Hearing with faith

From Jonathan Parnell:

Charles Spurgeon writes,

. . . the real reason why God’s people do not feed under a gospel ministry, is, because they have not faith. If you believed, if you did but hear one promise, that would be enough; if you only heard one good thing from the pulpit here would be food for your soul, for it is not the quantity we hear, but the quantity we believe, that does us good—it is that which we receive into our hearts with true and lively faith, that is our profit (excerpted from “The Sin of Unbelief“).

The massive consumerism of our age has taught us to be critical. We are constantly confronted with options—from allergy medicines to zero-calorie soft drinks. We examine and test and compare, ultimately landing on the preference of our personal market. This isn’t necessarily bad, except that we often fail to check this mindset at the door of the Church’s corporate gatherings.

Everything about the worship service can become a target set before the scope of our critical eyes. And we dismiss those things that fail to meet the status of our personal market, complaining as if it were a bad cup of coffee. The real problem—you know, of course—is not the details of corporate worship. It’s us. It’s what Spurgeon says: we lack faith.

Whether we benefit from the worship service depends on if we “receive into our hearts with a true and lively faith” the things that are spoken, sung, and preached. Take Spurgeon’s words to heart and pray for the Spirit’s help. May you gather this weekend in faith, eager to hear from God.

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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