Our gospel - Bill Clark
The gospel of salvation by the sovereign grace of God in Christ alone was certainly the apostle Paul's gospel, and it should also be our gospel today. Writing to the church in Thessalonica, he says God 'called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ' (2 Thessalonians 2:14).
1. This gospel is committed to our trust.
In 1 Timothy 1:11 Paul speaks about 'the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust'. It is still committed to our trust.
It has been revealed to us through the Scriptures and has taken root in the hearts of true believers through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the gospel which the world desperately needs. People will die in their sins and go to hell if we do not take it to them.
We only have our own generation to evangelize, and if we do not do it, it will never be done. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to be entrusted with this gospel and all of us, from pulpit to pew, are responsible to proclaim it clearly to all, telling them what great things the Lord has done for us, and how he has had compassion on us (Mark 5:19).
Salvation is by the grace of God in Christ alone, and the whole world needs to know it.
2. It is this gospel which we gladly own and embrace.
That which is foolishness to the world is the joy of the heart of every true believer. We observe the error and foolishness in modern religion which is all around us, and we can say with the apostle Paul, 'After the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all that is written in the law and the prophets' (Acts 24:14).
We love the assembly of God's people where the true gospel of grace is preached and where every word, both spoken and sung, is aimed at the glory of God. Our concern is not to do anything which would exalt man or promote self-righteousness.
We rejoice to know that God, in sovereign grace, has chosen to save a people through the death of his Son. We know that we do not merit it, but we rejoice to be amongst the elect whom God, from all eternity, has chosen to redeem for his own glory. There is much which we do not yet understand, but there is much more in which we can now rejoice.
3. It is this gospel which we boldly proclaim.
We are 'not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes' (Romans 1:16). Let men despise and malign us, let them shun and slander us; this is the gospel which we will proclaim.
We know that the gospel of God's grace has always been rejected by unregenerate sinners, until the Holy Spirit does a work of grace in their hearts. This gospel tells them that there is nothing they can do either to merit or contribute towards their eternal salvation, neither can they be saved through any church ordinance or sacrament.
We do not hesitate to tell sinners that salvation is God's prerogative and if they are ever to be saved from sin and eternal condemnation they must come in God's way.
Modern religion tells men what they must do, or what the church can do, in order for them to be saved. The gospel with which we have been entrusted takes from them all merit and calls them to repentance and faith in Christ through whose atoning work alone they can have forgiveness of sin and life eternal.
This is the gospel which has been committed to our trust, which we embrace, and which we boldly proclaim.
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