Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 7 months ago

The Guide to Glory

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Lord, there are many things thatare overwhelming to us, many things that are constantly changing and weigh us andtrouble us, and so we asked that you would speak to us clearly,that you would help us to know the Gospel and have confidence in it.We asked that your spirit, when speak, would speak to us this morning thevery words of Christ, that we might know him and love him andfind our salvation in him. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen,please remain standing for the reading of God's Word From First Corinthians, First Corinthianschapter two. I'm going to be preaching on verses nine through sixteen, butI'd like to begin reading it verse one of Chapter Two. First Corinthians two, verse one, as we're all start. This is the word of God.Let's give our attention to it. And I, when I came toyou, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God withlofty speech or wisdom, for I decided to know nothing among you except JesusChrist and him crucified, and I was with you in weakness and in fearand much trembling. and My speech, to my message were not implausible wordsof wisdom but in demonstration of the spirit and of power, so that yourfaith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power ofGod. Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is nota wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this aged who are doomedto pass away, but we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God whichGod decreed before the age is for our glory. None of the rulers ofthis age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucifiedthe Lord of Glory. But, as it is written, what no Ihas seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, whatGod has prepared for those who love him. These things God has revealed to usthrough the spirit. The spirit searches everything, even the depths of God, for who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person which isin him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the spiritof God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, butthe spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely givenus by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the spirit, interpreting spiritual truth to those who are spiritual. 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 becausethey are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual person judges all things, but ishimself to be judged by no one, for who has understood the mind ofthe Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christmen. Maybe seated after the sermon, we're going to sing him four hundredand thirty one, and I want to read to you aligne from that hymn. And this is a favorite hymn of ours here and of many people.And can it be that I should gain? In verse four, we read Long. My imprisoned spirit lay fast,...

...bound in sin, and nature's night, thine eye diffused a quickening. where I woke, the dungeon flamed withlight, my chains fell off, my heart was free. I rose,went forth and followed the so you hear the progression right, it begins withbeing imprisoned, being chained up, and then something happens that leads to freedom, and the way it's expressed here is thine. I diffused a quickening ray. It is as though God looks upon us and like a ray coming fromthe sun, that ray changes us in a way. It awakes us.The dungeon that we are imprisoned in flames with light, the chains fell offand fall off and we find ourselves free. That Ray of light, we mightsay, is the Holy Spirit, the power of God that goes forthto bring about our salvation. And it is the Holy Spirit that I wantus to focus on this morning because in our passage first Corinthians two, ninethrough sixteen, Paul explains to us how it is we know the gospel ofJesus Christ. We know it through the preaching and the special revelation of theHoly Spirit. Now Peter says something similar in First Peter One hundred and twelveand first Peter one hundred and Twelve, the Apostle Peter tells us that thosewho preached the Good News, the Paul's, the peters, the Stevens, theTimothy's and ministers today, those who preach the news, did so bythe Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It's remarkable, isn't it, that hesays that they did it they by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, andthis is a very important truth, one that Paul is spending a whole setof verses here on in this letter. He wants to make it crystal clearto the Corinthians and to you, to me as well, that is bythe Holy Spirit that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ. We could putit this way. The fact that they preached the good news by the HolySpirit is as significant as the sun that they preached. Or, to putit another way, the whole Holy Spirit empowered preaching is just as important asChrist centered preaching. Now this is not because Christ is insufficient in some way, but because his ministry is inseparable from the spirits ministry. You cannot haveone without the other, and that's not because of a weakness in Christ,but that's because God is Triune, because there never is the father without theson and the spirit. There never is the son without the father in thespirit. There never is a spirit without the son and the father. Thesethree are one. God and the Holy Spirit are it. It is importantfor us to remember his role in that, and so holy spirit empowered preaching isjust as important as Christ centered preaching. The good news about Christ was preachedby the Holy Spirit, says Peter, by the Holy Spirit, says Paul, and the Holy Spirit comes to us from the Sun, who senthim, and the father is well, who has given all things to thesun. So, with that said, let's think about why this matters.Might say, okay, I got that, it's in the scriptures, but whyis that an important thing? Why...

...should that be something that's on mymind? Why is Paul spending all this time to impress upon us that thegood news of the Gospel comes, of Christ, comes to us through thepreaching empowered by the Holy Spirit? Why does God want you to know thatare that this word of salvation comes to us in this way? Well,the first reason is that there are things that you simply cannot know simple justin natural revelation. There's things that you cannot know just by looking at theworld. Now, the Scripture says there is a lot that natural revelation reveals. There's a lot that creation reveals. The Sky Proclaims God's Handy Work,the stars speak and knowledge is revealed, says Psalm nineteen in Romans one.Paul, who of course is writing this letter as well. He tells usthat we know things about God in the things that God has made. Youcan go and look at the stars and the mountains, go on a hikeon a Sunday afternoon and come to understand something about God, his infinite power. Your smallness in the world, but also your glory in the world,is part of creation itself. You can see God's righteousness in these things.You can sense his moral law, to know the difference between right and wrong. These things are revealed in this world. The rulers of this age that Paulmentioned earlier, they don't understand nothing. They understand some things. They havereal wisdom, they just don't have this wisdom. You see what Paulsaying in this passage? He's making a distinction between one kind of wisdom andanother kind of wisdom. One kind of wisdom is penultimate, it's underneath theultimate things. The other kind of wisdom is ultimate, and he also sayssome other things about it will get which we'll get to in a moment.He says the ruler of this age, they they rule and they have wisdom, but it doesn't bring about satisfaction in all things. It doesn't bring aboutthe knowledge of the salvation that we need. And so this is one reason whywe need the spirit of God, he says it's because you can't getat anywhere else. You can't find the good news of the Gospel by justgoing on a hike. You're not going to know about the incarnation of theson of God by looking at the mountains. You're not going to know about howJesus came into the world and died for our sins by looking at thestars. You're not going to know about how, if we put our faithin him, that God saves us from all of our sins by fishing ina river. Those are good things and they tell us good things, butthey don't save us. They're not sufficient for that. A second reason weneed the spirit of God to reveal these things. Not only does natural revelationnot reveal that, but we might say it in a positive way, asPaul says it here, and that's that the Gospel was hidden. God specificallyhid these truths. Notice what Paul says in verse nine. What know Ihas seen, what no ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him. So it's not justan incapability of natural revelation of creation, but there's also this positive hiding ofGod, positive in the sense that this...

...is something God is doing. He'sactive in this. As it said in verse seven, we impart Paul speakingabout him and other ministers. They're preaching, he says, we impart what asecret and hidden wisdom of God. There I happen to have a previewof tonight's sermon. So Christian will speak more on this from one of theparables of Jesus, so you'll have another opportunity to think more about this.But notice what what Paul saying? Knows what the Holy Spirit is saying,that God chose to hide these things, to keep them secret, but nowthey are being revealed, now we are finding them out. To Go backand think about Peter in that passage I quoted earlier, he tells us thatprophets searched and inquired diligently about the things that we now know. Angels,he says, long to look into these things that all of us here inthis room now know and have heard. And they didn't know it, theydidn't hear it, they didn't see it. Why? Because God hid it,God kept it secret. Paul tells us the Gospel was hidden. Ithas not been revealed. Peter says these things about prophets and angels. Letme ask it this, let me ask you a question in this way.If the truths about Christ can't be figured out by angels and Prophets, there'scertainly no way I'm going to figure it out by going on a hike.Right. Paula says, you're quoting the scriptures, that these things can't evenbe imagined. Right, it's you can't even figure that about by just sortof sitting around and say, I wonder if maybe this might be true aboutthe good news that's coming to us. I wonder if they can't even beimagined. Paul says, you can't sit in a room and turn off thelight and sort of close your mind off to all your presuppositions and just usereason and then find yourself at the Gospel. Why? Because God hit it fromyou. If God hide something from or from the world, if Godhide something from the world, you're not going to find it. Reason isn'tthat powerful to overwhelm God. Imagination isn't that powerful to pry open his secrets. Deuteronomy two twenty nine says that the revealed things belong to us and thehidden things belong to God, and that's just the way it is. Oneof the ways Paul gets at that here in this passages he says, thinkabout your own souls. People don't know about your interior world, your values, your thoughts, your wishes, your hopes, your dreams, unless youreveal it, unless you tell them. That could be through body language or, but usually most often, our words in a similar way. Unless thespirit of God reveals the things of God, you're just not going to find itout. Why would we think that we can keep things secret but Godcan't? Why would we think that there are things that we know that nobodyelse can know? But if we just apply ourselves or really open up ourminds or impress ourselves into this things of the world, we can crack openGod's secrets? That's a pretty presumptuous thing, and that's another thing that Paul isdoing here in this passage. Not only is he telling us about tellingus the limits of natural revelation and God's action and previous history of hiding andkeeping secret these things, but he's also humbling us, isn't he? Toomany people think that they can find the blessedness of the divine, apart fromthe divine self revelation. If I go...

...into the desert and spend several daysquietly and alone, the world and God and the divine will just open upits secrets to me, won't? You will still have yourself and your messesin the world. Maybe you'll get clarity on a few things, on thisor that, maybe you'll be able to clear some clutter out of your mindand get focused on your priorities. There could be some benefit of that,but you're not going to find out the Gospel. You're not going to findout the very thing that you need for your salvation. Other people think thatif they just apply themselves to the wisdom of this world, finding out howthe whether it's how markets work or how people work or how a nature worksor whatever it is, if they apply themselves to their work, they canfind out God. But they can't remember that because of our sin are thework itself that we do is cursed because of sin that came into the world. We can't just not only can we not produce the results of our workthat we desire to produce fully and easily as we like, but that's certainlynot a path to to getting things out of God that he's not ready toreveal. People want to look deep into themselves, but there's a whole messof sin in there. People want to look at human love in general,or dark sayings and mystery, or some people look at just change or whatever, various things in this world. But, beloved, remember that God is awesomein his power, awesome in his wisdom. His thoughts are not ourthoughts. We have no access to them unless he reveals them to us.And that, as I said, ought to humble us. It ought toput us in our place and go I guess I'm not God. I guessI need him to give me himself in order for me to know him,in order for me to love him. It makes us dependent on him andnot Lord's over him. That's part of why God does this, is hehumbles us. We come to God on his terms because he's God and weare not. But these truths about the revelation of God coming to us onlyfrom God himself and specifically from the spirit. It's also encourages us, I think, and that's what Paul says in Verse Five. He says, Iwant you to remember that my speech didn't come to you in plausible words ofwisdom, but a demonstration of the spear it and of power. Why?Verse Five? So that your faith might not rest in the mid wisdom ofmen, but in the power of God. How many times have you know?My family is preparing for family camp and we put our our packing listtogether, but we're wondering in the back of our minds did we get itall? Did we bring the right things? Are we bringing too much? Andif we struggle to put together a packing list for a trip and Assembolall of our things, what makes us think that we can just dig intoourselves and discover the divine? Then we can dig into ourselves and fit togetherall the pieces of reality and the heavenly things and God's plan for the universe, and if we can just settle into that and live out our lives inthis truth that we have selfdiscovered, don't be ridiculous. We're creatures, westruggle with limitations and, on top of that, sin. It's not justthat we are a limited and we are...

...in these things, but we alsohave sin in us that's constantly counteracting truth, fighting against truth, hiding truth,deceiving. We deceive ourselves. But remember, I'm trying to encourage youhere, here we are being given the spirit of God, so that youcan rest and know that God himself has revealed this thing to you. Youdon't need to doubt it like you doubt yourself, like I doubt myself.You don't need to wonder, did I get this right? Do I haveenough? Is it all been revealed? Is there's some peace missing? That'sall. There everything that you need, every single thing that you need.John tells us that there were so many miracles and things and signs Jesus didthat you can't even write them all down, but these ones I give to youso that you would know that Jesus is the Christ, is the sonof God, and so that, believing in him, you would have lifein his name. Occasionally Paul will reference a letter to the Laodiceans or somethinglike that. You'll read in the in the scriptures, other letters and thingsthat were written. You don't need to worry about missing them, because Godhas given you everything that you need. This springs a lot of confidence forthe one who's trusting in the Lord and not in themselves. We have confidencewhen we remember the source of the revelation. It also reminds us that there istrue power in these things, because they're not simply self derived or comeout from some other person. We know that God himself is at work.As Paul says, this is a demonstration of the spirit and of power Godis at work when he reveals these things. The Holy Spirit, we confess,is the Lord and Giver of Life. These are the truth that we findin his word, in the Gospel. In this spirit empowered, Spirit revealedGospel, we also find the love of God poured out for us.Notice in verse twelve that says we have respieved not the spirit of the worldor world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might understandthe things freely given us by God. I think that word freely reminds usthat these things are of grace. These things come to us because he lovedus, as he says in verse nine, what God has prepared for those wholove him. He changes our hearts so that we can rest in him, so that we can abide in his love, love him and and ashe loves us. There's this relationship that is formed. We're no longer afloatin the world wondering where we fit in and what family we belong to,what people we belong to, and all these things. God comes to usand says, you belong to me. My banner over you is love.I am your husband and you are mine. We're together now. I make thiscovenant by the blood of my own son. You're safe, you're protected. These are the things that the spirit of Christ, the spirit of love, reveals to us. It is good to know that these things are notdetermined by us, but revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Well,close by reminding you that, as God reveals these things to us by thespirit, the scripture also testifies to us. The spirit testifies to us that he, the Holy Spirit of God,...

...also dwells in our hearts, testifyingto us that these things are true. He says in verse thirteen. Weimpart these in words, not taught by human wisdom, but by taught bythe spirit, interpreting spiritual truth to those who are spiritual. You see whathe's saying. He says you are able to receive these because I, theHoly Spirit, has have I've changed your hearts, I've made you into aperson who is now marked by me, who has been changed by me.So that you are able to now interpret these truths and understand them and applythem and grow in them. The true is that I reveal every aspect ofyou. Your heart, your mind, the activities of your soul, theseare all being changed by the very spirit of God, and what a wonderfultruth that is. In other words, we don't just sort of get thisholy spirit information which then we process in this very man centered way. Weget the revelation of God, which we then process in a divine way,because the Holy Spirit himself is at work within us. And so, aswe are humbled in these things, this we are reminded to get off ourhigh horses and stop having so much pride in our abilities. We are alsoencouraged, beloved, we are encouraged to look to God, who has nowrevealed these things. Paul wants our faith to be strong, to be atrest, not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.So, instead of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, instead of refusing the HolySpirit, instead of not listening to the Holy Spirit when we hear the preachingof the Gospel of Christ, let us listen to the spirit of God andbe thankful for him. At work in our hearts and in our minds andas he does that work in us, may bog may God be Glorid,to produce the fruit of the spirit in us to his glory. I'm in. Let's pray together. Our heavenly father, we ask that you would indeed blessus and you would do so by the power, by the power ofyour spirit, through the word of Christ. We thank you that the spirit hasbeen given to us by our Lord and who does not speak anything otherthan what that which he has heard. Thank you, Oh Holy Spirit,that you search even the depths of God, knowing everything that is said by thefather to the son, everything that is said from the son to thefather in the reve and then revealing these things to us that we might hear, that we might know, that we might speak divine things, things ofGod. We thank you, oh Lord, fisdom that you have revealed in thisworld. We thank you for the laws and the principles and all thatwe might study, but we do not look to it for our salvation.Instead, we look to the hidden secrets that have now been revealed in thecross of Jesus. Christ, Lord, help us to see your will andyour word in him. May Your spirit be active even among us today,in also in those who do not yet know you. We pray for ourfamily members, we pray for our friends who are still hard of hearing,whose hearts are still hard and seeking after a heavenly things here on earth.Lord, we ask that you would send...

...your spirit to them, that theymight that their eyes might be open, that their ears might be open,that might no longer call the Cross of Christ folly and stumble over it,but instead stand on it and rest in him and his perfect sacrifice for sins. Lord, you have told us in your word that we have the verymind of Christ. Let us rejoice in this, for this is something thatis beyond beyond any human knowing, but only comes to us through your revelation. We also ask that, as this ought to humble us, that youwould indeed humble us the you would encourage us, emboldened US and help usto trust in the power of the Gospel, in the love of the Gospel andin Christ himself, who has been freely offered to us. I praythese things in Jesus name. AM.

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