The Preaching Of The Word: An Offer Of Grace And Summons To Embrace It

Therefore one has in the preaching of the Word an offer of the promise of grace and a summons to embrace it; both are directed in this way to the elect as well as to the reprobate. But only in the elect does God work what he commands. In order that out of that entire multitude a church might appear, united by God himself in Christ, God begins that solemn negotiation, as in a marriage compact, not with a sealing of grace offered, in general (for many reject it openly so that it cannot be sealed to them; and moreover the Lord does not desire to enter into covenant with the hypocrites, who secretly harden themselves, as would be the case if he himself were the first to affix the seal). Rather in the foundation by visible signs, he begins with what was last in the offer of grace, namely, so that we may subject ourselves with our seed and not harden our hearts to the divine command by which he summons us to receive the offered grace. Then follows the sealing of the grace first offered in the gospel and also the special bond of God.

Caspar Olevianus, De substantia, 1585; 2.54


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