Tag Archives: Spurgeon

Predestination and the Free Offer

I read this on the Pyromaniacs blog and since I often include posts from Charles Spurgeon, I thought I would include this one.  It’s an excerpt from a sermon entitled “High Doctrine and Broad Doctrine” available HERE with most all of Spurgeon’s sermons/works.  I don’t know if I’ve ever read/heard a better explanation of the sovereign grace of God and the necessity of man to except the free offer.  If you struggle with reconciling these two views, then read below to better understand their relationship and how they are complementary. Sola Gratia!

 

By Charles H. Spurgeon 

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”—John 6:37.

These two sentences have been looked upon as representing two sides of Christian doctrine. They enable us to see it from two stand-points—the Godward and the manward.

The first sentence contains what some call high doctrine. If by “high” they mean “glorious towards God,” I fully agree with them; for it is a grand, God-honoring truth which our Lord Jesus declares in these words,—”All that the Father giveth, me shall come to me.” Some have styled this side of truth Calvinistic, but while it is true that Calvin taught it, so also did Augustine, and Paul, and our Lord himself, whose words these are. However, I will not quarrel with those who see in this sentence a statement of the great truth of predestinating grace.

The second sentence sets forth blessed, encouraging, evangelical doctrine, and is in effect a promise and an invitation,—”Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” This is a statement without limitation of any kind: it has been thought to leave the free grace of God open to the free will of man, so that whosoever pleases may come and may be sure that he still not be refused.

We have no permission to pare down either sentence, nor is there the slightest need to do so. The first sentence appears to me to say that God has chosen a people, and has given these people to Christ, and these people must and shall come to Christ, and so shall be saved. The second truth declares that every man who comes to Christ shall be saved, since he shall not be cast out, and that implies that he shall be received and accepted.

These are two great truths; let us carry them both with us, and they will balance each other. I was once asked to reconcile these two statements, and I answered, “No, I never reconcile friends.” These two passages never fell out: they are perfectly agreed. It is folly to imagine a difference, and then set about removing it. It is like making a man of straw, and then going out to fight with it.

The grand declaration of the purpose of God that he will save his own is quite consistent with the widest declaration that whosoever will come to Christ shall be saved. The pity is that it ever should be thought to be a difficulty to hold both truths; or that, supposing there is a difficulty, we should have thought it our duty to remove it. Believe me, my dear hearers, the business of removing religious difficulties is the least remunerative labor under heaven.

The truest way is to accept the difficulty wherever you find it in God’s word, and to exercise your faith upon it. It is unreasonable to suppose that faith is to be exempted from trials: all the other graces are exercised, and why should not faith be put to the test? I often feel a joy within my spirit in having to believe what I cannot understand; and sometimes when I have to say to myself, “How can it be?” I find a joy in replying that it is so written, and therefore it must be so.

In spite of all reasoning stands the utterance of God. Our Father speaks, and doubts are silenced: his Spirit writes, and we believe. I feel great pleasure in gliding down the river of revelation, upon a voyage of discovery, and hour by hour obtaining fresh knowledge of divine truth; but where I come to an end of progress, and see my way blocked up by a sublimely awful difficulty, I find equal pleasure in casting anchor under the lee of the obstacle, and waiting till the pilot tells me what next to do.

When we cannot go through a truth, we may be led over it, or round it, and what matters? Our highest benefit comes not of answering riddles, but of obeying commands by the power of love. Suppose we can see no further into the subject—what then? Shall we trouble about that? Must there not be an end of human knowledge somewhere? May we not be perfectly satisfied for God to appoint the boundary of understanding? Let us not therefore run our heads against difficulties of our own invention, and certainly not against those which God has seen fit to leave for us.

Take, then, these two truths, and know that they are equally precious portions of one harmonious whole. Let us not quibble over them, or indulge a foolish favouritism for one and a prejudice against the other; but let us receive both with a candid, large-hearted love of truth, such as children of God should exhibit. We are not called upon to explain, but to accept. Let us believe if we cannot reconcile.

Here are two jewels, let us wear them both. As surely as this Book is true, God has a people whom he has chosen, and whom Christ has redeemed from among men; and these must and shall by sovereign grace be brought in due time to repentance and faith, for not one of them shall ever perish. But yet is it equally true, that whosoever among the sons of men shall come and put his trust in Christ shall receive eternal life. “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

“None are excluded hence but those
Who do themselves exclude.
Welcome the learned and polite,
The ignorant and rude.”

The two truths of my text are by no means inconsistent the one with the other: they are perfectly agreed. Happy is the man who can believe them both, whether he sees their agreement or does not see it.

I was cruising one day in the western Highlands. It had been a splendid day, and the glorious scenery had made our journey like an excursion to Fairy Land; but it came to an end, for darkness and night asserted their primeval sovereignty. Right ahead was a vast headland of the isle of Arran. How it frowned against the evening sky! The mighty rock seemed to overhang the sea. Just at its base was a little bay, and into this we steamed, and there we lay at anchorage all night, safe from every wind that might happen to be seeking out its prey. In that calm loch we seemed to lie in the mountain’s lap while its broad shoulders screened us from the wind.

Now, the first part of my text, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me,” rises like a huge headland high into the heavens. Who shall scale its height? Upon some it seems to frown darkly. But here at the bottom lies the placid, glassy lake of infinite love and mercy: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Steam into it, and be safe under the shadow of the great rock. You will be the better for the mountain-truth as your barque snugly reposes within the glittering waters at its foot; while you may thank God that the text is not all mountain to repel you, you will be grateful that there is enough of it to secure you.

Continue in Prayer

Charles Spurgeon

By Charles H. Spurgeon

Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” KJV

It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises.  We scarcely open the Bible before we read, The began men to call upon the name of the Lord; and just as we are about to close the volume, the Amen of an earnest supplication meets our ear.  Instances are plentiful.  Here we find a wrestling Jacob-there a Daniel who prayed three times a day-and a David who with all his heart called upon His God.  On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas.  We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises.  What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer?  We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in His Word, He intended to be conspicuous in our lives.  If He has said much about prayer, it is because we have much need of it.  So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray.  Dost thou want nothing?  Then, I fear thou dost not know thy poverty.  Hast thou no mercy to ask of God?  Then, may the Lord’s mercy show thee thy misery!  A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. 

 

Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.  It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian.  If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father’s face and live in the Father’s love.  Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of His love.  Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master.  The motto for this year must be, Continue in prayer.

Discernment

spurgeonr1By Charles H. Spurgeon

Strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house. Jeremiah 51:51

In this account the faces of the Lord’s people were covered with shame, for it was a terrible thing that men should intrude into the Holy Place reserved for the priests alone.  Everywhere about us we see like cause for sorrow.  How many ungodly men are now educating with the view of entering into the ministry!  What a crying sin is that solemn lie by which our whole population is nominally comprehended in a National Church!  How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that among the more enlightened churches of our land there should be such laxity of discipline.  If the thousands who will read this portion shall all take this matter before the Lord Jesus this day, he will interfere and avert the evil which else will come upon his Church.  To adulterate the Church is to pollute a well, to pour water upon fire, to sow a fertile field with stones.  May we all have grace to maintain in our own proper way the purity of the Church, as being an assembly of believers, and not a nation, an unsaved community of unconverted men.

Our zeal must, however, begin at home.  Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord’s table.  Let us see to it that we have on our wedding garment, lest we ourselves be intruders in the Lord’s sanctuaries.  Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait.  O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God’s elect.  He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of his two ordinances; as a true believer I may approach them freely, as an alien I must not touch them lest I die.  Heart searching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord’s table.  Search me, O God, and know my way, try me and know my heart.