The Blessings of the Gospel

The first, and indeed one of the most essential blessings, is that of the forgiveness of sins. The glory and primary importance of this tends to be somewhat dimmed in our minds with the passage of time, but Paul’s references to this would quickly restore to us its immense significance. Addressing king Agrippa he speaks of his commission from the Lord, “the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me”. Acts 26. 17-18 There are those today, often inclined to introspection, who lack the complete and full assurance in the soul of this primary and continuous blessing, never changing or -diminishing in its efficacy, “For by one offering he has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified”, Heb. 10. 14 J.N.D. May the joy, the satisfaction and the appreciation of the redemptive work of Christ increase with each one of us.

It may be, however, that in the mind of some the gospel more or less consists only of the forgiveness of sins It must surely quickly become apparent that its implications go much deeper, when we remember that forgiveness. the removal of that which is offensive to God, is negative in character. But the believer is not, of course, left in a vacuum; there is the positive richness which it confers, as Paul expresses, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich (in the pre-incarnate glory of Deity), yet for your sakes he became poor (in lowly Manhood), that ye through his poverty might be rich”, 2 Cor. 8 9. Again. Peter, speaking of the Lord Jesus having “called us to glory and virtue”, says, “whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”, 2 Pet. 1. 4. He also writes of the “precious blood of Christ”; “Unto you … which believe He (Christ) is precious”, and of those that have “obtained like precious faith with us”.

Peter’s ministry has been described as being largely of “kingdom” character (f.e„ predominantly moral in its bearing); now he writes with great feeling, probably always recalling the probings of the Lord as to his affections. John 21. 15-17. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”, 1 Pet. 1. 3, 4. And again, speaking of the appearing of Jesus Christ, he adds, “whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory’’, v. 8.

In Philippians 4. 19, Paul says, “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. This sweeping statement is entirely typical of the manner of the blessing of God. It is unconditional and, unless we are able to measure this “according to”, it is immeasurable It is to be noted that what is promised to be supplied is not all our wants but all out need. Notice also that Paul does not say “our God”. Why? Because the realization of the blessedness and the complete assurance of the blessing spring from a personal and intimate knowledge of God. “My God”: the character of the God whom I know and in whom I trust and confide is such that He will supply not only all my need but that of all the saints in Philippi and that of all Christians. “This God is our God for ever and ever”, Psa. 48. 14. Incidentally, to the overcomer in the church in Philadelphia our Lord Jesus, in His incomparable Manhood, four times speaks of “My God”, Rev. 3. 12

Paul, who spoke of his God supplying all our need, also writes in the Gospel Epistle, “He (God) that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”, Rom. 8. 32. The apostle mentions further “all things” to the Corinthians, “For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s”, 1 Cor. 3. 21-23. This magnificently comprehensive list is that of which the youngest, most uninstructed and simplest believer in Christ is already in possession. Well may the hymn writer say:

Whilst Thou art rich can we be poor,
Thou who for us hast died?

Paul, again, having so extensive a knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, and having doubtless in mind Isaiah 64. 4, writes also of the future inheritance of those who are joint-heirs with Christ, “according as it is written, things which eye has not seen, and ear not heard, and which have not come into man’s heart, which God has prepared for them that love him. but God has revealed to us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God”. 1 Cor. 2. 9, 10 J.N.D. This is a simple qualification, “them that love him”, and surely should be possible for all who by faith are the recipients of the grace of God made known in the gospel of Christ.


Your Basket

Your Basket Is Empty