John 3:16 Conference: Introduction and Opening Message by Johnny Hunt

Guest blog by Andrew Lindsey

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Began with singing of “How Great Thou Art.” Opening prayer by SBC evangelist Junior Hill for truth, compassion for the lost, and graciousness of spirit.

Introduction of Johnny Hunt by Dr. Jerry Vines.

Johnny Hunt preached from Psalm 119:33-40, a text that Hunt preached in chapel at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on October 15 of this year. (This earlier sermon can be heard HERE.)

Johnny Hunt made comments and application from each verse in order. The following is a summary of Hunt’s comments, as best as I was able to capture them while he was speaking. The only point that I think may be considered controversial I have put in bold print.

Introductory question:
Why should we pray that God would make us do something, if we delight in doing that thing?

The Lord must grant both the content and understanding of the sermon.

1. Prayer for education (v.33)
-When God is at work in a man’s life, he becomes teachable. (Ex. from Hunt’s experience in attending Sunday School.)
-We learn in order to do (what if those attending church not only heard the sermon, but left the church and acted on what they learned?).
-The commitment to act on what is taught is given before the Lord reveals His will.

2. Prayer for illumination (v.34)
-Knowledge is what one learns through teaching, understanding is what one learns from experience, but wisdom is a gift from God.
-One can have knowledge of something without understanding. (Ex. of Mrs. Hunt getting the punchline of a joke long after the joke is told.)
-So many fill their minds with information about the Bible, but lack understanding as evidenced by their lack of commitment.

3. Prayer for direction (v.35)
-Return to original question above. The Psalmist understood the war between flesh and spirit (ref. Romans 7).
-“Aren’t you grateful that God changed our ‘want tos’?”
-“I want God to make my heart.”

4. Prayer for inclination (v.36)
-“Coveteousness” is regularly defined in Scripture right after the word is used.
– The offering time is the time of the most intense idolatry in the life of the church.

5. Prayer for attention (v.37)
-Text applied to Internet pornography

6. Prayer for realization (v.38)
-Ref. Isaiah 6 as an example of how a view of God creates reverence for God and leads to proper self-assessment and assessment of others.
-“Regardless of where anyone lands on whatever doctrine has become most important to you,” if that doctrine does not open your mouth to share the Lord Jesus, then your focus is wrong.

(In giving an example of personal evangelism, Hunt mentioned that he told a non-Christian, “God loves you and Jesus died for you.” Hunt emphasized that he could say this to anyone, and was thankful that the man who told him of Christ said this to him.)

7. Prayer for protection (v.39)

8. Prayer of aspiration (v.40)
-If your full of the Word, you out to be displaying it.