Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel Articles



Westminster Divines: Free Offer of the Gospel



Order of Contents

Historical Theology





Rutherford, Samuel – Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism: the Tables of Contents with Excerpts from Every Chapter  tr. Charles Johnson & Travis Fentiman  (1638-1642; 1668; RBO, 2019)

6. ‘Whether all are directly obligated in the same way and by the same principle [jure] to believe in Christ announced by the gospel?  We deny with a distinction against the Remonstrants.’, pp. 89-90

Rutherford distinguishes that all sinners are to believe in Christ by the same law, with regard to the evangelical mandate and conscience, but that all are not to believe by the same law, so far as the decree of God goes, distinguishing elect and reprobate, based on who Christ died for.

18. ‘Whether Reprobates are required to believe in Christ, He not having died for them? [Yes]’, pp. 94-95



Webster, James – If Any Man Thirst, 1705, a sermon preparatory for the Lord’s Supper, taken from his Sacramental Sermons and Discourses at the Lord’s Table. 

Webster (1659-1720) was a Scottish Covenanter who was imprisoned for his faith. After the killing times were over, he was ordained to the gospel ministry in the Church of Scotland.  This is an outstanding example of Scottish Presbyterian experimental preaching.

Boston, Thomas

Christ Demanding Admission into Sinners’ Hearts  1716  in Works, vol. 3

Present Room for Sinners in Christ’s House  in Works, vol. 3

Appleton, Nathaniel – How God Wills the Salvation of All Men; and their Coming to the Knowledge of the Truth, as the Means thereof, in a Sermon on 1 Tim. 2:4  1753

Appleton (1693–1784) was an American congregationalist minister.

Gib, Adam

The Open Door of the House of Mercy, 1774, 7 pp.

This is the best theological analysis of the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel.  Gib posits the grounds of the Sincere Free Offer in the Revealed Will of God, as opposed to the Decrees of God and the Extent of the Atonement.  He distinguished and guards the doctrine from a General Atonement of the Arminians on the one hand, and relates it to Biblical Limited Atonement on the other hand.  Gib was a mid-1700’s Scottish minister from the Seceder tradition.

Concerning the Gospel Call and the Warrant of Faith  1747, 31 pages, from his The Present Truth: A Display of the Secession Testimony, vol. 2, Progression 5.  With an introduction by Rev. Fentiman.

This is the larger section from which the above shorter article comes from.  If you liked the abbreviated version, read Gib in full!



Alexander, Archibald

Christ Standing and Knocking at the Doorno date or source info, 5 paragraphs

Sinners Welcome to Come to Jesus Christno date or source info, 37 paragraphs

M’Cheyne, Robert M.

God in Christ Reconciling the World, on 2 Cor. 5:19, nine paragraphs

“The Gospel Call” a sermon on Prov. 8:4, 1888, in Memoir and Remains of the Robert Murray M’Cheyne, ed. Andrew Bonar, p. 365-371.

Chalmers, Thomas – Appropriating the Calls of the Gospel, 1849, 8 pages, from his Institutes of Theology, as published in The Master’s Trumpet, Issue 3, April 2006, the magazine of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).

Chalmers writes about the perplexity in which a hearer may be entangled if he fails to respond with simplicity to the plain directions of the gospel call.

Cunningham, William – The Extent of the Atonement and the Gospel Offer, 1863, p. 343, 5 pages, from his Historical Theology, vol. 2

Dabney, Robert – God’s Indiscriminate Proposals of Mercy, as Related to His Power, Wisdom, and Sincerity  1890, from his Discussions, vol. 1, p. 282, 30 pp.

Duncan, John “Rabbi”

Behold the Lamb of God, a sermon on John 1:29, 1840, 24 paragraphs

Effectual Calling, on Shorter Catechism #31, 13 paragraphs, from In the Pulpit and At the Communion Table, 1874, edited by David Brown

Forsaking our own Mercy, on John 2:8, five paragraphs



Berkhof, Louis – Calling in General and External Calling  (1950)  26 paragraphs  in Systematic Theology

Murray, John

The Free Offer of the Gospel, 1948, 52 paragraphs, being the Majority Report of the OPC on the subject, co-written with Ned Stonehouse and Arthur Kuschke

This is the classic exegetical defense of the position from the most pertinent scriptural passages.  Murray is always careful.

John Murray’s Articles on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

John Murray Compared with the Post-Reformation on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Watson, T.E. – A Summary of Andrew Fuller’s The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, 1959, in Puritan Papers, vol. 1, 1956-1959, p. 276-281

Piper, John – ‘Are there Two Wills in God?’  1995  83 paragraphs



Clark, R. Scott – “Janus, the Well-Meant Offer of the Gospel and Westminster Theology”, in The Pattern of Sound Doctrine: Systematic Theology at the Westminster Seminaries; Essays in Honor of Robert B. Strimple, edited by David VanDrunen  Buy  2004

Clark analyzes the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in light of the historic reformed distinction of archetypal and ectypal knowledge.  Archetypal knowledge is that knowledge which God has of Himself, being infinite, which cannot be communicated to any creature, and relates to his secret will and decrees.  Ectypal knowledge is that knowledge which the creature as a creature has of God, which includes the Sincere Free Offer, and is analogous to, and founded upon, God’s archetypal knowledge.

“Janus” in the title of the article refers to a two-faced Greek god, which H. Hoeksema antagonistically characterized the Sincere Free Offer with.  Clark responds to this charge.

Roberts, Maurice – The Free Offer of the Gospel, 2005, the text of a 19 min. sermon

Silversides, David

The Free Offer Of The Gospel: Is It Biblical And Reformed?    no date, 15 paragraphs

The Meaning of Matt 23:17, 2005, 9 paragraphs, from his book The Free Offer: Biblical & Reformed, p. 50-52

Watts, Malcom – The Necessity and Justification for the Free Offer of the Gospel, 2009, 63 paragraphs

Maclean, Donald

‘James Durham (1622-58) & the Free Offer of the Gospel’  2010  28 pp.  in Puritan Reformed Journal, vol. 2, #1, Jan., 2010, p. 92 ff.

Dr. Maclean: “It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Durham (1622-1658) teaches that God desires the salvation of all men.”

‘Free Offer of the Gospel’  40 paragraphs  being an address first given in February 2020 at the Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Newcastle, UK.  At

McCurley, Rob – The Free Offer of the Gospel in the Free Church of Scotland, 2014, 5 brief points, 11 paragraphs

Murray, David – ‘Daddy, Does God Want to Save Me?’  2014  16 paragraphs

What will you answer your child?  Murray simply and helpfully explains the right answer: Yes, in light of Deut. 29:29 and 1 Tim. 2:4.

Fentiman, Travis

Bible Verses on Common Grace and the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel, 2014, 34 passages with commentary

Jesus the Friend of Sinners, 2014, 10 paragraphs

Is Jesus friendly to the unconverted?  The Bible says Yes.

Jesus’ One Complaint, 2014, 1 paragraph and 7 quotes

What is the one thing that Jesus complains of in the Gospels?

John 3:16 – God’s Love for all Mankind in the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel, 2014, 16 paragraphs



Historical Theology


On Calvin

Beach, Mark – Calvin’s Treatment of the Offer of the Gospel & Divine Grace  (2011)  22 pp.  in Mid-America Journal of Theology

Beach concludes (p. 75) that “Calvin is content to say that God wills the salvation of all… in addressing the matter of the offer of the gospel to sinners, thus to elect and non-elect alike, Calvin does not refrain from talk of divine mercy, fatherly favor, paternal love, maternal kindness, goodness and grace directed toward all people.”




Related Page

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel Main Page

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel