The Design of the Atonement: For Whom Did Christ Die? – V

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson provides criticism of theories of universal atonement.

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[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for another privilege to study the Scriptures. Again, we ask for guidance and direction as we try to think through some of the significance of our Lord’s death for us. We rejoice in the assurance that “Thou hast chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” We thank Thee that through the work of the Holy Spirit, Thou hast communicated the message to us and applied the benefits of the death of Christ so that we have come into the experience of salvation.

Now, as we think over the purpose of our Lord’s death, the diving intent back of it, enable us to think clearly and in such a way that Thy grace and Thy truth may be magnified. We commit this hour to Thee and each one present to Thee. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

[Message] Our subject is again, “The Design of the Atonement” or “For Whom Did Christ Die?” And this is our fifth study in this subject. I really had hoped originally to be able to cover it in about three times, but I have been doing some extra study and that always slows me down. And further, we have a lot of material this is worth considering, so our studies are stretching out a little longer than I had anticipated. We are studying the design of the atonement, or for whom did Christ die? We can put the question in more than one way.

We can, for example say, did Christ die for all men indiscriminately or to save his elect personally and definitely. That’s one way to put it. Did Jesus Christ die to save all men indiscriminately or did he die to save his elect? We can put it in another way, which is really very similar. We can say instead of this “for whom” kind of question. We can have a why kind of question, and we can say, did Christ die to save or to render savable? Did he die to save certain men, or did he die to render savable certain men? The question then concerns the definiteness of the atonement. We can speak of indefinite redemption. We can speak of definite redemption, or indefinite atonement and definite atonement. And we’re seeking to adduce answers to the question from both theology and Scripture.

Now, I think last time I actually left out a point in my outline or put it down a little illogically. But this is my outline, Roman III, the theological and scriptural answers to the problem, and capital A, the theological arguments for universal atonement. Tonight we want to take a look at, we have already taken a look at one of them, we want to take a look at these arguments which are theological in character for universal atonement. That is for the view that Jesus Christ came to die for all men indiscriminately. The first argument which we discussed last time at considerable length is the argument from universal gospel preaching. It is said that universal preaching demands universal atonement otherwise the offer of eternal life is simply empty form. Now, what this really means essentially is, if we say that the gospel is to be preached to all men, and we have been saying that both view point that we are considering do say that the gospel should be preached to all men. One of these groups, those who believe in an indefinite atonement, those who believe in a universal atonement say that the universal preaching of the gospel without a universal atonement would make the offer of the gospel simply an empty form. So, universal preaching demands universal atonement. Further, God is inconsistent to offer all men a salvation which is designed for only a certain number, the elect. And in addition, men are without warrant to rest in an atonement which is for a certain number if they do not know that they themselves are included in that number. Now, I hope that we understand these questions. That is what I tried to tell you last week.

Now, we have seen, I hope, that the warrant for preaching universally the gospel rests in the universal commission which our Lord Jesus Christ has given us. No one questions the fact that the Bible says that we are to preach the gospel to every creature with whom we may come into contact under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel. So, if we did not understand these theological questions at all, we could at least be sure of the fact that we have a commission to preach the gospel universally. So, our right and our responsibility to preach the gospel lies in the great commission.

I pointed out, or tried to last time to point out, that the Arminian with his infallible foreknowledge, for the Arminian who believes in universal atonement does believe that God infallibly foreknows all who will believe. I tried to point out that the Arminian with his infallible foreknowledge and the Calvinistic Hypothetical Universalist who says Christ died for all, but God has a secret decree that pertained to the elect, that both of these two who held these particular view points, because of man’s inability to responds, are just as inconsistent as they say the definite atonement men are. For you see, if the Arminian who says that we must preach the gospel to every creature admits that God infallibly foreknows those who will believe and that no other persons can believe but those, then by the same objection which he has given, his own theory comes into question. For, how can you preach a gospel universally to all, offering them life in Jesus Christ when you know that God knows, and this cannot be changed that only certain ones will respond. Is not then the offer then, under those circumstances, near empty form?

Or to take the case of the Hypothetical Universalists, what we have called popularly a four point Calvinist, if he believes that the gospel is to be preached to all because Christ died for all, but all are unable to respond of themselves, because of human depravity. And sense according to his own views, the Holy Spirit must work in the hearts of the elect to bring them to Christ, then is he not, according to this reasoning, inconsistent to offer the gospel to all men if he knows that only those who have the Holy Spirit’s work in applying the redemption will believe? Does not then the offer of salvation to all become, according to his own reasoning, near empty form. For the Holy Spirit will apply the gospel only to the elect. I tried also to illustrate what we are dealing with here by the offer of the kingdom which the Lord Jesus offered when he came. He offered the kingdom to Israel. It was really offered, and yet at the same time it was foreordained that they would reject it, and crucify our Lord Jesus Christ.

We turned to Acts chapter 2, verse 22 through 24 and sought to show from the teaching of Scripture that our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming and crucifixion was by determinant counsel and foreknowledge of God. That is, it was planned and therefore, known ahead of time by God. By the way, it was known ahead of time, because it was determined by God. The order of those words suggests that. “By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God ye have taken and crucified Jesus of Nazareth.” So, it is possible for a genuine offer to be given, but at the same time it to be foreordained what the response should be.

I also tried to point out that the only possible offer of the gospel is a universal one. And I tried to point out that the atonement is sufficient for all, and that God provides no obstacle for its efficacy to anyone. I do not think that this objection to a definite atonement is a valid one.

Now, we are going to come to a second argument tonight, the argument from the grace of God. These are arguments that are set forth by men who believe in universal atonement, that Christ died for all men indiscriminately. It is often thought, sometimes said, that definite atonement limits the grace of God. If I should say I believe that Jesus Christ died for the elect, does not that limit the grace of God? This is the argument. I think the simplest reply to this is to point out that by this atonement not one person is excluded who is to be saved, even under the universal scheme. How can it be a limitation of the grace of God, when the result of this view of the atonement is the salvation of the same number and the same individuals as that that occurs under a theory of universal redemption? It’s true that not all men are to be saved, but this does not occur by the atonement. It results from unconditional election. That’s the reason that the atonement has a limited design. It’s not because the atonement in itself is not sufficient. It’s because the purpose of God in election is from distinguishing grace.

Now, I’m going to read again a passage right at this point which I read once before, I think, I believe, in my notes I have a reference to the fact that I did this. But since Mr. Spurgeon has spoken on this point so plainly and so clearly, I think it well for us to bear this in mind. And I’m going to read it again. There are one or two of you here who were not here three or four nights ago. This is what Mr. Spurgeon says in connection with this. “We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it, we do not. The Arminians say Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, ‘No, certainly not.’ We ask them the next question-Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They say, ‘No.’ They are obliged to admit this if they are consistent. They say, ‘No; Christ has died so that any man may be saved if”-and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say then, we will just go back to the old statement-Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say ‘No;’ you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why you… You say that Christ did not die so as infallibly to secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon when you say we limit Christ’s death. We say, no my dear sir, it is you who do it. We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved.”

Now that is a statement which Mr. Spurgeon has made in connection with limited atonement, I think you can see why a man who believes in definite atonement does not really like to admit to the belief in the term, “limited atonement.” It is a term that the opponents of the doctrine of definite atonement have thought of. It is perhaps unnecessary to remind Arminians that their view of universal atonement is not without its limits, and further detracts from the glory of God. They say that this doctrine of “limited atonement” detracts from the grace of God, limits the grace of God. Well, let me ask you, let’s just suppose for a moment that you take the position that Christ died for all men, and you have said to me, your doctrine, if that is my doctrine, I’m going to assume it for a moment, “You’re doctrine that Christ died only for a certain segment of humanity. You’re doctrine detracts from the grace of God.”

Now, I ask you a question, are there men, are there creatures besides men who are in need of deliverance? Well, of course we all know that men are lost, but are there other creatures that are lost. Why yes, there are other creatures that are lost. There are fallen angels that are lost. Are there not? Are angels creature? Do they have intelligence? Could we say of them that they are individuals? We do not say, so far as the Bible is concerned that they are persons, and yet they certainly are spirits. Now, does your atonement, your universal atonement cover the redemption of angelic beings? No, it doesn’t. Well then you see the limitation of the work of Jesus Christ is built into your own theology as well. You have said your atonement is limited to men. Does you atonement then detract from the grace of God, because it does not cover the salvation of angels?

Now, you can see that this is the kind of an argument that would be found in a theological seminary. Let me ask you another question, if you believe that Jesus Christ died for all men, and that all men may be saved if, and then you lay down your conditions, and I assume that you in this discussion with me, you are biblical enough to believe that the only condition is faith in Jesus Christ. So, Jesus Christ died for all men and all men may be saved if they believed. Now, the facts are, and you will admit that, that not all men are saved. You will admit to me, that only the elect are saved, and of course, I have said that Jesus Christ came to save those elect. You say he came to save a great number, a great mass of humanity, all men, if. How many are saved? Why, the same number that are saved according to my limited theory. And as a matter of fact, not only the same number, but the same individuals, the same names.

Now, I want to ask you, does my theory which says that God has accomplished precisely what he intended to accomplish, does that magnify and glorify the grace and power and plan of God more than a theory which says that Jesus Christ came to die for all men, but God’s purpose was frustrated and defeated by his own creation. Now, I ask you, which one glorifies God the more a theory which leaves us with a frustrated deity or the plans of a deity that are frustrated, or one in which a deity sovereignly accomplished precisely what he intended to accomplish by the coming of his Son. It seems to me that the second theory glorifies God more than the first, for the first curtails the power, the depth, and the effectiveness of the grace of God. Well, I don’t think too much of that argument as you can tell.

There is another argument, the argument from the sin of unbelief. This argument goes something like this. It’s claim that the sin of unbelief cannot be charged to the non-elect if Jesus Christ did not die for them. No one can reject something which was never intended for him. Now, I have in my mind someone who has written on this point a particular objection, and he has said, “No one can reject something which was never intended for him nor extended to him in the first place. Now, I would like to object to that last clause, because we have already said that we do accept the view point that the gospel is extended to all men, that is there is a universal offer of salvation. So, we have to object to that. We must ask ourselves, can anyone reject something which was never intended for him? Now, I would like to object to that. By the way, I do think that someone can bring some good arguments against a definite atonement. As I said in my very first lecture, I don’t think that this case is so clear cut and so obvious that there’s not room for discussion. That would be foolish. We’ve had discussion over this question for a century or two, serious discussion over it. And we have had no considered conclusive proof, until the present [Laughter] of one position or the other.

Now, seriously we have not, and furthermore, I do not think that we shall have as long as we are here, any kind of conclusive proof that will so sway the minds of biblical students that no one will any longer hold to an unlimited redemption. And so I can only say I don’t accept this particular argument. Let me try to illustrate. Now, illustrations are always human, and I’m not sure that this is a good one. It seems that in my history somewhere, and I am getting so old that I cannot always go and pick out the precise spot where I heard this or read this, but it seems that this illustration which I thought up this afternoon was suggested to me many, many years ago somewhere or other. And if any of you have been reading any of the literature, and you’ve run across something similar please tell me, because I would like to document it.

But let’s just imagine. I want to try to illustrate how it is possible to reject an offer that was not intended for you. Let’s just suppose for an example that we have a Cruise to the Caribbean announced, and a great number of people sign up for this cruise to the Caribbean because it’s going to be a fun trip. And we fly to Houston or to Miami, and we get on a large liner, and we make our trip to the Caribbean. And on the way back we come off the shore of Florida, and suddenly something happens to the boat. It has developed a leak. It becomes evident that it is going to sink.

Now, on that boat are the sons and daughters of a very wealthy man. Let’s assume that he charters a boat. Now, his intention in chartering this large boat which is sufficient to bring all the passengers to shore, let us assume that the purpose of the rich man who charters the boat is to save his own children, but at the same time, as they make their way out to the large liner, an announcement is made of the fact that there are places aboard for those who sense that they’re going to sink and drown and would like to come aboard. They’re welcome aboard. Now, it’s possible for them to reject an offer that was intended for them.

Now, that’s a human illustration, and Gerald Chester, his mind is working right now trying to find some flaws in it, and perhaps he will find some. But it seems to me that it is possible to reject an offer that was not intended for a person. Well, at any rate, I don’t think that argument is too significant. [Comment from the audience] Is that right Thank you elder Prier. It’s been about two years since I read Hodge, so that shows you that my memories worse than I thought it was. [Laughter] I thought it was ten or fifteen years ago that I had read that. I hate to tell you that I read Hodge even, I skipped that part evidently, but I even looked over it again this past week.

Four, the argument from faith as a second saving instrumentality, the argument of faith as a second saving instrumentality; it’s sometimes said, and Dr. Louis Sperry Chafer said this, “It is sometimes said that the cross is not the only saving instrumentality. Men must believe or accept the atonement. Thus one cannot affirm that since Christ is said to die for all, all must be saved, because the cross is not the only saving instrumentality.” As Dr. Chafer puts it, for the sin of unbelief “assumes a specific quality in that it is man’s answer to what Christ wrought.” So, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all, but the penalty is not remitted before belief. If they do not believe, they are condemned for unbelief. The sin question, having now been settled, the only question is the question of one’s acceptance of the Son. Now, you have often heard evangelists say that the sin question has been settled. The question now that faces men is the Son question. Sins have been paid for, but now the issue is, what will you do with Jesus Christ? Now, that makes interesting and catchy reading and preaching, but it does not handle the question and the Scriptures which say that we are judged because of our sins, in the plural. And there are a number of passages that say that we are still in our sins, from our Lord himself. But nevertheless that is what is said.

Now, what can we say to this kind of argument? In the first place, I want to say that it’s true that vicarious atonement without faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ is powerless to save. The fact that Jesus Christ came and died for a specific group of people does not mean that they are saved immediately. The Bible says we are saved through faith, as Shedd says, “It is not the making of this atonement, but the trusting in it that saves the sinner.” Now, the making of the atonement is the ground of our salvation, but the instrumentality by which we receive it is faith. It is the atonement that saved. It is faith that puts us in touch with the atoning work, but we cannot be saved if we do not believe. It must be imputed as a result of the appropriation by faith.

I think Shedd has a very good section on this, and I’m going to read again if you don’t mind. He says it better than I could say it if I tried to summarize him. He says, “The making of this atonement merely satisfies the legal claims, and this is all that it does. If it were made, but never imputed and appropriated, it would result in no salvation. A substituted satisfaction of justice without an act of trust in it would be useless to sinners. It is as naturally impossible that Christ’s death should save from punishment one who does not confide in it, as that a loaf of bread should save from starvation a man who does not eat it. The assertion that because the atonement of Christ is sufficient for all men, therefore no men are lost, is as absurd as the assertion that because the grain produced in the year 1880 was sufficient to support the life of all men on the globe, therefore no men died of starvation during that year. The mere fact that Jesus Christ made satisfaction for human sin, alone and of itself, will save no soul.” He later says in the same paragraph, “It is nothing for them but a historical fact. In this state of things, the atonement of Christ is powerless to save. It remains in the possession of Christ who made it, and has not been transferred to the individual. In the Scripture phrase, it has not been imputed. Now lest you answer me and say, ‘Ah, then you are saying then that this program depends upon human faith. Thus can we not say that God’s purposes hinge on what man does?'”

Now, that of course, over looks the most important fact, this most important fact that it is by virtue of the atonement which Jesus Christ has accomplished that the work of the Spirit in giving us faith, in grace is carried out. So, the work of the atonement deals not only with the penalty of sin, but also with the resulting work of the Holy Spirit by which he, in grace, applies it by giving faith and bringing us, through his grace into intimate with what Christ did for us, or with Christ who did this for us.

John Owen says, “The act of God in laying our sins on Christ, conveyed no title to us to what Christ did and suffered. This doing and suffering is not immediately by virtue thereof ours, or esteemed ours; because God hath appointed something else [namely, faith] not only antecedent thereto, but as the means of it.” In other words, in the purpose of God it was, not that men should be saved by the atoning work of Christ only, but that men should be saved by the atoning work of Christ through faith. That was his purpose. Now, that’s what the Bible says. For example, Romans chapter 3, in verse 25 says, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” So the satisfaction that Jesus Christ has offered is to received through faith, and that is the purpose of God. We cannot separate these. The debt of sin is not the same as a pecuniary debt, because these there are questions in the atonement that go far beyond what a person may owe to another if has a money debt. Redemption then is accomplished by the atonement of Christ and the application by the Spirit. And the application by the Spirit is conceived of as being in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

Now, the second thing that I would like to say to this kind of interpretation, that that particular objection does not rescue that person from the fact that sin, the sin of unbelief, is the sin that Jesus died for. Now, you see one of the reasons that my friends who believe in universal atonement say that the cross is not the only saving instrumentality, but that faith also is requires is because they want to give faith a special category, and thus be able to say that Jesus Christ died for all sin but faith or unbelief. Now, I don’t think you can escape that. And again, I refer to John Owen, the greatest English theologian, in my opinion, who was chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, and Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, a man of unseal talent in theology, and a man also of unusual talent in saying in fifty pages what really should have been said in five. [Laughter] But being a Puritan, that is endemic, all the Puritans are like that. They all right that way. If you could just through a Puritan’s book and divide it up into about, if you could just boil it all down to about a third of what was there, then you would have some books that we could read in the 20th Century. [Laughter] But my goodness, most of you life will pass, if you were to read all the Puritans, before you got through.

Anyway, John Owen was a great theologian, no doubt about it. He said this, “The Father imposed his wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for either all the sins of all men; second, all the sins of some men, or some of the sins of all men.” In other words, Christ died for all of the sins of all men, all the sins of some men, or some of the sins of all men. “In which case,” Owen said, “it may be said that if the last be true, that Christ died for some of the sins of all men, all men have some sins to answer for, so none are saved. If the second be true, that Christ died for all the sins of some men, then Christ in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth. But if the first be the case that Christ died for all of the sins of all men, if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due to their sins? Well you answer,” He says, “because of unbelief. I ask is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it or he did not. If he did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died? If he did not, he did not die for all their sins.”

Now fifth, the argument from the evangelists’ message, it is claimed that if we believe that Jesus Christ died for the elect, then evangelists can no longer say Christ died for you. Now, I must say in answer to this that that’s true. If Jesus Christ died for the elect, then I as an evangelist could not say to you, Christ died for you. I couldn’t say that. I’ll read you another statement. “The fact is that the New Testament never calls on any man to repent on the ground that Christ died specifically and particularly for him.” Can you think of any text in the Bible in which men are called upon to repent on the ground that Christ died specifically and particularly for him?”

The man continues, “The basis on which the New Testament invites sinners to put faith in Christ is simply that they need him and that he offers himself to them. And that those who receive him are promised all the benefits that his death secured for his people. What is universal and all inclusive in the New Testament is the invitation to faith and the promise of salvation to all who believe. The gospel is not, ‘Believe that Christ died for everybody’s sins and therefore for yours’ anymore than it is ‘Believe that Christ died only for certain people’s sins, so perhaps not for yours.’ The gospel is, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for sins and now offers you himself as your savior. This is the message that we are to take to the world. We have no business to ask them to put faith in any view of the extent of the atonement. Our job is to point them to the living Christ and summon them to trust in him.”

Now, I must say that this is true, as I’ve said, but a similar problem exists for the evangelist who believes in election. Let’s just suppose for a minute that you believe in election, that you don’t accept, necessarily definite atonement, but you do believe in election. Let’s just say that. Let’s suppose that we do. Well, you cannot say to an individual, now you can say for him by your theory, Christ died for you. But you cannot say to him, if you believe in election, the Holy Spirit will apply the work of Christ to you, if you believe in election, can you? By this same reasoning, you cannot. So, you’re in still the same kind of quandary.

As a matter of fact, you cannot say, “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” You couldn’t even say that under either of these theories. Now, are you shocked? I hope that you’re shocked, because that means that at least you’re hearing what I’m saying. We don’t have a right to say that. That’s not a biblical truth. What can we say? Well, I can say Christ died for sinners, and I can say that God promises believers in Jesus Christ life. I can that with all of the authority of the word of God. Christ died for sinners, and if you’ve recognized the fact that you are a sinner, and you come in faith to Jesus Christ, you have the promise of the word of God that he receives you and gives you life.

Now, what more wonderful gospel would you want than that? Christ died for sinners. Are you a sinner? Well you say, “I’m not a sinner.” Well, then no gospel would do you any good. You do not want a gospel. But if we say that Christ died for sinners, and God promises believing sinners life, what more do we need? I don’t think we need anything more than just that. And that is the gospel, and that is the way we should preach it if we hold to a definite atonement by Jesus Christ.

Now, I’m going to stop tonight, but next time we want to take up the arguments that are based on certain texts of Scripture, the argument from the term “all.” “He gave himself a ransom for all.” That’s a pretty good argument. Or “Christ tasted death for every man.” Hebrews chapter 2, verses 9. That’s pretty convincing isn’t it? We’re going to take up arguments based on the term world. “He is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world.” Now, if you believe in a universal atonement you ought to be here next Wednesday night, and see if I can handle some of these questions, some of these arguments. I admit that some of them are good, because I admit that this question is not easy to settle.

Third, the argument from passages said to teach a universal saving will. ‘He is longsuffering not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” What should we do with a text like that? I know you’re thinking I’m going to show up next Wednesday night. [Laughter] But I am going to show up next Wednesday night. D.V. Dao Valente, and we’re also going to try to handle the argument from passages said to teach that some for whom Christ died may perish. Now that, I think is the most significant argument for this position. And we will try to handle some of the texts. I hope we get to the texts under this particular one next time.

But there are many texts such as, 1 Corinthians chapter 7, Hebrews chapter 10 verse 29, 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 1. By the way, in many of the treatments in definite atonement that passage is not handled. And Mr. Prier came to me last time and said, “I read Charles Hodge on the question of the extent of the atonement and he handled everything beautifully, except he said nothing about 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 1 where the statement is made that “the false teachers were bought.” “Denying the Lord that bought them.” And I went back and I looked at my Charles Hodge on that, and I had a little not up there, 2 Peter 2:1 question mark. And further Howard, not only is that true of Charles Hodge, but John Murray, and excellent theologian who just retired a few years ago from Westminster Theological Seminary, a reformed theologian, has a book on the application of redemption, and he a very beautiful treatment of this subject, but he too says absolutely nothing about 2 Peter 2L1, and I also put in the margin of my copy there, 2 Peter 2:1 question mark. Why no discussion of it. So, I had a friend at Westminster Seminary, so I wrote him and I said, “Get Mr. Murray to answer the question regarding 2 Peter 2:1” And I still have in my files at home, and I can find it, the answer of Professor Murray to 2 Peter 2:1, and we will talk about that next time. Let’s bow in a closing word of prayer.

[Prayer] Father we are grateful to Thee for this privilege of study. We realize Lord that we are dealing with things that are very deep, and things that require a great deal of concentration. Enable us to think clearly, and above all Lord, help us to see the glory of Thy marvelous grace through the sovereignty of the plan of God and the exhibition of the character of God that we see in the work of redemption.

We pray that regardless of what we may say about the theories, we may not forget that the atoning work of Jesus Christ is that upon which we, by Thy grace rest for our eternal salvation. And we worship and adore Thee and praise Thee and do desire, oh God, that Thou will motivate us to preach the gospel universally by the power of the Holy Spirit. May gratitude for what Thou hast done for us move and motivate us to communicate the message to as many as Thou dost desire that we, through the Spirit do.