"I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?"Luke 12:49.
Our Lord tells us about the fiery nature of the gospel of the grace of God, He says, "I am come to send fire on earth." The gospel and the Word of God are enormous, fervent, flaming things. In Jeremiah we read, "Is not my word like a fire" (Jer. 23:29). It is a subject for enthusiasm, a theme for intense devotion and a matter that stirs the souls of believers to pursue its heat, comfort, joy and life. Let me give you several reasons why the gospel is called a fire.
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). The gospel reveals unto us the nature and conduct of God, who is Holy in all His nature (Isa. 6.3) and sovereign in all of His conduct (Psalm 135:6; Dan.4:35). This is only revealed in the light of the gospel (Rom.3:26). The gospel reveals unto us the nature and conduct of man, who is sinful and totally depraved (Romans 3:9-19). The gospel also reveals unto us the nature and conduct of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the great I AM, the eternal God manifested in a human body (I Tim. 3:16). His conduct was in perfect harmony to the Father's Will in accomplishing all the purpose of God in the redemption of His elect (John 4:34).2). A fire is warming and comforting.
The blessed gospel of the glory of God gives real comfort to sinners who are chilled by their guilty soul before a holy God. What greater comfort and assurance can be found than to know that our Lord Jesus Christ made a victorious, effectual, eternal sacrifice to put away our sin (Heb. 9:12). "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned" (Isaiah 40:1-3).3). A fire is of an ascending quality.
When the gospel has kindled a flame of fire in our hearts, it immediately causes us to set our affection on things above, not on the things of this earth (Col. 3:1). When God is pleased to do a work of grace in our hearts, it causes an intense fire of burning love towards Him (Luke 24: 32). The truth of the gospel sets the soul on fire with gratitude and joy. We see the most astonishing display of divine mercy and divine judgement mingled together in Jesus Christ and Him crucified (Psalm 85:10). The only way God can be just and justify the ungodly is in the blessed blood atonement of our precious Saviour (Isa.45:21-22).
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