The Gospel Message: its Instrument and Reception
Weekly Pulpit
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us…

I. THE GOSPEL IS A MESSAGE FROM GOD TO MAN. A message is a special communication, directly sent by one person to another, affecting matters of immediate interest. It is in this light that the gospel was regarded by its first preachers. They were ambassadors for Christ to men.

1. The message is special. Creation and Providence declare the glory of God, His power, wisdom, goodness. They have spoken with a thousand tongues, but they have not told us all. Their speech could not convey to the heart of man the hidden thought of the gospel, "But the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul."

2. The message has been directly sent. At sundry times, and in divers manners, through dream and vision, by the prophets, the communication was made at first, but in these last: days He has spoken to us by His Son.

3. It demands our immediate attention. The answer is to be made by return. We must not turn away from Him who speaketh from heaven.

II. THAT MESSAGE IS CONVEYED BY HUMAN INSTRUMENTALITY. This is so obvious as to require no elucidation; but in the special light of the text it demands the closest attention. Touching this, St. Paul said to the Corinthians, "And my speech and my preaching was not with the enticing words of man's wisdom," etc. The preacher must be so impressed with the solemnity of his position as to make his own glorification impossible. This was a charge made by the Redeemer against the Pharisees, "Ye receive glory of men." The hearer must also rise above many of the peculiarities of the messenger to the message itself, "See how ye hear."

III. THE MESSAGE, WHEN RECEIVED IN FAITH, EXERTS AN IMMEDIATE INFLUENCE. "Which also worketh in you that believe." The whole soul is moved to action.

1. There is a response to its call. "Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief."

2. There is a conformity to its demand. "Take up the Cross, and follow Me."

3. There is a realization of its peace. It is a message of mercy offering peace and joy to the believer. "Peace be unto you."

(Weekly Pulpit.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

WEB: For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe.

The Efficacy of the Word of God and the Way of Receiving It
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