The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 203 of 207
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Words in Season.
Simple gospel notes on John 3: 16.
(1:)  The twofold basis.
pp. 97, 98
Two words will occupy our attention in this article. They are those with which
John 3: 16 opens: For God. Taken together they bring before us the twofold authority
for the good news called "the gospel".
For.--The first word, "for", takes us back to verse 14, and so to the inspiration and
authority of the Old Testament:--
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be
lifted up."
A superficial view of Christianity might lead one to ask whether it really matters what
views are held as to the nature and extent of the inspiration of the O.T. Scriptures,
provided that the death and resurrection of Christ are faithfully preached. To this we
would reply by quoting the Lord's own words in the same Gospel:--
"Had ye believe Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye
believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?" (John 5: 46, 47).
Here the matter is challenged by the Lord Himself, and a solemn responsibility rests
upon every preacher of the gospel to face its issues. If Moses did not lift up the serpent in
the wilderness, if the Book of Numbers is but a "pious fraud" belonging to a priestly
caste, if the Saviour was mistaken concerning the Old Testament type, then we have no
certainty, for the Lord may also have been mistaken concerning the reality. The cross
and its purpose are at stake.
In the same way the gospel cannot be faithfully preached if the story of Jonah be
denied, for the words of the Lord in Matt. 12: 39-41 show that a denial of the truth of
the record of Jonah imperils the truth of the resurrection, and if the resurrection be
touched, we have no gospel to preach (I Cor. 15: 14, 17). Or, again, if the record of the
flood and of the days of Noah be repudiated as "myth", what becomes of "the coming of
the Son of man" (Matt. 24: 37-41)? Or, coming to the gospel as proclaimed by Paul,
can the epistle to the Romans remain unshaken if the historical accuracy of Genesis
concerning Adam and Abraham be denied?
Our first note, therefore, is that the truth of the gospel and the inspiration of the
Scriptures are inseparable:--
"The word of the Lord endureth for ever.
And THIS IS the word which by the
gospel is preached unto you" (I Pet. 1: 25).