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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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CHARLES SPURGEON AND THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION

Charles H. SpurgeonC. H. Spurgeon:

At the very announcement of the text some will be ready to say, “Why preach upon so profound a doctrine as election?” I answer, “Because it is in God’s word, and whatever is in the Word of God is to be preached.”

“But some truths ought to be kept back from the people,” you will say, “They should make an ill use thereof.” That is Popish doctrine, it was upon that very theory that the priests kept back the Bible from the people, they did not give it to them lest they should misuse it.

“But are not some doctrines dangerous?” Not if they are true and rightly handled. Truth is never dangerous, it is error and reticence that are fraught with peril.

“But do not men abuse the doctrine of grace?” I grant you that they do; but if we destroyed everything that men misuse, we should have nothing left. Are there to be no ropes because some fools will hang themselves? And, must cutlery be discarded and denounced, because there are some who will use dangerous weapons for the destruction of their adversaries? Decidedly not. Besides all this, remember that men do read the Scriptures and think about these doctrines, and therefore often make mistakes about them; who then shall set them right if we, who preach the Word, hold our tongues about the matter? (From a sermon entitled, “Election: Its Defenses and Evidences”)

 

Manifesting His Glory

Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards:

“God’s electing a certain definite number is a manifestation of His glory. It shows the glory of His divine sovereignty. God is declaring His absolute sovereignty over His creation. He is showing us just how far that sovereignty extends. In purposely choosing some and passing on others, He shows that His majesty and power are unparalleled. Those who do not see glory and dominion in election simply do not understand God. They are not aware of His greatness, and do not understand grace. Grace is defined in election. God chose His people to happiness and glory long before they were born. He chose them out of the mass of fallen mankind. He loved them before they knew Him. He chose them when they did not deserve to be chosen. That is grace! The doctrine of election shows that if those who received God’s grace had earnestly sought it, it was God’s grace that caused them to seek it. It shows that even their faith itself is the gift of God, and their persevering in a way of holiness unto glory is also the fruit of electing love. Believer’s love of God is the fruit of and because of God’s love to them. The giving of Christ, the preaching of the gospel, and the appointing of ordinances are all fruits of the grace of election. All the grace that is shown to mankind, either in this world or in the world to come, is comprised of the electing love of God.” (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, volume 2, page 936)

 

 

AM I ELECT?

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles Haddon Spurgeon:

“If you stop and say, “I want to know first whether I am elect,” you ask you know not what.  Go to Jesus, be you never so guilty as you are.  Leave all curious inquiry about election alone.  Go straight to Christ and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election.  The assurance of the Holy Spirit shall be given to you, so that you will be able to say,” I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him.”  Christ was at the everlasting council: He can tell you whether you were chosen or not; but you cannot find it out in any other way.  Go and put your trust in Him, and His answer will be – “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.”  There will be no doubt about his having chosen you, when you have chosen him.” (Morning and Evening)

ELECTION

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

[Q] Why preach upon so profound a doctrine as election?

[A] I answer, because it is in God’s word, and whatever is in the Word of God is to be preached.

[Q] But some truths ought to be kept back from the people, you will say, they should make an ill use thereof.

[A] That is Popish doctrine, it was upon that very theory that the priests kept back the Bible from the people, they did not give it to them lest they should misuse it.

[Q] But are not some doctrines dangerous?

[A] Not if they are true and rightly handled. Truth is never dangerous, it is error and reticence that are fraught with peril.

[Q] But do not men abuse the doctrine of grace?

[A] I grant you that they do; but if we destroyed everything that men misuse, we should have nothing left. Are there to be no ropes because some fools will hang themselves? And, must cutlery be discarded and denounced, because there are some who will use dangerous weapons for the destruction of their adversaries? Decidedly not. Besides all this, remember that men do read the Scriptures and think about these doctrines, and therefore often make mistakes about them; who then shall set them right if we, who preach the Word, hold our tongues about the matter? (“Election: Its Defenses and Evidences”)

He Chose Us to be Holy

Holiness“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,” (2 Peter 1:2-8 ESV)

God is calling to Himself a holy people. Those whom He chooses receive His very great and precious promises. Election is the only way by which we escape the corruption of this world. God’s glory is displayed by enabling those whom He calls to live a life of holiness. The chosen are called to live a virtuous life. God has decreed that without holiness no man shall see God. The elect of God are chosen to be holy. God does not choose a man because he is holy. Holiness is the result of being chosen by God. God’s only motive in election is His own glory and excellence. There is nothing in us – left to ourselves – that merits our salvation. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18 ESV) Continue reading

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