Scripture Notes.

1. The Gospel of the Kingdom.

Mark 1:14.

The preaching of Jesus announced the kingdom, showed that the time was fulfilled, that the kingdom of God was at hand, that the people must repent and believe the gospel. We should distinguish between the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of our salvation. Christ is the centre of both; but there is a great difference between the preaching of a kingdom which is drawing near, and that of an eternal redemption accomplished upon the cross. It is quite possible that the two truths should be announced together. And indeed we find that the apostle Paul preached the kingdom; but he certainly also proclaimed an eternal redemption accomplished for us on the cross. Christ prophesied of His death, and announced that the Son of man should give His life for the ransom of many; but He could not announce an accomplished redemption during His life. Men ought to have received Him, and not to have put Him to death. Hence His testimony was about the kingdom which was drawing nigh.

This kingdom in its public power has been delayed because Christ has been rejected (see Rev. 11:17); and this delay lasts all the time that Christ is sitting at the right hand of God until the time when He shall arise from the throne of His Father to judge. God has said, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Ps. 110:1.) It is nevertheless true that the kingdom was already come in mystery according to Matt. 13. This goes on during the time that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God; but when God's appointed moment shall come the Lord will arise and set up the kingdom, and with His own power will judge the living, and peace and happiness shall be established on the earth; and we who have received Him, whilst the world has rejected Him, shall go to meet Him in the air. We shall be for ever with the Lord, and shall come with Him in glory when He shall appear before the world, and shall reign with Him; and, what is still far better, we shall be like Him, and always with Him in the Father's house. J. N. Darby.

2. The Gospel of the Glory of Christ.

2 Cor. 4:4.

As to the difference between the gospel of the glory and the gospel of the humiliation, the latter is pure grace in God, manifested here in Christ. John's writings show God revealing Himself in Christ to man in His life down here. In Paul's writings what we have habitually is man manifested in righteousness before God. The gospel of humiliation is perfect grace; it is God coming down to man where he is, visiting him in his condition as such a one on earth. The gospel of the glory takes "this treasure" (v. 7) and unfolds it. In Philippians 2 we have the whole line, from the time when Christ was in "the form of God" till He was on the cross, when, being found in fashion as a Man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death. This is the manifestation of God down here amongst sinners. … But in the gospel of the glory man is looked at as the old man totally set aside, yet man is in glory in virtue of the complete work that redeems us and justifies us, and gives us a place in the glory. The glory is the testimony to the efficacy of the work; the humiliation is the testimony to the greatness of the love. But it is all the same gospel. … The gospel of the humiliation is God in grace, whereas the gospel of the glory is Man in glory, of course as fruit of grace. In the gospel of the humiliation we have God in Christ, and in the gospel of glory we have man in Christ. The latter is a glorious result of the other no doubt, but it is a different aspect of the gospel. J. N. Darby.