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Author:Rev. George van Popta
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Congregation:Jubilee Canadian Reformed Church
 Ottawa, Ontario
Preached At:Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church
 Ancaster, Ontario
Title:What does the Bible say?
Text:LD 6 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

Songs - Hy. 20:1,2,3,4; Hy. 20:5,6; Hy. 16; Ps. 14:1,4,5; Ps. 150

Reading - Gal. 3:6-14; 3:26 - 4:5
* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. George van Popta, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.

Beloved congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ:

What does the fool say? The fool says: There is no God. There is no hope, no gospel. There is no Lord. The fool says: I am my own Lord.

But what does God say? What does the Bible say?


The Bible says:

1. There is a Gospel; 2. There is a Mediator; 3. There is a Lord

1. The Bible says there is a gospel. A holy gospel. The holy gospel.

"Gospel" is an old English word that means "good story." The Bible says there is a good story; a holy story; the holy story.

a. The Bible tells us this holy gospel. The good story begins in Gen. 3:15. After the devil had tempted our first parents to sin, God said to the devil: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." That was at the same time a threat to the devil and gospel to the woman. That promise is called "the mother promise," or, "the mother of all promises" (all the other gospel promises in the Bible flow forth from this original promise). It's the first statement of the good news of salvation from eternal death. It was revelation. The first proclamation of the Saviour. The first mention that God was going to send someone to crush the head of the devil. Through this one whom God would send, God's people would have the forgiveness of sin, righteousness and eternal life.

God himself was the first gospel preacher. All the preachers since have been repeating this mother promise. Ever since preachers have been telling this holy good story to people who have not heard it before and to the established churches. Believers never tire of hearing it.

b. The holy good story was told throughout the OT. God had it proclaimed by the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). God said to Abraham that all peoples on earth would be blessed through him. God made a covenant with Abraham. He promised him the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life. He said that he would be Abraham's God and the God of Abraham's descendents.

The big question is, who are Abraham's descendents? To whom does the gospel promise come? Who, today, has the forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life, because he is a descendent of Abraham?

The Muslims? The Muslim population is growing very quickly in our country. Mosques are becoming part of the Canadian landscape. Muslims claim to be children of Abraham. Through Ishmael, they are. Remember Ishmael? Ishmael was Abraham's eldest son, born of the slave woman Hagar. The Muslims claim to be children of Abraham through Ishmael. They claim forgiveness, righteousness and eternal life through Ishmael. They believe that the gospel promise comes to them from Allah, through Abraham and Ishmael. Are they right?

The Jews are children of Abraham through Isaac. Abraham had another son, through his wife Sarah. The Jews claim forgiveness, righteousness and life through Isaac. They believe that the gospel promise comes to them from God through Abraham and Isaac. Are they right?

There is a third group of people who claim to be children of Abraham and heirs of the gospel promise of forgiveness, righteousness and life. Christians. We claim to be children of Abraham and heirs of the promise not through Ishmael or Isaac, but through Christ. We claim that because it's what the Bible says.

We read parts of Gal. 3. Gal. 3 speaks about Abraham, the believer. Abraham was a man of faith. He believed the gospel and so received what was promised, forgiveness, righteousness and life. Gal. 3:9 says that those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

So all you need is faith? Any faith? It does not matter what you believe, as long as you believe-in something?

No, not at all. Paul goes on to teach that one needs to believe in Christ. Gal. 3:13-the blessings promised in the gospel, promised to Abraham and his descendents, come to us by faith in Christ Jesus.

God said that he would bless all the nations of the earth through Abraham. Whether one is a descendent of Isaac, Ishmael, or neither, one receives the forgiveness, righteousness and life promised to Abraham and his descendents through faith in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:26ff-You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

c. This gospel promise that God Himself first revealed in Paradise and then proclaimed through the promise he made to Abraham and his descendents (those who would believe in Christ), was also preached by the prophets in the OT. All the prophets pointed to Jesus Christ. They all spoke about the forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life. They all said that one would only have these by faith in the Redeemer whom God had promised Adam and Eve in Paradise. The Redeemer that would come.

d. The sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law (the festivals) symbolized and foreshadowed the gospel. They were all reminders of the good news God Himself had proclaimed in Paradise, and they were pointers to the coming Redeemer. Every time a lamb was sacrificed, the gospel was proclaimed and the coming Christ was pictured.

Throughout the OT God said: there is a gospel. There is good news. In Paradise, through Abraham, through the prophets, the sacrifices, the ceremonies, God said, "There is good news." Man through his sin brought upon himself guilt, misery and death. But there is a gospel. There is good news of forgiveness, righteousness and life, for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

What does the Bible say? The Bible says there is a gospel.

2. The Bible says, there is a Mediator.

A Mediator is someone who comes between two parties that are at odds with each other. If two people are having an argument they cannot resolve, then they do well to use a mediator. Someone to come between them and effect reconciliation.

We were at odds with God. Our sin put us at odds. We could not resolve the issue God had with us. Then God did something to resolve the issue. He sent a Mediator. The Mediator was his own Son.

Gal. 4:4-But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman to redeem us.

The gospel God Himself first revealed in Paradise, and then had proclaimed by patriarchs and prophets, and foreshadowed by sacrifices and ceremonies, he fulfilled through his only Son. The Mediator God sent was both God and man. What does the Bible say? It says the Mediator is both God and man. God sent his Son, born of a woman. The eternal Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary.

a. He was of the flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary. Some deny that. They say that it would be too big a shame for the eternal Son of God to take real, true human flesh. They say that God, by a special creation, made the flesh of Christ in heaven, implanted it in Mary's womb where it was nurtured and, after nine months, brought forth. They deny that Jesus Christ inherited any genetic material from Mary.

That's a terrible heresy. For then our Mediator would not be a true man. But what does the Bible say? The Bible says that Christ was a true man. The justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should pay for sin. The Bible says that the Son of God, our Mediator, took a true human nature upon himself. Because the Bible says it, we confess it. (BC 18)-We therefore confess that Christ partook of the flesh and blood of the children (Heb 2:14). He is a fruit of the loins of David (Acts 2:30); born of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom 1:3); a fruit of the womb of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:42); born of woman (Gal 4:4); a branch of David (Jer 33:15); a shoot from the stump of Jesse (Is 11:1); sprung from the tribe of Judah (Heb 7:14); descended from the Jews according to the flesh (Rom 9:5); of the seed of Abraham, since the Son was concerned with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore He had to be made like His brethren in every respect, yet without sin (Heb 2:16, 17; Heb 4:15).

b. Those words "yet without sin" are very important. For not only does the Bible say that the Mediator is a true man; it also says that he is a righteous man. He had to be a righteous man because one who himself is a sinner cannot pay for others. Sinners only increase their debt with God daily. A sinner could not Mediate and bring about reconciliation. The Bible says the man born of Mary was without sin. It says that we have a Mediator who was like us in every way-he was even tempted as we are-except for sin. He never sinned.

c. The Bible also says that our Mediator is true God. God sent His Son!-Gal. 4:4. He had to be true God so that by the power of His divine nature He might bear in His human nature the burden of God's wrath, and might obtain for us and restore to us righteousness and life.

What does the Bible say about the Mediator promised in the gospel and who came in the fullness of time? The Bible says he is true man, righteous man, and at the same time, true God. In this way He is in truth our Immanuel, that is, God with us.

This Mediator Jesus Christ brought us back to God. We had strayed away, but he brought us back. Through faith in him we have forgiveness of sins, righteousness and life. He was the one God had spoken about in Paradise when He first revealed the gospel. He was the one the OT patriarchs, prophets, sacrifices and ceremonies spoke. In the fullness of time he same: the Son of God born of woman.

What does the Bible say? There is a Gospel; There is a Mediator...

3. There is a Lord. Who is Lord? The only Mediator. Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

He is our Lord. Our King, our Master.

He is true wisdom. Wisdom from God. Heavenly wisdom. Worldly wisdom says you've got to figure out everything by yourself. Heavenly wisdom says: Entrust yourself to the gospel and the Mediator sent by God for the forgiveness of your sins and the restoration of righteousness and life.

Through faith in him we are righteous.

He sanctifies us and redeems us.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, he renews us and sanctifies us. He takes over our lives and reshapes us into his image.

He redeems our lives. He makes us want to serve and love him out of gratitude. He exercises Lordship over our lives. We confess him as Lord.

The Bible says that Christ is Lord. He teaches us how to live under his Lordship. The Bible teaches us that. The teaching of how to live under the Lordship of Christ is summarized in a place like the Sermon on the Mount.

It teaches us humility, mercy, peacefulness and love. It teaches us to be slow to speak. To ensure our marriages are healthy. Not to seek revenge. How to pray. Not to worry. Many things. If you want to read in a few chapters what the Bible says about living under the Lordship of Christ, then the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) provides valuable reading.

The fool says: There is no God!

What does the Bible say? The Bible says there is a God who is your Lord. There is a Mediator; there is a Gospel. Believe the Gospel that says there is forgiveness, righteousness and life for those who are children of Abraham through faith in Christ. Believe in the Mediator Christ Jesus for that forgiveness, righteousness and life. Submit to Jesus Christ as Lord.

And if you do those things? What then? What does the Bible say? If you believe the Gospel of Christ, believe in the only Mediator, and obediently follow the Lord Jesus Christ? What does the Bible say?

The Bible says that that your sins are forgiven; that you are righteous in Christ, and that it will go well with you, in this life and forever.


* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. George van Popta, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
The source for this sermon was:

(c) Copyright 2003, Rev. George van Popta

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