Summary: The Sufficiency of Knowing Christ According to the Hidden Wisdom of God
A Farewell Sermon:
The Sufficiency of Knowing Christ According to the Hidden Wisdom of God
March 11, 2012
You can listen to this sermon here.
I’ve been with you now just over two years, and it’s already time to go. I thought for a little while about what I should preach and a great many things came to mind. But the more I thought, the more one thing became clear: I must preach as I have been preaching—to the glory of God.
This is one part of our world that has not and will not change. Preachers will come and go. Church members will leave and be added. Deacons rotate on and off.
But throughout all life and death there’s one Constant, one Rock, one Anchor for our souls that never ebbs nor fades. He is not fickle nor is He touched by time.
And the surety of our hope is in Him and Him alone.
Because of this one, pure, and simple truth it is our privilege, duty, and desire to serve Him until the end knowing He is faithful to give His reward to those He loves and who love Him.
When I first came here in February 2010 I preached a message to you from First Corinthians 2, and in leaving I wish to return to these verses once again:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration f the Spirit and of power: 5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
The Apostle understood the true nature of his calling and ordination. For him, being sent out by God was not a station above other men; it was not granted because of his own powers. Rather, Paul’s calling and conversion, his entire ministry, was a miraculous work of the Triune God.
And so, when he went to the church at Corinth he could honestly say,
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
What is in a pastor or an evangelist? We are merely men who sow and water, but the increase truly depends on God. Paul didn’t try to intrigue their minds with philosophy or deep thoughts. Instead he declared only at first the testimony of God:
2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
There was one point in Paul’s preaching to the Corinthians: Jesus Christ and Him crucified! Today we would say that he spent all his time in Christology, and there is no greater aspiration.
All truth comes from and points towards the unchangeable, eternal, great, and majestic King of Glory.
All of time and life hurtles towards that final day when every being will give an account for their deeds and receive their fitting reward.