The Well-meant offer of the Gospel

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Jan Ziska, Jan 13, 2009.

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  1. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    lol I dont disagree that only the elect will believe. My point is that this thread suggests that the 'personalising' of the offer of the gospel to non believers is wrong because some of those unbelievers may not be among the elect. However, Peter did not seem to have that problem as he clearly 'personalised' the gospel offer. The fact that there is a disclaimer 'all whom the Lord our God will call' does not change the initial 'personalisation'.

  2. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    That's true. But how do we know who they are?
  3. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    When you said this, I thought I had perhaps misunderstood some of the earlier points in the thread.

    I understand this, and agree.

    Perhaps we are having terminolgy problems, but this is the point I was making about the thgread which you have just said that the thread is not making. The 'personalisation' of the gospel offer. Now you state the reason for this as

    Wheras I am arguing that it seems that Peter did in fact do this.

    But you are arguing that he did not.

    So our difference is over our interpretation of what Peter was and was not saying.

    In the midst of a gosple sermon and in response to unbelievers asking 'what should we do' Peter tells them and follows on by saying 'the promise is for you, your family and all who the Lord ou God will call' seems to show that Peter did in fact make assumptions about his audience. How did he know if all before him where elect. How could he say the promise was for their family?

    I agree, that he adds, all whom the Lord our God will call. But like I say, it seems to me that he made the invitation quite personal.
  4. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    God indeed promises that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God’s love for mankind is seen in the sending of his Son. The universal call of the gospel is for all to repent and trust in Christ. Christ’s work on the cross does in fact save the human race by securing the salvation of all whom the Father has given him — yet not all individuals are saved. One might ask, How can God be sincere in His promise if He has chosen to save only some?

    Let me put it this way: The promises of God are sincere, but they are for those who come and take them. There are no gracious promises for those who will not believe. Christ is the only Savior there is and he is promised as the Savior of those who turn to Him, not those who don’t. This is why we must beseech men to believe in Christ, so they may take to themselves the promises of God. And we know that they are enabled to do so as the Lord quickens their dead hearts and removes their unwillingness and stubbornness.

    The sincerity of a promise is proven by its fulfillment. And the glorious fact is that the promises of God have in every single instance been found true. Everyone who has called on the name of the Lord has been saved. Not one who has trusted Christ has perished. There has never been a person who has wanted to come to Christ, who has found God’s sovereign election to be a barrier in the way.
  5. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm no moderator, but I think y'all may be speaking past one another. Peter did say that to the entire gathered assembly, 'Repent and be baptised every one of you . . .' That command is made to all men. It is not the same as saying that Christ died for everyone.

    But, then maybe I'm reading too graciously.
  6. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    I beg to differ, my friend:

    This is what Peter said, (according the the KJV version):

    So yes, the promise is unto you, and to your children, with the qualifier that this promise is good, for whosoever it pleases the Lord to call. Not to you head for head. But only the ones that He chooses to call.

    So, to rephrase what Peter said: "Any one of you, whom the Lord pleases to call, for you and your children is the promise; so repent, and be baptized everyone of you that repents, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  7. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    What assumptions do you think he made? He did make it personal, but did not in any way imply that Christ actually died for any individual (which the statement "Christ died for you" does). As suggested, it would be good if you took some time to see what the confessions say about calling, election, justification, etc.
  8. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    "God delights in the conversion and eternal life of the sinner, as a thing pleasing in itself, and congruous with His own infinitely compassionate nature, rather than in his perdition; and therefore demands from man, as an act due from him, to turn if he would live. But although He does not will, in the sense of delighting in, the death of the sinner, He at the same time wills, in the sense of decreeing, the death of the sinner for the display of His justice. Even as an upright magistrate, though he does not delight in and desire the death of the criminal, yet determines to inflict the just penalty of the law."

    Francis Turretin - Institutes of Elenctic Theology IV ch. XVII . 33

    Do you see any Contradiction? Paradox is an apparent contradiction!

    This is not indeed an easy matter, that's why I found Roger Nicole's article so helpful

    Roger Nicole of course also stands for Particular Salvation and Limited Atonement, actually he is defending it in this article.

    Definite Atonement
  9. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    With all due respect I'm going to bail from this 'discussion'.

    Again with all due respect, I teach in secondary schools and questioning is actually part of the learning process. If I am right in understanding what you are saying, are you saying that these things cannot be questioned and discussed? If this is the case then perhaps I have misunderstood the aims of the discussion board.
  10. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi, I'm new to 1) This forum 2) Reformed thinking...

    My background is evangelicalism (the modern version) I'm also an evangelist. The concept of not telling people that Jesus died for them is new to me. I embraced the L of T.U.L.I.P about a year or so ago. In the light of limited atonement, what you all are saying, makes sense to a point. But like I say, the scripture I quoted came to me today and I've been chewing it over.

    I have a copy of the London Baptist Confession of Faith, I think I have a copy of the westminster shorter chatichism. I have read them in the past. But it has been a while. I'll spend some time looking into them again, to help me see where you all are coming from.

  11. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Apology accepted ;)
  12. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    God’s will to Save the Elect Alone doesn't contradict the Well Meant Offer or Free Offer of the Gospel

    Theology explains this matter, to follow my quote on Turretin, and some remarks on former posts.
    The Decrees to Salvation and Reprobation are in the Decretive Will of God, within Himself (ad-infra).
    The invitation to all through the Free Offer of the Gospel is in the Preceptive Will of God.
    That is what He chooses to reveal outside (ad-extra) Himself. These are the rule for the creature's actions.
    Like Believe or Repent.

    Preceptive Will of God in the Commandment

    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mathew 11:28

    Decretive Will of God expressed in

    No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him. John 6:44

    The Preceptive Will is subordinate to the Decretive Will, no contradiction, because always/finally everything happens/will be
    according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will Ephesians 1:11
  13. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Consider this about the idea of telling people that Jesus died for them in relation to the "L" of TULIP.

    Why is it that that "L" of TULIP is so core to the Gospel of grace? Because, as you read especially Hebrews 9-10, one of the assurances that we have is that we have a perfect High Priest whose atoning sacrifice saves to the uttermost. It is once-for-all. The wrath of God has been fully satisfied by our High Priest. Not only that but He ever intercedes for His own to ensure their salvation from beginning to end. I know I am saved not because Christ died, generically, for all of mankind, but that His atonement actually accomplished redemption for those that trust in Him.

    If we assume that Christ died for all then what is the nature of the Atonement? Imperfect. It means that Christ's sacrifice makes men savable but also losable because the wrath of God was not satisfied for any particular persons but for men who must add faith to the work of Christ in order for the two to mix together and, thereby, satisfy the wrath of God. In other words, the Atonement is imperfect until it is mixed with human faith whereas the Scriptures teach that grace precedes faith. Christ's death precedes our belief. He died for us while we were His enemies and He justifies the un-Godly. Our faith is a result of God's electing love toward us and the instrument that unites us to a work that Christ has accomplished on our behalf.

    Thus, it is not proper to a general audience to say: "Christ died for you" because it implies a view of the atonement as inadequate. It implies an imperfect Savior whose Atonement needs their belief. If you really believe in the Atonement of Christ and say "Christ died for you" then you should also say "so you are saved whether you believe or not." For, if Christ died for the person, then there is nothing else to do but to announce their salvation.

    The Atoning work of Christ perfectly satifies the wrath of God and our faith does not add one iota to its value but is the alone instrument by which we lay hold of Christ's perfect work. What we need to declare in the Gospel is man without hope apart from Christ, Christ's perfect sacrifice on the Cross for all who believe, and a call to come to Christ for salvation.

  14. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I dont believe Christ did die for all

    -----Added 1/14/2009 at 04:15:21 EST-----

    I have just dug out my baptist confession book..

    The 1689: A Faith to Confess is this the same as the London Baptist Confession of Faith?
  15. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    Instead of saying, "Jesus was punished for you", to non-Christians, I would say, "Jesus was punished for other people". If a non-Christian asks, "Who are those other people?", then I would say, "The people whom God chose to save and those people are called God's elect.". If a non-Christian asks, "Who are God's elect?", then I say, "You don't need to find out who God's elect are. God commands you to repent of your sin and to trust in Jesus alone for your salvation and that is your responsibility."
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  16. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

  17. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    cheers guys:up:
  18. ManleyBeasley

    ManleyBeasley Puritan Board Junior

    I think its unnecessary to say anything more than Jesus died for sinners and he will save all who repent and put faith in Him alone. We don't know who the elect are so why try to say what we don't know? I also don't see the need to explain particular redemption to them in detail when proclaiming the gospel. If they ask about who He died for I think a correct response is "He died for all who repent and place faith in Him." (ie the elect) which is very close to the particular redemption language of John 3:16.

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
  19. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Boston never said it.

    The Marrow said, "for him." The context in the Marrow makes it clear that it is speaking of the conditional promise of the gospel; hence the "dead for you" statement must be understood conditionally also -- if you will believe.

    Boston clarifies the meaning: "that a Saviour is provided, that there is a crucified Christ for him." This is the same teaching as is found in the Larger Catechism, answer 32, "He freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator."
  20. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Puritan Board Junior

    Hello John,
    What might be helpful in considering this question and how to refine our presentation of the gospel is to be mindful of the Intercession of our Great High Priest in Jn.17 and a description of this work in Hebrews 2.
    What most of the posts on this thread point to is the reality that the love of God is primarily spoken of as being In Christ , not apart from Him.
    You can always be on safe ground by proclaiming that God loves sinners In Christ. All the promises of God are found exclusively In Him.
    When the unsaved are cast into second death the seperation from God that they knew in this life will be sealed eternally;
    If a seperation exists in time, it will exist in eternity. The OT.priests sinned by not maintaining this distinction
    but Jesus as our Great High Priest is perfect in His work and love. His love is holy and specific in it's object,the church. All of the texts describing God's redemptive love are speaking of those who become justified. :book2:
    Just look to follow the apostolic teaching being mindful of the contexts of the love verses and you will see the consistency of the confessional language used to describe the content of the gospel.
  21. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

  22. Jan Ziska

    Jan Ziska Puritan Board Freshman

    One of the pastors in my church wrote it, most likely Chris Connors.
  23. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you brother, I am about to conclude that not just the expression Well meant Offer, but the doctrine itself may be very wrong in some implications.

    In my humble opinion Well meant Offer may in fact introduce an unnecessary contradiction between the
    the Preceptive Will of God, revealed in His Word, and the way we can understand by God’s Word, His Decretive Will.

    Yet it’s good to be cautious in avoid throwing around names like Hyper Calvinism or Amyrauldism, or any kind of heresy for the same matter

    I believe we are still in the boundaries of sound Reformed Orthodoxy.
  24. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    The issue of the wellmeant really came into play in the split between the CRC and the PRCA, when Rev. Hoeksema was deposed from office in the CRC, as he would not sign the three points of common grace. In the 3 point they married the idea of Kuyperian common grace to the proclamation of the Gospel, and made man, in his natural state, capable of accepting the Gospel offered in the preaching.

    And that is the historical reason why the PRCA is so dead set against any idea of a wellmeant offer. Granted that not all people when they speak of a wellmeant offer, conceive of it as such.

    Common Grace
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