Sermon: The gospel in four words


“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”   Matt. 11:28

The spiritual understanding of any diligent searcher of the scriptures is wonderfully rewarded after a time of “digging” in the precious Word of God. For example, Romans 8:1 stands as an eternal icon for any believer. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” The word “therefore” contains a complete reason. It contains the gospel in the fullest sense, that Christ came into this world and by his life, death, burial and resurrection he conquered our greatest enemies. The world, flesh, sin, death and the devil have been overcome. And then comes the shining proclamation that our sins are forgiven. Because of the gospel, the entire theme of the coming of Christ to this world now opens to all believers the real opportunity to enjoy a perfect standing with their righteous God: “No condemnation”!

And now we are ready to tie another verse to our thoughts. The words of our Savior in Matthew 11:28 are precious and give to us the gospel in four short words: “I will give you.”

“I”, tells us that salvation is only found in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the only entity in the universe that is worthy to exchange our sin for his righteousness. Revelation 5:12 heralds this fact with this sterling announcement: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.”  

The “I will” of his statement documents the fact that it is His “will” working in unison with the will of the Father and the Holy Spirit to make salvation available to anyone who comes. The warmth of his invitation is felt in His words of “come unto me.” And the strength of his words is documented by Peter’s message to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Now comes the eternal promise to all who will believe: “I will give.” The promise is that the gospel is a gift. It is a gift of grace alone. There is no effort pure enough on our part to deserve divine consideration. Grace can only come from above; it can only flow down to undeserving recipients. We should never forget that grace is founded in the deep compassion of God and it forms His perfect desire for us; a desire that we would enjoy his grace.

Finally, the gospel message is now assembled in four words “I will give you.” And it becomes intensely personal. Salvation is about us. No other creature is ever considered for salvation.  Our Lord obligated himself to us in our desperate state as he expired on the cross. “It is finished” was his cry. In essence, he was crying “I have finished the work of salvation and it is all for you!” “There is therefore now no condemnation, come to me and I will give you rest.” Oh, how the depths of his rest can never be measured for us whose sin has been washed away by his blood!

“Come to me” he says “and I will give you.” And we meekly say, “Lord, I can’t give you anything.” He doesn’t want anything. When we come to Jesus, he simply says: “I will give you.”  And this is the gospel in four words; this is our salvation: “I will give you.”                                                                   

Chester Jones, pastor
Calvary Bible Chapel