As I was preparing to come here this evening, it was my purpose to preach a simple gospel message. Indeed, I can quote the words of Jude where he says he turned from his original subject matter to another. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” verse 3.
My topic is not the one Jude turned to but rather, in the light of recent events in Manchester and in London last evening, I wish to speak about the times in which we live and the significance of such horrific events.
God says that the preacher is to be a watchman, one who stands on the walls of the city and watches for the approach of the enemy and then shouts out a warning to the people of the city.
We will take heed to the opening words of this passage.
“Behold, my servant,” Isaiah 52:13.
In this portion you have one of the most wonderfully detailed portraits of the Lord Jesus. His name is not mentioned but we can be sure that the prophet is speaking of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus.
Last assembly we looked at Acts 8:26-35 and we learned that this passage is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ. We saw also the wonderful help that God gives us in order that we might understand the Bible.
Boys and girls we all need help to understand the Bible. This man was a very learned and intelligent man, verse 27. But listen to his words. “And Philip . . . . said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?” Acts 8:30-31.
Here we have the help that God supplies.
1. The Holy Spirit, v29. He is the One Who wonderfully superintends the bringing of the elect to an understanding of the gospel.
2. A Preacher. What a blessed gift from God are Spirit-guided, Spirit-filled preachers. The man to give the help that the Ethiopian so desired was sent by the Holy Spirit at the right time, “And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him,” Acts 8:31.
We will take heed to the opening words of this passage. “Behold, my servant,” Isaiah 52:13.
In this portion you have one of the most wonderfully detailed portraits of the Lord Jesus. His name is not mentioned but we can be sure that the prophet is speaking of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus. 1. Proof that this is the Lord Jesus pictured here. Please turn to Acts 8:26-35. Note especially the verse 30. “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” He was reading where we have been reading today. Boys and girls we all need help to understand the Bible. This man was a very learned and intelligent man, verse 27. But listen to his words. “And Philip . . . . said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?” Acts 8:30-31.
“And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch,” Acts 11:26.
(A message preached by Rev Ivan Foster in Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church on Lord’s Day evening, April 30th, 2006)
I suppose there is no more abused term in the English language than that of “Christian”!
So abused is the term that the true Christian must takes steps not to be associated with those who would describe themselves as “Christians”.
The term is commonly applied to that which is, in truth, anti-Christianity. The blessed name of Christ is thus used to veil that which is born of the devil.
Of course we recall the words of Israel in the day of their departure from God. “And he (Aaron, the High Priest) received them (ornaments of gold) at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,” Exodus 32:4. The very thing forbidden of God just a short time earlier, is now called God! “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,” Exodus 20:4-5.
Little wonder then that we have this abuse of the term Christian.
But let us see from God’s Word just what a Christian is.