LXXVI. The Gospel Proclamation.

LUKE xxiv. 46, 47. “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus
it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third
day.”

IT would be difficult to find in the word of God another
paragraph which contains within itself more of the essential
principles of the Gospel than that to which this text be-
longs.
I. The ground on which the Gospel proclamation rests :
“It behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the
third day.”
There could have been no Gospel if there had been no
Cross; but the death, even of Jesus, would have had no
efficacy for the removal of human guilt, if He had not
risen from the grave. The one fact is invariably connected
with the other in the Epistles. The honour of the law
required a victim. We cannot tell how it came that only
through such a sacrifice God could pardon sin. We admit
that the whole life of the Redeemer on earth was sacrificial,
but had His life-work on our behalf stopped short of Cal-
vary, there could have been no redemption for us through
Him. Men ridicule the preachers of “the blood,” and tell
us that we have outgrown such conceptions of the atone-
ment; but Paul was wiser than they are, and it was the
doctrine of Christ Crucified which was in his hands the
power of God unto salvation.
Three doctrines unite to form a trinity of Gospel truth:
1. The person of Christ as God incarnate.
2. The death of Christ as the Sacrifice.
3. The resurrection of Christ as the witness to the
other two doctrines.
II. The substance of the Gospel message here described:
“That repentance and remission of sins should be preached
in His name.” It is a proclamation of the remission of
sins. This pardon is 1st, Full; 2nd, Free; 3rd, Immedi-
ate; 4th, Irreversible.
But it is not a proclamation of forgiveness alone. Two
things, repentance and remission, are to go together. A
man cannot have forgiveness and continue at the same time
to indulge in sin. This mention of repentance is virtually
the same thing as that insistance on faith so constantly
found in the New Testament. Faith is the Christward
side of repentance. Repentance is the sinward side of
faith.
III. The order in which this proclamation is to be made:
“To all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” The reasons of
“beginning at Jerusalem” were:
1st. To magnify the Divine mercy.
2nd. To secure a convincing illustration of the Gospel’s
efficacy.
3rd. To establish a principle for the guidance of God’s
people in all ages.
So the law is that our first efforts should begin in our
own homes, “beginning at Jerusalem,” but we are not to
be content with working there. We must look abroad
also “to all nations.”
W. M. Taylor, D.D.

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