is the gospel of Jesus Christ?
You may be wondering whether the cross of Christ is efficacious
to save you. Have you ever been curious what it means when Christians
ask you: "Are you saved?" Perhaps you have asked yourself,
"from what am I being saved?"
Dr. John Gerstner
has rightly said that there is one place better than heaven, and
one place worse than hell. It is right now. If you are a Christian
you are in a better place than heaven because you can work out
of gratitude to God for what He has done and be rewarded with
gifts of grace. As a Christian, you can be conformed more to Christ's
likeness through sanctification. However, for the unbeliever,
now is a worse place than hell. The unbeliever is storing up wrath
upon himself for the day of wrath. Every moment that he remains
in unbelief, he is storing up eternal judgment that will be passed
upon him one day. Therefore, now is the day of salvation
the LORD while he may be found; he may be found of you.
Read very carefully below.
- God is not
only supremely merciful, but also supremely just. And his justice
requires (as he hath revealed himself in his Word) that our sins
committed against his infinite majesty should be punished, not only
with temporal, but with eternal punishments, both in body and soul;
which we can not escape, unless satisfaction be made to the justice
- Since, therefore,
we are unable to make that satisfaction in our own persons, or to
deliver ourselves from the wrath of God, he hath been pleased of
his infinite mercy to give his only-begotten Son for our surety,
who was made sin, and became a curse for us and in our stead, that
he might make satisfaction to divine justice on our behalf.
- The death
of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction
for sin; is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to
expiate the sins of the whole world.
- This death
derives its infinite value and dignity from these considerations;
because the person who submitted to it was not only really man and
perfectly holy, but also the only-begotten Son of God, of the same
eternal and infinite essence with the Father and Holy Spirit, which
qualifications were necessary to constitute him a Saviour for us;
and because it was attended with a sense of the wrath and curse
of God due to us for sin.
the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ
crucified shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise,
together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared
and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and
without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends
- And, whereas
many who are called by the gospel do not repent nor believe in Christ,
but perish in unbelief; this is not owing to any defect or insufficiency
in the sacrifice offered by Christ upon the cross, but is wholly
to be imputed to themselves.
- But as
many as truly believe, and are delivered and saved from sin and
destruction through the death of Christ, are indebted for this benefit
solely to the grace of God given them in Christ from everlasting,
and not to any merit of their own.
- For this
was the sovereign counsel and most gracious will and purpose of
God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most
precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing
upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them
infallibly to salvation: that is, it was the will of God, that Christ
by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant,
should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, to
salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer
upon them faith, which, together with all the other saving gifts
of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death; should purge
them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before
or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to
the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish
to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.
- This purpose
proceeding from everlasting love towards the elect, has, from the
beginning of the world to this day, been powerfully accomplished,
and will, henceforward, still continue to be accomplished, notwithstanding
all the ineffectual opposition to the gates of hell; so that the
elect in due time may be gathered together into one, and that there
never may be wanting a Church composed of believers, the foundation
of which is laid in the blood of Christ, which may steadfastly love
and faithfully serve him as their Saviour, who, as a bridegroom
for his bride, laid down his life for them upon the cross; and which
may celebrate his praises here and through eternity.
From the Second Head of Doctrine at the Synod of Dort, 1619