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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: Acts and the Larger Epistles

Chapter 3 - Acts 1:3 - Infallible Proofs Light & Truth: Acts and the Larger Epistles by Bonar, Horatius


The Holy Spirit, speaking to us in Scripture, lays great stress on the certainty of the facts recorded there concerning Jesus. They must not only be great and marvelous, but true; not only true, but ascertained to be so by credible witnesses of all kinds; not only ascertained at the time, but handed on to us through such channels as to preclude doubt or uncertainty through all succeeding ages. The "proofs" at the time were "infallible," and they have lost none of their force and demonstration by the course of subsequent transmission. They are infallible still. They are more, both in number and weight, than we have for any historical facts in all past time; so that any attempt to cast doubt on the facts thus established, would imply the subversion of all history.

The things concerning Jesus are not only "most surely believed amongst us," but they are believed on the surest of all evidence. They are true; and we know them, of an absolute certainty, to be so. As of one great fact, so of all we may say, "He that saw it bare record, and his record is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe" (John 19:35). And in regard to the words as well as the facts of the record, Jesus Himself made this appeal to the Jews, "If I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?"

These infallible proofs are in one sense human, yet in other divine. They are selected by God, made known to us by God, affirmed and confirmed to us by God, in the mighty signs and wonders with which He has accompanied them. God has accepted and adopted these proofs; and by His miracles He has declared that He reckons them sufficient. The Holy Ghost declares them to be "infallible" (τεχμήζια, true signs).

These facts, thus divinely demonstrated to us and placed beyond the shadow of a doubt, are those on which our faith rests. We know that the Son of God is come. We know that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. We know that He was born, and lived, and died, and was buried, and rose again. These things are the most certain of all certainties, and on their certainty we rest. They who bore witness of these things did not follow "cunningly devised fables," and we, in receiving their testimony, are not following "cunningly devised fables." All heaven and all earth say that they are true.

These facts, thus divinely attested, contain the good news which a sinner needs. They are simple facts, easy to be understood; yet all heaven is in them; all the love of God is in them; the favor of God is in them; the grace of Christ is in them; the pardon of sin is in them. Truly understood, these facts concerning the Son of God contain all that is needed for salvation.

God has not only attested these facts, but He has interpreted them for us. He has told us their meaning; and that meaning is a most gracious one. It speaks to our consciences, and pacifies them. It speaks to our hearts, and soothes them. "God is love" is the sum and burden of each of these blessed facts. In them we perceive this love of God; and each of them speaks to us with a voice of invitation, and cheer, and kindness.

These well-established facts all point in one direction, and bear one testimony. It is of God Himself that they bear witness. In so far as they refer to man, they take for granted that he is utterly lost; but their chief reference is to God,—to God in connection with lost man. They present the sinner with the most certain of all warrants for placing his confidence in God,—in His love and in His truth. They bid man not look to himself, but to God. They say, there is nothing in or about yourself that you can trust; but there is everything in God to confide in. Your own heart may put a different construction on these facts; your eyes, and ears, and feelings may all suggest suspicion; but there are the facts,—attested by God, and interpreted by the Holy Ghost. Believe this interpretation; take God's own construction of them; read love in all of them,—love to the unlovable, to the worst of men, and the most obdurate of sinners. "It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."

Study these facts. Your life is wrapped up in them. Your peace is there. Your hope is there. The health of your soul is there. Don't say, I know them all already; they are hackneyed and familiar. Would the thirsty man say this of the deep, clear well out of which he had so often quenched his thirst?

Study these facts again and again. If you find nothing in them the first, or second, or third time, go again a thousand times. Be assured that they really contain all the grace, and love, and peace which you need. They will yield these to you. Study them with a believing mind. They are the rocks out of which the water will gush out to you.

These facts are unambiguous. They have but one meaning. They are as clear as they are bright. "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us." This laying down of life for worthless enemies is a fact which admits but of one construction; and he who looks it in the face, though he be the chief of sinners, must feel this. It means love, if it means anything at all. If it does not mean love, it means nothing.

And as this fact, or these facts, for we may call them either one or many, are plain beyond mistake in their gracious meaning, so they are the surest of all sure things, established and handed down to us upon "infallible proofs." It is the belief of these sure facts that lets into us all the heaven which they contain; that pours in peace and gladness; for in them is the great love of God deposited, and out of them this great love freely flows. "He that believeth is not condemned"; and he knoweth that he is not condemned, for the word of God is sure, and His testimony is true. He means what He says, when giving the promise of eternal life to every one who accepts the testimony.