Many years ago a man persuaded one of his very well educated friends, who was an unbeliever, to go with him to hear Robert Hawker preach the Gospel. As they made the long trip from London to Plymouth to hear the highly esteemed Dr. Hawker, the man who was a believer was full of hope, anticipating that his friend would not be able to resist the persuasive preaching of God’s gifted servant.
After the service, as he tried to engage his friend in conversation about the message they had been privileged to hear, the very “learned” infidel said to his believing friend, “I did not understand a word the man said.” Before returning to London the next day the believing man stopped by to visit with the faithful preacher. He told Hawker that though his friend was very learned, he had not understood anything he heard. Hawker responded, “How many poor, uneducated old women standing by the walls, being taught of God the Holy Ghost, understood every word.”
The reason unbelieving souls do not understand the things revealed in Holy Scripture is not that the Gospel of Christ is too deep, profound, and mysterious. And the problem is not that God’s servants do not preach with sufficient clarity and simplicity. The reason sinners do not understand the things of God is their unbelief. God hides all spiritual truth from them that believe not the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).
Here are six facts plainly revealed in the Gospel of God our Savior. They cannot be denied by any logic. Yet, none can or will truly embrace them and understand them except those chosen, redeemed sinners who are born of God and taught of Him, by the almighty, efficacious grace and saving of His Holy Spirit.
1. All men and women by nature, since the fall of our father Adam, are sinners, alienated from God. — “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). As sinners, we are alienated from the life of God and have become enemies unto God. The wages of our sin and enmity to God is death. Every transgression must receive its just recompense of reward (Hebrews 2:2). All sin must be punished, either in the sinner or in the sinner’s Substitute.
The law, being broken, accuses of sin, condemns the sinner, and demands death. Unless satisfaction is made, the sentence of the law must be executed. The sanction of the law is death. It can never be abrogated, changed, altered, or abated. God will never relax His justice. — “The soul that sinneth, it shall die!” (Ezekiel 18:2). But…
2. It is the will of God to save sinners. — “He delighteth in mercy!” God has decreed the salvation of some. Christ came to save some. There are some people in this world who must and shall be saved, because it is the will of God to save them; and God’s will cannot be frustrated (John 10:16). Every chosen sinner (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14), every predestined son (Romans 8:29-30), every heir of the covenant (Ephesians 1:3-7), everyone whose name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) must and shall be saved by the grace of God. There is no possibility that even one of God’s elect will perish! However…
3.It is impossible for the holy and just God to save any sinner apart from the satisfaction of justice (Hebrews 9:22). He declares, “I will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7). I know that God is omnipotent, almighty, and sovereign. He does what He will. But God cannot do that which is contrary to His own nature. He will not violate His own law and justice. We do not rob God of His sovereignty when we repeat the declaration of Holy Scripture and say, “God cannot lie.” He who is the Truth cannot lie. Neither do we rob God of His sovereignty when we assert this truth of Holy Scripture: — God cannot forgive sin without the satisfaction of justice. The just, holy, and true God must punish sin.
4. The only way the justice of God could ever be satisfied is by the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ (Job 34:23; Romans 3:24-26). God could not die and man could not satisfy; but the God-man both died and satisfied. Two facts demonstrate clearly that there was no other way for justice to be satisfied. — First, the love of God the Father for His Son proves it. Would God almighty slay His darling Son, if there were any other way to save His people consistent with his justice? — And, second, the prayer of Christ in Gethsemaneproves it (Matthew 26:39). If the salvation of His people could be accomplished by any means other than His own death upon the cursed tree, would not God the Father have granted His tormented Son the desire of His soul?
5.It is impossible for God in His holiness to punish any sinner for whose sins justice has been satisfied by the blood of His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:11; Romans 7:14). The law has no claim upon an executed felon.
“Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine!”
6. Every sinner who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ has been chosen, redeemed, and called, and must be forever saved. It is written in the Book of God, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). May God the Holy Spirit now enable you by His sovereign grace to trust the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don Fortner, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church