God’s Sole Means for the Justification of Sinners and Sanctification of Saints
If you are in Christ Jesus, then you are a Christian, a believer, a saint, a child of God, beloved of God, chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and regenerated by the Spirit. You are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6), and His Spirit indwells you (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11).
How does one go from being without God in the world, without hope, outside the covenant and commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12), to being in Christ? Considering all of the activities of churches, today, it causes one to marvel that only one means has been ordained by God to bring His elect people to Himself…preaching the Bible.
The Bible is God’s Word, revealed by the Holy Spirit and written by men. The unbeliever has no interest in the Bible, nor does he have confidence that it is God’s Word. The great majority of the Bible’s critics have never read it.
Sitting under the preaching of the Bible, the unbeliever is actually hardened in his heart toward God, as was Pharaoh, under the preaching of Moses. The Word of God has no benefits for the unbelieving reprobate, other than to expose him, for what he is in truth (Gen 6:5; Is 64:6; Jer 17:9; Jn 3:19; Rom 1:18–32; 3:10–12, 23; 6:23; 8:7). When a man scoffs at the Word preached, the preacher can say, “Sir, what you are doing is exactly what the Bible says you were made to do (Rom 9:22).”
This is why the born again believer in Jesus (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3), who has had her spiritual eyes opened, can delight so much in the holy Scriptures, saying, “Things are just as the Bible says they are in reality.” The same Bible, used by the Holy Spirit, to open her mind (2 Cor 4:4), to know and understand the things of God and Christ (2 Pet 3:18), is the same Bible that continues to nourish her soul and protect her from the lies of the adversary (Jn 8:44).
Preaching sets captives to sin and Satan free (Jn 8:32), from bondage to his deceit in the domain of darkness (Col 1:13). The Word of truth sets the elect people free from spiritual blindness and deafness and lameness. The Word of God, preached, gives hearing to the graced recipient of the Gospel of God (Rom 10:17). She believes with the faith given to her (Phil 1:29), by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit (1 Pet 1:3).
The Holy Spirit-filled preacher proclaims Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 1:23; 2:2). He preaches the kingdom of God, which is the message of peace with God, exclusively through Jesus Christ (Rom 14:17). Filled with the same Holy Spirit, the former unbeliever is made to be a believer. She hears the voice of Christ (Jn 10:3), as the preacher exposits the verses of the Bible. He calls all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30), while the Spirit of Christ effectually calls his elect to follow Him in faith (Rom 8:30). The new believer, with the new life of Christ now living in her heart, responds (Acts 16:14), and is gathered into Christ’s church (Mt 16:18).
The very same Gospel of Jesus Christ that brought new life to her, is the very same message that sustains her spiritual life, which is abundant and eternal (Jn 10:10; 17:3). The Gospel of life is glorious, for when it is preached as one message, elect sinners repent and are justified, and redeemed saints are sanctified, in the Spirit’s work to conform them into the image of Jesus Christ, the perfect God-man (Rom 8:29).
May God have mercy on the church that has left its first love, of hearing the preaching of the One who first loved His people and who gave himself for them (Rev 2; Eph 5:25). May God gather his beloved people, into a place where lukewarm attitudes toward preaching have been replaced by the light and heat of Spirit-powered proclamation.
Christian, have you been misled by the fake church that masquerades as the true church? Is the man in the pulpit (if there is one) distracting you, by preaching bits and pieces from the Bible, but not actually preaching the Bible? Come out of that church My people (Rev 18:4), and flee to the city of refuge, which has opened its doors to the One who stood outside, saying, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me (Rev 3:20).”
The true communion of saints gathers in the local church to feast on the Word of God, served by the preacher, who has prepared the good food of God, the bread of life, so that God’s people may taste and see that God is good…all the time.
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 9, 2022