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Christ Came to the Synagogue
by Heshimu Colar

(Mark 1:21) "And they went into Capernaum; and straitway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught."

It is the glory of God that Christ would come to the synagogue and speak. Calvinistic doctrine and bare truth are utterly powerless to save the soul. No one is converted into the Kingdom by the persuasive arguments of men. The kingdom is God's, His King is Christ, and the power of the kingdom is the actual presence of Christ and Him conversing with a sinner through the Cross. - ". not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power (I Cor 4:19-20)." No, not the preaching of facts, but God Himself speaking by a man and beseeching sinners unto Himself. The tears, shouts, rebukes, and entreaties of true spiritual gospel preaching belong to God Himself when He comes to the synagogue. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God (II Cor 5:20)."

God enthroned on high condescends to invade sinful men, and like Samson lifting the jawbone of the ass out of the dust, He slays His enemies and delivers His people from the snare of the devil. There is no power in human oratory or morality to deliver your soul from the snare of hell. You must hear God speak, or you will perish. There is no power in your life to deliver you from the lusts of the flesh. The poor people in the Gospel of Mark had sat in the synagogue all of their lives just like many of you have sat in churches since childhood, yet you've never heard from God. At best you have learned some doctrines and reformed your life. Yet, we're not seeking any form of reformation of character. Reformation is deadly like poison that seeps through and infiltrates the whole nature of the unregenerated man until he is sick with pride, self-righteousness, and every form of religious envy. Reformation is turning over a new leaf and ever learning but never able to see the power of God. Yet, when Christ speaks in the synagogue, life is given to dead doctrines, sinners are regenerated rather than reformed, and Christ is formed in you.

Christ speaks by the distinctiveness of the Gospel. The absoluteness of the Cross offends men, but the offence of the Cross gives glory to God and joy to the believing (Gal 5:11). God is absolutely righteous, and you and I cannot comprehend much less do what is required by the Law. God is absolutely sovereign in the dispersion of His grace. We cannot merit grace at anytime in any shape or form. God is free, and through the Gospel, He reveals Himself to whomever whenever He pleases. The Lord Jesus Christ has absolutely put away sin. His people stand justified before God by the death of Christ, and we will never be brought into condemnation for our sin. God only reveals our sin to us so that He can glorify Himself and delight our hearts by taking it away. "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God (II Cor 4:15)." And the glory of God is revealed to a sinner when Christ comes to the synagogue and speaks with authority.

The Lord Jesus Christ never spoke a word that wasn't meant to glorify the Father. He said, ". My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him (John 7:16-18)." Poor sinner, when Christ comes glorifying the Father in the message of the Cross, if you will do the will of God and believe on the One whom He has sent, then you will know the blessedness of His doctrine. A hungry soul cannot stand afar off looking at the Gospel feast and expect to find anything that nourishes and satisfies. You must be a partaker of the power of the kingdom. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will know that Christ came to the synagogue and spoke with authority because everything He said is true. He didn't merely organize His doctrine, but He spoke to the heart from the heart. His eye's wept real tears as He entreated real sinners to come to Himself. He spoke to the perishing of the salvation He was willing to give if they came to Him (Matt 23:37). And with eternal, burning, redeeming love, He speaks to the elect with lips impassioned by the heart that would die for them. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree."

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