Dear Duty-Faith Preacher
First, it appears that you believe the omission of saving faith is a sin. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." [1 John 3:4] That which is a transgression of the law is of necessity a work and duty of the law. Therefore, you cannot avoid teaching that saving faith is a work of the law if you teach that the omission of saving faith is a sin. For sin is transgression of the law.
Note: When a child of God falls from their steadfast assurance of their hope in Christ, they transgress the law of faith. This law directs needy sinners to rest in and live by the free grace of God in Christ. This law is distinct from the law of works. In great love, God chastises his children under the law of faith; He does not threaten them with the curse of the law of works.
Second, it appears that you believe souls are damned/cursed for the omission of saving faith. "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." [Galatians 3:10] Eternal damnation and the curse are administered through the law for transgressions of the law. Therefore, you cannot avoid teaching that saving faith is a work of the law if you teach that souls are damned/cursed for omitting saving faith. For the curse is ministered through the law of works.
It appears that you believe these 2 things. 1. The omission of saving faith is a sin. 2. Souls are damned for omitting saving faith.
Third, the implications of any teaching which makes saving faith as a work of the law is very destructive to the gospel and the comfort of God's sheep. This teaching leads to these false doctrines: [1.] Assurance of our justification through works of the law - This is contrary to the gospel of God's free grace. We are declared righteous in our conscience through faith apart from works of the law. "Where then is the boasting? it was excluded; by what law? of works? no, but by a law of faith: therefore do we reckon a man to be declared righteous by faith, apart from works of law." [Romans 3:27-28 YLT] "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?... He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" [Galatians 3:2, 5] [2.] The children of God are inevitably taught that they are redeemed from the curse because of their faith and faithfulness to persevere therein - This is contrary to the gospel of God's free grace. We receive assurance by faith that we are redeemed from the curse because of the faithfulness of Christ alone. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." [Galatians 3:13-14]
Fourth, Gospel invitations are for sensible sinners and not for the self-righteous. For example see: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” [Isaiah 55:1] “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28] “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” [John 7:37-38]
The Self-Righteous are called to forsake their hatred of the truth, but they are never directed as thirsty sinners to receive Christ as their redemption and eternal salvation. "Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" [Acts 13:10] The self-righteous are to be sent to the law till they are made sensible to their sin. "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?" [John 7:19] "Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?" [Romans 2:17-23] "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?" [Galatians 4:21] "But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." [James 2:9-11]
Only Sensible Sinners are to be sent to the comfort of the gospel. "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." [James 4:6] In Isaiah 61, we learn that the preaching of good tidings is “unto the meek”; the binding up is to “the brokenhearted”; the proclamation of liberty is to the “captives”; the opening of the prison doors is to them that are “bound”; the comfort is to “all that mourn”; the beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning is unto “them that mourn in Zion”; and the garment of praise is for the “spirit of heaviness”. Here we may understand that we are first made meek, brokenhearted, captives, bound, mourners, and heavy in spirit before we are called through the good tidings of the gospel “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” First, we are conceived by the Spirit. Later, we are begotten through the gospel. First, we are made sensible to our sin and our need of God’s mercy. Later, we are comforted by the glad tidings of the gospel.
Gospel invitations are particular and not general. “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17] The gospel call is for weary sinners that have need of the assurance of their redemption in Christ. But, it is not for the self righteous who are blind to the knowledge of their sin and the plague of their own heart.
Who has warrant to believe that Jesus Christ has come to save them. Only Sensible sinners are commanded to believe that Jesus Christ has come to save them. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." [1 Timothy 1:15]
The Self-righteous should never be directed or commanded to believe that Jesus came into the World to redeem them. However, everyone should be exhorted to believe the truth of the scriptures, and everyone ought to turn from the sin of denying that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. But, this is not the same as believing the that Jesus has come to save each individual that ever lived, as duty-faith preacher imply by their doctrine. Paul had warrant to trust Christ as his savior because he was convinced that he was a sinner in need of Christ.
Throughout the scriptures the prophets and apostles first began their message with an exposition of the sins of the people and then they preached the hope of the gospel for all who were convinced of their sin. They never sought to comfort the self righteous with the hope of the gospel. Consider the order of preaching in Romans. First, Law to the proud. Second, Grace to the humble.
LAW... 1st commandment – Rom 1:21;
2nd, 7th, and 10th commandment – Rom 1:24;
9th and 2nd commandment – Rom 1:25;
2nd, 7th, and 10th commandment – Rom 1:26-27;
1st commandment – Rom 1:28;
1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th commandment – Rom 1:29-31;
8th commandment – Rom 2:21;
7th and 2nd commandment – Rom 2:22;
1st commandment – Rom 2:23;
3rd commandment – Rom 2:24;
9th commandment – Rom 3:4;
1st commandment – Rom 3:11;
All are guilty of the whole law – Rom 3:12;
9th commandment – Rom 3:13;
6th commandment – Rom 3:14-17;
1st commandment – Rom 3:18;
Purpose of the Law – Rom 3:19-20;
GRACE... Declared righteous through faith – Rom 3:21-22; Justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus – Rom 3:24-26
A Sure Hope for Sinners - "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." [Romans 5:6-11]