Think now of the sinfulness of the sins which our gracious God has pardoned. Some sins are planned and deliberated on, and each plotting and devising entails sin. Some sins are swarming with many other sins. Some sins are proud, wanton, cruel, blasphemous, and impudent. Some are repeated. Some are aggravated and persisted in. Yet, even the poison from these sins the Lord removes abundantly. How can God do this and remain just? The means of this abundant pardon reside in the atonement of His Son, and His Righteousness.
4 “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
A leader and commander for the peoples.
5 “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,
And a nation which knows you not will run to you,
Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:4-8 (NASB)
We have been looking long and hard at the narrowness of the Gospel and how it it is not editable. It is not open to change. No matter how much a person wants it to be otherwise, it is unchangeable. It is God’s Good News to fallen man. This good news is the proclamation that there is a way, only one way, for sinful people to be reconciled to God. It is good news because all people suffer from the same condition. They are born dead in trespasses and sins and are not morally able to do anything about it. This separates all of us from God because He is Holy and must judge all sin. The Gospel declares that Jesus Christ went to the cross and became sin on our behalf. God judged our sin in Him. This “atoned” for our sins. Now let us look at the pardon available to all who believe.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18 (NASB)
In the passage I placed at the top of this post, Isaiah 55:4-8, we read the prophet setting forth the mission of Jesus Christ. What is it? That mission was to be a witness to and commander for the peoples. As we read the Gospels we see that our Lord made an appeal to sinners straightway. He did this because He comes to sinners. Sinners do not come to Him. This lines up with our study of the Moral Inability of the natural Man. What does the Lord proclaim when He comes to sinners? He proclaims pardon to them as a call to faith and repentance. It is an immediate, frank, spiritual and complete offer of an abundant free-grace pardon for “he will abundantly pardon.”
Now let us pause for a moment and think about the ways and means preachers we have heard make the “gospel call.” What inducements have they made? Think of someone like Joel Osteen who is “mister positive.” The gospel he preaches is one of coming to Jesus so your life will be made better. The gospel of Charles Finney was somewhat similar. A study of his Systematic Theology is quite eye-opening for he was an unvarnished Pelagian. His concept of salvation was that people should commit themselves to moral living and seal that commitment by making a decision for Christ.