MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (December 27, 2021)

In the last three editions of “MONDAY MINUTES”, we found that the new birth occurs apart from the hearing and acceptance of the gospel. However, the gospel nonetheless has an extremely important role in the life of a born-again child of God! So what is the purpose of the gospel?

In 2 Tim. 1:9-10, Paul writes to the young preacher Timothy, and tells him, “[Christ] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. . . .” After first crediting Jesus alone with the eternal salvation of His people, Paul tells us that this eternal salvation has now been brought to completion by Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Then he clearly sets forth the purpose of the gospel message: it is meant to bring “life and immortality to light.”

Notice that the gospel does not bring “life and immortality,” as some suppose. Rather, it brings “life and immortality TO LIGHT.” When you walk into a dark room and turn on the light switch, the light from the fixture illuminates the furniture that is in the room. The light does not PUT the furniture in the room; rather, it simply illuminates what is already in the room!

Likewise, the gospel does not BRING life and immortality to the child of God: it simply illuminates the life and immortality that has already been brought to the child of God via the new birth. The sinner who is dead in trespasses and sins has no interest in the gospel, for 1 Cor. 2:14 tells us that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I believe the gospel is most definitely a “thing[] of the Spirit of God,” wouldn’t you agree? Thus, a spiritually dead man cannot and will not receive the gospel! Only the ones who are spiritually already alive can or will hear and receive the gospel.

But a man who has been born again IS able to hear and believe the gospel message; again, not in order to become a child of God, but because he already IS a child of God. The new nature within him recognizes himself for what he is: a depraved sinner in need of a Savior. Whenever we see someone under “conviction of sin”, we can be assured that person is already born again, for an understanding of one’s own sinful nature is one of the effects of the new birth. Seeing yourself as a sinner brings a burden upon the heart of the born again child of God – a burden that needs relieving. And while the gospel message does not bring remission of sins, it DOES bring relief from the burden of sin – it is the EXACT right message, one that a sinner needs to hear!

“Gospel” simply means “good news.” The gospel message is the supposed to be good news for a little child of God who, through the new birth, has seen himself as the sinner that he is. Unfortunately, the most prevalent message in the religious world focuses on the sinner, not the Savior: it tells a sinner what he must DO in order to go to heaven, which is the farthest thing from “good news” for one who understands just how sinful he really is!

The true gospel, on the other hand, tells of a Great Savior Who completely accomplished the work of salvation! It tells of One Who came into this world to “save His people from their sins.” Mat. 1:21. It tells of One Who MEANT it when He cried “It is finished!” on the cross!

And it is the purpose of the gospel to bring to light for the born-again child of God what it is that has happened to him, i.e., that the reason he feels conviction of sin and the desire for salvation is that a Savior has already saved him eternally! This, my friends, is not just “good news” – it is the “BEST news”!

I pray this helps encourage you when you are feeling cast down under the burden of sin. Knowing that my eternal salvation is in the hands of the Almighty God brings peace to me like no other message can bring!

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor