I recently sent this message to people involved in the church I pastor– Hope Pres, in Bloomington, IN. My hope is that our body grows in desire for and knowledge of the Scriptures, especially in a culture that exalts personal autonomy as one of its most powerful idols…
“You should be listening to preachers other than me.
Good preachers. People who know the Bible. Who know how to interpret and allow God’s Word to challenge our personal and cultural presuppositions and blind spots. Because, ya’ll, we got ’em. If you deny this, then I would venture that your very denial is a blind spot that needs to be unpacked.
One of my favorite to listen to is Scott Sauls at Christ Presbyterian, Nashville.
I went to listen to a podcast this morning on a title I thought looked interesting: “For the Love of Widows and Orphans.” And, I discovered 2 things: 1) the sermon was on Chapter 2 of the book of Ruth; and, 2) it was given by a man I dearly love and emulate, Prof Jerram Barrs of Covenant Seminary— one of the most gentle and Christ-like people I have ever met.
All of you should listen to this sermon. But, especially you ladies who are engaged in the Women’s Studies on the Book of Ruth with Hope Pres. The sermon helps you grow in knowing how to read and apply the Bible— not as a book of random stories tossed together, or a collection of wisdom sayings to take or leave at your discretion. But, we see the way in which God has revealed himself in history, re-shaping lives, and redeeming past cultures and present lives through grace.
And as Christians, people of the book, our faith is not rooted in ourselves, nor the wisdom of the “spirit of the age”; instead, our faith, our entire worldview is grounded in the authority and power of God’s Word, and how this shows us the very heart and plan of God all fulfilled in the person and ministry of Christ. It’s imperative that we learn how to read, trust, and apply this Word as individuals and as a community of faith.
This desire to grow, willingness to submit to God’s Word, and pursuit of the knowledge of God through the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit in the community of Christ’s church are dynamics that are at the heart of what it means to be a follower of, and truster-in Jesus Christ.
I am constantly praying for all of you that God might give you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, with the result that the eyes of your hearts are enlightened so that you would really know in your gut and daily life the hope to which he has called you, the riches you are to him as his glorious inheritance, and the immeasurable vastness of his great and glorious power toward you all as those who trust in him.
Perhaps this sermon will be an encouragement in this grace-refinement process in your lives.”