Preaching the Faith
We, like the apostle Paul, preach Him, who God was pleased to reveal to us (Gal 1:15–16). Jesus Christ is the seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16, 19). He is the fulfillment of God’s unconditional promise to the patriarch and his offspring (Gen 12, 15, 17; Rom 4:13, 16, 18, 24).
God promised Abraham, through an unconditional covenant that He would bless and multiply the righteous progeny of the chosen Chaldean. His posterity, both Jew and Gentile (Gal 3:8), would be justified before God in the same manner as the friend of God (Is 41:8; Jas 2:23)…by faith in God’s Word of promise (Rom 4:5; 5:1).
It is God’s Word that causes a man to hear and to believe (Rom 10:17; Gal 3:5). Faith in the Word of Christ, who was promised beforehand, is granted as a gift of God’s grace (Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29). This gift of grace is a product of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11), who causes faithfulness to manifest in those grafted into the True Vine, by God the Father (Jn 15:1; Gal 5:22).
Righteousness, that is, right standing before a holy God, is not attained by works of the Law (Rom 3:20, 27–28). The reason is that our sinful flesh pollutes every act of our attempted obedience. We fall short of the standard of God’s Law (Rom 3:23), which reveals His holiness and glory. Paul wrote, “a man is not justified by the works of the Law (Gal 2:16).” The reason is that righteousness does not come through the Law (Gal 2:21). This is the error of every man-made religion, including Judaism.
Our Lord Jesus Christ came from heaven to fulfill the Law of righteousness (Rom 5:17). He was without sin in conception (Lk 1:35), birth (Is 7:14), life (Heb 4:15), and through His crucifixion. In His obedient life, He demonstrated that He was indeed the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). In His death, He actually paid for all the sins of all His people (Lev 16:34; Rom 6:10; Heb 9:12; 10:10; 1 Pet 3:18). As our substitute sacrifice, His precious blood successfully atoned for the sins of those He came to save (Mt 1:21; 1 Pet 1:19; 2:24). Simply put, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us (Gal 3:13).”
God poured out His wrath upon His only begotten Son that He might be the propitiation for our sins (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). In other words, He shelters His people, from the just wrath of God, poured out in righteous judgment against sins/sinners (Rom 1:18).
The Law of God was always and only intended to reveal the holiness of God and the sinfulness of sinners. While under the Law, the only need was for the just God to punish transgressors (Rom 3:23; 6:23). Instead, He punished His own perfectly sinless Son (Ps 22:1). This is not divine child abuse, as some false teachers purport, rather, it must be known that in the eternal counsel of the Triune God, the Son agreed to come into the world to suffer (Heb 12:2), even to the point of death on a cross (Phil 2:8).
God accepts no one’s sacrifice for sins (Jer 6:20), except the sacrifice of His one and only Son (Acts 17:31). As a result of His one hundred percent successful work, God has exalted Jesus to the highest place, seating Him at the right hand of Majesty (Heb 1:3; 8:1). In His glorious enthronement, Jesus has been given the name above every other name (Phil 2:9; Heb 7:26).
Jesus Christ came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). God the Father accepted His substitutionary sacrifice, demonstrated by His raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:31). In His life, death, burial resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and reign over all, Jesus warrants our trust (Acts 16:31).
Not all men have faith in Christ (2 Thess 3:2). Unbelievers do not believe because they do not belong to Christ (Jn 10:26). They are of the world, and therefore, they cannot receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17). They do not hear the voice of Christ (Jn 5:25, 37; 10:3, 16, 27; 18:37), nor do they look to Him that they may live (Num 21:8–9). Instead, they die in their trespasses and sins (Rom 2:12). It was not appointed for them to receive eternal life (Acts 13:48).
Fully accountable for their sins, it is appointed for them to die (Heb 9:27) and stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10), on the great white throne of judgment (Rev 20:11), to receive the due penalty of their crimes (Rom 1:27), which is eternal punishment (Jude 1:7), in the lake of fire (Rev 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8).
By the grace of repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim 2:25), granted to those who have received the Spirit of Christ, the believer turns from sin, Satan, and the world. Through the allotment of God, a measure of faith is given to each elect, redeemed, and regenerate soul (Rom 12:3).
Christian, keeping your eyes on Jesus, who is authoring your faith (Heb 12:2), the life you now live is by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and who gave Himself for you (Gal 2:20). You look to the promises of God in the Bible, especially the promise of eternal life (Titus 1:2; 1 Jn 2:25), which are “yes” and “Amen” in Christ (2 Cor 1:20).
God has made you believe in Christ, by causing you to be born again of the Spirit (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). In other words, He has given you His own life (Jn 6:63; 14:6), which includes the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). He did this by transferring you into Christ and His kingdom, the church (1 Cor 12:13; Col 1:13). This is your right standing before God.
Just as Jesus knew the Father and trusted Him, so we trust Christ to fulfill all the promises of God. In the covenant of grace, God has promised to will and to work all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11), which is always good for the Christian (Rom 8:28), and for God’s good pleasure (Phil 2:13).
God saved us (Titus 3:5), and He will see each of His adopted children (Rom 8:15, 23) safely through to His heavenly kingdom (2 Tim 4:8), just as He promised. This is the faith we preach (Rom 10:8; Gal 1:23), just as the prophets and apostles faithfully proclaimed in their generations.
May we be found faithful (Gal 5:22), by His grace, today and on the day of God’s judgment, to boast only in the person and works of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:31). He has done great things to warrant our faith in Him, alone. He is the only Savior of ungodly sinners (Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6), and we believe in Him (Person and work) with the faith given to us, at the preaching of the faith and with the receipt of His Holy Spirit (Jn 7:39; 14:17; Acts 1:8; 2:33; 8:15, 17, 19; 10:47; Rom 8:15; 1 Cor 2:12; 2 Cor 11:4; Gal 3:2, 14; 1 Thess 1:6).
Spokane Valley, Washington
August 19, 2022