The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Thanks to Scott and Herb for inspiration on this one)
"Concerning His Son"
"In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).
The proper sequential communication of the Gospel always begins with the One of whom it concerns.
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, which He had promised afore by His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:1-3).
Suppose a preacher had opportunity to preach a message at a prison of condemned murderers, soon to be executed for their crimes. Upon stepping up to the pulpit, he opens his Bible, pounds his fist on the lecture, and thunderously proclaims, "You are all miserable sinners, worst than most, and you all deserve eternal condemnation by a righteous and holy God!"
The preacher has spoken truly. But has he preached the Gospel? No, he has not. By neglecting that which the Gospel of Christ most concerns - Christ - at the outset of his message, the man's message never connected with the rails of grace and truth in the Lord Jesus. It did not go off track because it never got on track. We either begin our communication God's grace and truth with Him, or we do not legitimately begin at all.
"He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely" (Revelation 21:6).
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
Before sin and sinners even existed in the human race, God had made a way in His heart and purpose to rescue us from His necessary judgment: "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). His supply preceded our need, as Old Testament saints were redeemed by believing the promise of of a coming Redeemer, and believers of the New Testament receive grace by believing the Redeemer has come (Hebrews 4:1-2). Ever and always, the Lord Jesus serves as the heart of the Gospel, and we do great disservice to God and people if we do not begin our communications with the Person and work of Christ, seeking to emphasize the truth of His promise to save, even as we rightly convey the dire need of sinners for a Savior.
Suppose the preacher approaches the pulpit, opens His Bible, and says before quoting a passage, "Gentleman, I am here today to bring you good tidings, good tidings of God's grace and truth in the Lord Jesus Christ. From Old Testament to New, Scripture proclaims there is a Savior from sin, one who died and rose again as a living hope for all. This message of mercy applies to all of us here today, beginning with myself, and extending to every soul who can hear the sound of my voice proclaim the Gospel declared by the Apostle Paul, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3-4).
The preacher will go on to say much about our great need for salvation, based on the horrors of sin's darkness and consequences. He will not mince words, telling the men that an eternal lake of fire awaits murderers and their like (Revelation 21:8). He will paint the canvas of sin with hues as dark as possible, bearing witness to the greatest of all consequences, namely, that salvation required God the Son to become human for our sake. He will declare that this incarnation resulted the Savior's suffering, forsakenness, and death for sin and sinners. He will make the point that if this be true, then surely salvation must be possible for the most wicked sinner, and just as surely, that no other way will be found to escape "the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10). "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).
The faithful preacher of the Gospel will seek to carefully follow the Biblical protocol of Scripture. He will begin with Christ. He will continue with Christ. He will culminate with Christ. Only thereby will the glorious truth of salvation be known. Only thereby will the horrific realities of sin be known. Only thereby will signposts of both hope and warning line the pathway of the Gospel message. And only thereby will a congregation of the condemned by both God and man hear that there is a Savior, and that they need Him more desperately than they can imagine. Yes, the proper conveyance of God's grace and truth will alway proceed in the holy light of "concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." The glory of the Savior first, then the sinfulness of sinners, and finally, witness to both the blessedness and the perdition to come, based on response to…
"The Gospel of Christ… the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."
Weekly Memory Verse
"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(I Thessalonians 5:23)