“For our gospel did not come to you in word only — but also in power.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5
By the gospel, the Son of God and Divine truths are revealed to us; and by the Spirit they are revealed in us. External revelation by the Word and internal by the Spirit are both necessary to salvation.
Though Paul was separated from his mother’s womb to be called by the grace of God — yet he had not an inward revelation of Jesus Christ to his heart until he heard the external word of Christ with his ear, saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). Hence, learn to prize both the outward testimony of the Word and the inward testimony of the Spirit. The gospel is a revelation of Jesus Christ, without which we could never have known that our sins are atoned for by the blood, our persons justified by the righteousness, and our souls everlastingly saved by the work of Christ. But is this knowledge all that is necessary to salvation? No, persons may attain a notion of these things in the head and understand somewhat of them, and yet the heart be without precious faith in Christ and destitute of the love of Christ, and of any saving hope in Him. Many have said, “Lord, Lord,” and have heard Christ preach in their streets, who little expected to hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Many heard the gospel preached in Thessalonica, but they alone were blessed to whom it came “in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance.”
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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