Friday, April 29, 2016

“Christ First"

"Christ First"

     The communication of God's Truth does not begin by addressing human need, but rather by proclaiming Divine supply, namely, the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We first affirm the Savior and His salvation, and then we address the reasons we need Him.

    "He is before all things" (Colossians 1:17).  

    A humanistic message begins with the human.  Christianity as revealed in Scripture begins with Christ.  Believers thus go forth with a message of hope and confidence that proclaims an available salvation, and then addresses the sin that makes salvation necessary.  Indeed, the first sermon of the age of grace, preached by the Apostle Peter, begins with the proper sequence of affirming the Savior before addressing the sin, waywardness, and plight of sinners.  

   "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it" (Acts 2:22-24).

    First, the declarative - a Christ "approved of God" and delivered by God for redemptive purposes.  Then, the indictment of human sin - "ye have taken, and by wicked hands, have crucified and slain."  This is the order and sequence of the Gospel, the Divinely originated and proclaimed truth that God purposed the provision of our salvation before ever we needed a Savior.  Thus, find the most wicked and incorrigible sinner on the planet, and the Truth he first needs to hear is not that he is a sinner, but rather there is a Savior!  The sin must be addressed, no doubt, but only in light of the wondrous truth that God ignited the light of our redemption in His Son long before we willfully entered into darkness.  Christ first, and then our need for Him.  This is the sequence of the Gospel that offers hope, while exposing our hopelessness apart from the Lord Jesus.

    We do not hesitate to reprove the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).  However, we first reveal the work of the Light of the world whereby we can be redeemed from the darkness.  "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me" (John 12:32).  We preach and proclaim Christ, shining the spotlight upon Him, and thereby affirming the God-originated and centered truth that offers hope for human need before exposing it.

"In Thy light shall we see light."
(Psalm 36:9)

Weekly Memory Verse
     We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
(II Corinthians 4:7

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