Tag Archives: Sovereignty

“There is not a drop of wrath in a riverful of a believer’s grief” by Charles Spurgeon

“I do not know of any reflection more consoling than this: that my sorrow is not laid on me by a judge, nor inflicted on me as the result of divine anger. There is not a drop of wrath in a riverful of a believer’s grief.

Does not that take the bitterness out of affliction and make it sweet? And then the reflection goes further. Since Christ has died for me, I am God’s dear child; and now if I suffer, all my suffering comes from my Father’s hand—nay, more, from my Father’s heart.

He loves me, and therefore makes me suffer; not because He does not love, but because He does love He does thus afflict me. In every stripe I see another token of paternal love. This it is to sweeten Marah’s waters indeed.

Then will come the next reflection—that a Father’s love is joined with infinite wisdom, and that, therefore, every ingredient in the bitter cup is measured out drop by drop, and grain by grain, and there is not one pang too many ever suffered by an heir of heaven.

The cross is not only weighed to the pound but to the ounce, ay, to the lowest conceivable grain. You shall not have one half a drop of grief more than is absolutely needful for your good and God’s glory.

And does not this also sweeten the cross, that it is laid on us by infinite wisdom, and by a Father’s hand.

Ravishing, indeed, is the reflection in the midst of all our grief and suffering, that Jesus Christ suffers with us. In all thine affliction, O member of the body, the Head is still a sharer.

Deep are the sympathies of the Redeemer, acute, certain, quick, infallible; He never forgets His saints.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Marah; Or, the Bitter Waters Sweetened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Volume 17 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1871), 17: 236–237.

[HT: Bobby Jamieson]

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“He that supports the pillars of heaven and earth” by Richard Sibbes

“He that supports the pillars of heaven and earth is able to support the pillars of thy soul.”

–Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes (ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart; vol. 7; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1638/2001), 7: 349.

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“We were once blind to His beauty” by John Newton

“The Lord reigns. He who once bore our sins, and carried our sorrows, is seated upon a throne of glory, and exercises all power in heaven and on earth. Thrones, principalities, and powers, bow before Him.

Every event in the kingdoms of providence and of grace are under His rule. His providence pervades and manages the whole, and is as minutely attentive to every part as if there were only that single object in His view.

From the tallest archangel to the meanest ant or fly, all depend on Him for their being, their preservation, and their powers. He directs the sparrows where to build their nests, and to find their food.

He overrules the rise and fall of nations, and bends, with an invincible energy and unerring wisdom, all events, so that while many intend nothing less, in the issue their designs all concur and coincide in the accomplishment of His holy will.

He restrains with a mighty hand the still more formidable efforts of the powers of darkness, and Satan with all his hosts cannot exert their malice a hair’s-breadth beyond the limits of His permission.

This is He who is the head and husband of His believing people. How happy are they whom it is His good pleasure to bless!

How safe are they whom He has engaged to protect! How honoured and privileged are they to whom He is pleased to manifest Himself, and whom He enables and warrants to claim Him as their friend and their portion!

Having redeemed them by His own blood, He sets a high value upon them. He esteems them His treasure, His jewels, and keeps them as the apple of his eye.

They shall not want. They need not fear. His eye is upon them in every situation, His ear is open to their prayers, and His everlasting arms are under them for their sure support.

On earth He guides their steps, controls their enemies, and directs all His dispensations for their good.

While in heaven He is pleading their cause, preparing them a place, and communicating down to them reviving foretastes of the glory that shall be shortly revealed.

O how is this mystery hidden from an unbelieving world! Who can believe it, till it is made known by experience, what an intercourse is maintained in this land of shadows between the Lord of glory and sinful worms!

How should we praise Him that He has visited us! For we were once blind to His beauty, and insensible to His love, and should have remained so to the last, had He not prevented us with His goodness, and been found of us when we sought Him not.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 237-239.

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“We know who the real King is” by Rankin Wilbourne

“It may not look like Christ is ruling the universe. Today it might look like just a crack of light under a door.

But the New Testament writers were confident because they knew the light had dawned (Rom. 13: 12) and that one day the door will open, and that light, the Sun of Glory, will flood the whole room.

The gravity of Christ being King is often lost on those of us who have no earthly king. But in the Roman Empire, the tiny church not only survived, but flourished, even amid terrible persecution.

They were willing to die because they knew who the real king was. And they believed He was worth dying for.

King David’s men once said to David, ‘You are worth ten thousand of us’ (2 Sam. 18: 3), and we can now say that to our King and make our lives wholly expendable to Him and His cause.

When you know that Christ is the seated and enthroned King, you too will be willing to surrender all your plans and ambitions into His hands.

Perhaps, with the persecuted church, you can even rejoice when you are counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name (Acts 5:41) because we know who the real King is, and He is worthy.”

–Rankin Wilbourne, Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2016), 165.

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“The great love of Jesus” by Charles Spurgeon

“Jesus has loved His own people from of old. A most blessed fact! He has loved them eternally. There never a time when He did not love them.

His love is positively dateless: before the heavens and earth were made, and the stars were first touched with the torch of flame, Jesus had received His people from His Father, and written their names on His heart.

‘Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.’ Jesus, before all the world, set the crown of His peculiar love upon those whom He foreordained unto His glory.

This love of His is infinite. Jesus does not love His own with a little of His love, nor regard them with some small degree of affection, but He says, ‘As the Father hath loved me, even so have I loved you,’ and the Father’s love to the Son is inconceivably great, since they are one in essence, ineffably one.

The Father cannot but love the Son infinitely, neither doth the Son ever love His people less than with all His heart. It is an affection which no angelic mind could measure, inconceivable, unknown.

Jesus loved His people with a foresight of what they would be. Love is blind, they say, but not the Saviour’s love. He knew that ‘his own’ would fall in Adam; He knew that as they lived personally each one would become a sinner; He understood that they would be hard to reclaim and difficult to retain, even after they had been reclaimed; He saw every sin that they would commit in the glass of the future, for from His prescient eye nothing can be hidden.

And yet He loved His own over the head of all their sins, and their revoltings, and their shortcomings. Hence we see that He bears towards them an affection which cannot be changed, for nothing can occur which He has not foreseen, nothing therefore which has not already been taken into calculation in the matter of His choice.

No new circumstance can shed unexpected light upon the case. No startling and unforeseen event can become an argument for a change. Hence Jesus’ love is full of immutability. There are no ups and downs in the love of Christ towards His people.

On their highest Tabors He loves them, but equally as well in their Gethsemanes. When they wander like lost sheep His great love goes after them, and when they come back with broken hearts His great love restores them.

By day, by night, in sickness, in sorrow, in poverty, in famine, in prison, in the hour of death, that silver stream of love ripples at their side, never stayed, never diminished. Forever is the sea of divine grace at its flood; this sun never sets; this fountain never pauses.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Faithfulness of Jesus,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 14 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1868), 270-271.

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“Give them all the more of it” by Charles Spurgeon

“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 inmost soul this distasteful gospel of the grace of God.

My dear brethren, do not try to make it tasteful to carnal minds. Hide not the offence of the cross, lest you make it of none effect.

The angles and corners of the gospel are its strength: to pare them off is to deprive it of power. Toning down is not the increase of strength, but the death of it.

Learn, then, that if you take Christ out of Christianity, Christianity is dead. If you remove grace out of the gospel, the gospel is gone.

If the people do not like the doctrine of grace, give them all the more of it.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Our Manifesto,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 37 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1891), 49. This from a sermon on Galatians 1:11.

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“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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