Why Do Calvinists Publicly Call for Repentance?

One common objection to Reformed soteriology is that Calvinism makes public calls for repentance illogical or unnecessary. The objection may present itself like this: “The Calvinist is inconsistent and unfaithful to his own worldview to issue a public call for repentance. After all, won’t only the elect repent of their sins and believe in Christ?” I would like to provide four brief thoughts on this objection.

I pray, in sincerity and good-intention, that this article proves helpful to you, reader. May these meditations exalt God as supremely glorious, satisfying and lofty: worthy of all praise, honor and adoration!

Calvinism Simply Wants to Confess Scripture

My Calvinism is not a box within which I want to squeeze God’s revelation into. My Calvinism, I pray, is my articulation of what I see God’s revelation most plainly teaching. The logical implications of any doctrine I believe are always subject to the explicit statements that Scripture makes. My foremost question is always, “What does Scripture say about this?” Calvinism makes a point to say what God says – but where God makes an end of speaking, we too must shut our mouths.

For this reason, it is entirely irrelevant to me whether or not I am condemned for a public call to repentance. I want to speak and do what Scripture says – nothing more. Below, I have provided a brief review of the Biblical witness concerning both Unconditional Election and public calls for repentance.

  • Biblical Clarity on Unconditional Election: This is not a full treatise on the Scriptural testimony for Unconditional Election. However, I do believe that this sufficiently proves the Bible to be ‘clear’ on the issue.
    1. The Father’s giving of specific individuals to Christ for salvation (Jn 6:35-51).
    2. The Father’s selection of True Israel for salvation, distinct from His selection of Ethnic Israel for bearing His oracles (Rom 3:2; 9:6-13; cf. Gen 12; 15).
    3. The Father’s purpose to save certain individuals being the grounds of Christian peace (Rom 8:28-39).
    4. The Father’s Christicentric work to salvifically bless certain individuals (Eph 1:3-14).
    5. The Father’s unconditional election of sinners being harmonious with past revelation of His character (Rom 9:14-18; cf. Ex 33:19).
    6. Christ’s High Priestly ministry proving sufficient to atone for all whom He intercedes for (Heb 7:23-28).
    7. The Holy Spirit’s calling being qualitatively effectual (Jn 6:44; Rom 8:30).
    8. The Father’s election and the Spirit’s effectual calling made a hallmark of New Testament discourse (Rom 1:1, 7, 16-17; 11:33-36; 16:25-27; 1 Cor 1:1-9; 2:1-5; 3:6; 12:11; 15:10; 2 Cor 1:9-11; 2:14-17; 3:18; 4:15-18; 9:14-15; 13:5-6; Gal 1:3-5; 5:1, 8, 13; Eph 3:7; 4:1; Phil 1:6; 2:12-13; Col 1:12; 3:12; 1 Thes 1:4; 5:9-10; 2 Thes 1:11-12; 3:3-5; 1 Ti 1:16; 2 Ti 1:8-14; 2:10; Tit 1:1-3; 1 Pe 1:1-9; 5:10; 1 Pt 2:10; 1 Jn. 4:7; 5:1; Ju 1-2, 24-25).
    9. Salvation made wholly creditable to God on the last day (Rev 7:10-12).
  • Biblical Clarity on Public Calls for Repentance: There are so many more examples and commands of public calls for repentance than I have included here. I have included enough to prove, I hope, that there is in fact a Biblical precedent and mandate.
    1. Precedent: Moses (Deut 30:15-20); Joshua (Josh 24:14-15); Samuel (1 Sam 12:19-25); Josiah (2 Ki 23:1-3); Nehemiah and Ezra (Neh 8:1-9:37); Psalmist (2:10-12); Solomon (Ecc 12:13-14); Jonah (Jon 3:1-10); Jesus (Mk 1:15); Peter (Ac 2:38-39); Paul (Ac 13:38-41).
    2. Mandate: Nu 21:6-9; Ps 51:10-13; 67:1-7; Matt 28:18-20; Ac 1:7-8; Rom 10:9-15; Phil 1:12-18; 1 Thes 1:2-10; 1 Ti 2:1-8; 2 Ti 4:1-5; He 12:1-2.

I hold many opinions concerning the texts referenced above, but two things seem plain to me: 1) God chose before time began to save certain individuals, 2) I have a responsibility to command all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. Calvinism affirms that salvation depends solely on God’s will. However, Calvinism does not affirm that the logical implication of this truth is that we are not to offer salvation to all people.

Taking Unconditional Election to such an implication is what we call “Hyper-Calvinism.” In contrast, Calvinists affirm that Scripture holds the highest authority on all matters of doctrine. Explicit Scriptural statements hold an even higher place in our thinking than what appear to be logical implications. As a Calvinist, it is not on my agenda to device an unmysterious, neat box of theological principles. Calvinism simply wants to confess what Scripture confesses.

You’re Thinking of Hyper-Calvinism

Despite the work of some to equate five-point Calvinism with Hyper-Calvinism, the two ideas are distinct from each other. At ReformedCon 2016, James White provided four distinctives of Hyper-Calvinism that I believe would prove beneficial for the reader to take note of (you can listen to White’s lecture here).

  1. Theological Perfectionism: The conviction that my theology is absolutely correct, that other people are absolutely wrong, and that if you are not Calvinistic in your soteriology then you are not saved.
  2. Claimed Knowledge of the Secret Decree Rather than Prescriptive Will: The conviction that I should minister as though I understand God’s secret decree – as though I am given the identity of those whom God has elected.
  3. Looking for Regeneration Before Offering Christ: The conviction that a preacher must first look for signs of regeneration before he offers Christ to someone.
  4. A Refusal to Promiscuously Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature: The conviction that some reservation must be taken in preaching the gospel – that the gospel must be in some way a guarded secret.

If a Calvinist takes his doctrine to any of these four conclusions, he has now become a Hyper-Calvinist. In doing so, he denies the explicit testimony of Scripture. It is my aim, as a Calvinist, to always let Scripture set the boundaries for my doctrine. If you think a Calvinist is inconsistent to issue public, universal commands for repentance (even if you think we shouldn’t do it), you are thinking of Hyper-Calvinism, not Calvinism.

But Let Me Clarify: Repentance Flows from Unconditional Election

In light of the previous two thoughts, I need to affirm Calvinistic doctrine concerning the relationship between Unconditional Election and repentance. Calvinism confesses that faith (Eph 2:8-9) and repentance (Ac 11:18) are gifts from God. How is it, though, that God gifts men with an appropriate response to His gospel? Let me briefly walk you through what I see in Scripture.

  • Unconditional Election: Before the foundation of the world, God chooses certain individuals out from the mass of sinful humanity (see Scriptures above) and gives them an eschatology (ie. determines to make them into the image of Christ; this ‘eschatology’ is often separated from Election and called ‘predestination’ [ex. Rom 8:29; Eph 1:5]).
  • Effectual Calling: As time progresses, at the appropriate moment, the Holy Spirit goes forth and beckons the elected individuals, one by one, to come to Christ (Jn 6:44; Ac 16:14; Rom 8:28-30; 9:6-13, 24). Involved in this process is Regeneration, where the Spirit resurrects a dead spirit to love and respond to Christ (Jn 1:9-13; 3:1-9; Eph 2:1-10; 1 Jn 5:1; cf. Ezek 36).
  • Repentance: Having a living spirit/heart within that loves Christ, the regenerate individual freely, gladly and desperately cleaves to Christ (see Scriptures above). The love and obedience rendered will not be perfect, but it will be true (Eph 6:24).

I hope it is clear from this explanation that repentance flows from unconditional election. If God does not choose to save an individual, that person will never repent of his sins. Because God chooses to save an individual, that person will repent of his sins. Repentance, then, is a gift.

How Does Scripture Apply Unconditional Election?

When Scripture speaks of Unconditional Election, how does it apply the doctrine? What implications do the authors draw from God’s choice to save specific people in Christ? To be clear: however Scripture applies this doctrine is how I, as a Calvinist, want to apply it. A Hyper-Calvinist will draw further implications – a Calvinist will stop and say, “The Word makes a point to stop speaking here: therefore, I shall as well.” Consider these four applications of Unconditional Election.

  • I Repent (Deut 7:1-11)
    God gave the Israel instructions for when they would enter the Promise Land. Rather than intermingle with the peoples (vv.1-4), they were to be sanctified by wiping them out (v.5). This sanctification was required because God had already sanctified them by choosing them to be His people out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth (v.6). God’s election of Israel was not due to anything about them (v.7) – and in faithfulness to this choice, God brought them from Egypt (v.8). God chose Israel by choosing Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Gen 12, 15, 21, 25). The point? God’s choice and faithfulness to that choice are independent of the actions of those He chooses. In light of this: “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, (v.9). The principle is that God is faithful. He deals with men consistently and can be depended on to abide by His promises. Because God is faithful, we can therefore trust that our faithfulness to Him is not in vain. God’s sovereignty in election should give us confidence that if we repent of our sins and sanctify ourselves to Him, He will never reject us. Unconditional Election in Deuteronomy 7:1-11 implies that we should repent of our sins and trust God.
  • I Trust (1 Kg 19:9-21; 2 Kg 19:1-7; Isa 1:9; 10:22 [cf. Romans 9:27-29; 11:1-6])
    Elijah cried: “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kg 19:10). Again in verse 14, he grieves that “I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” God response by calling him to action and reveals that He will leave a faithful remnant of 7,000 Israelites. Elijah was not quite as alone as he suspected. God’s preservation of a remnant of faithful people is clung to in faith by Hezekiah (2 Kg 19:4). The remnant remained, by God’s power and mercy, throughout the Old Testament (Isaiah 1:9; 10:21-22). These texts demonstrate that God exercises His sovereignty in a merciful fashion. In response to God’s sovereign election, we can find comfort in any situation. Nothing we suffer can eclipse our opportunity for trust in God’s gracious purposes.
  • I Rest (Rom 8:28-39 [cf. 9:1-24])
    God’s sovereignty in salvation means that it is a monergistic work (monergism means “with one energy”). God alone accomplishes it. After articulating Divine monergism in Romans 8:29-30, Paul asks in verse 31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” The implication is that if God has a disposition to be for someone then no one may effectively stand against that person. So what is the basis for Christian peace? Is it your pleasure in and obedience to God, or God’s pleasure and choice to save you? I suggest the latter. God’s sovereignty in salvation is the foundation for Christian peace. If God’s choice to save any individual was ultimately influenced by something within that individual, then salvation suddenly hinges upon mankind and Paul’s argument in Romans 8:31-39 is made void. This application drawn from Unconditional Election is peace in salvation. I know that my salvation ultimately hinges on God’s will, so I rest in His sovereign purpose.
  • I Worship (Eph 1:3-14)
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (Eph 1:3). In verses 4-14, Paul explains in detail how God has blessed us in Christ. It could be divided several ways but for simplicity sake we may see the blessing three-fold: election (vv.4-6), redemption (vv.7-8), sealing (vv.9-14). The Father chose to save the saints before He created the world. The Son secured the saints’ salvation on the cross. The Spirit seals the saints in salvation as history progresses. Every facet of this blessing, and the blessing in sum, moves Paul in an overflow of praise. Paul’s basis for blessing God is that He has blessed us. Verses 3-14 seem to be one long sentence in the Greek. It is as though Paul’s words were spewing from his pen as a whelming chorus of praise. God’s monergistic work of salvation (blessing certain individuals in Christ) drives Paul to a lofty expression of gratitude and praise.

Does Scripture deduce from Unconditional Election that we need not issue a universal call for repentance? Does God’s sovereignty in salvation warrant laziness from us? By no means. Unconditional Election is to teach us repentance, trust, peace, and praise. Unconditional Election encourages us in our repentance and preaching. It tells us that our repentance and preaching is not in vain – that God ultimately will have His purposes accomplished. It likewise leads us to worship, as we behold the power and grace of God.

Scripture simply does not apply Unconditional Election as the Hyper-Calvinist asserts it must be applied.

Exhortation

I suppose more could be said. A fifth point would be that God ordains the ends as well as the means. God does not simply ordain that a person be saved, but that a friend preach the gospel to them. Regardless of what I leave un-asserted, my four points above seem to provide a sufficient witness to the following conclusions:

  1. One may believe in Unconditional Election and yet, with good conscience, issue a public call for repentance.
  2. The Calvinist is consistent and faithful to his own worldview when he commands all people everywhere to repent of their sins.
  3. Furthermore, the Calvinist who refuses to issue a public command for repentance is inconsistent and unfaithful to the Doctrines of Grace (as articulated in such confession as the 1689 London Baptist Confession), and has crossed into the heresy of Hyper-Calvinism.
  4. No productive dialogue can be had if both parties ignore the distinctions between Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism.

Three Reasons to Supremely Exalt Christ in Preaching

Preaching is a joyful honor and weighty responsibility. It is my conviction that preaching should supremely exalt Christ. I would like to provide you with three reasons why I am convinced of this.

If the sermon does not exalt Christ, then it cannot be wholly truthful

  • Principle 1: The Word supremely exalts Christ. (Lk. 24:25-27; Jn. 1:1; 5:39; Heb. 1:1-2)
  • Principle 2: Preaching must always be of the Word. (Neh. 8:5, 8; Ps. 119:104-105; 2 Timothy 4:1-2)
  • Conclusion: Preaching by nature supremely exalts Christ.

If the sermon does not exalt Christ, then the preacher is not preaching the Word. If he was preaching the Word, Christ would be exalted. Scripture by nature lifts up the Son of Man, shining a spot-light on His person and work. Preaching by nature lifts of the Word, such that the content delivered by a faithful preacher is Scripture and commentary upon it. It is evident that a preacher who is not exalting Christ, is not accurately commenting on the Scripture he preaches.

If the sermon does not exalt Christ, then it opposes the Holy Spirit’s work

  • Proposition: If the Holy Spirit does a work, then He exalts Christ in that work. (John 14:16-31; 16:12-15; 1 Jn. 4:1-6)
  • Consequent Denied: If Christ is not exalted in a work, then the Holy Spirit is not doing that work.

If the sermon does not exalt Christ, then it is erecting itself as a tool used in the power of flesh, opposing the Spirit’s way of exalting Christ. The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity – being God, He is completely free to do as He wills. It pleases Him and is His role in the economic Trinity to exalt Christ and direct men unto Him. Spurgeon wrote, “All ministries, therefore, must be subjected to this test; if they do not glorify Christ, they are not of the Holy Ghost.”

If the sermon does not exalt Christ, then it stifles the congregation’s joy

  • Principle 1.1: God is our sole source of joy. (Neh. 8:10; Ps. 16:11; Jn. 17:3)
  • Principle 1.2: God is known through Christ. (Jn. 14:6; 2 Cor. 4:6; Col. 1:15-20)
  • Principle 1.3: Christ is most clearly seen in Scripture. (Rom. 1:18-2:16; 10:14-15; 16:20-21; see also Reason 1)
  • Conclusion 1.1: Scripture is our clearest avenue of joy.
  • Conclusion 1.2: If Scripture is skewed so-as-to veil Christ, then its joy-giving clarity is stifled.
  • Principle 2.1: If Christ is not exalted, then Scripture is not accurately presented. (see Reason 1)
  • Principle 2.2: If Scripture is not accurately presented, then its joy-giving quality is stifled. (see Reason 3, Conclusion 1.2)
  • Principle 2.3: If Scripture’s joy-giving quality is stifled, then so is the joy received by the congregation.
  • Conclusion 2: If Christ is not exalted in a sermon, then the congregation’s joy is stifled.

Christ is the ultimate source of joy for the church. On earth, we glimpse His glory in Scripture and are satisfied. Though in heaven, our faith shall be made sight and our joy made full. If this is so, then why would I not desire to exalt Christ in my preaching? My people’s greatest joy will come through seeing Christ. If I want the congregation satisfied and living unto God in a joy of the soul, then why would I refrain from this?

God Saves Through Gospel Preaching – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

There are many distractions in the professing church today. Many things fight for our attention. The worst of all are those who attempt to add or take away from the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to bring more people into the church. Only God brings people into the church, and He only does that through His gospel. This is what we will be considering in this essay: God saves through gospel preaching. Paul understood this well when he wrote to the Corinthians…

[1] And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. [2] For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [3] I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, [4] and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [5] so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

The Priority (v.1)

Paul’s missiology did not allow for political rhetoric or fancy talk. He did not lure people with emotionalism or attract them with material things. Many ministries today attempt to bring more and more people into the church by making the church more attractive to the world. Ministers across our nation, for a century now, have dressed God’s gospel in worldly clothes in order to make worldly people feel more welcome. Truth is, the world doesn’t want to hear the gospel. They don’t want to hear about the holiness of God and the unholiness of man. They are offended by us calling-out their sinful lifestyles. The world doesn’t want to listen to us when we say that Christ is the only way to God. Indeed, the most arrogant thing to them is that we would dare to claim that this Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord of all: they want to hang on to pride and self-rule. So, they hate the gospel. They all do – as did we before God regenerated our hearts. It is an offensive, scandalous message. In light of this, many ministers seek to either take away the scandal or add enough worldly benefits that the scandal isn’t as bad as it could be. “Well, Jesus didn’t really mean ‘hell.'” “Well, you might sin, but certainly you aren’t wicked in your heart.” “Well, if you come to Christ, He’ll heal your cancer!”

As a faithful preacher, Paul didn’t give in to such temptations. When he came to Corinth, he refused to add or take away from the gospel. Instead, he came proclaiming the testimony of God. He knew that since he had been entrusted with the gospel, his one job was to simply proclaim it. All he had to do was faithfully communicate it. Paul chose to prioritize the content of his preaching above the delivery. Imagine a post-man arrives at your door in a suite and tie, clean smile, nice hair. But when he gives you your package, you see that it is all torn up. Some things have fallen out – water seeped inside and the cardboard is wet. Would you not rather have received a healthy package from a not-so-nicely-looking postman? The same is true with the gospel. This comes before this, or this, or this.

The Content (v.2)

Paul chose to know nothing except Jesus Christ. This is the gospel message. We need to understand this. This is important. Paul refused to give fancy speeches. He refused to try to talk someone into becoming a christian. In his mind, Paul was a delivery man – not a politician. His chief concern was to accurately and clearly communicate the gospel. His responsibility was not to convert but to communicate. A faithful evangelist is a faithful communicator. Our obedience has nothing to do with the conversion of sinners, but rather with the fact that we preach to sinners.

The gospel of Jesus Christ can be summarized thus: the holy, just, loving Creator of all things looked upon a hopelessly wicked and guilty group of people and chose to send His Son – Jesus Christ – to die the death they deserved. His resurrection from the dead proved Who He was and authenticated the gospel call – that whoever would turn from the world and to Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Paul Washer says it well…

In accordance with the Father’s good pleasure, the eternal Son, who is equal with the Father and is the exact representation of His nature, willingly left the glory of heaven, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, and was born the God-man: Jesus of Nazareth. As a man, He walked on this earth in perfect obedience to the law of God. In the fullness of time, men rejected and crucified Him. On the cross, He bore man’s sin, suffered God’s wrath, and died in man’s place. On the third day, God raised Him from the dead. This resurrection is the divine declaration that the Father has accepted His Son’s death as a sacrifice for sin. Jesus paid the penalty for man’s disobedience, satisfied the demands of justice, and appeased the wrath of God. Forty days after the resurrection, the Son of God ascended into the heavens, sat down at the right hand of the Father, and was given glory, honor, and dominion over all. There, in the presence of God, He represents His people and makes requests to God on their behalf. All who acknowledge their sinful, helpless state and throw themselves upon Christ, God will fully pardon, declare righteous, and reconcile unto Himself. This is the gospel of God and of Jesus Christ, His Son. (Paul Washer, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, viii)

The Delivery (v.3)

Verse 2 tells us what he proclaimed. Verse 3 tells us how he proclaimed it – in weakness, fear and trembling. When a Christian proclaims the gospel, he knows that he is completely inadequate to make anything good come from the conversation. He has no power to convert unbelievers through the gospel. So in this sense, we are weak, like Paul, when we share the gospel. The gospel is a mighty sword – but only God can wield it to bring about salvation.

Do you understand, brothers and sisters, how weak we are? Do you understand how helpless a preacher is when proclaiming the gospel? Ever single person is born hating the gospel. The world hates it – no exceptions. Paul says clearly in 1:18 that the gospel is “foolishness” to the world. Yet this is what Paul was doing. He chose to preach to the Corinthians a message that they had no interest in. Why? Well, simply because God has chosen to save people this way. Though all people hate the gospel, God has the power to make them love it. Through regeneration, God re-creates the hearts of sinners. He takes out the stony, cold heart and replaces it with one that hates sin and loves Christ. After this happens, the sinner loves the gospel – it is a wonderful thing! God chooses to do this in this way so that He gets all the glory for it. If people were simply persuaded to be saved, then God would not be credited with all the work. But God chooses to save people through a message that is hated by the world and considered foolishness.

So what does this all mean when we deliver the gospel today? What principles can we draw from this passage that influence how we deliver the gospel? First, nothing is helpful that obscures the message of the gospel. This can apply to both illustrations, rhetorical tools, or even things in my environment that I am thinking about using during my time in front of my audience. Second, if the gospel is not foremost in our delivery, then something else needs to be taken out. Priority must be given to the revelation of God, not the opinions of man. What I have to say is worthless – what God has to say is life-giving. Third, we should first establish the message that will be delivered, then move on to how we will deliver it. Often I am guilty of working on what rhetoric or illustrations I will use in a sermon before I actually establish in my mind how the gospel of Christ shines-forth from a certain passage. Do your studying first, and then work on your delivery! Fourth, do not use heavy rhetoric. This point is especially tempting for me. Excessive yelling, movement, etc. can actually distract from the work of the Word. Do I trust the Word enough that I’m willing to simply proclaim it, without excessive speaking tactics? Do I have enough faith in the power of God unto salvation that I can confidently give more time to the Word than to a nice introduction or conclusion?

The Power (v.4-5)

The Corinthians were not saved through a persuasive speech from Paul – they were saved by the power of God. This explains Paul’s fear and trembling in verse 3. Paul trembles with fear when preaching the gospel because he knows that through his preaching Almighty God will save people. God is un-tamable. He is wild and the only truly free being. he cannot be influenced or changed. This give a weightiness to preaching the gospel that is not present in other things. Paul wrote to the Romans that the gospel ‘is the power of God to salvation.” You know what? It’s good news that God alone saves. It is good news that God powerfully saves. I need more than principles and habits – I need a powerful God Who can wrestle me down and lead me in paths of righteousness. A God Who owns salvation. Only a God like this can bring us security in salvation. When Paul preached the gospel, people were saved in Corinth. Because of this, Paul’s preaching was a demonstration of god’s power. The fact that anyone has ever accepted the gospel is a miracle in itself that testifies to God’s power.

So God chooses to work this way, first of all to bring Himself glory. Secondly, so that we would have faith only in Him – “so that our faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, bot on the power of God,” (v.5). Everyone has faith. Everyone trusts in something. We all depend on something. What do we depend on? What give you confidence? Paul says that the power of God should give us confidence. The arm of the flesh is weak! It cannot save! The fruit of your hands is dung before God. Your best works are filthy rags. You cannot make yourself right with God and you cannot make yourself holy. Do not depend on yourself! My friends, we do not need self-esteem: we need Christ esteem. Let go of the world and cling to God!

Paul knew these things, and so he chose to preach the powerful, scandalous gospel. When he did this, being obedient to God’s will, his preaching demonstrated the power of the Spirit (v.4). God’s power is manifested through gospel preaching in the simple fact that there are people who actually accept the message! Next time you are in a church bible study or prayer meeting, look around you. The Christians that you are gazing upon are walking examples of the power of God. We all hated God – we all heard the gospel message – we all were regenerated by God’s Spirit. This is the glorious testimony of God’s church, as it was of the Corinthians!


In all evangelistic endeavors, the gospel message takes principle priority. We are not to dress-up its content with fancy rhetoric, mood-setting lights, grand displays, or loud music. The power of God is manifested through the message of Christ crucified when His Spirit brings the dead to life. Regeneration is the work of God through faithful gospel proclamation. Trust the Word to do its work, friends. God saves through gospel preaching.