Is the Outward Calling of the Gospel a Mere Formality Since No one Can Respond?
Someone recently told me that the outward calling of the gospel (in Reformed theology) is merely a formality (and not genuine) since no one can respond to it. But this is like saying it is vain (or a mere formality) for a farmer to cast seed on the ground since it will not sprout on its own without rain and the right weather conditions. The Scripture declares that Word and Spirit work together. We indiscriminately cast the seed of the gospel and some falls on fallow ground while others on ground that has been plowed up (by God). Yet. even then the word by itself will still not be fruitful unless God showers it with blessing from above and the Spirit works by germinating the word in people's hearts (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5)
Election does not save anyone, but is a blueprint of what God intends to do in time through the redemptive work of his Son, proclaimed by His church, and applied by the Holy Spirit on those He has set his affection on (Eph 1:3-5)