Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Gospel

(James Smith, "Christ Exalted, Saints Comforted, and Sinners Directed" 1855)

"For we know, brethren beloved by God, that He has chosen you--because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5

The gospel reveals . . .
a Savior, in whom we must trust;
a Sovereign, whom we must obey;
a Priest, on whose atonement we must rest;
a Prophet, from whom we must learn;
a Friend, in whose love we must confide;
a Brother, from whom we may expect;
a Father, whose authority we must revere;
an Apostle, whose mission we must copy; and
an Advocate, to whom we must commit our cause.

The gospel . . .
flows from the free love, rich grace, and abundant mercy of our God;
is founded in the Savior's person, mediation, and death;
becomes effectual through the revelation, operation, and application of the Holy Spirit. By it, He begets faith, imparts love, and excites hope; and when accompanied by His blessing--the gospel is received in demonstration and power.

The gospel . . .
produces penitence--and godly sorrow for sin;
begets hatred to sin--and love to holiness;
weans from the world--and wafts the affections to heaven;
makes us zealous for God--and the good of immortal souls;
delivers us from the power of darkness--and translates us into the kingdom of Jesus;
crucifies the flesh--and liberates the spirit;
unites Christians in love--and raises us above the fear of death;
fortifies us against persecution--and makes us rejoice in suffering for Immanuel's name;
humbles the spirit--and dignifies the man;
destroys covetousness--and makes us benevolent;
roots out pride--and implants meekness;
transforms us from the world--and conforms us to God;
begets hatred to impurity--and makes us chaste;
throws down idolatry--and leads us to worship God;
conquers SELF--and exalts Christ;
softens the hard heart--and produces kindness;
delivers from sin, Satan, and the world--and devotes body, soul, and spirit to the Lord.

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