John Murray on the Free Offer

Some interesting thoughts from the great defender of the free offer of the gospel:

It is the word of reconciliation that is committed to the church, the proclamation of the reconciliation once for all accomplished when ‘God was reconciling the world unto himself in Christ’ (2 Cor. 5:19).  This is the gospel message.  The corresponding exhortation addressed to man is ‘be ye reconciled to God’ (2 Cor. 5:20).  And the import of this plea on Christ’s behalf is that men should enter into the relation constituted by ‘the reconciliation’ and appropriate the grace that it establishes and conveys.  No office possesses greater dignity and glory than the proclamation of the message and of the plea.  For it is as ambassadors on behalf of Christ, and as of God beseeching through them, that the preachers of the evangel pray men to be reconciled to God (cf. 2 Cor. 5:20).  All that the atonement means and secures is that of which sinners dead in trespasses and sins are invited to become partakers.  And the demand of Christ’s commission to his ambassadors is that he, in the integrity of saviourhood and lordship as prophet, priest and king, be presented to lost men for their faith, love, and obedience.  In this presentation there is no restraint.  He can not be brought too close to men’s responsibility and opportunity…

Two immediate thoughts:
1) Murray is correct in highlighting the dignity that belongs to the office of the ministry.
2) Murray is correct that the gospel does not offer half a Christ – it offers the whole Saviour in all the glory of his person.


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