Questions He Asked

Faith Church August 23, 2009 Romans 8:18-25

 

Introduction:

-. We are beginning a new series today: Finding Hope in the Wonderful Counselor

- we all need hope at various times in our lives . . . every day!

- the issue is: Where are you going to go to get it?

- OR Who or what are you going to look to in order to get hope?

1.  Consider the different ways to define hope:

  • By hope I mean = the anxious anticipation of good – from a (biblical perspective)

- while we don’t know what God in His sovereignty will ULTIMATELY do, we know that He will do whatever He pleases to do for His glory and our good!

- this definition comes from Romans 8:18-25 [READ!!]

> especially note:  v. 24-25

  • Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

- we might not be able to SEE all the ways God can be glorified or we can GROW

- but we know we have HOPE because of Who God is, what He can do . . . and in our recent series: The Promises He Made . . .and will keep!

- now, the world (as it responds to various situations) defines hope a lot differently

  • hope = more as an uncertainty of the outcome (world’s perspective)

Example: “Well, I hope everything turns out OK” – but with a high degree of uncertainty

- there is no real confidence . . . just more speculation and uncertainty

- we need to understand this principle:

2. The definition you hold to will be based on the SOURCE of your hope!

- just like every person has a source of truth, everyone has a source of hope

> either one’s own personal thinking & reasoning (which is cursed by sin/can’t trust it)

> or another source cursed by sin and untrustworthy

> or the Word of God – a book inspired (God-breathed), sufficient, inerrant, eternal!

- the OT (especially in the Psalms) gives a clear picture of the real source of hope

[READ Psalms 42 – all of it; but note v. 5 & v. 11; also read Psalm 43:5]

- we can learn from these passages and others that . . .

* There is only one TRUE source of hope . . . and that is God!

- think about what the Psalmist wrote in the following passages:

  • Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
  • Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

- these verses give us hope because God is SOVEREIGN and He is in control and will do WHATEVER He pleases

- and because He is HOLY, we know that He can’t make a mistake!

- that is the basis of our HOPE – His perfection

Input: What other attributes of God give us hope?   [various answers]

A:  Grace, mercy, love, patience, OMNIPOTENCE, OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT, …immutability (never changing – He is consistent, always the same!

Point:  Our hope is in God (not our circumstances, abilities, the skill/knowledge of others) . . .it’s in God alone!

I.  Hope: Because of Who the Wonderful Counselor Is!

A.  Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor!

- this name was given to Him (prophesied a/b 730 years before He came to earth)

- Isaiah wrote these words:

  • Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

- this prophesy was fulfilled when Jesus was born – clothed in human flesh

  • Wonderful’ = marvelous, extraordinary, hard to comprehend

-  The Hebrew word translated "wonderful" in this verse signifies something indescribably great; something so tremendous, so amazing, that it's literally beyond description, or incomprehensible

-  It describes something that is beyond human comprehension, and it draw sout astonishment – it leaves you speechless. It is a word of magnificence and awe.

> Something that transcends human experience or imagination.

> The word used for wonderful is the same word used in Judges 13:18 (a pre-incarnate appearance of the Christ)

  • Judges 13:18 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?”

>  The words “beyond understanding” is from the same Hebrew  word as the word translated “wonderful” in Isaiah. 

PointJesus would be a Counselor that was greater than we could begin to comprehend.

-  Yet this One to be called, Wonderful Counselor, would continue to reveal Himself to us – to dwell among us (John 1:14) in order to demonstrate why He was given this name – and to tell us what we can learn from Him and how He can help us!

  • Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will give thanks to Thy name; for Thou hast worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
  • Counselor =to advise, consult, give counsel

lit. – a Marvel of a Counselor [used of the kings advisor 2 Sam. 15:12]

-  In the Bible, a counselor did not serve so much as a professional counselor in a strict sense of the word (sitting behind a desk with a counselee – and surely not a couch)

>  But rather as an advisor, or a person of wisdom who would come alongside an individual and reflect the mind of God.

Point:  When the Scriptures refer to Jesus as a "Wonderful Counselor,” it doesn't just mean that He's good at giving advice.

-  It means that He understands things that we can’t

-  He knows things that only God can know – He knows God's plans and purposes.

>  His knowledge, and intelligence, and wisdom, and insight far exceed that of any man

-  So in * Jesus Christ [we have someone who, by virtue of his great knowledge and understanding] is abundantly qualified to guide and direct our lives!

-  The Wonderful Counselor is someone who is never confused or mistaken – He is someone who always knows exactly what to do – He will never lead us astray.

>  His advice and counsel would be trustworthy and sure, and we could rely on Him to tell us the truth.

> Amazingly, He would even do this after His time on earth was ended – He does that through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit!

- we also need to be reminded that . . .

B. Jesus is God!

- He is part of the TRINITY

- the Trinity is best described theologically as: 1 Divine Essence; 3 Distinct Person

- I can’t begin to fully explain/understand that – that’s why God is God (and we don’t get all there is to know about Him)

- we simply trust what the Word says, and act/respond accordingly

  • John 10:30   30 "I and the Father are one."
  • John 14:9-10   Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father '?  10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?

- remember that if we could understand everything about God, then He wouldn’t be God!

C. What kind of hope does the Wonderful Counselor give?

1. Hope for salvation

- He was known by VARIOUS names [Examples: Advocate, , and Luke made it very clear that it was in HIM that our hope for salvation rests:

  • Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

- Jesus said of Himself in

  • John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me!”

- that’s why it’s so important that we get the message of the GOSPEL out!!

> there is NO OTHER WAY TO GET TO HEAVEN

* THAT’S ETERNAL HOPE – and plenty of people in this county need it!

2. Hope for sanctification (to be set apart)

- explain the follow forms of sanctification:

  • Prepatory Sanctification (the process of God bringing us to Him in salvation)
  • Positional Sanctification (where we stand IN Christ)
  • Progressive Sanctification (doctrine of spiritual growth – becoming more like Christ)
  • Prospective Sanctification (what we will be someday when we get to heaven!)

- Therefore, we can look to Jesus as the Wonderful Counselor and find . . .

II.  Hope: In the Questions He Asks

- before we get into some of the specific questions He asked, we need to understand…

A.  The purpose of His questions

- in other words: Why did Jesus even ask ANY questions? ( since He was/is God!)

- think 1st of all about . ..

* What the purpose is NOT: He didn’t know the answer!

- When God asks a question, He’s not looking for answers, He already knows the answer

- while Phil. 2 tells us that Christ ‘emptied Himself’ (i.e. He laid aside the independent exercise of His attributes as God), He was still God (He was not omnipresent at that time)

- John 8:42-47  is an example of this (Jesus talking to the Pharisees: [READ]

> especially note v. 43 and 46!

-* Now, let’s think about * What the purpose IS:

- Sometimes Jesus would ask questions for various reasons – think about these categories:

[NOTE: Some of these may overlap a bit because the question may have multiple purposes!]

1. INTERACTION – Responding to the question of others (Mark 8:4-5)

-  Rather than merely answering a question, Jesus would often answer a participant's question with a question of His own.

-  In Mark 8:4-5, when his followers asked Jesus how He planned to feed a crowd of 4,000 people, He responded with:  Q: How many loaves do you have?

-  He wanted the disciples to count the bread – and He was about to perform a miracle!

- when He asks to look at what He’s already given us, it may be because He’s about to DO something that will demonstrate His POWER!

* Hope: He loves us enough to help us when we don’t get it!

- the disciples just were not thinking right when they asked Him the question about feeding

- if their view of Him being God was right, they would have never asked the question!

2. INFORMATION – Gathering Data (Mark 8:5, 19-21)

- He was making sure all the facts were on the table – not because HE needed the info

- but to have the person to whom the question was directed to be honest and give him the FACTS and reveal various truths about that person

- talking to a man demon possessed in Luke 8:30:

… And Jesus asked him, Q: What is your name?

> . . . the man responded:   "Legion"; for many demons had entered him.

- we have to do this in counseling – ask INFORMATION questions

> sometimes general in nature and others very specific (how many times you did this)

- Proverbs warns us about NOT asking ‘probing question’ to get all the FACTS:

  • Proverbs 18:13 He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.

* Hope: He doesn’t need the facts, but He wants us to admit the truth and be honest!

 - Jesus knew all the facts, but He wants us to be honest and tell the truth about ourselves!

3. INSTRUCTION Making Statements (Mark 8:12)

- Jesus skillfully asked rhetorical Q’s  to emphasize a point in a powerful but non-combative manner.

Q: Why does this generation seek for a sign? Communicates much better than "You stubborn group of unbelieving people!"

- another example is Luke 24:18-27 – Key verse is v. 26

  • Luke 24:26:  "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"

- the answer would be: Of course it was – it was prophesied long ago – cf. v. 27 (read)

* Hope: God’s truth can help us, if we will listen!

- His questions are full of truth that can change our lives!!

4. COMMUNICATION Conveying a Message (Mark 8:17-18)

- When rhetorical questions are linked together, they can clearly communicate something

* Example:  [READ Mark 8:17-20 – series of questions!]

  • Mark 8:17And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?18 "HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR? And do you not remember, 19when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?" They said to Him, "Twelve."20 "When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?" And they said to Him, "Seven."

Q: Series of questions asked!

- As Jesus joined questions together without giving pause for an answer, his listeners were rendered thoughtfully speechless - -He was communicating a message!!

  • Matthew 15:15-17 [READ]

- v. 17 is a very clear issue of communication!

Q:  Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 

- Jesus goes one to communicate an important truth:

  • Matthew 15:18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.  19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.  20 These are the things which defile the man.”

*  Hope: God communicates with us!  [full disclosure!]

- thank the Lord He asks questions to communicate a message

- He doesn’t leave us in the dark – He speaks the truth . . . w/questions!

5. CORRECTION Pointing Out a Problem (Mark 10:18)

-  This one can fit under the category of:

“Questions convict the conscience; accusations harden the heart!”

- Instead of saying, "You are so stupid—you never understand anything," Jesus asked:

– He could just make statements, and at certain times, He does . . . and He will in the future

- but there are times when He asks questions to communicate a message!

Q:  Why do you call Me good?

- He said, “No one is good except God” – POINT: He should have called Him “God” – because that is Who He is!

- basically, the Wonderful Counselor was correcting rich young ruler

* Hope:  God demonstrates patience in spite of our spiritual condition!

>  This question made the point while maintaining the involvement of his participants.

6. APPLICATION Personal Relationship (Mark 8:27-29)

- Toward the conclusion of Mark 8, Jesus used two increasingly personal questions to lead his followers into personal application of His questions!

- He began with a more general question – Mark 8:27-28

Q:  Who do people say I am?

-  before leading into the directly personal question in v. 29

Q: Who do you say that I am? 

* Hope: God wants to apply truth to our personal life!

- it’s easy to think about how other people should grow, but what YOU?

> He wants to have a growing relationship with you as an individual

> to do that, we have to apply truth to our lives!

- This next one can be very challenging:

7. EVALUATION Personal Examination – Mark 8:36-37

- these questions, as do the others, make us look in the mirror and really THINK about where we really stand in our spiritual life

Q: For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?3"For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

- These types of questions reach to the heart of an issue and have no comfortable reply if we answer truthfully

- here are a couple of other PERSONAL EVALUATION questions:

- Jesus asked the Disciples (after many who were following Him left and followed Him no more!)

Q: You do not want to go away also, do you? (John 6:66-67)

- this kind of question personal evaluation (looking in the mirror) - thinking about what’s going on in your heart, but then you have to decide/make a decision!

- reveal our weaknesses and help us grow?

*Hope: God wants us to honestly evaluate our heart and grow!

- Finally, God often asks questions, similar to #7, but more direct subjects

8. REVELATION – Reveal our heart (true character)

- in Mark 4:40, Jesus was with His disciples on a boat -- the storm was raging, Jesus was asleep in the boat, and the disciple got fearful

- they woke Him up and asked Him a question: Lord, don’t you care that we are perishing? [BAD Question to ask the Redeemer Who came to ‘seek and to save those who were lost’]

- so Jesus responded with this:

Q:  Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?

- They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?"

- Jesus asked Peter this question prior to His ascension BACK to heaven:

Q: Do you love me? (John 21:15-17) – He asked it 3 times

Note: The first 2 times He used the word agapa (God’s kind of love) –3rd time used phileo (brotherly love)

*Hope: God’s truth reveals the true heart of man!

- the issue is, are we willing to ADMIT it and respond – get busy changing

Conclusion:

Q: What question is God asking you?

Q: Are you going to respond or ignore the questions?

Q: Are you willing to grow and change?

- There is HOPE – an anxious anticipation of good – in the questions that Jesus asked because:

1)  He loves us enough to communicate

2)  He give us a chance to respond

3)  He will be patient and help us as we learn and grow in the process!


 

 

Finding Hope in the Wonderful Counselor

Questions He Asked

Introduction:

1.  Consider the different ways to define hope:

  • hope = the _____________ ________________ of good  (biblical perspective)

 

  • hope = an ________________ of the outcome (world’s perspective)

 

2. The definition you hold to will be based on the _____________ of your hope!

* There is only one _________ source of hope . . . and that is ______!

 

Input: What other attributes of God give us hope? 

 

I.  Hope: Because of Who the Wonderful Counselor Is!

A.  ____________ is the Wonderful Counselor!

  •  ‘Wonderful’ = marvelous, extraordinary, hard to comprehend

* Jesus would be a Counselor that was greater than we could begin to _____________.

 

  •  ‘Counselor =to advise, consult, give counsel

lit. – a ______________ of a Counselor

 

* Jesus Christ is abundantly qualified to ___________ and _____________ our lives!

 

B. Jesus is ______!

 

C. What kind of hope does the Wonderful Counselor give?

1. Hope for ______________

 

2. Hope for ______________ (to be set apart)

  • _____________ Sanctification (the process of God bringing us to Him in salvation)
  • _____________ Sanctification (where we stand IN Christ)
  • _____________ Sanctification (doctrine of spiritual growth/ becoming more like Christ)
  • _____________ Sanctification (what we will be someday when we get to heaven!)

 

II.  Hope: In the Questions He Asks

A.  The _____________ of His questions

* What the purpose is NOT: He _________ know the answer!

* What the purpose IS:

1. ____________________ – Responding to the question of others (Mark 8:4-5)

Q: How many loaves do you have?

 

* Hope: He loves us enough to help us when we don’t get it!

 

2. ____________________ – Gathering Data (Mark 8:5, 19-21)

 Q: What is your name?

 

* Hope: He doesn’t need the facts, but He wants us to __________the truth and be honest!

3. ____________________ Making Statements (Mark 8:12)

Q: Why does this generation seek for a sign?

* Hope: God’s truth can help us, if we will ____________!

 

4. ____________________ Conveying a Message (Mark 8:17-18)

Q: Series of questions asked!

Q:  Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?

*  Hope: God ______________ with us!  [full disclosure!]

 

5. ____________________Pointing Out a Problem (Mark 10:18)

 “Questions ______________ the conscience; accusations ______________ the heart!”

Q:  Why do you call Me good?

* Hope:  God demonstrates ______________ in spite of our spiritual condition!

 

6. ____________________Personal Relationship (Mark 8:27-29)

Q:  Who do people say I am?

Q: Who do you say that I am? 

* Hope: God wants to apply truth to our ______________ life!

 

7. ____________________Personal Examination – Mark 8:36-37

Q: For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?3"For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Q: You do not want to go away also, do you? (John 6:66-67)

*Hope: God wants us to ______________ evaluate our heart and grow!

 

8. ____________________ – Reveal our heart (true character)

Q:  Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?

Q: Do you love me? (John 21:15-17)

*Hope: God’s truth ______________ the true heart of man!

 

Conclusion:

Q: What question is God asking you?

Q: Are you going to ______________ or ______________ the questions?

Q: Are you willing to ______________ and change?

Faith Church