Gospel Preaching 2

Let me tell you that God sets before you Christ upon gospel terms, which are these three. First, God in the dispensation of the gospel propounds Christ to lost sinners as the only necessary and all-sufficient means of salvation. Christ is the only necessary means of salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” {Acts 4:12} And Christ is the all-sufficient means of salvation so that we need none but Him. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” {Heb.7:25} Hanserd Knolly (Baptist, 1645)

Gospel preaching sets forth Christ upon Gospel terms. This should be shouted to the heavens and to the ends of the earth (so to speak), but there are ways, terms, and methods that the Gospel should be preached and without those the Gospel is not preached. A man can stand in the front of a building (regardless of how many listen to him) and say many true things about the Bible and about God and still not preach the Gospel. A man can stand in front of a congregation of people Sunday after Sunday and say many biblical things and many moral things, but he can be without the Gospel. A man can say many true things about Christ and many true things that are true of the Gospel, but that man can still miss preaching the Gospel of the grace of God. It is also true that a man can set forth many of the distinctives of the orthodox teaching on justification and of the cross and not preach the Gospel.

It is an absolute part of Gospel terms to show that Christ and Christ alone is the only necessary and all-sufficient means of salvation. In our easy day of desiring to be nice rather than to stand for truth, Christ is seen as a one way of salvation and it is thought that those who say He is the only way are narrow and judgmental. As has been said long ago, we should be amazed that God has provided a way of salvation instead of being upset that He has not provided more. We should also be utterly amazed that God has saved some sinners rather than complaining that He does not save them all. While not all will argue about the sufficiency of Christ on the face of it, many will argue about the absolute necessity of Christ. Yet, this is the only way that the Gospel can be proclaimed in truth. If Christ is not absolutely necessary for salvation, then there are other ways of salvation and other ways of glory. If Christ is not absolutely necessary for salvation, then there are either other ways of grace or there are now ways of merit. In those cases, then, those are not ways God has revealed.

The absolute necessity of Christ alone for salvation appears to be a minority view in our day among the professing Church even. What we must see is that unless Christ alone for salvation is preached then we are preaching another gospel according to Scripture. We must also see that Christ alone is the all-sufficient means of salvation as well, which is really a twin truth to the absolute necessity of Christ alone for salvation. If Christ is not all-sufficient, then there is something else that is sufficient or contributes to His sufficiency. If Christ is not all-sufficient, then it is but a short step to conclude that He is not absolutely necessary for salvation.

For many it is okay to preach Christ as long as He is not preached as the only necessary means and the all-sufficient means. But the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be preached in truth and reality unless He is preached as the only necessary and all-sufficient means of salvation. If the cross was not necessary and all-sufficient, then Christ is not the only necessary and all-sufficient means of salvation. If the imputed righteousness of Christ is not absolutely necessary and the self-sufficient means of salvation, then Christ is not either. If the mediatorial work of Christ in making intercession for His people is not the necessary and self-sufficient means of salvation, then Christ is not either. If the Divine nature of Christ taking human flesh to Himself is not the necessary and self-sufficient means of salvation, then Christ is not either.

The denial that Christ is the necessary and all-sufficient means of salvation is really demonstrative evidence that a person does not believe in the Person or work of Christ and the Gospel of grace alone. There is no preaching of the Gospel at all if Christ is not preached as absolutely necessary and as the all-sufficient means of salvation. Not only is there no Gospel preached where those things are denied, there is no Gospel where those things are not clearly and plainly taught. The ramifications of statements like this are enormous in our day and in all days. This reaches to ecumenical issues. This reaches to theological “differences” between Calvinism and Arminianism. This reaches to those who proclaim to be historical in their theology and yet are not openly declaring that Christ is all-sufficient and that anything less is not the Gospel of Christ alone. If it is not by Christ alone, then it is no real Gospel at all.

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