The Purtians maintained a robust, analytical and comprehensive understanding of the Gospel that covers a wider view of the doctrine of redemption that most of today’s Gospel presentations. They went beyond today’s focus on sin and forgiveness and considered the roles of the persons of the Trinity, the nature of the law as a guide to sin and the destiny of the lost. JI Packer describes their approach as, “preaching ‘Gospel sermons’ meant teaching the whole Christian system – the character of God, the Trinity, the plan of salvation, the entire work of grace….the good news of a restored relationship with God through Christ cannot be understood further than it is seen in a comprehensive context.” Compare the three summaries from Thomas Manton, Thomas Goodwin and John Owen to what we hear taught from our pulpits.
All who, by true repentance and faith, do forsake the flesh, the world, and the devil, and give themselves up to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as their creator, redeemer, and sanctifier, shall find God as a father, taking them for His reconciled children, and for Christ’s sake pardoning their sin, and by His Spirit giving them His grace; and, if they persevere in this course, will finally glorify them, and bestow upon them everlasting happiness; but will condemn the unbelievers, impenitent, and ungody to everlasting judgment.
The first part God the Father had the chiefest hand in, who drew the platform of this great work, contrived it, made the motion first to His Son…The second, God the Son, when He came down and took flesh and…transacted the redemption of the world according to that draft. And after Him, came the Spirit, to apply what He had done, and all the benefits of it.
The Gospel promises are: 1) the free and gracious dispensations; and 2) discoveries of God’s good-will and love to 3) sinners 4) through Christ; 5) in a covenant of grace; 6) wherein, upon His truth and faithfulness, He engaged Himself to be their God, to give His son to them, and for them, and His Holy Spirit to abide with them, with all things that are either required in them, or are necessary for them, to make them accepted before Him, and to bring them to an enjoyment of Him.
Quotes from JI Packer (A Quest for Godliness)