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Preparing for the Sermon - Christmas Affections (Part 2)

20171217 preparing post

Prepare your heart for the Sermon by looking through these suggestions that will assist you in making the most of our time together hearing God's Word.

You will find suggestions for thinking more critically through the passage, meditating more intently on the text, and prayerfully seeking wisdom to deepen your understanding of the passage to be preached this Sunday.

Carefully Think

  • The last sermon in this series on Edward’s, “Religious Affections”, focus on twelve signs of gracious and holy affections. If you missed the two sermons last Sunday you can listen here: morning and evening. It would also be helpful to review A Treatise to Religious Affections found in the class notes listed below, skimming through the first part and reading through these twelve in more detail.
  • After reading through all twelve, attempt to determine the underlying source that helps these affections be counted as gracious and holy. Is it the Word? Is it an emotional response? Is it self-will?  What is it?
  • In these quotes, Edwards uses the phrase “divine things”.  What does it mean and how is it being used?  
  • The other term used in every one of the twelve items in the list is “always”. How can this be so assured?  What can you determine from the notes?  What questions does this bring to mind?
  • The Sermon Study equipping class notes are available online for anyone wanting to dig deeper. Please review this week's notes to help study this passage. Click here for the notes.

Prayerfully Meditate

  • After last week’s sermon, it might seem impossible to know of your salvation based on things many of us trust in as signs of salvation but are not always signs: ie. much time spent in religion, praising and glorifying God, powerful or effective affections, etc.  What points did you struggle with the most this past week?  Did you search the Scriptures to support/disprove the points?  
  • Prepare your heart this week by examining last weeks’ points and searching your heart for the purpose and reason of your affections.  
  • Ask God to not only illuminate but also soften any hard spots we have in ourselves that protect us from deeper examination and surgical removal of sinfulness in the hidden recesses of our hearts and minds. 
  • Look for ways that you display any of the twelve signs from the previous week that neither prove/disprove graciousness.  Examine how you would respond if someone asked you to explain your faith apart from those affections.