“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:12, 13 ESV)
As preachers, we must fulfill the purpose for which God gave us his Spirit, that of understanding the deep things of God. And we must share this understanding with others by way of Spirit-taught words (compare Ecclesiastes:11:9, 10). The things of God have to do with the word of the cross, Christ crucified. This is the word the Spirit will honor, for it is the Spirit’s role to glorify Christ.
The things of God are opposed to human wisdom and human power. Human wisdom seeks to understand things without reference to God. Human power seeks to have its way: to control and manipulate events, with or without God’s help, in order to have its own way, even when it claims that this is for God’s sake.
So much preaching today is “how-to” preaching: How to have the power to get what I want so that I can have my best life now. So much preaching today is nothing more than worldly wisdom for worldly ends in the guise of so-called biblical preaching, which actually has nothing to do with Christ and his cross.
No wonder the Spirit does not bless this kind of preaching! It defeats the purpose for which he was sent, which is to help us understand the “things of God”. Again, what are the things of God? Primarily, they have to do with the person and work of Jesus Christ, who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).