The Gospel Call
So you and I get to share with others the power of Christ’s gospel. That’s what the church is all about! For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16) …
I’ve blogged before about the “bad news” of the gospel (we’re all sinners). That part has to come first in our articulation of the gospel message. But the time comes when we get to share the good news (Jesus is the perfect Savior). We get to issue the gospel call!
Not that you and I are the Holy Spirit. We know that He alone issues the call that infiltrates the soul (we can’t do that). God’s Spirit alone can ignite faith in the human heart. But God uses us to say the words (Romans 10:17). This “universal call” of the gospel is the general call of the gospel that you and I offer to all people (Proverbs 8:4; Matthew 22:14). But our call can’t save without the Spirit.
You and I can think of ourselves as the matches, but it’s the Spirit who makes the strike that ignites the flame!
We should have no hesitation inviting anybody and everybody to trust in Jesus Christ because we know that God can fire up faith in anybody! It’s not our strength that we’re relying upon. We should never allow the doctrine of election – yes, that is a Scriptural reality – to get in the way of evangelism. Paul never did. We’re to call all people – everywhere – to repent and believe the gospel! But we understand that to repent and believe is impossible apart from a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. So we rely on God’s power, and we pray our hearts out (Romans 8:30; First Corinthians 1:9). God achieves the transference from spiritual darkness to spiritual light (First Corinthians 2:14; Colossians 1:13-14).
We’re saved by faith alone. Not of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9). A free gift. The Welsh medical doctor-turned-preacher David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 – 1981) said it like this: “Faith is not the cause of salvation. Christ is!”
So what does saving faith look like?
First of all, it includes a knowledge (Latin notitia) of the facts about the historical Christ: the significance of His death, burial, and resurrection. A learning of the actual information that God reveals in His Word (the Scriptures). Faith cannot act upon information that it does not have, because the act of trusting itself is of no value if the object of faith is not the real Jesus. That’s why you and I have to be clear, Biblical, and Christ-centered in our presentation of the good news.
Secondly, genuine faith includes assent (assensus). There must be sincere agreement that what God has revealed in Scripture is indeed true. The believer must really believe that what God has said about Christ is absolutely and objectively true.
And lastly there must be volition (fiducia). This is a personal trust in, and appropriation of, the truths of the gospel of Jesus. This is the act of the will that embraces Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. You and I might think of this dimension of faith as a “soul surrender.”
So now that we know what we’re about, let’s go love people into Christ’s kingdom – not resting until we see many lives transformed by the power of His gospel of amazing grace!