Sermon #14 Series: Ruth
Title: Good News Heard In Moab
Text: Ruth 1:6
Subject: The utility of the Word in regeneration and conversion
Date: Tuesday Evening - July 27, 1993
The title of my message tonight is Good News Heard in Moab. Our text is Ruth 1:6 - “Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.”
Tonight I want to show you, by the illustration in our text, the blessed necessity of Gospel preaching - Whenever God is pleased to save a sinner, he causes that sinner to hear the gospel - Sinners are regenerated, born again, given faith in Christ, and converted by the Word of God through the preaching of the gospel. This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture.
· 1 Corinthians 1:21
· Hebrews 4:12
· James 1:18
· 1 Peter 1:23-25
· Romans 10:13-17
Let men and women argue and debate all they want to about this issue, this fact is plainly revealed in Holy Scriptures. God does not save sinners apart from the preaching of the gospel, any more than he saves them without repentance and faith. God does not save men by...
· The light of nature.
· False religion.
· Or even the bare reading of Holy Scripture. If sinners are saved by the reading of the Bible, the best missionary work in the world would be to hire a plane and drop pages from the Bible all over the world. It is not the reading of the Word that saves, but the exposition of the Word in the preaching of the gospel (1 Pet. 1:25).
Illustration: Philip and the Eunuch (Acts 8:30-31).
In his exposition of Romans 10:14-17 Martin Luther was exactly right in declaring that Paul here asserts four things to be impossible. It is absolutely impossible for anyone to...
1. Call upon Christ until he believes on Christ.
2. Believe on Christ until he hears the gospel of Christ.
3. Hear the gospel of Christ without a preacher.
4. Preach the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit until he is sent of God.
NOTE: Whenever men and women realize the necessity and the value of the preaching of the gospel three things are certain...
1. They will honor God’s servants (Isa. 52:7; Rom. 10:15; 1 Thess. 5:12-13).
2. They will attend the ministry of the Word.
3. They will involve themselves in the preaching of the gospel
· Bringing folks to hear the Word.
· Supporting the ministry (At home and missionaries).
· Witnessing, distributing tracts, tapes, books, etc.
It was when Naomi heard in Moab how that the Lord had visited his people that she left Moab and returned with Ruth to Bethlehem. The turning point in the family of Naomi, that which forever changed the lives of Naomi and Ruth was what they heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had done for his people.
What a beautitul picture this is of the gospel, the good neews that proclaims to sinners what the Lord God has done for his people by the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as their Substitute.
1. She heard - Someone told her what God had done! (A tract, a tape, a witness).
2. She believed - “Faith cometh by hearing.”
3. She returned - She acted upon her faith.
Tonight, I want to show you seven parallels between the Word which Naomi heard in Moab and the hearing of faith.
I. THE MESSAGE NAOMI HEARD IN MOAB WAS A VERY SIMPLE MESSAGE - “The Lord had visited his people.”
· Zacharias’ prophecy (Lk. 1:78-79).
· The way of peace was opened up by the death of Christ.
· The light for them that sit in darkness is the gospel.
A. The gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ is simplicity itself (2 Cor. 11:3). It reveals the most profound mysteries of the universe as simple statements of undeniable truth!
1. A simple fact - We have broken God’s law.
2. A simple requirement - Justice.
3. A simple declaration (Gal. 3:13).
4. A simple command (Heb. 11:6; 1 John 3:23).
5. A simple promise - Eternal life!
B. Those who are responsible to preach the gospel must do so with clarity and simplicity ( 1 Cor. 2:1-5, 13).
True preachers studiously avoid the words of man’s wisdom. The power of the gospel is not in the eloquence of the preacher but in the message we preach (1 Cor. 15:1-3). “H -O-W that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.” Here are four words that describe the death of Christ.
“How the Lord had visited his people.”
II. THE MESSAGE NAOMI HEARD IN MOAB WAS A MESSAGE OF LIFE - “The Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.”
· Bread was the one thing needed!
· Bread is a common figure and emblem of life (John 6:32, 33, 48).
III. NAOMI’S DESTITUTE FAMILY HEARD A MESSAGE OF GRACE DOWN IN MOAB .
They did not hear how that the Lord visited his people in providing bread - making bread possible - offering them bread - giving them a plan by which to get bread - but in “giving them bread!”
Eternal life and all that pertains to it is the free-gift of God’s unconditional, unqualified grace in Christ (Rom. 6:23).
Satan is a great deceiver. He knows the deceitfulness of the human heart. And he has stocked the world with numerous religions that appeal to the proud heart of man. All satanic religions have one thing in common. They all make salvation to be determined by man. The religion of the Bible is the religion of grace! (Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Cor. 15:10; 1 Cor. 4:7). Salvation is all of grace!
IV. NAOMI’S FAITHIN THE WORD SHE HEARD IN MOAB WAS SHOWN BY HER WORKS (vv. 6-7).
All who truly believe God prove their faith by their works (James 2:17). God’s children do nothing to get saved, but do much because they are saved (Eph. 2:10).
A. We prove our faith by coming to Christ (Heb. 11:6).
B. We prove our faith by works of love.
NOTE: Love, not laws, is the proof of fatih!
V. Notice this too - THE HISTORY OF NAOMI’S FAMILY SHOWS US THAT FAITH IN CHRIST AND SALVATION BY HIM IS A PERSONL, INDIVIDUAL MATTER.
· Naomi had faith!
· Ruth had faith!
· Orpah had a profession of fatih!
Philip Mauro wrote, “God is a ‘God of truth,’ that is to say, of reality; and he will have reality. A mere profession of Christianity...may deceive men. But God knoweth the hearts.”
VI. THOSE WHO TRULY BELIEVE THE GOSPEL OF GOD ARE CONTROLLED IN THEIR LIVES BY THINGS NOT SEEN (Heb. 11:13-16).
· Orpah went back to Moab, bcause she was “mindful of that country.” Her mind ws full of Moab!
· Ruth had the same opportunity to go back, but her mind was full of another country. Therefore, she persevered!
VII. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORPAH AND RUTH, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE, BETWEEN SAVED SINNERS AND LOST SINNERS, IS THE DIFFERENCE THAT GRACE HAS MADE (1 Cor. 4;7).
Ruth was not a better woman than Orpah. Both were kind, affectionate, caring, and tender daughters to Naomi (vv. 8-9). But Orpah was lost and Ruth was saved.
Be sure you learn this - A sweet, lovable disposition, a tender, affectionate heart, and faithfulness in responsibilities and relationships, though they are commendable traits of character, will never take you to heaven. The one thing needful is faith in Christ. If that one thing needful is lacking, like the rich young ruler, you are yet without hope before God! (John 3:15-18).
1. What she had left - her fall!
2. What God had done - Visited his people!
3. What was to be found at Bethlehem - Bread! Life!
4. But once Ruth came to Bethlehem, she met and married Boaz, and found with him a better life than she had ever known before!