7. The Power of the Gospel – Calvinism Series

The idea that God gives a mystical enlightenment only to a preordained number of individuals is completely foreign to the Scriptures, and to God’s integrity. Yes, the Spirit draws people to God. But, many people resist the Spirit. The power that leads people to repentance and experiencing the grace of God, is not mystical at all. That power is contained in the Gospel itself. It enters through the ears into the heart. 

Romans 1 

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

1 Corinthians 1 

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God

Man is incapable of saving himself. He doesn’t have the power. But the power to illuminate man to both his need of salvation, and the genuine offer of grace to all, is contained in the Gospel message itself. Whoever hears the Gospel, is capable of receiving it, or rejecting it. God does not only enlighten “the elect.” He enlightens all who hear the Gospel. They choose to accept or reject it. 

John 1 

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

A more inclusive statement could not be used. These verses are not easily dismissed. God enlightens every single person. He clearly means that every person is enlightened when he hears the witness of the gospel message, (vs. 7,8). When a man or woman is exposed to the gospel message, the Spirit of God enlightens them, exposing their sin, and their need of a Savior. They can then respond positively or negatively. The choice is entirely theirs. 

Romans 10

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Copyright © Tim Warner – 10/2003

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