December 12, 2017

Insight into Substantive Preaching (3)

Mark Minnick

In Part One of this series, Dr. Minnick introduces a substantive sermon by Benjamin Keach. We also gave you just a taste of the first couple of paragraphs of the sermon.

In Part Two of this series, we offered the full introduction to the sermon and the first major point. In today’s post, we give again the first two paragraphs of introduction as well as the second major point.

Gospel Salvation Is a Great and Glorious Salvation

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? (Heb. 2:3)

I am about the proof and demonstration of the first point of doctrine raised in our text. That Gospel-salvation is a great and glorious salvation. I have spoken of this already under five considerations. Now sixthly.

It is so if we consider the glory and greatness of the persons who sat in counsel about bringing it in and working it out for sinful man. We commonly judge of the greatness of an undertaking and the glory of the work by considering the dignity, glory, wisdom, power and greatness of the persons concerned in it. …


The Son’s Part in This Great and Glorious Salvation

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, hath His part in working it out. The Father fixed on Him, as the great Agent, to actually perfect it. He is in such a peculiar manner concerned in it that His name is Saviour. His name shall be called Jesus. Jesus signifies a Saviour. Certainly this must needs be a great salvation if we consider the greatness, dignity, and glory of His Person Who God hath sent to save us. And because it is mainly from this foot of account, that the apostle in the text draws his inference and calls Gospel-salvation “Great-salvation,” I shall a little further enlarge upon this particular.

1. Jesus Christ hath a great name given to Him, yea, a name above every name (Phil. 2:9). That is, He is so highly exalted (as He is Mediator) that He is clothed with power, glory and majesty above all creatures in Heaven and Earth. All in Heaven above and in Earth beneath must bow down before Him and adore and worship Him and be in subjection to Him. For unto us a Child is born, a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders. And His name shall be called Wonderful (Is. 9:6). This His name is according to His Person. He is a wonderful or an admirable Person. Wonderful in His incarnation: God-Man. Wonderful in His birth. Wonderful in His life. Wonderful in His death, and in the effects, end and design of His death.

He is not only called Wonderful, but also Counselor. Never such a counselor for wisdom and knowledge, for He is the wisdom of God itself and the only wise God. He is called the mighty God, the everlasting Father, or the Father of eternity, and the Prince of Peace. Moreover, He is called Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature. And also called the only begotten Son of God, and the Prince of the kings of the earth, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, the only potentate. He is called the Desire of all nations, elect precious. And He is made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they; for unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee (Heb. 1:4, 5). He is called the one Mediator. Time would fail me to speak of all His names.

2. As is his Name, such is His nature. He is God’s Fellow. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God (Phil. 2:6). O what a kind of salvation must this be, that such a Person is sent to work it out! One clothed with such a name, with such a nature, with such glory. He called a Saviour, a great one. He shall (that is, God shall) send them a Saviour, a great One, and He shall deliver them (Is. 19:20). He, as He is God-Man, is ordained heir of all things and all power in heaven and earth is given to Him. Nay, He is the upholder—the sustainer or preserver—of the world. He is not only the Brightness of the Father’s glory, and express image of His Person, but He upholdeth all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). He is one and the same God with the Father, the express character of his Father’s person, so that they the see and know Him, see and know the Father also. He supports, sustains, feeds, preserves, governs, throws down and raises up, kills and makes alive whom He will. He has the keys of Hell and Death. He is the wonder of angels, the consternation and dread of devils, the joy and delight of the saints. There is not such another person in Heaven nor Earth, perfect God and perfect man, and yet but one Christ, one person. Certainly here’s some great and wonderful work to be done when such a Person is substituted, ordained and so qualified and sent into the world to work out the actual accomplishment thereof. Nay, God Himself, who delighteth in Him, put the prophet to propound this question concerning Him: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with died garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength (Is. 63:1)? Christ Himself (as I conceive) answers, I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. O happy mortals, that God hath sent us such a Saviour. He is mighty to save.

3. Consider also that none but He could save us, procure and work about this salvation for us. There was none in Heaven nor Earth able nor worthy to open the book and loose the seals thereof, but the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He hath prevailed (Rev. 5:5).

4. Jesus Christ is such an almighty Saviour, that He is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by Him (Heb. 7:25). He has the perfection of power with Him. He can save to the full, let the state of the soul that comes to God by Him be whatsoever it will or can be.

Though a man is sunk down to the very gates of Hell, under the pressure and sense of God’s wrath. Though he hath the guilt of millions of sins like mountains of lead lying upon him, yet Christ can save him. Though Satan says there is no hope, and the heart of the sinner joins in with him, and says there is no hope, no pardon, no help, no salvation. “Hang thyself, drown thyself,” saith Satan. “Thou art damned, there is no mercy for thee.” Yet Christ can then save that poor soul, and many such He hath saved, when but a little before all hope of relief seemed to be gone. Though the Devil should raise up all the force and powers of Hell and darkness against a person, to destroy him, yet Jesus Christ can save him. If He will work upon the soul by stretching forth his almighty power, nothing can obstruct or hinder Him.

Christ can save from the sin, from the guilt, the filth and power of it, and break into pieces all the bonds, chains and fetters of the Enemy. Nay, let the sins of a person be never so many, never so great, yet He can save to the uttermost, though they are such sinners as Manasseh and Mary Magdalene were. Nay, such that put to death by wicked hands the Lord of Life and glory. Tis as easy with Him to save great sinners as the least, or less guilty ones. He can save the stout-hearted, such who are far from righteousness (Is. 42:12).

He can save from the curse of the Law and from the wrath of God. He is every way furnished, fitted and enabled to save. He is a mighty Saviour and able to save to the uttermost in that He can save by Himself alone, by His own power. It is not if we will begin the work, if we do what we can, He can and will save us. No. He takes the whole work of salvation into His own hand. He is the Author and Finisher of it. ‘Tis He alone.

Moreover, Christ is as willing to save poor, lost and undone sinners as He is able to save them. He had His name given to this end because of His power, willingness and readiness to save sinners. Brethren, this doth not only bespeak this to be a great salvation, but also it discovers the greatness of God’s love, even the greatest pity, power and wisdom that ever was manifested.

To be continued…

Dr. Mark Minnick is the pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, and serves as adjunct professor of preaching and exposition at Bob Jones Seminary.

(Originally published in FrontLine • January / February 2004. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)

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