Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers:…
I. THE GRAND TENDENCY OF THE RACES. To trust.
1. What creature is more dependent on nature than man? Birds, beasts, and fishes can do without him, but he is dependent upon them.
2. What creature is more dependent upon his own species? Man comes into the world the most helpless of all creatures. For years he lives by the help of others. No one is independent of his fellow.
3. What creature is more dependent on God? All live in and by Him; but man requires more from Him than any other creature, viz., spiritual illumination, strength, salvation. No wonder, then, that a being so dependent should crave for objects on which to rely. This tendency to trust explains —
(1) The reign of imposture. The power of Mahomet, Confucius, the Pope, and priestcraft is begotten and nourished by man's tendency to trust.
(2) The prevalence of disappointments. Why otherwise is every heart the grave of so many frustrated hopes, broken plans, and wrecked friendships? The great need of the world, therefore, is a trustworthy object.
II. THE EVANGELIC PROVISION FOR THE RACE.
1. What attributes ought He to have to make all happy who trust in Him?
(1) He should be all perfect in excellence. If we trust our being and destiny to the keeping of one in whom we discover moral imperfections, we shall soon grow wretched in the exercise of such trust.
(2) He should be all-sufficient in resources. If we trust unboundingly in one who is not capable of taking care of us, our trust will end in agony.
(3) He should be unalterable in being, character, and capacity. If we trust one who is given to change, there will be constant misgiving.
2. Now, where is the being who answers these conditions? Only in the gospel.
(1) Is not Christ all-perfect, the incarnation of virtue itself?
(2) Has He not all-sufficient resources? He is all-wise to guide, all-powerful to guard, all-good to bless. He is able to do "exceedingly abundant," etc.(3) Is He not unchangeable, "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever"?
III. THE BLESSED FUTURE OF THE RACE. "In Him shall the Gentiles trust." This prediction has been partially fulfilled. Since Peter's sermon in the house of Cornelius down to this hour Gentiles have been trusting in Him. The partial fulfilment is a pledge that all men shall trust in Him. What harvests have already sprung from the one grain. When all men trust in Him, three things will be secured.
1. Spiritual peace. "He will keep them in perfect peace," etc.
2. Social unity. All men will be united to each other by being thus united to Christ. No more domestic broils, social animosities, national conflicts, or ecclesiastical strifes.
3. Moral elevation. All men being thus vitally connected with Christ, will become more and more assimilated to His moral attributes.Conclusion: Learn —
1. The world's need of the gospel. If men's destiny depends upon the object of their trust and Christ is the only object of trust that can render them happy, then is not the gospel a necessity?
2. The way to preach the gospel. It is to hold Him forth, not yourself, nor your notions and theologies, hut Christ as the object of the world's trust. The hungry world does not want your analysis of bread, but the "bread of life" itself. Humanity does not want our speculation about Christ, but Christ Himself.
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: