What Saith the Scripture?


Phila delphia > The Heart of the Gospel {For God So Loved the World} by A. T. Pierson

One of twelve sermons from the book bearing the same title.

A. T. Pierson

Page 2

Arthur Tappan Pierson

A Voice from the Philadelphian Church Age

  Wisdom is Justified

by A. T. Pierson, DD.

"THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL" in 6 html pages-


SECTION 1 on page 2 (this page)

SECTION 2 on page 3 ---New Window

SECTION 3 on page 4 ---New Window

SECTION 4 on page 5 ---New Window

SECTION 5 on page 6 ---New Window

I. In the first place, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." There are two of the persons of the Godhead. Many persons are troubled about the relation of the Father to the Son, and of the Son to the Father. They cannot exactly see how Jesus Christ can be equal with God if He is God's Son; and they cannot see how He can be as glorious as the Father, and how He can be entitled to the same honor and homage and worship as the Father if He proceeds forth from the Father, and comes into the world.

But let us seek a simple illustration. It is said, in the introduction of this Gospel according to John,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." [John 1:1] What is a word? It is the expression of a thought that lies in the mind. The thought is not visible, the thought is not audible; but, when it takes the form of a spoken word or a written word, that thought that was invisible in the mind, that you could not see, or hear, or know about in any other way, comes to your eye on the printed page, or to your ear through the voice of the speaker. And so my invisible thoughts are coming to you now through these audible words. The word is so connected with the thought that it is the expression of the thought. The thought is the word invisible: the word is the thought visible. Now Jesus Christ was the invisible thought of God put into a form in which you could see it and hear it; and just as the word and the thought are so connected that if you understand the word you understand the thought, and if you understand the thought you understand the word; and as the word would have no meaning without the thought, and the thought no expression without the word, so Jesus Christ helps us to understand the Father, and the Father could not make Himself perfectly known to us except through the Son. But, again, we are told that Christ is "the Light of the world." [John 8:12] Suppose I should say, "In the beginning" was the light, and the light was with the sun, and the light was the sun. The sun sends forth the light, and the light proceeds from the sun; yet the light and the sun are the same in nature and the same in essence, and the glory of the sun is the glory of the light, and the glory of the light is the glory of the sun; and although the light goes forth from the sun, it is equal with the sun, shares the same glory, and is entitled to the same valuation. We cannot think of the one without the other.

In this text not a word is said about the love of the Son for sinners, nor a word about the Son's offering of Himself for the Salvation of men. What is the common, old-fashioned notion that we sometimes find cropping up even in the conceptions of Christian people as well as unbelievers, in these days? Many think of the Father as representing justice and of the Son as representing mercy. They imagine the Son as coming between the wrath of the Father and the guilty sinner.

It is very much like the story of Pocahontas, the daughter of an Indian chief, who came between the executioner and Captain Smith, when the executioner was standing with his club uplifted, ready to strike the fatal blow on the head of his victim.

The notion of a great many people is that God the Father is all wrath, and that we can never look at God or think of God, and that God never can look at us or think of us, except with a kind of mutual abhorrence and antagonism; and that so Jesus Christ incarnates the principle of love, and comes in between the angry God and the sinner. That is a very shallow notion indeed. Have you never got hold of the idea that the Father is just as much interested in you as the Son is, and that the Father loves you just as much as the Son does? Look at this verse. It puts all the glory of the love and the sacrifice upon the Father:
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." He puts it thus that you and I may understand that our notion of the Son is our notion of the Father. When Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us," Jesus answered, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" [John 14:8-9]

Do you not understand my thought if you understand my word? And if my word is the right expression of my thought, how absurd it would be for somebody to say, "I understand his word well enough, but I wish that I could understand his thought." My word, being human, may not always properly express my thought; but with God the Word is the perfect expression of the thought; and so if you have understood the word you have understood the thought: and if you have understood the thought you have understood the word. If you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father. If the love of the Son has touched you, the love of the Father has touched you. If you worship the Son, you worship the Father. If you obey the Son, you obey the Father; so that you need not be troubled about your feelings toward the Father, and say, as many a person has said to me, "I wish that I could feel towards God the Father as I feel towards Jesus. I wish that I could have those views of God the Father that I have of Jesus. I wish that I could have the freedom with the Father that I have with the Son."

Now, dismiss all that kind of trouble and perplexity from your mind; for as you think of the Son you think of the Father; as you love the Son, you love the Father; as you pray to the Son, you pray to the Father; and as you obey and serve the Son, you obey and serve the Father. The Son thinks of you just as the Father does, and the Father thinks of you just as the Son does.

"So near, so very near to God,
Nearer I cannot be;
For in the person of His Son
I am as near as He.
So dear, so very dear to God,
Dearer I cannot be;
For the love wherewith He loves the Son
Is the love He bears to me."




SECTION 1 on page 2 (this page)

SECTION 2 on page 3 ---New Window

SECTION 3 on page 4 ---New Window

SECTION 4 on page 5 ---New Window

SECTION 5 on page 6 ---New Window

For additional reading related to this topic, please see:

Topical Links: On Salvation

New Window


Section Sub-Index for Pierson: Voices of Philadelphia

What's New

Homepage Holy Bible .Jehovah Jesus Timeline .Prophecy Philadelphia Fellowship Promises Stories Poetry Links
Purpose ||.What's New || Tribulation Topics || Download Page || Today's Entry
Topical Links: Salvation || Catholicism || Sound Doctrine || Prayer
Privacy Policy