Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Unconditional Election ~ C.H. Spurgeon



A Sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1855.
  

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

If there were no other text in the Sacred Word except this one I think
we should all be bound to receive and acknowledge the truthfulness of
the great and glorious doctrine of God’s ancient choice of His family. But
there seems to be an inveterate prejudice in the human mind against this
doctrine—and although most other doctrines will be received by
professing Christians, some with caution, others with pleasure—this one
seems to be most frequently disregarded and discarded. In many of our
pulpits it would be reckoned a high sin and treason to preach a sermon
upon election because they could not make it what they call a “practical”
discourse.
I believe they have erred from the truth. Whatever God has revealed He
has revealed for a purpose. There is nothing in Scripture which may not,
under the influence of God’s Spirit, be turned into a practical discourse—
for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable” for some
purpose of spiritual usefulness. It is true, it may not be turned into a free
will discourse—that we know right well—but it can be turned into a
practical free grace discourse. And free grace practice is the best practice
when the true doctrines of God’s immutable love are brought to bear
upon the hearts of saints and sinners. Now, I trust this morning some of
you who are startled at the very sound of this word will say, “I will give it
a fair hearing. I will lay aside my prejudices, I will just hear what this
man has to say.” 
Do not shut your ears and say at once, “It is high doctrine.” Who has
authorized you to call it high or low? Why should you oppose yourself to
God’s doctrine? Say nothing against God’s doctrines, lest haply some evil
beast should come out of the forest and devour you, also.
And when you receive the truth, if God should be pleased to reveal and
manifest it to your souls, do not be ashamed to confess it. To confess you
were wrong yesterday is only to acknowledge that you are a little wiser
today. Instead of being a reflection on yourself, it is an honor to your
judgment and shows that you are improving in the knowledge of the
Truth of God. Do not be ashamed to learn and to cast aside your old
doctrines and views. But take up that which you may more plainly see to
be in the Word of God. And if you do not see it to be here in the Bible—
whatever I may say, or whatever authorities I may plead—I beseech you,
as you love your souls, reject it. And if from this pulpit you ever hear
things contrary to this Sacred Word, remember that the Bible must be
first and God’s minister must lie underneath it.
Now, first. I shall speak a little concerning the truthfulness of this
doctrine—“God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation.”
Secondly, I shall try to prove that this election is absolute—“He has from
the beginning chosen you to salvation,” not for sanctification, but
through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” Thirdly, this
election is eternal because the text says, “God has from the beginning
chosen you.” Fourthly, it is personal—He has chosen you.”
Then we will look at the effects of the doctrine—see what it does. And
lastly, as God may enable us, we will try and look at its tendencies and
see whether it is indeed a terrible and licentious doctrine. We will take
the flower and like true bees, see whether there is any honey whatever in
it—whether any good can come of it—or whether it is an unmixed,
undiluted evil.
It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching no new doctrine. I love to
proclaim these strong old doctrines which are called by nickname
Calvinism but which are surely and verily the revealed Truth of God as it
is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make a pilgrimage into the past and as
I go I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after
martyr, standing up to shake hands with me. Were I a Pelagian, or a
believer in the doctrine of free will, I should have to walk for centuries all
alone. Here and there a heretic of no very honorable character might rise
up and call me Brother. 
I care not what they say, pro or con, as to this doctrine. I have only
used them as a kind of confirmation to your faith, to show you that while
I may be railed upon as a heretic and as a hyper-Calvinist, after all I am
backed up by antiquity. All the past stands by me. I do not care for the
present. Give me the past and I will hope for the future. Let the present
rise up in my teeth, I will not care. What though a host of the Churches
of London may have forsaken the great cardinal doctrines of God, it
matters not. If a handful of us stand alone in an unflinching
maintenance of the sovereignty of our God, if we are beset by enemies,
yes, and even by our own Brothers and Sisters who ought to be our
friends and helpers, it matters not—if we can but count upon the past—
the noble army of martyrs, the glorious host of confessors. They are our
friends. They are the witnesses of truth and they stand by us.
The great Truth of God is always the Bible and the Bible alone. My
Hearers, you do not believe in any other book than the Bible, do you?

I have selected a few texts to read to you. Just let me run through a
catalogue of passages where the people of God are called elect. Of course
if the people are called elect, there must be election. If Jesus Christ and
His Apostles were accustomed to call Believers by the title of elect, we
must certainly believe that they were so, otherwise the term does not
mean anything. Jesus Christ says, 
“Except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved; 
but for the elect’s sake, whom He
has chosen, He has shortened the days.”
False Christs and false prophets shall rise and shall show signs and
wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” “Then shall He
send His angels and shall gather together His elect from the four winds,
from the uttermost parts of the earth to the uttermost part of Heaven.”—
Mark 13:20, 22, 27. “Shall not God avenge His own elect who cry day and
night unto Him, though He bear long with them?” Luke 18:7. Together
with many other passages which might be selected, wherein either the
word “elect,” or “chosen,” or “foreordained,” or “appointed,” is
mentioned—or the phrase “My sheep”
But now for the verses that will positively prove the doctrine. Open
your Bibles and turn to John 15:16 and there you will see that Jesus
Christ has chosen His people, for He says, “You have not chosen Me, but
I have chosen you and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth
fruit and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of
the Father in My name, He may give it you.” 
Then in the 19th verse,
“If you were of the world, the world would love his own, but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the
world hates you.” Then in the 17th chapter and the 8th and 9th verses,
For I have given unto them the words which You gave Me; and they have
received them and have known surely that I came out from You and they
have believed that You did send Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the
world, but for them which You have given Me for they are Yours.”
You scarcely need to be reminded of Romans 8, because I
trust you are all well-acquainted with that chapter and understand it by
this time. In the 29th and following verses, it says, “For whom He did
foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His
Son, that He might be the firstborn among many Brethren. Moreover,
whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called,
them He also justified and whom He justified, them He also glorified.
What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be
against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us
all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall
lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?”
It would also be unnecessary to repeat the whole of the 9th chapter of
Romans. So long as that is written there, not the most violent
contortions of the passage will ever be able to exterminate the doctrine of
election from the Scriptures.

Tissot ~ Brooklyn Museum

No comments:

Post a Comment