Adoring Christ: Communion with God

This lesson called Adoring Christ: Communion with God,  taught by Dr. Tim Keller is from a class entitled Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern World, co-taught by Keller and Dr. Edmund Clowney.

The lesson is an excellent examination of the difference in operation between personal graces and public gifts. A preacher may appear to excel in public gifts and yet turn up quite shallow in regards to the grace at work in his heart. Keller calls the preacher to taste of Christ in experience before preaching Christ in public.

Keller says, “The Puritans knew about the difference between the operation of your gifts and the operation of your graces. For you to know the difference is very, very important”

Jonathan Edwards in a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 says:

“Many bad men have had these gifts. Many will say at the last day, “Lord Lord have we not prophesied in thy name? And in the name cast our devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt 7:21) Such as these, who have had… gifts of the Spirit, but no special and saving [work] of the Spirit? Gifts of the Spirit are excellent things, but they are not things which are inherent in the nature, as true grace and holiness are…. gifts of the Spirit are, as it were, precious jewels, which a man carries about him. But true grace in the heart is, as it were, the preciousness of the heart, by which. The soul itself becomes a precious jewel…The Spirit of God may produce effects on many things to which he does not communicate himself. So the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters, but not so as to impart himself to the waters. But when the Spirit by his ordinary influences bestows saving grace, he therein imparts himself to the soul…. Yea, grace is as it were the holy nature of the Spirit of God imparted to the soul.”

One last note, this lesson includes an excellent “mini-sermon” on Jesus first miracle at the wedding in Cana (John 2), in which Keller argues that “Jesus is the wine” and we must taste of him and experience him as satisfying.

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