Musings 126

Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Nothing in man doth precede or prevent the grace of God. The light and beams of grace do dispel the clouds of our sins. Not for our sakes, but for his Name’s sake he covereth our sins. It is God’s prerogative to free us from sin by grace, and to remove them far from us. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” {Ps.103:12} He only can remove sin against whom it is committed. He only can cast sin into the depths of the sea, who hath an ocean of grace in himself, in which he swalloweth them up. John Simpson {Perfection of Justification, 1648} Obtained from Supralapsarian.com

It is so hard for me to fathom how preaching has reached such a shallow place in our day and when the Gospel seems to be rarely preached. The Gospel is spoken of, it is said to be the only way of salvation, and people may be urged to pray a prayer or something like that. But the Gospel is not preached (I can only assume) because the Gospel is not known. Christ is not preached because Christ is not known. If Christ is the only food for saved sinners and the only drink for saved sinners, then He must be preached. If Christ is the only righteousness for any sinner, then Christ and His glorious Gospel must be preached.

What goes under the name of “gospel” in our day is full of works for man to do. There are no works for man to do in terms of merit and of making himself more worthy. While I argue that man should seek the Lord to humble him and to break his heart of pride, those are not works that man can do. Men should seek the Lord to convict them of sin, after all, that is the work that the Holy Spirit has been sent to do. A proud heart is a heart that is still fighting God and will not bow to even a false grace much less free-grace. The heart must be humbled and broken from working for salvation and from trying to merit it. The free-grace of the Gospel will not be received by a proud heart, though indeed a proud heart will want to be saved from hell.

Preaching must be strong against pride if free-grace is going to be preached. Preaching must show people that their sin is not just in the actions, but it is primarily of a proud and selfish heart. Hearts must be broken from efforts to obtain salvation by works or by efforts because like Abraham we must have given up all hope in self. The justified sinner has stopped working for merit and rewards. The true Gospel of free-grace is based upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how sinners are saved for the sake of His name and His name alone.

Preaching must show sinners the glorious Person of Jesus Christ and how it is that He can save sinners for His name’s sake and by free-grace. This is not just something that should be stressed once every so often, this is at the heart of the Gospel and proud hearts are greatly deceived into thinking that they know this Gospel because they believe words about it. Preaching must not just be about the Gospel and the doctrines of the Gospel, but preachers should preach the Gospel and the glory of the Gospel. All sinners need to hear the pure Gospel of Christ alone by free-grace alone. But again, this is not something to just speak of in theological words, it must be preached from the heart of a man who has been taught of Christ in the heart of this Gospel.

The preacher is not just there to preach some things that are true, the preacher is a witness of the things that Christ has done because he has learned them from the Bible and the work of Christ in the soul. Preaching the Gospel is preaching what the risen Christ does in the souls of His people in our day as well as in the past. Preaching the Gospel certainly includes the resurrection but it seems as if people in our day preach as if He had not ascended and was not presently at the right hand of the Father. Christ has indeed risen and He works in the hearts of men and He saves sinners by His free-grace. Preaching this cannot be limited to a statement of the facts, it has to be the witnessing words of a preacher taught by Christ in the inward man who tells people of that work as well.

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