How Can the Church Bring About Moral Changes in the World?
by John Newton, 1725-1807
"The gospel of Christ, the glorious gospel of the blessed God, is the only effectual means for reforming mankind. To the man who possesses and knows the use of this grand, this wonderful machine, if I may be allowed the comparison, what is otherwise impossible becomes easy. The gospel removes difficulties insurmountable to human power. It causes the blind to see, the deaf to hear; it softens the heart of stone, and raises the dead in trespasses and sins to a life of righteousness. No force but that of the gospel is sufficient to remove the mountainous load of guilt from an awakened conscience, to calm the violence of tumultuous passions, to raise an earthly soul from groveling in the mire of sensuality or avarice to a spiritual and divine life, a life of communion with God. No system but the gospel can communicate motives, encouragements, and prospects, sufficient to withstand and counteract all the snares and temptations with which the spirit of this world, by its frowns or its smiles, will endeavor either to intimidate or to bribe us from the path of duty. But the gospel, rightly understood and cordially embraced, will inspire the slothful with energy and the fearful with courage. It will make the miser generous, melt the grouch into kindness, tame the raging tiger in the breast, and, in a word, expand the narrow selfish heart and fill it with a spirit of love to God, cheerful unreserved obedience to His will, and benevolence to mankind."
If John Newton's assessment is accurate, and Scripture confirms that it is (II Timothy 3:16,17), we, as stewards of that gospel, have all the resources we need to change the world.
We have all we need, that is, if we see the word of God as entirely sufficient as did John Newton. But people will not believe Scripture to be "sufficient" until they first recognize that it is both accurate and, therefore, authoritative. Anything less than such recognition results in the dilution of the gospel and the proliferation of sin.
From this perspective, it is easy to see why God's work here at ICR is of such vital importance. We thank our gracious Lord for each one of you who currently partner with us and who have included us in your will or trust.