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But where, it will be asked, are the heroes of faith in our day? My answer is, that the material is here even as it was in the days of the Apostles, and that what is lacking is that gospel which was preached by them "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven" --the Gospel of the Kingdom.

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This, I say, is truth of immediate and practical importance; and for the reason that, not only is it closely connected with our personal salvation, but it has to do with the honor of our Saviour, Lord and King, Jesus Christ, Who is "the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" Heb.

The Scripture makes it plain that the grand object of Christ's redemption is the recovery of man from out of that state of disobedience, and his restoration to a state of obedience. That state of disobedience and alienation from God is spoken of in the Scriptures as a kingdom, or "dominion" -- "the dominion of sin and death," "the power of darkness," "the power of satan"--; and the state of obedience or subjection to God, into which those who believe the gospel are brought by the door of the new birth John ; 1 Pet.

The basis of man's "reconciliation" to God was laid in "the death of His Son" Rom.

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It is thus we are saved; for salvation means to be under the protection of God's King. Reference has been made above to Scriptures which declare that the gospel is preached for "the obedience of faith"; and now it remains only to point out that the obedience of faith is a very different thing from legal obedience.

The main difference is that the particular kind of obedience which the gospel demands and which it also elicits is free and voluntary, the spontaneous obedience of the heart. In fact, saving faith and heart obedience are one and the same thing. So likewise, "unbelief" and "disobedience" are different renderings of the same word in the original text. Obedience "from the heart" Rom.

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For true faith is not a creed, or a matter of opinion, however correct and orthodox, but a thing of heart and life and deeds; manifesting itself in "works of faith," that is, acts of spontaneous obedience to the Word of God. Thus it is written that "by faith Noah being warned of God prepared an ark to the saving of his house"; that "by faith Abraham obeyed"; "by faith Moses kept the passover and the sprinkling of the blood"; "by faith" the children of Israel "passed through the Red Sea as by dry land" Heb.

By these instances, and by many others, God has plainly shown that true faith is a live, active, energetic thing; its most distinctive characteristic being that it acts spontaneously without coercion or the constraint of pains and penalties for disobedience-- in strict accordance with the Word of God; rendering prompt and unquestioning obedience to His commands, even when they run counter to human wisdom and to the desires of the natural heart.

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Can the preaching of any other gospel accomplish the purposes of God? Nay, we can, and we must, put it even more forcibly; for we read of some who had been "moved from him that had called them into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another. For the Scriptures connect the Gospel directly with the Kingdom rather than with the Church. The message that conspicuously marked the beginning of this era which is specially characterized by the forgiveness of sins the era of the New Covenant was "the Word of the Kingdom" Mat.

I3: I9 , John the Baptist had prepared the way by his "baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" Luke.

And Jesus was anointed King and was sent to Israel "to preach the gospel to the poor;" and Himself said, when the people besought Him not to depart from them: "I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent" Luke 4:I8, Furthermore the preaching of the Kingdom of God was the chief business of the apostles and evangelists, as may be seen by consulting the record given us of the ministry of Paul Ac.

Indeed that apostle expressly says that the gospel is preached for "the obedience of faith" Rom.

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Those who believed the gospel were said to have become "obedient to the faith" Ac. And on the other hand they who are doomed to "everlasting destruction away from the presence of the Lord," are they who "obey not the gospel" 2 Th. I: The word obedience expresses a kingdom-relation. Now it is most needful for us to observe that, whereas the Kingdom-- that is, the relation of the redeemed of the Lord to God's Anointed King--was the prominent theme of the preaching and teaching of the Lord Himself and of His apostles, the subject of the Church that is, in the comprehensive and eternal sense of that word, not in the local sense was not developed until the latter part of Paul's life; until in fact his active ministry was ended.

For it was during his imprisonment in Rome that he wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians, in which that great truth is unfolded. Prior to that we have on the subject of the Church in this all-inclusive sense only the brief and unexplained statement of Christ, "On this rock I will build My Church; and the gates shall not prevail against it" Mat.

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The main conclusion properly to be drawn from the facts briefly set forth above is that the subject of the Kingdom of God is of the very essence of the gospel of Christ, and is of immediate and vital importance to all mankind, both to them that are within and to them that are without; whereas the subject of the Church as God's spiritual house now being builded is of interest only to those who have been already translated into the Kingdom; and for them it has not the same direct and practical bearing upon their life down here as has the truth pertaining to the Kingdom.

For the Church in this broad sense, for we are not speaking at all of the local churches belongs rather to eternity than to time Eph.


Whereas the Kingdom belongs to the present; for Christ is reigning now. Hence, if this immensely practical truth were given its rightful place in the preaching and teaching of Christ's ministers, it would tend to unify the divided people of God. Hidden categories: All stub articles. Namespaces Article Talk.

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