SUBJ: The Gospel and the issue of
obedience and separation under grace as opposed to the servile obedience
of the Jews and others.
AIM: That we might be found in
delightful compliance with the precious Gospel precepts and recognize
that these things are the substance of salvation.
INTR: It has always taken troublous
times to drive and separate the Lord’s people into open identification
1. Peter, Pau and others relate to the suffering to the
Saints both to encourage and give example.
2. In the process of doing
this, important truths are revealed as to salvation and the place of the
Gospel in the life of believers.
3. It is important enough that It is
the primary issue in such passages as 2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming
fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
THESIS: While the typical concept of the Gospel is that of
attraction, it is much more. It declares the very precepts by which we
I. Judgment at the House of God (v. 17)
1. To discover
who is genuine
1) Sufferings here and not there
2) Such has a
proving effect to all but especially to they who are of the true House
2. Albert Barnes: “The severe trial which would determine
3. Some think that the Jews are meant here, but the
principle is applicable to all.
4. The thought of judgment will
always drive a believer to Christ and the grace of Christ our Lord.
II. Obedience and the Gospel (v. 17b)
1. This is the first of two
criteria that defines the unique qualities of believers
consider that obedience has always been an issue
1) We first think of
the servile attitude toward obedience by the Jews
2) Then we note the
gifts of repentance and faith and note the nature of their rendering up
3. We ask then, what are the Gospel precepts? And we note
that we see them in Christ.
4) Demanded are Repentance and the belief of the truth as a
matter of practice and life.
5) To love as He loves – without
6) And consider: 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to
give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through
sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
“Scarcely Saved” (v. 18)
1. This second item of the criteria deepens
the thoughts and the precision required.
1) The characteristics of
salvation are the substance of salvation.
2) True experience brings a
sense of the absolute necessity with regard to all issues of character
2. “Scarcely” means “by much work” or “with great
difficulty” and it necessarily involves “just barely.”
1) We apply
this to ourselves and see Proverbs 11:31 Behold, the righteous shall be
recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.
Especially we must apply this to Christ doing exactly what was required
i. No place for presumption is given (such as He provided an atonement
that left it to the discretion of men as to what and how much of it they
ii. All that He obtained was absolutely essential
(abundance of salvation is necessary). What could be left out of what He
provided and the righteousness that makes us “the righteous?”
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to
escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the
Son of man. Luke 21:36
3. Salvation is absolute, with difficulty,
with no room to spare and the distinction is infinite.
4. No “long
face” here. Rather we rejoice. Our salvation is not “barely salvation”
but is abundant and all that was required He precisely provided that we
might have joy to the fullest in all circumstances.