‘The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.’ Acts 14:9–10
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 10:34–43
God, looking upon the race of men, beheld them lost and ruined. Out of love to them he sent his only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born of the virgin Mary, lived some thirty-two or thirty-three years a life of spotless innocence and perfect obedience to God. He was God: he was man. In due time he was delivered up by the traitor Judas. He was crucified, and actually put to death. Though he was the Lord of life and glory, ‘who only hath immortality,’ yet he bowed his head and gave up the ghost. After three days he rose again, and showed himself to many of his disciples, so that they were well assured he was the same person who had been put into the grave; and when the forty days were finished he ascended up to heaven in the sight of them all, where he sits at the right hand of God, and shall also come before long a second time to judge both the living and the dead. These were the facts which Paul would state. God was made flesh and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.’ Briefly, these were the facts which Paul would preach, and if any of these facts be preached doubtfully, or be left out of any ministry, then the gospel is not preached; for the foundations upon which the gospel rests have been removed, and then what can the righteous do?
For meditation: Paul’s summary of the central facts of the gospel he preached (1 Corinthians 15:1–4). He was not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16) but preached it fully (Romans 15:19). Do you want to avoid or hush up any of the facts of the gospel? Alternative versions of the gospel are actually perversions (Galatians 1:6–7).
Sermon no. 559
11 July (Undated Sermon)