THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE WORD
"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† †-- James 1:18
In this gospel age, God has ordained the salvation of his elect by the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:21). Does that mean that a person must audibly hear a man preach the gospel in order to be saved? Of course not. Those who are deaf are not excluded from the kingdom of God because they cannot hear. But it does mean that no one can be saved apart from the ministry of the gospel. God does not bypass his own ordained means of grace (Acts 8:30-31).
God will see to it that every elect sinner in this world hears the gospel of Christ, even if he must turn the world upside down to do it, because the Word of God, by the blessing of God the Holy Spirit, is the source and instrumental cause of all spiritual life in men (Heb. 4:12; James 1:18; 1 Pet.1:23-25; Rom. 10:17).
God saves his elect by the Word he has given, through the preaching of the gospel of Christ. And this Word is preached only when Christ crucified is proclaimed. When a man preaches Jesus Christ and him crucified, (substitutionary redemption, imputed righteousness, and salvation by grace alone), he is preaching all the counsel of God. And the man who truly preaches all the counsel of God is the man who preaches Jesus Christ crucified, as he is revealed in all the Scriptures (cf. Acts 20:27 and 1 Cor. 2:2).
All the Scriptures speak of Christ (John 1:45). And no passage of Holy Scripture can be properly understood apart from its connection with the Person and work of Christ. This is what Peter means when he says, "This is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:25).
It is the responsibility of every believer and every local church in this world, to do everything within the scope of our God given ability to preach the gospel to all the world in the generation in which we live. This is the task of evangelism which our Lord has committed to our hands (Matt.28:18-20; II Cor. 4:7).
We cannot save sinners or give men faith. But we can give them the Word by which faith and salvation are given. Indeed, we must do it. And we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor.15:58). God will honor his Word. God will save his elect by the preaching of the gospel (Isa. 55:11). Let us be faithful in preaching the gospel. God will be faithful in honoring the gospel.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #877
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org