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The Valley Of Dry Bones

by Bernie Parsons

The Valley of Dry Bones

(The Body Without The Spirit)

 James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” 

We all know that the body without the spirit is dead. I have, in the past 30 years, watched with awe and despair the decline of the church, which is the body of Jesus Christ. I have concluded that much of the decline is because we are a dying body. Some congregations here and there may yet be alive, yet not unlike certain still-functioning organs of a dying body. 

1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” 

Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” 

1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 

Luke 20:38 “For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” 

God is the God of the living! We are the body of Christ—and what is a body without the spirit, but dead? Sometimes I suspect that the church is in decline because we have shut out the Holy Spirit of God. So many of my brothers and sisters don’t want to talk about the Spirit for fear of being mistaken for Pentecostal--or “holiness”--believers. I personally don’t have a problem with holiness, do you? 

Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” 

Some of them even say that the Holy Spirit has left the earth and gone back to heaven. If that be the case, then the body is spiritless—and what is a spiritless body, but dead? But it is not too late! The body can be resuscitated by the Spirit of the Almighty God. Let me tell about Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones.

Ezekiel 37:1-10 “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

This is what the Lord wants the church to be today—a great army of righteousness! Not a valley of dry bones! God can bring back the sinews that bind us all together again. “Sinew” comes from a root word that means “he binds”, while the word “bind” means to chain together, to join, or tie, as with a rope.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

As we studied this morning, it is charity—love undeserved, unmerited, unearned—that forms the sinews of the church. But God doesn’t stop there. He breathes the breath of life—His Holy Spirit--into the church. With the Spirit of the Almighty God in us, we can be a great army for the Lord! You might say, “But I don’t think that the church is dead.”

Revelation 3:1-3 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

It is possible for us to think that we are alive, when we are indeed dead! We can’t measure ourselves by ourselves, but by the Word of the living God.

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Revelation 3:15-19 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Sometimes we need to apply a little eye salve to the mind’s eye in order to see what we really look like! How does our God see us? Does He see His Holy Spirit in the body of His Son, Jesus? Do you see the Holy Spirit in the body? Or are you one of those people who think that we don’t need the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit of God living in you? Are we producing the fruits of righteousness?

James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Acts 5:30-32 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”

When we obey God, He gives His Holy Spirit to live in us.

1 Corinthians 6:17-20 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

Did you realize that you are Christ’s body, a place where the Holy Ghost dwells?

 John 3:1-8 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

As good church members, we love to point out that one must be born of the water in order to enter the kingdom of God. But that’s not what Jesus told Nicodemus—He told him that he must be born again “of water and of the Spirit”. Jesus said, “that which is born of the spirit is spirit”. When we are born of the Spirit, the Spirit lives within us.

I John 5:7-8 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

The Spirit, the water, and the blood witness together on earth: the Holy Spirit of God, the purifying water of baptism, and the innocent blood of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

The church, the body of Jesus Christ, is one body, which shares one Spirit.

Romans 8:9-16 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

Did you catch what the Apostle Paul says? If we don’t have the Spirit of Christ, we are not His! We are only His if His Spirit dwells within us! And if His Spirit dwells in us, we kill off the deeds of the flesh, and are brought to life in the Spirit. Our bodies become repositories for God’s Holy Spirit. That Spirit directs our lives, keeping us in the ways of God’s righteousness, ways that lead to eternal life.

Ephesians 5:14-21 “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

It is time that we join our voices and hearts in calling upon God to breathe life into the dry bones of the church, so that we may be the strong, living body of Christ that God intended us to be. Have you ever been drunk with the Holy Spirit of God--so full of the Holy Spirit that you could not contain your joy? When was the last time that you were so excited--so beside yourself—that you spoke to yourselves in psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs? Do you give thanks always for all things?

Romans 6: 1-9 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” 

Galatians 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” 

If you are a Christian, see to it that you make room for the Spirit of our Lord in your heart. If you are not a Christian, you are not in the living body of the Son of God. You are dead in your sins. Let God breathe life into your dry bones. 

1 Corinthians12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” 

Will you be baptized into that living body of Christ tonight? Will you welcome that Holy Spirit of God to come live within you? 

Matthew 22:31 “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

21 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

Won’t you come and be added to the living body of Christ, his Church?

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