Stunning

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CAMPONTHIS: WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?...by John Piper

CAMPONTHIS: WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?<br>...by John Piper

I love Campi because he is brave and talks about important matters, even when the tide is against him. That is why I link his site here on my blog.
He is not afraid to be a Berean, and neither am I!

This thread is interesting, and if I get the time to post more I will. The subject matter is just too important and needs immediate attention today in the evangelical landscape.

Mark

Gospel Distinctives

I know that the things we believe and preach, place us in direct conflict with the religious world around us. That really shouldn't surprise us. When our Lord Jesus told the religious leaders of his day the things I am about to tell you, they started grabbing rocks to stone him to death. So we must never be surprised when lost religionists get upset with us for preaching the gospel.

Here are four things which place us in direct conflict with the entire religious world--

1. What we believe and preach about GOD himself is the primary, basic difference between us and those who do not believe the gospel. We believe, according to the plain statements of Holy Scripture that the one true and living God, the God of the Bible, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGN of the universe (Ps. 115:3; 135:6). That simply means that God is God. He does, he always does, exactly what he will everywhere, with everyone and everything! God always has his way. God always does all his pleasure. None can stay his hand. None can resist his will. In heaven, earth, and hell GOD RULES!

This great, sovereign God is absolutely, perfectly, immaculately HOLY. Everything he does is holy. Everything he requires is holy. He is so perfectly, absolutely, inviolably holy that he cannot and will not accept anything or anyone who is not perfectly holy.

Our great, sovereign, holy Lord God is immutably JUST. God our Savior declares himself to be both "a just God and a Savior." His justice is unbending and unbendable. He will not forgive sin, except upon the grounds of strict justice. The just God must and shall punish all sin. He cannot forgive sin until full satisfaction for sin has been made. And this gloriously just God cannot charge any sin upon any sinner for whom atonement has been made. Justice, once satisfied, demands the release of all for whom satisfaction has been made.

2. That which we believe about MAN also separates us from the entire religious world around us. We believe, according to the plain statements of Holy Scripture, that all men and women are sinners, born in spiritual death, corrupt at heart, inclined toward every evil, incapable of doing good, and totally incapable of changing their condition. In a word, fallen man is "dead in trespasses and sins," lost, justly condemned, under the wrath of God, doomed, damned, willfully ignorant of all things spiritual; without Christ, and without hope, apart from God's sovereign mercy.

3. Everything we believe about the LORD JESUS CHRIST sets us apart from the religious world in which we live. Unlike most religious people, we actually believe the Bible. We believe all that the Bible reveals about the Son of God. We really do believe that Jesus Christ is God, God in human flesh.
-That he is the eternal Surety.
-That he brought in everlasting righteousness for his elect by his obedience to God as our Representative.
-That he fully satisfied the justice of God for the sins of his people, which were imputed to him, when he died as our Substitute at Calvary.
-We believe that all for whom the Lord Jesus Christ died must and shall be saved, because he cannot fail. He is an almighty, effectual Redeemer, an omnipotent Savior, an unfailing Advocate, and an all-prevailing High Priest!

4. Believing what the Bible teaches about SALVATION also separates us from the lost religionists of this world, who foolishly imagine that God's salvation depends in some way, or to some degree, at some point upon the will, work, or worth of man. It does not! "Salvation is of the LORD!" Salvation is accomplished, in its entirety, by the free, sovereign, irresistible grace and power of God Almighty, through the person and work of his dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the omnipotent operations of his Holy Spirit, who alone can raise sinners from death to life, reveal Christ in them, and give them the gift of faith in him.

Every aspect of God's salvation is by GRACE alone.

Are we 'chosen' of God? We were chosen unto salvation by the election of grace.

Are we 'redeemed' by the blood of Christ? We were redeemed because God the Father gave us to God the Son in the covenant of grace before the world began.

Are we 'called', 'born again'? We are born again by the Spirit of God, who called us from death to life in Christ by the power of his omnipotent grace.

Are we 'justified'? We are justified by grace.

Are we 'sanctified'? We are sanctified by grace.

Are we 'kept'? We are kept by the power of God's grace.

There is no place between the pit of hell and the gates of pearl, where salvation depends on us. It is written in the Book of God in bold, capital letters-- "BY GRACE YOU ARE SAVED!" That is the message written upon every page of the Bible. Any religion, any doctrine, any preacher, any religious teacher, anything or anyone who contradicts that message contradicts the Word of God. Salvation is by the grace of God, entirely by the grace of God. Human works, human effort, and the will of man has absolutely nothing to do with it. "Salvation is of the LORD!"

I know that men object to these things. I know preachers everywhere deny them. I know that proud men are offended by them. But I am not running for political office. I am here to proclaim the truth to eternity bound sinners for the glory of God. That which we have heard and learned of the Father, we must declare. I must be true to God, true to the Scriptures, and true to your souls.


REDEMPTION BY CHRIST

The only hope for fallen, guilty, depraved sinners is redemption, a redemption which includes atonement for sin, satisfaction for justice, and effectual deliverance from the guilt, power, dominion, and consequences of sin. Such redemption could be accomplished by only one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior. Not only could he alone do it, he has done it; and he has done it alone. He declares, "I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me" (Isa. 63:5).

When we consider the doctrine of redemption, we have come to the most important of all gospel truths. In our day, men more quickly attack the doctrine of the cross than any other. They more vehemently deny the glorious efficacy of Christ's sin-atoning blood than any other doctrine. Multitudes who sing the words of Cowper's hymn,

"Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
'Til all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved to sin no more,"

assert with absolute dogmatism that there is no real saving power and efficacy in Christ's blood; for they declare that multitudes are in hell today for whom Christ died. Thus demonstrating that they know nothing of that Savior revealed in Holy Scripture of whom the hymn was written.

Because the doctrine of redemption by the precious blood of Christ is so very important, I urge you to listen very carefully to these brief studies on this most glorious, God honoring subject. Then study the Scriptures for yourself, comparing scripture with scripture, asking God the Holy Spirit to give you a clear understanding in the teachings of Holy Scripture about redemption.

The Holy Spirit declares in Hebrews 10:1 - "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."

According to those words of inspiration, the law in the Old Testament Scriptures had a shadow of good things to come. That is to say, God, in the Old Testament, under the types and shadows of the law, gave many pictures and prophecies of what he would do for and give to his people through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The sacrifices offered to God in the Old Testament could never take away one sin. However, the law did have many instructive pictures, types , and shadows of our redemption by the blood of Christ. In each of those types , pictures, and prophecies setting forth the redemptive work of Christ several things are obvious. Here are three very obvious facts revealed in the Word of God about our redemption by Christ. These three revealed facts teach us much about the subject.

  1. The redemption portrayed and promised in the Old Testament was revealed only to a chosen people. Only the nation of Israel had the passover sacrifice and the promise of a redeemer, because only the Israel of God, God's elect, are the people for whom Christ the true Passover was sacrificed.

  2. The redemption sacrifice was made, offered to God, and accepted by God for a specifically chosen people, named by God himself. Even so, our Lord Jesus Christ died for those people given to him by the Father in the covenant of grace before the world began. He said, "I lay down my life for the sheep." The good Shepherd died for his sheep, not for the goats of the world.

  3. The redemption portrayed the effectual deliverance of all those for whom it was accomplished. Every soul for whom the passover lamb was slain walked out of Egypt by the power of God. Even so, every sinner for whom the Son of God made atonement by his substitutionary death at Calvary shall be delivered from the curse of God's holy law and saved from sin, death, and hell by the merit and power of his precious blood. Not one of those for whom Christ died under the wrath of God shall perish in hell. They all must and shall be saved.

AMEN.

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