“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith —of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:3-7
When it comes to understanding what should happen in the act of preaching I am guided by several biblical texts, especially 2 Corinthians 3:18.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
I believe this text teaches us that one of the ways we are changed progressively into the likeness of Christ is by looking at his glory. “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness.” The way to become more and more like the Lord is to fix your gaze on his glory and hold him in view.
We hum the music we listen to. We speak with the accent of our vicinity. We pick up the courtesies of our parents. And we naturally tend to imitate the people we admire most. So it is with God. If we fix our attention on him and hold his glory in our view, we will be changed from one degree of glory to another into his likeness. If teenagers tend to fix their hair like the stars they admire, so Christians will tend to fix their character like the God they admire. In this spiritual transaction seeing is not only believing; seeing is becoming.
by John Piper / Series: The Pleasures of God — Desiring God