15 APRIL (PREACHED EASTER DAY, 15 APRIL 1770)
The capital point
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ 1 Peter 1:3
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 Corinthians 15:1–11
Great is the difference between the notion and experience of divine truths. When they are truly known, they warm the heart and put life into our words. The Apostle was a poor and afflicted man. He wrote to a scattered and afflicted people. Yet see how he begins. They who can make these words their own may be joyful in tribulation.
The way in which believers have a right to the inheritance:
(i) They are begotten again. They have it as children, not by nature—Ephesians 2:3 … and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others—but by grace and adoption, born of the incorruptible seed of the word, quickened by the Spirit—an adoption accompanied with a real change: by the former a right, by the latter a suitability.
(ii) The ground or cause: abundant mercy, considering the objects (sinners), the greatness of the blessings, the procuring cause (John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life).
(iii) The great means—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the capital point in which all gospel truths centre. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins’ (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17).
‘I Am,’ saith CHRIST our glorious head,
Thy power and mercy first prevailed
(May we attention give)
From death to set us free;
‘The resurrection of the dead,
And often since our life had failed,
The life of all that live.
If not renewed by thee.
By faith in me, the soul receives
To thee we look, to thee we bow;
New life, though dead before;
To thee, for help, we call;
And he that in my name believes,
Our life and resurrection thou,
Shall live, to die no more.’
Our hope, our joy, our all.
SERMON: 1 PETER 1:3 [1/2]