Theodore Beza’s Annotations on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1599

 

 

The New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ: Translated out of Greek by Theodore Beza; with Brief Summaries and Expositions upon the Hard places by the said Author; here is the full text.

Matt 5:44-45 – “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

A double reason: the one is taken of relatives, that children must be like their father, the other is taken of comparison, the children of God must be better than the children of this world

 

Matt 22:1-3 – “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.”

Not all the whole company of them that are called by the voice of the Gospel are the true Church before God: for the most part of them had rather follow the commodities of this life, and some do most cruelly persecute those that call them; but they are the true Church, which obey when they are called, such as for the most part they are, whom the world despises.

Matt 22:9 – “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.”

God does first call us, when we think nothing of it.

Matt 22:10 – “So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.”

The general calling offers the Gospel to all men, but their life is examined that enter in.

Matt 22:11 – “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment”

In the small number which come at the calling, there are some cast-aways which do not confirm their faith with newness of life

 

Matt 23:37 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

He speaks of the outward ministry, and as He was promised for the saving of this people, so was He also careful for it, even from the time that the promise was made to Abraham.

 

Luke 7:31-32 – “And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?  They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.”

What waysoever God follows in offering us the Gospel, the most part of men procure offences unto themselves; yet notwithstanding some Church is gathered together.

 

Luke 19:41 – “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,”

Christ is not simply delighted with the destruction, no not of the wicked.

Luke 19:42 – “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”

Christ breaks off his speech, which shows partly how He was moved with compassion for the destruction of the city, that was like to ensue, and partly to upbraid them for their treachery and stubbornness against Him, such as has not lightly been heard of.

‘Thy peace’.  That is, those things wherein your happiness stands.

 

John 3:19 – “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Only wickedness is the cause why man refuses the light that is offered them.

 

John 4:5-7 – “Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.”

Christ leaving the proud Pharisees, communicates the treasures of everlasting life with a poor sinful woman, and stranger, refelling [cause to fall again] the gross errors of the Samaritans, and defending the true service of God, which was delivered to the Jews, but yet so, that He calls both of them back to Himself as one whom only all the fathers, and also all the ceremonies of the Law did regard, and had a respect unto.

John 4:10 – “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

By this word (‘that’) we are given to understand that Christ speaks of some excellent gift, that is to say, even of Himself, whom his Father offered to this woman.

 

Acts 3:17 – “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.”

It is best of all to receive Christ so soon as He is offered unto us, but such as have neglected so great a benefit through man’s weakness, have yet repentance for a mean…

Acts 3:26 – “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”

Given to the world, or raised from the dead and advanced to his kingdom.

 

Romans 10:3 – “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

The first entrance into the vocation [calling] unto salvation is to renounce our own righteousness, the next is, to embrace that righteousness by faith, which God freely offers us in the Gospel.

 

Romans 10:5 – “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.”

That the Law regards and tends to Christ, that is a manifest proof, for that propounds such a condition as can be and is fulfilled of none but of Christ only, which being imputed to unto us by faith, our conscience is quieted, so that now no man can ask, Who can ascend up into heaven, or bring us from Hell, seeing the Gospel teaches that both of these is done by Christ, and that for their sakes, which with true faith embrace Him who calls them.

 

Romans 10:19 – “But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.”

The defender and maintainer of the Jews’ cause goes on still to ask, whether the Jews also knew not God which called them.  Isaiah (says the apostle) denies it, and witnesses that the Gospel was translated from them to the Gentiles, because the Jews neglected it.  And therewithal the apostle teaches, that that outward and universal calling [by general revelation], which is set forth by the creation of the world suffices not to the knowledge of God; yea, and that the particular also which is by the Word of God, is of itself of small or no efficacy, unless it be apprehended or laid hold on by faith, by the gift of God; otherwise by unbelief it is made unprofitable, and that by the only fault of man, who can pretend no ignorance.

 

2 Cor. 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Isa. 43:19; Rev. 21:5-22.  He commends the excellency of the ministry of the Gospel both by the authority of God Himself, who is the author of that ministry, and also by the excellency of the doctrine of it: for it announces atonement with God, by free forgiveness of our sins and justification offered unto us in Christ, and that so lovingly and liberally, that God Himself does after a sort pray men by the mouth of his ministers, to have consideration of themselves and not to despise so great a benefit

 

2 Cor. 6:2 – “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

[Beza in this instance is speaking of sanctification, per his comments on 2 Cor. 6:1]

In that grace is offered, it is the grace of God, who has appointed times and seasons to all things, that we may take occasion when it is offered.

 

Hebrews 3:12 – “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

Now weighing the words of David, he shows first by this word, ‘To day’, that we must not neglect the occasion while we have it: for that word is not to be restrained to David’s time, but it comprehends all that time wherein God calls us.

Hebrews 3:13 – “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

While today lasts, that is to say, so long as the Gospel is offered to us.

 

 

 

Related Pages

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel Main Page

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer

1500’s – Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel