Everything depends on the message

“Everything…depends on the message which your living agents proclaim. They must know what they have got to do. If they only go about telling men not to get drunk, not to fight, not to gamble, not to swear, not break the Sabbath, they may as just well stay home. If they want to do good, they must tell men to believe as well as repent.  They must tell the story of the cross.  They must magnify that grand article of the Apostles’ creed, ‘I believe in the forgiveness of sin.’ They must make much of that doctrine which fits the empty heart of man just as the right key fits the lock, I mean the doctrine of free and full pardon of sin through faith in the vicarious death of Christ. 

This is the glorious doctrine that was the strength of the Apostles when they went forth to the Gentiles to preach a new religion. They began, a few poor fishermen, in a despised corner of the earth. But in a few years, without money to bribe adherents or arms to compel assent, they turned the world upside down. They changed the face of the Roman Empire. They emptied the heathen temples of their worshipers, and made the whole system of idolatry crumble away. And what was the weapon by which they did it all? It was free forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ.”

J.C. Ryle

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