The Gospel is of the nature of a DECLARATION or PROCLAMATION.[1]

This appears from an examination of the terms by which it is described in the New Testament.

It is “the word of God,” (Acts 13:44;) the “word of His grace,” (Acts 19:3;) and “the word of this salvation,” (Acts 13:26.) A word is the expression of a thought—the vehicle in which an idea is conveyed: and the Gospel is the oral or written expression of the gracious thoughts of God concerning the salvation of men.

It is a testimony, (Acts 22:18;) and the vocation of the preacher is to testify (or bear witness, or give evidence) to the great facts which the grace of God has originated, (Acts 20:21, and 33:11.

It is a declaration—a ‘making known’ to men in current speech, of the things which concern their peace. (Acts 20:21, and 23:11.)

It is a proclamation—a “forthcrying,” or urgent and earnest statement of the way of salvation, (Isa. 61:1,2.)

It is the publishing of important intelligence, after the manner of a herald, (kerusso, 1 Cor. 1:23.)

It is announcing good news or glad tidings (euaggelizo, pronounced euangelizo, Gal. 1:16.)

It is to talk or discourse (lateo, Acts 11:19;) and once it is called speaking with boldness, (Acts 9:27.)

All these express or imply that the vocation of the preacher is to make known to sinners how they may obtain salvation.

Preaching the Gospel is, therefore, the declaration of all the great and gracious facts on which the redemption and renova­tion of sinners depend. It is not reiterating the name of Christ without reference to the purposes which centre in the person of the Son of God. It is not threatening men with damnation if they do not instantly believe the message of mercy. It is not shouting, “Come to Jesus,” without declaring to whom the invitation extends. It is not begging and intreating natural men to become spiritual men, and to do what only spiritual men can. It, however, is,—what the words referred to express and involve—the intelligent and comprehensive exhibition and exposition of the “way of salvation.” (Acts 16:17) The Gospel is a declaration of the way in which sinners are saved by sovereign mercy, sacrificial merit, and spiritual might, and due prominence should also be given to the will of the Father, the worth of the Son, and the work of the Holy Ghost.

How far much that is supposed to be Gospel corresponds with this ideal, let the reader, if he is a spiritual man, judge. (1 Cor. 2.)

[1] These “Notes” on “Article 11, The Gospel: Its Nature And Invitations” are found in William Jeyes Styles’ book, “A Guide To Church Fellowship, As Maintained By Primitive Or Strict And Particular Baptists”, published 1902.


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