Salvation And The Knowledge Of It    (Part 3)            Luke 1:77

Zacharias, speaking by the Spirit of God, tells us that it is the work and business of gospel preachers “to give knowledge of salvation” to God’s elect. Gospel preaching is designed and intended to be the means by which God’s salvation is published and made known. Here is the importance of gospel preaching: There is no other way by which God’s salvation is made known to men. Someone asked recently, “Do you mean to say that God cannot or will not use his own inspired Word alone to give knowledge of salvation to his elect; but that the only way a sinner can obtain faith is through the preaching of the gospel by uninspired men?” Certainly, I would never say such a thing. However, the Word of God does say exactly that (Rom. 1:16-17; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21; Tit. 1:3; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). Evangelism cannot be accomplished by flying over Africa and throwing out copies of the gospel of John, or by smuggling Bibles into heathen countries. The Ethiopian eunuch was as sincere as a lost religious man can be. He went to Jerusalem to keep the required feasts of the Jews, and read the Scriptures with great care. Yet, he could not understand the message of God’s inspired Word until some man was sent of God to explain it to him (by uninspired words) in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:31). He could never obtain faith in Christ apart from the preaching of the gospel, either orally or in writing. Not only is the preaching of the gospel necessary to obtaining faith, it is necessary to the believer’s growth in grace, and faith, and the knowledge of the Lord (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Tim. 4:12-16). God did not establish his church in this world for nothing. He did not give his preachers to men for no reason. If you could get along just as well without them, they would not be here. Sheep need each other (local churches); and they need shepherds, too. The only time you see sheep alone and without a shepherd is when they are in serious trouble. Zacharias also spoke of a specific people to whom God’s salvation is made known by the preaching of the gospel. God has sent his gospel preachers into this world, preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified, “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people.” There is a people in this world, scattered among the fallen sons of Adam, a people scattered abroad by God’s providence into every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue, whom the Lord calls, “His People.” They are the people of his choice, the people of his covenant. Christ came to redeem and save “His People.” Everything God does, he does for “His People.” If you and I are numbered among God’s saints, it is because “It pleased the LORD to make you His People.” The Lord God is long-suffering toward us, “His People,” because he is not willing that any of “His People” should perish, but that all should come to repentance and knowledge of the truth. In the fulness of time, he will make his salvation known to every one of “His People” by the preaching of his gospel. We preach the message to all who will hear us; but our message is for and shall be heard by “His People.”