Rolfe Barnard, “Salvation is not an offer to be considered, salvation is God’s gift to men. Thanks be unto God (with the Apostle Paul say) for the unspeakable gift. A Bible scholar told me that that Greek word was nearer if we translated it thanks be unto God for his untraceable gift You just can’t figure it out, it just goes back to the heart of God. Thanks be unto God! Not that He fixed it so that we could consider the matter and use our little old brains and our will but it is all conquering grace, He gives eternal life to men and women. Salvation’s a gift, it’s not an offer.” (FROM A SERMON TITLED, “6 THINGS WE FACE IN PREACHING”)
Primitive, Gospel Standard and other Baptists have argued against “the free offer of the Gospel” and “duty faith.” Some High and Ultra High Calvinists will say God has no love for the reprobate and I agree but wouldn’t spend much time going further than that. A. W. Pink is one who has written that God has no love for the reprobate and his work is free online here. Pink also believed everyone was duty bound to believe savingly and his view could be read here.
The Gospel Standard Articles of Faith explain:
We believe that it would be unsafe, from the brief records we have, of the way in which the Apostles, under the immediate direction of our Lord, addressed their hearers in certain special cases and circumstances, to derive absolute and universal rules for ministerial addresses in the present day under widely different circumstances. And we further believe that an assumption that others have been inspired as the Apostles were, has led to the grossest errors among both Romanists and Protestants. Therefore, that for ministers in this present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them to savingly repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and on the other to deny the doctrine of special redemption.
Below you will find a video that explains some of the arguments for the “free offer” and/or “duty faith” examined. The audio blogger brings up some good points that need further consideration.
Yours in the Lord,
“Moreover, it is the promise of the gospel that whoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish but have eternal life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be announced and declared without differentiation or discrimination to all nations and people, to whom God in his good pleasure sends the gospel” (II.5) Canons of Dort
Free Offer or Well Meant Offer of the Gospel,
“God not only delights in the penitent but is also moved by the riches of his goodness and mercy to desire the repentance and salvation of the impenitent and reprobate.” Orthodox Presbyterian Church statement
I’m not trying to start a big fight or cause a lot of fuss but I found a sermon on the subject of Duty Faith. Never heard one preached before. Sure, I’ve read works contra Duty Faith but never heard a sermon on it.
What is Duty Faith? “…the duty of all men where the gospel comes, to repent and believe unto salvation…” John Foreman
It is argued that faith cannot be a duty of the reprobate or unregenerate sinner as a condition of salvation, rather, our faith is the gift of God after regeneration. (please correct me when I error) Foreman uses a covenantal argument against the idea of Duty Faith. I’ll leave you with a quote from Foreman’s work and the sermon by Pastor Smith.
The error of mixing the covenants: Now I cannot see what the obligations of the Eden covenant of nature can have to do with faith in this covenant of mercy, by a surety’s blood, as a duty; because the most perfect obedience maintained in Eden could in no way, from its very nature, be any title, or even any sort of introduction, to any of the mercy favours: of this covenant. And as the Eden covenant, which was but a fair legal contract between sinless man and his holy Maker, could not, from its very nature, embrace one single salvation blessing of this covenant of mercy, so neither could it devolve one single obligation on man, in regard to the parental and household requirements of this covenant of forgiving mercy to those whom the law of that covenant at once condemns.
The law of works is the standard of the natural man’s legal, and of the sinful man’s penal, obligations to God, according to the Eden covenant; and by that law it was, and is, every natural man’s duty to be naturally pure and sinless, as Adam was at the first, and all in him, and had power so to be; but it is no man’s duty to be a saint in Christ Jesus; it is a great favour to be so, and it is divine favour only that makes any man to be so, and it is the power of divine favour only, that makes any poor sinner to know, believe, rejoice, and live to God under the truth of it. And this being on so different a foundation altogether to that of the natural covenant with pure human nature in Eden, duty faith in this covenant of mercy to the guilty could never come as an obligation on any man from that covenant with sinless nature; which will not even now know any thing but innocency or death; repentance and faith being no part of the obedience or state of man required by the law of works.
And we might very property ask, are the favours of the covenant of life and peace universal, while the covenant itself is undeniably declared to be particular? Are election, predestination, redemption, justification, peace, pardon, sanctification, and final glory in heaven with Christ, universal favours? Because if they are not, to believe them so, Is to believe a lie; and to teach so, is to teach a lie; and to teach any one thing that justly leads to the conclusion that all the rest, to be consistent, must be universal, is but little better than at once teaching of lies altogether. And it must be very fallacious to talk about universal faith without universal interest, since faith and interest are inseparable, according to the word of God. And since faith is the sign of interest, by the promise of God, can it be the duty of all to believe and wear the sign universally, of what is not universally warranted by promise? And are the promises universal? Because, no promise, no ground for faith; for even grace does not give faith where it has not given promise. Or is it the duty of all men to believe unto salvation in such a way, as that by believing they may make that eternally general, which God himself has made eternally particular and discriminate?
Below you’ll find a sermon preached by Pastor Jared Smith of The Baptist Church, Kensington Place London.
Was John Wesley a Christian?
“…the gospel salvation is to be proclaimed to our fellow sinners at large, it will not follow that the gospel salvation is to be offered to all our fellow sinners at large until it be proved that proclaiming salvation, and offering it, are precisely the same thing.
The gospel should always be preached with a view to its being accepted ; but by whom ? By the non-elect ? What hopes soever may be entertained by others of its being received by them, I know not ; for myself, I must confess, that I never had ‘ the least hope, that it would ever be received by a single individual more than God’s elect ; and therefore, could never preach it with a view to its being received by the non-elect. That all the elect will receive it, we have the most positive proof. °1 For whom he did predestinate them he also called.” “All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me.” ” God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” ” As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Let us preach the gospel in all its fullness and glory, with a view to its being received by all the chosen, and then we shall preach according to the oracles of God ; according to the will of God ; and in perfect accordance with sound Calvinistic principles. But if we preach it with a view to its being received by the non-elect, as well as the elect, our view will be hostile to the word of God, to his design, to every sound Calvinistic principle, and instead of doing the work of evangelists, we shall, whatever may be said to the contrary, be found daubing with the un- tempered mortar of Arminianism.
I did not say, that God does not so much as offer his favours to the non-elect ; but that he does not so much as offer his special favours to them. The word special is important in this case, as it marks the distinction, between the common blessings of providence, and the special blessings of grace. To the former such passages as Gen. iv. 6, 7., and Ezek. xxxiii. 2. ; which shall be considered in their proper places, may be applied, which have no relation whatever to special favours.”
“It is reported of the dove, that it will allure wild doves by its familiar converses into the dove-house with it: those who are called by grace, will use all proper ways and methods to allure and gain others to Christ, and to compliance with his ways and ordinances, as the church does the daughters of Jerusalem in this Song.” John Gill on Song of Solomon II:14
“…yet they may preach the gospel of salvation to all men, and declare, that whosoever believes shall be saved: for this they are commissioned to do.” from Cause of God and Truth