September 22, 2019

Our passage in 1 Corinthians this Sunday highlights one of the reasons we write these weekly sermon prep posts.

As it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

In the Scriptures and through Christ Himself, God has revealed live-saving and life-changing truths to us. On one hand, the Scriptures are clear and intended to be read and understood by anyone. Israel was commanded to “teach them diligently” to their children (Deut. 6:7) and Psalm 19:7 says, “the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” This is what theologians call the doctrine of clarity.

And yet, as we see in 1 Corinthians 2, in our fallen and sinful state, understanding the words and grammar and syntax of verses in the Bible is not the same as spiritual understanding.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Paul calls this spiritual understanding “words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit of God (2:13)” and the great news is that He gives us His Spirit “that we might understand the things freely given us by God (2:12).” This is what theologians call the doctrine of illumination.

Which brings us back to the purpose of these sermon prep posts. How can we prepare to be taught by the Spirit of God? How can we come hungry, ready to be fed? We read the words freely given to us by God, and we pray for eyes to see what we need to see and ears to hear what we need to hear and hearts that respond the way they ought to respond. Like the prayer of this song we sing frequently at Grace:

Speak, O Lord as we come to You
To receive the food of Your holy Word
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness

This Sunday Erik Thoennes will be preaching from 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 and Kenny Clark will be leading our time of sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare?

See you Sunday. Let’s come hungry!

Song Link of the Week
Speak, O Lord