“Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” vs26-27
We must not shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of God. We must declare all the truth, holding back nothing. We must value the glory of Christ and our debt to Him so high as to be faithful. We must love souls enough to tell the truth. We are cowards and unfaithful - twisters of the word of Christ - if we do anything else [2 Cor 2:17]. Let none of us be unfaithful.
First, we must declare that men are dead in sin. Talking to Pastor Victor this week, I was reminded of Isa 64:6, and how when I first came to Christ, those passages on man’s sinfulness rang out! Here I was, lost in dead religion, then I heard the finished work of Christ, and what He accomplished for sinners.
We must eliminate all hope in man but faith alone, or we are unfaithful, and they are on sinking sand. It may sting men’s conscience and provoke many enemies, but we must put a stop to false religion and leave men helpless.
Secondly, we must show the way of faith in Christ. How can they call on Him whom they haven’t believed, and how can they believe without preaching? They must know the sum of the gospel message - that Christ came into the world to save sinners. We’ve been chosen beforehand, and God covenanted with us, without our knowing it, when He agreed to save us for Christ’s sake [Heb 8:10]. They must know the stipulations of the covenant are fulfilled by Him, even faith, so that there is NO POSSIBILITY of any sheep perishing. He says, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them in as well, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd [John 10:16].”
They must know the blood has made atonement, so there is nothing to add, and they must know that faith is easy: It is not something difficult - some great doing - it is believing on Him to save you for no other reason than faith. Then, the guilt will drop and assurance will spring forth [John 4:50-53]. Then fear will be gone, along with needless shame. Then, the power over sin will come - not by will power & human might, but by the Spirit.
Thirdly, they must know the way of holiness is a way of faith: It is believing on Christ to the end! We are not saved by faith and then made perfect by the flesh. We don’t start in Christ and then go back to the law. We keep following Christ all the way home. Moses leads to bondage, guilt, fear, and shame; he leads to hypocrisy. Christ leads to love, joy, and peace - all the fruit of the Spirit and deep humility. Paul says, “Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ [Gal 6:2].” We are not saved by the gospel and then made strong by gospel-less sermons. No, Christ is all, always.
Let this be a lesson to you. Christ is who we must follow from start to finish. We interpret Scriptures by Christ, listening to Christ exalting sermons, proclaiming salvation by grace through His finished work according to the Scriptures.
We have Christ, and we want to know all about Him - how He saves and makes us righteous. We want to know what it means to be righteous by imputation and in our conduct... what it means to be chosen unto holiness, and how to spread the gospel with God working with us.
→ The blessings are for all who stick to Christ: He is the Whole Counsel of God - everything about Him from start to finish.
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