The Gospel – Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy there of goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field” (Matt. 13:44.)

The parables of Jesus adorn his teaching as jewels adorn the robe of a queen. They add richness, beauty, and charm to his “wonderful words of life.” Among the cluster of parables in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew lies the parable of the treasure hidden in the field. When the eye rests upon this parable, almost hidden from view in its brevity, it shines like the luster of the diamond that flashes a thousand rays as the sun falls upon it.

The parable is based upon facts, or conditions then existent. In the absence of iron safes and vaults of modern days, people often hid their valuables in the ground for safe-keeping. It is presumable that the original owner of the field had died and all knowledge of the treasure had perished. The man found it, and joyfully disposed of other possessions that he might buy that field and possess this treasure.

The narrative, though brief, is laden with meaning and replete with instruction.

  1. The Gospel of Christ Is a Treasure—Speaking of the “glorious gospel of Christ,” Paul said: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels” (See 2 Cor. 4:3-7).

The Gospel is a treasure of wonderful knowledge. It is life eternal to know God, Jesus said in his prayer (John 17:3). And Paul said to Timothy to know the sacred writings will make one “wise unto salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15). We may have life and wisdom in the knowledge of many things, but only in the knowledge of God and the gospel can we have life eternal and wisdom unto salvation.

The gospel is a treasure of great blessing. All spiritual blessings are in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Men may have—and they do have—material blessings out of Christ, but spiritual blessings come only to those in Christ. Salvation is in Christ (Acts 4:12). Life is in Christ (Rom. 8:2). We are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Forgiveness and redemption are in Christ (Col. 1:14). A simple rule, then, easily observed, would be this: Get into Christ, stay in Christ, stay out of everything else, and these promises will be yours.

  1. The Gospel Was Once an Hidden Treasure.—It was hidden for ages in God (Eph. 3:1-6). It was covered up beneath the types and shadows of the Old Testament. It was buried beneath prophecy and prediction. Promises that were radiant with hope and joy to a guilty world were hidden rather than revealed. Because of their metaphorical costume and their figurative style, they could not be discerned. They were hidden treasures. But the “glorious gospel” is no longer hidden. The gospel treasure has been found.

  2. The Gospel Has Been Revealed by Jesus Christ. Of the revelation of the Gospel Paul said: “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:5). This may be quite appropriately called the evolution of the Gospel—its unfolding, or development, through the dispensations of time since the eternal ages. The Gospel existed first as a plan in the mind of God. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,…according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Eph. 1:9-11.) It existed later in promises made to Abraham. “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8.) It existed next in prophecies, and finally in fact:

Of which salvation the prophets have inquired…searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify…Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you (1 Pet. 1:10-12).

Thus we have, referring again to 2 Cor. 4:7, this “treasure in earthen vessels.” God ordained that by man (the earthen vessel–the inspired apostle) the Gospel should be preached to man.

This is God’s plan of salvation. He has no other—the Gospel by man to man. Follow the narratives of conversion in the book of Acts and see the plan in operation. On the day of Pentecost Peter preached, and when they heard “they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The Spirit sent Philip to the man of Ethiopia, and “he preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35). To praying Saul Jesus sent Ananias, a certain disciple, to tell him the things appointed for him to do (Acts 22:10-16). The God fearing Cornelius was instructed by the angel where to find Simon Peter, who should tell him “words whereby thou shalt be saved” (Acts 11:14). And across land and sea God sent Paul and Silas to an honest woman named Lydia, who “attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” and was baptized (Acts 16:14, 15). All this is in the Bible to illustrate God’s plan of salvation—that by man the Gospel shall be preached to man.

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Author: Editor

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