Last time we talked of the joyful sound, the Shout of Triumph—the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ– and the significance of walking in the light of His countenance. The light in His face is Gospel light, new-covenant light, light that makes what is true in Him true also in us. It enables us to walk even as He walks, no longer subject to the law of sin and death, but in the empowering sway of a new law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
And it means that the same light of the Gospel that shines in the face of Jesus Christ shines forth from the faces of those who are beholding His face.
This is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. He must shine forth. Our world is in the grip of “sin’s dread sway” and the tentacles of death. Oh for the Joyful Sound of the Gospel of eternal life to go forth in this hour proclaiming liberty to the captives! Oh to go out with joy, and be led forth with peace—testifying, demonstrating in the power of the Spirit, that those who know the Joyful Sound—they live no longer under sentence of death. They have been sentenced to Life! Their grave is behind them, not before them.
Yes, they may “fall asleep in Jesus,” but death is no longer their lot. And so, what joy!
I came across this gem in a book (When He Is Come) by A.W. Tozer recently, and want to pass it on.
The joy of the Holy Ghost is not something worked up—it is a post-resurrection joy. Christ came out of the grave, and the Spirit of the risen Christ comes back to His people. The joy that we have is the joy that looks back on the grave. This is not a joy that we have in spite of the knowledge that we must die—it is a joy that results from the fact that in Christ we have already died, and risen, and there is no real death out there for the true child of God.
Astonishing words, but for those who know the joyful sound of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—it’s a fact. They were buried with Christ in baptism; their grave is behind them now. And being also risen with Him, they walk no more in darkness under the pall of death. Now they walk in the light of His Countenance. It may be as dark as the grave round about them, but right in the midst of it all they know His Voice and walk in the light of His shining face.
It is light, as I said, that liberates from the law of sin and death. And so these ones—how beautiful are their feet upon the mountains! Oh the message they have! It is not just words; the way they walk and the Kingdom they walk in is their message. It is Good News! They proclaim by their very lives that their God reigns! Not sin. Not death. Their lives proclaim that where once sin reigned in the power of death, now “grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5.21).
This is His promise—the promise of the Gospel. The law of sin and death reigns in each and every one of those born in Adam. All you have to do to find yourself under the law of sin and death is get born, and you don’t have any choice even in that. But—oh the joyful sound—those born in Christ have been liberated from the law of sin and death! They have entered the Kingdom of God, and a new Law rules in them now. Sin and death no longer hold sway! Now they walk in the liberating Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus!
Family of God, those of us who know the joyful sound, we are grateful, and forever shall be, for what our beloved Lord Jesus Christ accomplished in His Cross. Yet even after all these centuries we have scarcely scratched the surface of this wondrous Gospel of the Kingdom, the Good News of our salvation. Wondrous things and mighty triumphs are before us! Let us take up our own cross, then, and follow with our Saviour, lifting up our eyes and walking in the light of His countenance– come what may. The promise is that His kingdom of grace and eternal Life will ultimately overthrow the kingdom of sin and death till there is not so much as a trace of it left on this planet, and the glory of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.