Gospel Progress Word on the Week 13th May 2023.
There is a promise made by God early in the Bible which is being fulfilled as lives born into Adam are born again into Christ. It is where Abraham passes the supreme test of his faith in the offer of his son and receives the promise “through your offspring all Nations will be blessed” (Genesis 22 verse17).
In God’s mercy one of these nations is Ireland and some of this blessing spilled out to the delight of the audience on Tuesday night when Baptist Missions reviewed a number of the Gospel advances made in the previous year. These traced Bible study groups which have grown into church plants and obtained premises in the locality in which to meet together as a church.
People have put their faith in Christ, been baptised into the Triune Name and equipped by the Holy Spirit to serve the Lord in their community. All this is taking place against an increasingly hostile background as the culture follows the pervading ideology. Traditional behaviour has been cast aside and new ‘norms’ established. Some of these have been enshrined in law.
It was similar in Apostle Peter’s day; “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2 verses 38 to 41).
The Gospel has always shined brighter against the prevailing darkness. Overseas it makes the best advances where persecution is strongest as in China today. The Gospel has prospered in the Southern Hemisphere as the promises made to Abraham are being fulfilled.
It is the proclaiming of Christ crucified that changes lives. Christ the sinbearer who on the cross became the perfect sacrifice for sin. By his death he purchased new life for the repentant believer. This enables the Christian to walk in his ways along the narrow road that leads to life (St Matthew 7 verses 13/14).
Jesus shall reign where’re the sun, Doeth his successive journeys run.
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
As Isaac Watts wrote paraphrasing Psalm 72 verse 8.
There is a completeness to Christ’s reign to look forward to. Praise God.