A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
By Benjamin J. Montoya
About the Author
Andrew Fuller (1754–1815) was an indefatigable Baptist theologian and pastor, an outstanding figure with qualities that make him one of the most attractive figures in Baptist history. Self-taught when it came to theology, Fuller immersed himself in the works of Baptist and Puritan authors, including John Bunyan and John Gill, John Owen and Jonathan Edwards. Ultimately, though, it was to the Scriptures that he looked for his theological convictions. The importance of his theological achievements was noted during and after his life. The College of New Jersey (1798) and Yale (1805) both awarded him a DD, though he declined to accept either of them. C.H. Spurgeon did not hesitate to describe Fuller as “the greatest theologian” of his century, while the Southern Baptist historian A. H. Newman said that “his influence on American Baptists” was “incalculable.” Without a doubt, he was the most important theologian of the late eighteenth-century transatlantic Baptist community.
The gospel is worthy of all acceptance from everyone. That is, faith in Christ as explained in the gospel is required from everyone. Scripture teaches it to be so. And no objection can stand to this point, though many have made objections to it. If we understand this doctrine rightly, we will see our despair apart from trusting in Christ and our only hope in Christ for salvation.
In This Book, You Will Learn:
- Why faith is a requirement for everyone
- How the Bible demonstrates this point in both the Old and New Testaments
- The necessity of proclaiming the gospel to everyone
- The true state of despair for those who do not believe
The Larger Contribution of This Book:
The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies explains the historic contribution of this book: “His first major work, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, which appeared in 1785 with a second edition in 1801, proved to be an epoch-making book that decisively refuted Hyper-Calvinism and laid the theological foundations for the modern missionary movement.”
Table of Contents
Part 1 The subject shown to be important, stated, and explained
Part 2 Arguments to prove faith in Christ to be the Duty of all men who hear or have opportunity to hear the gospel
Proposition 1 Unconverted sinners are commanded, exhorted, and invited to believe in Christ for salvation.
Proposition 2 Every man is bound cordially to receive and approve whatever God reveals
Proposition 3 Though the gospel, strictly speaking, is not a law, but a message of pure grace; yet it virtually requires obedience, and such an obedience as includes saving faith
Proposition 4 The want of faith in Christ is ascribed to men’s depravity, and is itself represented as a heinous sin
Proposition 5 God has threatened and inflicted the most awful punishments on sinners for their not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ
Proposition 6 Other spiritual exercises which sustain an inseparable connection with faith in Christ, are represented as the duty of men in general
Part 3 Objections answered
- The principle of holiness possessed by man in innocence
- The Decrees of God
- Particular Redemption
- The Covenant of Works
- Inability to believe
- The work of the Spirit
- Necessity of a Divine Principle in order to Believing
The subject shown to be important, stated, and explained
The gospel is worthy of all acceptance among every single person. The NT lays great stress on the importance of everyone receiving Christ as He is presented in the gospel. But, some may wonder why it is important to take up this topic in the first place. Why is it?
There have been disputes about this very issue. There was an argument in Andrew Fuller’s day that claimed that faith was not necessary for salvation. Rather, as long as someone was interested in God’s special favor, they could be saved. For example, Mr. Anderson wrote a book entitled The Scripture Doctrine of the Appropriation, which is in the nature of saving faith, claiming that the gospel contains a gift of Christ and spiritual blessings to mankind. “But the gospel contains no gift or grant to mankind in general beyond that of an offer, or free invitation.”
But, part of the problem is that many Christians simply have not cared about this doctrinal debate. Scripture presents faith as the required response from all. First, Scripture is clear that we need to embrace Christ for ourselves by faith. Second, Scripture presents faith as resting on the object of Christ in the gospel, not on anything else whatsoever. Third, saving faith with its object on the glory of Christ is a sure foundation; we cannot hope that our salvation rests on any other kind of evidence. Fourth, all evidences of faith in the NT are just that, and not merely an interest in God’s special favor; it was actual trust that Christ was able to heal someone because of Who He is. To be clear, faith itself is not the ground of our salvation; Christ himself is. Faith is trusting in Christ.
Faith is the duty of every person who hears the gospel. The Bible presents this to be so. The rest of the book will now turn to arguing for this point.
Arguments to prove faith in Christ to be the Duty of all men who hear or have opportunity to hear the gospel
Unconverted sinners are commanded, exhorted, and invited to believe in Christ for salvation.
The Scriptures make clear that it is the duty of the ungodly to have faith in Christ. Consider the following Scriptures: Psalm 2:11–12: “11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” In this text, the kings and judges of the earth are commanded to serve the Lord, the Messiah. This psalm is a messianic psalm that points to the coming of Christ. These people that are commanded to do so are not just the godly. It includes the ungodly as well. “The command of God addresses to these rulers is of a spiritual nature, including unfeigned faith in the Messiah, and sincere obedience to his authority.”[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
Buy the books
THE GOSPEL WORTHY OF ALL ACCEPTANCE: OR, THE DUTY OF SINNERS TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, by Andrew Fuller