For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first…
Whether religion in general has any rational ground or not, it is certain that human society in the long run is quite impossible without religion. You have heard of the ten great religions of the world. Of these only three have been expansive and conquering religions — Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity. To these three the struggle is narrowed down. And as between the three, whether legitimately or illegitimately, the hard, historic fact is, that Christianity is certainly carrying the day.
I. I name as the first distinctive feature of Christianity, THE INCARNATION OF GOD IN CHRIST. History teaches that human nature cannot endure a bald spiritual theism. We have two thoughts of God equally necessary. We think of Him as an Infinite Spirit, wholly separate from matter and superior to it — wise, just, awful in holiness. Hence the pure monotheism now recognised as lying in the background of all the better mythologies. But human weakness, and, above all, human depravity necessitate another conception of God. The human heart, yearning for sympathy in its weakness, and stricken with terror in its defilement, cries out passionately for an Incarnate God. Call it reason and conscience, or call it finite limitation and guilty fear, this uniform importunate demand for an Incarnate God is answered only by our God in Christ.
II. The second distinctive feature of Christianity is ATONEMENT. Both Testaments are full of it.
III. The third distinctive feature of Christianity is REGENERATION. Confession of sin is not confined to Christendom. Universal sacrifice is universal confession. Christianity begins its curative work by a better diagnosis of the disease. It sets in clear light the original rectitude of man, discloses the tempter, and proclaims the fall.
(R. D. Hitchcock, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.