Of the Gospel, and of the extent of the Grace thereof.
Chapter 20, Paragraph 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.”
1 Corinthians 2:14
2 Corinthians 4:4,6
You can ask nicely. You can plead. You can beg. You can put on the biggest light-and-music spectacular ever recorded. All of those may move men to tears or evoke emphatic commitments to change. Without the declaration of the Gospel, none of that will convert a sinner. The message of Christ, and His mediatorial work on behalf of sinners, must be present. There can be no salvation without it.
The declaration of the Gospel cannot work on its own, though. The Holy Spirit must quicken and renew the sinner, enabling her to will that which is offered in the Gospel. If the Spirit does not regenerate someone, then they are still dead in their trespasses and sins. No amount of preaching the Gospel will effect change without the work of the Spirit.
Is the word & the Spirit enough to bring about regeneration? The actions of many churches say “No.” Money needs to be spent. Programs have to be in place. Look at how many attend flashy churches compared to “plainer” ones, and it appears the Holy Spirit needs a boost. Scripture tells us otherwise. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that changes hearts. The growth of the church in the New Testament was not due to the great music or children’s program. So no matter what you may lack in money or pizazz, declare the Word boldly. The Spirit will convert those that are His, when He sees fit.
Questions to Consider
- Are you intimidated to share the Gospel? Why?