21 July, 2019

II Corinthians 5:11—“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men …”


Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences (II Cor. 5:9-11).


COMMON GRACE ARGUMENT:
“When Paul speaks of ‘persuading’ men, does that not mean that the preaching towards the unbelievers must be couched in ‘persuasive’ language, which surely would include language of a ‘gracious, well-meant offer’?”



(I)

Prof. David J. Engelsma

The preacher of the gospel seeks to win over to Christ by faith those to whom he preaches.  To that end he presents Christ as attractively as Christ deserves:  the only Savior of sinners from sin and death.

God uses this persuasive approach to bring the elect to faith.

But for this persuasive approach to be effective in the salvation of anyone, the Spirit of Christ must give faith and soften the hard heart.

What the Reformed have against the notion of persuasion held by the free and well-meant offer of the gospel, is that it teaches that the sinner is naturally persuadable, by a free will, and that the effectual persuasion is accomplished by the skill of the preacher by himself, rather than by the effectual work of the Holy Ghost.

The method is persuasion; the power is the grace of God, that uses the persuasion.

If the salvation of the sinner depends upon the persuasive power of the preacher, the effect will always and only be that upon King Agrippa, in Acts 26:28: “almost.” But “almost” is not enough for salvation. (DJE, 10/07/2019)


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(II)

More to come! (DV)






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