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Ryle’s Rule for Hearing Sermons
Acts 10:33, “Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.”
We have all been missing the public meetings for worship. The congregating together in one place has been impossible. Cornelius refers to the meeting as “all here present before God.” The purpose of the meeting is to hear God’s Word, “to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” While the meeting is prevented us we are thankful for the modern means of still being able to hear the Word. Whether we hear sermons at home or church we still have to take heed how we hear. Cornelius had the right attitude about the business of hearing God’s Word. Even in lockdown we still must endeavour to hear sermon aright. Bishop Ryle lays down three rules for hearing aright. I leave them with you for today.
Rule 1. We must hear with FAITH, believing implicitly that every word of God is true, and shall stand. The word in old time did not profit the Jews, "not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." (Heb. 4:2.)
Rule 2. We must hear with REVERENCE, remembering constantly that the Bible is the book of God. This was the habit of the Thessalonians. They received Paul's message, "not as the word of men, but the word of God." (1 Thess. 2:13.)
Rule 3. We must hear with PRAYER, praying for God's blessing before the sermon is preached, praying for God's blessing again when the sermon is over. Here lies the grand defect of the hearing of many. They ask no blessing, and so they have none. The sermon passes through their minds like water through a leaky vessel, and leaves nothing behind.
I think if we follow these rules of Ryle when we come to listen to a sermon then we shall profit the more in our souls.
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