Note 4. It is the business of an Evangelist to preach the Gospel to every creature—and to state to all the relation of Faith to salvation.

This the inspired preachers of the New Testament continually did. Thus the Lord presented Faith to Nicodemus, (John 3:14-16;) to the Jews, (chaps, 5:24, and 6:40 and 47;) and to the man to whom He gave sight, (9:35-38.) Plainly also He stated the alternative of unbelief. (John 3:18 and 36; and 8:24.)

Thus, also, He instructed His apostles to preach, bidding them tell men that, “he that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

In obedience to His injunction, Peter explained the relation of Faith to salvation, in his Pentecostal sermon (Acts 2:21); and Paul, at Antioch, informs his hearers that the blessing of Justification belongs to “all that believe,” (Acts 13:39.)

These are typical instances. In none of the cases cited are the verbs in the imperative mood. The verses quoted are not commands, but statements of general acceptation. They are simple declarations of the gracious and blessed fact that Faith and salvation are conjoined: that those who believe in His Son, share the pardoning love of God; while the dire con­ demnation of the Law will be visited on all who live and die without Faith in Christ.

Such testimony should be given by all Gospel ministers in the present day.

When, however, an Evangelist has to deal ‘personally with anxious enquirers, or is led to preach the Gospel specifically to those who are awakened to solicitude about sin and its conse­quences, he should direct and encourage such characters to trust in the Lord Jesus. This is the command of the Gospel. Obedience to it is “the obedience of Faith.”

This command is nowhere addressed to men as men, or even to sinners as sinners—but to such sinuers as give evidence that they are conscious of their peril, and anxious to be rescued from it by Jesus Christ. It presupposes a gracious change in those to whom it is addressed. It is a merciful reply to the early distress of a regenerated sinner.

Thus Peter enjoined those who were “pricked in their heart” to “repent and be baptised upon the name of Jesus,” which involves the idea of trusting in Him. (Acts 2:38.) Paul and Silas likewise commanded the jailor to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” for it was amply apparent that he was in the proper condition to receive the gracious direction.

This obvious distinction between preaching Faith declaratively to all men, and directly and personally to sensible sinners only, is so apparent in the Bible, that it is a marvel that any fail to recognise it.


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