committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







The Philadelphia Confession, 1742


Chapter 20

Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof

  1. The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance;1 in this promise, the Gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and therein effectual, for the conversion and salvation of sinners.2

  2. This promise of Christ, and salvation by Him, is revealed only by the Word of God;3 neither do the works of creation, or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of grace by Him, so much as in a general or obscure way;4 much less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise, or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.5

  3. The revelation of the gospel unto sinners, made in divers times, and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises, and precepts, for the obedience required therein, as to the nations, and persons, to whom it is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God,6 not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men's natural abilities, by virtue of common light received without it; which none ever did make, or can do so:7 and therefore in all ages the preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations, as to the extending or limiting of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.

  4. Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ, and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses, may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary, an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit, upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life;8 without which no other means will effect their conversion unto God.9


1. Ge 3:15.
2. Rev 13:8.
3. Ro 1:17.
4. Ro 10:14-15,17.
5. Pr 29:18; Isa 25:7; 60:2-3.
6. Ps 147:20; Ac 16:7.
7. Ro 1:18-32.
8. Ps 110:3; 1Co 2:14; Eph 1:19-20.
9. Jn 6:44; 2Co. 4:4,6.

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