvation Quietness + Trust = Strength
  • 35. In Quietness and Trust is Strength • Strength – The quality of being strong and able to endure – A strong attitude during adversity – Endurance of suffering – Perseverance in life – Toughness
  • 36. Isaiah 12:2 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation."
  • 37. In Quietness and Trust is Strength • Quietness – stillness, discreteness, calmness Psalm 46:10a 10a "Be still, and know that I am God; Isaiah 30:18c 18c Blessed are all who wait for him! – Meditating with thoughts focused on God • Listening – Giving God time to work His Will • Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you
  • 38. In Quietness and Trust is Strength • Trust – to believe; to have faith Hebrews 11:1 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 Chronicles 20:12c 12c We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."
  • 39. The Result of Hope Isaiah 30:21 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” • God speaks to you and directs your paths.
  • 40. Verses of HOPE Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Job 13:15a 15a Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
  • 41. Verses of HOPE 1 Corinthians 13:7 7 It (Love)always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:13 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
  • 42. REMEMBER!! “His Eye is On the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Matthew 10:29-31 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
  • 43. If you do not know Christ as your personal Savior….. The Plan of Hope & Salvation Romans 3:23 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 6:23a 23a For the wages of sin is death, Death in this life (the first death) is 100%. Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins. The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in Revelation 21:8. Revelation 21:8 8 “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
  • 44. If you do not know Christ as your personal Savior….. The Plan of Hope & Salvation Romans 5:8 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 6:23b 23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Revelation 21:7 7 “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”
  • 45. If you do not know Christ as your personal Savior….. The Plan of Hope & Salvation Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior. Romans 10:9-10 9 If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:13 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved from the punishment of sin.
  • 46. If you have questions or would like to know more. Please, contact us at First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-979-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/