Whatever we know of things spiritual, comes to us by the revelation of the grace of God. “Ye must be born again,” were words of authority and power, as they came from the lips of Jesus to Nicodemus. While it was necessary for us to be born into this world, in order to obtain knowledge of the things of this world, it is equally necessary for us to be born into the kingdom of Jesus Christ, that we may know the precious things belonging to Jesus and his kingdom. The knowledge of the things of this world are obtained by sight, and by research. Our natural life is a part of the natural creation of God; and the result of our natural life is thought and action. We learn, therefore, of our natural surroundings, because they are visible and accessible. Naturally we know that the world exists, but beyond that we know nothing. We have a natural conception of a supreme power that
created and formed all things, but our knowledge cannot attain unto it. When we are born, however, into the spiritual kingdom, the carnal, natural mind cannot follow us there, because it cannot reach out beyond its natural environment. The natural birth was of the earth earthy, but the new existence is that which is born of the Spirit. We that are born of the Spirit, are no mere led by the carnal mind. Only as with our flesh we serve the law of sin, but not with our mind. It is in subjection to the higher powers. “With my mind [the apostle says] I serve the law of God.” All that is embraced in the revelation of the grace of God to the conscious sinner is the gospel of Christ. For it is declared that “The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Belief of the truth of God is in direct opposition to all that is carnal and fleshly; for “The carnal mind is enmity to God.” Unbelief of the truth of God fills the carnal mind, so that belief is an evidence of spiritual life, because it is a fruit of that life. “The gospel of Christ is the power of God,” and when it is revealed to the children of men, it always comes with power; not only to make darkness light, but in the light to lay bare before us the knowledge of the total depravity of our carnal nature It is this wonderful power of the gospel that brings into subjection all the powers of darkness. Jesus is appointed of the Father “Heir of all things, and by him all things consist.” And as he is the power of the gospel, all things are under him, and made subject to his will. Just how revelation of the gospel comes to us, is a part of the mystery of godliness; but its power is never lacking. Mostly it comes as a glad surprise, as a sweet and precious token of promises fulfilled. One of old expresses its silent, mysterious power in this way, “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my meuth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Hock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Another tells it on this wise: “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that goeth out of my meuth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the tiling whereunto I sent it.” This word of power is Jesus, which was in the beginning with God, and was God. In whatever way we proclaim the gospel of Christ, it is the power of his word which we proclaim, and is the good tidings of that precious life which was given for many. Then the power of the gospel is unto salvation to every one that believeth. Aside from the revelation of Jesus in our experience, his whole life, his death, his burial and his resurrection, proclaim him in the Scriptures to the believer as the Savior of sinners. For the love wherewith God loved the people whom he had chosen in Christ, and to accomplish their salvation, he sent his Son into the world. There was no other way possible! to save them from their sins. The right of redemption was alone vested in Jesus; therefore he was the power of God unto salvation. His gospel was the accomplishment of all he came to do. “His work is perfect.” His plan of salvation was carried out and fulfilled to the very letter. And the way of that salvation is revealed in our experience as the spirit takes of the things of Jesus and reveals them unto us. Our eternal salvation therefore is secure by the power of the gospel of Christ. For by the appearing of Jesus, life and immortality is brought to light through the gospel, be having abolished death. Then again we experience a daily salvation through the same source. The apostle said, “I die daily,” and we can testify to a like experience. Daily we die, (by reason of the lusts in our flesh, and our weakness thereof,) to the comforts and privileges of the gospel. And by the power and sweetness of the gospel we are daily saved and restored to the joys of God’s salvation. Whenever (in the experience of the work of grace in the heart) the tempest-tossed child feels to be the least of all saints (if indeed one at all,) poor, needy, wretched, blind, naked and miserable, unworthy to be numbered with the Lord’s saints, at that very mement he is rich in faith, abounding in grace, and very near to the feet of Jesus. The mysterious reigning power and richness of the gospel is shining in his heart. It is illumined thereby, and gives a clear view of his own vileness, and also gives “the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” If we would enumerate the wisdom and knowledge and understanding’ and faith and love, and every rich and precious treasure found, as each door of the temple of our God is opened unto us, we could say in truth that they are all embraced in the glorious gospel of the Son of God. If so be that our life is hid with Christ in God, then our life is the life of him who raised us from the dead. Therefore we live no mere the old life in the flesh, but we live by the faith of the Son of God; and the gospel of the Son of God is our gospel. We cherish it, and by faith we live in it, and by it. Is it then any wonder that the revelation of the grace of God, as it emanates from the gospel of our gracious Redeemer, is to us glad tidings of great joy! And as it is proclaimed by the watchman on the walls of Zion, and we hear it, do we not recognize it as the pure language of Canaan? And we know the joyful sound. It is the voice of the harpers harping on their harps, telling the good tidings to all people. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” If we could examine the inmost recesses of the heart of every believer in the Lord Jesus, we would see written there the declaration of the psalmist, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” And now to sum it all up. The gospel of Christ is ours; we handle it, we eat it, we love it above all things else, and in one word it is all Jesus. The brightness of the Father’s glory, the author find finisher of our faith.
B. F. COULTER.
Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 28, 1897.
Signs Of The Times
Volume 65., No.7.
April 1, 1897.