Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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God's servants preach the cross of Christ

It is in the flow of decay 2:15 PM Monday afternoon. I am down in the lower level messing with my books and ordering music from Amazon. I am a music fan. I just ordered the new The Body & Full Of Hell CD/pre-ordered it. I like the music of the band The Body.

I also came down here to quote from the book "Making All Things New: Inaugurated Eschatology for the Life of the Church" by Benjamin L. Gladd & Matthew S. Harmon.

I have had thus far a normal day. I got up early with my wife and had a typical morning. This morning we went grocery shopping and then we went for a walk at Kollen Park.

I visited a couple of thrift stores today and found only two used books to ADD to our small town library-

"The Tower and the Abyss: An Inquiry Into The Transformation Of The Individual" by Erich Kahler

"The Elephanta Suite" a novel by Paul Theroux

So goes my day thus far. Nothing came in the mail this afternoon to blow my mind. I suppose it would take a lot to blow my mind these days. When you get my age nothing seems impossible when it comes to the actions of people. I am surrounded by people who really believe Donald Trump is a nice guy, which is really frightening to contemplate. Trump is absolutely evil, but so was ex-president Bush Jr.. God gives America political leaders that they lust for/divine judgment. The blind leading the blind.

Well enough politics and on to some good old fashion gospel preaching. I will quote now from the book, "Making All Things New" by Gladd & Harmon-

"These incomprehensible wonders that God has done for his people are revealed by the Spirit, who "searches everything, even the depths of God" (2:10-11). As the eschatological people of God, we have received the Spirit of God to enable us to understand God's wisdom in the cross (2:12). God imparts this wisdom through the proclamation of the gospel empowered by the Spirit (2:13). Those without the Spirit of God are unable to accept what he teaches (2:14), but believers have the mind of Christ to enable them to receive and apply the wisdom of God taught by the Spirit (2:15-16).

This rich passage shows us at least four ways that the already-not yet shaped Paul's approach to preaching. First, preaching centers on what God has already done through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. (1:17-25;2:2). For Paul, preaching the gospel was speaking the message about the cross of Christ. As the proclamation of the word of the cross, preaching announces that God has now revealed the hidden mystery of God's wisdom in Christ (2:1,6-10). What was present but largely hidden within the OT comes into plain view as God's servants preach the cross of Christ to those who possess God's spirit.

Second, preaching relies on the power of God's Spirit. As we have already noted, the gift of the Holy Spirit is defining indicator that the messianic age has begun (Acts 2:1-41) and the guarantee of our full inheritance to come (Eph.1:4). Just as the Spirit empowered the apostles on the day of Pentecost, so now the Spirit uses the preaching of the cross to make those dead in their sins spiritually alive. As God's messengers proclaim God's wisdom displayed in the cross, the Spirit manifests himself powerfully so that faith is placed in God rather in people (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

Third, preaching destroys the wisdom and rulers of this age. At the cross God "disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him (Col. 2:15). Despite this decisive defeat, these spiritual forces of evil actively wage war against believers (Eph. 6:11-20) and seek to keep unbelievers blinded by their sin (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But through the Spirit-empowered preaching of the cross, God exposes these spiritual forces for what they are and opens blind eyes to see "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).

Finally, preaching communicates spiritual truth to those with the Spirit. The Spirit dwelling in believers applies the Spirit-empowered preaching of the cross to enable greater understanding and application of what God has done for us in Christ (1 Cor. 2:12-16). As those who have the firstfruits of the Spirit hear the word of the cross preached, their longing for the consummation of God's promises intensifies (Rom. 8:18-25). And this hope compels us to pursue purity because Christ is pure (1 John 3:3)." pg.69,70 "Making All Things New"

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