The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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Sin’s Remedy the Belief of the Gospel
 By Al Stoner

The “only wise” and omniscient Creator and Sustainer of all things was certainly not taken by surprise at the sin committed by our first parents (Adam and Eve) while they were yet in the Edenic garden. He is a God of foreknowledge, or prescience (cf. Isa. 46:9-11; Acts 2:23; I Pet. 1:2). He not only knows “the end from the beginning”, but He also declares it (Isa. 46:10).  And as it is written in another place: “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13; see also Ps. 139).
Nevertheless God, working in accordance with His “eternal purpose” (Eph. 3:11) in “His great love” (Eph. 2:4-5) and “manifold wisdom”, has, from the conception of that purpose in eternity past, been on the initiative, going to immeasurably great lengths in order to provide a righteous and glorious remedy for man’s sin.  The remedy being righteous, it perfectly accords with God’s uncompromisingly holy and righteous Character.  The remedy is also glorious in that it has become a marvelous demonstration of the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in heavenly places.
By means of the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory, God has brought this remedy well within the reach of those that had sinned and come short of His glory.  In the diction of Paul, it “is not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27). “In the gospel of His Son” (Rom. 1:9), the Lord God has “devised means” (cf. II Sam. 14:14) whereby the reconciliation for iniquity and the putting away of men’s sins have been made abundantly accessible to “whosoever will.” Certainly, it is given unto us of God to believe on Christ (Phil. 1:29), but, by the same token, God is no respecter of persons (cf. Acts 10:34) in this giving.  It is good when men in our day are also able to “perceive” this as Peter did.
Just “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:14-15; cf. Num. 21:8-9). To state this another way, just as surely as those, who were bitten by the fiery serpents in the wilderness, were able to look upon that elevated serpent of brass, and live, in spite of their being beset with grievous afflictions and even being nigh unto death, in the same precise way, men, who have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and who also are “alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:18), are also able, upon hearing the gospel, to look to God’s remedy for sin, which He has provided in the death of His Son, and live forever. This is so because, in the preaching of the gospel of Christ, the Lord Jehovah has placed an effectual and powerful remedy for sins completely within the grasp of “honest and good” hearts (Lk. 8:15), even though they have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23-24).  There is no room for speculation regarding this matter, for this is precisely the application made by the Savior as He spoke to Nicodemus: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:14-15).
“The gospel” is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16). Thus, wherever this “glorious gospel” (I Tim. 1:11; II Cor. 4:4) is preached throughout the world, there is Divine power operating that will penetrate into, and transform, the sin-bedarkened of hearts of men and women (to whomsoever will give heed). As men are baptized into Christ, giving heed to the gospel “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place” (II Pet. 1:19), the Savior will draw them with an effectual moral constraint to depart from their sins and iniquities, and be reconciled to God.  “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (Jn. 12:32).  He will turn them away from their iniquities (cf. Acts 3:26), and make them to be new creatures in Himself.
The gospel does not confront men with deep mysteries as to how they can possibly be reconciled to God. Rather, it contains, yea rather it is, the proclamation of unspeakably good news of sins that have been effectively and marvelously put away from the face of God by the sufferings of Christ, and of a reconciliation to God that has already been accomplished by Him. The gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16). It only remains for men to hear the glad tidings, believe and obey it, and go on their way rejoicing! As declared the Lord Jesus: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.--Editor

(To Be Continued Tomorrow)

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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).