Stunning

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A SLANDEROUS REPORT

A SLANDEROUS REPORT

"And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just." - Romans 3:8


It is impossible to preach salvation by grace alone, without being charged with evil accusations. When a man boldly and constantly declares that God's election is unconditional, an eternal work of grace that can never be nullified or altered, -- that Christ's atonement is an effectual redemption of our souls and an everlasting, complete expiation of his people's sins, -- that regeneration, the new birth, salvation is a matter of free grace and therefore unconditional and everlasting, -- that God's gift of eternal life is eternal, men cry out against the gospel of free grace, and say, -- "That is evil doctrine. That promotes sin and licentiousness. If you preach that you will encourage men and women to sin."

I have received more letters than I care to count, either warning me or accusing me, asserting that the doctrine I preach will cause people to live carelessly in disobedience and every imaginable evil. This is the common experience of gospel preachers in this world. It always has been and always will be. Our Lord Jesus was accused, by self-righteous legalists of being a wine-bibber, a sabbath breaker, and a rebel, one who was opposed to God's law and a trouble maker. Those same people, self-righteous, religious legalists, accused the apostle Paul of saying, "Let us sin that grace may abound." Because he preached free salvation in Christ, by unconditional, unqualified grace, without works, the legalists accused him of being against the law. They slanderously accused him of saying, "Let us do evil that good may come."

The Holy Spirit tells us plainly that any who make such charges against the gospel of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ are a people "whose damnation is just." That is sobering; but those are the words of Romans 3:8. Their damnation is just because the charge is not made merely against the preacher personally. It is made against the gospel we preach and the God we serve. Therefore, those who slanderously charge God's servants with saying, "Let us do evil that good may come," are a people "whose damnation is just."

Every faithful gospel preacher constantly preaches the gospel of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ, declaring that sinners are justified freely by the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, without works.

Without apology, I constantly affirm that blessed doctrine of the gospel.

I rejoice to declare that every believer is entirely free from the law of God and that God will never charge his people with sin, because he has found complete satisfaction for our sins in the blood atonement of his dear Son.

I place no form of legal bondage upon the children of God. I do not threaten God's elect with punishment or entice them with promise of reward in order to get them to do what they ought to do. I preach absolute grace, perfect substitution and immutable mercy, assuring those who believe that God will never cease to be gracious to them.

This is the armor in which I have done battle for thirty years. And I do not intend to lay it aside until my warfare is over. Let men reproach me for it as they will. I am willing to have my name and reputation scandalized.

If need be, I am prepared to lose friends and family and face bitter, implacable enemies.

I am perfectly willing and content to be scorned throughout the world as a vile antinomian. I am accustomed to such things.

But I am determined, by the grace of God, not to drop or conceal one iota of gospel truth, particularly as it relates to Christ's glorious, effectual redemption and God's irresistible, efficacious grace.

I am always happy to stand in the company of others. But I am willing to stand alone.

In either case, I will not alter, or even slightly modify my message! You will either be saved by God's free and sovereign grace in Christ, without your own works, or you will go to hell trying to do something to save yourself. God help you to cast off the filthy rags of your self-righteous, religious legality, and trust the righteousness of Christ.

AMEN.

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