I Corinthians 2:12,“ Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we would understand the things freely given us by God.”
Freely given by God does not mean that God has made an offer of a free gift if we accept it by faith alone. Freely given by God means that we don’t have to work for any of the blessings of salvation. But freely given by God also means that faith alone is given in salvation and therefore not a condition of salvation.
“Freely given” means “sovereignly given”, given ‘”without a cause”, given by God to the elect chosen and loved in Christ. I Cor 2:12 explains that the elect are given the Spirit to UNDERSTAND the things freely given us by God.
One of the blessings given by God in Christ is understanding the word of the cross, which word I Cor 1 calls the power of God. The power of the gospel brings hearing to the elect, so that they understand not only that things are given by God, but also that these things are given freely, sovereignly.
Faith alone is not the condition, but to see that, we need a message which tells us about God’s election. Salvation is not by works, but to see that, we need a message which tells us about the “freely given”.
Romans 1:16, “the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Evangelicals understand this as teaching that salvation is conditioned on faith alone. Evangelicals don’t understand the gospel.
The gospel of “for the elect alone” needs to be proclaimed to every sinner because that very gospel message is the power of God which saves and causes elect sinners to believe. The gospel proclaimed to a non-elect sinner is not the power of God for salvation, but rather “to those who are perishing, a fragrance from death unto death.” (II Cor 2:16).
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