By Elder S. A. Paine (1874-1910) 

The gospel does not give life but “brings life and immortality to light.” (2 Timothy 1:10)

The gospel in its effect is compared to the rain. “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, My speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb and showers on the grass.” (Deuteronomy 32:2)

The gospel is to affect the people as the rain effects the grass. If our friends [Campbellites] will demonstrate that the rain gives life to vegetation, then we will concede that an argument is made in proof that the gospel gives life to sinners. The rain does administer to the living vegetation, by way of feeding or nourishing it and brings the life more vividly to light but to the dead vegetation, the effect is quite different. So it is with the gospel. While the gospel shower is falling, you can see a marked difference in the effect on different people. Some will melt in tears of rejoicing while others will mock. Some will say, “Men and brethren, what must we do?” while others will mock and say, “These are full of new wine.

The gospel did not make the difference in the material, but only brings to light the difference already existing. I once heard a brother make a beautiful illustration of this. He said, “Take two toys, one of wax and the other of earth; shape and color them just alike, until the natural eye could discern no difference. Then place them near each other with a torch of fire between them, and you will soon see the difference in the effect produced by the same cause. The wax will soften while the earthen one will harden; and hence different effects. Fire only proved the difference. so the gospel does not make a saint or sinner, but manifests them. It is a “savor of life unto life, and death unto death.”

Glorious gospel! While it does not rob Jesus of the glory in the salvation of sinners but does contribute to Him in ascribing all honor to His matchless name. While it does not give life to sinners, yet it does “feed the sheep,” and brings “life to light,” “perfects the saints,” “edifies the body of Christ,” brings them to the “unity of the faith,” “strengthens the weak,” com- ‘saves the believer,” yea, it forts the mourner,” serves as a faithful index hand, pointing us on to the final day.

The glorious gospel is so adapted to the struggling, fearful ones. It says to the mourner, “You shall be comforted”; to the weary and heavy laden, “Come to Jesus for rest”; to those who feel cast down and forsaken, Jesus loves you and has borne all your grief and will never forsake you. It tells us all about Jesus, how He loved us and gave Himself for us, and how He now reigns to intercede for us until He comes to take us unto Himself.

To those who have a heart open by God’s power and love, as Lydia of old, rejoice in these things; to them it is “glad tidings,” but to those in sin it is an idle tale and repulsive to their very nature.

Dear reader, if you love the gospel and feast on its fruits, heaven will be our home for your love of the truth is proof of a change of heart, and if your heart is changed, God’s grace wrought the change.

I love the glorious theme of grace, for it embraces all who love the Lord; all that are of a fearful heart or a contrite spirit. Yea, it will save all in heaven that solemnly think upon His name. “And a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels. . (Malachi 3:16,17a)

For more such Christian doctrinal articles exalting the Sovereign Grace of God please visit –

or write to –

Living Truth Ministries

4057N, NC HWY. 87

ELON, NC 27244


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