Of the Gospel, and of the extent of the Grace thereof.
Chapter 20, Paragraph 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.”
Isaiah 25:7; 60:2,3
Conversion does not happen by looking at the stars or gazing at a sunset. As beautiful as creation is, it cannot tell that Christ is the promised One who saves sinners. Only Scripture reveals God’s will for humanity concerning salvation. The Confession made this point back in Chapter 1:
Although the light of Nature, and the works of Creation and Providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will, which is necessary unto Salvation.
This can be hard to accept, even for those who are regenerated and love Christ. What about those pagan nations who never hear the Gospel? Are they to be condemned without having a chance to hear? Yes, for they are without excuse. Without Scripture, there is no possibility of knowing Christ. There is no way of salvation without the revelation found in the Bible.
This also means that the Gospel must be spread in order for anyone to be saved. Again, this can be hard to accept, for it means that as Christians we have a responsibility, and one that includes some risk. Everyone can look at a flower and admire it; but tell people about the beauty of Christ and you may be mocked or despised. Friendships may be lost; material goods vanish; even your life may be taken. “Living out” the Gospel instead sounds so much easier than the alternative! But silence is not an option for those who love God, for if we love Him, we will keep His commands. We are commanded to declare Christ to others; let us not shy away from so doing.
Questions to Consider
- Do you act as if you believe people can be saved without knowledge of Christ?