Having been enlightened to the invisible work of God, we come now to the earthly detail of our salvation – after having heard the Gospel, we come to belief and trust in Christ. God never apologizes for free grace; yet, neither does He apologize for calling all men to faith through the preaching of the Gospel. Rather there is a tension that exists between God’s sovereign choice and the free offer of the Gospel.
We see an example of this in Matthew 11 where Jesus thanks His Father for revealing Himself to babes while hiding Himself from the prudent. In verse 27 He says that only those whom He wills to reveal the Father to, will come to know Him; all this, yet in verse 28, He calls all men to come to Him. Some believe that a general call for all men to come is incongruous with a salvation which is the product of God’s good pleasure alone; so they fail to press upon the wills of men to make a decision to come to Christ. Failure to understand the role of man’s responsibility to obey the command to come to Christ, have caused many preachers to refuse to compel them to come. But the means that God uses to place us in Christ is faith which comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:9-17). No one can say they are a Christian apart from hearing and receiving the word of truth. We become Christians as that which has been previously unattractive, boring, and incomprehensible is believed, and so becomes alive, vibrant, and understood. The definition of a Christian then, is one who has rested his trust and hope in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation. It is the Gospel preached, heard, believed, and trusted that is the power of God unto salvation.