I Will! (The Gospel in a nutshell)

  • By Ed Almasy
  • on Tuesday, August 29, 2006
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and after finishing all the host of them He looked on everything that He had made and saw that it was very good (Gen 1:1,31; Gen 2:1). God's creation was perfect and in order and in subjection to the Sovereign LORD in all things - until, as Ezekiel darkly reveals, iniquity was found in the anointed cherub whom God had created (Eze. 28:14,15). God had given the covering cherub great beauty, which became the source of the lifting up of the cherub's heart against God and the corruption of his wisdom (Eze. 28:16,17). The prophet Isaiah speaks of that covering cherub, Lucifer, son of the morning, which fell from his heavenly office for saying in his heart, "I WILL ascend into heaven, I WILL exalt my throne above the stars of God: I WILL sit also upon the mount of the congregation ... I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds: I WILL be like the most High." (Isa. 14:12-14). Evil had entered the universe via a will which was not subject to Almighty God.

Lucifer, or Satan, having sinned against his creator, afterward deceived Eve (I Tim. 2:14) who gave of the fruit of the forbidden tree to Adam, who partaking willingly (Gen. 3:6) plunged all of mankind into sin and death (Rom. 5:12). Since that time mankind has been born into a state of death in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) from which it is not possible to extract themselves by an act of their own will (Joh. 1:13), their fallen will being subject to the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) and their very being held in bondage as a servant to sin (Rom. 6:20). Like Satan, man's natural thoughts, however noble in the sight of man, are only self centered and seek gratification of their own carnal desires. Man's wisdom, like that of the cherub, has been corrupted and is of no value with regard to the things of God (I Cor. 1:20 - I Cor. 2:13).

The LORD's Old Testament people of Israel repeatedly profaned (Eze. 36:22,23) the name of their God and were brought into bondage in a heathen land for their transgressions. The circumstances of Israel picture over and over God's redeeming love unto a sinful and rebellious people. The LORD God purposed to bring about reconciliation for His fallen people, a reconciliation which could only be initiated and brought about by the will of God Himself.

While fallen man and rebellious Israel bring reproach upon the name of the LORD, God Himself promises, "I WILL sanctify my great name ..." (Eze. 36:23) even in those who formerly walked contrary to God and His ways. How does He purpose to accomplish this? God Himself promises that "I WILL take you from among the heathen ... " (Eze. 36:24) and give His people their own land, separating a people unto Himself, wherein they might dwell in righteousness and show forth among the nations the glory of their Redeemer. God's precious promise to His people is that "I WILL sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean" (Eze. 36:25). He further reveals that "I WILL take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I WILL give you an heart of flesh" (Eze. 36:26) thus replacing the dead and pridefully lifted up heart of sin. This new heart, able to receive the things of the Spirit of God (I Cor. 2:14) indeed becomes the fleshy tablet of the Holy Spirit (II Cor. 3:3) of Whom God says, "I WILL put my spirit within you" (Eze. 36:27). His people are then empowered to live by that Holy Spirit, walking in His statutes and keeping His judgments by faith. God's blessings are poured out on such a people, a people who not only have His material blessing on their lives (Eze. 36:30) but are able to walk in victory over former sins and in new and better wisdom, fulfilling God's promise that, "I WILL also save you from all your uncleannesses" (Eze. 36:29). In short, the LORD God has promised that, "I WILL be your God" (Eze. 36:28) and by His mighty hand He has brought it to pass through the blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Ought we to neglect such a great salvation which God has accomplished, revealed to His apostles, confirmed with miracles, taught to many others, and shown to us by His preserved word through the preaching and teaching of His ministers according to His own will (Heb. 1:3,4)? Nay, but we ought to join with David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, who knowing that the everlasting LORD shall judge the world in righteousness (Psa. 9:7,8) sang saying, "I WILL praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart!" (Psa. 9:1a). Our reasonable service to God is to use our new heart of flesh to return praise to it's creator! "I WILL show forth all thy marvellous works" (Psa. 9:1b) ! Has God put this new song in your mouth? Then show it forth so that many shall see it and ask of the hope that is in you and trust in the LORD (Psa. 40:3; I Pet. 3:15) ! "I WILL be glad and rejoice in thee: I WILL sing praise to thy name, O thou most high" (Psa. 9:2) ! Because of this salvation, we know in our hearts that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth and we should be glad and rejoice and give honour unto the Lamb (Rev. 19:6,7) ! Paul echos David's words, "I WILL rejoice in thy salvation!" (Psa. 9:14) when he reminds the Philippians to "rejoice in the Lord" (Phi. 3:1) and also "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice" (Phi. 4:4).

Satan fell from heaven by attempting to exalt his will over that of the Almighty and dragged mankind willingly into sin. The LORD God has willed and performed redemption for His people (Mat. 1:21) who being freed from sin can and will praise Him! We shall indeed be like the most High, not as Satan thought to be - independent from Him, but we shall be like Him - conformed to the image of Christ our Saviour (Rom. 8:29) and crying unto Him daily, "... THY WILL be done ... " (Mat. 6:10) !

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The Cincinnati Church is an historic baptist church located in Cincinnati, OH.