WHO IS THE GOSPEL FOR? The gospel, my dear sir, is a salvation appointed for those who are ready to perish, and is not designed to put them in a way to save themselves by their own works. It speaks to us as condemned already, and calls upon us to believe in a crucified Savior, that we may receive redemption through the blood, even the forgiveness of our sins. And the Spirit of God, by the Gospel, first convinces us of unbelief, sin and misery; and then, by revealing the things of Jesus to our minds, enables us, as helpless sinners, to come to Christ, to receive Him, to behold Him, or, in other words, to believe in Him. â€“John Newton *****
One reason why the church of Christ at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church. Your duty as a Christian is to stand fast in your place and stand out for God, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh, resolving like one of another time, "Let others do as they will; as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15). â€“Scott Richardson *****
GOD IS FOR HIS PEOPLE "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). What are "these things" to which the Apostle refers? Perhaps he intends the afflictions which befall believers (verse 18). No child of God is immune to troubles, but we must not murmur against them for we are assured that "all things work together for good" for the Lordâ€™s people (verse 28). Our heavenly Father is "for us" in all these things, and the hardships of life are not to be compared to the glory that awaits us (verse 18). Or, perhaps "all things" points back to Godâ€™s works of grace: foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification (verses 29-30). Who or what could ever successfully oppose the elect of God since Jehovah is "for us"? The Lord cannot be against us for that would be contrary to His eternal love and purpose of salvation. His law cannot be against us for "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth" (Romans 10:4). Divine justice cannot be against us for our Substitute died for our sins, satisfying its demands. Sin cannot be against us since our Savior has, by His death, buried it in the sea of Godâ€™s forgetfulness and the new covenant promise is, "their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17). Satan cannot succeed in being against us for he is a mortally wounded foe; the God-Man crushed the head of the serpent at the cross. Death cannot be against us because the sting of death, which is sin, has been put away. The day of our death will be our graduation day to everlasting glory.
We are assured that God is for all of His people, but here is another question: is God for me and is He for you? The only way we can be confident that He is "for us" is if we are for God. Now letâ€™s be clear, God is not "for us" because we are for Him, but we will be for Him if He is "for us." Are we for His way of rescuing sinners by His sovereign decree of grace? Are we for His method of making us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ? Are we for His salvation that is all of God, all of grace and all in Christ? Those who are not for God must not think this promise is for them, but those who are for God may joyfully exclaim: "If God be for us, who can be against us?" â€“Pastor Jim Byrd