Tuesday, May 29, 2012

William Wilberforce and 1 Corinthians 2:14

1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) 
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

The truth of 1 Corinthians 2:14 has sometimes been illustrated by a story about two British statesmen, William Wilberforce, leader in the movement for the abolition of slavery, and William Pitt, the Prime Minister. Both were brilliant men, both politicians, and they were very great friends. But Wilberforce was a Christian while Pitt, though a churchgoer, was not truly converted.

This bothered Wilberforce, and at length he persuaded Pitt to go with him to hear popular evangelist Richard Cecil, who was preaching in London. Wilberforce was thrilled, and that evening Cecil was at his best. The great preacher flung out the gospel with eloquent power, his message crystal clear, his voice reaching every corner of the hall. Wilberforce, lifted to the heavens, could hardly contain himself; but he wondered how his friend Pitt was responding.

He soon found out. As they left the building, Pitt turned and said, “You know, Wilberforce, I have not the slightest idea what that man has been talking about.”

William Wilberforce realized afresh that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. The message that bore him to the skies had only bored his unsaved friend. It was meaningless to him, for Pitt was tone deaf to the spiritual. Richard Cecil had might as well preached to a dead man.

We need to pray for God to work on the hearts of our unsaved friends so that they may respond to the Gospel message and understand it when it is presented. My pastor, Jerry Vines, used to preach that “you cannot touch a lost person to God until you have first touched God for that lost person.” May our prayers be filled with the names of the unconverted! 

This week, may God bless you with “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. …” (Ephesians 1:17–19).

- Bro. Dave

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