“God’s word cannot rightly thrive in us unless we have clearly understood what is presented to us unless we are deeply touched by it …” (John Calvin’s Sermons on Genesis 1-11, 607). Yes, sitting under the preaching of the word of God, we must be touched by the Word coming to us in the power of the Spirit. As Calvin urges, we should, “when we come to preaching, let the word of God touch us and awaken us” (Ibid., 634). Westminster’s “Directory for the Public Worship of God” agrees and indicates that the application of the Scripture in preaching ought to be carried out in such a manner that we “feel the word of God.” In speaking about the Flood, Calvin also declares, “But when the events are made specific for us, we get a vivid picture of God’s wrath and are touched even more … ” (Op. cit., 642).
T.H.L. Parker quotes Calvin similarly on the word of God preached: “It is a living reality and full of hidden energy which leaves no part of man untouched” (Calvin’s Preaching, 30). Parker quotes Calvin’s first sermon on 2 Timothy more extensively: “It is certain that if we come to church we shall not hear only mortal man speaking but we shall feel (even by his secret power) that God is speaking to our souls, that he is the teacher (meistre). He so touches us that the human voice enters into us and so profits us that we are refreshed and nourished by it” (Ibid., 42).
Each time you sit and listen to your pastor, listen actively and with the anticipation that God, by His Spirit, will touch your soul by His word and change you, making you conform more closely to the image of Jesus Christ, your savior.
Now, listen to today’s encouragement, “Preach Simple Truth.” Click here.