I know I’m in the middle of a “series” on arguments for the existence of God, but I had to make a post about something.
What I am about to say will sound like I am boasting, but (hopefully) that’s not what I am intending. Now that I’ve attended Bible college for two years (and summer classes start in a week), it feels like it’s harder to get anything out of sermons. By no means have I learned everything, but often the things that are preached are things that were taught to those who preach in Bible college (and that is indeed what they should be teaching). But today I was reminded that, even though you can logically understand something, you may not fully grasp it at a personal level. And I probably still don’t fully grasp it.
Today Pastor Scott (at Southwest Bible Church) was teaching in Romans. It was a good sermon, but there was one particular point which, in some way which I do understand, impacted me to the core. He said something along the lines of:
“People today judge with bias, but when Christ judges, he judges based on truth.”
This was the end of a larger part of the sermon in which he was talking about God’s judgment, but for some reason which I do not understand, a light-bulb went on in me. I had always understood the logic of it: “Yes, God judges justly…that’s obvious!” But it was at this moment that I understood how wonderfully glorious it is to have a God who judges justly and righteously. It is only now that I can fully understand these verses:
4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:
“You are just in these judgments, O Holy One,
you who are and who were;
6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
7 And I heard the altar respond:
“Yes, Lord God Almighty,
true and just are your judgments.”
(Revelation 16:4-7, NIV)
Before I just thought, “Why would the altar respond in that way? I mean, the angel just said almost exactly the same thing. What’s the big deal?” Now I understand that the altar (however it is that an altar can talk) is simply responding with praise at this wonderful truth about God. And that is the very response which I have made today.
I can attribute this enlightenment to no one else but the Holy Spirit. Even though I fully understood it, I did not know it or realize it personally. This is why I will try to remind myself that people who are moved by the Holy Spirit (like pastor Scott) can always be used to illuminate truth to those whom they are speaking to (like me), no matter how many Bible degrees one has.