Chapter 20. Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof
Article 1. After the commandment to Adam was broken by sin, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect and producing in them faith and repentance. In this promise the gospel was revealed, as to its substance.
Article 2. This promise of Christ and salvation by Him is revealed only by the Word of God. The works of creation and providence, with the light of nature, do not disclose Christ or grace through Him, even in a general or obscure way. Much less are men who are destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise or gospel enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.
Article 3. It is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God as to the nations and persons to whom the revelation of the gospel is granted at different times and in various places. This revelation is not granted by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men's natural abilities by reason of common light received without it, which none ever made, or can do so. Therefore, the preaching of the gospel has been granted in all ages to persons and nations, as to the extending or restricting of it, variously according to the counsel of the will of God.
Article 4. The gospel is the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace and is as such abundantly sufficient for this purpose. Nevertheless, an effectual work of the Holy Spirit in the soul is necessary, for the producing of a new spiritual life in men, so that they who are dead in trespasses may be born again, quickened, or regenerated. Without the work of the Spirit no other means will effect their conversion unto God.