The Place and Importance of Gospel Preaching
1 Corinthians 1:21
Gospel preaching is so important that without it you simply cannot be saved.
We rejoice in the blessed Gospel doctrine of God’s electing love. But election alone never saved anyone. Election is not salvation. Election is unto salvation. It is not enough that we should be chosen to salvation. Before God almighty, in his holiness, justice and truth, could save chosen sinners, those who were chosen by him must also be redeemed. Election is the work of God the Father. Redemption is the work of God the Son.
How we rejoice in and give thanks to God for our redemption by Christ! Precious blood indeed is that blood which put away our sins! Every God taught sinner has learned to give thanks to God for that glorious Gospel doctrine of limited atonement, particular, effectual redemption by Christ. Yet, even our redemption by Christ, though it guaranteed and infallibly secured the salvation of God’s elect, is not salvation. Salvation involves the work of the Father and the Son; but it also involves the work of God the Holy Spirit in regeneration and effectual calling. The effectual call of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit’s work of almighty, irresistible grace, by which he draws all chosen, redeemed sinners to Christ, creating faith in them, granting them repentance, and converting them by omnipotent grace.
The work of the Holy Spirit in effectual calling must be understood in two aspects: (1.) The outward, external call of grace, which comes to sinners by the preaching of the Gospel; and (2.) The internal call, which is the effectual operation of the Holy Spirit, by which sinners are effectually converted. It is the external call which comes to sinners by the preaching of the Gospel of which our Savior speaks when he says, “Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, declares that many, (not all but many), are called to repentance and faith in him by the preaching of the Gospel, and that few of the many who are called are numbered among the chosen. This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture.
1. God calls sinners to life and faith in Christ by the preaching of the Gospel.
2. The Gospel call is universal in its scope. That is to say, we preach the Gospel to all without exception as the Lord enables us. Many are providentially excluded by God from the external call of the Gospel; but none are excluded by his servants.
3. This call of sinners to repentance and faith in Christ is an unconditional, unqualified call.
4. This call of the Gospel is given by Divine authority.
5. The call issued to sinners in the preaching of the Gospel is a sincere call.
6. This Gospel call is a most gracious call.
7. Though it is, in itself, ineffectual for the saving of any, when accompanied by the power of God’s Spirit, the preaching of the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
This is the importance of Gospel preaching. It is by this means that God calls sinners to salvation and eternal life in Christ. If I were you, I would find me a Gospel preaching, sit down, and listen to the preaching of the Gospel, earnestly praying that God might be pleased in his sovereign mercy to call me by his grace. I would hear the Gospel every time I could. I’d go to the house of God, praying like Fanny Crosby…
“Pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry.
While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by!”
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