In England and later in New York City Jowett became the most popular evangelical preacher. By study of master sermons, and by ceaseless toil he mastered “the fine art of making a little go a long way.” A few critics called his preaching thin, but common people heard him gladly. So did countless divines. As many as 300 Episcopal clergy attended his Vesper Services at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. They learned to value skill in the choice of words, and repetition of things memorable. “He being dead, yet speaketh.”
“Rejoicing in hope” (Rom. 12:12).
This is a characteristic expression of the optimism of the Apostle Paul. He is a child of light, wearing an armor of light, walking in the light, as Christ is in the light. This apostolic optimism is not a thin, fleeting sentiment begotten of a cloudless summer day; not born of shallow thinking. What then is the secret of this energetic optimism?
I. The Reality of Christ’s Redemptive Work. In all the spacious reaches of the Apostle’s life the redemptive work of his Master is present as an atmosphere in which all his thoughts and purposes and labors find their sustaining and enriching breath. In this Epistle to the Romans the early stages are devoted to a massive and stately presentation of the doctrine of redemption. When the majestic argument is concluded, the doctrine appears as the determining factor in the solution of practical problems. No one can be five minutes in the companionship of the Apostle Paul without discovering how wealthy is his sense of God’s redeeming ministry.
II. The Reality of the Believer’s Present Resources. “By Christ redeemed!” Yes, but that is only the Alpha and not the Omega of the work of grace. “In Christ restored!” With these dynamics of restoration ...1
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