• 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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  • May 2020
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)

In this verse is one of the great mysteries that theologians and believers have argued about for centuries. How far do man’s will and God’s sovereignty go in determining the salvation of the Christian?

Salvation is certainly a demonstration of God’s glory. We know that God is absolutely sovereign over everything that exists because He created anything that does exist. (Colossians 1:16 ESV) God’s salvation through Jesus Christ is also evidence of the degree to which that sovereignty stretches. Jesus said:

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Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon:

“We are sure that the Gospel we have preached is not after men because men do not take to it. It is opposed, even to this day. If anything is hated bitterly, it is the out-and-out Gospel of the Grace of God, especially if that hateful word, Sovereignty is mentioned with it! Dare to say, “He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion,” and furious critics will revile you without stint! The modern religionist not only hates the doctrine of Sovereign Grace, but he raves and rages at the mention of it! He would sooner hear you blaspheme than preach Election by the Father, Atonement by the Son, or Regeneration by the Spirit!

If you want to see a man worked up till the Satanic is clearly uppermost, let some of the new divines hear you preach a Free-Grace sermon! A Gospel which is after men will be welcomed by men—but it needs a Divine operation upon the heart and mind to make a man willing to receive into his utmost soul this distasteful Gospel of the Grace of God! (1891, Sermon #2185)

Jerry Bridges on the Sovereignty of God

Trusting GodJerry Bridges:

One of our problems with the sovereignty of God is that it frequently does not appear that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives. We see unjust or uncaring or even clearly wicked people doing things that adversely affect us. We experience the consequences of other people’s mistakes and failures. We even do foolish and sinful things ourselves and suffer the often bitter fruit of our actions. It is difficult to see God working through secondary causes and frail, sinful human beings. But it is the ability of God to so arrange diverse human actions to fulfill His purpose that makes His sovereignty marvelous and yet mysterious. No Bible-believing Christian has any difficulty believing that God can and has worked miracles— instances of His sovereign but direct intervention into the affairs of people. Regardless of our theological position regarding miracles occurring today, we all accept without question the validity of the miracles recorded in Scripture. But to believe in the sovereignty of God when we do not see His direct intervention— when God is, so to speak, working entirely behind the scenes through ordinary circumstances and ordinary actions of people— is even more important because that is the way God usually works. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

Suffering and Sovereignty

R.C. Sproul:

“The suffering of the Christian or anyone else in this world is never ultimately an accident. All suffering is within the pale of divine sovereignty. All suffering comes within the broader context of the sovereignty of God.” (Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity)

Pondering God

From the desk of R. C. Sproul:

“Most Christians salute the sovereignty of God but believe in the sovereignty of man.”

“Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.”

God’s Sovereignty

Quoting Darrin Brooker:

Regrettably, the sovereignty of God is an issue little talked about in our day. The truth of the matter is that many people are selective in the areas they think and believe God to be sovereign. Oftentimes, these same people will boldly assert that their ‘free choice’ was the causal agent of their conversion and not the effectual calling of the Holy Spirit in fulfilling God’s decree of election. It is essential that this error be pointed out as such because, simply put, if we do not regard God as the ‘determining’ cause of our salvation then we do not regard God as sovereign in all things. (Rom. 11:36) Jonathan Edwards once said that the sovereignty of God will be “the stumbling-block on which thousands fall and perish; and if we go on contending with God about his sovereignty, it will be our eternal ruin.” If we do not exalt God as sovereign, and sovereign in all things including the salvation of His people, then we knowingly usurp the glory due His name.

For the true believer, God’s sovereignty is the greatest of all comforts and not some antiquated, theoretical doctrine, as many would have it portrayed. We should feel secure in the fact that God chose a people unto salvation before the creation of the world; that He sent His Son to secure that salvation through His death on the cross; and that He sent His Spirit to effectually call and eternally seal those for whom Christ died, in order that none of them should be lost. (Eph. 1:3-14) Dear friends, what greater comfort could there be than knowing our salvation, from beginning to end, rests fully in the hands of Almighty God?

Do You Reject God’s Sovereignty?

From the pen of Loraine Boettner:

Although the sovereignty of God is universal and absolute, it is not the sovereignty of blind power. It is coupled with infinite wisdom, holiness and love. And this doctrine, when properly understood, is a most comforting and reassuring one. Who would not prefer to have his affairs in the hands of a God of infinite power, wisdom, holiness and love, rather than to have them left to fate, or chance, or irrevocable natural law, or to short-sighted and perverted self? Those who reject God’s sovereignty should consider what alternatives they have left. (Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, 32)

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