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Preaching Christ - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2022 8:00 pm

Preaching Christ - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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June 25, 2022 8:00 pm

Declaring unto you the testimony of God...

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder Lacerre Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise! The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace! This is Lacerre Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and for contempt on all my crime. For it is, Lord, that I should boast, Safe in the death of Christ my Lord. All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood. See from his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did their touch, love and sorrow meet, Or thorns come close, so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small? Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my home. I'm thankful you have joined us for the broadcast today. The subject of our message is an important one, preaching Christ. We want always to be lifting up his name, our wonderful Lord and Savior, our Redeemer. If the message is a blessing to you and you want to help keep this broadcast on the air, our mailing address is the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.

Please mention the call letters of the station of which the program comes to you, or the website where you're receiving it. I ask that you pray for us during these summer months. Often it's a challenging time, it seems.

People probably are not traveling as much because of concerns about COVID, but still the summertime is a time of activity and people tend to forget us a little bit. So if you can help us now, we'll certainly appreciate it. Turn with me to the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 2. We read beginning with the first verse. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. The apostle says, I have determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Now obviously he does not say here that he never touched on any other thing because the apostle taught in great detail on many fundamental doctrinal issues, on many issues pertaining to godly living, many details concerning the church, and as he wrote epistles to young ministers, that which pertained to the ministry itself. But I believe he is saying essentially that no matter what the subject may have been, Jesus Christ was the theme of his preaching. First of all, as we examine this portion of scripture, let's think about the man himself, Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus.

His experience was indeed very unique. Let's turn to the 26th chapter of the book of Acts as he relates this experience and examine it from his own words. Of course, Paul was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but he records that which he set forth when he was before King Agrippa. And says in Acts chapter 26 verse 9, I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus Christ. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the servants did I shut up in prison having received authority from the chief priests.

And when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. This describes where this man was in his religious involvement. Being as he said elsewhere, a Pharisee of the Pharisees.

He was very dedicated to what he believed at that time was the truth. He says, I thought within myself that I should do these things contrary to the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He hated the gospel.

He despised the message. He felt they would do God a favor to put Christians to death and hopefully to wipe out the church and remove the testimony from the face of the earth. Put some in prison, had authority from the chief priests to do so, and many were put to death and I gave my voice against them. And I punished them off in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. See, Paul's approach here was not a casual attitude at all.

It wasn't a matter of just saying, here's my point of view and I differ with these people. He felt like they should be destroyed and was doing all within his power to accomplish that. Verse 12, whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

It is hard for thee to kick against the bricks. He's going on his way, zealous in his religion, determined to add to the suffering of Christians, wanting to subdue this message, but suddenly there's a light from heaven, a brilliant light above the brightness of the sun so that we fell to the earth and heard a voice. The voice called my name, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. Now these are the words of Jesus to Saul of Tarsus. But rise and stand upon thy feet, for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen and of those things in which I will appear unto thee, delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.

What a remarkable transformation. If somebody had said to Saul of Tarsus, prior to this experience, one day you will be a believer. One day you will embrace Jesus Christ. One day you will preach his gospel.

He would have said, that's an absolute absurdity. It can never happen. And no doubt there are those today who would make such a declaration, I will never believe the message of the gospel. I will never become a follower of Christ. The gospel makes no sense to me.

I have no interest in it. But that doesn't mean that when such a declaration is made that the case is hopeless. Because we have this vivid example before us that God is able to transform any individual. No matter how set they may be, no matter how zealous and sincere in their own religion, our Lord is able to transform them totally. That gives me a lot of hope and courage. Because frankly today, when we see that there are so many skeptics, so many who question the validity of scripture, so many who question the very fundamental truth of the gospel, so many who are enamored with the things of this world and with the philosophies of men, we say, how can we ever find one whose heart is open, who is willing to receive the message?

And we know full well that if it was left to our abilities, we would miserably fail. But when we see in this example that no case is too hard for the Lord and that Jesus Christ changed this man's life, we have hope to believe that he is still in the business of changing others. Saul of Tarsus became totally surrendered to Jesus Christ. Transformed by Christ, humbled by Christ, now surrendered to Christ. Back in the ninth chapter of the book of Acts, the account that is given which Paul was reiterating and reviewing in the twenty-sixth chapter from which we have read. When the Lord spoke to him from heaven and he said, Who art thou?

And Jesus responded, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. He said in Acts 9, 6, And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into the city and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Here's a humbled heart, here's a subdued man, a man who had been viciously fighting the gospel of Jesus Christ, now bows humbly before the risen Savior and asks the question, What wilt thou have me to do?

Oh, how I would pray that if there are those today who have never asked that question, that this will be the day that you ask it in sincerity. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Verse 15, The Lord said unto him, Go thy way.

This is speaking to Ananias. He is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles and the kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. I've always thought that it was rather interesting that here at the outset of this man's experience, the Lord is going to inform him that there are sufferings to be endured. I admit that if I was talking to someone that was a new convert, I might hold off a little bit on that. I know that there's an appropriate time to remind them that there are persecutions to endure and sufferings that are going to be encountered.

But I would hope to see them becoming somewhat stable and maybe tell them later on. But the Lord informs him right up front. I want you to show him what great things he must suffer. But that didn't deter this man. He was surrendered, he was committed, and so he continues on course. Verse 20, And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the moor in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

You can imagine how flabbergasted the people were. This is something extremely remarkable. This is the very man that has been the greatest enemy of this cause, and now he's become a defender of it. He's preaching Jesus. What a testimony, what a witness. He went straightway preaching Christ in the synagogues that he is the Son of God. He was indeed surrendered to Jesus Christ.

In fact, he said in the book of Philippians chapter 1 in the 21st verse, For to me to live is Christ. His whole life, every detail of his life was surrendered to Christ, involved with Christ, committed to Christ. And yet, he wasn't ever totally satisfied. Oh, he was satisfied with Jesus Christ, but he was not satisfied with himself. Though his experiences were unique, though he had heard the Lord himself call his name from heaven, and though he had been caught up into the third heaven and had very unique experiences with the Lord. He wasn't proud, he wasn't boastful, he wasn't arrogant. He didn't exalt himself above others, he didn't have the attitude, I have arrived. But in contrast to such an attitude, he says in Philippians chapter 3 verse 8, Yea, doubtless I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung that I may win Christ. He didn't look back longingly at those things that he had left.

I count them to be of no value whatever. And my desire is that I may win Christ. I want to have a closer walk with him, I want to have communion with him, be found in him not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ and the righteousness which is of God by faith, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings being made conformable unto his death, if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead, not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended in Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, under those things which are behind and reaching forth under those things which are before, I prance toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

You read these words, you can come to no other conclusion. But following this great experience on the road to Damascus, this man is transformed. This man is surrendered to Christ. This man is continually desiring to have greater knowledge of Christ and a closer walk with Christ. So as we see something about the man, we can come to appreciate a little more what he means when he speaks of his message.

I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. In other words, if a person heard the apostle Paul preach very often, somebody might come to the conclusion, well he just preaches the same thing over and over again. Because in every message he was preaching Christ.

Christ was the name lifted up. The truth about the Son of God was that which he loved to declare and that permeated every message. No matter what other subject might have been considered, preaching Christ was at the heart of it all. Certainly that was true and it came to preaching the gospel itself.

Paul gives us a definition of the gospel in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 when he says in verse 1, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received and wherein ye stand, by the which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received. Here's the fundamental principle, the truth concerning the gospel. How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. It's interesting to note that he not only declares Christ died for our sins, but specifically says he did it according to the scriptures. That immediately connects this truth with all of the Old Testament prophecies with the details such as are given in the 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah. That passage revealing to us the success of Christ's work because he saw of the travail of his soul and was satisfied. So he died according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

And that he was seen of Cephas and then of the twelve and after that he was seen of about five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain under the present, but some are fallen asleep. So he sets forth the truth of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's the message of the gospel. The gospel is not an appeal for men to reform their lives. The gospel is not a message which outlines a series of religious duties that they must perform.

The gospel is not a message which encourages people to develop a better personality and is going to give them health, wealth, and prosperity here. The gospel concerns the person of Jesus Christ. It concerns the issue of how fallen, ruined sinners can stand acceptable in God's sight through this substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. In Acts chapter 3 verse 18 it says, But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets that Christ should suffer he hath so fulfilled. Here's another plain declaration that the things that the prophets had spoken, the many, many prophetic references throughout the Old Testament, some of them in the Psalms, some of them in the prophets, some of them by types and shadows, but the message is continually there and that these things are fulfilled. Just another point of emphasis upon that in the thirteenth chapter of the book of Acts, verse 33. God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again, as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.

So as Paul was preaching the Gospel, he was emphasizing that what he preached was not a new message, it was in fact the fulfillment of the message that had been declared through the ages. Romans chapter 5 verse 6 says, For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Here's a clear declaration of the Gospel, here's the good news. In due time Christ died for the ungodly, for scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yea, prayer adventure for a good man some would even dare to die, but God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The message of the Gospel is not going to appeal to one who is self-righteous.

The individual who considers himself to be worthy and acceptable to God, the individual that feels like he can work his way to heaven, you tell him that he's a bankrupt, guilty sinner, that he cannot contribute to his own salvation, that it must be given by divine grace, and that it is through this sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, there is no interest in it, but the Gospel is preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified. Jesus Christ was the greatest example, but the Gospel is not preaching him as an example. He was the greatest teacher, but we're not talking here about him being a great teacher, we're talking about him being the Savior.

We're talking about him being crucified. While we are to follow his example, that which is the basis of our salvation is Jesus Christ and him crucified. And the same principle holds true not only as Paul preached the Gospel message itself, traveled far and wide as God gave him opportunity, found great encouragement when the Lord said on one occasion that there are much people in this city. What a place to preach!

A place where the Lord has already identified the fact, I have much people here. So no matter what the opposition may have been, he was happy to remain in that place and continue preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and him crucified. Man of sorrows, what a name For the Son of God who came True and sinners to reclaim Hallelujah, what a Savior Bearing shame and softly rude In my place of empty truth Seal my pardon with his blood Hallelujah, what a Savior The Apostle Paul was a faithful preacher of the Gospel. His message was Jesus Christ and him crucified. He was never ashamed to be identified with his Lord. He suffered much. He suffered reproach and persecution. But by the grace of God, he was faithful, bringing the good news of the Gospel. And that's the message we have today. Through Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death at Calvary, there is hope for fallen, ruined sinners. There is no other way. There is no other Savior.

But by his saving grace, the cheapest of sinners can be reclaimed from their fallen and ruined state. I hope that you will write us this week. Till next week at the same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Now in heaven's golden high Hallelujah, what a Savior The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to The Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. What a man can it be, Hallelujah, what a Savior Lifted up was he to die, in his finish was his cry Now in heaven's golden high Hallelujah, what a Savior When he comes our glorious King, all his ransom home to bring Then under this song we'll sing, Hallelujah, what a Savior Hallelujah, what a Savior
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-29 14:45:29 / 2023-03-29 14:54:21 / 9

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