By Lee Hanks
Advocate & Messenger—January 1937
WHENEVER WE ascertain the fact how one sinner is saved that solves the problem how every sinner is saved eternally. If you have learned how one sinner knows the Lord, you have discovered the great truth how every sinner knows the Lord.
There was a little babe who leaped for joy and knew the Lord before he was born of the flesh—knew the Lord in his mother’s womb. Preachers, Bibles, Sunday schools, father, mother, no man, no set of men revealed this truth to John. He was born of the spirit independent of human agencies. Everyone that is born again, is born just like John the Baptist, independent of Bibles, preachers or human agencies.
The Bible, in speaking of the new birth, says, “Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This birth of the spirit is from above or of God. Joh 1:11-12,13 says: “He (Jesus) came into His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the Sons of God (the right, authority or privilege to become the sons of God manifestly), even to them which believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” This birth is wholly of God. Born before they believed (1Jo 5:1), and believed before they received Him spiritually and appreciatively, and received Him gospelly before they were His manifest sons.
Whenever you reject a true servant of God and Gospel teaching, you reject Christ. Whenever you receive the preaching of the Gospel understandingly you receive the Saviour gospelly. To reject His Gospel and the ordinances is a rejection of Him. If you receive an ambassador from another country you receive the government that sent him. If you reject an ambassador, you reject the government that sent him. Preaching of the Gospel is spiritual. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because the are spiritually discerned.” Hence they must be born again, before they can receive the preaching of the Gospel.
All who receive the Gospel appreciatively are Gods children already If they were begotten of Paul or any other preacher regeneratively, the preacher would be the father, and not God. If born of the preacher would they not be his spiritual children—a family of little preachers. Paul called the church at Corinth “sons” in Gospel sense, not that he had any part in their regeneration. Some of them were weak in the faith and said: “I am of Paul and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.” Paul did not want any of the honors of their eternal salvation. He asked, “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul ?“ Paul teaches here that it pleased God by the foolish ness of preaching to save them that believe,—save from snares, false doctrines, bewitching teachings, division, etc It is the believer, a child of God that is thus benefited gospelly by the preaching of the Gospel. Paul says: “It is of Him (God) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” Paul would not have any of the glory. It did not belong to him.
Preaching belongs to teachable subjects who are subjects of Gospel Address. The church of Christ at Corinth was in Christ Jesus, created in Him unto good works, before they could receive Paul’s preaching. Paul says, “It is of God that they are in Christ Jesus,” and further says, “If any be in Christ Jesus he is a new creature.” Those brethren were in Christ Jesus, saved, called, spiritually born children of God before they were begotten in a gospel sense into that Gospel faith by the preaching of the Gospel. No mans preaching has ever begotten one in a regenerative sense and never will. But the preaching of the Gospel does reach renewed hearts and saves them gospelly from error and false and bewitching teachings.
Preaching of the Gospel may convert Gods children from error, but never will regenerate one. Good seed is sown into good ground—the Gospel falls into renewed or prepared hearts. The seed does not break up the stony ground, or dig up the thorns and briars; but the ground must be prepared first before seed falls into it and germinates and produces a crop. This lesson teaches that the alien sinners heart must be prepared of God before the Gospel seed is sown into it. This is as soon as the Gospel begetting takes place with Gods children. Regeneration and spiritual birth—life, travail and deliverance—a sweet and given rest experienced when born of God. Shut up under the law before, now the Gospel comes with power and much assurance. The poor soul feels that those sweet Gospel promises are his. When he is taught the truths of the Gospel, he receives it with joy and gladness. The preacher is just telling him something that he knows by experience to be true. He loves grace. His experience teaches him that salvation is of the Lord. Our blessed Jesus needs no help and makes no failures. He shall not fail nor be discharged.