Dr. Steve Lawson’s Impromptu Presentation of the Gospel:
Charles H. Spurgeon:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
This is the first promise to fallen man. It contains the whole gospel, and the essence of the covenant of grace. It has been in great measure fulfilled. The seed of the woman, even our Lord Jesus, was bruised in His heel, and a terrible bruising it was. How terrible will be the final bruising of the serpent’s head! This was virtually done when Jesus took away sin, vanquished death, and broke the power of Satan; but it awaits a still fuller accomplishment at our Lord’s Second Advent, and in the day of Judgment.
To us the promise stands as a prophecy that we shall be afflicted by the powers of evil in our lower nature, and thus bruised in our heel: but we shall triumph in Christ, who sets His foot on the old serpent’s head. Throughout this year we may have to learn the first part of this promise by experience, through the temptations of the devil, and the unkindness of the ungodly who are his seed. They may so bruise us that we may limp with our sore heel; but let us grasp the second part of the text, and we shall not be dismayed. By faith let us rejoice that we shall still reign in Christ Jesus, the woman’s seed. (Faith’s Checkbook)
Satan’s time of tempting is usually after an ordinance; and the reason is, because then he thinks he shall find us most secure. When we have been at solemn duties, we are apt to think all is done, and we grow remiss, and leave off that zeal and strictness as before; just as a soldier, who after a battle leaves off his armor, not once dreaming, of an enemy. Satan watches his time, and when we least suspect, then he throws in a temptation.
Our great Pattern hath showed us what our deportment ought to be in all suggestions and temptations. When the devil showed Him “all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them,” to tempt Him withal, He did not stand and look upon them, viewing their glory, and pondering their empire…. but instantly, without stay, He cries, “Get thee hence, Satan.” Meet thy temptation in its entrance with thoughts of faith concerning Christ on the cross; this will make it sink before thee. Entertain no parley, no dispute with it, if thou wouldst not enter into it.
“If anyone is going to see the gospel as true and good, satanic blindness and natural deadness must be overcome by the power of God. This is why the Bible says that even though the gospel is foolishness to many, yet ‘to those who are called…Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24). The ‘calling’ is the merciful act of God to remove natural deadness and satanic blindness, so that we see Christ as true and good. The merciful act is itself a blood-bought gift of Christ. Look to him, and pray that God would enable you to see and embrace the gospel of Christ.” (Passion of Jesus Christ)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)
The great majority of people not only outside of the Church, but inside of the Church say, “Yes, I have passed through that small gate. Yes, I have believed in Jesus Christ.” But when you look at their life they live just like the world. They have the same desires of the world. The only thing they do is they are religious and go to Church on Sunday. But when you look at their life Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there is no Christ and when you look about their conversation and their desires and their dreams and their passion there is no Christ. It is all about I already don’t worry about me, preacher. I already got that done. I repented a long time ago. I believed. I am saved. I prayed that prayer. And that is what their religion is. And when asked about the confidence of their salvation they say, “I prayed that prayer.” They are trusting in a prayer. I made my decision. They are trusting in a decision. I believed in that moment. They are trusting in the sincerity of their decision instead of doing as our forefathers did. How do you know you are saved? I am looking unto Jesus Christ and have great assurance because I can see the changes he has wrought in my life and the way he disciplines me zealously and guards my life. . . . Continue reading
How diligently should they scrutinize their motives, who think of entering the ministry; for thousands have abused this Divine institution through love of ease, desire for authority and reputation, or love of money–and brought upon themselves “greater damnation” (James 3:1). Thousands have invaded the pastoral office in an unauthorized manner, to fleece sheep rather than feed them, robbing Christ of His honor and starving His people.
Solemn beyond words is it to observe how sternly our Lord denounced these false shepherds of His day. (Matthew 23) As J. C. Ryle rightly said, “Nothing seemed so offensive to Christ as a false teacher of religion, a false prophet, or a false shepherd. Nothing ought to be so much feared by the Church, be so plainly rebuked, opposed and exposed.”
What are the marks of a true shepherd, how are God’s people to identify those called and qualified by Him to minister unto His people? Continue reading