The glorious gospel of Christ!
(James Smith, "Rills from the Rock of Ages", 1860)
"The glorious gospel of Christ!" 2 Corinthians 4:4
The gospel is a glorious revelation of divine grace — a manifestation of the purpose and good pleasure of God, to save sinners in harmony with, and to the honor of — all His divine perfections.
The gospel contains . . .
the loftiest doctrines,
the largest promises, and
the freest invitations conceivable!
The gospel exhibits the Lord Jesus Christ, in . . .
the glory of His person,
the depth of His love,
the vastness of His merit, and
His infinite willingness to save the vilest sinners!
The gospel is a proclamation . . .
of peace by the blood-shedding of God incarnate;
of a full, free, and complete salvation — for all who truly believe on His name;
of a glorious inheritance, an everlasting kingdom, and a crown of glory — as a free gift for the vilest of men! Or in other words, the gospel is the good news of pardon, peace, protection, and everlasting life — for all who are willing to receive and enjoy them!
In the gospel . . .
God's heart is laid bare,
the fullness of Christ is thrown open, and
miserable souls are invited to come and be made eternally happy!
The gospel contains . . .
God's kindest thoughts,
God's wisest plans,
God's most gracious promises, and
God's fullest revelation of Himself!
The gospel is . . .
balm for sinners' wounds,
solace for the troubled conscience,
and the remedy for a sin-broken heart!
The gospel is God's powerful instrument, through which He . . .
raises the dead in sin,
enlightens the blind mind,
pardons the guilty,
cleanses the filthy heart,
heals the sin-sick soul, and
makes the miserable, eternally happy!
In a word, the gospel reveals . . .
all that God can give,
all that man can need, and
all that the child of God can enjoy!
Yet many spurn the gospel . . .
some on account of its simplicity,
some on account of its spirituality,
and some on account of its purity.
The gospel lays man in the dust — and places God on the throne! It places man as a sinner, at the sovereign disposal of God. It will yield nothing to man's pride, and pays no compliment to man's supposed goodness or abilities.
If a man is saved at all . . .
it is of grace alone,
it is by Christ alone,
it is to God's honor alone!
The gospel despises the wisdom of the world, and puts the rich and the poor, the moral and immoral, the learned and illiterate — on the same level! The pride of man cannot tolerate this!
The gospel must be experimentally known by the teaching of the Holy Spirit — before it will be loved, prized, and practiced as it ought!
Do WE personally and experimentally know the gospel? Have we tasted its sweetness — as well as felt its power? Is it to us, more desirable than gold — even the finest gold? Is it sweeter than honey — even honey dripping from the comb?
Have we received the gospel with a demonstration of the Spirit's power?
Has it . . .
enlightened our judgments,
purified our hearts, and
corrected our lives?