Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Simple Gospel

The following quotation comes from a sermon by C.J. Vaughan, Dean of Llandaff on the Ethiopian Eunuch.

"Lastly, the narrative before us illustrates the importance, both for strength and for comfort, of holding a simple Gospel.

"Many of us pass through life without one single experience of the effect of the Gospel upon this stranger. We are so mistaught, or else so slow to learn; we are so afraid of presumption, and so fond of adding something of our own to the work and word of God; that we never reach anything that can call itself the glad tidings of Jesus, or send us forth on our way rejoicing. What Philip preached, what the Ethiopian received, was something which needed but one conversation for its statement and but one hour for its reception. Evidently it was the simple declaration of a Saviour; a Saviour complete in His work for man; a Saviour, Himself our Propitiation, our Righteousness, and our strength; our Sacrifice for sin, our Example of holiness, our Almighty Enabler and Renewer by His holy and in-dwelling spirit. This is what Philip preached. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and Shalt believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. That is the Gospel, as God sent it, as Christ ratified it, as the Evangelists and Apostles preached it. Out of this Gospel flows all peace and strength. Alas! We have added to it, and we have subtracted from it, till the vital energy is lost. God give us grace, ere it be too late, to call it back! There is none other. Any other Gospel is destitute of God's strength, because destitute of God's wisdom. No other Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. By that test shall ye know the precious from the vile. Take Christ wholly for your Saviour; see yourself lost, see Him an entire Propitiation; ask of God to receive you as you are, and to look upon you only in Christ: and upon you, in the same proportion, will arise in no long time a glorious light: in you will be fulfilled, as in thousands before you, the memorable words, Surely, shall one say, in the Lord I have righteousness and strength... in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory!"

C.J. Vaughan, The Church of the First Days Vol. 1 (London, Macmillan, 1873) Pp. 334-6.

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