Offering The Gospel: A Contradiction
William Tant | Added: Jun 25, 2016 | Category: Theology
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Preachers talk of offering Christ and offering salvation to sinners but an offered gospel contradicts itself. What is the meaning of gospel? Glad tidings. What are these tidings? Pardon, justification, sanctification, redemption, and glory. For whom are these blessings? For all who believe (Acts 16:31). Who are ‘they that will believe’. As many as are ordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48). Why are these tidings denominated glad tidings? Because they are bestowed upon, secured for, and wrought in all the objects of electing love by Jehovah, in His Trinity of Persons; Father, Son and Holy Ghost, independent of creature merit, creature wisdom, creature seeking, creature asking, or creature diligence.
God The Father
God the Father in sovereignty declares, I will put my fear in their hearts, and they shall not depart from me. I will set up one shepherd over them, into whose hands I will give my people, and He shall feed them with my pardoning love through His redeeming blood; even my servant David, David’s Lord and David’s son; He shall feed them, with the counsels of my heart as seen in His person, with the purposes of my mind as known in His life, with the honours of my law as discovered in His death, and with the glory of my designs as exhibited in His exaltation. I will make with them a covenant of peace, in their covenant head, the Shepherd who shall feed them, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land, will cause the reigning power of in-dwelling corruption to cease, so that it may annoy but shall not destroy my true-born children; they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, notwithstanding their enemies, conflicts, and dangers; and sleep in the woods. I will occasionally indulge them with my smile upon earth, and as the effect thereof, they shall repose upon my bosom while travelling a waste howling wilderness. Thus we see the blessings of the gospel given in sovereignty, and not one word can be found about the gift of these unspeakable blessings depending upon any act, skill or worth of the creature.
God The Son
God the Son, in securing to His people an interest in ‘the blessings given, does it in sovereignty. Thus he says, My Father worketh hitherto and I work. When He healed the man who had a withered hand, He did not ask him to raise it first, but said to him, stretch forth thy hand, and it was restored whole like the other; and when He raised up the widow’s son that was dead, He did not tell him to move first, but, said He, ‘young man, I say unto thee, arise, and he that was dead sat up and began to speak.’ So Christ bowed the heavens, and came down without creature aid; He travelled in the greatness of His strength, without creature asking; He laid down His life of Himself, so that none took it from Him, He therefore did it without creature wisdom. And declares, mine own arm brought salvation, and of the people there was none with me therefore none contributed to it. And as to His people’s meriting this great work, the following is His description of them. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill. No sin but what they indulged in, and no guilt but what they contracted.
God The Holy Spirit
God the Holy Ghost works this salvation in the souls of the elect in sovereignty, by His quickening, illuminating, enlarging, and reviving power.
Does the Holy Ghost quicken? This does not depend upon creature merit, for, says the apostle, ‘you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins’. Nor upon creature diligence, for, says Christ, ‘it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing’. Does the Holy Ghost illuminate? This does not depend upon creature wisdom, for; says the psalmist, ‘the entrance of thy word giveth light’, proving that all is darkness antecedently, and consequently, that there is no wisdom. And the apostle, writing to the spiritual Hebrews, says ‘after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions’; which shows that the illuminating power of the Holy Ghost does not depend upon creature seeking, for neither the spiritual Hebrews, nor God’s people generally, are so in earnest after God, as to endure a great fight of affliction till they are illuminated. After ye were illuminated ye endured, are the apostle’s words.
Does the Holy Ghost grant enlargement of soul to such as are in bondage? This does not depend upon creature wisdom, nor creature merit, for if so David could not have said after his awful fall, I will sing of thy righteousness (Psalm 51:14). Nor would he have cried, I am shut up, and cannot come forth, bring my soul out of prison that I may praise thy name, if he knew it depended upon himself. Does the Holy Ghost revive His people after a season of darkness, barrenness, and weakness?
All rests upon His own sovereignty. Thus He says, ‘I form the light and create darkness’; and the psalmist says, ‘he maketh the barren woman to keep house’. He maketh the barren Gentiles to form a vital portion of His family, and His barren people to rejoice in their portion. To them that have no might He increaseth strength, by raising them upon the wings of inward evidences and heavenly earnests, so that they can mount up into the atmosphere of gospel liberty, and sing, in the ways of the Lord, that great is the glory of the Lord.
If then the gospel is good tidings because it proclaims blessings that are given to, secured for, and wrought in the souls of all interested in them, independent of creature merit, creature wisdom, creature seeking, creature asking, or creature diligence; then that gospel which gives an opposite view of these things is not good tidings. An offered gospel does do so; therefore an offered gospel is a contradiction to itself, and cannot be the gospel of the ever blessed God, for He is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:23). Therefore an offered gospel is contrary to God’s Word and will.
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