Commentary On Article 1: The Gospel -- By: David Hankins
JBTM 9:2 (Fall 2012) p. 19
Commentary On Article 1: The Gospel
David Hankins is Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention in Alexandria, Louisiana. He has served in various denominational roles, including Vice President for Cooperative Program for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Article One: The Gospel
We affirm that the Gospel is the good news that God has made a way of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for any person. This is in keeping with God’s desire for every person to be saved.
We deny that only a select few are capable of responding to the Gospel while the rest are predestined to an eternity in hell.
Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:1-12; Ezekiel 18:23, 32; Luke 19:10; Luke 24:45–49; John 1:1-18; 3:16; Romans 1:1-6; 5:8; 8:34; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 4:4-7; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-16; 2 Peter 3:9
Is The Gospel ‘Good News’ For Every Sinner?
Every person is savable. This is the central claim of the first article in the Traditional Statement entitled “The Gospel.” I have been a gospel preacher for forty-five years. From my youth, shortly after my commitment to follow Christ, I have pursued the calling to proclaim to all people that God has made a way for them to find forgiveness by sending His only Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to die for their sins. This wonderful, astounding message is the gospel which literally means “good news.” There was never any lack of clarity in those who taught me or any doubt in my mind that the message was intended for everyone. This meant more than that it should be preached to everyone. It also meant that everyone—any morally responsible person who heard it—could respond to and receive the saving provision the gospel announces.
I assert that this traditional understanding of Southern Baptists about the salvation of sinners includes this proposition: God meant for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be good news for everyone; God meant for it to be bad news for no one.
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