Pastor Dan led us in a singing of "Jesus is Lord" (hymn #102). Then, he led us through a devotion of 1 Corinthians 2.
Some propositions that the group came up with are:
- God reveals His power through the Holy Spirit.
- God reveals His mind through the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit teaches Christians.
- God purposefully intended to reveal His wisdom to His people.
- The wisdom in our speech and in our mind comes from God.
- God revealed His truth through His apostles and prophets, and the church readily received and embraced it.
- There is a difference between natural man and spiritual man.
- There is a difference between merely knowing the truth and living by the truth.
The group then spent some time discussing the topic of knowing the truth, and trying to grasp "the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood". What kind of knowledge is this?
- Empirically, many people can understand the truth of the gospel and yet reject it. This understanding of the gospel means that the individual has an acknowledgement or an intellectual understanding of the facts. They may perhaps also understand the personal implications of the gospel if they were to accept it to be true. In a sense, the rulers of this age could have had to this degree an understanding.
- However, the gospel is more than mere intellectual understanding of facts. It is more, because this is a message from a speaker. In general, when there is a message from a speaker to a particular audience, that speaker has an intent with which he speaks so that his audience would understand. This intent is a crucial element of his message.
- Sometimes we hear someone say, "I don't think you understand what I'm saying," or, "I don't think you understand what I mean."
- Comprehension of facts does not always equate to understanding of the message's intent.
- The gospel is not merely a bunch of facts. We must personally understand its intent from God, the speaker. And the gospel from God has a direct application to us and to our sins against God.
- It is in this sense that people cannot understand the gospel unless God converts them and enables them. It is also in this sense that people cannot perceive the true nature of Christ's glory in the gospel apart from God opening their blinded eyes (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).
- Can someone be a Christian and not really want to know God?
- No! One of the natural results of knowing God is to want to understand and seek more of the Lord and to obey Him.
- 1 John 2:3-6 says that "by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments."
- God has to be working in people to change them.
- We can't fabricate conversion or rationally convince anybody to faith. What we are meant to do is to match people with God ("matches made in heaven").
Pastor Dan went over the acronym "ABS" to help us lead our children through understanding the following:
- AGE of 99
- When Abram was 99 years old, God changed his name to Abraham and confirmed the timing of his son's birth through Isaac and that his name should be Isaac.
- God enabled Sarah to conceive and give birth to Isaac.
- God tested Abraham's fear/obedience toward God through his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac.
We recited Matthew 7:7-12 as a group.
- In verse 7, Jesus tells us to “ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." This verse is very popular in prosperity gospel messages, but that's not the intent of what the Lord is proclaiming at all!
- Verse 11 tells us that God gives what is good to His children. God discerns and decides what is good and bad - not our flesh!
- In the mind of the Lord, the maximum good is God Himself.
- The Spirit's work in a person's life is the greatest good God can provide to anybody.
- Other Biblical arguments against the "name it and claim it" philosophy:
- One cannot serve God and wealth (Matthew 6:24)
- Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness - not your own kingdom (Matthew 6:33)
- Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy (Matthew 6:19-20)
Next week's passage for memorization is Matthew 7:13-18.