The Glorious Gospel
1 Timothy 1:11
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

The gospel is here characterized as glorious. It depends not for its glory on any incidental circumstances. In its essential elements it is the same for all lands and nations, conveying "glad tidings of great joy to all people." The language of the text, with all other gloriousness, implies the glory of perpetuity. Indeed, what is here called "the glorious gospel" is elsewhere called "the everlasting gospel" (Revelation 14:6). Bringing these phrases together, we have "glory everlasting"; changeless amid changeful seasons. But having fully stated this evangelical commonness, let us now remark that the manner in which persons are brought into connection with the gospel varies. One is persuaded by the terror of the Lord, another is drawn by His mercy and constrained by His love. And every one who has tasted of the joys of salvation will find his estimate of them affected, not only by their intrinsic excellence, but by their particular adaptation and application to his individual exigencies and personal experience. Let us, then, in these words, transplant ourselves to Paul's position. Let us contemplate what he speaks of from his own point of view.

I. The apostle may thus have spoken in RELATION TO THE MESSIAH. As a Jew, Paul had longed for Christ. This was the grand promise made to the fathers; the seed of the woman was to bruise the serpent's head; in Abraham and his seed should all families of the earth be blessed; Shiloh should come, and to him should the gathering of the people be. Other nations glory in their founders, and look back. The Jews expected a Deliverer, and looked forward. And hence Christ, when He came and was recognized, gratified a peculiar, earnest, and ever-growing anticipation. The Lord whom they looked for came to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom they delighted in. It is true that Paul, in the first instance, was disappointed in Jesus — bitterly disappointed. But that disappointment enhanced, by contrast, his delight, when he came after all to perceive that this was indeed the Hope of Israel. He had abhorred the Christians for neglecting the Aaronic ritual. And what an exposition of their conduct was now before him! — that the rites had been exchanged by them for the reality; that the sacrifices were but shadows, and found their substance in Christ; and that the Mosaic ordinances received the utmost honour in being so fulfilled — in being done away by the accomplishment and verification of all their foreshadowings. In one aspect the revelation was appalling. The stupendousness of the remedy gave Paul impressions which he had never had before of the dreadfulness of the evil, compelling him to reason that "if one died for all, then were all dead." Ruined must that state have been which called for such redemption. Paul stood aghast — sank aghast — at these thoughts. He had supposed himself, as touching the righteousness which is of the law, to be blameless. But under the teaching of the Cross, sin — that is the sense of sin — revived and expanded into such gigantic dimensions, that, at the thought of it, he died: all life of self expired within him; all personal merit paled and perished in a sense of penal desert. And what was now his relief? What was now his refuge? That very Cross which had previously so shocked him. Thus the grandeur of the remedy exposed to him the evil of sin; and the evil of sin commended reactively the gloriousness of the gospel. Surely when redemption exposes the evil of rebellion — when the bitterness of the curse is evolved by contrast with curative blessing — when blackness of darkness is discerned only afar off, and as rendered visible by light streaming from heaven and guiding us to its portals, we may well hear such instruction, and hail in it the "Glorious gospel of the blessed God!"

II. Paul might characterize the gospel as glorious, viewing it in relation to THE GIFT OF THE SPIRIT. Palestine had had its prophets; and wondrous characters had these teachers been. These prophets might be persecuted while they lived, but monuments were soon erected to them when they died. Hence the disappearance of prophets was more deprecated than their severest reprimands, and lamentation found its climax in saying," We see not our signs, there is no more any prophet, neither is there among us any that knoweth how long" (Psalm 74:9). The ancient seers were never numerous. Two or three distinguished a period. But now there is a whole company of apostles, and inspiration is not limited to them. God pours His spirit on all flesh, and sons and daughters prophesy in multitudes. Nor does the privilege terminate with preternatural qualifications. These accompany and promote transforming influences far more precious. "According to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour." Now was the fulfilment of the promise: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah... I will put My law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and they shall be My people." "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ, Jesus," Paul says, "hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The apostles exemplified such renewing power. They manifested a spiritual-mindedness before which all grovelling sordidness might well be confounded, and, as ashamed, hide its head. Quit a partial and suspicious discipleship! rise to the heights of a high calling! and still multiply achievements, and still heighten attainments, tilt your religious profession bear its own proof, and all your aims, and aspirations, and efforts, beam with the glory of the gospel of the blessed God.

III. Paul may be supposed to have used the language of the text in relation to A FAVORED PEOPLE AND A PROMISED LAND. Paul had anenthusiastic patriotism. Even self-love seemed feeble when vying with love to his people (Romans 9:1-3). With such fervency of affection for his countrymen, Paul beheld and deplored their imperilled condition. The Roman tyranny was becoming every year more intolerable, and defeated insurrections only riveted and aggravated its domination. To what would these things grow? The question was inevitable and ominous; and, whatever desire might answer, probability, verging on certainty, pointed to the extinction of the Jewish name and nation. What was his joy, then, when an occasion of dismay became a source of solace, when spiritual illumination pointed beyond impending ruin to eventual recovery, and foretold the time when all Israel should be saved. Yet another and more cheering aspect of the case now burst upon his contemplation. The promise, that in Abraham and his seed should all families of the earth be blessed, was apprehended by him in its vastness. His survey, restricted before to the literal Israel, suddenly compassed the world, and embraced in all nations the true Israel of God.

(D. King, LL. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

WEB: according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

The Glorious Gospel
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