Sermon #04 John’s Gospel
Title: “A Man Sent From God”
Text: John 1:6-13
Subject: Gospel Preachers and Their Purpose
Date: Sunday Morning — January 13, 2008
Tape: John #4
Reading: Isaiah 40:1-31
The title of my message is “A Man Sent From God.” Find a man sent from God, and you have found a man you would be wise to hear. Find a man sent from God, and you have found a man just like any other man, sinful, weak and in constant need of grace, and yet a man unlike any man. Find a man sent from God, and you will have found a prophet, a messenger of God to your soul.
In Ephesians 4 the Holy Spirit tells us of our Lord’s ascension gifts to his church in this world. He names those gifts as men who are gifted and sent of God for the work of the ministry that the Lord God might dwell among them: Pastors/Teachers and Evangelists. But at the head of the list, he names Prophets. We know something about pastors/teachers and evangelists. The pastor is that man who is set by God as the teacher of his people, to feed them with knowledge and understanding. A pastor is to do the work of an evangelist; but the evangelist is what we commonly call a “missionary,” — a man specially gifted to plant and assist local churches.
But little, if anything, is being said or written in this day about prophets. The work of the New Testament prophet has been lost in a fog of haziness. We know the old definition, “A forth teller rather than a foreteller.” We apply the term generally to preachers as spokesmen for God. But the Spirit of God speaks of the prophet as a man distinct from pastors and evangelists.
He may be a pastor or an evangelist; but the he has distinct gifts. The prophet is a voice in the wilderness. It is his business to stand in the gap and sound the trumpet. He does not set up programs and organize workers. He does the work before him. The prophet does not belong on boards and committees. He is a solitary soul and does his best work alone. He is no parrot, puppet or promoter. He is nothing but a prophet, and if he tries to be anything else he is an embarrassment to himself and to everybody else. He is not a nice after dinner speaker, well trained to keep his place, but an unreconstructed rebel, an odd number in a day of regimentation. He has no more patience with mere religion than Isaiah had when he thundered or Amos when he called on Israel to come to Bethel. It is his business to say what others can not, will not, or at least do not say. The prophet is not a religious politician, looking for approval and advancement. He is not looking for a higher seat in the synagogue, or a bigger synagogue! A prophet is a man with a message; and he will deliver the message God has given him.
Preachers today, for the most part, are anything but prophets. They are scholars, specialists, socializers and showmen, who never disturb anything or anyone. We need some prophets who, like Isaiah, have seen Christ in his glory and themselves in their sinfulness, men who will stand up, cry aloud, and spare not, saying, “All flesh is grass. — Behold, your God!”
Like John the Baptist the prophet is out to pull down the high places, build up low places and make straight the way for the Lord. He does not lecture on mustard, he makes a mustard poultice and lays it next to the trouble. We are trying to accomplish now by pep, publicity, propaganda and promotion what once was done by preaching. The woods are full of trained personnel; we need prophets.
Proposition: A prophet, if I am not mistaken, is a preacher among preachers, a preacher’s preacher. He is a preacher who guides, leads and inspires other preachers, just as Elijah guided, led and inspired Elisha.
Someone said, “Any young Elisha in line for Elijah’s mantle will need the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros. He may irk those who like to preserve the status quo, for he is a disturber of Israel, but no one else can take his place in the divine economy.”
Turn to John 1:6-13, and read about a prophet by the name of John the Baptist, — “A Man Sent from God.”
(John 1:6-13) “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (7) The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. (8) He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (9) That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
A Man Sent
The first thing set before us in our text is “a man sent from God.” After beginning his Gospel with a declaration of our Savior’s eternality and eternal Godhead, declaring him to be the Creator of all things, the source of all life and the Light of the world, John proceeds to introduce us to John the Baptist and his ministry. This prophet, John the Baptist, is held before us as an exemplary gospel preacher. Like John the Baptist, every true gospel preacher is “a man sent from God.”
Here is a divine inspired description of every man sent from God. — He is sent “for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.”
Preachers are not priests. They are not mediators between God and men. Christ alone is our Priest and Mediator. Gospel preachers are not social workers, psycho-therapists, counselors, educators, or religious cheerleaders. And they certainly are not trained religious parrots, who simply tell what they have heard others tell! Those men who are sent of God are witnesses. They are sent to bear testimony to God’s truth, as first-hand witnesses, telling what they know by personal experience.
Recently, a man I know quite well has begun to alter his doctrine. He sent out what he called “a clarification.” This is what he said about the message he once preached. — “What I might have said or written in the past was because others said it.” That man who is sent of God does not parrot what others have said. He bears witness to that which he has seen for himself and knows for himself, by personal experience. That is precisely what John the Apostle said about John the Baptist here, and exactly what he says about himself in the opening verses of 1 John 1.
(1 John 1:1-3) “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (2) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
Specifically, that man who is sent of God bears witness to this blessed revelation of grace: — The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior of men, the only Light through whom lost sinners believe.
· This is what Peter did on the day of Pentecost. — “With many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40).
· This is what Paul tells us about his preaching. — He preached, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
Gospel preachers testify what they know by the Word of God, the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and their own experience of grace, bearing faithful witness to Christ. Any preacher who does not bear faithful witness to Christ in all the fulness of his person and work is not sent of God.
· His Eternal Godhead
· His Suretyship
· His Accomplishments
· His Sovereign Dominion
· His Saving Power and Efficacy
So long as the preacher bears faithful witness of the Light, so long as he faithfully preaches Jesus Christ and him crucified, he performs his work faithfully. His preaching is honoring to God and is honored by God, whether those who hear him believe or do not believe (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).
(2 Corinthians 2:14-17) “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (15) For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (16) To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? (17) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”
The preacher’s object in preaching is “that all men through him might believe.” I am preaching the Christ to you that you through him, by his power and grace, by his mediation and intercession, by his blood and righteousness, might believe.
The words “all men” must be understood in a limited sense. They do not refer to every person in the world. Obviously, the Spirit of God does not intend for us to understand that there is the possibility that every person in the world might believe.
· Some were already in hell when John came preaching. They cannot believe.
· Those who never hear the gospel cannot believe.
· Those to whom the Spirit of God is not given cannot believe.
The words “all men” simply refer to all classes of men. We preach the gospel to all men for the salvation of God’s elect, who are found among all men. The gospel of Christ is the means by which God the Holy Spirit gives chosen, redeemed sinners life and faith in Christ (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25).
(Romans 10:17) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
(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.”
Now, I want you to hear this. — No man can preach the gospel effectually, in the power of the Spirit, except he be sent of God. — “How shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Romans 10:13-17) I ask you to pray for me and for our brethren around the world that, having been sent of God, we may be sent every time we stand to preach, that we may, like those of old, “be filled with the Holy Ghost and speak as the Spirit gives us utterance.” As you send your pastor out to do the work of an evangelist, pray for him, “that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19), “that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).
Verse 8 might seem to be a redundant statement. — “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” But the sad fact is, many treat preachers as though they were Christ himself. There was an ancient, heretical sect held that John the Baptist was the Messiah. Some in his own day presumed that the Baptist prophet was the Christ. Therefore, he said in verse 20, “I am not the Christ!” You may think, “No one today would be that foolish.” — But multitudes are!
· Papists treat the pope and their priests as if they were themselves christs.
· Multitudes of Protestants treat preachers and religious leaders as though they were christs.
· Many Baptists are just as guilty, treating preachers as if they were christs.
What is a preacher? Ask any true prophet, and he will tell you plainly. — “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord” (v. 23; Isaiah 40:3). Does anyone ask, “What is a preacher?” I like the answer I heard Bro. Scott Richardson give to that question many, many years ago. — “A preacher is a nobody sent to tell everybody about somebody who can save anybody.”
Christ the Light
Let’s move on. In verse nine, the Holy Spirit tells us as he did in verse 4 that Christ is the Light.
(John 1:9) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Christ is to the souls of men what the sun is to the world — The Light. Twice our Savior declared, “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). Christ is that Light of whom all gospel preachers bear witness. He is the Light and the fountain of all light to all creatures.
· He is the true light, in distinction from typical lights. — The “Urim” — The Candlestick and its Lamps — The Pillar of Fire
· Christ the Light gave light to the dark earth in the beginning, and spoke light out of darkness.
· Christ the Light is the Light of all men, “which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Both the light of reason and the light of conscience come from Christ. All natural light and understanding comes from him. But the light of nature, of reason and of conscience, while sufficient to render all without excuse before God (Romans 1:18-20), is not and never can be spiritual, saving light.
(Romans 1:18-20) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
The Lord Jesus warns us plainly and solemnly that the light that is in men by nature, as it relates to spiritual things, is utter darkness (Matthew 6:23; Luke 11:35; John 3:18-21).
(Matthew 6:23) “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
(Luke 11:35) “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.”
(John 3:18-21) “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
When John says that Christ “lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” it is obvious that he is talking about natural, not spiritual light. I say that is obvious because all men do not have spiritual light. But if you do, if you have light in your soul, if you possess the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, if you have the light of life, and grace, and salvation, it is because Christ has given it to you by the gospel. And whatever light you have regarding the things of God is the gift of Christ, the Light.
Unknown by the World
Third, in verses 10 and 11 John tells us that Christ, who is the Light of the world, is completely unknown by the world.
(John 1:10-11) “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
Let’s read these five statements just as they stand in this chapter. I do not think I had ever read them just as they stand in this chapter, without interjecting something into them, until I began preparing this message. Consequently, I have never before seen what John is describing here. I have always thought he is describing our Lord’s earthly life and ministry; but that is not the case. These five rich and instructive statements illustrate and explain the glorious things John has been declaring in the first nine verses of this chapter about our Savior.
1. “He was in the world.” — When was he in the world? This does not refer to our Lord’s incarnation. John speaks of that in verse 14. This statement, “He was in the world,” speaks of a past existence in the world. It is written, as A. T. Robertson points out, in the “imperfect tense of continuous existence in the universe before the incarnation as in verses 1 and 2.” — “The word was denotes past existence in the world, even all the time past from the creation of the world” (John Gill). When was he in the world? He was in the world from all eternity. He was not in the world in his human nature, for he had not yet become flesh. And it cannot be understood that John refers to him being in the world merely in his divine nature, because that would have been a needless observation. But he was in the world when in his covenant character he was set up from everlasting, and when Jehovah possessed him (as he himself states it) “from the beginning or ever the earth was” as our Surety and Mediator, when he stood up in the counsel chambers of eternity as our Wisdom, “Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth” and delighting himself in his chosen (Proverbs 8:22-31). Then we read…
2. “And the world was made by him.” — This is exactly what John told us in verse 3. — “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” Hebrews 11:3).
3. Now, look at the third statement of verse 10. “And the world knew him not.” — By the sin and fall of our father Adam the whole human race was plunged into darkness and “knew him not” (Psalm 14:1-2; 10:4). The world knew him not as their Creator. The world refused to acknowledge the mercies they received from him. The world refused to worship, serve, obey, love and fear him as God.
(Psalms 14:1-3) “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. (2) The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
(Psalms 10:4) “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”
4. Then we read, “He came unto his own.” — The words might be read, “He came unto his own people,” referring not to his elect and redeemed people, who shall be made willing in the day of his power and shall receive him (Psalm 110:3; John 6:37), but to his own physical people, the Jews, to whom he gave the law, the prophets, the service of God and the promises. Throughout the Old Testament “he came unto his own,” to the Jewish people, before his incarnation.
· He came in the types and pictures given to the nation of Israel.
· He came in promises and prophecies, and in the word and ordinances of the Old Testament.
· He came to them personally, in person, as he did to Moses in the burning bush.
· He came in person to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt on the night of the passover.
· The Lord Jesus himself came and redeemed them with a mighty hand and a outstretched arm; and in his love and pity he led them through the Red Sea as on dry ground and through the wilderness in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
· He came to them in person at Mount Sinai, and gave them the oracles of God.
· He came in person to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, — to Gideon, Manoah and his wife, — to Daniel in the lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace.
· Throughout the days of the Old Testament, “he came unto his own.”
5. “And his own received him not.” — They did not believe in him and refused to obey his voice. They rebelled against him and tempted him often. They provoked him to anger and vexed and grieved his Holy Spirit. They despised his prophets, generation after generation. Then, after he came into the world, the Jews despised him and his Gospel, fulfilling their own Scriptures by their rejection him (Hosea 9:17; Acts 13:27).
(Acts 13:27) “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.”
(Hosea 9:17) “My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.”
Oh, how wicked, how desperately wicked the heart of man is! Christ was in the world invisibly, long before the Word was made flesh. He was in the world from the very beginning, ruling, ordering and governing the whole creation, “upholding all things by the word of his power.” He gave to all life and breath, rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons. By him kings reigned and nations were increased or diminished. Yet, “the world knew him not,” and honored him not. They “worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).
Then, when the Son of God came visibly into the world, when he was born at Bethlehem, he fared no better. He came to the very people whom he had brought out of Egypt, to the Jews, whom he had separated from other nations, and to whom he had revealed himself by the prophets. He came to those very Jews who read of him every sabbath day in their synagogues, and professed to be waiting for his coming. And yet, when he came, they received him not, but crucified him!
But there is far greater proof of the wickedness and depravity of the human heart than all of that. How often the Lord Jesus Christ has come to you by the Gospel, being “evidently set forth, crucified among you” (Galatians 3:1). Yet, you obstinately refuse to obey the truth, and receive him not!
(Lamentations 1:12) “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.”
Fourth, John tells us about another people. The Jewish nation refused him; but the purpose of God is not thwarted (Romans 3:3-4).
(Romans 3:3-4) “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (4) God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
Blessed be his name, there is another people, a spiritual seed, who are his people by election and redemption, a people who shall be willing and shall receive him in the day of his power (v. 12).
(John 1:12) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
Saving faith is here spoken of as receiving Christ. To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is to receive him., to reach out and take him for your own. That is what the word “receive” means — take.
· We receive him as the Word of God.
· We receive him as God our Savior.
· We receive him as our Lord and Redeemer.
· We receive grace out of his fulness.
· We receive pardon, forgiveness, righteousness and an inheritance among the sons of God by his blood.
· We receive life by his death.
· Receiving him, we receive all by him and with him and in him! — “Christ is all and in all!”
Who are these many who receive him? The Scriptures tell us plainly. They are the many, out of every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue…
· Who were ordained unto eternal life (Acts 13:48).
· Who were redeemed by his precious blood (Isaiah 53:10-12).
· Whom the Lord our God shall call by his Spirit (Psalm 65:4; Acts 2:39).
Blessedness of Faith
Look at verse 12 again. Here is a brief description of the blessedness of faith in Christ.
(John 1:12) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
A good while back, Bro. Darvin Pruitt asked me about this statement: — “To them gave he power to become the sons of God.” Bro. Darvin asked, “Does that word ‘power’ mean ability or authority? I answered, “Yes, it means ability and authority.” This is not the word translated power in Romans 1:16. This is a different word altogether. In Romans 1:16 the word translated “power” means “mighty ability, violent strength, or abundant might.” It is the word from which we get our word “dynamite.” The gospel of Christ is the mighty, explosive, violent power of God unto salvation.
The word translated power here means both “authority and ability.” It is similar to our word “exercise.” It has the idea of putting something to use, or of putting something into operation, by right and with skill and ability. Look at two other places where the same word is used (John 5:27; 17:2).
(John 5:26-27) “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.”
(John 17:2) “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”
As the Lord Jesus Christ has been given power (the right to execute with skill) judgment, and to govern the universe, so the Lord Jesus gives to every believing sinner the power (the right to execute with skill) his adoption. We were adopted in eternity and named the children of God in election before the worlds were made; but now, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are the sons of God, and have every right to call God our Father (1 John 3:1-2; Galatians 4:6-7; Colossians 1:12-14).
(1 John 3:1-2) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
(Galatians 4:6-7) “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
(Colossians 1:12-14) “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
We who believe are “the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26). All who trust Christ are, as J. C. Ryle wrote, “born again by a new and heavenly birth, and adopted into the family of the King of kings. Few in number, and despised by the world as they are, they are cared for with infinite love by a Father in heaven, who, for his Son’s sake, is well pleased with them. In time he provides them with everything that is for their good. In eternity he will give them a crown of glory that fades not away.” These are great things, privileges beyond expression! But faith in Christ gives sinners like us the right to possess them.
Go back to our text. I want to show you one more thing. Look at verse 13.
This faith we have in Christ is the result of the new birth, the result of being born again by God the Holy Spirit. Here, in verse 13, we are told in no uncertain terms that the new birth, by which God gives us faith in Christ, is altogether the gift of God.
(John 1:13) “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
· The new birth has nothing to do with who our parents may or may not be. It is “not of blood.” It does not come by family descent. Having Abraham for your father does not give you a step up toward God. Nothing derived by human generation from our depraved fathers, nothing arising out of the corrupt stock of a fallen race, can contribute anything to spiritual life.
· The new birth, and that faith in Christ which comes with it, is not something we obtain by “the will of the flesh,” by the exercise of our imaginary free will (Romans 9:16).
· This new birth is not something one man can will to another. It is not by “the will of man.” Abraham desired it for Ishmael, and prayed for God to let Ishmael live before him; but he could not will Ishmael into life and salvation. David desired it for Absalom, but Absalom still perished. No father or mother can will a son or daughter into life! No man can will, or talk, or persuade, or scare a dead sinner into life and faith in Christ.
· All who are born again are born again by the sovereign, eternal, irresistible will “of God” All who receive Christ, all who trust him, believe by “the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:19-20). Oh, how great, how precious, how wonderful is God’s saving grace and distinguishing mercy to poor sinners!
Sons we are, through God’s election,
Who in Jesus Christ believe;
By eternal destination,
Saving grace we now receive.
Our Redeemer, our Redeemer
Does both grace and glory give!
Every soul of man, by sinning,
Merits everlasting pain;
But God’s love, without beginning,
Formed and fixed salvation’s plan.
Chosen sinners, (countless millions!),
Shall with Christ in glory reign!
Pause, my soul! Adore and wonder!
Ask, “O why such love to me?”
Grace has put me in the number
Of the Savior’s family!
I will glory, I will glory
Only in the Lord my God!
Would you be numbered among the sons of God? Receive Christ. — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!” Oh, may God give you faith in his dear Son!
Do you believe on the Son of God? If you do, if at this moment you find yourself believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, bowing to him, receiving him, lifting your heart to heaven and crying to God your Father, Christ himself has given you the right to become, in the sweet experience of his saving grace, a child of God. Imagine that! — If you have received him by grace, come forth and confess him in believer’s baptism.
Perhaps you are fearful, thinking, “I do trust Christ alone, but my faith is so weak, I cannot claim such a great thing, I dare not call myself a child of God.” Listen to me. It is faith that makes the connection, not the strength of faith, but faith itself. The smallest little bud on a tree draws sap from the root, as well as the greatest branch. The weakest hand may receive a ring. The strongest faith in Christ cannot merit or purchase salvation; but the weakest faith in Christ possesses it as surely as the strongest. If you receive him, he gives you the power and privilege of becoming a child of God. — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” saved by the will of God the Father who chose you, by the will of God the Son who redeemed you, and by the will of God the Holy Spirit who calls you.
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