In Romans 1:16 the apostle Paul declares, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
I praise God for the gospel message that has the power to save sinners who repent and believe. I believe the gospel message contains life changing and life giving power. Proverbs 4:22 tells us that “these words to those who find them” and then John 6:63 clearly says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” I believe the gospel is the means God uses to draw the lost to a point of conviction that leads to a response of repentance or rejection. Most calvinists will argue that God uses the gospel message to draw the elect to repentance as well.
I do believe this is unquestionably what the Bible teaches but I adamantly disagree with the calvinist position and will argue that not only is it inconsistent WITH calvinism it is impossible in the calvinist system. Now, understand, I did not say this is inconsistent with what calvinists maintain but it is impossible where calvinism is concerned.
The preaching of the gospel in calvinism CANNOT draw the elect to Christ and here is why: according to the tenets of calvinism, until regeneration takes place the unrepentant person has a dead heart, deaf ears and blinded eyes; he is dead. A lost man cannot respond to the gospel unless and until he is FIRST regenerated. Once regeneration takes place, he can do no other than respond with repentance and believing faith. So in all actuality, the gospel has NO bearing at this point whatsoever; repentance and believing faith are the result of and a response to regeneration and effectual calling NOT the gospel.
This has to be true or the whole concept pf total depravity and inability fails and the calvinist system in total with it.
Like it or not, for the calvinist, the gospel is for sanctification NOT conversion.