The Synod Of Dort On The Sincere And Promiscuous Offer Of The Gospel

Moreover, the promise of the gospel is that whosoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have eternal life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations,2 and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of His good pleasure sends the gospel (2.5).1

As many as are called by the gospel are sincerely called. For God has most earnestly and truly declared in His Word what is acceptable to Him, namely, that those who are called should come unto Him. He also seriously promises rest of soul and eternal life to all who come to Him and believe (3/4.8).2

Synod of Dort,1619.


1. Cæterum promissio Evangelii est, ut quisquis credit in Christum crucifixum, non pereat, sed habeat vitam æternam. Quæ promissio omnibus populis et hominibus, ad quos Deus pro suo beneplacito mittit Evangelium, promiscue et indiscriminatim annunciari et proponi debet cum resipiscentiæ et fidei mandato.

2. Quotquot autem per Evangelium vocantur, serio vocantur. Serio enim et verissime ostendit DEUS verbo suo, quid sibi gratum sit, nimirum, ut vocati ad se veniant. Serio etiam omnibus ad se venientibus et credentibus requiem animarum, et vitam æternam promittit.

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  1. Do you see this as the same as the “well-meant offer”? I’m a little fuzzy on the terminology.

  2. I the well-meant offer of the Gospel was good enough for the assembled theologians at Dordrecht, it’s good enough for me. I can see the logic: proclaim the Gospel, and let the Holy Spirit make it bear fruit wherever He will. Lord, may there be many, many, many Lydias in our time, who hear the Gospel and whose hearts you open. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  3. I have always enjoyed how Dordt used the word “promiscuously” in a positive sense — promiscuous has become such a negative word!

    • Yes, it’s an archaic usage. We could see indiscriminately or even freely but it certainly contradicts the vision of the Reformed sitting around trying to figure out who is elect.

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