Article 27

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What we Believe







"The Gospel"

By Elder W.S. Craig

Reproduced from "Primitive Baptist Faith and Practice" by Elder W.S. Craig.

The blessed gospel of the grace of God is the glad news or joyful tidings of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. It proclaims the rich and wonderful mercy of our gracious God to poor, lost, needy sinners, who in heart-experience feel to be under a heavy load of sin and guilt, and wearied with going about to establish their own righteousness. It was designed, and is especially suited, for the spiritually wounded, weary, sick and helpless. It plainly declares God's grace which is so sovereignly free and infinitely rich to all those given spiritual ears to hear this joyful sound. It is not an offer of salvation at all, but the sweet message of deliverance through that unconditionally free and finished salvation wrought out by our glorious and blessed Redeemer. Its most blessed truths give our merciful God all the praise, and it fully reaches down to all poor, hungry, thirsty and contrite-hearted souls.

"To the poor the gospel is preached."-Luke vii. 22. "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor."-Luke iv. 18. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God."-Is. xl. 1,2. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."-Is. iv. 1. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden."-Matt. xi. 28. "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."-John vii. 37. "Blessed are the poor in spirit;" "Blessed are they that mourn;" "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."-Matt, v. 3,4,6. This blessed gospel is positively discriminating, for verily it is only the needy and helpless soul that leans through its felt necessity upon Jesus Christ. If the blessed Lord of mercy has been pleased to open any one's heart, the above scriptures should convey a good definition of this glorious "gospel of the grace of God."-Acts xx. 24.

While we all are subjects of moral address and exhortations to right living, only the regenerated are subjects of this gospel address. In the absence of the Holy Spirit's gracious heart-work, no bearer or preacher (no matter how highly otherwise gifted) can conceive of or convey, a correct definition; for they can only be expected to look to, declare their views of the law, and love and magnify the doctrines and commandments of men. God alone can prepare the heart and give spiritual wisdom. And without a spiritual mind and wisdom, spiritual things cannot be understood. 1 Cor. ii. 14. "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary."-Is. i. 4. This blessed gospel proclaims soul-rest for the weary, and they only enter into that gospel rest in the perfect and finished work of Jesus Christ after they have ceased from their own works, as God did from His. Heb. iv. 10. God alone calls and qualifies all those He sends forth to preach, and burdens them with a message of heavenly mercies for His people.

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