Category Archives: Election

“Almighty wisdom” by J.C. Ryle

“Let us notice, secondly, in these verses, how all things in our Lord’s passion happened according to God’s word. His own address to those who took Him, exhibits this in a striking manner: ‘the Scriptures must be fulfilled.’

There was no accident or chance in any part of the close of our Lord’s earthly ministry. The steps in which He walked from Gethsemane to Calvary, were all marked out hundreds of years before.

The twenty-second Psalm, and the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, were literally fulfilled. The wrath of His enemies,—His rejection by His own people,—His being dealt with as a malefactor,—His being condemned by the assembly of the wicked,—all had been foreknown, and all foretold.

All that took place was only the working out of God’s great design to provide an atonement for a world’s sin. The armed men whom Judas brought to lay hands on Jesus, were, like Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib, unconscious instruments in carrying God’s purposes into effect.

Let us rest our souls on the thought, that all around us is ordered and overruled by God’s almighty wisdom. The course of this world may often be contrary to our wishes.

The position of the Church may often be very, unlike what we desire. The wickedness of worldly men, and the inconsistencies of believers, may often afflict our souls.

But there is a hand above us, moving the vast machine of this universe, and making all things work together for His glory. The Scriptures are being yearly fulfilled.

Not one jot or tittle in them shall ever fail to be accomplished. The kings of the earth may take counsel together, and the rulers of the nations may set themselves against Christ. (Psal. 2:2.)

But the resurrection morning shall prove that, even at the darkest time, all things were being done according to the will of God.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Mark (London: William Hunt, 1859), 322–323. Ryle is commenting on Mark 14:43-52.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Election, God the Creator, God the Father, J.C. Ryle, Jesus Christ, Providence, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Resurrection, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel, Wisdom

“Amazing electing grace” by John Newton

“Admitting, what I am sure you will admit, the total depravity of human nature, how can we account for the conversion of a soul to God, unless we likewise admit an election of grace? The work must begin somewhere.

Either the sinner first seeks the Lord, or the Lord first seeks the sinner. The former is impossible, if by nature we are dead in trespasses and sins; if the god of this world has blinded our eyes, and maintains the possession of our hearts; and if our carnal minds, so far from being disposed to seek God, are enmity against Him.

Let me appeal to yourself. I think you know yourself too well to say, that you either sought or loved the Lord first: perhaps you are conscious, that for a season, and so far as in you lay, you even resisted His call; and must have perished, if He had not made you willing in the day of His power, and saved you in defiance of yourself.

In your own case, you acknowledge that He began with you; and it must be the case universally with all that are called, if the whole race of mankind are by nature enemies to God. Then, farther, there must be an election, unless ALL are called.

But we are assured that the broad road, which is thronged with the greatest multitudes, leads to destruction. Were not you and I in this road? Were we better than those who continue in it still?

What has made us differ from our former selves? Grace. What has made us differ from those who are now as we once were? Grace. Then this grace, by the very terms, must be differencing, or distinguishing grace; that is, in other words, electing grace.”

–John Newton, “Letter IX: On the Doctrine of Election and Final Perseverance,” in The Works of the John Newton, Volume 1, Ed. Richard Cecil (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 191-192.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Election, grace, Jesus Christ, John Newton, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sovereignty, The Gospel