Christ—The Message and the Messenger -- By: Miles Taber
GJ 2:2 (Spr 61) p. 19
Christ—The Message and the Messenger
Pastor, Grace Brethren Church
This article is a condensation of two messages delivered at Grace Theological Seminary as part of the Louis S. Bauman Memorial Lectures, January 30 and February 1, 1961.
PART I: Christ—The Message
Many who read this article are training for Christian service or are actively engaged in that ministry. May I direct your thoughts to this question: What message do I have for a lost world? Is it simple, or complicated? Is it worthy of my sacrifice? Is it effective? Is it able to accomplish the desired results?
I should like to commend to you the simple message of the New Testament. Paul was so sure that he had the right message that he pronounced a curse on anyone who would offer any other (Gal 1:8). He stated the content of this message very simply: “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). This narrows down the message tremendously: it concerns one Person, and one event in that Person’s life. Everything else is excluded.
Content of Early Preaching
Did the apostles actually limit the content of their message to this one theme? Yes, this is what they preached, and this only. At Pentecost Peter lost no time in getting to the heart of his message: “That same Jesus, whom ye have crucified” (Acts 2:36). In the Temple court Peter was still preaching Christ (Acts 3:20). The message of the apostles continued to be a Person: “They ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). In witnessing to the Ethiopian, Philip “began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35). When Paul was converted “straightway he preached Christ” (Acts 9:20). And the some message was offered to the gentiles (Acts 11:20). On the continent of Europe Paul preached a Person, Jesus Christ, at Thessolonica and Athens (Acts 17:3, 18).
This testimony of Luke in the Acts is confirmed in the Epistles. We have quoted 1 Corinthians 2:2. Later, Paul wrote to the same church: “We preach…Christ Jesus” (2 Cor 4:5). He was so much concerned about getting this message to all men that he eve...
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