Listen to sermons at




Romans Series #7[i]


      Title:                                 Recovering the Gospel


      Text:                                  Romans 1:16

      Subject:               Recovering the Gospel



I want you to listen very carefully to my first statement. It is a statement that I have made from this pulpit many, many times. It is a statement that I have made to congregations large and small throughout this country and to congregations in most of the English speaking world, and in many congregations in Mexico. Wherever I go to preach, I make this statement, hoping that God will cause people to hear it. Are you ready? Are you listening? Have I got your attention? Alright, here’s the statement. — There is only one Gospel! Now, let’s look at my text — Romans 1:16.


(Romans 1:16) For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


Proposition: There is only one Gospel; and it is “the Gospel of Christ…the power of God unto salvation.” If you would know God you must know the Gospel.


Rolfe Barnard


You’ve all heard the name of Rolfe Barnard. Bro. Barnard was an evangelist who lived in my hometown (Winston-Salem, NC). He died in 1969, when I was just 19 years old, just two years after God saved me. But his ministry has had a profound affect upon my life and ministry. And whether they know it or not, his ministry has had a profound affect upon this generation.


Rolfe Barnard was an evangelist who travelled the length and breadth of this country for 40 years preaching the Gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. God used him mightily.


I want to read something to you that that man of God wrote in the front of his sermon notebook. This is what he wrote.


“The most humbling and challenging thing that I face; the great concern of my heart is that my generation experiences a recovery of the Gospel.


My heart’s desire is that my generation experiences a return to the Gospel of God’s free grace. My generation is plagued with a Gospel of works. My generation does not know what the Gospel of redemption is.


I want to return to that message, that great old message of God’s Word which was used of God in other days, to awaken men to the guilt of sin and to reveal to them the glory and beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.”


Bro. Rolfe Barnard’s burden is my burden. I want to see our God do a wonderful thing. I want to see in my generation the recovery of the Gospel. The title of my message is — Recovering the Gospel.


(Romans 1:16) For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


  • There is only one Gospel. — “The Gospel!
  • The Gospel is the revelation of God in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. — There is no possibility of anyone knowing God who does not know the Gospel.
  • The Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation.” — It is by the preaching of the Gospel that God reveals himself to sinners and saves them by his grace.


2nd Chronicles 34


Let’s look at some Scripture. Turn back to 2nd Chronicles for a minute. I’ve spent a great deal of time preparing this message. It has been on my heart for a long, long time. I’ve tried to seek the direction of God the Holy Spirit. And I believe he has given me the message needed for this hour. I hope you will listen carefully to the Word of God and to the message God has given me for you. My subject is Recovering the Gospel. That’s my subject. That’s the title of my message. — Recovering the Gospel.


Have you found 2nd Chronicles? Look at chapter 34 — 2 Chronicles 34:14-21.


“14 ¶ And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD [given] by Moses. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do [it]. 17 And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen. 18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. 20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s, saying, 21 Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great [is] the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book.” (2 Chronicles 34:14-21)


The nation Israel had abandoned the worship of God. The temple was deserted and laid in ruins. Evil kings had reigned, and covetous priests and prophets had led the people into all forms of idolatry, turning the hearts of Israel and Judah away from the living God.




Then a young man was made king by the name of Josiah. They crowned him king of Judah when he was a very young man, just eight years old. In 2 Chronicles 34:3 we are told that when Josiah was sixteen years old he “began to seek after the God of David.” And when he was twenty years old Josiah began purging idolatry from Judah and Jerusalem, destroying the idols, the groves, the priests, and the sodomites whose numbers are always multiplied by idolatry. By the time he was twenty-six years old, he had purged the land of idolatry and began “repair the house of the Lord his God” (v. 8). Josiah was determined to follow the God of his fathers. He was determined to restore the worship of God in his day.


I am no Josiah, but that has been the ambition of my heart and the labor of my life, since I was just a boy. Soon after God saved me by his grace as a sixteen year old boy, I began to see that the worship of God had fallen to the ground and the Word of God was trampled in the streets by the very people who claimed to represent and speak for God. From those earliest days, I’ve been trying by every means given me to restore the worship of my God. I guess you could say that God has been preparing me to preach this message for forty-seven years.


Josiah ordered the idols to be destroyed and the reprobate priests be put to death. He sent word for the temple to be cleaned out and the worship of God to be restored.


Book Found


While they were cleaning out the temple, Hilkiah the priest found a Book, a most important Book. This was the Word of God written by Moses. This Book was “the Book of law of the Lord God given by Moses” (v. 14), — the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.


Hilkiah the priest found the Book, the Word of God; and he dusted it off and brought the Word of God to the young king Josiah. Hilkiah the priest and Shaphan the scribe brought this Book, the Word of God to this young king Josiah.


He had never read the Word of God. He had never even heard anyone read it. — “And it came to pass when the king heard the words of the Lord, when they read the Scriptures to him, “he rent his clothes” (v. 19).


That was a sign of great grief and great sorrow on the part of people back then. He rent his clothes and said to the priest, — “Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great [is] the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book” (v. 21).


(1 Corinthians 10:11) “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”


Today’s Religion


It must be acknowledged, it must be confessed, it must be said, — “Our fathers and our church leaders have not taught nor preached the words of this Book.” The religion of this age (I’m talking about professed Christianity!) no more resembles New Testament Christianity and the Church of the New Testament than a brothel resembles chastity! In Baptist churches these days (to say nothing of the others), in Baptist churches you find…

  • Candles Burning
  • Crosses
  • Religious Images
  • Altars
  • Religious Icons
  • Stained Glass
  • Clerical Robes
  • Choir Robes
  • And Programs Galore!


The churches, preachers, and religious leaders of this age have neglected the Word of the Lord. What God has written has been lost and ignored in all the ceremonies of religion, in all of the customs, and rituals, and traditions of this age. In 2014 the entertainment and foolishness that go on in the name of religion would make the prophets of Baal blush with shame. It is utter foolishness: theatrical productions, and entertainment in the name of God with no preaching of the Scriptures, no reverence, no regard for the Word of God, the will of God, or the glory of God! The most contemptible thing in this apostate religious world is its religion! You know it and I know it. I am determined, as God enables me, to lift up my voice and cry against it.


Our Lord said, God is Spirit and they who worship him must worship Him in Spirit and truth.” Will we ever return in our churches to the worship of God? Today, preaching the Gospel, preaching the Word of God, has been literally pushed aside to make room for every imaginable thing. Will we ever return in our churches to the worship of God? Only if the Lord God is pleased to…

·    Restore the preaching of the Gospel.

·    Pour out His Spirit upon us.


In this day, preaching and teaching the Word of God has been pushed aside to make way for entertainment, education, sharing, programs, social networking, and religious tom-foolery! Men justify every gimmick and trick they can come up with to get people to come to the church. But they ignore and hold in utter contempt the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the preaching of it.


Oh, they talk about preaching it raise money (scads of money) to preach it, and brag about preaching the Gospel. But preach it? — Never! There’s no room for the worship of God, no room for the preaching of the Gospel on the program! — We’ve got…

  • People to Recognize!
  • Prizes to Give Away!
  • Awards to Give!
  • Records to Break!
  • Activities to Promote!
  • Programs to Implement!
  • Money to Raise!
  • Bills to Pay!
  • Money to Raise!
  • Entertainers to Hire!
  • Money to Raise!
  • Games to Play!
  • Money to Raise!


False Gospel


When they do get around to talking about God, the Lord Jesus, the Spirit of God, or salvation, or grace, or righteousness, everything they teach is contrary to this Book of God. Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 11 and Galatians 1 that “Men will come preaching another Jesus. They will come preaching another spirit and another gospel.” The preachers of this day preach another god, another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel.


My message is offensive to many in this day of religious tom-foolery; but (as God enables me) I am going to go on preaching it, as plainly as I possibly can, until I have no breath in my body. I am convinced that most of what is going on today in the name of God is utter idolatry and that most of what is being preached in God’s name is another gospel. It is another spirit and it is another Jesus. It is not the Gospel of God’s grace and mercy at all. It is not glorifying to God, and it is not exalting to our Lord Jesus Christ. As a result everybody you know has got religion and virtually no one knows Christ!


That which passes for worship is not the worship of God; and that which passes for the Gospel is not the Gospel of God. May God give us the wisdom, boldness, and grace in our day that he gave to King Josiah to repair the house of God and restore the worship of God. I am set for the recovery of the Gospel.


Eleven Charges


Here are eleven charges that must be laid against the religion of this age, against all Arminian, freewill, works religion. When the charges have been declared, I defy anyone to gainsay them! These are facts that simply cannot be denied.


1.    Today’s gospel, what men call the Gospel, all but ignores the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. — The Gospel of God is all about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Colossians 3:11).

2.    Today’s gospel is more concerned with your will than God’s will. — The Gospel of God is all about his will. — “Thy will be done” (Romans 8:28-30; 9:16; John 1:12-13).

3.    Today’s gospel calls on men to stand up and be counted. — The Gospel of God revealed in this Book demands that sinners bow and worship, and compels them to do so (Isaiah 6:1-8).

4.    Today’s gospel tells you how to be born again. — The Gospel of Christ declares, “Ye must be born again!” (John 3:3-8) — Before you can do anything for God God has to do something for you!

5.    Today’s gospel makes salvation is an offer. — The Gospel of Christ reveals that salvation is the operation of God (Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 2:12).

6.    Today’s gospel substitutes human reason for Divine Revelation. — The Gospel of the grace of God comes by Divine Revelation (Galatians 1:15).

7.    Today’s gospel substitutes a decision for regeneration.

8.    Today’s gospel identifies the Christian by what he does and does not do rather than by what he is and who he knows (John 17:3; 2 Timothy 1:12).

9.    Today’s gospel utterly ignores the holy law of God. — The Gospel of God declares that Christ has magnified the law and made it honorable by his obedience unto death as our Substitute!

10. Today’s gospel makes the triune God a helpless beggar, pleading with sinners to let him have his way. — The Gospel of the grace of God declares that the sovereign, omnipotent Lord God has his way at all times, with all men, in all places, and in all things (Psalm 135:6; Romans 11:33-36). — The Gospel of God declares that “Salvation is of the Lord!

11. Today’s gospel is based on what men and women think rather than what God says.


Rubbish Removed


If we would restore the worship of God, repair the breaches of God’s house, and build again the walls of Zion, we will have to take a trip, maybe many trips, to the garbage dump. There is much rubbish that must be hauled away, tons of garbage that must be taken away and dumped in the garbage dump where the religion of this age belongs.


(Nehemiah 4:10) “And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and [there is] much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.”


  • Programs
  • Specialized Ministries
  • Robes, Collars, and Crosses
  • Creeds and Confessions
  • Musical Presentations
  • Plays (Christmas – Easter)
  • Traditions and Customs
  • Ball Teams and Bake Sales
  • Sunday School Pins
  • Recognitions of Men
  • Feel Good Religion — Emotional Prayer Meetings — Testimony Time — Pentecostal Nonsense


There is nothing about the religion of this age that even remotely resembles the worship of God! Is there?


The Pharisee in the temple stood there and lauded himself and praised himself. He added up all the things he had done for God, and said, I tithe; I fast twice a week; I give alms to the poor; I’m not an extortioner; I’m not an adulterer; I’m not unjust and I’m not like other folks.”


There, in the back of the building was a Publican, a notorious sinner, “Who would not so much lift his eyes, (let alone his hands to heaven), but he smote on his breast and cried; God, be merciful to me a sinner.” That is the sinner pleading with God to show mercy.


The Pharisee was adding up all of his services and things that he had done for God. Here was a man asking God to have mercy. Our Lord said, “The Publican went down to his house justified!” The Pharisee went to hell in his religious pretense and garb.


The rich, young ruler talked to Christ about his morality and his righteousness; he talked to Christ of his faithfulness to the commandments all of his life and went home sorrowful.


The harlot fell at his feet. She bathed his feet with the tears of repentance and received the forgiveness of her sins.


The religious people at the Judgment in Matthew 7 were talking about all the things they had done in the name of the Lord. They bragged about how they had preached in the name of the Lord, and cast out devils in the name of the Lord, and had done many wonderful works in the name of the Lord. They talked about being on the mission field and serving God at home, and doing good everywhere. Our Lord said, “Depart from Me, ye cursed; I never knew you.”


While the thief, the repentant thief who had nothing to boast of and brag about and to present to God, as an empty-handed sinner walked into glory on the arm of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Men today make decisions for Jesus. The apostle Paul said, “I obtained mercy.” Men today are busy accepting Jesus. Paul said, “We are accepted in the Beloved.” That is exactly the opposite. It is not our accepting him, but him accepting us that is salvation.


Men today are busy giving their hearts to God. The prophet said, “He will take that old stony heart out and give you a heart of flesh.” God doesn’t need my heart. I need a new heart.


Men today win souls and make converts. Paul said, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” I am not what I am by the cunning craftiness of some man. I am not what I am by the powerful persuasion of some preacher. I’m not what I am by the cleverness of some soul-winner. “I am what I am by the grace of God.”


We love Him because He first loved us.” My friends, salvation is not of man. It is not of the will of man. The Scripture says, “It is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, it is of God that showeth mercy.”


Salvation is the work of God’s grace in us. It is not our work for him but his work for us and in us. Paul said, summing up his conversion, “It pleased God to reveal His Son in me.” In 1 Corinthians 1:30, he says; “Of Him are you in Christ. Of God are you in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.”


God doesn’t need us to do anything for him. We are desperately in need of God doing something for us! We need new hearts and we need regeneration. We need to be born again. We need for God to show mercy to us. We need God to visit us with a refreshing from heaven. We must not turn to men and find out what they are going to do; let’s turn to heaven and see what God is going to do. He is not in our hands; we are in his hands.


PART 2[ii]


I want to pick up today right where I left of last Sunday. My subject is Recovering the Gospel. Our text will be Romans 1:16. You will recall that I read something to you last week that Bro. Rolfe Barnard wrote in the front of his sermon notebook. Let me remind you of what Bro. Barnard wrote.


“The most humbling and challenging thing that I face; the great concern of my heart is that my generation experiences a recovery of the Gospel.


My heart’s desire is that my generation experiences a return to the Gospel of God’s free grace. My generation is plagued with a Gospel of works. My generation does not know what the Gospel of redemption is.


I want to return to that message, that great old message of God’s Word which was used of God in other days, to awaken men to the guilt of sin and to reveal to them the glory and beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.”


Barnard went on to say…


“If we would serve our generation, if we would honor our Lord, if we would be true to the souls of our hearers, we must, I repeat, we must return to the preaching of God’s free grace.”


Now, let’s look at my text — Romans 1:16.


(Romans 1:16) For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


Proposition: There is only one Gospel; and it is “the Gospel of Christ…the power of God unto salvation.” If you would know God you must know the Gospel.


Vital Questions


What’s the difference? Wherein do we differ with the religious world around us?


Illustrations: My Conversation with Doug SharonMy First Visit Here


Let me show you exactly wherein we differ by answering four questions very briefly. Would to God that every preacher in the world would learn the Gospel, learn the answers to these four questions and proclaim the message contained in those answers. — I wonder what might happen if, by a mighty operation of his grace the Lord God saved every preacher in Danville, KY, and they all began preaching the Gospel today. I can tell you what would happen. — Either there would be riots in the streets or revival in the city!


If there is to be a recovery of the Gospel in this in our generation, somebody’s got to tell this generation these four things…


1.    What took place in eternity? God the Holy Spirit tells us in Hebrews 4 that “the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” What works? What was done in eternity? What took place in eternity?

·      Election (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

·      Predestination (Romans 8:28-30)

·      The Covenant (Ephesians 1:3-6)

·      Salvation (2 Timothy 1:9)


2.    What happened in the Garden? (Romans 5:12)


“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)


3.    What happened at Calvary?

  • Christ was made sin for us and punished for sin as our Substitute (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
  • Justice was satisfied (Romans 3:24-26).
  • Righteousness was brought in for God’s elect (Daniel 9:24). — The Lord Jesus magnified the law and made it honorable for us, as our Substitute (Isaiah 42:21).
  • All for whom the Lord Jesus died were redeemed (Galatians 3:13-14).


4.    What happens in the new birth? (Ephesians 2:1-5; Titus 3:4-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17)

·      Resurrection from the Dead!

·      New Creation!

·      The Gift of Faith!


(Ephesians 2:1-5) “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”


“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. (By grace ye are saved.)”


(Ephesians 2:6) “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.?


(Titus 3:4-7) “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”


(2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


When Hilkiah the priest found the Book of God in the temple and Shaphan the scribe read it to King Josiah…

  • Josiah led the people of God to keep the Passover. The king led the people in the worship of God through Christ the crucified Redeemer!
  • Josiah made a covenant before the Lord to walk after him and keep his Word with all his heart and soul, “to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this Book,” to order his life by the Book of God! — Josiah believed God!
  • And this good King Josiah, by his example and influence, caused all Israel to make the same covenant before God.


If we would see the worship of God restored in our day, three things are absolutely necessary. We must have these three things.

  1. A Return to the Preaching of the Gospel!
  2. A Return to the Rule of God’s Word in His House!
  3. An Outpouring of God’s Spirit upon Us!

Oh, Spirit of God, grant us these things, for Christ’s sake.


Barnard said, “If we would serve our generation, if we would honor our Lord, if we would be true to the souls of our hearers, we must, I repeat, we must return to the preaching of God’s free grace.” — That’s what Paul is talking about in this 1st chapter of Romans.


(Romans 1:15) “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.”


(Romans 1:16) “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”


Paul was ready to preach the Gospel because…

·    He was not ashamed of it.

·    It is the Gospel of Christ.

·    It is the power of God unto salvation.


Isaiah 40


If there is to be a recovery of the Gospel, if the worship of God is restored somebody’s got to tell this generation who God is! Turn back to the 40th chapter of Isaiah. Here in Isaiah 40 we have God’s word to those who preach his Word.


Historically, Isaiah 40 is God’s promise of grace and restoration to Judah. In Chapter 39:5-7 Isaiah told Hezekiah and Judah that the nation would be carried away into Babylon as captives. This was God’s punishment for the sins of the nation. Yet, there was an elect remnant in Judah. Lest their hearts be overcome with grief and despair, Isaiah was instructed by God to assure his people of the nation’s restoration and of the certainty of God’s promise. In this 40th chapter we have a record of what God told Isaiah to say to his people.


But this passage reaches far beyond Judah’s restoration from Babylon. It speaks of the salvation of God’s elect by Christ.


In these 31 verses the Spirit of God tells us what every man sent of God to preach the Gospel is required of God to preach.


God sends his prophets to minister to different people in different ages and circumstances. These men who are sent of God to preach the Gospel vary from one another in many things. Some are educated and refined. Some are uneducated and rough. Some are scholars. Some are fishermen. Sometimes God’s messenger is a Moses, an Elijah, or a John the Baptist. Sometimes he is an Isaiah, a John, or a Paul. But God’s messenger is always:

·      A Man among Men. — When Jim Bowie’s mother heard the news of her son’s death at the Alamo, she said, I’ll wager they found no wounds on his back.

·      God’s Man among Men.

·      God’s Man with God’s Message to Men.


And God’s message to men never changes! Every man who claims to be a prophet, or a preacher, sent from God must be examined, not by his personality, persuasiveness, or success, but by his message.


This (Isaiah 40:1-31) is God’s word of instruction to every man who speaks to eternity bound sinners in his name. This is the message of evangelism, the message God has sent me to preach. It is a fourfold message. Here is the fourfold message of evangelism. By this message God identifies himself. Here God tells us who he is. You will find out who God is when you find out how God saves sinners by the doing and dying of his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! If ever we experience a recovery of the Gospel and a restoration of the true worship of God, these four things must be preached and will be preached.


1.    Redemption is accomplished (Isaiah 40:1-2).


Isaiah 40:1-2 (1) Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (2) Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.


It is my business, my responsibility, as a preacher to preach the Gospel plainly, with simplicity and clarity.


Isaiah 40:3-5 (3) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, — make straight in the desert a highway for our God. — (4) Every valley shall be exalted, — and every mountain and hill shall be made low: — and the crooked shall be made straight, — and the rough places plain.


Illustration: Clearing the Road to the City of Refuge


As John the Baptist came to lay a highway right across the desert of apostate Judaism, so God’s servants today, by preaching the Gospel of Christ, lay a highway across the desert of apostate religion upon which the Son of God comes to men and women in saving grace. The preaching of the Gospel is like building a big house. — Some excavation work must be done.

·      Every valley of hopeless despair must be filled.

·      Every mountain and hill of self-righteousness must be pushed down.

·      Every crooked bend of works religion must be made straight.

·      Every rough place of legality must be made plain.


Our Assurance


As we faithfully perform our work, we have this word of assurance from our God. — “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed (v. 5).


Isaiah 40:5 (5) And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed (2 Corinthians 4:3-7), and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.


·      At the Cross.

·      In the Gospel

·      At Judgment (Revelation 1:7).


But this revelation of the glory of God is primarily talking about the salvation of sinners. Isaiah is telling us that Christ will come to his people all over the world by the preaching of the Gospel, revealing the glory of God in redemption and grace. God’s elect shall be saved! — “The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”


2 Corinthians 4:3-7 (3) But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.


Our Object


Our goal, our object in preaching the Gospel is twofold.

·      The Glory of God.

·      The Salvation of God’s Elect.


How shall we accomplish this twofold object? By what means can we both glorify the Lord our God and persuade lost, ruined sinners to come to Christ? What message shall we preach?


The world tells us to appeal to man’s dignity. God tells us to declare man’s depravity! The world tells us to preach the power of positive thinking. God tells us to proclaim the immutability of his everlasting purpose! The world tells us to talk about the love of God. God tells us to proclaim his greatness!


God says, “Proclaim redemption accomplished, and say to all…


2.    All flesh is grass (Isaiah 40:5-8).


Isaiah 40:6-8 (6) The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: (7) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. (8) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.


All flesh is grass! — Man is a frail, perishing creature, because he is fallen, depraved, sinful, corrupt! Being weak as a blade of grass, you are not able to do any good thing, let alone fulfil the law, regenerate yourself, renew your heart, cleanse your soul, or put away your own sin.


All flesh is grass! — This must be preached relentlessly, to abate the pride of men; to show the necessity of Divine power and grace in regeneration. You will never seek the grace of God in Christ, until you know that you are nothing but withering grass, and that all your “goodliness” is less than the flower of withering grass!

  • Material Goodliness!
  • Moral Goodliness!
  • Religious Goodliness!

·      All flesh is worthless grass! Not hay for feed! — Grass! — Just weeds, nothing more! — Just worthless weeds!

·      All of man’s goodness is like the pretty bloom on worthless weeds!

·      Soon God will destroy the grass and its flower!


3.    Here is the third message of the Gospel. — “The Word of our God shall stand forever(v. 8).


·      The ScripturesThe written Word of God!

·      The decrees, purposes, and promises of God can never be thwarted, altered, or even hindered!

·      The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the living Word of God shall stand forever!


4.    Behold your God (Isaiah 40:9-31).


Isaiah 40:9-31 (9) O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!


He is the mighty Savior (v. 10). — “Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”


He is the good Shepherd (v. 11). — “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”


He is the omnipotent, omniscient Creator (vv. 12-14; Romans 11:33-36).— “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (13) Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? (14) With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?


Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.


Compared to him all the nations and peoples of the earth are nothing, less than nothing, and vanity (15-17). — (15) Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. (16) And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. (17) All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

·      They cause him no concern — Dust!

·      He rules them with ease.

·      The whole world has nothing to offer him. (v. 16).

·      All creation, before the great Lord God is vanity.


So great is our God that nothing can be compared to him. — Idolatry is foolish nonsense (vv. 18-20). — “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? (19) The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. (20) He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.”


He is sovereign Monarch of the universe (vv. 21-26). — “Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? (22) It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: (23) That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. (24) Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. (25) To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. (26) Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.


Behold your God!” — He is able to save them that wait upon him, them who trust in him (vv. 27-31).


God is greater than your need (vv. 27-28).— (27) Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? (28) Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.


He gives power to the faint and strength to the weak (v. 29). — “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.


He preserves and keeps his own when others, who appear stronger and greater, faint, grow weary, and fall (vv. 30-31). — “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (31) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” (Deuteronomy 33:25). — In the beginning of their pilgrimage, God’s saints soar and fly like the eagle. — As they continue and grow in grace, God’s pilgrims run their race and never grow weary of it, though fall by the way. — In their mature years, Thy walk, making steady, but tranquil and almost unconscious, advancement and faint not, though many fall.


Behold your God!” To behold him is to…

·      Know your need of him.

·      Realize what he has done (v. 2).

·      Trust him alone as your Savior.

·      Be saved by him.


Isaiah 45:20-25 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, — That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; — and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) — In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.


Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


Do you now believe on the Son of God? Do you believe the Gospel? If you do, the Gospel has come to you “ power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” — Bow to Christ, like Josiah did, and like Josiah you shall never see the evil that the law demands in the execution of justice upon you! — Trust the Son of God; and like Josiah you shall be gathered to your grave in peace! — Oh, may God the Holy Ghost make the Gospel of Christ the power of God unto salvation to you, for Christ’s sake!






Don Fortner








Pastor Fortner’s


Audio Sermons

Video Sermons


Event Calendar





[i] Danville — Sunday Morning — March 16, 2014


     Reading:        2 Kings 22:1-23:7, 21-24

                           2 Chronicles 34:1-35:1, 17-19


[ii]        Danville — Sunday Morning — March 23, 2014

         Wasilla, AK — Thursday — March 20, 2014