GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #470


          The Grace of God, The Word of God, and The Gospel of God


          Pastor Don Fortner

          Grace Baptist Church of Danville

          2734 Old Stanford Road

          Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438


(1 Peter 1:23-25)  "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. {24} For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: {25} But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."


          In these few verses of Scripture, the Holy Spirit distinctly teaches us three things which we need to lay to our hearts, three things which need to be understood and remembered by all who seek to do good to the souls of men.


1.    The new birth is the work of God alone.


Sinners have life only by the gift and operation of God’s sovereign, irresistible grace and power. The new birth is not an offer from God, but the operation of God. In these days of religious nonsense, idolatry and superstition almost everyone vainly imagines that the new birth is accomplished by something a sinner does for God, not by something God does for the sinner.


People ignorantly imagine, because they blindly follow their blind guides, that sinners get saved by making a decision for Jesus, walking an aisle, kneeling at an altar, saying the sinners’ prayer, getting baptized, joining the church, or starting to do good things. Are you listening? Will you pause for just a minute to hear this preaching before you go to hell hiding in a refuge of lies? No one has ever been saved by any of these things. “Salvation is of the Lord.”


You don’t get saved by something you will, choose, decide or do. If ever you are saved, you will be saved by the free, sovereign, irresistible grace of God. You will be saved because God the Father chose to save you, God the Son redeemed you, and God the Holy Spirit regenerated you, gave you life in Christ, called you by his irresistible grace, gave you faith, and graciously fetched you to Christ. If ever God saves you, you will sing with all God’s saints, “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee.”


2.    The instrument by which God performs this sovereign operation of grace is the Word of God.


God does not save sinners apart from the means he has ordained. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Of his own will begat he us with the Word of truth.” Faith in Christ does not come to anyone by angelic visits, dreams, visions, or mere contemplation. Faith is the gift of God. It is the operation of God in us. It comes to chosen, redeemed, called sinners through the instrumentality of the preached Word of God. God never by passes the use of the means he has ordained for the accomplishment of his will. And God has ordained the salvation of his people through the instrumentality of gospel preaching. Now be sure you get this third thing revealed in our text.


3.    The Word of God is preached only when the gospel of Christ is preached.


All truly biblical preaching is gospel preaching. Christ crucified is “all the counsel of God”. The Word of God is not preached when the preacher simply talks about morality, politics, prophecy, family values, health, healing, the church, the ordinances, or religious duties. The solitary message of Holy Scripture is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God is preached only when Christ crucified is preached. Therefore, I say, with the Apostle Paul, “I am determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified…God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


          You would be wise, as you care for your soul, to find yourself a church and a pastor under whose ministry you will hear the gospel of Christ faithfully preached, and pray that God might be pleased to give you ears to hear and a heart to believe the gospel of his grace to the saving of your soul.