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THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF CHRIST 

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, November 19, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).


I cannot think of a better theme to preach on at Thanksgiving than,

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

The Apostle Paul was a man with one main idea in his mind. He could hardly think or speak without giving thanks for the glory of Christ crucified and resurrected. The word “glory” is translated from the Greek word “doxa.” It means “praise, honor, worship.” “Glorious” means, “worthy of praise and honor.” To the Apostle Paul the Gospel is worthy of all praise, adoration and honor. Thus, the Apostle tells us of the “glorious gospel of Christ.” He said that the Gospel is worthy of respect, it is worthy of all honor and all praise, because it is “the glorious gospel of Christ.” And, with the Apostle Paul, we should bow our heads and hearts and honor, and praise, and give thanks for the message of Christ, which brings us out of depravity, darkness, sin, and eternal punishment in Hell, by

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

In this passage of Scripture, the Apostle is sorrowful over the fact that there were people he preached to who could not see what he saw, who could not grasp the truth, or see,

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

Paul realized that the gospel was hidden to them. He knew that Satan, by his evil power, had blinded them to the “glorious gospel.” Paul knew that if Satan had not thus blinded them, the light and power of the Gospel would have shined forth in a blazing light before their eyes.

Jesus came to give light. Satan works to blind. The battle between Christ and Satan takes place in the mind and heart of every unconverted person. The question is this – will you see the light of the Gospel through the power of God in Christ? Or will you remain in darkness?

We who are Christians pray that the light of the Gospel will penetrate your heart, and bring light out of darkness. At the beginning of the world, God said,

“Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).

Now, in these evil days, in the hour of darkness in which we live, we pray that God will once again say to your darkened mind,

“Let there be light.”

May the miracle of the creation of light at the beginning of time be repeated in your soul, so you can see clearly

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

What a wonderful Thanksgiving this would be if someone in our church should look to Christ by faith, and receive a flash of light from Him, bringing you to full salvation through

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ.”

Jesus said,

“There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).

Ring the bells of Heaven! Spread the feast today!
   Angels [hear] the glad triumphant strain!
Tell the joyful tidings, bear it far away!
   For a precious soul is born again.
(“Ring the Bells of Heaven” by William O. Cushing, 1823-1902).

And I can assure you that there would be tears and shouts of thanksgiving to God in this church as well, if someone would receive the light of the Gospel and come by simple faith to Jesus Christ this morning! It would make our Thanksgiving on earth like that in Heaven if you would only bow your knees and humble your heart, and come to the Lord Jesus Christ before this day is done! Therefore we pray that

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, [will] shine unto [you]” (II Corinthians 4:4)

this very day! With that purpose, and to that end, let us consider several things about our text.

I. First, think of the name Paul gave the Gospel.

He called it, “the glorious gospel of Christ.” The Apostle said that the subject of the Gospel is Christ. Angels proclaimed the good news at His birth. After His resurrection, His followers went everywhere proclaiming the message of salvation through simple faith in Him. Today He sits at the right hand of God, and you can come to Him by faith and receive forgiveness and eternal life. Christ is the author of the Gospel, the subject of the Gospel, and the end of the Gospel – the A and Z, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of the good news. He is the Gospel! He is the message we proclaim! He is the subject and the object of our preaching!

The word “Gospel” means “the good news.” And the good news is this – that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15). That is “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4). The Gospel of Christ saves sinners when they hear it and come to Him by faith. The Gospel points us to Christ. It is the subject of our preaching, the core of our faith, and it glorifies Jesus Christ, the Son of God, forever!

The glorious Gospel of Christ has no competition. To the Apostle Paul there was nothing to compare it with in all the world. In the Apostle’s preaching the Gospel was never in competition with Judaism or paganism, or with the philosophies of the Stoics or Epicureans of Rome. Their teachings were unimportant in Paul’s mind compared to the “glorious gospel of Christ.” The Gospel of Christ was the one thing that occupied his mind, and was the main subject of his preaching, and his writing, and his thought. Not only with Paul is this true. The glorious Gospel of Christ lies at the very heart of the entire Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, by types, by prophecies, by explicit statements, the glorious Gospel of Christ is the central theme of all the Holy Scriptures!

This sermon is a very simplified version of Spurgeon’s message, “The Gospel of the Glory of Christ” (The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, number 2,077). Spurgeon said,

The glory of the gospel…lies very much in the glory of our Lord’s person…With the angels of God we worship Jesus Christ as God. [He] is also man – a man like ourselves, with this exception, that in him there is no taint of natural depravity, and no act of sin has ever stained his character. Behold the glory of him who is God and man mysteriously united in one person! He is unique: he is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the brother born for adversity. This is the gospel – that the Son of God himself gloriously undertook the salvation of [humanity] and therefore was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory (ibid., p. 171).

Praise and honor and glory belong to Christ, not only because of who He is, but also because of His love for those He came to save,

“Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).

The love of Christ for those He saves will never end. And the glory of His love to us is without beginning, without change, without end. It is the very life blood of the Gospel. Jesus is the sinner’s friend!

Jesus, lover of my soul,
   Let me to Thy bosom fly.
While the nearer waters roll,
   While the tempest still is high.
(“Jesus, Lover of My Soul” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

We next see the glory of Christ in His incarnation. He was born into the world in Bethlehem, and was raised to manhood in Nazareth. Although He was the earthly son of a lowly carpenter, yet throughout all ages this will be the glory of the Mediator between God and man, that He condescended, that He lowered Himself, to become flesh and blood like us. There is glory in His poverty and shame, glory in His having nowhere to lay His head, glory in His weariness and hunger, glory in Gethsemane and His Bloody sweat, glory in His death on the Cross to pay for sin. There is glory in the spitting and scourging He endured, glory in the pain He felt from the nails piercing His hands and feet. A glory of grace and love is seen in the incarnate God, Christ in human flesh, bringing salvation to sinners through His suffering on the Cross. And, to those convicted and convinced of sin, this is the very Gospel of salvation! By His suffering to pay the penalty for our transgressions, we see the Son of God showing pity and love to sinners. This is

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

In His death on the Cross He triumphed over death and overcame the Devil. And the glory of His sacrificial death blotted out our sin and fulfilled the law of God. This is the Gospel of our salvation. This is

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

Looking even farther, we see the glory of His resurrection. He could not be held by the chains of death. Yes, He really died on the Cross. But God would not let His Body see corruption. And so, having been in the tomb a while, He arose from the dead, bringing light and liberty to all who trust Him – the living Christ glorified by His physical resurrection from death itself, bringing to mankind

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

Oh, see by faith the glory of our risen Saviour and Lord!

Once more, lift up your eyes by faith and look upon the glory of Christ enthroned at God’s right hand, about to return to earth at His triumphant Second Coming! He now sits enthroned at the right hand of the Father. He prays for us there.

“He ever liveth to make intercession for [us]” (Hebrews 7:25).

And when our days on earth are ended, and this age comes to a close, Christ Jesus will come again. Piercing the clouds,

“This same Jesus, which [was] taken up…into heaven, shall so come in like manner as [He went up] into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

At the appointed hour, Christ will leave His throne in glory, and come down from Heaven, to reign over all the earth. And when He returns to this earth from Heaven,

“He [will have] on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”
      (Revelation 19:16).

And He shall reign in power over all the earth for a thousand years! This, too, is

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

This is the consummation, the complete fulfillment of that “glorious gospel of Christ” Jesus our Lord!

II. Second, think of the light of the Gospel.

The Apostle speaks of “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ.” That light is an unveiled light. There was much light in the Old Testament Scriptures, but it was veiled and not so clear as it is in Christ. It was light given by types and shadows of things to come. But when Christ came to earth, the veil was removed, and all became open and clear.

Nothing is hidden in our preaching. We are not like some liberal preachers who believe one thing, but preach something else to the people. No! A thousand times no! We preach only what we believe. The Gospel is a light, and it is a light that should not be hidden, but rather proclaimed to everyone far and wide,

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” 
      (Romans 1:16).

We are not ashamed of the Gospel. We preach it to all men without fear or favor, for it is

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

The Gospel is of no value unless it is preached, unless its light enters the souls of sin-darkened men and women.

The Gospel is a light that comes from Christ alone. You cannot illuminate the Gospel. It is itself an illumination. I would be a fool is I were to take a candle and try to use it to show people the sun!

People do not see the light of the Gospel by philosophy, or reasoning, or even by eloquent preaching. Simple preaching of the Gospel is all that is needed for men to see its light and glory. I wish I could persuade the unconverted among you to read and study the crucifixion in your Bible every evening before you go to bed. I believe that the light that streams from the Cross would open your eyes, and enter your souls, and you would be saved.

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

The light of the Gospel is also a revealing light. Whenever the light of the Gospel comes streaming into someone’s heart, it reveals the hidden things of darkness and sin. When the glory of Christ is seen, then you will see your own shame and sinfulness. We never see our own depravity and sin so well as we do when the light of the glory of Christ shines upon us. What a revelation it is when the light of Christ shines into the secret chambers of the heart, and the idols hidden there are then seen in all their grotesque hideousness! May God send this light to you, to show you your inward and outward sins.

But the light of the Gospel also gives life. No other light will give life to those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But by the light of the Gospel we are “quickened [made alive] together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5). That is the new birth, which comes to man through

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

And lastly, the Gospel is light that creates peace and joy. The light of the Gospel will make you joyful when you come to the Lord Jesus Christ! A person cannot be deeply unhappy who has seen the light of the glorious gospel of Christ! Surely the light of the glorious gospel of the Son of God will lift your sad heart and give you hope and peace. God grant that we may all be lifted up more and more by the light of Christ’s Gospel!

III. Third, think of what you should do with the light of the Gospel.

Receive it! Look toward the light of Christ! Take a long and steady look at the glory, and see Christ in all His beauty, and power, and love! Stop looking at yourself, and your own feelings. Stop looking at your own thoughts and prejudices. Look entirely away from yourself to

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

Look to Christ. Come to Him by faith – and the light of Christ will glow like the glory of Heaven itself!

Friend, if you ask what you should do with the light of the Gospel of Christ, I answer, value it, see the great importance of it. Remember how much the Devil hates it. He takes the trouble to blind people’s eyes, for fear that they will see the truth of it, for fear that he will lose them as his slaves. The Devil thrusts the hot iron of unbelief into men’s inward eyes, and seals them in the blindness of the darkest night, because he hates the glorious Gospel of Christ. Think, man, if the Devil hates the Gospel so much, be sure that you love it. Be sure that you take hold of Christ with great confidence. Remember that Jesus said,

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).

This morning, let “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” enter your heart and move you to come to Christ and “enter in” to Him!  The moment you “enter in [you] shall be saved” (John 10:9). By faith, enter in to Christ. By faith, come to Christ.

“If any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).

Will you come to Jesus Christ by faith this morning? If you come to Him, He will not cast you out.

“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4)

will enter your soul the moment you come to Christ – and you will be saved by Him, for all time, and for all eternity.

Let us stand and sing together the last hymn on the song sheet. Sing out heartily!

Down at the cross where my Saviour died,
   Down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
There to my heart was the blood applied;
   Glory to His name!
Glory to His name, Glory to His name;
   There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His name!
   (“Glory to His Name” by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1839-1929).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: II Corinthians 4:3-6.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Ring the Bells of Heaven” (by William O. Cushing, 1823-1902).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4).

(Genesis 1:3; Luke 15:10)

I.   First, think of the name Paul gave the Gospel, I Timothy 1:15;
John 13:1; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 7:25; Acts 1:11;
Revelation 19:16.

II.  Second, think of the light of the Gospel, Romans 1:16;
Psalm 119:130; Ephesians 2:1, 5.

III. Third, think of what you should do with the light of the Gospel,
John 10:9.