Chapter 20: Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof

PARA 1 – Initial revelation of the Gospel

1._____ The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance; in this promise the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and [is] therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.
Genesis 3:15; Revelation 13:8 )

OUTLINE

  1. Initial Gospel promise given after the fall.
    • The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman,
  2. Initial Gospel declared as means of calling the elect
    • as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance;
  3. Initial Gospel promise was sufficient to save sinners
    • in this promise the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and [is] therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.  (there was enough herein revealed for those who sinned from Adam’s time onward to lay hold of, to believe, and to be saved from their sins).

PARA 2 – The necessity of the gospel for salvation

2._____ This promise of Christ, and salvation by him, is revealed only by the Word of God; neither do the works of creation or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of grace by him, so much as in a general or obscure way; much less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.
Romans 1:17; Romans 10:14,15,17; Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 25:7; Isaiah 60:2, 3 )

OUTLINE

  1. Way of salvation is only found in Scripture. 
    • This promise of Christ, and salvation by him, is revealed only by the Word of God;
  2. Way of salvation is found nowhere in creation or providence
    • neither do the works of creation or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of grace by him, so much as in a general or obscure way;
  3. No one, not even one can be saved without coming in contact with the gospel revealed in Scripture.
    • much less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance

PARA 3 – The sovereign dissemination of the gospel  

3._____ The revelation of the gospel unto sinners, made in divers times and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises and precepts for the obedience required therein, as to the nations and persons to whom it is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God; not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men’s natural abilities, by virtue of common light received without it, which none ever did make, or can do so; and therefore in all ages, the preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations, as to the extent or straitening of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.
Psalms 147:20; Acts 16:7; Romans 1:18-32 )

OUTLINE

  1. Spread of the gospel in history is by God’s sovereign direction
    • The revelation of the gospel unto sinners, made in divers times and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises and precepts for the obedience required therein, as to the nations and persons to whom it is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God;
  2. Spread of gospel is not due men’s improvement of natural abilities
    • not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men’s natural abilities, by virtue of common light received without it, which none ever did make, or can do so; and therefore in all ages, the preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations, as to the extent or straitening of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.

PARA 4-  The sufficiency of the gospel unto salvation.

4._____ Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life; without which no other means will effect their conversion unto God.
Psalms 110:3; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:19, 20; John 6:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6 )

OUTLINE

  1. Gospel is sufficient for salvation
    • Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto
  2. But it is made effectual only by work of Holy Spirit
    • yet that men who are dead in trespasses may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life; without which no other means will effect their conversion unto God.

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