Why It is Important For Us to Remember the Fullness of the Gospel

Good Morning,

In the hymn Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise there is a line that goes, “Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes, most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.” In those words we hear a portion of the message we’ve been on about since the first of the year. The fact that our LORD is the one above, by whom the world was made, and now grants unto us a peace and comfort, which the apostle Paul describes as passing all understanding is gloriously far out. What he means by that is when we consider who God is and who we are all that He does for us and in us it is incomprehensible, hence why we call it grace. It’s unmerited favor. We’d be good to remember that more often.

We hear an echo of this in a lyric from Revive Us Again which goes, “All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain, who hath borne all our sins, and hath cleansed every stain”. When we take a second and consider afresh the nature of the gospel, of God’s merciful love to His covenant people despite their rebellion against His triune power, it more and more should drive us to prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. Our prayer and worship help this Tuesday is going to spend some time contemplating once more these truths that we might do and be better in resting and trusting in the one who has made us, twice-born, saved believers.

Since we are kind of on a theme of quoting song testimonies it would be good for us ARP’s to take a cue from Bible Song #66 which repeats the blessing of the good news in this way:

How blest the man whose trespass hath freely pardoned been, to whom the LORD hath given a covering for sin, how blest to whom imputed his guilt no more shall be, the man in whom his spirit all deceit is free, shout for joy, shout for joy, be glad in Him rejoice, all ye that upright are in heart, for joy lift up your voice.

As a loose translation of Psalm 32 we have David here contemplating the forgiveness of sin. While we could place that need in his life to many moments it is most likely that this psalm follows in spirit that of his great confession of sin in the Fifty-First Psalm. After bearing tears worthy of repentance and feeling the weight of his great transgression against the Lord we see the son of Jesse moved by the Holy Spirit to a feeling of gratefulness which breaks itself out in song. He can’t help but recount to his heart and soul the bountiful life which had been gifted and granted unto him by the very nature of the God he offended in his sin. There was nothing which he could think to do in the moment as he tallied up all the times, even in this one whole wreck of a destruction he had wrought in the lives of Uriah, Bathsheba, Michal, and even the now dead son of his tryst, but to testify that despite all of that he was a blest man because the Son of Righteousness has made true on His promise to cleanse every stain through the sacrifice of the cross. It is in this revelric moment of melodic warbling that we come to begin to understand what it means to be forgiven.

Too many times we assume the gospel. That of course Jesus would die for me, of course Golgotha was ordained before the foundation of the world that I may reign in Heaven forever, yet none of that should come as easy as it sounds. The one who is inaccessible to us in His person has united us in Himself in the application of the redemption purchased by Christ. We who were once aliens to the covenant of surety have now in our own way become inaccessible to the devil himself. When our Lord notes in John 10 that no one can take us out of the bosom of the Father because we are held there in Jesus’ arms it should bring us to mind once more of the seraphic nature of our praise. If the truth (and it is truth) is that nothing can separate us from the love of God we need to be spending more of our time, as David does in the psalm, contemplating what that means for the daily life we live.

As he recognizes in himself, that the Lord has removed from him not just the stain of sin, but its power and authority over him, it releases David to enjoy the blessings which flow from this salvation purchased by our Savior. A danger sometimes we fall into is seeking God for the benefits which flow from the riven side of Christ, rather than keeping our eyes on the lamb Himself. Something you notice if you spend time in the whole book of psalms is the way that each of them draw us into a deeper conception of what it means to be a child of the living God and what He does to open our eyes to see the totality of what this means for our ability to withstand all the darkness, evil, and wickedness of this present fallen world, especially when we consider our own contributions to our own unhappiness in the face of it.

To close us out today I want to return back to our song theme from earlier and ask you to prayerfully meditate on the first six verses (three stanzas) of the Scottish Metrical Psalter (1650) version of Psalm 113, the hymnbook of our ancestors. I love the Scottish Psalter for many reasons, not just for its faithfulness to the Hebrew, but because in its translation it does an excellent job of capturing that angst and trouble of the king of Israel as he struggled in this life, yet in never forgetting where his true hope lies.

Take it up, and let it dwell in your heart, the very words of Christ:

1  Praise God: ye servants of the Lord,
       O praise, the Lord's name praise.
 2  Yea, bless-ed be the name of God
       from this time forth always.

 3  From rising sun to where it sets,
       God's name is to be praised.
 4  Above all nations God is high,
       'bove heav'ns his glory raised.

 5  Unto the Lord our God that dwells
       on high, who can compare?
 6  Himself that humbleth things to see
       in heav'n and earth that are.

For further reading:


Blessings in Christ,

Rev. Benjamin Glaser

Pastor, Bethany ARP Church

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