Declaration and Testimony
REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
PRINTED BY HOPKINS AND SEYMOUR.
No. 118, Pearl-Street.
Of the Gospel Offer.
1. THE Gospel is the Revelation, which God has given to man, of the plan of salvation by a Redeemer; this is glad tidings, worthy of all acceptation by sinners.
Acts 15.7. That the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 1 Tim. 1.15. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
2. Preaching the Gospel consists in the offer of salvation through Christ to sinners, accompanied with such an explanation of the various parts of God's word as may tend to persuade men to receive Christ as a Saviour, and to live and walk in him.
2 Cor. 5.20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you; we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God. Matth. 28.20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Isa. 55.1. Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. 2. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? 3. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live.
3. The Gospel offer is not a declaration to any individual sinner, that his particular name is in the book of life; it is not immediately founded upon the decree of election, but upon the commandment of God, authorizing the minister of the Gospel to offer Christ and all his benefits to sinners, as such, however aggravated their crimes may have been, accompanied with information that every one who accepts the offer shall be saved.
Deut. 29.29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us. Mark 16.15. Go ye unto all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Acts 2.22. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth23, him ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. 38. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; 39. For the promise is unto you and to your children. 40. Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Mark 16.16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.
4. Preaching the Gospel does not consist in promising salvation to all who hear it, or in affirming that Christ has redeemed each of them; but in a free and full offer of a Saviour to every individual, declaring that he who believeth shall be saved, and he who believeth not shall be damned: there is no inconsistency between the doctrine of particular Redemption and an unlimited Gospel offer.
John 10.15. I lay down my life for the sheep. 26. But ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep. 37. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not; 38. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works, that ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me and I in him. Matth. 22.4. All things are ready, come unto the marriage. 12. How camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? 14. For many are called, but few are chosen. John 3.36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Rev. 14.4. These were redeemed from among men. Mark 16.15. Preach the gospel to every creature.
5. Every assertion contained in the Gospel is true, independently of man's works or faith, and every promise of the Gospel shall be fulfilled, because God is true: the fulfillment of the promise depends on Christ's righteousness as the only condition, and all the blessings promised shall be distributed precisely in the order and connexion in which the promises are made, to all for whom Christ suffered, and upon whom he bestows saving faith.
Psalm 33.4. For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. Heb. 10.23. He is faithful that promised. Chap. 9.15. And for this cause he is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Joshua 21.45. There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel: all came to pass.
We therefore condemn the following errors, and testify against all who maintain them:
- "That the Gospel is a new and more easy Law, which, accommodated to human depravity, promises salvation, upon condition of faith and repentance, as constituting the proper title to its blessings."
- "That eternal life is promised to any sinner, without respect to faith in Jesus Christ."
- "That the Gospel is not to be preached to sinners as such."
- "That the Gospel offer consists in declaring to sinners, that Christ has redeemed each of them in particular."
- "That the unlimited offer of the Gospel is inconsistent with the doctrine of particular Redemption."