Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 1 year ago

The Guide to Glory

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Lord, there are many things that are overwhelming to us, many things that are constantly changing and weigh us and trouble 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 the very words of Christ, that we might know him and love him and find 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 Corinthians chapter two. I'm going to be preaching on verses nine through sixteen, but I'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 to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom, for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified, and I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling. and My speech, to my message were not implausible words of wisdom but in demonstration of the spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this aged who are doomed to pass away, but we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God which God decreed before the age is for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. But, as it is written, what no I 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. The spirit searches everything, even the depths of God, for who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us 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 because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one, for who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ men. Maybe seated after the sermon, we're going to sing him four hundred and 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 with light, my chains fell off, my heart was free. I rose, went forth and followed the so you hear the progression right, it begins with being 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 from the sun, that ray changes us in a way. It awakes us. The dungeon that we are imprisoned in flames with light, the chains fell off and fall off and we find ourselves free. That Ray of light, we might say, is the Holy Spirit, the power of God that goes forth to bring about our salvation. And it is the Holy Spirit that I want us to focus on this morning because in our passage first Corinthians two, nine through sixteen, Paul explains to us how it is we know the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know it through the preaching and the special revelation of the Holy Spirit. Now Peter says something similar in First Peter One hundred and twelve and first Peter one hundred and Twelve, the Apostle Peter tells us that those who preached the Good News, the Paul's, the peters, the Stevens, the Timothy's and ministers today, those who preach the news, did so by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It's remarkable, isn't it, that he says that they did it they by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, and this is a very important truth, one that Paul is spending a whole set of verses here on in this letter. He wants to make it crystal clear to the Corinthians and to you, to me as well, that is by the Holy Spirit that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ. We could put it this way. The fact that they preached the good news by the Holy Spirit is as significant as the sun that they preached. Or, to put it another way, the whole Holy Spirit empowered preaching is just as important as Christ 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 have one 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 the son and the spirit. There never is the son without the father in the spirit. There never is a spirit without the son and the father. These three are one. God and the Holy Spirit are it. It is important for us to remember his role in that, and so holy spirit empowered preaching is just as important as Christ centered preaching. The good news about Christ was preached by the Holy Spirit, says Peter, by the Holy Spirit, says Paul, and the Holy Spirit comes to us from the Sun, who sent him, and the father is well, who has given all things to the sun. So, with that said, let's think about why this matters. Might say, okay, I got that, it's in the scriptures, but why is that an important thing? Why...

...should that be something that's on my mind? Why is Paul spending all this time to impress upon us that the good news of the Gospel comes, of Christ, comes to us through the preaching empowered by the Holy Spirit? Why does God want you to know that are 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 just in natural revelation. There's things that you cannot know just by looking at the world. 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 us that we know things about God in the things that God has made. You can go and look at the stars and the mountains, go on a hike on 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 Paul mentioned earlier, they don't understand nothing. They understand some things. They have real wisdom, they just don't have this wisdom. You see what Paul saying in this passage? He's making a distinction between one kind of wisdom and another kind of wisdom. One kind of wisdom is penultimate, it's underneath the ultimate things. The other kind of wisdom is ultimate, and he also says some 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 about the knowledge of the salvation that we need. And so this is one reason why we need the spirit of God, he says it's because you can't get at anywhere else. You can't find the good news of the Gospel by just going on a hike. You're not going to know about the incarnation of the son of God by looking at the mountains. You're not going to know about how Jesus came into the world and died for our sins by looking at the stars. You're not going to know about how, if we put our faith in him, that God saves us from all of our sins by fishing in a river. Those are good things and they tell us good things, but they don't save us. They're not sufficient for that. A second reason we need the spirit of God to reveal these things. Not only does natural revelation not reveal that, but we might say it in a positive way, as Paul says it here, and that's that the Gospel was hidden. God specifically hid these truths. Notice what Paul says in verse nine. What know I has 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 just an incapability of natural revelation of creation, but there's also this positive hiding of God, positive in the sense that this...

...is something God is doing. He's active in this. As it said in verse seven, we impart Paul speaking about him and other ministers. They're preaching, he says, we impart what a secret and hidden wisdom of God. There I happen to have a preview of tonight's sermon. So Christian will speak more on this from one of the parables 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 now they are being revealed, now we are finding them out. To Go back and think about Peter in that passage I quoted earlier, he tells us that prophets 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 in this room now know and have heard. And they didn't know it, they didn't hear it, they didn't see it. Why? Because God hid it, God kept it secret. Paul tells us the Gospel was hidden. It has not been revealed. Peter says these things about prophets and angels. Let me 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's certainly 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 even be imagined. Right, it's you can't even figure that about by just sort of sitting around and say, I wonder if maybe this might be true about the good news that's coming to us. I wonder if they can't even be imagined. Paul says, you can't sit in a room and turn off the light and sort of close your mind off to all your presuppositions and just use reason and then find yourself at the Gospel. Why? Because God hit it from you. If God hide something from or from the world, if God hide something from the world, you're not going to find it. Reason isn't that 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 the hidden things belong to God, and that's just the way it is. One of the ways Paul gets at that here in this passages he says, think about your own souls. People don't know about your interior world, your values, your thoughts, your wishes, your hopes, your dreams, unless you reveal it, unless you tell them. That could be through body language or, but usually most often, our words in a similar way. Unless the spirit of God reveals the things of God, you're just not going to find it out. Why would we think that we can keep things secret but God can't? Why would we think that there are things that we know that nobody else can know? But if we just apply ourselves or really open up our minds or impress ourselves into this things of the world, we can crack open God's secrets? That's a pretty presumptuous thing, and that's another thing that Paul is doing here in this passage. Not only is he telling us about telling us the limits of natural revelation and God's action and previous history of hiding and keeping secret these things, but he's also humbling us, isn't he? Too many people think that they can find the blessedness of the divine, apart from the divine self revelation. If I go...

...into the desert and spend several days quietly and alone, the world and God and the divine will just open up its secrets to me, won't? You will still have yourself and your messes in the world. Maybe you'll get clarity on a few things, on this or that, maybe you'll be able to clear some clutter out of your mind and 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 find out the very thing that you need for your salvation. Other people think that if they just apply themselves to the wisdom of this world, finding out how the whether it's how markets work or how people work or how a nature works or whatever it is, if they apply themselves to their work, they can find out God. But they can't remember that because of our sin are the work 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 work that we desire to produce fully and easily as we like, but that's certainly not a path to to getting things out of God that he's not ready to reveal. People want to look deep into themselves, but there's a whole mess of 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 awesome in his power, awesome in his wisdom. His thoughts are not our thoughts. We have no access to them unless he reveals them to us. And that, as I said, ought to humble us. It ought to put us in our place and go I guess I'm not God. I guess I 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 and not Lord's over him. That's part of why God does this, is he humbles us. We come to God on his terms because he's God and we are not. But these truths about the revelation of God coming to us only from 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, I want you to remember that my speech didn't come to you in plausible words of wisdom, but a demonstration of the spear it and of power. Why? Verse Five? So that your faith might not rest in the mid wisdom of men, 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 list together, but we're wondering in the back of our minds did we get it all? Did we bring the right things? Are we bringing too much? And if we struggle to put together a packing list for a trip and Assembol all of our things, what makes us think that we can just dig into ourselves and discover the divine? Then we can dig into ourselves and fit together all 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 in this truth that we have selfdiscovered, don't be ridiculous. We're creatures, we struggle with limitations and, on top of that, sin. It's not just that we are a limited and we are...

...in these things, but we also have sin in us that's constantly counteracting truth, fighting against truth, hiding truth, deceiving. We deceive ourselves. But remember, I'm trying to encourage you here, here we are being given the spirit of God, so that you can rest and know that God himself has revealed this thing to you. You don'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 have enough? Is it all been revealed? Is there's some peace missing? That's all. 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 did that you can't even write them all down, but these ones I give to you so that you would know that Jesus is the Christ, is the son of God, and so that, believing in him, you would have life in his name. Occasionally Paul will reference a letter to the Laodiceans or something like that. You'll read in the in the scriptures, other letters and things that were written. You don't need to worry about missing them, because God has given you everything that you need. This springs a lot of confidence for the one who's trusting in the Lord and not in themselves. We have confidence when we remember the source of the revelation. It also reminds us that there is true power in these things, because they're not simply self derived or come out 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 God is 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 find in his word, in the Gospel. In this spirit empowered, Spirit revealed Gospel, 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 world or world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. I think that word freely reminds us that these things are of grace. These things come to us because he loved us, as he says in verse nine, what God has prepared for those who love him. He changes our hearts so that we can rest in him, so that we can abide in his love, love him and and as he loves us. There's this relationship that is formed. We're no longer afloat in 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 us and 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 this covenant 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 not determined by us, but revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Well, close by reminding you that, as God reveals these things to us by the spirit, the scripture also testifies to us. The spirit testifies to us that he, the Holy Spirit of God,...

...also dwells in our hearts, testifying to us that these things are true. He says in verse thirteen. We impart these in words, not taught by human wisdom, but by taught by the spirit, interpreting spiritual truth to those who are spiritual. You see what he's saying. He says you are able to receive these because I, the Holy Spirit, has have I've changed your hearts, I've made you into a person 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 apply them and grow in them. The true is that I reveal every aspect of you. Your heart, your mind, the activities of your soul, these are all being changed by the very spirit of God, and what a wonderful truth that is. In other words, we don't just sort of get this holy spirit information which then we process in this very man centered way. We get the revelation of God, which we then process in a divine way, because the Holy Spirit himself is at work within us. And so, as we are humbled in these things, this we are reminded to get off our high horses and stop having so much pride in our abilities. We are also encouraged, beloved, we are encouraged to look to God, who has now revealed these things. Paul wants our faith to be strong, to be at rest, not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. So, instead of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, instead of refusing the Holy Spirit, instead of not listening to the Holy Spirit when we hear the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, let us listen to the spirit of God and be thankful for him. At work in our hearts and in our minds and as 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 bless us and you would do so by the power, by the power of your spirit, through the word of Christ. We thank you that the spirit has been given to us by our Lord and who does not speak anything other than 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 the father to the son, everything that is said from the son to the father 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 of God. We thank you, oh Lord, fisdom that you have revealed in this world. We thank you for the laws and the principles and all that we 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 the cross of Jesus. Christ, Lord, help us to see your will and your 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 our family 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 they might 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 very mind of Christ. Let us rejoice in this, for this is something that is beyond beyond any human knowing, but only comes to us through your revelation. We also ask that, as this ought to humble us, that you would indeed humble us the you would encourage us, emboldened US and help us to trust in the power of the Gospel, in the love of the Gospel and in Christ himself, who has been freely offered to us. I pray these things in Jesus name. AM.

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