I’m going to preach it with the bark on. I’m going to say it the way it was meant to be said – straightforward without watering down. The gospel (good news) of Christ Jesus is unchanging, eternal, and cannot be changed. Any change and it is no gospel at all. I’m preaching it here because it is no longer being preached in mainstream churches — it doesn’t bring in the customers, it doesn’t fill the tithes baskets to overflowing. It offends the prevailing culture, which is a culture reverting back into the dark ages of ignorance and rejection of revealed knowledge. If it offends you, be offended still. If it is hateful to you, remain in your hate. If it rings a bell of Truth within you, then may God bless you, richly. Does this sound harsh? God is Love! And love requires a response to the love Giver. He does the saving, we do the repenting of our sin. That is the response He desires, and requires.
I have heard too many say, how can we make the gospel relevant in the 21st century. The gospel, as it was first presented, remains relevant in every generation, every culture, every age just as it is.
As it has been said, you don’t have to defend a lion, just release it from it’s cage!
And yet these are not my words preaching here. But if I were still preaching they are very similar to what I say and do and preach. The central core of the one, true gospel of Christ.
Another Stroll Down Classics Lane. James Smith (1856)
James Smith, 1856
Nothing is so important when the body is badly diseased — as to procure and apply the right remedy in good time. For lack of this, many have suffered long, and at length died. It was not because there was no remedy — but because they did not know it; or knowing, did not apply it. Just so is it, in reference to spiritual things. We are surrounded by the spiritually diseased, the suffering, and the dying — but there is a remedy! Some imagine that there is none; others are led away by lying advertisements, a few know and employ the true remedy. Let us look at some DISORDERS — and then point out the TRUE REMEDY for them.
- There is SIN. This is the root and cause of all other diseases and sufferings. No sin — no disease, no suffering, either in this world or in eternity. But even sin, the root of all diseases — is not incurable. Sinners have been cured. Sinners may be cured. It would be infidelity to say of any sinner, where the gospel comes — that his case was desperate. We know of no desperate cases— if the true remedy is employed.
That remedy is the blood of Jesus. Jesus died that we may live. He shed His blood to heal our souls. This is the true balm of Gilead. This is the sovereign catholicon (universal remedy). It is placed within our reach in the everlasting gospel. All we have to do is to fix the eye upon it, place confidence in it, and pray the Holy Spirit to apply it.
We must look away from everything else.
We must fix the eye intently upon it.
We must exercise a steady confidence in it.
We must entreat the Holy Spirit to sprinkle understanding of it on our hearts.
And, as soon as ever this is the case . . .
the guilt of sin is removed,
the power of sin is undermined,
the love of sin is destroyed, and
we are perfectly and eternally delivered from all the penal consequences of sin!
There is no remedy for sin — but the blood of Jesus! And that is an infallible remedy! It was never applied in vain — it never can be. It cleanses us from all sin. It justifies us perfectly before God. But to prove its efficacy — we must give up all other medicines! Religious services, sacraments, prayers, praises, priests, and presbyters — all must be renounced, and the blood of Jesus alone must become . . .
the sole object of our trust,
the sole ground of our hope, and
our sole plea for pardon and peace at the throne of grace.
This is the true remedy for both sin and sinners. It is exactly suited to them, for its healing properties are infinite and eternal! It is to be obtained gratuitously, without money and without price — and its efficacy may be proved a thousand times over!
If you would obtain a full pardon of all sin, perfect peace in the presence of God, and an unquestionable title to everlasting glory — then exercise simple faith in the blood of Jesus, and these invaluable blessings are yours, and yours forever. This is the only true remedy!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16