Friday, September 28, 2012

A Great Summary of the Gospel

Today's podcast of Finding Hidden Treasure (Episode 4) will discuss the joy-filled theology of the 18th century Dutch pastor and theologian Wilhemus A Brakel.

The program can be found at

In the course of the podcast, I read from a section of Brakel's great work, The Christian's Reasonable Service, to present a wonderful summary of the Gospel. It is among the best which I have ever encountered. I offer the text for your benefit and blessing:

All felicity [a state of great happiness], full satisfaction, and enduring joy of man consists in having communion with God—such was Adam’s life prior to the fall. After the fall, man’s understanding has been darkened; he has become a stranger to the life of God, is deprived of the glory of God, and thus travels upon the broad way to destruction. In His goodness God has revealed a way by which a condemnable sinner can be reconciled with, and enjoy God, this being his felicity, satisfaction, and joy. In this life, this is but in principle, but after death and the general resurrection of the dead, this will be enjoyed in perfection in the third heaven—in the paradise of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is this way, being the one, eternal, living, and only wise God and the eternal Son of the eternal Father. He has assumed our own human nature out of the holy Virgin Mary and has united it to Himself in singleness of person. He is thus true and eternal God, and a perfectly holy man. He was ordained by the Father in the eternal Counsel of Peace—or in the eternal covenant of redemption—to be Surety and Savior. In having given Himself to that end, He as Surety has removed all the sins of all the elect and taken them upon Himself. By His suffering and death He satisfied the justice of God, thereby reconciling the elect with God. Furthermore, by His obedience in fulfilling the law, He has merited a perfect righteousness for them. He is “the way, the truth, and the life,” and no man comes unto the Father, but by Him (John 14:6). Salvation is in none other, and He can save to the uttermost all those who come to God by Him.

God causes this Savior and Surety, being the only way unto salvation, to be proclaimed in various places in the world by means of the gospel, that is, good news. He makes it known to men and calls them; He urges everyone to desire this salvation—and for the obtaining of it, to receive this Savior as their Surety, and surrender to Him in order to be led by Him unto salvation. Is not a person wicked who insists on remaining in his wretched condition; who despises the salvation, eternal bliss, and joy in the perfect enjoyment of communion with God; who despises God, rejects the Surety, disdainfully rejects all friendly invitations, and thus goes lost forever—is he not frightfully wicked? On the contrary, is not he blessed who is acquainted with the necessity of, the full salvation in, and the friendly invitation to come to this Surety, Jesus Christ? Is not he blessed who delights in this salvation, desires this way, and becomes a partaker of it in this way?” (2.601-602).

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