With joy of heart but with feeble hand, I, with great thankfulness to Almighty God for once again being allowed and enabled to undertake to magnify His great and matchless Name, now, by His leadership write concerning the propagation of "The Glorious Gospel".
This treatise, having been penned by a great and noble man of days past, was first presented in a series of seven articles which appeared in The Baptist Herald in 1993-94. It was my good honor to edit and send forth to many hundreds of readers, with further distribution being made to multiplied millions perhaps via the world-wide web, this writing in the Baptist Herald.
As I meditated and prayed, seeking God’s face to reflect His consummately wise will in regard to my task of writing in full and total agreement, I have been assured that "The Glorious Gospel" needs to go out. Many need to be comforted, reassured, and encouraged in the face of the oppositions to the necessity of preaching the gospel to mankind just as they are, lost sinners in desperate need of deliverance.
An examination of the realities of the condition of the masses of lost humanity reveals the sobering and awesome truth that apart from the saving efficacy of the blood of Jesus Christ as declared by the gospel, there is no hope or possibility of lost sinners being saved. Ever.
Further examination reveals and confirms that it has eternally been the will and purpose of our Sovereign God to save His elect by the application of the perfect and sinless blood of His Son as the reconciling atonement, or covering for their grievous sins against His holy and righteous nature and character. No other price is demanded by God, and no other ransom is, or ever will be accepted by Him against Whom we all have sinned.
Still further examination will reveal that all deviations or departures from this eternal will and purpose have originated in, and been propagated from creaturehood and never from God. Please note the two prepositions of the foregoing sentence, "in" and "from". These both declare that God is not the author of any doctrine or precept that advocates the salvation of lost sinners by any other means than that which He clearly and unmistakably sets forth in the message of His Gospel. And it pleased Him for this to be His means to effect the salvation that He purposed and that lost sinners so desperately need.
Now, with these truths being clearly presented, it becomes unmistakably obvious that any denial of, or deviation from the preaching of the gospel as God’s declared means unto the salvation of lost sinners is, and must be laid clearly at the feet of the depraved nature and fallen will of the creature.
All deviations or denials have originated in time ... never in eternity. Therefore, we can safely conclude that they are the product of the creature, and differ only in the time in which they were first presented, and in severity of the deviation, remembering that ANY deviation from God’s eternal purpose, will, and means is in fact a denial of His eternal purpose, will, and means. And all such is blasphemous and God dishonoring, and will be judged by Him who is the Righteous Judge.
It is my prayer that all men come away from the errors and heresies of our time and come in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ and to the deliverance that He, and only He provides. Come to Him and to His glorious gospel and be found in His will and standing. Resist not, nor contend for any other than this precious truth.
Elder Oscar Brian Mink was mightily used by God over a period of some forty-five plus years to not only preach abroad the glorious gospel which he dearly loved, faithfully defended, and properly expounded by written word, also was to those who knew him, an outstanding steward and example of a sovereign grace conquered recipient sinner who had been apprehended of the gospel and made willing captive to its tenets, precepts, demands and privileges. He was a God made mighty warrior, conscripted to serve in His victorious army, and enabled and then caused to do so until he had run his course with joy and thankfulness.
It was my great privilege to count him as my dear brother and friend. I was blessed to have thirty plus years of sweet fellowship and wonderful human companionship with him and to share some of the fondest memories and remembrances as we often times journeyed to Bible Conferences and other such gatherings and were encouraged in these occasions and times of good and wholesome worship with the many faithful brethren who came and rejoiced around God’s word.
We talked and talked, prayed and communed these many years, to the enrichment and betterment, I believe, to both and each of us. We grew, matured, and aged together and both believed these precious truths and numerous other wonderfully God honoring and brotherly edifying doctrinal and profound edicts of Holy Writ.
I now prayerfully beseech all, each, and every person who may be privileged to read and carefully, prayerfully consider the subject matter, to do so with one principal thought in mind: Is it true? And then ... If true, then what is my duty?
I ask everyone who has access to this publication to read with your Bible at hand. Read carefully, and verify, from the Scriptures the postulates set forth. Read with the deep-seated desire to know whether these things set forth are in accord with the teachings of the Scriptures. Do not read to condemn but rather to verify. In so doing, you will be not only blessed, but edified and strengthened.
Having been privileged to count Brother Mink as my closest pastoral friend, I can truthfully declare that I always found him to be a greatly blessed and diligent, studious, and scholarly man who prayed, searched, prayed and searched with determination to properly represent God in his work and in his life, and was more than willing to assist others in their searchings. And he invariably did so with genuine brotherly love and concern. He was truly a contender for the faith with the right attitude.
Should you ask anyone who knew Oscar Mink their evaluation of his motive and intent, you will find an overwhelming majority who declare that he was studious and dedicated, and that he had presented himself as a devoted servant of the Lord.
Oscar Mink was a gentleman and a gentle man who journeyed the path that was laid out for him with dignity, grace, and joy. He ran his course, and has now gone to the Father’s house, never, never, ever to depart.
Wm. Doyal Thomas
January 14, 2011
In the preceding chapter (II Corinthians 3) from which our text is taken, Paul, speaking of the Law of Moses, said: it "was made glorious," but went on to say: "For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious" (II Corinthians 3:10-11). The Law of Moses was first the law of God, and therefore glorious, but there is no parallel between the law and the gospel and there can be no comparison made of them, except to highlight the infinite distinction between them. The law was a ministration of condemnation and death; the gospel of Christ is a ministration of righteousness and life (II Corinthians 3:7-9).“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:3-4).
The gospel is glorious because God is its exclusive originator. It is called "The gospel of God ..." (Romans 1:1, Romans 15:16, 2 Corinthians 11:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:8, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, 1 Peter 4:17). The gospel is glorious because Christ is its consummator. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith ..." (Hebrews 12:2; John 19:30). The gospel is glorious, for it is "the sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17), and let no man "grieve the Holy Spirit" by taking the edge off of the gospel sword. Now, let us go to the record God gave of His Son, and see how the Spirit uses the gospel and other means in calling God’s elect out of darkness into light and from sin unto salvation. Notwithstanding, there is a denomination going by the name "Baptist", and many more who emphatically reject and intensely oppose the doctrine of gospel means.
THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE GOSPEL IN REGENERATION
"... For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel" (I Corinthians 4:15).
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23).
There is no intrinsic power in the letter of the gospel. The gospel has no inherent sovereignty in it; it is by itself ineffectual in revealing the Lordship and Saviourhood of Jesus Christ. It is as the sword yet in its sheath, powerless, but when unsheathed by the skillful hand of the Master swordsman, it is the means of subduing some, and putting others to flight. So it is with the gospel sword, when empowered and directed by the Holy Spirit, the enmity in the hearts of God’s elect is slain thereby, and they are given a peace that passes all understanding. The Holy Spirit is the regenerative agent, or the life-giving power. Therefore, it is no demeaning of the Spirit, to attribute to Him the use of the gospel in His quickening ministry. It is through the means of gospel preaching, the elect see Christ lifted upon the pole of Calvary to bear the soul-damning judgment due them, and hence He becomes the object of their world defeating faith (I John 5:4-5).
Regeneration belongs wholly to the sphere of Divine activity, it is a product of sovereign grace, and there can never be regeneration that is according to the will of the flesh. It is "... Not ofthe will of man, but of God" (John 1:13). Man has no volition, option, or action in regeneration, there is no contribution given or made on his part, and none is needed, for man is the clay and God is the potter (Romans 9:21-23). While man is utterly passive in the regenerative experience, he is not irresponsible, for God "... Commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). As with repentance, so it is with faith, for "Without faith it is impossible to please God ..." (Hebrews 11:6). "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God ..." (Ephesians 2:8). Paul says: "... For all men have not faith," and in the same breath, he says: they who have not faith are "unreasonable and wicked men" (II Thessalonians 3:2). Men who are destitute of God-given faith, are utterly depraved, and are in their entity an abomination to God.
However, there is hope, for Jesus "shall save His people
from their sins", and He has in infinite mercy revealed in His unimpeachable
word, how He saves all the Father gave Him in the covenant of redemption,
and that is by the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God. Our Lord
preached the doctrine of regeneration to Nicodemus, saying unto him: "Ye
must be born again" (John 3:7), and then He connected this absolute
requisite with the gospel, saying: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John
3:14-15). It is this very gospel that permeates the New Testament,
and is the instrument God invariably uses in the regeneration of His people.
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed ... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:11-17).
Paul irrefutably declares that a hearing of the gospel of Christ is essential to regeneration, for he asks: "How shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard?"
The concept or idea of regeneration belongs exclusively to the province of omniscience, and its revelation and effectuation is strictly the work of the omnipotent and omnipresent Spirit. Man had nothing to do with his first birth, and he is utterly passive in his second birth, for "the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63). It is no contradiction of the truth stated in the foregoing part of this paragraph to say: No man comes to God without faith and repentance, for these gifts are not of the flesh, but of God, and are expressive of the predestinating love of God for His people. Furthermore, no man ever comes to Christ unwillingly. Some who believe in the sovereignty of God may think, or say, "That smacks of Arminianism." But it is not so, for it is in perfect harmony with the word of God. We are not saying that man in his natural state has a choice or freewill, whereby he determines his own destiny. The natural will of man is not cooperative in the work of regeneration, but is enmity against it (Romans 8: 7-8). In regeneration, man is given a new nature (II Corinthians 5:17), and therewith a new will whereby he can please God, and he comes willingly and joyfully unto God (Psalm 110:3).
While regeneration "is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy" (Romans 9:16), the first evidence or fruit of regeneration is a new heart and will. Simply put, regeneration must be its own witness, as with Saul of Tarsus, his first words at the time of his quickening were: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). In regeneration a new nature is given the subject, and with the new nature comes new and holy desires, and a willingness to please God. God’s will is sovereign and cannot be resisted (Romans 9:19), but the will of the new nature of man is invariably resisted by the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Paul said: "... When I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:21). This is the sad lament of every regenerated person, for they know that as yet they have not put off the old man with his depraved and implacable will, but while their trials are exceeding bitter, they persevere; "because greater is He that is in you (them), than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4).
The gospel says: "Repent or perish" (Luke 13:3). There is great urgency in these awesome words, for they do not allow for deliberation or procrastination. This word "repent" is emphatic, for it points directly to fallen man’s utterly corrupt nature, and calls for an amendment of life that consists in an about-face, wherein the gospel of the substitutionary work of Christ has brought infinite contrition and endless gratitude to his heart. In regeneration the Holy Spirit grants "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Repentance brings with it a genuine regret for having lived a life of rebellion against God’s holy, just, and good law (Romans 7:12). But with repentance comes faith, and by this faith in the Christ of the gospel the sinner is made righteous and stands in the presence of God justified, for God has taken the perfect obedience of His Son and placed it to the helpless sinner’s account. For God is "the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26 ).
Speaking of the instrumentality of the gospel in regeneration, Robert Haldane in his classic, ‘An Exposition of Romans’, says: "The gospel is the great and admirable mystery, which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God, into which the angels desire to look, whereby His manifold wisdom is made known unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places. It is the efficacious means by which God saves men from sin and misery, and bestows on them eternal life, the instrument by which He triumphs in their hearts, and destroys in them the dominion of Satan. The gospel, which is the word of God, is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword. By it, as the word of truth, men are begotten by the will of God." (Pages 46 & 47)
Sovereign Grace Baptists, contemporary and ancient, have never taught that the gospel, per se, saves anyone from their sins. What they have consistently taught is: No person is ever saved without hearing and believing the gospel. Baptists are ever aware of the primacy God has given His word. His word is the antithesis of error, and its light cannot coexist with darkness. Baptists know that God has magnified His word above that of His own name, and that His word shall not return unto Him void, but shall accomplish that which He pleases, and prosper in the thing whereto He sends it (Psalm 138:2; Isaiah 55:11). Baptists know that the gospel is the (instrumental) power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), but they have never attributed to the letter of the gospel redemptive efficacy, for they KNOW it is the PERSON of Christ that saves the sinner from his merited damnation, but they equally know that it is through the gospel that Christ "hath brought life and immortality to light" (II Timothy 1:10).
The opponents of gospel missions argue, saying: "The gospel cannot save, and has no part nor lot with salvation from sin." They are correct when they say the gospel has nothing to do with salvation from sin, for the gospel is truth, the truth upon which regeneration stands, and apart from which no soul shall ever be saved. It is the components of the gospel that Paul refers to when he says: "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ" (Romans 1:16). It is Christ’s substitutionary death, burial, and triumphant resurrection from the grave that is the power of God unto salvation, and Paul tells the Corinthian believers: "... In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel" (I Corinthians 4:15). Paul, in magnifying the saving truth of the gospel, says to the same church: "... I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, ... unless ye have believed in vain" (I Corinthians 15:1-2).
Paul knew the gospel was not the author of salvation. He knew the gospel did not have the power to forgive sin, and he knew as surely as any man ever knew that the all-wise God had ordained the manifestation of Christ’s particular and insuperable salvation by the preaching of the gospel, and so much so, that to reject the gospel was to reject Christ (John 12:48). It is Christ and Christ alone that died for His people, it is Christ and Christ alone that took the guilt of His people into the grave of forgetfulness, and it was Christ and Christ alone Who arose from the grave with the scars of redemption in His body. It is this gospel Paul said, he was set in defense of (Philippians 1:17); and it is this same gospel Paul spoke of when he said: "... Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel" (I Corinthians 9:16).
Paul knew the gospel was the gift of God’s unmerited grace, and that it was and is the power of God unto salvation. He knew there was no room for dilatoriness in his call to preach the gospel, and so it is he says: "... Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (II Corinthians 5:11). Paul knew the gospel was heaven’s ordained means in calling God’s elect people unto everlasting glory, and he knew the Holy Spirit empowered and endowed the gospel with regenerative light. So in view of the high and exalted place that God had given the gospel in the scheme of redemption, Paul said: "... Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel" (I Corinthians 9:16). Any and all preaching that does not give the gospel the honor, power, and place God has given it in the covenant of redemption has aided and abetted the enemy’s cause, and the only safeguard against such shameful compromise is an impartial loyalty to the word of God and a perpetual praise of the Holy Spirit for revealing to you the gospel of your salvation.
The gospel of grace and regeneration have an eternal and indissoluble union, they are really two aspects of the same thing, and that is the eternal unconditional election of God. It is this great truth Paul stresses when he says: "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48).
Only an artificial analysis can separate the gospel from the regeneration of these Gentiles, for the immediate context connects "the word of God", or gospel light with the regeneration of these Gentiles, whereby their election was manifested.
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