The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 12
The ability to believe the gospel is not inherent within the sinner, but rather is a sovereign gift from God. That is to say the ability to believe the gospel unto salvation in Jesus Christ is as much a sovereign gift from God as the salvation in Jesus Christ in which the sinner believes. John Calvin comments, “Everything connected with our salvation ought to be ascribed to God as its author.”
This important doctrine of faith being a sovereign gift from God is what is meant by sola fide or faith alone. It is explicitly set forth in the following Scripture.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- 2 Peter 1:1 - Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
- Philippians 1:29 - For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,
- John 6:35-40 - Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:35-40 ESV)
- John 6:41-50 - So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. (John 6:41-50 ESV)
- Acts 13:48 - And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Soli deo Gloria!