Redemption – John MacArthur – Sermon Jam
Wrong – Paul Washer
RC Sproul The Total Sovereignty of God
John Piper – Prayer Changes Things – Sermon Jam
Do you really Love Jesus Christ? by John MacArthur
I am doing a lesson this Sunday on truth and came across this article. Hope you enjoy.
Sometimes the slogan “All truth is God’s truth” is used to justify dealing in any sphere of knowledge as an act of worship or stewardship. The impression is given that just knowing God’s truth and recognizing it as such is a good thing, even a worthy end. But the problem with this is that the devil does it.
“If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” (1Corinthians 8:2-3). Which I take to mean that until we know in such a way that we love God more because of it, we do not yet know as we ought to know.
Alongside “All truth is God’s truth,” we need to say, “All truth exists to display more of God and awaken more love for God.” This means that knowing truth and knowing it as God’s truth is not a virtue until it awakens desire and delight in us for the God of truth. And that desire and delight are not complete until they give rise to words or actions that display the worth of God. That is, we exist to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31), and merely knowing a truth to be God’s truth does not glorify him any more than the devil does.
All truth exists to make God known and loved and shown. If it does not have those three effects it is not known rightly and should not be celebrated as a virtue.
I give thanks that unbelievers see God’s truths in the natural world in a limited way. They know many scientific and cultural facts. But they do not feel desire for God or delight in God because of them. So these facts are misused. This is not a virtue.
I also give thanks that that believers may learn many of God’s truths from unbelievers and see them rightly and thus desire God more and delight in God more because of those truths, so that unbelievers become, unwittingly, the means of our worship.
Thus an unbeliever’s knowing God’s truth is not ultimately a virtue—that is, not a knowing that accords with God’s purpose for knowing—nevertheless that knowing may be a useful knowing for the sake of what God makes of it for his self-revealing and self-exalting purposes in the world, contrary to all the expectations of the unbeliever whose knowing God uses.
It is fitting, therefore, for God’s sake—for love’s sake—that believers learn what we can from unbelievers who see many things that we may miss, but do not see the one thing needful.
(John Piper Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life)
“Preach the word” means “exult in the word.” That is, announce it and revel in it. Speak it as amazing news. Speak it from a heart that is moved by it.
There are two reasons why this kind of speaking in the church is so crucial. One is that the subject matter is infinitely important. There is no other organization on earth that deals in matters of eternal life and eternal death — matters about God and his Son and his Spirit, matters about salvation and judgment. . . . This means that there is a form of speech that . . . fits the greatness of that truth — namely, preaching. So the first reason for preaching is that the nature of the Truth calls for something more than mere explanation or discussion or conversation. The other reason why preaching is so crucial is that our hearts yearn for the Truth to come to us in ways that highlight the worth of the truth. In other words, not only does the magnificence of the truth call for a heartfelt heralding and passionate exultation, but our hearts call for this too. Our hearts will not be drawn out to worship if someone just dissects and analyzes the worth and glory of God but does not exult in it before us. Our hearts long for true preaching. . . God exists to be worshipped — to be admired and treasured and desired and praised. Therefore, the Word of God is written primarily to produce worship. This means that if that Word is handled like a hot-dish recipe or a repair manual, it is mishandled. The Truth of God begs to be handled with exultation. And our hearts yearn for this and need it. Something in us starts to die when precious and infinitely valuable realities are handled without feelings and words of wonder and exultation. That is, a church starts to die without preaching.
But, of course, this assumes something massive. To treasure the Truth, and to love the Truth, and be impassioned about the truth, and to exult in the Truth, you have to know the Truth. So it’s not enough to say that preaching is exultation. We must also say it is “expository exultation.” It is exultation in the Truth of God’s Word. . . . You can never twist or exploit the Word in order to increase the emotional response of the people. Preaching is not exultation without exposition of the Word. Nor is preaching exposition of the Word without exultation. One error cuts off the head. The other rips out the heart. In both cases the victim dies. No heart. Or, no head. You’re dead. And so is preaching. And not too long after, the church. So the command of the Lord is, Preach the Word. Keep your head on (exposition) and keep your heart alive (exultation). Handle the precious living Word of God accurately. And come to this pulpit week after week and do expository exultation. Don’t out-exult the Word. And don’t under-exult the Word. There is enough glory in the Word that you need add nothing artificial. Just eat it until your heart is deeply and truly satisfied and then serve the same banquet for your people.
Scripture turned into glad tidings, that is what happens in expository exultation. Pastor, if the Lord wills, there are many years in front of you and many trials. You will be tempted in many ways to give up preaching. Satan will lie to you that it is not a great thing. Or that you could devote yourself to something more significant. But when that happens go back to 2 Timothy 4:1-2 and listen to the apostle. “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word.” Then you will rise up and say with Martin Luther, “If I could today become king or emperor, I would not give up my office as preacher.” John Piper, “Read the entire sermon here Advice to Pastors: Preach the Word,”