Gresham Machen in facing the liberal theologians and Christian attack to the point that he left Princeton theological seminary and started Westminster theological seminary in the 1900s.
When facing all these he started a radio broadcast like in the 1930, and he knew the mocking by the liberals and he went personal to said that “I am a flawed sinful man, I need no moral exhortations to be right with God and be accepted by him, because I can’t do it! I am a flawed sinful man. I need the gospel of what God has done for me. Do you have any good news for me?”
He is exactly right . People need the Lord to repent and come back to God. We can’t repent without God first moved our heart. Jesus said no one can come to me unless my Father draws him to me.
We can either preach moralism like a religion or we preach the gospel of grace of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Humans can never be right before God on their own because as in Eph:
Ephesians 2:As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
We were dead in our sons. We were after all the works of disobedience, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and flowing its desires and thoughts, we were by nature deserving wrath, or children of wrath. You see we were dead in our sins, and dead people can’t respond to the call of God, the love of God, dead people can’t decide to accept Christ. We were children of wrath facing the judgement of God in the end time, but God in his mercy showered us with his grace and mercy through the dying of his Son Jesus Christ. That gift of love from the cross would not be possibly be received by dead people. There is no chance by our own will conscience, we will choose Christ while dead spiritually, by nature children of wrath. We were gratifying our flesh cravings like everyone else; we were not longing for God. We only respond when we see with our spiritual eyes how beautiful the love of God in Jesus, and that requires an opening of our spiritual eyes, and that’s a sovereign act of God.
Folks, we don’t need moralism argument exhortations, what we need is the grace of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ.